Best Deer Hunting Blind Heater Reviews of 2018 (Updated)
Dealing with the cold and elements is a necessary part of hunting. And sometimes it can even be fun. Other times, sitting around in the cold for hours on end ends up being pretty uncomfortable. In such situations, it can be beneficial to have a portable hunting blind heater to keep you warm as the temperatures drop, whether you’re seated on the ground in a duck or deer blind, or even up in a deer tree stand. Much like a space heater, a heater for your deer blind will add a little bit of warmth and comfort to those long days sitting out in the cold and make them just a bit more bearable.
These little portable warmers are great, but you want a model that can comfortably heat-up your chosen hunting space, aswell as offering you value for money. Here are our picks for the best deer hunting blind heaters of 2018.
Top 5 Rated Models Comparison Table
Range (Square Feet)
Up to 3800
Up to 3000
Reviews of the Best Deer Hunting Blind Heaters of 2018
#1. Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BRV Big Buddy
The Mr. Heater Big Buddy is our top pick for a blind heater. It’s a 4000-18000 BTU heater that can heat up to 300 square feet comfortably, burning propane gas very efficiently and cleanly. It has settings for operating on high, medium and low, and also features an automatic low-oxygen shut off system, as well as an accidental tip-over safety shut-off. You can connect it to two 1-lb propane cylinders at once, and also works with 20-lb cans with an optional hose.
With over 300 square feet of coverage and up to 18,000 BTU’s, the Mr. Heater Big Buddy is a heavy-duty heater that will keep you warm all the time. It’s a tried-and-true heater that people have been using for all sorts of purposes for decades.
Downsides? Despite Mr. Heater’s dependable reputation, there are a few quality-control issues; some people have reported that the batteries often do not fit, which leaves you able to use it only via a power cable. That would be disappointing if you don’t have any power source near your blind, which you most likely will not. The fan and starter can also be a bit noisy, so keep that in mind when out hunting.
Otherwise, this is a pretty solid space heater, which will keep you warm and cozy in all kinds of weather and can heat a large space.
Verdict: Our Top Choice
- Large effective area (300 sq ft)
- Works with 1-lb and 20-lb cylinders
- Auto low-oxygen shut-off
- Tip-over safety shut off
- Quality control issues
- Batteries do not always fit
#2. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy
If there’s a Buddy and Big Buddy, there must be a Little Buddy. This compact, portable heater from Mr. Heater puts out 38000 BTU’s at once and can heat an area of 95 square feet. It’s only about a foot tall and weighs less than 6 pounds. It hooks up to any 1-lb propane cylinder and can burn for up to 5.5 hours.
The shape of the Little Buddy allows it to point upwards at 45-degrees, letting you blast it right into your face or control the heat wherever you like it. The round surface is coated in porcelain, which allows the radiant heat to disperse out evenly from the heater. It has the same low-oxygen shut off as the other Buddy heaters, as well as a tip-over sensor.
Downsides? It has no adjustment levels or controls over how much. Either it’s off, or it’s on full force. And when you do try to turn it off, propane will continue to leak out; you need to fully unscrew and remove the bottle to completely stop the flow of gas. And like the other Mr. Heater options, it has some quality control issues.
With that said, it’s definitely the most portable, easy-to-use heater we’ve found, and one of the cheaper options. If that’s important to you, it will work well.
- Small and compact. Only 5.5 pounds
- Covers 95 square feet; up to 38,000 BTU’s
- Porcelain surface radiates heat well
- 45-degree upward angle
- No settings or controls
- Leaks gas
- QC issues
#3. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy
The smaller cousin to the Big Buddy above. Mr. Heater Buddy powers from 4,000 to 9,000 BTU and heats up to 225 square feet comfortably. It runs on propane, with high and low features, and can work with both 1-lb and 20-lb cylinders, like the Big Buddy. It has the same ODS and tip-over shut-off sensors.
The big difference between the Big Buddy and the Buddy is – you guessed it – the size. The Buddy weighs only 9 pounds to the Big Buddy’s 17. It has a fold-down handle and is easy to carry around with you.
As with the Big Buddy, most significant complaint with this heater is the poor quality control. Some heaters just do not work correctly, and the knobs tend to fall off - which is very disappointing and not at all acceptable. It also doesn’t burn well at high altitudes.
But, if you’d like a portable, light duck blind heater that is easy to move and still puts out a fair amount of heat, the Mr. Heater Buddy will get the job done.
- Small but powerful
- Only 9 pounds
- Fold-down handle; very portable
- Poor quality control
- Knobs fall off
#4. Mr. Heater MH45T Triple Tank Top
If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward heavy-duty space tank heater, then this model from Mr. Heater will get the job done. It consists of three burners that attach to the top of any 20-lb cylinder, putting out a total of anywhere from 10,000 to 45,000 BTU’s. There is a Hi-Med-Low regulator, and three separate tip-over safety offs.
The MH45T lets you choose between operating just 1, or all 3, heaters at once. It features a match-lit ignition, and the three heads all swivel so you can get exactly the coverage you need. This is really quite handy when trying to heat large spaces, especially outdoors. And it has a coverage area of over 500 square feet.
Complaints? Well, like all Mr. Heater products, it can be kind of unreliable. People have reported it spontaneously spitting fire, which is, needless to say, very dangerous. Others have stated that the regulator and controls have failed after just a few uses, leaving it uncontrollable and inconsistent.
It does serve its use, however – for situations where you need lots of heat and not a fancy package like the Big Buddy. You can hook it up to 20-lb or even larger propane tanks – 100-lb if you desire.
- Three burners
- Swivel heads
- 10,000 to 45,000 BTU’s
- Hi-Med-Low regulator
- QC issues; regulator breaks easily
- Can spit flame
#5. Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater
The cheapest, most straightforward heater on our list. The Sportsmate simply screws on to any propane cylinder. It’s made of stainless steel, has a pressure regulator with an on/off control, and a max setting of 3000 BTU’s. The Auto shut off valve shuts off the fuel if the flame goes out.
A neat feature of the Sportsmate is the molded plastic cup holder, with a large paddle-foot plastic base, that is designed to hold 16.4-ounce propane cylinders. This makes it easier and more stable to stand up, and lets you stand it up on different surfaces Texsport also wants you to use it in a golf cart if you’re into that). It’s the perfect size for a hunting blind – warm and decently powerful, but not big and unwieldy. It only weighs 2 pounds, so it’s definitely portable.
Problems? It’s not strong enough to hold up to heavy wind, which blows the flame out easily. It’s also known to shut off randomly and consistently (which appears to be a common theme among heaters like this one).
But, for a cheap, portable, lightweight and easy-to-use blind heater that works with regular propane cylinders, the Sportsmate gets the job done.
- Stainless steel build
- Small, light and portable. Only 2 pounds
- Plastic base and cup hold propane cylinders
- 3000 BTU’s
- Burns inconsistently. Goes out easily
- Flame goes out in high winds
What to Look For in A Good Deer or Duck Blind Heater
Whether you're hunting deer and waterfowl from either a stand or ground blind, here are the key things to consider when looking to purchase the right one for your budget and ultimately, keep you warm during those harsh, cold winter days.
Size and Portability
You’ll want to look for a portable blind heater that is small, light and easy to move. You can find anything from screw-on heaters that weight 2 pounds and fit on top of a propane cylinder, or you can go with a complete heating unit weighing 15-20 pounds. Just make sure it’s a comfortable weight for you and your kit, and you don’t mind carrying it around on your hunt. Also, consider whether you want a handle on your warmer for carrying around, not all models have one.
While a blind or stand is generally not very large, be sure to get a heater that can heat the entire thing comfortably. The smallest blind heaters will burn at about 3000 BTU’s, while the largest can put out 45,000. That’s more than enough – 5000-10000 BTU’s will be more than enough for any hunting blind. Check out how powerful our top picks are further up the review.
As with anything that burns flammable gas, blind heaters can be dangerous if not used correctly. Be sure to look for essential safety functions, like low-oxygen sensors that automatically turn off the heater with oxygen levels drop, or when the gas runs out. Auto tip-over sensors are also very helpful, ensuring nothing gets out of hand should the heater and gas cylinder tip over while burning. These can add a considerable level of safety and peace-of-mind to your heating experience.
Settings or Controls
Some warmers come with adjustable settings for changing the heat output, whereas other models are more basic in that they only have an on/off switch with one constant heat output level. Take this into consideration before buying, and decide whether it's important or not that you have a blind or stand warmer with adjustable settings.
If you're a game hunter, then you'll undoubtedly want to make sure that you get a quiet heater for your deer blind or stand. Some models are completely silent and make no noise when running or when any of the settings are changed, some, on the other hand, are a little noisier and may be an issue when game hunting. If you're a serious deer hunter, then be sure to check out how quiet each model is before considering it.
Are These Warmers Suitable for Deer Tree Stands Aswell?
Yes! Although we have mainly reviewed these heaters for use in a deer or duck hunting blind, they are also commonly used by game hunters for their tree stands. They are used in the same way as you would with an elevated or ground blind, though you might want a model with a little more power and heat if you're using it on an open tree stand. Remember that the heater could be subject to some wind and harsh conditions when sitting up in a tree stand all day.
Can They Cause Ventilation and Safety Issues?
A common question asked by potential buyers is whether they need a vented deer blind heater to ensure maximum ventilation and avoid any potential safety hazards. The answer is no, you don't need a vented model to avoid any ventilation issues. The majority of the propane models on the market have special sensors manufactured into them so that when they detect a lack of oxygen in the blind or tent, they turn themselves off straight away. Some models even have sensors that detect when the warmer falls over and will stop putting out heat automatically.
However, you should always exercise a certain degree of safety and causing when using a propane heater in a confined space. You want to ensure that some sort of ventilation is in place in your tent or blind when using one, whether that be having a window slightly open or even a small vent that you created yourself, just to ensure that you have something in place to make sure fresh air is still circulating around. A handy extra precaution that you can take is by having a CO detector alongside you in your heated area.
Having good ventilation not only helps promote safer and cleaner air circulation in your deer stand or blind, but it's also essential if you do decide to use one of these as they can steam up your windows and cause condensation if it's cold outside. Simply opening a window for a little while or even having constant ventilation in place is perfect for combating the condensation they cause.
Regardless of whether you choose one of our best hunting blind heater picks or another model on the marketplace, you should always ensure that you have some level of ventilation available in your elevated deer stand or ground blind.
Please Note: We do NOT offer professional safety advice, and you should always speak with a professional on the matter if you are unsure.
In our opinion, the best deer and duck hunting blind heater out there is the Mr. Heater Big Buddy. It offers the best combination of heat, coverage area, portability, and ease-of-use, with 4,000 to 18,000 BTU’s and 300 square feet of coverage area. It comes in a portable package, with a sturdy carry handle that makes it easy to move around and sturdy build. There are a few quality-control issues, and it doesn’t always burn the most consistently, but overall, it’s a good heater.
For something smaller and more portable, we also like the Little Buddy. It has a small portable size and can be pointed directly wherever you want it. It’s not as powerful or as sturdy as some of the others but provides the best bang for your buck if you need a more portable option.
Either way, grab one of these portable and quiet heaters and enjoy your next frigid deer hunt in a little bit more comfort. Also, remember to be aware of the dangers that these heaters may pose and remain safe on your hunt!