Fav Gear: Mr. Heater Buddy Review

Recently, we had a fall camping trip planned to do some hiking and mountain biking and the forecast was calling for below freezing temps. Jules was ready to back out until I laid our relationship on the line by promising to keep her warm. Of course, our love alone would provide plenty of warmth, but I had a trick up my sleeve too. My old Mr. Heater sunflower heater from the ice fishing days. A perfect plan, what could go wrong right? Well, there was the fact that I had gotten rid of the old heater. That was a bit of a problem. But every problem does have a solution… I’d just buy a new one! When I shared my back-up plan with Jules she liked the heat part of it but thought safety might be a problem. Hmmm, does every problem really have a solution?


Bottom Line: 5 out of 5 flames. A safe and very portable indoor/outdoor heater. Easy to start. Uses the same 1 lb. fuel cylinder as most other camp gear. The Mr. Heater Buddy is a great addition to your “glamping” gear.


On our way out of town we hit up the local sporting goods store and I quickly learned two things. First, inflation has hit the portable heater world in the last 20 years and second, innovation has too! They had an old school sunflower that goes on a 20 lb cylinder (for around $50)  but I wanted one that fit on the 1 lb canister. All that they had fitting that description was the Mr. Heater Buddy (4,00-9,000 BTU- larger versions available) for around $85 plus tax.

Like I said, innovation has hit the portable heater market. The Mr. Heater Buddy is slick and has three key features that I loved. First, is the safety shut off. It is able to detect when the oxygen level drops and will automatically shut itself off. The bad news is you lose out on that cheap light-headed buzz that comes with carbon monoxide poisoning but the good news is you don’t fall asleep and die. A fair trade-off if you ask me. Jules thought so too. The auto shut off also kicks in if it tips over or the pilot light goes out. This feature is what allows them to call it an indoor/outdoor heater.

Second, is that it has a push button start. No more fumbling with trying to light a match with cold fingers. Just push the button and turn the dial. Third, is that the “heat flower” (that is a technical term I just made up!) is recessed so burns are much less likely.

The only drawbacks are that the price seemed a little high  (but then again a hotel would have been much more!) and the propane canisters are disposable. Everything else about the Mr. Heater Buddy we loved! If you camp in cold weather it is definitely worth considering.

The specs:

    • 4,000-9,000 BTUs (heats up to 200 sq ft)
    • Safety Shut Off
    • Dimensions:  9 x 14.2 x 14.4 inches
    • Uses 1 lb. cylinder (same as my camp stove etc.)


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