Gear Review: EcoFlow Wave 2 Portable Air Conditioner/Heater

EcoFlow’s Second-Generation Portable A/C Unit is Smaller, Quieter, and More Versatile

Image Caption: Photo Credit: EcoFlow

Last year we reviewed the EcoFlow Wave, a portable air conditioner designed with camper vans and car/tent camping in mind. We found that unit exceptionally well designed, offering much-needed relief when camping in warm weather. But recently EcoFlow introduced a second-generation version of the Wave that is smaller, lighter, and more powerful. In fact, the Wave 2 is better than its predecessor in every way. And best of all, it can now double as a space heater too.

EcoFlow Wave 2

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Building a Better Air Conditioner

The original Wave air conditioner did a great job of cooling down a small space, like the interior of an RV, a large tent, or a residential room. But with the Wave 2 EcoFlow wanted to increase the unit’s cooling capabilities. To achieve that, it gave the device more power, taking it from 4000 BTUs last year to an impressive 5100 BTUs in the latest model. That puts it about on par with most window-mounted A/C units on the market.

This increase in power is noticeable in several ways. First, it allows the Wave 2 to cool down an enclosed space much more quickly and maintain the temperature in a more efficient manner. While testing, the device ran for shorter periods of time and less often, dutifully keeping the temperature settings assigned to it. It also ran quieter than the previous generation model, which is an important consideration when using it in a confined area or when trying to sleep.

Because the Wave 2 has a built-in evaporation system, it doesn’t require a hose to drain away moisture. That means it functions just fine when set inside a room, RV, or tent. But if you want to place it outside a vehicle or tented shelter, EcoFlow ships the unit with clip-on air ducts and exhaust tubes that can be used to connect it to an enclosed space without actually operating inside that area. Using these add-ons requires a bit of preparation and planning, but it will provide the same cooling (and heating) functionality without requiring the device itself to be in the room, cutting down on noise even further.

EcoFlow Wave 2

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Pumping Out Heat

One of the biggest additions to the Wave 2’s functionality is its ability to heat an enclosed space using an integrated heat pump. The device has a heating capacity of up to 6100 BTUs, which allows it to warm a 64 square-foot room by 18ºF in about five minutes. That’s relatively fast and efficient and gives you a good idea of how well this device works.

We found the Wave 2’s heating features a welcome addition, giving the unit more functionality at a lower cost compared to the original model. That’s excellent news for RVers—especially vanlifers—as you get a device that serves two functions while taking up less space compared to last year’s version. That added versatility makes this a more attractive option over competing portable A/C units, most of which don’t have the capability to pull double-duty in this way.

The unit’s quick ability to shift from heating to cooling and back again is a great feature, particularly for use during spring and fall camping trips. When overnight temperatures are chilly, the Wave 2 can crank out warm air to heat your tent or vehicle. And during the day, when temperatures can climb rapidly, the device seamlessly switches over to producing cool air, all without missing a beat. You can even adjust the heating and cooling options—and set the temperature—using a connected smartphone, which makes controlling the device even easier.

EcoFlow Wave 2

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Multiple Ways to Power the Wave 2

Whether you’re using it at home or the campsite, there are several ways to provide power to the Wave 2. The unit plugs directly into a standard 120V AC wall outlet or can draw electricity from a 12V DC outlet in a vehicle. It can also connect to a portable power station or a gas-powered generator. EcoFlow also sells an optional add-on battery pack, which can run the unit for 2-8 hours, depending on settings.

Our test unit came with the battery pack, which seamlessly clips to the bottom of the Wave 2. When locked in place, the air conditioner and power cell look—and feel—like a single device and function that way too. The battery can’t even charge independently but instead draws power from the A/C unit when plugged into an alternative power source. This ensures that it is always ready for use when you need it most.

The optional battery does give the Wave 2 autonomy to operate anywhere you want to use it, even when camping off the grid. When set to “Eco” mode, the device can run for up to 8 hours without any other power source. The battery pack can even be recharged using up to 400W solar panels, further extending its use in the field. The power cell does add 17.2 pounds of weight to the Wave 2, which already tips the scales at 32 pounds. On the plus side, it also has USB-A and USB-C charging ports to keep small devices—like smartphones and tablets—running.

A power station is another great way to keep the Wave 2 functioning at a remote location. Officially, EcoFlow only supports using the air conditioner with its own line of Delta portable chargers, but we tested it with models from other manufacturers and didn’t run into any issues. There may be some synergy between EcoFlow products that improves efficiency when used together, but there doesn’t appear to be any technical reasons why you can’t use a different power station. Just be aware that the manufacturer doesn’t support the use of competing products.

EcoFlow Wave 2

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Cool and Quiet

After using the Wave 2 as both an air conditioner and a heater for several weeks, one of the most impressive features is how little noise the unit makes. The device generates some sound, mainly when operating in “Max” mode or when its three-speed fan is set to high. But we didn’t find the noise overly obnoxious or distracting, even when sleeping. EcoFlow says it produces about 44 decibels of sound when running, which is roughly equivalent to other appliances like a dishwasher or refrigerator.

The Wave 2 also has an unassuming, yet stylish look. The device has an attractive black and silver color scheme that looks sleek and mondern. Like any appliance, there is no denying that it is there, but it isn’t unattractive, nor does it feel out of place. Most of the time, the unit just sits in the corner, quietly working away, only drawing attention when its battery gets low.

EcoFlow Wave 2

Photo Credit: EcoFlow

A More Refined and Affordable Experience

As already mentioned, the Wave 2 is a better device than its processor in every way. Not only is it faster and more efficient when it comes to cooling, it can now heat a space too. The unit is smaller and weighs 5 pounds less, which improves portability. We found the smartphone connectivity to be faster and more reliable, too, making it easier to adjust settings remotely.

Better still, the Wave 2 is more affordable than the first-generation model. Priced at $1,299, the new unit costs $200 less than last year’s model when it was introduced. That makes the device very competitively priced, particularly when you consider all of the features and functionality it brings to the table. Sure, you’ll find plenty of other portable air conditioners on the market, many of which cost less than this one. But you’d be hard pressed to find a model that is as quick, efficient, and quiet as the Wave 2. Those units won’t have nearly as many features either.

The optional battery pack adds $900 to the price tag, which is the same price as the outgoing model. This handy add-on brings seamless charging and functionality that is hard to top, but the money might be better spent on an EcoFlow Delta power station. Those devices cost a little more but are much more functional and versatile too. Both options provide the Wave 2 with the power it needs to keep you cool on your camping adventures.

The Wave 2 is available now from the EcoFlow website. At the time of publication, the company is offering some excellent deals with great discounts for early-bird shoppers. To find out more, visit

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