You can’t really compare portable water heaters to the real thing but then again they are not built for the same mission.
Indeed, portable water heaters have proven to be very efficient in helping us accomplish many indoor and outdoor tasks but only one at a time.
Explicably, these small water heaters have a lower hot water flow rate, making them weaker than the bigger siblings.
So, if you’re thinking about cutting down on your budget by getting a portable heater instead of a central one, then you are making a mistake.
Best Portable Water Heaters Reviews
1- Camplux 10L 2.64GPM Review
The best thing about the Camplux 10L beside the fact that it is a powerful water heater is that it is also tankless. Indeed, there is no comparison when it comes to tankless heaters as they are more powerful, more portable and more reliable. On the other hand, tank water heaters take time, require constant check ups and cleaning and will often be not enough.
The Camplux 10L has multiple little features which make it one of your best options:
- It comes with a 20 minutes automatic safety device.
- A flame failure device.
- It has an anti-freezing protection for people living in cold areas.
- It features energy saving technology.
- It also comes with a functional shower head to achieve the best showering experience.
It is also important to note that this is a powerful heater regardless of its compact size. Impressively, this portable heater can deliver up to 2.6 gallons per minute of hot water which is beyond the standard quantity of water that a shower faucet can deliver. Hence, worrying about losing hot water for a second is definitely not an option.
Camplux 10L Specifications
- Dimensions : 8.3 x 12.91 x 21.65 inches
- Weight : 18.1 pounds
- Power Source : LPG PROPANE
- Maximum power output : 68,000btu/hour
- Flow Rate : 2.64 GPM
- Applicable water pressure : from 3.6～110.0 PSI
2- Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Review
There are quite a few things which make the Camplux 5L a priority option for outdoorsie people and over all people who are looking for a budget-friendly compact portable water heater. In fact, the Camplux 5L at hand is one of the company’s best selling models as it is reputed for delivering quite a punch in such a short period of time which is not a common feature amongst water heaters.
The Camplux 5L might not be as powerful as its sibling Camplux 10L which can take care of much larger tasks but it is still a solid option for smaller ‘individual’ household tasks and here are a couple reasons why you need it:
- This small water heater can reach a maximum temperature raise of up to 114f which is solid for warm and slightly cooler places. However, if you live in canada then you might want a stronger heater.
- It’s so compact that even the handle can be folded to allow for extra tight packing (under the sink) or simply outdoors.
- It features a 20 minutes automatic safety device for shut down.
- It has a depletion safety shutoff protection
- It also has a flame failure device as well as an anti freezing protection.
Despite being tiny, the 5L Camplux can still deliver a strong hot water flow rate, reaching up to 1.36 Gallons per minute which is sufficient for tasks which require low volume flow of warm water.Accordingly, if you’re looking for a small tankless water heater with the capacity of accomplishing small household tasks with a reliable quality then the Camplux 5L is a decent choice to consider.
Camplux 5L Specifications
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 11.4 x 14.6 inches
- Weight : 10.8 pounds
- Power Source : LPG PROPANE
- Maximum power output : 34000btu/hour.
- Flow Rate : 1.32 GPM
- Applicable water pressure : from 2.5～110.0 PSI
3- Camp Chef HWD5 Review
Let’s start out by pointing out that this is also a small tankless water heater because no mater how much we love water heaters, we can only promote the best in the game. Accordingly, the Camp Chef HWD5 is one of your best choices because it packs remarkable power in such a small size. In case you’re looking for a small got water heater that can fit pretty much anywhere and is reliable then you have once again found your match because the Camp Chef is here to take over.
As the name indicates this is primarily developed as a camping / outdoor shower unit which indicates just how powerful it can get but it doesn’t stop there. Here are some of the other reasons why you should consider getting your hands on this model:
- The Camp Chef HWD5 comes with a 4 settings shower head for effective rinsing and and 8 foot water hose.
- It can stand on itself or hanged by the included brackets on its back.
- It requires a minimum pressure of 25 to 30 PSI to function at its best.
There is quite a lot to this heater than we can cover in this short review but one of its most significant features is the fact that it has a decent hot water flow rate, maxing at 1.5 gallons per minute, making perfect for individuals or couples who would only engage in one hot water required action at a time because opening 2 faucets at the same time will significantly reduce the temperature of the water.
Camp Chef Triton HWD5 Specifications
- Dimensions : 12″ x 15″ x 4″ inches
- Weight : 15 lbs
- Power Source : LPG PROPANE
- Maximum power output : 34,000 BTU
- Flow Rate : 1.5 GPM
- Maximum flow: 1.5 gallons/min – raises water temp 38° F
- Minimum flow: 0.5 gallon/min – raises water temp 102° F
- Min Required Pressure : 25-30 PSI from the input hose
- Max Pressure : 80 PSI
Camp Chef Triton HWD5 Features
- Easy turn brass garden hose connector
- Fully adjustable heat and water flow
- 4-setting adjustable shower head: off, mist, shower, and jet
- 72-inch shower hose
- Includes hose and regulator for 20-pound bulk propane tank (propane tank sold separately)
- 1 year warranty
4- Camp Chef Triton 10L Review
And from the Camp Chef 5L, we move to the bigger, more powerful Camp chef 10L which is still a portable heater that is primarily designed for campers / outdoorsie people but has the potential of making a great indoors small task manager.
Indeed, this heater is more powerful than the previous model but it’s also bigger which might be an inconvenience for some people who wish to conceal the heater in very tight places. On the other hand, it is more powerful and hence can take care of higher volume flow of warm water and even a couple tasks at a time.
Also, if you’re not buying it yet, here are some of the other reasons why you should consider getting a Camp Chef 10L heater:
- The heater comes with a 4 settings shower head: off, mist, shower and jet.
- It has a carry handle, making it more portable (the carry handle can fold in).
- It includes a regulator hose to bulk propane tanks.
This of course is but a small list of reasons that might get you to consider getting your hands on this machine but the most important aspect is always power and the question remains: how powerful is this heater really? The answer to that is rather simple: ‘2.6 gallons of hot water per minute powerful’. This might not sound like much as there are much more powerful heaters out there but for a small portable water heater, this one takes the cake. This heater might be small but it is capable of catering for 2 household tasks at the same time and that can’t be said about the previously reviewed models.
Camp Chef Triton 10L Specifications
- Dimensions : 16 x 31 x 9.25 inches
- Weight : 25 lbs
- Power Source : LPG PROPANE
- Maximum power output : 68,000 BTU/hr
- Flow Rate : 2.6 GPM
- Maximum Water Flow: 10L per minute (2.6 gallons) – increases water temp 41º F
- Minimum Water Flow: 4L per minute (1.1 gallons) – increases water temp 84º F
- Required water pressure : 25 PSI
5- Marey Power 5L Review
Marey is a relatively newer brand in the industry but once compared to the heaters on this list it’s suddenly an OG. Indeed, this is a well grounded company with decent water heaters but great portable ones. The fact that this Marey made it on the list should be of some significance because although it is the fifth, it’s also one of the best portable water heaters that has a dedicated hanger. Whether you need a small portable water heater for camping or simply to accomplish some daily household tasks, you’ve come to the right place. Actually, here are some of the reasons why you should come and stay with the Marey Power:
- First of all, this heater barely weighs 12 pounds, so don’t be mislead by the picture because it is pretty small and compact.
- It is very easy to install as it doesn’t require professional assistance and can be firmly hanged using the wall-mount hooks on its back.
- Finally, this heater is further CSA certified, making it affirmatively safe and secure for daily usage.
All in all, the Marey Power is a 5 L water heater machine with a strong hot water flow rate of 2 solid Gallons per minute, making it perfect for pretty much all household tasks, including showers. Indeed, most shower faucets max at 2 gallons per minute water flow which can be easily covered by this portable tiny water heater. However, it is important to note that you can only get to use it one task at a time because anything beyond 2 GPM is a long stretch.
6- Aquaking Outdoorsman Water Heater Review
Aquaking Outdoorsman is another great choice for you if you’re on a tight budget and looking for a decent water heater that you can use at campsites, while fishing, while hunting, or any where hot water is needed.
This small hot water heater runs on LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) which gives an initial head start but most importantly, it exhibits a set of features that will lure you in even more. So, here are some of the other reasons why you should consider getting your hands on this unit:
- The heater at hand barely weighs 10 pounds, YES 10 pounds, making it that much easier to carry and transport.
- In terms of space, the Aquaking Outdoorsman is one of the smallest most powerful tankless heaters on this list, making it compatible with most indoor and outdoor usage tasks.
- This heater is also great for camping usage and campsites and one of the few select which most RV owners go for.
The Aquaking Outdoorsman might not be the best portable water heater on the market but it’s definitely packing heat as it is capable of pumping up to 2 gallons of hot water per minute, making it a viable option for showers, sink usage, washing machines and dish washers. Nevertheless, it is important to note that just like most small portable water heaters, this one can also do best while taking care of one task at a time. So, if that’s not your aim then you might want to look for a bigger heater.
7- Eccotemp Systems L5 Review
If you’re thinking that we saved the best for last then you’re probably right because the Eccotemp Systems reputation goes far beyond any of its heaters as it is one of the biggest manufacturers in the domain and for plenty of good reasons. Beyond being a reliable tankless water heater, this model is one of eccotemp’s proudest accomplishments because it covers a demographic of their followers that has always wanted a small portable water heater.
Indeed, the Eccotemp Systems L5 is a remarkable water heater of a compact size. The water heater at hand can literally go anywhere where hot water is needed, making it great for small household usage up to camping.
There is a lot to say about the Eccotemp Systems water heater at hand but let us go through some of the major reasons why you should consider getting your hands on this machine:
- The water heater at hand is battery ignited, meaning that there is no need for electricity.
- It comes with 1§2 hose barb x quad 90 degrees strainer.
- It is powered via liquid propane making it that a bit more powerful compared to the electric option this size.
- It’s vert compact, reaching a total size of 16″ H, 11.5″ W and 5.5″ Depth.
Beyond the minimal features, this heater packs some real power under that steel cover which can be summed up in 2.9 Gallons per minute of hot water. Yes, you heard that right, this is a tiny water heater which can deliver a continuous flow rate of hot water even when occupied by 2 seperate tasks which cannot be said about most water heaters this size.
How To Choose The Best Portable water Heater For Your Home?
There are generally two types of portable water heaters: Gas and electric . Nonetheless, both heaters can’t sustain an entire home’s needs of hot water. On other hand, these things can do a great job, working up one task at a time. So, if you think you can take a shower with 2 to 3 gallons per minute then by all means go for it.
Seriously, however, portable water heaters make better sink mates than anything else, especially if they are tankless. The conflict between tank and tankless water heaters is a completely different endeavour and it all boils down to you figuring out the answer to these 3 questions:
What is the exact temperature rise required for your place?
This might sound a bit inconsequential but knowing your exact home temperature may have a much bigger impact on your choice than you think. water heater companies in general regularly develop and design heaters depending on certain criteria and the biggest of which is location.
For instance, if you live in Louisiana, you are at a ground water temperature of around 64 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve a comfortable hot water temperature (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit) subtract 64 from 120. You result in a required temperature rise of 56 degrees Fahrenheit.
People living in tropical countries will not be needing a heater as powerful as those who live in alaska and vice versa. Hence, it is important to keep in mind that your home’s temperature is crucial to figuring out which portable water heater you’ll need. Accordingly, here’s the standard estimation of how many gallons per minute, you’ll need with every home appliance:
|Fixture/Appliance||Typical Flow Rates
|Bathroom Sink||0.5 - 1.5|
|Kitchen Faucet||1.0 - 2.5|
|Shower||1.0 - 2.5|
|Dishwasher||1.0 - 2.5|
|Clothes Washer||1.5 - 3.0|
|Bathtub||2.0 - 4.0|
Accordingly, the closer you are to the equator, the luckier you are because you won’t be needing an extremely powerful heater.
Gas or Electric?
First things first, Electricity is far more expensive than gas and you can trust that a water heater will require a ton of electric enegry to heat large amounts of water. However, some people still go with the electric option because it’s cleaner, less dangerous and overall efficient.
Indeed, it is one of the difficult choices that you’ll have to get through in order to get your perfect little portable water heater and for many reasons. Accordingly, when comparing a gas powered heater to an electric one, gas heaters tend to eclipse the electric options on many sides:
- Recovery Efficiency: Recovery Efficiency is the heater’s ability to heat water as quickly as possible. Now this might sound like a trivial aspect but you can’t really deny that you’d love a water heater that kicks in hot water the moment you open the tap. Do you think the electric option is faster? Well, sorry to disappoint you if your answer is yes because electric heaters have a much slower recovery efficiency rate than the gas counterpart and for a simple reason: nothing beats fire.
- Annual cost: We’ve already mentioned the cons of gas / propane powered heaters and the pros of the electric ones. However, whether we like it or not, most of our purchases are motivated by total cost and at that, the gas powered heater takes the lead once again. This is not to say that electric heaters are doomed but they simply aren’t for everyone. Accordingly, if you’re looking for a heater that gets the job done at a lower annual cost then gas is your friend.
How much Hot water do you need?
The third and last question on this list is just as important as any of the above if not more important. Indeed, it is crucial to determine the amount of hot water you’ll be needing a minute. Water heaters regularly come with a specific flow rate (also known as GPM) calculated by a certain amount of gallons per minute. That is to say, you need to estimate your exact need of hot water per minute in order to determine which heater is the one for you.
As a standard, portable water heaters can provide anywhere from a 1 to 3 gallons per minute flow rate, depending on the brand and model of choice. Hence, if you’re thinking of a heater that would help clean dishes for a family of 3 and never grant them a long hot shower then you might as well go with the lowest rate. However, if you’re looking for a powerful heater that’d keep pumping hot water on the go and sustain the possibility of taking hot showers (one task at a time) then you’re looking more towards the range of 3 GPM heaters.
It really all depends on you and the amount of hot water you’ll need. So, make sure to take some time and truly calculate exactly how much water you think your house hold requires per minute.
Pros & Cons of Using a portable hot Water Heater
There are quite a few advantages that work for portable water heaters but at the end of the day you must keep in mind that each water heater has a function and portable ones are not meant for entire home service. Nevertheless, here are some of the reasons why you need a portable water heater:
- The first reason resides in the name: portable. The fact that it’s a portable water heater makes it that much more influential since it can be used in many ways. It is true that we’re looking for a perfect home portable water heater but these heaters can do much more than go under your sink. Indeed, this type of heaters can be used in different occasions on different tasks such as when you’re on the family camping trip, having a day at the lake, or swimming in the pool.
- Space is a big concern for most people because there’s nothing more disturbing than leaving a huge water heater in the open. Hence, the small size of these units makes them extremely practical and space saving. Accordingly, you can easily conceal a portable water heater under your sink or in a small cabin whereas you don’t get the same option with larger units and especially tank water heaters.
- Safety is always the number one priority when it comes to water heaters and that’s why it is important to note that the more you’re willing to spend on a water heater the better. Quality is everything and portable water heaters are often a symbol of that since they are compact and meticulously built to perform in tight spaces.
There isn’t really much of a reason to put down a portable tankless water heater except for the fact that they offer limited water output. Hence, this takes us back to the calculation part where you must make sure that your requirement for a portable heater doesn’t go over 3 gallons of hot water per minute. Other than that, the indoor portable water heater is one of your best home assets and whether you like it or not, you really need it.