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.

Last update on 2020-06-01 at 12:28 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

Igloo 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. If you are looking for a portable solution that can plug in the 12V of your car or RV, this is your best bet at this price range.

You can find the cooler in variations to choose from. with the 26 quarts being a great option that can hold up to 32 cans. It is easy to carry when needed thanks to its handle plus it is so compact that will take minimal space in your car.

Overall, this is highly recommended if you want a cooler that runs on 12V and keep your beverages cool while outdoors. It is made of plastic and definitely can withstand some beating. 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.

Things to consider when buying a cooler:

Cooling Technology

All portable cooler boxes either use absorption, compressor or thermoelectric colling 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.