While it might be summer at the moment, colder evenings are only a few months away and you want to be prepared. To help out, we've put hours into finding the best patio heater for all occasions, large and small. Today, we're comparing two models, the Heatlab 2KW and Opranic 2KW.
Before we get started, it's important to note that these two models, from Heatlab and Opranic, are both electric patio heaters, perhaps the easiest to setup and run. The pros are instant heat, fast cooling, and the feeling that it's "free", although of course it isn't.
If you don't fancy an electric unit, you have two other options: propane gas or solid fuel, like wood. On balance, we think that electricity is the best power source as it avoids the hassle of having to resupply gas canisters regularly or spend days getting smoke out of your clothes and hair.
In all of our testing, and taking into consideration a tonne of factors, the Heatlab and Opranic models are two of the absolute best, especially if your budget isn't massive.
Without further ado, let's jump in and compare Heatlab and Opranic patio heaters.
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Heatlab 2KW vs Opranic 2KW: features
As we said, these are both electric patio heaters and so they work in a fairly similar way: plug them into a normal wall socket and fairly quickly you'll be basking in warmth. That's it, no other setup required.
Elsewhere, both of the Heatlab and Opranic patio heaters are rated as 2KW (or 2,000W), which is a reasonably amount of power, but nothing earth shattering. If you want to heat a really large space, we recommend you go for something more powerful or buy two.
Both are suitable for outdoor use and have a certain level of water resistance, perfect for inclement British weather. You never know when the clouds will turn, after all. The heat settings are also adjustable, giving you control over how warm you want to be.
For the Heatlab, you can choose between 650W, 1,350W, and 2,000W while the Opranic has two options, 1,200W and 2,000W. The low-end options on the Heatlab are only really suitable for small spaces, however. According to Opranic, the power-to-heat conversion rate is a very efficient 96%.
But there are some differences. For one thing, the Heatlab relies on an energy-efficient bulb (rated for up to 2,500 hours) while Opranic uses infrared to distribute the goods. Both methods work well in our testing, with perhaps more range for infrared, but it's certainly close.
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Heatlab 2KW vs Opranic 2KW: design
Perhaps the biggest difference between these two models stems from something pretty simple: the design. On the one hand, you have the Heatlab, perched atop an adjustable stand, and on the other, the Opranic, a more stocky design set closer to the ground.
While the Heatlab is tall, the base is very heavy and should stop it from falling over in winds, or even shaking around. The quartz heating element has a safety cover over it, protecting tiny prying fingers from being burnt.
The Opranic model comes with a 2 metre power cable, compared to 3 metres for the Heatlab. If your plug is located a fair distance away, this could be the deciding factor.
One big win for the Heatlab is the fully adjustable heating head, which can be pointed in the relevant direction and avoids having to make your guests huddle around the heater itself.
Overall, the aesthetic of the two best patio heaters is sufficiently different to make the choice pretty simple based on your personal tastes, outside decor, and practical needs, like cable length.
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Heatlab 2KW vs Opranic 2KW: verdict
While the Opranic patio heater offers some compelling things, we have to say that the Heatlab 2KW model is pretty special, especially at the incredibly low prices available right now. It has the same efficiency, range, and power options for about half the price.
If you don't mind the stand-based design, with the heater at the top, it's a great patio heater at a great price.
One thing we would say: the Heatlab is great in smaller spaces but if you want something that can cover a larger area, it could well be worth taking a deeper look at the Opranic or even other models designed for that.