I Tested the Mr. Heater Buddy: Did It Provide Enough Heat?

We tested the Mr. Heater Buddy and found it easy to use, simple to set up, and handy for camping or emergencies.

By Stacey L Nash | Updated Nov 30, 2021 12:38 PM

Mr. Heater Buddy

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

The Mr. Heater brand makes a slew of heat-related products. I personally have tested a few of their space heaters and a patio heater in the past. All of them proved to be reliable, easy to set up, and great heat producers. Mr. Heater sells a wide range of heat products for camping and the home, from (propane) tank top models to forced air propane and portable catalytic heaters.

The Mr. Heater Buddy is a portable indoor/outdoor propane-powered heater designed to heat up to 225 square feet. It runs off of a 1-pound propane tank but can also be connected to a larger tank using a hose. Camping, fishing, and hunting trips will get a whole lot warmer with this heater. It’s also a great model to have around for winter power outages. I tested this model in my office, on my back patio, in a shop, and outside to get a better idea of how it performed in a variety of conditions.

Mr. Heater Buddy: At a Glance

Mr. Heater Buddy

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

Rating: 9/10

PROS

  • Simple setup
  • Puts out adequate heat on high or low setting
  • Excellent safety features

CONS

  • Quickly goes through propane

Get the Mr. Heater Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Heater on Amazon for $100.04.

What Is the Mr. Heater Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Heater?

The Mr. Heater Buddy is this brand’s compact, portable powerhouse. The design focuses on maximum output from a minimal footprint. It heats up to 225 square feet, which is more than enough space for a large wall or camping tent.

That’s also enough heating power for the bedroom, which it can do since it’s safe to use both indoors and out. The heater has a built-in swivel regulator to connect to a 1-pound propane cylinder or a hose and larger propane tank. It offers high and low heat settings, both of which I found to be nice and toasty.

Mr. Heater Buddy

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

How Easy Is the Mr. Heater Buddy to Set Up?

I’m not sure the Mr. Heater Buddy could be any easier to set up. The only setup required is to connect the propane tank. That’s it; setup is done. If you’re connecting it to a hose and a 20-pound tank, you might need to check the propane hose, but that’s about it. From there, all you do is turn the heater on using the piezo igniter.

Hold down the dial on the pilot setting until the pilot light ignites, and the heater is ready to go. The Mr. Heater Buddy was one of the easier setups I’ve ever had.

Is the Mr. Heater Buddy Easy to Use?

The Mr. Heater Buddy’s ease of use matched the setup; it’s a pretty simple heater. A dial controls all the functions, which include off, pilot, low, and high. That’s it. Users have the option to mount or hang it from nails or hooks thanks to two attachment ports on the back. Additionally, for those who’ve never used propane before, the instructions are written on the body of the heater.

The size and weight make this heater a pleasure to use, too. The handle’s finger grips offer a little security while carrying it. When it comes time to store the heater, its handle folds down on the back, making its already small footprint—14.23 by 9 by 15 inches—a little more compact.

However, the Mr. Heater Buddy can really only handle about 225 square feet. In the outdoors, it heats within about 5 or 6 feet, making it useful for outdoor activities but not something to heat a large space. On high, the heater runs for about 3 hours. On low, you can expect about 6 hours.

How Comfortable and Quiet Is the Mr. Heater Buddy?

This unit puts out a surprising amount of heat. I used it in a 100-square-foot office and had to crack a window because it got too warm. Granted, that’s a smaller space than it’s designed for, but it can easily take on a space within its designated square footage.

The Mr. Heater Buddy is quiet until it starts to run out of propane. At that point, it starts to flicker pretty loudly before it shuts off. Hunters hiding in a blind might be able to get away with this heater if they keep an eye on the propane levels. Once it starts flickering, the noise could scare away game.

The only downside I can see with this model is the odor. It’s very slight. However, propane does give off a noticeable odor, especially when in a small space. I didn’t notice it when I ran it outdoors, but inside, I could definitely smell it.

Mr. Heater Buddy

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

Is the Mr. Heater Buddy Safe?

We’ve all heard about the dangers of carbon monoxide when using outdoor heaters inside. However, this model is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. I tested it in both places. The only difference when using it indoors is the slight odor. I ran it near a carbon monoxide detector and had zero problems.

I also tested the automatic tip-over shutoff. I’m clumsy, so it might have tipped over more than when I was testing that feature. It works. The heater is actually pretty sensitive to getting jostled; too much shaking, and it will shut off. However, if lifted straight up, you can move it without the heater turning off.

Is the Mr. Heater Buddy Worth the Money?

This heater comes at a higher price than the size might suggest. However, it’s made of rugged plastic and metal and has a compact yet usable design. For camping, hunting, and emergency use, I think the Mr. Heater Buddy is well worth the price. The simple setup and amount of heat it puts out could absolutely come in handy for outdoor adventures or during a power outage.

I also think the swivel regulator makes it worth a few extra dollars. Yes, it can use a super-convenient 1-pound propane tank. But the added utility (and heating time) of a larger tank makes this heater more versatile and usable overnight.

Is the Mr. Heater Buddy Right for You?

Whether you’re building your emergency supplies or prepping for your next camping or hunting trip, the Mr. Heater Buddy could be right for you. This little heater doesn’t eat up storage space, nor does it take up much room in a crowded camping situation. The option to hang it can mean it takes up zero floor space with the right setup. Everything about it is easy to use, and it puts out enough heat to warm the 225 square feet of space it’s rated for.

While this heater is great for small spaces and emergency use, it might not be the best choice for every situation. This model doesn’t necessarily have the range to warm a whole garage or workshop, though you could use it to heat a corner. It’s also not the most attractive outdoor heater. It’s completely functional but not something you might want hanging around at an outdoor party.

There are outdoor heaters that fit that bill better. For example, aesthetically speaking, a tower heater like the Hiland Quartz Glass Tube Heater brings an ambience the Mr. Heater model can’t hope to create. But I have to say, for general purposes and especially emergency heat, there aren’t many heaters that are easier to use or set up when the temperatures drop.

Where to Buy the Mr. Heater Buddy

Get the Mr. Heater Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Heater on Amazon for $100.04.