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 2020-08-04 at 18:35 / 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.
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 24L capacity 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.
Things to consider when buying a cooler:
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
●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
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.
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.
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.