Best Portable Heaters for Car, Truck, and Golf Cart

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Sometimes, a car’s primary heating core fails to warm up your cold hands, defrost your windshield, or make a toasty environment for your road trips. That’s why most people start looking for an extra portable car heater.

There are a few types of heaters for you to choose from and in our review of the best portable heater for car and truck, No products found. comes out on top because it heats the seats quickly and fits most of vehicles.

Our Picks for Best Portable Car Heaters

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Best Portable Heaters for Car, Truck and Golf Cart Reviewed

1. Sojoy Universal 12V Car Seat Heater—Best Overall

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The most trouble-free option to warm your vehicle is using a seat heater. With this kind of heater, you no longer need to worry about space issues or tip-over problems. Besides, unlike other 12V car heaters, this model won’t ruin your interior design.

The Sojoy Universal is an affordable yet durable seat warmer that heats your frozen body in a matter of minutes. It delivers up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit of heat and automatically shuts off after 45 minutes.

For a more customized experience, you can also change the heating level to low, medium, and high settings. All you need to do is connect the warmer to your 12-volt cigarette lighter, and it will heat up in minutes.

With its universal design, this snug cover fits into most vehicles. It comes with an elastic hook fastener that prevents it from slipping. Additionally, the cover contains anti-skid backing that keeps it in place while driving through rugged terrain.

One drawback is that this is only useful for solo drivers. So, if you intend to warm up the whole cabin for your family, you’ll have to buy more than one cover.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Standard size.
  • Quick heating results.
  • Auto shut-off feature.
  • Non-slip bottom.
  • Robust fastener.

Cons:

  • Only for solo riding experiences.
  • The plug is short and only available on one side, so may not work for back seats.

2. Lasko 100 MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater—Most Compact

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For a couple of reasons, the Lasko MyHeat ceramic heater is excellent for your car heating purposes.

First, it’s a fully assembled unit that comes in a very compact design—it’s only 6 inches tall.

Second, it’s designed for personal heating, so it works best when you’re close to it. With 200 watts and 682 BTUs, it can optimally heat less than 3 feet. It uses a ceramic heating element to warm your body quickly. It also has an integrated fan that moves the warmth throughout your car’s interior.

Ceramic heating technology makes the surface cool to the touch, protecting your pets and children from burns.

What adds to the safety features is its ETL certification and overheating protection. This means the device will automatically shut off if you leave it working in the car. On the other hand, it doesn’t protect against tip-over dangers.

One disadvantage is that the unit only comes with a wall adaptor. So, you’ll need to buy a power inverter to use it in your car. Plus, it doesn’t have a thermostat to adjust the heat level.

Pros:

  • Mini compact design.
  • Overheat protection.
  • Cool exterior.
  • Low energy consumption.
  • ETL-listed
  • Built-in fan.

Cons:

  • No tip-over protection.
  • No thermostat.
  • Needs a power inverter.

3. Mr. Heater F242010 Golf Cart Heater—Best Propane Car Heater

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This versatile gadget is a great option to take the chill out of your cold golf cart. You can connect the device to a propane cylinder and keep it working at 4000 BTUs for over 5 hours.

The wind-resistant screen, burner, and pilot screen mean it won’t shut off outside. Besides, the tip-over switch ensures it will deactivate itself if the portable heater for the gold cart falls on the seats. So, you’ll have peace of mind while driving over bumps in the road.

To offer more safety options, Mr. Heater propane heater integrates an Oxygen Depletion System into this unit that continuously monitors oxygen levels. So, you and your loved ones can breathe healthy air during long hours of travel.

It also comes with an easy-grip handle, making it ideal for mounting in the car or carrying to outside locations.

This golf cart heater doesn’t include a propane gas tank. So you need to pay a little more money to start using it.

Pros:

  • Wind-resistant pilot system.
  • Oxygen Depletion System.
  • Easy to carry handle.
  • Cup holder adapter included.
  • Tip-over safety switch.

Cons:

  • You have to pay more for the gas tank.
  • Not ideal for long car journeys.

4. Stalwart 75-h Electric Car Blanket— Best for Parents, RVs, and Trucks

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While on a camping or road trip, nothing can warm you like an electric car blanket. So whether you’re a parent who always brings your kids to festivals or a solo camper who spends most of their time in their RVs, electric blankets are your best bet.

The Stalwart 75-h is a portable vehicle heater that plugs into all types of 12-volt cigarette lighters. It means you can use it for cars, trucks, SUVs, or RVs.

Enough to cover your entire backseat, this blanket is 43 inches wide and 59 inches long. Even better, it has a long 96-inch cord, which means you can move it to the back of your truck for the kids.

It has a lightweight design, and it’s easy to fold up. Once you pack it into the storage case, it will take up little space in your vehicle, and you can easily carry it to other places.

The fabric incorporates 100 percent polyester, which is durable and comfortable. Inside the blanket, you can see a thin wire that distributes the heat in less than 10 minutes without overheating. Due to this, you can’t wash it in the machine, only spot clean.

Although this special portable car heater doesn’t include an auto shut-off feature or adjustable thermostat, it will never get too hot on the surface.

Pros:

  • Adaptable for cars, RVs, trucks, and SUVs.
  • Suitable for any 12-volt cigarette lighter.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Durable material.
  • Rapid heating.
  • Wide blanket.
  • Long cord.

Cons:

  • No temperature setting.
  • No auto shut-off feature.
  • Not machine washable.

5. Camco 57341 Olympian Gas Catalytic RV Heater—Most Powerful

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If you’re looking for an easy-to-install portable heater for your car and RV, consider the Camco 57341.

Unlike its small appearance, this plug in car heater is very powerful in warming your RV. It brings up to 6000 BTUs of heat output and can address frigid weather.

This heater can heat your car in minutes and defog your windows at the same time. Yet, this only accounts for light-duty or recreational vehicles. It’s even great for using on camping trips, so you can have it for multiple purposes.

This model doesn’t include a thermostat to control the temperature. But, thanks to the Automatic High-Temperature Safety Sensor, once the device reaches a certain temperature, it disables the heating power. Then it continues working after some minutes of cooling down.

The Camco 57341 is easy to install. That’s because it comes with some mounting brackets allowing you to mount it under the dashboard or on the floor.

Pros:

  • High heating capacity.
  • Easy installation.
  • Temperature sensor and automatic shut-off.
  • Defrosting windshields.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty vehicles.
  • No thermostat.

6. VOSAREA Portable 12 Volt Heater for Car—Best for Glass Fog

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As the best portable car defroster, this item has a high powered fan and is quick to de-mist your glass fog. Therefore, it not only lessens your energy consumption but also saves your time for heating the car interior.

With this unit, you don’t even need to wait for the engine to warm up. It means as soon as you plug in and turn on the device, it starts defrosting your foggy windows.

Sadly, it doesn’t include any heat regulators or safety features. Yet if you’re on the hunt for an affordable 12 volt heater for a car, this could be an option.

Pros:

  • High powered fan.
  • High defogging capability.
  • Quick operation.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons:

  • No safety guarantees.
  • No thermostats or auto-shut off features.

What to Consider When Buying a Portable Vehicle Heater

Heating Power

Not all portable heaters for car have the same capacity, and not every car is the same size. So, before you get trapped in a chilly car and start shivering, make sure your car heater is capable of warming you in cold temperatures.

For a propane car heater, look for BTUs. And, for a plug in car heater, consider wattage ratings. For example, you need 600 BTUs per person or 20 BTUs per square foot.

A typical 150-watt heater is enough to warm up a regular car, but if you need more heat for your RV, pick one with 500–800 watts of power.

With more than 6000 BTUs, the No products found. is the most powerful heater on our list.

Safety Features

When it comes to electronic devices, safety features are vital. Whether you use a propane heater or a 12 volt electric heater, you should always look for factors that guarantee your safety.

Some of these factors include overheating protection, cool exteriors, and tip-over features.

For more security, you can also search for factors such as Oxygen Sensor Depletion, because you’re using the device in a confined space. The Mr. Heater Golf Cart Heater is a propane heater that comes with oxygen sensors.

Installation Options

Depending on the type of heater, the installation process may vary. For car seat warmers such as No products found., look for quality hook fasteners. For dashboard heaters, you should look for dash mounting brackets or screws.

Defrosting

Without a portable car heater, you’ll be chilled to the marrow. But it’s not the only problem with driving in the cold season. There will be times where a lot of ice forms around the windscreen. If this usually happens for you, search for a car heater with defrosting options such as VOSAREA Portable Heater for Car.

Warranty

If you’re looking to buy a portable heater for a car, truck, or RV, it means the original heater is either defective or inefficient. You probably know how much it costs to repair a car heater. And, the last thing you want is to pay a lot of money only to get another low-quality warmer.

For these reasons, you should always search for items with warranty options so you can ensure their durability. The Lasko 100 MyHeat and Mr. Heater Golf Cart Heater are two options with a three-year and one-year warranty.

FAQs Before Buying a Portable Heater for Car

How Can I Keep My Car Warm in the Winter?

Here are a few ways to keep your car warm in the winter:

  1. Cover the car windows with a windshield cover.
  2. Don’t leave the car idle for an extended period, and preferably, park it in a garage.
  3. Set the temperature to cold first, then switch to the heating mode and turn on the fans.
  4. Buy an auxiliary portable heater for your car.
  5. When parking outside, leave the vehicle facing to the east.
  6. Go for cars with heated seats or buy a car seat heater.
How to keep your car warm in the winter

Do All Cars Have a 12-Volt Outlet?

All cars have at least one 12-volt outlet. Newer cars may not have a cigarette lighter feature, but most of them still come with an outlet. You can use it for charging your smartphone, blowing up your air mattress with an electric pump, or plugging other electrical devices such as a portable car heater.

What Does a 12-Volt Inverter Do?

A 12-volt inverter converts the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). So, it produces a standard household power that ranges between 110–120 volts. With the help of this tool, you’ll be able to connect your AC electric equipment to your car outlet. Therefore, you can even plug a wall adaptor into the cigarette lighter.

Conclusion

A slowcore heater can be very frustrating when temperatures drop to bone-chilling. To address the issue, we’ve investigated the most popular auxiliary heaters for cars.

Among them, the No products found. is our top recommendation. Because it is comfortable, universal, and generates an ideal amount of heat for your car seat. But if you’re living in an ultra-frigid region like Alaska, we think the No products found. is a more powerful solution.

Welcome to Air Wisely! I am Darren. I worked as a plumber for years and found that my clients were interested in learning basic HVAC knowledge. That's why I build this site.