It has often been said that it never rains on a golf course. While that may not be entirely factual, cold is generally a greater problem. Fortunately, you can overcome this challenge with the best golf cart heater. This will allow you to enjoy the sport for a much longer part of the year. You can play and ride in relative warmth and comfort despite the cold conditions.
We will take you through the features and benefits of 4 of the leading options currently available and give you a few pointers as to what to look for when selecting a golf cart heater.
Best Golf Cart Heater
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Features to Consider when selecting the Best Golf Cart Heater
Electric or propane
This is one of the first and most important decisions you will need to make when investing in a golf cart heater. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
The main benefit of propane heaters is that they are generally compact and lightweight. They are also user-friendly and can be mounted and set up quickly and easily. Once up and running they tend to work with minimal hassle and fuss. Provided there is ventilation they should work well and safely in any golf cart.
Depending on how you use the heater, you will generally get around 5 to 6 hours of use out of a small 1-pound propane canister. So, only for longer rounds or really cold conditions, you may need to carry a spare. Propane is not that expensive but the ongoing cost of these canisters needs to be factored in when comparing with electric heaters.
While propane is safe if used correctly some might find an electric heater to be a safer option. On the downside, these models tend to cost a bit more and they are trickier to connect and install. Generally, they will need to be permanently installed so they are not as portable and convenient as propane models.
While you will not need to spend money on propane, an electric heater will consume some of the battery power of your golf cart. While this might save you money over time it could significantly reduce the power and run time of the golf cart. Provided it has the correct features such as automatic low voltage shutdown you should be able to avoid coming to a complete standstill before the 18 holes are up.
So, on balance, there are a few more advantages to propane heaters but much will depend on your personal circumstances.
What are BTUs? (how do they affect golf cart heaters)
BTUs (or British Thermal Units) are a measure of the power or heat output of a heater. The higher the number the more powerful. Golf carts do not provide much insulation so the heaters need to be on and preferably directed at the occupants to be effective. Obviously, colder conditions will necessitate a more powerful heater.
Electric heaters are generally measured in watts. 1,500 Watts is the average output needed to heat a golf cart effectively without putting too much strain on the battery. By way of comparison, 1,500 watts is equivalent to 5,120 BTUs of heat.
Other features to look for
If you permanently fit an electric heater to the golf cart this is not a major issue. For those that plan to carry the heater with them on golfing excursions then you want it to be light, compact and easy to transport. You already have enough equipment and accessories to worry about so you do not need to be burdened by too much additional weight.
Most models fit this description but the propane models are generally lighter and more portable.
- Wind resistance / Waterproof
Golf cart heaters, particularly propane models, will perform poorly if they do not have good wind resistance. Some will shut off due to the wind which will mean restarting them frequently. This can be irritating and disruptive during your round.
If you are playing in cold and wet conditions the heater should be relatively waterproof or at least be well protected from the elements in order to perform correctly.
- Safety shutoff
Safety features are extremely important. Heat and open flames on the propane heater are a potential risk that needs to be considered. A safety shut off will ensure the heater goes off the flame goes out. On an electric heater, it will shut off if it is draining the battery beyond practical levels.
Low oxygen shut off is also important. This will shut the heater down in these conditions to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
The other important safety factor is that you want to ensure the heater is stable and secure. Cup holders are an effective way to secure the unit but there are other effective means of securing the heater. Pressure regulators are another handy safety feature particularly if you play at altitude.
Provided the heaters have basic safety features and are used correctly they will provide you with safe warmth and comfort as you cruise between shots.
The warranty indicates that the manufacturer has faith in the quality of workmanship as well as the materials used in the golf cart heater. You want your investment to last a fair amount of time so look for one with a good warranty.
- Quiet operation
A noisy heater will be an unwanted irritation as you travel between shots. While you want the warmth of a heater look for one that will operate with minimal noise. While most will make some noise a sudden more noticeable and louder noise will indicate that it is either poorly secured or possibly faulty. Check it out immediately if a significant new noise is noted.
- Ease of set up
You have enough to think about and worry about on a golfing adventure so you want a heater that is quick and easy to set up. Most of these models are easy to attach and pretty much plug and play.
Once secured in place they will work without you having to fiddle with them throughout the day. This will allow you to focus on and enjoy your game and the company.
There are many reasons that this is one of the most popular and highly rated golf cart heaters on the market and it was an obvious selection for our editor’s choice.
The heater delivers 4,000 BTU and is well designed with a porcelain-coated reflector and a sizeable radiant heating surface. This maximizes the output for soothing warmth and comfort. The screen is wind resistant and the heater has a hardy durable design. It also has a pilot screen that will reduce accidental shutdowns from wind or bumps as you ride. Most users found it to be efficient and effective.
Apart from exceptional performance, Mr. Heater also focuses on safety, something extremely important in a golf cart heater. This option has a tip-over safety switch as well as an oxygen depletion system safety. The easy-grip handle and cup holder adaptor make it easy to use and convenient.
The push-button ignition makes it quick and easy to start for immediate heat. It is compact and portable and the handle makes it comfortable and easy to carry. The heater works with a 1 Pound Propane Tank that needs to be purchased separately.
If you are after a cost-effective golf cart heater this is a leading option. It has a good 1500 Watts of power and offers 3 power settings as well as a fan-only option. This makes it highly versatile. It is compact and ideal for a golf cart as well as a range of other applications.
The thermostat is adjustable allowing to dial in the perfect warmth for the environment. This makes it suitable for a range of conditions and will extend the season in which you can comfortably enjoy golf. Despite being fan-driven most report that it is not noisy.
It has numerous great safety features and will shut down of tipped over. It also has an overheat protection sensor for added safety. Another safety feature is the power lights and caution lights that display the status of the heater as well as a fuse that protects at high-limits.
It is well built and despite being really well priced is a durable heater that will keep you comfortable on many golfing adventures in the cooler months of the year. It should keep you comfortable in most conditions but if it is super-cold the heat output might prove to be insufficient.
This model is made from stainless steel for toughness and durability and is good value for money. It delivers 3,000 BTUs. One can adjust the pressure on the valve burners or turn it on and off. It is a popular choice for golf carts and will make your cold-weather golfing more enjoyable.
The Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater is light and portable. It has a molded plastic cup holder base which makes it easy to fit on pretty much any golf cart. This keeps it secure and safe. The sizable plastic paddlefoot will hold a 16.4 oz disposable propane fuel cylinder which needs to be purchased separately. This should give you rough 5 to 6 hours of warmth.
For safety, the auto shut off valve will stop the heater if the flame is extinguished. While it will provide enough heat for all but the coolest days a few users reported that it took a while to start delivering heat. Despite this minor issue, it is user-friendly and a well-loved top-selling golf cart heater. It is also a versatile option that can be used for camping or other times you need a bit of comforting warmth.
This is an electric heater that can also be used as a fan on hot days. While it will use power from the cart it has an effective energy management system to power the heating elements to reduce battery drain. It also has a battery fail safe sensor that will shut the unit down when the charge in the cart battery drops below 43V. Another battery-saving feature is the electronic eye. This will sense when people are in the golf cart and switch the unit off when they exit.
LED lights will keep you updated as to the status of the device.
The compact heater/fan works with 48V golf carts and has a hard mount as well as a harness. Up to 900 F/M of air movement is delivered by the silent whisper fan and the bi-level vent design ensures the air is directed to the optimal area for maximum effectiveness.
For added safety, there is a cord keeper that will keep it tidy and prevent tripping and other hazards. If you prefer an electrical heater over a propane model is this a good option to consider.
After careful selection, we have focused on four of the best options for those looking for a golf cart heater. While they are all good products the Mr. Heater Golf Cart Heater stood out as the very best of the best. As our editor’s choice, this is a popular model that most consumers rave about.
At 4,000 BTUs it has plenty of power and the propane system makes it user-friendly and quick to set up. It is well designed for effective performance and has a range of safety features. Another benefit is that it is durable so it should last you many years of warm and comfortable golfing.
Consider your specific needs and your budget in order to select the best golf cart heater. This will allow you to enjoy golf for a few more months each year without discomfort.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.