It is fun to spend time hiking or camping outdoors until it's shower time and you need a hot bath. Well, no biggie, you can choose to work with nature; after all, the sun is an excellent tool to enjoy that hot cleansing shower.
You can place a black container on your vehicle roof, and the sun will heat your water for you – that is if you'd like to wait several hours. Of course, you don't! We know you've got better things to do with your time.
Fortunately, we've got you covered. For endless hot water on demand anytime and anywhere, you need a portable water heater.
Portable water heaters bring the comfort of the home to the outdoors. This equipment makes it easier to go camping and makes showering in the woods a pleasurable experience.
In addition, the tankless versions are becoming more popular in the home, allowing you to save up to 34% more energy than a conventional storage-tank water heater. (1)
The Best Portable Water Heaters in 2022
- Delivers up to 2.7 to 6.5 gallons per minute
- Energy efficient
- Ideal for home usage
- Delivers 1.5 gallons hot water per minute
- Easy-to-adjust temperature
- CSA certified
- Provides hottest water at 167 F
- Simply easy to install
- Delivers 1.58 gallons of hot water per minute
- Hot water at 2.64 gallons per minute
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Energy efficient and eco-friendly (15%)
- Designed for dishing, bath and preparing hot beverages
- LED display
- Comes with Five-gallon water tank
- Overheat safety protection
- Requires no electricity
- Energy efficient
- Provides 6 liters of hot water per minute
- Designed for outdoor cleaning, pet washing and camping activities
- Built to last
- Easy to install
Let's take a deep dive into the world of portable water heaters to provide you with the best of the bunch, considering the weight, temperature range, and water pressure, amongst many other factors.
1. EcoSmart ECO 27 – Best for Constant Hot Water
If you want hot water that never runs out, you'll have to consider EcoSmart. This product constantly keeps the water at your desired temperature, with a tightly controlled flow rate that guarantees efficiency.
It will ensure your water stays within 1 degree of your preferred temperature. Small bathroom? No problem. The product is 90% smaller than traditional tanks. This significantly small size allows you to install in small bathrooms with a dimension of 17x17x3.75 inches.
It also helps you save up to 50% in water heating costs. It is 99% thermally efficient, heating your water on-demand, unlike other water heaters that keep the temperature hot even when you don't need it. The tankless water heater will give you 2.7 to 6.5 gallons per minute.
However, this depends on the inlet water temperature. The product is ideal for large families, particularly in warm climates. That said, the power consumption is relatively high, between 18kw and 27kw while the hot water is running. However, it consumes zero power while using no water, equalizing the total power consumption.
If you have a large house, you'll need multiple units, and each unit will need a separate 240 circuit (40 amps). It also supports a remote thermostat that you can install next to your sink or shower.
2. Eccotemp L5 1.5 GPM Portable Outdoor – Best for Outdoor Use
According to the manufacturer, this product is the only portable water heater that is CSA Certified. You can use this portable water heater for your pool, horses, pet washing, vehicle cleaning, tiny home, RV, Greenhouses.
This equipment is ideal for any place that requires constant and dependable hot water whenever you need it. Moreover, the water quickly heats up for use courtesy of the standard 20lb propane tank that comes with electronic ignition.
This ignition is powered by two “D” cell batteries, making it your preferred choice for on-demand hot water. You can also maximize the efficiency of this device by pairing it with the Eccoflo 12v water pump to enjoy hot water in the remotest locations.
The product will deliver your hot water at an incredible rate of 1.5 gallons per minute with a 20 PSI water pressure. You can also adjust the water temperature to suit your needs, providing 50F to 140F. The water and gas knobs are simple to use, ensuring you get water at your most preferred temperature.
3. GASLAND Outdoors BE158 – Best for Instant Hot Water
It is exciting to see a water heater that meets American and Canadian standards. This CSA-certified device features flame failure measures and overheat protection to safeguard your family.
The antifreeze draining plug is convenient to help remove residual water that can cause the pipes to freeze in frigid conditions. This water tank arguably provides the hottest water at 167 F. The gas shuts off automatically when there is an unexpected flame out.
Typical of most portable water heaters, this product is small and lightweight, easy to transport with you wherever you go. It can provide on-demand hot water at the beach, the great outdoors, or in your yacht. You can also use it for bathing your pet or hooking it up to your RV.
The device is simple and takes a few minutes to install. Hot water is readily available on-demand with a maximum output of 41,000BTU/HR. This product ensures you say goodbye to preheating water before use.
Once you run the tap, the water will gush out at your most preferred temperature. It works with some of the lowest pressures, needing just 2.5 PSI of pressure to flow efficiently. You can expect 1.58 gallons of water per minute with a fully adjustable gas and water flow to regulate the water heat level.
One thing you'll find fascinating is the advanced combustion technology that saves up to 11.5% in energy costs. This technology works with the main burner and the heat exchanger to significantly reduce gas waste and burning noise.
The significance is you get to save more money in the long term. It is good advice not to over-tighten the connectors and pipes because the excess force will cause the pipes to burst or break.
Additionally, you need to look around for flammable materials when the top and exhaust heat up, particularly vapors like gasoline that ignite easily. You can do yourself a favor and purchase a leak protection device to safeguard from leaks. It is also critical to drain the water when the temperature falls below 32F to prevent damage to the heat exchanger and other internal components.
4. GASLAND BS264 – Best for Gallon Per Minute
GASLAND BS264 provides an impressive amount of hot water at 2.64 gallons per minute; no other product comes close. The GASLAND tankless and portable water heater has multiple safety features, including a flame failure device and overheating protection.
- Provides hot water on demand
- Saves energy
- Has multiple safety measures
- Provides 2.64 GPM
- Installs easily
- No digital display to check the water temperature
- Not as durable as similar products
The product also comes with an antifreeze drain plug to remove the stagnant water during frigid conditions or when the product is in prolonged storage. It works even when the water pressure is extremely low, providing you with hot water at 2.5 to 110 PSI.
Of course, it comes as no surprise the portable heater has high water temperature protection when it outputs one of the hottest water in the industry. The gas supply will also safely shut off in the event of an unexpected flame out to protect you and your loved ones from an unexpected fire hazard.
At first glance, you wouldn't think much of its compact design. It takes a radical departure from the traditional water heaters and is lightweight and easy to carry around. The compactness of its design doesn't give credence to its strengths, providing you on-demand luxurious hot showers in the most unexpected and remote places.
You can also attach it to a garden hose or hang it using the in-built mounting bracket on the back of the water heater. However, you should use the installation manual to avoid voiding the warranty.
Look on the bright side; it will only take you five minutes tops to get this baby set up and ready to go. At 68,000 Btu/hour, you're almost guaranteed constant hot water wherever you are.
GARLAND helps you save energy cost ensuring you don't need to preheat the water before use. The hot water immediately gushes out when you turn on the shower or tap, providing you with water you can fully adjust with the heat and water flow knobs.
This product also considers the environment and uses an energy-saving technology that saves 11.5% energy consumption. The manufacturer utilizes heat combustion technology to significantly reduce gas output and burn noise, saving you further costs.
5. Coleman Hot Water on Demand Heater – Best Portable Heater with Container
Unlike other portable water heaters on this list, the Coleman Water Heater comes with a five-litre gallon. It still uses similar technology to tankless water heaters, providing you with hot water in less than a minute.
The only requirement is to set the water temperature, connect the hose, and you'll receive heated water that ranges from slightly warm to scalding hot.
This temperature range makes the product practical for many purposes, including doing the dishes, having a bath, or making a cup of coffee or hot chocolate as you bask in the beauty of the outdoors.
You can adjust the showerhead to use as a sink stopper. It is also detachable, allowing you to replace it with a non-kink hose for pet washing or a handheld sprayer to wash your vehicle.
Additionally, the equipment has an in-built lithium-ion battery that you can charge with your car. This battery powers the LED display and electric pump. The entire kit is easy to disconnect and pack up when you're ready to hit the road.
6. Eccotemp L10 Portable Water Heater – Best for Limited Electricity Supply
You can instantly see this product looks different from the other tankless heaters from this manufacturer. And for a good reason. The detachable steel rain cover protects the water heater from weather damage.
And like the other Eccotemp products on this list, you'll receive a CSA-approved regulator, including a durable hose for pet wash and other outdoor activities.
While it runs on liquid propane, the igniter is a two “D-cell” battery that works when you have no electrical power source, and the water starts to run. This method kills two birds with one stone. Firstly, it protects against fire hazards, and secondly, it is an excellent way to reduce energy costs.
Additionally, the product has an automatic timer that will shut down the unit in 20 minutes to prevent overheating or is angled at 45 degrees in both directions. This product is rugged and battle-tested to give you on-demand hot water and works well at 5500 feet.
It is handy practical equipment ideal for Equestrian use, vehicle wash, the poolside, Yacht, RV, Greenhouse, and any other place requiring constant flowing hot water.
7. VEVOR Portable Propane Water Heater – Best for Safety
This product is excellent for pet washing, outdoor cleaning, and functions with camping activities in mind. It is a liquid propane gas-powered water heater that is easy to install in your minivan and contains an anti-rust steel case for outdoor use.
The copper wire functions well in high temperatures, ensuring the tank is durable for long-term service. The heater also has a control knob to regulate the water supply and adjust the gas output. This feature allows you to control the water temperature with ease.
The portable heater also features a summer/winter mode for additional energy cost savings for the green at heart. This tank is lightweight and robust, easy to install with a simple toolkit, no urgent phone calls to the plumber or electrician.
It has multiple ways to protect you and your family from shock and fire hazards, the first of which is an incomplete combustion safety device. The product also has an inbuilt “over water temperature protection device to protect against scalding, a flame-failure device, and an in-built 20-minute timer.
This water heater is one product that puts your safety first, and it is ideal for use in small bathrooms, allowing you to save space. The portable water heater comes with a copper standard G1/2″ connecting hose, including a 9.5mm gas hose port.
It is designed for indoor and outdoor use to provide consistent running hot water, especially in frigid conditions, and it works well in your trailer, RV, or yacht for a cozy warm shower.
It is a nice bonus this product heats the water quickly, providing six liters of water per minute. The flow rate allows you to get your business done and spend your time enjoying the great outdoors.
The Buyer's Guide to Choosing Right Portable Water Heater
There are thousands of portable water heaters on the market, but this guide will ensure you purchase the right product for your needs.
What is a Portable Water Heater?
These devices also work outdoors and eliminate the extra costs of outfitting a water storage tank. The cold water moves through the piping when you turn on the tap. It comes in contact with a heating element that quickly elevates the water temperature before sending it to your faucet or showerhead.
The following are factors to consider before buying a portable water heater.
These water heater types ensure quick warm showers without the dread of standing on the cold hard tiles waiting for your water to heat up. You not only save time, but you save space too.
Portable water heaters are typically smaller than their traditional cousins allowing you to install them in the smallest areas. The life expectancy of this equipment is debatable, but you can expect it to last three to ten years.
The flow rate is also known as the gallons-per-minute and is the amount of hot water the equipment can output at a given time. Sometimes, the number of hot water devices at home or outdoors can influence the flow rate.
The flow rate will be lower if you have multiple appliances that need hot water than a single piece of equipment.
It is critical to know the temperature rise. You can only get this figure by subtracting the groundwater temperature from the hot water temperature you prefer. For instance, you can say the groundwater temperature is in the ballpark of 50F.
If your desired hot water temperature is 120F, you'll require a temperature rise of 70F. In other words, the higher the temperature rise, the more energy you will consume. It is worth mentioning the time of the year also affects the groundwater temperature.
For instance, the temperature rise is typically smaller in the summer than in winter. If you live in a warm location most of the time, you'll spend less energy to heat your water to the desired temperature.
At 99%, tankless water heaters are some of the most thermal efficient equipment globally. They are even more thermally efficient than F1 cars. And just like a Formula One car, these water heaters extract and capture heat from the exhaust, converting this heat into energy to further produce more hot water.
Some tankless water heaters use a recirculation system that circles back cold water to the unit. This system allows you to receive hot water when you turn the tap. This system uses a pump that sends the water through a unique line back to the heater.
Recirculation saves energy and ensures you receive hot water on-demand instead of waiting for the cold water to heat up.
Types of Portable Water Heaters
The name implies the function; it is a portable water heater designed for the entire home. These water heaters are ideal for houses that require hot water for multiple needs like showers and dishwashers.
They produce from 6.0 GPM to 10 GPM and can serve numerous appliance units without interruption to the hot water flow.
Point of Use (POU)
You're more likely to see these water heaters outdoors and are often designed for single appliance use. This water heater type is ideal for Equestrian, taking a shower while camping, or installing in your yacht.
However, Point-of-use also functions well in the home. It is easy to install, occupies less space, and allows you to get hot water faster than a traditional under sink water heater.
Portable Water Heater Fuel Type
Portable water heaters use different fuels. However, the tankless models typically heat water using natural gas or liquid propane.
It is still possible to find portable water heaters that run on electric power. This water heater type is easier to install but can cost you more money in the long term.
Indoor or Outdoor?
Another factor worth mulling over is your hot water needs. Do you need heated water inside your home or outdoors? The indoor models are generally hooked up inside the house, while the outdoor versions stay outside.
An indoor portable water heater is not subject to the elements, which is an advantage. However, these units are prone to condensation.
You'll need to install a drain to remove this condensed water from the equipment to avoid damaging internal parts. You will also install ventilation piping to control the airflow around the heater.
Since it's the outdoors, you won't need ventilation piping. Outdoor portable water heaters are rugged and durable, designed to work well in extreme weather conditions. That said, this unit requires TLC to last long.
You will need to carry out scheduled maintenance and ensure you drain the unit in frigid conditions to avoid water freezing in the equipment and damaging parts.
Frequency of Use
How often do you intend to use your water heater? If you need it for a warm soak in your jacuzzi or the occasional guest in the guest bedroom, a point-of-use unit makes the most sense. If you require hot water for everyday use, perhaps you should think of a whole-house heater.
The number of occupants in the house also determines the usage frequency. A household with three or more people will require a whole-house heater. But if it's a single occupant, the point-of-use heater is the more prudent option.
Portable Water Heater Advantages
There are quite a few benefits of owning a portable water heater, and this includes:
- Lower energy cost: this equipment is more diminutive. It will often use less energy to produce hot water than traditional water heaters.
- Long-lasting: It is durable and typically has a longer service life than the regular tank-style water heater
- Multipurpose: Some portable water heaters work exceptionally well indoors and outdoors.
- Space Savings: Due to their compact size, portable water heaters use less space and are easy to install virtually anywhere.
- Clean, Fresh Hot Water: Tank-style water heaters are susceptible to rust and scaling, contaminating your shower's hot water. But portable water heaters – the tankless versions ensure you get fresh hot water on demand. Even the models with tanks are easy to clean.
You cannot deny portable water heaters hold an aesthetic appeal that their traditional cousins cannot hope to match. These little geniuses are eco-friendly, take less space and last longer than storage water heaters. (2)
Portable water heaters are here to stay mainly because of the growing number of people living off-grid. These devices provide hot water on-demand, save costs and are easy to install.
The water heaters above are the best in their category, and you can't go wrong with any of the models.