Top 10 – best cooler for the money


The perfect portable cooler box will vary depending on what you are using it for. This buyer’s guide will show you the most important factors to consider so you pick the one best suited to your needs. I would like to highlight some factors you can consider in order to narrow down you research for the best product for your needs. But first, let’s have a look at the most popular options on the market.

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Our recommended coolers:

Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer 

This mini fridge from Cooluli is quite a popular option and thanks to its attractive price, it is also a budget friendly option you can consider. Despite its low price this is a great electric option that is able to switch from cooling to heating when needed. You can carry it with you anywhere you want since it is very lightweight and thanks to its compact size it can easily fit any office, car or even a dorm room.

It comes with a DC adapter and has a sleek and minimal design so it can fit any room decoration. I like the fact that you can use it anywhere with 110V or in your car at 12V with its adapter, providing an all in one solution that takes minimal space. If you need a portable electric cooler that won’t break the bank this is your best bet. It definitely worth having a closer look, especially if you are on a limited budget.

Cooluli Concord Pink 20 Liter Compact Cooler

Cooluli is widely known for their excellent coolers and this model is not an exception. This is an excellent solution for anyone looking to store their food and drinks and could use an electric cooler. It can also be quite handy if you need to store make up or skin care products. If you are looking for a portable solution that has a sleek design, this is your best bet at this price range.

You can find the cooler in variations to choose from. The units allows you to choose the desire temperature with the touch of a button, and the digital thermostat will take care for your needs. It features an LCD screen that compliments its design and make it very easy to use.

Overall, this is highly recommended if you want a cooler that can blend nicely in your nursery, office or dorm room. Made from a reputable manufacturer, backed by a long lasting warranty, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Coleman Cooler| 40-Quart Portable Cooler

Another great portable cooler, this time from Coleman, that definitely worth considering.This is an affordable option that can keep your drinks and food at perfect temperature while on the road. It runs on 12V so you can easily plug it in your RV or car in order to store your beverages.

This model is quite compact so you can easily fit it in your car. It can hold up to 44 cans with its 40-quart capacity and comes with a 8 foot long power cord so you can easily power it on location. Thanks to its low price, I would consider this a great budget friendly option that definitely worth considering. Overall a great solution for BBQ and camping, if you need a 40 quart cooler that won’t break the bank you can’t go wrong with this one.

AstroAI Mini Fridge AC/DC Powered

This mini fridge from AstroAI has a great design that can easily blend in small offices and dorms, allowing it to fit in tight places. It can run on both AC and DC, making this a versatile option that can keep your food and drinks cool anywhere. The included adapter will allow you to run it from car battery when needed, but it’s also a great option for indoor use too. The fridge has enough room to pack 6 cans inside, or stack your meals for the day to keep them cool.

Thanks to the insulation, this unit can keep the temperature of warm food steady, even though it won’t be able to heat them. While operating, the fridge is relatively quiet so I would consider this a great option for working environments as it will go unnoticed. I like that the fridge can be found in four different colors to choose from, so you can easily pick one that can blend in your room decoration. If you think that 4 liters provides enough room to fit your meals and drinks, this is a great option to consider as it is among the cheapest ac/dc fridges you can find.

Wagan 12V Cooler/Warmer – 24L Capacity

If you are looking for a portable cooler that won’t break the bank, this option from Wagan is a great candidate to start your research from. The 46 Quart is ideal for family road trips as you can store your meals and drinks with no compromises. Thanks to its height you can easily fit larger bottles too, a feature that you would otherwise miss if you go for a smaller option. The removable lid is quite handy to have, allowing you to clean and fill the cooler easily.

This unit comes with both cooling and warming functions and the insulation foam will allow you to quickly cool drinks and keep them at arm’s reach. The top handle will allow for easy transportation, and despite its large capacity it has such a small footprint that can easily fit in a car. For its price, this is a great 12V option that definitely worth a closer look if you are looking for a portable solution for your next trip.

Chefman Mini Portable Compact Personal Fridge

This mini office from Chefman is ideal if you plan to use it in your office as it takes up so little space. It is great for use on the go too, thanks to the included adapter that can power it from your car. It is some small that you can take it with anywhere without ever having to worry about storage space, ideal for boat, car or RV.

The downside is the limited space you have to pack your drinks and snacks, at only 4 liter capacity, but as a personal mini fridge it can excel. In the interior it also has a removable shelf that can be handy at some occasions. It is able to cool or warm your snaks and dream, but don’t expect miracles. I would consider this a great option if you want to have some cans of beer at close reach, of keep your food at the office. With that in mind, this is a budget friendly mini fridge that can be a great option to include in your research.

Uber Appliance UB-CH1 Uber Chill Mini Fridge

The Uber Appliance UB-CH1 Uber Chill Mini Fridge 6-can fridge is a great compact personal fridge. This fridge can hold 6, 12-ounce cans or 4, 16.9-ounce water bottles. The fridge can plug into a 12V car cigarette lighter or any home outlet. With this fully equipped, high quality, solid-state, thermoelectric fridge food and drink will always be at an optimum temperate.

It functions as a mini warmer and cooler which helps regulate the temperature.You can find this option at quite a reasonable price online, plus its available in various colors to choose from. I would consider this a great option for bedroom, home offices, and dorms, a budget friendly solution that can also be used with 12V in your car when travelling. 

This is a very versatile mini fridge that is a great candidate to include in your research. It has a retro design that can easily fit in any room and match your decoration. If you are looking for a mini personal fridge this one definitely worth having a closer look if you like its design. 

NutriChef Wine Cooler

This 15 bottle wine cooler is the perfect freestanding countertop wine fridge. This cooler includes four polished chrome wine racks and one bottom standing rack. It is designed to hold 15 bottles of wine at once for secure chilling and storage. This small wine refrigerator features built-in compressor cooling technology with an adjustable temperature. The temperature can be set anywhere between 41-64 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the temperature to be set precisely to the desired level.

This wine cooler is equipped with a control panel locking feature which will lock automatically 20 seconds after the last time a button is pressed. This prevents any accidental changes to the controls. It also features adjustable LED light illumination. Operating silently and stylishly on the countertop, this cooler is a great choice for all wine storage needs.

You can find this model at quite a reasonable price online, and I would consider this a great investment. If you are looking for a larger option, you can also opt for the similar model with 18 bottle capacity. Overall, this is ultra-quiet, made from high quality materials and built to last. If you find that if fits your budget, this is a great option that will allow you to keep wine bottles cool without breaking the bank. 

Efast Mini Fridge with Cooler and Warmer

This great mini fridge has a four-liter capacity which is great for cars, home, and offices. It uses semiconductor technology and has a powerful dual system of cooling and heating. The system easily switches between both modes. It is equipped with AC/DC power dual mode.

I would consider this ideal for use in a variety of scenarios because it easily switches between modes. The tempered glass door design provides a smooth, beautiful, and high-quality finish. It is dirt-resistant and easy to clean. This mini-fridge is fully insulated and has a convenient carry handle to allow you to transport cold items. With the technology to easily switch between heating and cooling, this mini fridge is a great choice for a wide variety of needs.

Overall, this is quite a stylist option that will blend nicely with any room decoration. It’s ideal for home offices, dorms and bedrooms, while its quite compact to easily take it with you while on the road. It’s great for car and RV, as it takes very little space and will keep your beverages cool with such a small investment. If you haven’t made up your mind, you can consider having a closer look at this product as it’s a great value for money option that worth investing into. 

Chefman Mini Portable Eraser Board Personal Fridge

This mini-fridge is the perfect compact cooler for many different needs. It’s small size and convenient carry handle makes it the ideal mini fridge to take with you on the go. With the flip of a switch, you can set it to either cool or warm to store food and drinks. However, when switched to the cool setting the food or drink must already be cold for the item to stay cool.

Similarly, for the warm setting, the food or drink must be warm or hot before being placed inside. A fun feature of this fridge is the eraser board front. This allows the fridge to be dual purpose. Fun messages, reminders, and more can all be written on the front. This fridge can be used for many different occasions but it would be perfect for a college dorm room!

Overall, this is a well built option that looks awesome and will blend nicely with any room decoration. It is very compact, taking up minimal space and it will run on a standard home outlet but on 12V car chargers too. It comes with a long lasting warranty from the manufacturer, and can be found at a reasonable price online. Make sure you have a closer look at this option, especially if you like its eraser board design.

Things to consider when buying a cooler:

Cooling Technology

All portable cooler boxes either use absorption, compressor or thermoelectric cooling technology to keep its contents fresh. Each one its own benefits which are as follows.

Advantages Of Absorption Cooling

●Able to use off-grid


●Multiple power options: 12 V DC, 230 V AC and gas

●Performance varies depending on the ambient temperature

Advantages Of Compressor Cooling

●High-quality cooling even during high outside temperatures

●Deep-freezing capabilities

●Consumes little power

●Built-in battery protection

Advantages Of Thermoelectric Cooling

●Cheap to buy


●Works very well in the inclined position

●Multiple power options: 12 V DC, 230 V AC and gas

Hot Climates

You need to know what type of climate you’ll be experiencing. Typical thermoelectric and absorption portable coolers will keep contents between 18 and 30 degrees Celcius below the outside temperature. If you’re exploring an environment that regularly exceeds temperatures above 30 degrees Celcius, these types of coolers may not be the best option, so you’re better off with a compressor cooler.

Cooler Size

The first thing to consider is how much room you have in your car. It’s no good having a big cooler if you can’t fit it in, or it compromises your other trip essentials. You should also consider how many people you need to feed and how long you expect to be outdoors.

Remember, the larger the cooler, the more energy it will require to run.

Noise Levels

This may be a subtle factor but you’re sensitive to noise, it can be really important in your decision-making process. The amount of noise produced by a portable cooler box depends on its cooling technology. Typical absorption coolers don’t make a sound, while compressor coolers make the odd bit of noise while they run. On the other hand, thermoelectric coolers make continuous noise.

Length Of Travel

If you’re going for a long time, it’s best practice to get a cooler with deep-freeze functionality to keep your food fresh. Compressor coolers make for a good choice as they can keep the temperature down at -22 degrees Celcius.

If you’re going on a shorter trip for a few days, absorption coolers are better suited for your needs. Some models allow you to keep ice cubes in the evaporator component. Though they may not have as much power as compressor coolers, you can be sure your food and drink will be nice and cool.

Thermoelectric coolers maintain your items’ temperature, rather than actually cooling them. This means you must cool the contents in the fridge or freezer at home before packing them. They are not recommended if you need to use it for more than a few days.

Pre-Selected Temperature Controls

Compressor portable cooler boxes are the only models that allow you to pre-select an exact temperature. Absorption and thermoelectric coolers can only vary how much power you use.

Ease Of Cleaning

The final thing to consider if hygiene. Coolers that come features to make cleaning easier are great. For example, some models come with a plug so you can just drain melted ice, while others have removable parts so you can wipe them over.

I'm Michail, the founder of TopTenCollections and author of the top ten lists. In my free time I enjoy board games with friends and playing escape rooms. I love conceptual photography and also have an online radio station. When I'm not compiling top ten lists I spend my time editing videos or playing video games.