The Coleman BlackCat tent heater offers a few advantages over the slightly less expensive SportCat models. The BlackCat comes in 2 versions – the “Standard” version and the “InstaStart” version. The only real difference between the 2 is that the Coleman BlackCat InstaStart version has a built-in Piezo ignition system which allows you to easily light the heater with the simple push of a button.
If you don’t mind using a match or lighter to ignite the heater, you can save about $5 by going with the standard version. This review is focused on the standard BlackCat, the one with out the InstaStart feature.
What sets the Coleman BlackCat tent heaters apart from the lower-cost Coleman SportCat models, is more power. Unlike the single, 1,500 BTU power setting of the SportCat, the BlackCat offers 2 power settings, Low (1,500 BTU) and Hi (3,000 BTU). At the highest setting the BlackCat is capable of heating an enclosed area up to about 80 Square Feet, which is twice the heating capability of the SportCat.
The trade-off for the extra BTU’s, is less run-time. At its “Low” power setting, the BlackCat is capable of running an impressive 14 hours per propane cylinder. However, at its “Hi” power setting you can expect about half that, at 7 hours run-time.
Coleman Perfectemp Catalytic Technology for Flameless Warmth
The Coleman BlackCat tent heater uses a catalytic technology that produces heat without an open flame. This makes it a very safe heater to use in small enclosed spaces, such as tents, hunting blinds, ice fishing shelters, camper shells, and so on. However, as with all portable tent heaters, it is never recommended that you leave them on while actually sleeping.
Not only is the BlackCat an excellent camping tent heater, it is also a good portable heater for sports events and golf carts and will also work for knocking-the-chill down in small workshops and garages too.
Portability With Power
The Coleman BlackCat Tent Heater is built to be portable. It has a built-in easy-grip handle that makes it easy to carry. As it only weighs 4 pounds, it is an easy heater to transport around too, and its small size means it isn’t bulky and awkward to manage. Despite its small and easy portability, however, the Coleman BlackCat Tent Heater can produce an impressive 3,000 BTU heat output which is enough power to keep an enclosed area up to 80 Square feet warm.
Coleman BlackCat Features and Specifications
- 1,500 – 3,000 BTU (Enough power for up to 80 sq. ft.)
- 14 hour runtime per 16.4-oz. propane cylinder on Low (7 hrs on Hi)
- Works with standard 16.4-oz. disposable propane cylinders.
- PerfecTemp Catalytic technology for safe, efficient, flameless heating
- Easy-grip handle for convenient, comfortable portability.
- Folding legs provide compact storage
- 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Customer Reviews and Ratings
Out of 26 verified customer reviews, the Coleman BlackCat tent heater has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
I had a difficult time finding any real negative reviews for this portable tent heater. The one issue that was brought up was that the legs may need to be tightened occasionally. Apparently this can be done easily with a Phillips screwdriver…
… the two legs that hold it up kept collapsing. I had to tighten each of them up with a phillips screwdriver. It stayed up with no problem after that.
Other customer reviews were mostly positive…
…I have owned a coleman blackcat heater for a couple of years now and I won’t go winter or fall camping without it
…Gone camping in very cold weather and had a nice warm tent with this heater.
… the blackcat made our 3 nights of sleep much more enjoyable.
…mother nature she made it tough but the heater made it great at night
… I highly recommend this item
And one did mention that they wish they’d sprung the extra $5 for the BlackCat with InstaStart…
…I would have bought the one with the built in igniter, if the store had it in stock. Otherwise it works great.
I also feel that the Coleman BlackCat Tent Heater is an easy item to recommend. However, considering that the Coleman BlackCat InstaStart is only a couple bucks more, I would suggest at least giving it some consideration. Having the ability to simply push a button to light the propane heater, opposed to scrounging for matches in the middle of the night, is more than worth $5 in my opinion.
Best Price & Availability
Both Coleman BlackCat tent heater models can occasionally be found at local sporting goods stores and outdoor camping equipment retailers, but you’ll obviously find the easiest availability, as well as the best price (9 times of 10) when you buy online. The best price I’ve seen for the Coleman BlackCat heater is at this link here.