Now that summer is finally rolling around again we can look forward to not having to spend sub zero nights packed into 4 season mummy bags but the warmer nights do mean it can get a little toasty inside a tent. Using a battery operated tent fan will make things a little more bearable provided they are the right type and are used where they are most effective.
We have always found using a fan for an hour before going to bed does give a cooler tent to get into. Placing the fan by the open entrance so it can draw cool air in from outside work great to take that humid edge off the temperature. This is also a good idea throughout the day if your using the tent to shelter yourself or children from the summer sun.
Using a fan inside a tent without allowing it to draw air in from outside only circulates the warm air already inside giving very little benefit on those very warm summer nights and is most effective if you can get fans near ventilation points.
Noisy Tent Fans
Ineffective and noisy fans are at the top of complaints when it comes to using this type of camping equipment. Its never too much of a problem when your not in the tent but trying to get some shut eye with a constant whine in the background not only takes away from the silence that camping should bring but is down right annoying.
There are very quiet motors available but as these are usually the most expensive part of the fan anyway going for ultra quiet operation can make buying one costly. A good compromise is to look for a fan that doesn’t produce a level of noise that is going to disturbed you at night.
Size Does Matter
We all like to keep the weight and size of the kit we take camping down to a minimum which can be even more crucial if your trekking out to somewhere remote but due to the very nature of how fans work this can sometimes go against us when picking a tent fan.
A fast turning tiny fan will produce a lot less air movement than a bigger fan running slowly along with burning through batteries quickly to keep the smaller fan up to speed.
There are some small fan/light combinations available which can be attached to the top of a tent to give light and a down draft of air but take a look at enough customer reviews and you’ll see the common complaint of these fans being next to useless when it comes to moving air around.
The inside area of the tent has to be considered also with most small fans hardly making a change to the temperature in big tents with 4 or more people sleeping in them.
For bigger tents its possible to place a few fans in key places to improve the air flow during the night.
Summer VS Winter Tent Ventilation
During colder periods a tent with less ventilation is ideal to try and trap as much heat inside but these tents are going to be uncomfortable when its hot. Taking a look at the sort of tent you intend to use can reduce a great deal of inside overheating problems and if your an all your round camper investing in one for the winter and another for the warmer months is a sensible move.
There are many variables to keeping your tent cool and no one solution fits every situation. As with many pieces of camping equipment it is sometimes a case of trial and error until you find the right fit.