Words and photos by Peter Storck from Suncruiser Media
A Portable Heater For Any Outdoor Adventure!
Imagine, it’s early October, you wake up in your roof top tent on a wind-swept mountainside at an elevation of 6500’. It’s -5 Celsius outside and you didn’t bring a good winter sleeping bag, only a comforter and pillow from home. You see the light of the sun on the west side of the tent and unzip a window to peak outside. It’s a beautiful morning with a layer of frost coating everything around you. As a crisp breeze blows into the tent you zip up the window and retreat back to the comfort of the toasty warm interior. You read correctly, the tent is warm, dry, and cozy thanks to the new Planar 2D Portable Heater.
The Planar 2D Portable Heater is a self-contained portable air heater capable of delivering 2700BTU on low or 6850BTU on high and can be adapted for use on anything from a roof top tent, trailer, boat, or even a traditional ground tent. The 2D Portable has a fuel consumption of only 0.10-0.24 litres of kerosene or diesel per hour and a low power draw of 0.8-2.42 amps. Simply hook it to a 12-volt supply, open the fuel valve, press the “on” button and it’ll be ready to keep you toasty warm.
My wife, 3-year-old daughter, and I were in the scenario that I introduced you to at the beginning of this review. We started the heater on the high setting but quickly found ourselves turning it down as it was just too hot! We ended up keeping it at about the half way mark that night and turned it down a little in the morning. Without the annex I just leave my heater on the open tailgate with the temperature control line and heater hose running into the side of my tent. With the annex, the heater can sit on the tailgate or the ground with the heater hose going into the annex the controls still sitting up top with us. When not is use the unit stores away easily as it is only about the size of a NATO style jerry can laying horizontally.
The Planar 2D Portable Heater is the same heater that is found in expedition campers, camper vans, and even boats around the world. I had been looking into compact hydronic or air heaters for a camping trailer project that I have been working on and had not found a suitable product. There are some other well-known German brands that make these types of heaters, but they have complex computerized operating systems that require a laptop with the proper software and plug-ins, not to mention, a trained individual to diagnose them should issues arise. This can leave you without heat if you are not near an authorized and trained dealer who will usually have to order the parts. The Planar line of heaters are far simpler and a person with basic tools and limited mechanical knowledge is able to diagnose, repair and re-assemble them quite easily. Because of their simplicity, the Planar heaters also don’t require high-altitude kits as the others do.
The Planar 2D Portable is almost self-contained unit, I say almost since it does require a 12V power source. It is housed in a very solid, sealed enclosure that has two air intakes, the heat outlet, and an exhaust. On the backside is a quality fuel tank with shutoff. On the inside is the 2D heater itself, and the fuel pump. You have the option of ordering it with the temperature control mounted on the inside of the box or on a tether which allows you to keep the switch at your bedside. It is ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities, from ice fishing, and camping, to SAR (Search and Rescue) and first response vehicles. A versatile heater will keep you warm and comfortable without breaking the bank.