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Coleman Catalytic Heaters Review, Tips And Guide

Mark Armstrong
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Sometimes it can get a little chilly if you’re out camping, especially in the colder seasons. But having a heater might just give you the extra heat that you need to stay comfortable on your next camping or fishing trip.

The Coleman Catalytic portable heater is designed to take the chill out of cooler weather. To help you decide if it’s right for you, we’ve taken a look at its best features and functions.

Why Would I Use A Coleman Catalytic Heater And How Do They Work?

A catalytic heater is designed to provide heat from using propane gas. The way it works is that the catalytic converter within the heater creates a chemical reaction and helps to reduce the amount of toxic elements that might be emitted while it’s working.

There is no flame produced from the heater, as it is a chemical reaction that produces the heat and not a direct flame. But the heater will need to be ignited using a lighter or match.

Portable heaters like the Coleman Catalytic Heater can be useful for heating small spaces, such as a tent or small camper or cabin, especially where you have no source of electricity. Its portable size also means it can be convenient for packing in with camping gear.

If you’re looking for a heater to warm a larger space, you may want to consider a larger heater, or one with a higher heat output.

Top Features Of The Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater

Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic HeaterPin


  • Efficient
  • Portable
  • Quiet


  • Only for small spaces
  • Requires lighter/match

The Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater is a portable catalytic heater that is designed to be used on camping trips or in small rooms or spaces. It uses propane gas to deliver heat without the flames that can come from traditional gas heaters.

It doesn’t have an automatic ignition switch but it can be ignited conveniently using a match or lighter after turning the heater on. It also does not have a low oxygen sensor, but will eventually turn off when the gas canister is empty.

Portable Heat

This catalytic heater is just 9 inches tall, which can make it an ideal size for packing alongside your camping gear or storing in a small area. Its portable nature also means you can easily place it in the most convenient location for keeping warm.

As well as this, it can be moved around to a different location as you move around your camp, for example. And you can quickly pack it up when you’re ready to hit the road.

To make it more convenient for transporting and storing, it features a comfort grip handle and a detachable base.


The heater uses propane gas to create heat. The 16.4 ounce propane gas cylinder is not included with the heater, so remember to purchase one separately before you head out on your adventures. But with a 16.4 ounce propane tank you should get around 14 hours of heat.

The PerfecTemp feature means it’s designed to heat safely and efficiently without flames. It has a 1500 BTU heat output that should be able to heat small spaces and remove an unwanted chill from a cold tent.

Stable Base

The detachable base features four feet that help to stabilize the heater on a surface. If you plan to use it on uneven ground or you simply want to make sure it doesn’t fall over, the heater has eyelets so you can tie it securely to another object for safety.

Are Catalytic Heaters Safe? Carbon Monoxide?

The Coleman Catalytic Heater is designed to be used both inside and outside, so you may not need to same amount of ventilation that you might need when using other types of gas heaters.

However, because of the chemical reactions that occur during the heating process, there will be some byproducts that are released from the heater. The catalytic conversion process should break down many of these chemicals into carbon dioxide.

In very rare cases, carbon monoxide could be produced but will usually be through a defect in the heater causing the plate to heat unevenly, or through a secondary contaminant.

To minimize the risks of carbon monoxide being emitted, it can be a good idea to keep your space well ventilated and/or think about using a carbon monoxide detector if you’re worried about the potential dangers.

Are They Noisy?

We don’t think so. Because of the chemical reactions involved in the heating process, it should be relatively quiet when it’s switched on.

This can make it ideal if you’re hunting or fishing and don’t want to disturb wildlife by making too much noise.

Portable Catalytic Alternatives

Mr. Heater Little Buddy MH4B

Mr. Heater Little Buddy MH4BPin

The Mr. Heater Little Buddy is a portable indoor-safe propane heater that’s 11 inches tall and works at a 45 degree angle, so you can direct the heat. It delivers 3800 BTU and can run for around 5 hours.

For added safety, there’s a low oxygen sensor that will automatically shut off the heater. It will also automatically shut off if you accidentally knock it over.

Olympian Wave 3 Portable Catalytic Heater

Olympian Wave 3 Portable Catalytic HeaterPin

The Olympian Wave 3 is a catalytic heater that is designed to be portable and convenient for heating small areas, such as an RV or cabins. Unlike the Coleman SportCat, this one requires to be connected by a hose to a separate HD5 propane gas canister, rather than it being connected directly to the heater.

It has an adjustable BTU rating, between 1600 and 3000, so you can tailor the amount of heat you require for your space. However, it can often be a lot pricier than the Coleman SportCat.

Mr. Heater Buddy MH9BX

Mr. Heater Buddy MH9BXPin

The Mr. Heater Buddy is a portable propane heater that can be ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It features flameless heat with two heat settings of 4000 and 9000 BTU and has safety features that will automatically shut the heater off in the event of low oxygen or if it’s knocked over.

It connects to a 1 pound propane cylinder and can be used to warm up a tent or cabin.


A catalytic heater can be useful when it comes to warming up a cold tent. It can help to take the chill off and make a winter camping trip a lot more comfortable and its flameless heat can be both safe and efficient.

If you think the Coleman SportCat might help you on your next camping trip, check it out here. And if you want to help others stay comfortable in the cold weather, share this with them.

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1 thought on “Coleman Catalytic Heaters Review, Tips And Guide”

  1. I used a sports cat to stay warm just enough to get to sleep iy Van when I was homeless in nor-cal. One night I tell asleep without tirn


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