Best Gas Patio Heater. Natural Gas, Propane Patio Heater Reviews

A high quality outdoor heat source can add several months of additional use to your outdoor space, keeping you outside in the fresh air late into the fall, and earlier in the spring! For many, this is incredibly valuable, and is a significant quality of life improvement. After an extensive examination of several propane and natural gas patio heaters on the market today, we have determined that the overall Best Gas Patio Heater is the Golden Flame 46,000 BTU Patio Heater XL Series. These units supply great heat output, are constructed with good materials, have a straightforward, reliable ignition system, and feature a well thought out design. You won’t go wrong with these propane gas patio heaters.

For a complete review of these units, please see our Product Reviews section below.

Runner Up: Best Natural Gas Patio Heater

If you want to go with a natural gas unit, the AZ Patio Heaters Hiland Natural Gas Patio Heater is a great choice. It features 41,000 BTU of heat output, though it doesn’t put out quite as much heat as propane units do. These units should be bolted to a deck or patio, as they are top-heavy. They aren’t mobile, but that is balanced by the lack of the need to constantly fuss with propane tanks. Also, natural gas is a cheaper fuel source than propane, though a professional is needed to install the gas hookup.

You should also keep in mind that you’ll need to pick up a natural gas hose, which is a significant additional cost. For more details on this unit, see our product review below.

Runner Up: Budget Choice Best Gas Patio Heater

For those on a budget, the AmazonBasics line delivers once again! The AmazonBasics Propane Patio Heater  outputs a significant 46,000BTU of heat, which is a good amount. The fit and finish is good, with multiple color options and a very basic, classic look. These units are covered under a one year warranty, and are backed by the Amazon name, which should give buyers a lot of comfort. The biggest hassle with these units is the ignition system, which can be a bit of a bear.

We discuss the ignition system, and the rest of this heater, in detail below.

Gas Patio Heater Product Reviews

Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] Matte-Mocha Patio Heater with Wheels

Golden Flame Matte Mocha Patio Heater with Wheels UPC-60P

Golden Flame Matte Mocha Patio Heater with Wheels UPC-60P

The Golden Flame 46,000 BTU XL Series line of Patio Heaters work great, have some outstanding usability features, and (depending on the model chosen) don’t break the bank. The easy-ignition switch is a great feature, and the high powered 46,000 BTU burner means your guests will stay toasty around this heater!

With virtually all stainless steel construction (though the top is aluminum for weight reasons), these patio gas heaters are constructed very solidly, and are sure to last a while (especially if covered!). Wheels are included to enable easy movement around the patio. There are several designs available under the XL Line, with some pole-style heaters, and some pyramid outdoor gas patio heater with flame designs as well.

Overall, these units are a great choice, and hit a nice price point!

Key Points at a Glance

  • 46,000 BTU of heat available
  • No continuous pilot lite
  • Stainless steel burners
  • Fits standard 20 lb propane tank
  • Easy ignition system
  • Wheels for movement
  • Bottom sand reservoir for stability (sand not included)
  • 1 Year Warranty

Dimensions

  •  89″ x 20″ x 33″
  • Weight: 65lbs
  • Recommended Clearance: 4′ above the top of the unit

The Details

The Golden Flame XL Matte Mocha series of Patio Heater are a nice-looking line of gas heaters with some great features. Though the XL tag typically implies that these heaters are eXtra Large, in fact this line of heaters has very typical dimensions for stand up propane gas patio heaters (approx. 89″ of height). The XL in this case is used to refer to the extra feature set that is available on these propane heaters, some of which are significant, and quite helpful.

Aesthetics

The Golden Flame XL Line of Patio heaters have several different options available, with different finishes, an addition of a tabletop surrounding the central pole, and even a couple of pyramid style quartz tube options in this line. That said, all are attractive enough, though we question the mixing of metals (stainless and antique bronze) as well as finishes (brushed vs. matte). The overall look of these units can be a little mismatched, depending on the unit chosen, but for the most part the style is fine.

Functionality

These heaters pump out between 41,000 and 46,000 BTU of heat, which is quite substantial. The bottom has a space for a standard 20 gallon propane tank to be inserted and hidden completely. Generally when the unit is on full power, it will consume a full 20 lb propane tank in approximately 6-8 hours.

The XL unit features a heat control knob that will regulate the output of the heater system, and functions very much like a gas grill control knob. Generally when the heater is on high, heat is felt around 10′ or so away from the heater, and the radius large enough to heat the area around an outdoor living set or dining table set. We do note, though, that significant winds can radically impact the heat quantity.

Golden Flame XL Patio Heater with Table Attachment, the Best Gas Patio Heater Available

Golden Flame XL Patio Heater with Table Attachment, the Best Gas Patio Heater Available

One of the helpful features of the XL line is the simple ignition system. The ignition design does not require an always-on pilot light, which is a godsend on a windy day. The rapid ignition system on the Golden Flame XL Line allows for easy push button ignition that will take place even in windy, cold conditions. There is no constant pilot light consuming propane, and the whole system is well thought out.

Base Weight

Another helpful feature is the bottom weight ballast, a chamber that is designed to hold up to 20 lbs of sand for additional weight. Stabilizing the bottom of the heater is extremely important, as these are obviously dangerous if they fall over, both because of the heat they are radiating, and their overall weight.

If the unit does tip over, there is an emergency shut off that will immediately stop the heater.

Assembly

These units do not come assembled, though assembly is fairly simple and can be completed in about an hour. The instructions are pretty decent. Having a set of deep sockets, 10mm and 14mm, will help during the assembly process.

You will need a separate 20 lb propane tank to use this heater, so be sure you have one. The regulator is included with the Golden Flame heater, so no need for any additional equipment.

Conversion to Natural Gas

At current there is not a natural gas version of these units available, though Golden Flame is working on NG versions and conversion sets.

The Bottom Line

The Golden Flame XL Line of Patio Heaters really offers a great package for the dollar. The units are cast a good amount of heat, look nice, are built with quality materials, are easy to use, and are fairly easy to assemble. That’s a good list of positives right there, and these are our top choice as Best Gas Patio Heater on the market.


AmazonBasics Slate Grey Commercial Patio Heater

AmazonBasics Commercial Heater By the Pool

AmazonBasics Commercial Heater By the Pool

The AmazonBasics product line is always a compelling product choice wherever we see it, with great design and an impressive price. And of course, they are backed by the Amazon name.  These Commercial Patio heaters are no exception, with 46,000 BTU of power, a simple, attractive look, and an aggressive price point.

Amazon sells versions with a custom cover included for these units as well, which is a nice extra that will absolutely pay for itself, and increase the longevity of your gas patio heater! They don’t need to be covered for rain, but it’s a good idea to cover the heater when snow is incoming

Key Points at a Glance

  • 46,000 BTU of heat available
  • Easy no-pilot light ignition system
  • Fits standard 20lb propane gas bottle for patio heater
  • 3 Color Options
  • Wheels for movement
  • Bottom sand reservoir for stability (sand not included)
  • 1 Year AmazonBasics Warranty

Dimensions

  •  89″ x 18″ x 33″
  • Shaft Diameter: 3″
  • Weight: 44lbs
  • Recommended Clearance from Top: 4′ Minimum

The Details

These units supply 46,000 BTU of heat, which is enough to make those standing nearby quite comfortable. Amazon advertises that this unit casts its heat up to 18′ in diameter, which seems about right. Typically those within 10′ of the unit will get some heat from it, though much depends on the amount of wind present, and the wind direction.

Unfortunately these units won’t fit through a standard hole in a patio table for an umbrella, but will still heat a significant area large enough for a sectional set.

Aesthetics

The AmazonBasics Gas Patio Heater line has simple, modern, spartan lines that are completely unassuming, but don’t scream beauty! Of course, most people don’t buy these styles of patio heaters for beauty (the pyramid ones certainly are cooler looking), so Amazon made the right choice getting them to look… fine… while keeping the price down.

With three color finish options to choose from, buyers do get some flexibility in look, which is nice.

Functionality

AmazonBasics Commercial Heater Heat Controls

AmazonBasics Commercial Heater Heat Controls

The AmazonBasics propane gas patio heater hits virtually all the right notes when it comes to patio heaters. The unit ignites with a Piezo ignition system that does not require fiddling with a pilot light. By pushing the button, the heater will ignite the pilot and fire up the system, even in windy, cold conditions.

To adjust the power output, users adjust the simple control knob that works very much like a burner control on a gas grill.

That said, some users find getting the heater fired up can be difficult. To ignite, the dial must be set to full power, and pressed in, along with the ignition button. Usually once it is lit, users can dial down the temperature. However, in some cases the thermostat knob may need to be held in for a few moments to let everything get to temperature before it released. Once it gets to temperature, it can be turned down.

Many users are tripped up by this step, and feel that the heater is not functioning properly. If your heater won’t stay lit, be sure to hold the thermostat knob down for a bit before releasing.

When run at full blast, this gas bottle patio heater will go through a propane tank in about 4 to 6 hours.

AmazonBasics Commercial Heater Base Detail

AmazonBasics Commercial Heater Base Detail

Base Weight

The Base is designed to hold a 20 lb propane tank inside, and also has an empty reservoir to add weight to support the unit and help prevent it from tipping. Water or sand can be used, though sand is probably the better choice, as water may leak over time through any small holes or cracks.

As an additional safety precaution, the unit has a tip sensor that will automatically shut off the power if it gets toppled over.

Finally, the base has two wheels attached to allow easy movement of the unit around the patio. These wheels are always a big help.

Assembly

Some assembly is required, though none of the steps are particularly difficult. It should take 30-45 minutes to get this up and assembled. The only potential difficulty may be getting the top heat shield on; some may need a ladder to reach up that high.

The unit includes the hose for a standard 20 gallon propane tank, but the tank is not included.

Connection to Natural Gas

As of right now, there is no standard Natural Gas adapter for these heaters available. The conversion is likely pretty simple, but would require a professional to swap it over.

The Bottom Line

The AmazonBasics 46,000BTU Propane Gas Patio Heater is an outstanding choice for many. The simple look, the quality of heat output, the ease of assembly, and the aggressive price point make these a compelling purchase. We do caution that the ignition is sometimes a bit finicky, and is probably the biggest downfall of this unit. However, once users are comfortable with the ignition system, it shouldn’t be a problem for most.


AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater, Quartz Glass Tube in Hammered Bronze

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GT Hammered Bronze Patio Heater in Action

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GT Hammered Bronze Patio Heater in ActionAZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GT Hammered Bronze Patio Heater in Action

For those who want the style and beauty a quartz glass tube heater offers, and are willing to pay a little more, the AZ Patio Heaters HLDS-01GT line of patio heaters delivers!

These units are obelisk shaped metal frames with a quartz glass tube inside, which surrounds a beautiful glowing flame when lit, as shown here. These units are much more interesting to look at than the typical post-and-top heaters mentioned on this page, though they don’t put out as much heat, and are somewhat more expensive.

If your guests are going to be huddling around an object for heat on the patio, it certainly makes sense that the object be beautiful!

Key Points at a Glance

  •  40,000 BTU of heat output
  • Fits standard 20 lb propane tank
  • Includes wheels for ease of movement
  • Easy ignition system
  • Pilot lite-free design
  • 1 Year Manufacturers Warranty

Dimensions

  •  91″ x 21″ x 21″
  • Weight: 65lb
  • Recommended Clearance: 36″ from top of unit

The Details

AZ Patio Heaters Pyramid Gas Heater

AZ Patio Heaters Pyramid Gas Heater

Like all of the units on our list, the HLDS-01GT patio gas heater offers a decent heat output, easy ignition, and a high quality build out. The HLDS-01GT gas pyramid patio heater offers 40,000 BTU of heat output, which is just a bit less than what the other units on our list supply. These don’t feel like they put out as much heat per BTU as the other heaters on our list, but this is balanced by the design and the dancing flames!

Aesthetics

The AZ Patio heater pyramid design immediately wins in the aesthetics department. The pyramid design (really it’s more of an obelisk gas heater, but who’s counting?). These just drip with style, with the simple metal grate surrounding a glass tube, with a beautiful flame inside when lit. Pyramid style gas heaters are definitely more interesting to look at than poly style heaters, but they certainly cost a good deal more money.

We should mention that these units put out a lot of light, and if you’re going for a dim environment in your patio, you may want to stick to a pole style heater, and simply use your outdoor lighting fixtures to provide light.

Functionality

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GT Tank Cabinet

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GT Tank Cabinet

This unit puts out 40,000BTU of heat, which is slightly less than some of the other units on our list, but is essentially equal. It will warm those within an 5′ radius, approximately, though as we have mentioned before, wind gusts can radically alter that calculation. These style units generally do not put out quite as much heat as the pole style units do, and are appropriate for heating smaller areas, patio conversation sets, and for ambiance.

A full propane tank should last 4 or so hours, if the heater is running on full blast.

These outdoor gas patio heaters do not have always-on pilot lights, and are fairly easy to light. To get them fired off, users turn the knob to 9 o’clock, press the red button for 5 seconds, then turn the knob all the way to the open position. At that point, the flame should be present. If need be, you may have to hold the knob in for 30 seconds or so after ignition. Also, be sure that the gas valve is fully open before igniting.

Unlike the pole style patio heaters, which work acceptably in rainy conditions, AZ Patio Heaters recommends that these units be shut off when the rain is falling. This limits their functionality a little bit compared to other heaters, but our sense is that most people will end up going inside if it is cold and rainy out, as opposed to sticking it out outside.

Base Weight

There is a ballast reservoir on the bottom for sand or water, though most of the weight is on the lower part of the heater anyway, and the pyramidal shape gives additional stability to the base. Still, there is an auto-off safety feature that will trigger if the heater is tipped over. Also, AZ Patio heaters included wheels on the base to allow the unit to be easily moved around.

Assembly

This line of patio heaters does require some assembly, though the instructions are good, and you should be done in approximately 45 minutes if all goes well.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t need a huge amount of heat output, and want something beautiful, then these pyramid style gas propane heaters are a great choice. If you’re primarily looking for heat output, you may want to pick one of the other items on our list. For top notch aesthetics, and some heat output, these units will work well.

We were tempted to rank these as the Best Patio Heaters on our list, because they look so great, but chose not to because their heating functions are not quite as good as the typical pole models out there.


AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-SSHGT Tall Stainless Steel Patio Heater with Table, 87-Inch, Hammered Bronze

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Patio Heater Table

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Patio Heater Table

AZ Patio Heaters offers these 41,000 BTU pole style patio heaters in five different color options, all of which include a helpful table add on. These units are pretty aggressively priced, and compete well with the AmazonBasics units. AZ Patio Heaters is a long-established brand, and makes high quality heaters.

Key Points at a Glance

  •  41,000 BTU of Heat Output
  • Easy-ignition pilot switch
  • Fits a standard sized 20 gallon propane tank
  • Wheels included for mobility
  • 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Dimensions

  •  87″ x 32″ x 32″
  • Weight: 45lbs
  • Recommended Clearance: 4′ from top

The Details

These units are quite similar to the other pole propane gas heaters on our list, and are a good choice for many. They hit a nice price point, though their build quality may be a little bit lower than the Golden Flame units we looked at. They ignite pretty easily, and tend to be less finicky than the AmazonBasics units to engage.

Aesthetics

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Stainless Steel Model

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Stainless Steel Model

With 5 color and finish options, you do have some flexibility as to how these will fit with your patio decor. We should mention that the price does change with the finish, and the stainless steel unit (shown here), which looks by far the best, is the most expensive option of this line.

Functionality

These propane gas patio heaters put out 41,000 BTU of heat, which is enough to supply some heat to those within about 10′ radius to the unit. As we have said before, wind makes a huge impact to this estimate.

To ignite, users press down the control knob for several seconds to engage the gas and let it travel through the system, and then push the ignition button to start the burner. Overall ignition is pretty straightforward and easy. There is no always-on pilot light, and this unit will ignite as easily in windy conditions as in calm conditions.

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Patio Heater Table in ActionAZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Patio Heater Table in Action

AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Patio Heater Table Detail

The table is a nice addition, and many will find it useful. An approximately 32″ wide table is attached to the pole, and those seeking shelter from the cold can put their drinks and food down on the table while warming up.

Base Weight

There is a reservoir on the bottom of the unit that can be filled with sand or water. One bag of sand should be enough to fill the unit, which will supply additional stability. It also has wheels to allow the heater to be easily moved. Like most of the units on our list, this gas heater has a safety switch that will automatically shut it off should the unit tip over.

Assembly

The instructions are pretty streamlined, and you should have this unit assembled pretty quickly. Typically the assembly takes about 30-45 minutes, and the most difficult part is installing the heat reflector on the top. You may need a ladder for this step.

Natural Gas Connection

There is no standard natural gas connection fitting currently sold. Contact your natural gas supplier, and they may help you with a conversion.

The Bottom Line

These AZ Patio Heaters gas heaters are a very good choice for those on a budget. The price is pretty good, the build quality good but not the best, the functionality is high, and the overall user experience is solid, given that the have a table included as well.


 AZ Patio Heaters Natural Gas Patio Heater in Stainless Silver

AZ Patio Heaters Hiland Natural Gas Patio Heater in Context

AZ Patio Heaters Hiland Natural Gas Patio Heater in Context

This AZ Patio Heaters Natural Gas Patio heater is functionally different from the other units on our list, because it is fueled by Natural Gas as opposed to propane tanks. This fuel difference can make these units super convenient to those who have a natural gas hookup outdoors — there’s no need to refill the bottle! However, it also makes them immobile, as the gas hookup has to be located in a specific area to work.

Be sure you pick up a natural gas hose for use with this unit, as no hose is supplied. 5′ of hose goes in the pole itself, so plan for that length plus whatever you need to reach your natural gas hookup.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 41,000 BTU Heat Output
  • Natural Gas Fueled
  • Stainless Steel Finish
  • Easy-ignition switch
  • 1 Year Warranty

Dimensions

  •  87″ x 18″ x 18″
  • Weight: 51lbs
  • Recommended Clearance: 4′ above top of unit
  • Post Diameter: 2 1/2″

The Details

The AZ Patio Heaters Hiland Natural Gas Patio Heater supplies 41,000 BTU of heating capacity, which is right in line with all of the other units on our list today. It is capable of heating approximately a 6′ radius, though as we have said, wind makes a big impact on this heating zone. These patio heater natural gas units seem to be a little bit less powerful than equivalent BTU propane gas heaters.

Aesthetics

This natural gas patio heater looks nice, with a streamlined style compared to the other propane heaters on the market that have a bulbous space on the bottom for the propane tank to be housed. The lack of a significant base makes this unit feel more like a lamp post, and results in a less weighty look.

However, the style and finish is fine on these gas patio heaters.

Functionality

Ignition on these units works pretty similar to the other patio heaters on our list. There is an ignition button and a gas grill-like controller to adjust heat. You may need to ensure the gas is present at the burner before you trigger the ignition, if you’re having trouble getting the unit to light. Lighting these units can be a bit of a hassle.

Another major factor to consider is that natural gas is generally much cheaper than propane as a fuel source, but of course getting the connection to natural gas installed is costly, and may outweigh any savings from fuel for several years.

Base Weight

AZ Patio Heaters Natural Gas Base Diagram

AZ Patio Heaters Natural Gas Base Diagram

These units really should be bolted to the ground, as they are a tip over risk. Since they are not mobile, and do not have a propane tank on the bottom for weight, they must be attached to the ground with bolts. There is a bladder for water or sand, but it is really not enough without the addition of a propane tank for base weight.

This obviously limits the flexibility of movement users have with these patio heaters, and is a downside. Whether the ability to use the heater continuously without the hassle of changing propane bottles makes up for the lack of movement is up to you.

As with all of the units on our list today, this patio heater features an anti-tip mechanism for safety. We want to stress that these really should be secured to the ground (patio, deck, etc.) before use.

Assembly

The Assembly of this natural gas patio heater is pretty straightforward. The pole pieces must be screwed together, and attached to the base. The top piece is all assembled, but the heat reflector must be attached before the unit is used.

All told, assembly should take around 30-45 minutes.

The Bottom Line

These natural gas units appear fairly cheap, but when the hose is added in, get around the same price as a propane heater. If you prefer the steady supply of natural gas to the ease of moving the heater around, these heaters are an outstanding buy. They are covered by AZ Patio Heaters’ 1 Year Warranty, and should keep you warm for years to come.


Conclusion: Best Gas Patio Heaters

In the end, the Golden Flame 46,000BTU gas heater is our favorite gas patio heater. It has a good style, and works quite well to output significant heat. If heat is your priority (and is usually is when you’re shopping for a heater…) then this gas patio heater is an excellent choice. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with filling propane bottles, picking them up to move them, etc., then an electric patio heater may be better for you. However, these units put out less than 1/8 the heat than a gas patio heater, so they may be too weak for your needs.

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