It was due to a conversation with a friend the other day that the question came up, which was, “What is best portable car heater to buy before winter sets in”. Personally I just love questions like that as research is something that I enjoy.
“No problem I exclaimed, leave it with me and I’ll have the answer in a couple of days”. Well I did have an answer but not one that my friend is gonna think too much of.
Performing my usual nosing and browsing around I was quite surprised at what I was seeing and that is there is no such thing as a good portable car heater. That is, a heater that could be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket which was what my friend was looking for.
Table of Page Contents
Best Portable Car Heater – What are the Good Heaters
Everywhere I looked the reports on this type of heater made pretty poor reading. The only type of portable car heaters I could find that people were happy with are, a 12-Volt portable stove food heater, 12-Volt heated travel blankets and 12V heated seat cushions.
My first thoughts were if someone could come up with a really good portable car heater they would become a millionaire overnight with the disappointing reviews I was reading.
Have I been aiming to high? All those reviews I have read, have the purchasers been aiming to high? I can only come up with the one answer – YES!!!
The best portable car heater that would heat up the car interior has a total of 3 stars in the user review ratings. Which isn’t a very high figure, but I think a lot of the problems here that causes these low review figures are that users are expecting too much from these little heaters.
When you think about it, we would only be requiring this extra heat in cold and freezing conditions. It’s just not possible for these heaters to perform any better than to heat up your hands when held at close range. Probably it’s more of a dream that’s being sold here and it would be better if we realized that it will take a long time for the heaters to make any measurable difference.
What I would say is that just like having an air pump for tires stored in the car, it’s probably better with a portable heater, rather than not, just be aware of their limitations. Just the same as I recommend keeping a Coast HP21 LED torch light handy in the car, having this little extra heat in the car might make a big difference one day.
I will feature the best that I have found including the portable stove, heated travel blankets and heated seat cushions. After all they are all forms of portable car heaters of some form or another and may well be of interest to a lot of car travelers.
Best Rated Portable Car Heater
Starting with the best rated portable car heater that I have found which is, the RoadPro RPSL-681 12V ceramic fan and heater. This heater uses a direct hook up to the battery. Meaning that it’s not plugged into the cigarette lighter as its wired straight onto the vehicle battery.
The main switch will allow switching from the cool to heat settings. There is also an adjustable fan which will control the various temperatures. The base can be directed to where the hot/cold air is required.
The review figures for the RoadPro RPSL-681 as I have mentioned are not much to wright home about but it is as good as I have seen. There are 182 user reviews left which works out at an average of 2.8 from 5 stars.
Read the reviews on here before you make a decision. But whatever your decision is, don’t expect too much from what is after all powered by just a 12 volt battery. Get more information about this heater here.
Best Portable Car Seat Heater – Wagan IN9438
You can enjoy a temperature of anything up to 114 degrees Fahrenheit when seated in a heated car seat cushion which is made of polyester and velour. Choose from 3 setting, Off – Low – High using the control button attached to the Wagan IN9438 12V cushion complete with the 0.5 thick lumbar supports.
Being portable you can choose to have it fitted to the driver’s seat or alternately to the passenger side using the simple strap with clasp fittings. The cigarette lighter 12 volt outlet is used to heat the seat using an adapter which is included in the package. There is an option to use the seat in the office, or if you prefer in the home using an AC adapter which can be purchased.
The seat cushion measures – 38.5 inches x 17.7 inches plus the power cord measures 4.3 feet long.
There has been a large number of 537 reviews left for the Wagan IN9438 portable car seat heater which averages out at 4.0 from 5 stars. Check it out here.
Trillium 12 Volt Heated Travel Blanket for Car
Another one of the best portable car heater ideas is the heated travel blanket which also runs from the cigarette lighter socket. The LED informs whether the blanket is on or off. There is a timer to set the heater to automatically shut off at around 30 or 45 minutes to avoid inadvertently leaving it on and flattening the battery after your journey.
This item could also be used in boats and trucks apart from a car. It can be a great comforter for a passenger who may feel like dropping off to sleep to help shorten a long journey. See details here.
Measuring 58 inches by 42 inches it would easily cover 2 people when driving during those crisp cold nights or would be very welcome during an unexpected emergency.
Ensuring you have both a heated travel blanket and a snow shovel for car travel during winter, could prove to be some of the most sensible ideas you ever had. These blankets provide a good deal of heat even when not plugged in.
Reviews again are good for this item with 344 user reviews leaving it 4.0 from 5 stars. Most folk are happy with the blanket although a few wished that it had been machine washable.
Best 12v Portable Car Heater for Food
Now you can have a warm meal thanks to the RoadPro 12 Volt portable car food heater. This will warm your pre-cooked food of most types up to 300 degrees via the car cigarette lighter.
You name it! What’s your favorite? From goulash and stews to Indian or Chinese even the more traditional traveler dishes of beans etc can all be heated up for that on route meal in an hour or so.
The RoadPro is the best portable car heater item of all those on this page as far as reviews go. There has been 439 user reviews left for it with a high rating of 4.6 from 5 stars.
OUT OF STOCK – the last time I looked but others available here.
When preparing for the winter, it makes sense to have a heated seat, heated blanket, the 12v portable car food heater or the extra car heater on board the car. Or indeed a combination of these items to suit your winter motoring lifestyle.