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Best Portable Tankless Water Heaters of 2022

Updated
Portable water heaters are the perfect addition to any camping trip.

The best portable hot water heater will help you enjoy some of the comforts of home while on a camping trip. However, there are numerous heaters available and it can be difficult to decide which one to buy.

To help you choose, we have compared the leading portable tankless water heaters on the market. We evaluated them based on portability, safety features, ease of use, and energy savings.

To save both time and money by choosing the best portable water heater for camping, this guide should help!

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Best for Simplicity
Camplux 5L Propane
  • Small, weighs just 14.2 lbs
  • Flame-failure & anti-freeze protection
  • Includes showerhead & gas regulator
Product Image of the Tankless Water Heater, GASLAND Outdoors Propane Water Heater 10L BS264 2.64GPM, Instant Hot Water Heater for Cabin, Camp Water Heater for RV, Overheating Protection, Easy to Install, White
Best for Families
Gasland BS264
  • Automatic shut-off protects children
  • Saves up to 11.5% more energy
  • Includes showerhead & gas pump
Product Image of the Eccotemp L5 1.5 GPM Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
Best for Energy Saving
Eccotemp L5
  • Among the smallest heaters available
  • Weighs just 14 lbs
  • Automatic shut-off saves energy
Product Image of the Ecosmart ECO Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology, White
Best Digital Option
EcoSmart ECO 27
  • Stylish digital design
  • Claims to save as much as 50% in water-heating costs
  • Lifetime warranty
Product Image of the Costway Outdoor
Most Portable
Costway Outdoor
  • Automatic shut-off when too hot
  • Sturdy handle
  • Anti-dry combustion protection

Why Tankless?

Heaters with tanks are usually found in homes and can hold a finite amount of heated water. Although they are convenient, they’re also known to waste energy, as they need to maintain the temperature of the water they hold. They can also run out of warm water, due to the limited amount held in their tanks.

In contrast, tankless water heaters receive cold water and heat it almost instantly. This saves around 24% to 34% of energy compared to tank heaters, as they don’t need to maintain the temperature for prolonged periods (1). This also means you can use hot water indefinitely.

The main drawback of tankless heaters is that their initial cost is usually greater than a tank heater. The most expensive tankless water heaters can cost a few hundred dollars more than one with a tank (2). However, you should make up for this by saving money on energy bills.

Types of Portable Tankless Water Heater

There are two main types of camping hot water heater: gas and electric. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Electric

Product Image of the Ecosmart ECO Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology, White

Electric water heaters can be plugged into your car battery or a campsite electrical outlet to produce hot water. This is usually more convenient than gas, as gas canisters are heavy and require a lot of car space. An on-demand camping water heater means you no longer need to haul a metal canister around with you; simply plug it in and go.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Convenient.

Cons

  • More expensive.
  • Unusable during a power outage.

Gas

Product Image of the Tankless Water Heater, GASLAND Outdoors Propane Water Heater 10L BS264 2.64GPM, Instant Hot Water Heater for Cabin, Camp Water Heater for RV, Overheating Protection, Easy to Install, White

Although gas is less convenient than electricity, propane is a reliable way to ensure you can use hot water, even if the electricity isn’t working. Power cuts are unpredictable and disruptive, but you can get hot water wherever you need it with gas water heaters.

Pros

  • Can be used even during a power outage.
  • Cheaper to operate.

Cons

  • Gas canisters are large, heavy, and may occupy a lot of space.
  • Canisters contain a finite amount of gas.

Choosing the Best Portable Tankless Water Heater

Consider these factors before making a decision.

Small, Lightweight, and Compact

Portability depends on the all-important size factor. You don’t want to haul a big, heavy box around the campsite or have it occupy too much room in your car or RV.

All of the products on our list fit the bill. They are lightweight and no more than 17-inches long or tall. They each weigh less than 23 pounds, so you won’t hurt your back lifting them.

Most of these options have a built-in handle so you can relocate your water heater with minimal hassle.

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Safety Features

Safety is key, especially if you bring young family members along to the campsite.

A safety feature of some portable tankless water heaters is an auto turn-off device. This mechanism automatically shuts the device off under specific circumstances. For example, some heaters automatically turn off if their water temperature exceeds 167 degrees Fahrenheit.

Others shut off if the device is angled too greatly — approximately 45 degrees in any direction — to prevent any accidents.

Some gas heaters also have flame-failure devices, so they don’t build up too much gas if the igniter flame is extinguished. Finally, there are options with anti-freeze protection to defend them against colder temperatures.

Some of the options below have one, two, or even three of these mechanisms built in. Whatever your needs, there’s an option for you.

Easy to Use

This factor depends on the user, as some people find digital mechanisms easier to use and others prefer manual. Most of the options below are manual, with knobs to adjust the temperature and pressure. We have also listed one high-tech digital option, so you have plenty of choice in this area.

Another important factor is whether the product comes with all the add-ons you need. These include showerheads and hoses, as well as connectors to attach these to your water heater.

Most of the products below have add-ons included, which make them stand out from the crowd. Simply read the instructions to see how they fit together, and you’ll be good to go.

Energy-Saving

We’ve already touched on the energy-saving qualities of tankless water heaters. However, some of the products we’ve shared below don’t stop there, with further energy-saving features.

For example, some heaters shut off after a specific amount of time to avoid wasting energy. Others calculate the amount of energy needed depending on how much hot water you use.

We all love doing our bit for the environment, and some of these water heaters will help you do that.


The Best Portable Tankless Water Heaters of 2022

Here is our list of the five best portable tankless water heaters on the market.

1. Camplux 5L Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

Best Simple Portable Tankless Water Heater

This easy-to-use portable water heater is ideal for novices or anyone who wants something less high-tech. Its layout features minimal knobs to make it simple to use. It uses gas so there’s no need for electricity; simply connect it to a BBQ gas canister and you’re all set.

It comes with everything you need to put it all together, including the correct connectors. All you need to do is follow the instructions and you’ll have hot water in no time.

The Pros

Small, Lightweight, and Portable

The main selling points of this heater are its compact size and being lightweight. It is one of the smallest and lightest on our list, weighing just 14.2 pounds. It is made even easier to carry by its built-in handle.

Great Safety Features

This heater has several built-in safety options, including flame-failure protection and anti-freeze regulation. If you’re planning a winter camping trip, you can rest assured that the water and components won’t freeze on you.

Extras Included

This heater is ideal for anyone new to camping. There’s no need to buy any extras, as this heater includes everything you need to operate it smoothly, such as a showerhead and gas regulator.

The Cons

Not Recommended for Use at Over 2000 Feet Elevation

If you’re planning a hiking trip into the mountains, this heater won’t be suitable for your needs. The pressure changes at high altitudes will prevent the heater from working properly.

Additional Specs

Dimensions 11.42 inches by 4.33 inches by 14.8 inches
Weight 14.2 pounds
Volume 5 liters
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute) 1.32 GPM
Input Type Gas operated
Temperature Range 46.4 to 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit
Package Includes 1 x gas regulator, 1 x showerhead, 1 x gas inlet connector, hose

2. Gasland BS264 Tankless Water Heater

Best for Families

The Gasland BS264 is one of the heaviest and least compact of our five heaters. Thankfully, it has a built-in handle, so it’s not all bad news.

It seems to be designed with family in mind, with safety mechanisms that include anti-freeze protection and automatic shut-off at 167 degrees Fahrenheit. This means children can use the water heater without the danger of the water becoming too hot. The flame-failure device will automatically stop the gas supply if the flame is extinguished.

With a 10-liter capacity and a flow rate of 2.64 GPM, this machine means business.

The Pros

Family-Friendly Safety Features

Safety was clearly a priority here. We particularly appreciate the automatic shut-off at 167 degrees Fahrenheit to protect young users.

Energy-Saving Ethos

This heater embodies the energy-saving ethos. The advanced combustion system ensures 11.5% more energy is saved compared to traditional heaters.

Adaptors and More Included

We love that all the required adaptors and add-ons are supplied, including a showerhead, gas pump, and others. This makes it relatively easy to use, even for a novice.

The Cons

Relatively Heavy (22 lbs)

Although it is advertised as small and lightweight, this heater is neither when compared to our other products.

At 22 pounds, it can quickly begin to feel heavy when carried over long distances. Even so, is not very heavy and there are some heaters on the market that weigh even more.

Additional Specs

Dimensions 11.8 inches by 6.1 inches by 17.3 inches
Weight 22.1 pounds
Volume 10 liters
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute) 2.64 GPM
Input Type Gas operated
Temperature Range Up to 167 degrees Fahrenheit
Package Includes 1 x hose, 1 x showerhead, 1 x gas connector

3. Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater

Best Energy-Saving Portable Tankless Water Heater

The Eccotemp water heater is another easy-to-use option thanks to its simple dials and all the necessary add-ons, including a showerhead. It’s also compact and lightweight at 14 pounds, which makes it ideal for traveling and serving as a camp shower heater.

Our favorite feature of this heater is the automatic shut off. When the product has been on for longer than 20 minutes, it will automatically turn itself off, ideal for saving energy.

The Pros

Easy to Use and Portable

We love this product’s simplicity and lightweight build. This is one of the lightest and smallest options, which is always a positive. At a mere 4 inches by 13 inches by 8 inches, it’s remarkably small.

Automatic Shut-Off

There is a greater focus on energy-saving than ever before. This heater shuts off automatically after 20 minutes, keeping your usage in check.

The Cons

No Overheating Shut-Off Option

Despite its other features, the Eccotemp doesn’t have a maximum temperature shut off. If you have children, you will need to be careful to monitor the temperature while the heater is in use.

Additional Specs

Dimensions 4 inches by 13 inches by 8 inches
Weight 14 pounds
Volume 5 liters
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute) 1.45 GPM
Input Type Propane gas operated
Temperature Range N/A
Package Includes 1 x gas regulator, 1 x hose, 1 x hose adapter, 1 x showerhead

4. EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Best Digital Option

This modern heater is ideal for anyone who is a little more tech-savvy, due to its digital controls. It’s also easy on the eye, so if you want a bit of extra style, this is the best choice for you.

The digital temperature control allows you to monitor the temperature in 1-degree increments. Another key component that sets this product apart is the energy and money-saving mechanism.

This advanced technology will determine how much energy is needed based on how much hot water you require. If you care about the environment, as we do, this will be an ideal option.

The Pros

Stylish Design

Thanks to the digital features of this unit, it is both stylish and functional. We appreciate the preciseness of the temperature gauge. With the ability to monitor to the exact degree, there will be no guessing with this heater.

Energy-Saving Technology

The energy-saving mechanism makes this an excellent choice. Although tankless water heaters are usually designed with energy in mind, this heater goes even further. The company claims it could save as much as 50% in water-heating costs.

Lifetime Warranty

A lifetime warranty is usually a good sign that a company knows its product works. When they have confidence, it also gives us confidence.

The Cons

No Extras Included

If you want a convenient all-in-one package, this probably isn’t your best option. Unlike other heaters on this list, it doesn’t include additional accessories such as a showerhead or connectors.

This is a deal-breaker for some buyers, so it’s best to know ahead of time.

Additional Specs

Dimensions 3.6 inches by 17 inches by 17 inches
Weight 13.75 pounds
Voltage 240 volts
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute) 3 GPM
Input Type Electricity operated
Temperature Range 80 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Package Includes N/A

5. Costway Portable Outdoor Water Heater

Most Portable Tankless Water Heater

The Costway tankless water heater is a great portable option for any avid camper. Costway appears to have emphasized portability as one of the priorities in its outdoor water heater.

This is evidenced by the built-in handle and carrying bag that come with the product. These are both very helpful, especially considering that this portable tankless water heater is at the larger end of our list. A pump and a showerhead are also included.

Thanks to the automatic shut-off system built into the machine, the Costway outdoor water heater is well-suited for anyone with children. That said, we still recommend supervising your children while using it as an outdoor shower heater.

The Pros

Safety First

Safety features, including the automatic shut-off at 167 degrees Fahrenheit and anti-off-balance protection, make this one of the safest heaters available. You will be able to enjoy your trip instead of worrying about potential accidents.

Easily Portable

Judging by the built-in sturdy handle and included carrying bag, the company had portability in mind. While it isn’t the lightest option at 17.5 pounds, these features mean it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience.

The Cons

Low Flow Rate of .8 GPM

For families or anyone else who uses their water heater extensively, the low flow rate of this unit could be a drawback.

Additional Specs

Dimensions 13 inches by 10 inches by 11.5 inches
Weight 17.5 pounds
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute) 0.8 GPM
Input Type Propane gas operated
Temperature Range Up to 167 degrees Fahrenheit
Package Includes 1 x pump, 1 x water pipe/showerhead, 1 x bag

Portable Tankless Water Heater Comparison Chart

Product Award Dimensions Weight (lbs) Volume (L) Flow Rate (GPM) Input Type Temp. Range (F)
Camplux 5L Best for Simplicity 11.42″ x 4.33″ x 14.8″ 14.2 5 1.32 Gas 46.4 – 114.8
Gasland BS264 Best For Families 11.8″ x 6.1″ x 17.3″ 22.1 10 2.64 Gas Up to 167
Eccotemp L5 Best For Energy Saving 4″ x 13″ x 8″ 14 5 1.45 Propane N/A
EcoSmart ECO 27 Best Digital Option 3.6″ x 17″ x 17″ 13.75 N/A 3 Electricity 80 – 140
Costway Portable Most Portable 13″ x 10″ x 11.5″ 17.5 N/A 0.8 Propane Up to 167

FAQ

Are Portable Tankless Water Heaters Worth It?

This largely depends on what you intend to use it for. If you want hot water in an outbuilding or part of your house that isn’t on the main hot water system, you are probably better off buying a larger tankless water heater. If you are a keen camper and want to be able to take hot water with you, a portable heater is versatile and convenient.

What are the Drawbacks of a Portable Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters have numerous benefits but they aren’t perfect. Their diminutive size means they can only supply a limited amount of hot water at any time, so they aren’t suitable for multitasking. Some portable heaters are so small that they will struggle to provide enough water for an effective shower.

Will a Portable Tankless Water Heater Work if the Power Goes Out?

This depends on the type of water heater you own and how its power is being supplied. If you own a gas heater, it will work for as long as your gas canister lasts. If your heater is electric and is plugged into the main power supply, a power cut will prevent it from operating until the power is restored.


Headshot of Peter Gray

About the Author

Peter Gray

Peter has been a homeowner for 35+ years and has always done his own repair and improvement tasks. As a retired plumber, Peter now spends his time teaching others how they can fix leaks, replace faucets, and make home improvements on a budget.