Welcome to our review of the best tent with an AC port!
We’ve looked at HUNDREDS of tents to bring you the best warm weather camping tents going.
These tents go further than simply having ac ports, they’re also top summer performers with plenty of ventilation and family friendly features.
If you’re in a rush, the best tent with ac port is:
- Bushnell Shield Series 6/9/12 Person Tent with ac port – Best Overall AC Tent
- Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Tent with ac vent – Best Budget Tent
- Ozark Trail 12-person 3-room Instant Cabin Tent – Best AC Tent with Awning
- E-Z UP Camping Cube Tent with dog flap
- Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Screened Tent
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Best Overall AC Tent
Best Budget Tent
Best AC Tent with Awning
An excellent all-round tent with 1-2 AC ports and great features for staying cool in the summer.
Doesn't match the Bushnell on a hot day but a great budget tent with 1 AC port.
Good for giant groups and comes with 2 AC ports but will be too large for most.
The dog flap on this tent can be repurposed as an ac port and it comes with an e-port. But be aware that the canopy required for setup is sold separately.
No AC port and requires using a portable AC unit through the e-port, but comes with a good screen room.
In a hurry? The best tent with an AC port is …
The Bushnell Shield Series 6/9/12 Person Tent is the best tent with ac port. Not only does it include two ac ports at either side of the tent, but it comes with excellent ventilation, two room dividers for privacy at night and a specially coated rainfly to block UV rays and cool down the tent during the day.
Looking for budget tents with AC ports?
The Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Tent doesn’t come with many of the handy features of the Bushnell tent – it’s missing room dividers, storage space and the basic rainfly can leave it hot and stuffy during the day.
But it is a fantastic budget tent with an ac port and comes with plenty of room for the whole family. We especially love the large screen room at the front which can be sealed up at night and turned into another bedroom if wanted.
Best tents with AC ports compared
- 2 AC ports (1 on 6P model)
- Instant tent and set up in under 1 minute
- Two removable room dividers to provide privacy at night
- Reflective coating on the rainfly to cool the tent
- Not as cheap as the other offerings
The Bushnell Shield Series instant cabin tent is by FAR our favourite tent with an ac port and comes in 6 person, 9 person and 12 person sizes. It is an instant cabin tent so set up is seriously fast. You just need to take the tent out of the bag, extend the pre-attached poles and stake down the tent.
Normally, tents that perform well in hot weather turn into a swimming pool at the first signs of light rain but this Bushnell tent will hold its own both in the summer heat and the fall rain.
First and foremost – the Bushnell Shield Series instant cabin tent comes with TRUE ac ports. And two AC ports on the 9 and 12 person tents at that.
True AC ports means you can use a proper air conditioning unit rather than a portable ac that you have to use inside the tent and feed the cable through the e-port. The tent does come with an e-port though, so fret not if you are bringing a portable ac system.
The attachable rain fly that comes with the Bushnell shield series instant cabin tent helps kill three birds with one stone – sun protection, ventilation and waterproofing.
The sun protection of the tent is down to the heat shield technology. This is a reflective coating on the bottom of the included rainfly which helps to block the UV rays of the sun. This helps the tent stay wonderfully cool in the summer.
The fact that the rain fly is attachable, rather than fully integrated allows the tent to have a fully mesh roof, which can let in cold air while the rainfly remains on the tent for protection. This ventilation is useful for hot days but also for when it rains. Tents without these features tend to end up with condensation forming on the inside of the tent and no one wants a soggy sleeping bag!
In day to day use, the tent is an excellent performer. There’s loads of room inside this cabin tent – enough room even to stand up and walk around.
The 9 and 12 person tents come with two room dividers which can transform this tent into a 3 room tent. This is brilliant for getting some privacy at night and a classic family favourite. To add to the family friendly feel it also comes with handy storage pockets on the wall and a gear loft on the ceiling.
There aren’t many drawbacks to this tent, but the main one is price. It’s certainly not the cheapest tent with an ac port and if you’re looking for a more budget pick then the Wenzel Klondike tent might be a better choice for you.
Overall, if you’re looking for an excellent summer tent with an AC port then we highly recommend the Bushnell instant cabin tent.
- The ground ventilation flap can fit an ac unit
- Great for those on a budget
- Large windows for ventilation
- Great for those on a budget
- Longer set up
- Not brilliantly waterproof
The Wenzel Klondike tent is a cheap and cheerful summer 8 person tent. It doesn’t have some of the nifty features for hot weather that the Bushnell does, but it does give you a home away from home for those on a budget.
There is no dedicated ac vent with this tent but the ground vents can fit an ac unit. You’ll just need to prop the ac unit up off the ground and ensure that the ground vent material isn’t covering the back of the ac unit.
The major benefit of the Wenzel Klondike tent is the large screen room at the front. If the heat of the sun gets too much then you can open up the large windows and the front door of the screen room to get a breeze through the tent and then chill out in the screen room.
The screen room is also fully sealable (the windows zip up) and comes with a proper floor which means you can turn it into a second bedroom if you’re needing the space.
The Wenzel Klondike tent does come with an additional rainfly, but it’s not quite up to the quality of the Bushnell tent. There’s no reflective coating so the tent can get pretty hot during the day if you keep the rainfly on. You can always choose to take it off, but then you’ll have to be wary of UV rays.
The setup of the Wenzel tent is also trickier. It’s not an instant tent so expect to have to do a traditional set up of getting tent poles out of the bag and fighting to get them through the loops in the fabric.
The Wenzel also thinks of practical use and includes two storage pockets on the walls of the tent. However, we’re big fans of tents which include gear lofts in the ceiling and this tent doesn’t have one. On top of this, the tent has no dedicated e-port. So if you plan on using the ground vent AND bringing in other cables, be aware that this can be tricky.
While these are probably necessary for keeping this tent so cheap, you may want to consider your personal situation and whether storage space and electricity ports would be useful for you.
But overall, this Wenzel tent is a strong contender and a great choice for those on a budget.
- Two true AC ports
- Instant tent – ish
- Three rooms for privacy
- Large awning which can protect from the sun
- Lots of windows for ventilation
- Very large
- So large that set up can be difficult
- Fabric durability can be a concern
Big family? No problem. This Ozark Trail instant cabin tent has a whopping capacity of 12 people.
It’s no surprise that with this capacity it’s closer to a summer palace than a classic tent and this brings a host of advantages and disadvantages with it. Like the larger versions of the Bushnell tent, it comes with three rooms which can be excellent for giving the family some privacy.
Although a notable difference is that the rooms are fixed in, with zippered doors whereas the Bushnell tent has room dividers that can be removed to create one large space.
This Ozark Trail tent comes with two true AC flaps, one at each end of the L shape of the tent and includes an electrical access port too. You may notice that there is one fewer air conditioning port than there are rooms, so campers in one room may wish to either keep an internal door open or a window instead.
We also love the large awning outside the front door which can fit a few campers underneath while they shield from the sun. It also comes with 7 windows which can provide plenty of ventilation throughout the tent on a hot day.
The main drawback of this tent revolves around the sheer size of it. The amount of material and tent poles required to construct it makes it bulky, heavy and difficult to set up – despite it being an instant tent (i.e. with pre-attached telescopic tent poles).
Secondly, the fabric of the walls does feel a bit thin and flimsy and we can potentially see an overexcited kid doing some damage here.
If we had to choose between the Ozark Trail tent and the 12 person version of the Bushnell tent, it would be a tough decision. We’d encourage you to consider whether you really need a 12 person tent and all the issues it can bring – setup and durability issues are very common and often picking up two medium sized tents can be a better solution than one large tent.
But if you’re set on picking a large tent up then the Bushnell edges it due to its reflective rainfly which is ideal for summer weather and more durable materials (although again – durability is an issue with all 12P tents).
However, if you love the idea of a big awning to sit outside and you’re slightly more budget focused, the Ozark Trail may be more up your street.
- A dog flap that also fits many air conditioners
- 1 e-port for bringing in electricity
- Can be taken apart to provide just a canopy
- Large zippable windows provide great ventilation
- Comes with plenty of storage, including gear pockets and a gear loft
- Confusing that the required canopy is sold separately
- Setup is fairly fast but not as simple as instant tents
- Performs poorly in heavy rain and strong winds
The 6 person E-Z Up Camping Cube Tent comes with a small flap for letting dogs in and out of the tent.
This flap handily fits a number of air conditioners and the velcro on the flap allows you to close it again when not in use. The tent also comes with an e-port for bringing electrical cords into a tent – useful if you’re wanting to use a portable ac unit.
Another unique feature of the Camping Cube tent is that it’s actually two tents in one. Setup requires putting up a 10’x10’ canopy tent and then fitting the camping cube to the canopy tent.
This does mean you can easily switch between using a canopy tent during the day for a picnic and a tent at night for sleeping. However, the sales page doesn’t make it clear that the 10’x10’ canopy tent is sold separately from the Camping Cube tent.
This tent is very much a summer tent. This means it will be fine for air conditioning but it will struggle to perform in heavy rain or strong winds.
Overall, the Camping Cube tent is a fairly decent offering that comes with both an ac port (in the form of a dog flap) and an e port. However, the Bushnell shield series tent outperforms the camping cube in variable weather, comes with two dedicated air conditioning ports, has a faster setup and all-in-all is just better.
- Large screen room is great against bugs
- LED lighting that lasts all night
- 8 large mesh windows provide excellent ventilation
- Only an e-port so you must be using a portable AC inside the tent
- Longer set up
- Waterproofing doesn’t live up to the name
The Coleman Elite Weathermaster 6 person tent is a traditional camping tent offering with a twist – it comes with an integrated screen room!
This screen room is great for sitting in and watching the sunset or protecting you from irritating insects.
But sadly the tent performs poorly when it comes to air conditioning. The Elite Weathermaster used to come with an AC port but has since been updated and this port has disappeared.
We think this is a shame but Coleman does provide an alternative. The camping tent comes with an e-port which allows you to feed cables into the tent. You can therefore set up a portable AC unit within the tent and power it through the e-port.
This isn’t ideal though as it does take up room in the tent and anyone with a more traditional air conditioning unit is out of luck.
The tent’s name, WeatherMaster, also does not quite ring true. While it’s perfectly adequate for fair weather camping like the other tents in this review are, it isn’t quite as waterproof as the name would suggest. We wouldn’t plan on using this for camping out of the main camping season.
Like the Wenzel Klondike tent, the Coleman Weathermaster is also not an instant tent. This means a longer set up although we love the color-coded poles that Coleman includes.
The Elite version comes with LED lighting which can be handy at night for bathroom breaks, staying up late and chatting with friends or a night light setting for any kids who struggle to sleep in the dark.
We do think however that the standard Weathermaster tent is almost as good as the Elite model, for a lower price.
But if you’re looking for a smaller or more traditional camping tent than the others in this review, then check out the Weathermaster tent.
Best tents with an AC port for different group sizes
Possibly the most confusing aspect of tents is their claimed “capacity”. The capacity of tents refers to the maximum number of people you can fit into tents. That means everyone packed into tents like sardines with no room for storing gear and no space to stretch out.
Instead, it’s better to think of the comfort capacity of tents. A tent’s comfort capacity takes into account that you probably don’t want to be shoulder to shoulder with other people when you’re sleeping and should be the first port of call if you have a specific group size in mind.
Best tent for a group of 4
The best tent with an ac port for a group of 4 is the Bushnell Shield Series 6 Person Tent.
This tent comes with plenty of room for 4 campers, although the height of the six person model may be a little low for very tall people to stand up. The storage pockets and gear loft are excellent for freeing up some extra space to sleep though.
Related: Do you like sleeping in? Find out what the best black out tent is.
Best tent with an AC port for a group of 6
The best tent with an ac port for a group of 6 is the Bushnell Shield Series 9 Person Tent.
We love that the 9 person version of this camping tent comes with room dividers which can turn these tents into a three room tent during the night, and keep it as a large spacious room during the day. It won’t stop you from hearing any serial snorers but it will give you the feeling of having your own bedroom.
If you’re on a budget and happy to sacrifice some useful features to combat hot weather and the privacy of the room dividers, the Wenzel Klondike 8 person tent is also a top choice for a group of 6. Although be aware that the tent ac port is, in fact, a ground vent.
Top tent with an ac port for a group of 8 – 10
Both of these tents are excellent in their own right and are absolute behemoths. These tents each come with 3 rooms – actual rooms in the case of the Ozark Trail tent and as attachable room dividers in the case of the Bushnell tent.
Both tents have space for two ac units and both of these air conditioner slots are real slots, rather than simply providing an electrical port for powering an internal portable air conditioning unit.
The Ozark Trail has the wonderful feature of a large front awning which is great for sitting beneath.
But the Bushnell tent slightly edges it out with a rainfly designed to reflect UV rays which can hugely help to cool the tent.
On top of this, the camping tent comes with plenty of gear storage options on the wall and is made of slightly more durable materials. Although we will always encourage you to buy two smaller tents over one larger tent, as the size of these tents can affect their longevity.
Related: Going somewhere really hot? Find out what the best desert tent is.
Common concerns about using air conditioner units with a tent
Should I use a stand with the AC unit?
You should set up the air conditioning system on top of a stand before connecting it to a tent. Alternatively, you can use any other non-flammable object that can be set up about 10-12 inches above the ground and is strong enough to hold an AC unit. Keeping the bottom of your ac unit properly ventilated is essential to avoid overheating and a potential fire.
If you’re using a portable ac then you shouldn’t need a stand. These are pre-built to be placed wherever is needed and are extremely unlikely to be a fire risk. That being said, do make sure to give the warm part of the ac unit space from the edge of the tent and avoid covering the ac.
Will the tent material overheat from use of AC or electronics?
No, the AC unit will not overheat and cause damage to tents provided it has been set up correctly. This means keeping an AC unit on top of a stand and the bottom of the unit well ventilated. Only the cold part of the unit will be in touch the tents itself.
Will an air conditioner rip the tent?
Tents that come with purpose-built AC flaps will not rip due to the use of a tent air conditioner. Often the surrounding fabric comes with a higher denier (i.e. toughness) to avoid and damage.
Will rain get in through a tent’s AC port?
If you’re using a DIY solution where you’ve cut a hole in tents, then this is certainly possible. For camping tents that come with premade air conditioner flaps, these are either sealable using velcro or are angled downwards so that rain pours down tents and off the flaps.
Cool air escaping through tent mesh ceilings
It’s pretty typical for 2-3 season camping tents to come with a mesh ceiling that a rainfly is put over. These help ventilate the camping tent and reduce the chance of condensation. However, this is less than ideal for using an air conditioner unit as the chilled air escapes out of the tent easily.
Unfortunately (and bizarrely), this is a problem for every tent on the market that comes with air conditioner flaps.
What’s the best way to insulate the mesh ceiling of a camping tent?
If you want to make the air conditioning massively more efficient and keep the tent cooler for longer then we recommend trying to insulate your tent. Putting a tarp over the top of the tent will make a big difference.
How To Install The air conditioning Unit On Your Tent?
First, you should set up your stand or stool and place your air conditioner unit on top. Then you should place it in front of the AC flap. Some air conditioner flaps come with a pull tie to grip the fabric around the AC unit. You should speak to the person running your campground to understand how to hook up the AC unit to electricity.
For portable AC units, the setup is much easier. Bring the portable ac unit inside the tent and feed the cable through the e-port.
Do be aware that you may need to drain the reservoir regularly if it’s a particularly humid day. Condensation can be a killer in camping tents.
How to create the best DIY air conditioning ports
If you already own a tent that doesn’t come with a hole to hook up an air conditioner unit, you can always consider a DIY solution.
The first option is simply to cut out a hole in your tent! This obviously isn’t ideal because … well, you then have a hole in your tent. But if it’s a cheap tent that you only use for summer camping then this might not be an issue.
The second option is to cut out an AC hole using scissors but stitch the flap back over. This is a good option if you’re handy at sewing. You can attach a zip or fasten a velcro solution so that there is no gaping hole releasing cool air in your tent when you’re not using the ac. If you’re struggling to reattach the flap then you might want to glue a no-see-um mesh to the hole to keep insects out.
If you’re willing to pay for it, there are even solutions such as ac boot which you can glue onto the tent. This comes with a cord to pull the flap tightly across the air conditioning unit so that less cool air escapes and a velcro pad to shut the flap when it’s not in use.
So what’s the best tent with an AC slot?
Picking the best tents with air conditioning ports is a choice that comes down to what size of tent you’re wanting – but in almost all cases your best bet will be the Bushnell Shield Series 6 / 9 / 12 person tent with AC flap. It has wonderful protection from the sun and the heat and plenty of useful storage options for families and groups alike.
If you’re wanting something a little cheaper then you may want to consider the Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Tent with AC vent. It’s still an excellent tent with plenty of room and a large screen room. However, you can see where the costs have been cut as there are fewer storage options and poorer performance in the heat.
And finally, if you’ve decided that you’d rather have a well-ventilated, lightweight tent to keep you cool that you can also use for backpacking then you can check out our guide to the best tents for hot weather.