The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Electric Car Cooler: Top Picks, Buying Guide, and More

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In the world of electric car coolers, finding the best option can be a real challenge. With so many choices available, it's important to consider factors such as storage capacity, cooling power, and even cost. In this article, we will explore the top options in the market and provide a comprehensive buying guide to help you make an informed decision. From thermoelectric coolers to those with solar panels, we have got you covered. So, let's dive in and find the perfect electric car cooler for your needs!


Best Electric Coolers

Engel Platinum MT35F-P


Engel Platinum MT35F-P


If you are in search of a smaller and highly energy-efficient unit, then the Engel Platinum Electric Cooler ($1,150) might be the perfect choice for you. This compact cooler is well-regarded for its low power consumption, which is about 40% less than traditional compressors, according to the company.


One notable feature of all Engel power systems is the automatic switching between AC or DC power sources. The cooler can detect and adjust to the power input without manual intervention.


The unit is relatively heavy compared to similar electric coolers. This is primarily due to its durable stainless steel construction. However, it does not have wheels, which may pose a challenge for some individuals.


Another potential drawback is the protruding thin metal handles on this cooler. These handles make it uncomfortable to carry and may make it difficult to pack efficiently in tight spaces.


Lastly, the Engel Platinum has a higher minimum temperature range compared to other options on this list. Therefore, if you require a sub-zero freezer, you may need to explore other alternatives. However, if energy efficiency is a priority for you, then this efficient electric cooler is an excellent choice.




  • Size: 25.5″ x 14.3″ x 16″
  • Capacity: 32 L
  • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Temperature range: Minimum of 5.5 degrees F



  • Low power consumption
  • Automatic power source switching
  • 3-year warranty
  • Durable construction



  • Relatively heavy for its size
  • No sub-zero temperature capability
  • Protruding handles
  • Higher price

Check Price at Engel Coolers


GoSun Chill Electric Cooler


GoSun Chill Electric Cooler


While all the electric coolers mentioned here can be powered by sustainable sources like solar panels and battery banks, the GoSun Chill Electric Cooler (9) stands out as the most eco-friendly option. This product is perfect for individuals who seek modern luxury while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle.


The GoSun Chill electric cooler can be charged using your car's battery, an AC adapter, or another power source. Additionally, it can be connected to the electric cooler's PowerBank, which can also serve as a backup power source for charging mobile devices.


On an 80-degree day, the PowerBank can maintain the internal temperature of the electric cooler at 40 degrees F for 10 hours or 10 degrees F for 6 hours.


Furthermore, the GoSun Chill electric cooler offers a package deal with either the Solar Table (a solar panel integrated into a table) or the Flexible Solar Panels. With these accessories, as long as there is sunlight, you can keep your food and drinks cold without worrying about draining your car's battery.


Other notable features of this electric cooler include its stylish and fun design, as well as the convenience of wheels and a telescopic handle. If you prefer a dual-zone option, consider the GoSun Chillest "Solar" Cooler with 45 L of storage between two fridge or freezer areas.




  • Size: 23.5″ x 19″ x 16″
  • Capacity: 40 L
  • Weight: 30.2 lbs.
  • Temperature range: -4 to 68 degrees F



  • Compatible with solar table integration
  • Eco-friendly
  • Highly portable with wheels and telescopic handle



Check Price at Amazon


Check Price at GoSun


Whynter FM-45G Portable Refrigerator


Whynter FM-45G Portable Refrigerator


At its affordable price point, the Whynter Portable Refrigerator ($595) is a high-performing cooler with impressive features. Its temperature range is one of the best, tying with the more expensive ARB Zero for the lowest minimum temperature on this list. It provides the lowest possible temperature for an electric cooler.


The Whynter electric cooler offers a "Fast Freeze" mode for rapid cooling, with a temperature control deviation of only 1.6 degrees F, making it highly precise.


Other notable features include its durable construction, removable storage baskets, and convenient drain plug for easy cleaning. While the handles may not appear as comfortable as other electric coolers, you can purchase the accessory Transit Bag, which offers improved handles and additional storage pockets. The portable refrigerator is also available in a camouflage design for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.




  • Size: 16.5″ x 23.5″ x 20.5″
  • Capacity: 42 L
  • Weight: 45 lbs.
  • Temperature range: -8 to 50 degrees F



  • Affordable
  • "Fast Freeze" mode
  • Impressive minimum temperature and temperature control



  • Small handles
  • Not particularly stylish

Check Price at Amazon


Check Price at Walmart


ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator


ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator


If you are interested in a dual-zone electric cooler at a more affordable price point, the ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator (9) is the ideal choice. ICECO is a reputable brand with excellent customer reviews for all its electric coolers.


This spacious cooler features two zones, each capable of achieving any temperature within the cooler's range. The ICECO also offers two cooling modes, MAX and ECO, for fast freezing or energy efficiency, depending on your needs.


We are particularly impressed with the sturdy construction of ICECO coolers. The thick-walled metal shell, along with good seals and steel fasteners, ensures quality insulation.


Furthermore, the compressor comes with a 5-year warranty, providing reassurance about the durability of this electric cooler. Additionally, it comes with wired baskets for organization and an interior LED light for easy visibility in dark conditions.


There are a couple of minor considerations when choosing this cooler. The handles may not be as wide and comfortable as some others on the list, which could be an inconvenience given its weight. Moreover, this electric cooler does not offer sub-zero temperatures, unlike some other options. Nevertheless, considering its ruggedness and capabilities, the ICECO Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator is still an excellent choice.




  • Size: 31.2″ x 19.4″ x 18.8″
  • Capacity: 60 L
  • Weight: 65.7 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 0 to 50 degrees F



  • Interior LED light
  • MAX and ECO cooling modes



  • Does not offer sub-zero temperatures
  • Thin handles may be uncomfortable

Check Price at Amazon


Check Price at Walmart


The Top 9 12V Coolers for Your Road Trip

Are you planning an exciting adventure in the great outdoors? Don't let the hassle of melting ice ruin your trip. Keep your food and drinks cool and fresh with a reliable 12V cooler. We've selected the best options for you, including the top overall cooler, the best budget pick, and the best premium cooler. Check them out below!


1: Dometic CFX3 35-Liter Cooler – The Ultimate Portable Fridge

Key Features:


  • Dimensions: ‎27.32″ x 15.67″ x 16.02″
  • Weight: 37 lbs.
  • Capacity: 35 liters
  • Refrigeration: Compressor

The Dometic CFX3 35-Liter Cooler is a top-of-the-line portable fridge that stands out among other electric coolers on the market. With an impressive cooling capacity that can reach -7 degrees Fahrenheit, this cooler can deep freeze game or fish for long-lasting freshness. It features two separate compartments for easy organization, an interior light for visibility, and convenient drain plugs for effortless cleaning. The scratch-resistant and waterproof digital display allows you to monitor the cooler's metrics with ease. Plus, with the CFX3 app, you can control the temperature and power consumption remotely. This highly versatile cooler works with solar, AC, and DC power, providing you with endless possibilities. With its advanced features and reliable performance, the Dometic CFX3 35-Liter Cooler is our top recommendation. Available on Amazon.




  • Functions as both a refrigerator and a freezer
  • Includes an app for remote management
  • Compatible with multiple power sources



  • Relatively expensive
  • Bulky form may make transportation challenging

2: Wagan 12V Personal Thermoelectric – Affordable and Efficient

Key Features:


  • Dimensions: ‎19″ x 10.25″ x 12″
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Capacity: 14 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

The Wagan 12V Personal Thermoelectric cooler is a compact and cost-effective option that offers great value for the price. It can cool supplies up to 37 degrees below the ambient temperature and even warm food up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooling and warming functions are conveniently located in the lid, which is properly sealed for maximum insulation. Despite its slim design, this cooler can accommodate up to 12 liters of cans or water bottles, as well as two-liter wine bottles. It comes with a 9-inch DC power cord for easy extension from the car trunk and shoulder straps for enhanced portability. Please note that the AC adapter is not included and must be purchased separately. This practical cooler is available on Amazon.




  • Reasonably priced
  • Keeps food warm and chilled
  • Spacious compartments
  • Lightweight and portable



  • AC adapter is not included
  • Needs to be disconnected from the power source when the vehicle is turned off

3: Igloo 28 Quart Thermoelectric Portable 12V Cooler – A Budget-Friendly Choice

Key Features:


  • Dimensions: ‎18.25″ x 12.87″ x 16.62″
  • Weight: 12.5 lbs.
  • Capacity: 24 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

If you're looking for an affordable and reliable portable electric cooler, the Igloo 28 Quart Thermoelectric Cooler is a solid choice. Simply plug it into a 12V power supply, and it can cool supplies up to 36 degrees Fahrenheit below the ambient temperature. With a capacity of 24 liters, it can accommodate up to 32 12-ounce cans, making it perfect for day trips or small gatherings. Despite its compact size, this cooler boasts a quiet motor that circulates cold air to keep your items cool without the need for ice. The curved exterior and signature carry handle make it easy to transport and store. Made from lightweight and waterproof polyurethane, this cooler is built to withstand various outdoor conditions. Available on Amazon.




  • Affordable
  • Easy to carry
  • Quiet motor
  • Durable construction



  • No optional AC adapter
  • The power cord is prone to breakage

4: Electric Cooler & Warmer – Spacious and Convenient

 Electric Cooler & Warmer with Wheels 48 Quart (45 L) Check Price 


Key Features:


  • Dimensions: ‎22″ x 15″ x 15″
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Capacity: 45 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

The Electric Cooler & Warmer is the ideal companion for large group gatherings or the avid traveler. With a spacious 45-liter capacity, this cooler can hold up to 60 12-ounce cans or 15 soda cans with 6 two-liter bottles. Despite its generous size, it is equipped with transport wheels and a folding handle for easy mobility even when fully loaded. This versatile cooler combines the cooling capacity of a fridge and the warming feature of a microwave, allowing you to keep your supplies at the perfect temperature. It includes a removable basket for better organization and a separate socket to store your power cords when not in use. Whether you need to keep your food warm or cold for an extended period, this large-capacity cooler has got you covered. Available on Amazon.




  • Compatible with AC and DC power
  • Convenient cable storage
  • Includes warming feature
  • Equipped with wheels for easy portability



  • Consumes higher power
  • Side handles are not as durable

5: Dometic CFX375DZ – The Ultimate Premium Cooler

Key Features:


  • Dimensions: 19.5″ x 35.9″ x 18.6″
  • Weight: 71 lbs.
  • Capacity: 75 liters
  • Refrigeration: Compressor

Dometic is renowned for its high-quality portable refrigerators, and the CFX375DZ cooler is no exception. This premium cooler boasts a generous 75-liter capacity with dual compartments that can be controlled separately. It functions not only as a refrigerator but also as a freezer, offering maximum versatility. With its dynamic battery protection system, this cooler can draw power from dual batteries, ensuring optimum efficiency. Packed with Dometic's best technologies, including a high-resolution color display, compatibility with the CFX3 app, and a powerful compressor, this cooler delivers exceptional performance. Its ExoFrame construction is designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, making it a durable investment. Experience cutting-edge cooling technology that will last for years. Check it out on Amazon.




  • Extra-large capacity
  • Dual-zone functionality
  • Remote control capability
  • Extremely durable construction



  • Quite heavy
  • Takes up considerable space
  • Relatively expensive

6: Koolatron 12V Compact Electric Cooler and Warmer – A Space-Saving Solution

Thermoelectric Iceless 12 Volt Cooler 18 qt (17 L), Check Price 


Key Features:


  • Dimensions: 17.25″ x 8.75″ x 16″
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Capacity: 17 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

When space is a concern, the Koolatron 12V Compact Electric Cooler and Warmer comes to the rescue. With its slim design and tall exterior dimensions, this cooler can hold up to 23 soda cans without taking up excessive space in your vehicle. It not only keeps your supplies cool but also functions as a food warmer. It efficiently warms up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and cools at a 40-degree temperature difference. Featuring an easy-to-open lid, a cord compartment, and a foldable handle, this Koolatron cooler offers convenience and practicality. Although it's the only cooler on this list made in Canada, Koolatron has been a trusted brand in 12-volt coolers for three decades. Available on Amazon.




  • Lightweight and portable
  • Space-saving design
  • Includes warming feature



  • Limited capacity
  • The fan is prone to breakage

7: Coleman PowerChill Portable Thermoelectric Cooler – Unbeatable Versatility

Coleman PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler (40-Quart) Coleman PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler (40-Quart) Check Price 


Key Features:


  • Dimensions: 23.5″ x 15.3″ x 17″
  • Weight: 47 lbs.
  • Capacity: 46 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

When it comes to coolers, Coleman's PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler is a name you can trust. This sleek mini-fridge style cooler offers dependable cooling technology and unbeatable versatility. You can use it as an upright fridge or lay it down for increased storage capacity, depending on your needs. It cools your supplies in as fast as 3 hours, making it an energy-efficient option. Additionally, it can heat food up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient air temperature. With a spacious 40-quart capacity, it can hold up to 44 soda cans and additional snacks. The cooler comes with an 8-foot DC cable and a handy divider for organized storage. Available on Amazon.




  • Includes warming feature
  • Multiple opening options
  • Can be used as a mini-fridge or a chest cooler



  • Takes up considerable space

8: Alpicool C40 Portable Refrigerator – Complete Cooling Control

Key Features:


  • Dimensions: 14.4″ x 22.6″ x 13.8″
  • Weight: 34.5 lbs.
  • Capacity: 40 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

For those who prioritize full control over cooling settings, the Alpicool C40 Portable Refrigerator is an excellent choice. It's equipped with intelligent cooling technology that sets it apart from other coolers on the market. The cooler's max mode ensures high-speed cooling, while the eco mode reduces battery drain. The eco-cooling mode is particularly valuable as this unit draws significant power from your vehicle's battery capacity. Alternatively, you can connect it to a solar battery bank or portable power station. With a maximum temperature of -4 degrees Fahrenheit, this versatile cooler can meet all your cooling needs. It features heavy-duty stainless steel construction and sturdy handles for long-lasting durability. Check it out on Amazon.




  • Functions as both a refrigerator and a freezer
  • Offers multiple cooling settings
  • Provides fast cooling time



  • Consumes more energy
  • Noisy motor

9: AstroAI 12-volt Car Fridge Cooler – Packed with Features

12 Volt Car Refrigerator Portable Freezer 16 Quart 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Portable Freezer 16 Quart Check Price 


Key Features:


  • Dimensions: 12.6″ x 22.2″ x 9.8″
  • Weight: 20.6 lbs.
  • Capacity: 35 liters
  • Refrigeration: Thermoelectric

The AstroAI 12-volt Car Fridge Cooler offers an array of features at an affordable price. It can cool down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit in just 15 minutes and reach a minimum temperature of -4 degrees in only 45 minutes. The cooler includes three modes of battery protection to prevent unnecessary power drain. Its 35-liter capacity provides ample space for your food and drinks. This versatile cooler is perfect for road trips and outdoor adventures. With its compact and portable design, it's easy to take with you wherever you go. Available on Amazon.




  • Quick cooling time
  • Multiple battery protection modes
  • Compact and portable



  • None identified


Our Top Picks


Best Overall


Dometic CFX3 45

DOMETIC CFX3 45-Liter Portable Refrigerator and Freezer, Powered by AC/DC or Solar


When it comes to the best portable electric cooler for camping, Dometic has established itself as a leading brand. The Dometic CFX3 45 is our top pick for its exceptional features and functionality. While there are various models within the Dometic CFX3 series, we've chosen the CFX3 45 as the best overall due to its balance of spaciousness and affordability.


The Dometic CFX3 45 is designed to be user-friendly and lightweight, making it easy to transport. It offers excellent insulation and energy efficiency, with its efficient compressor capable of achieving freezing temperatures. Additionally, this portable electric cooler is equipped with Bluetooth and app-enabled features, allowing users to control the temperature remotely and monitor energy consumption. Although it comes with a higher price tag, the Dometic CFX3 45 delivers exceptional quality and versatility, making it a worthwhile investment.




  • High cooling capacity and energy efficiency
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Bluetooth enabled with app controls for convenience



  • Relatively expensive compared to other options


Best Budget Option


Kohree Portable Freezer

Kohree Portable Freezer 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Fast Cooling 12v Fridge(-7.6-50℉), 26 Quart (25L) Electric Coolers for Camping, Travel, Truck, Vehicles, RV, Boat, Van with 12/24V DC & 110V/240V AC


When choosing a portable electric cooler, cost is often a deciding factor. For those seeking an affordable option without compromising functionality, we recommend the Kohree Portable Freezer. In 2022, this compact and efficient cooler underwent a design overhaul, resulting in a high-performing and budget-friendly portable electric cooler.


Though it comes at a lower price compared to other popular brands, the Kohree Portable Freezer offers impressive features. It can be powered by a 12-volt car plugin, a power station, or a solar panel setup. It boasts quick cooling capabilities, reaching temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit in under half an hour. The cooler is designed for easy transportation with padded grip handles and a compact size that fits well in packed vehicles. Additionally, it features a convenient drain plug for easy defrosting and cleaning.


The Kohree Portable Freezer is an excellent choice for budget-conscious campers, providing affordability without compromising on quality.




  • Highly affordable compared to other options
  • Compact and easy to fit in with other gear
  • Wide freezing range from -4 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lightweight and easy to carry



  • Requires manual transportation as it does not have wheels
  • Some reports of handles breaking


Best for Both Heating and Cooling


Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless

Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless 12V Cooler Warmer 45 qt (42 L), Electric Portable Car Fridge w/ 12 Volt DC Power Cord, Gray/White, Travel Road Trips Camping Fishing Trucking, Made in North America


For those in need of both cooling and heating capabilities in a portable electric cooler, the Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Freezer is an ideal choice. While it may not have the same freezing power as compressor models, it offers a range of features that cater to various cooling needs.


The Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Freezer provides ample storage space and can cool down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit while also reaching temperatures as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It is versatile and functional, making it suitable for a range of outdoor activities. It is important to note that the cooling function is enhanced with the use of ice packs, and consistent heating mode requires periodic unplugging and replugging to avoid damage.


While it may not be the most energy-efficient or quietest option, the Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Freezer is a reliable choice for those seeking a portable electric cooler that can handle both cooling and heating needs.




  • Effective in both heating and cooling functions
  • Large storage capacity
  • Compact and lightweight for easy transport in vehicles
  • Can serve as both a chest and an upright freezer



  • Not the most energy-efficient or quiet model
  • May require additional ice packs for extended cooling
  • Not as durable as some other options


Best for Energy Efficiency



ENGEL MT35 34 Quart Platinum Series Portable Top Opening 12/24V DC - 110/120V AC Fridge-Freezer


For those prioritizing energy efficiency in a portable electric cooler, the ENGEL MT35 is an outstanding choice. This cooler stands out with its low power draw, making it one of the most energy-efficient options available.


The ENGEL MT35 is compact and sturdy, designed for long-lasting performance. It features a top-opening design and a platinum series finish. It offers the convenience of automatic switching between AC and DC power sources, eliminating the need for manual adjustments. Additionally, it comes with a 3-year warranty and has a reputation for durability, with many customers reporting extended use of 15 years or more.


While it may not have wheels and is relatively heavy, the ENGEL MT35 sets itself apart with its superior energy efficiency and longevity.




  • Highly energy efficient compared to other options
  • Automatic switching between AC and DC power sources
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Known for its long lifespan



  • Heavier than many other portable electric coolers
  • Not as easy to transport
  • Does not reach subzero temperatures
  • Relatively expensive considering its size and transportability


Best for Rugged Conditions


ARB 10802692 ZERO Portable Fridge Freezer 73

ARB 10802692 ZERO Portable Fridge Freezer 73 Qts Dual Zone Independent Bluetooth Controlled, 12/110V For Car, Boat, Truck, SUV, RV, Ideal for Camping, Outdoor, Fishing


When it comes to durability and performance in rugged conditions, the ARB ZERO Portable Fridge Freezer stands out. This sturdy and dependable portable electric cooler is built to withstand the challenges of outdoor adventures.


The ARB ZERO is designed with padded edges to ensure maximum protection during bumpy rides or rough terrains. It offers a generous storage capacity and the flexibility to function as both a fridge and a freezer or a single, large unit. Users also have the option to purchase an additional battery pack for extended camping trips, allowing for easy battery replacements.


Though it lacks wheels and is relatively heavy, the ARB ZERO is known for its exceptional durability and longevity. It provides ample storage space and a well-rounded design, making it a reliable choice for those seeking a portable electric cooler for rugged conditions.




  • Exceptionally well-built and highly durable
  • Can be used as a fridge and freezer or a single large unit
  • Option to purchase an extra battery pack for extended charge life
  • Deep storage capacity for accommodating tall items



  • Higher price compared to other portable electric coolers
  • Heavyweight and not as easy to carry


Best Thermoelectric Cooler—Koolatron Thermoelectric Coolers

best electric cooler


Most thermoelectric coolers are not designed to keep items cool for more than three days. However, this Koolatron cooler can achieve that even when unplugged. It can be directly plugged into a car's DC port or cigarette lighter or used on a boat to keep fish and bait cool.


Some of its useful features include an energy-efficient fan that helps insulate items up to 36°F, a lockable handle to secure items, and a compartment to store the cord conveniently.


“One customer who uses this cooler in their truck described it as easier than refilling ice in a standard cooler. They mentioned that it has limited space but enough to hold food for a week. It cools a room temperature water bottle within a couple of hours, making it as cold as if it were in a home fridge. According to another customer, they keep their Freightliner plugged in for a week at a time and the cooler does not drain their battery.”




Capacity: 24 liters


Power source: DC adapter (AC adapter sold separately)


Can capacity: 31 cans


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): 36°F below surrounding temperature


BUY NOW: US$101.04 (Was US$109.95), Amazon

Best Cooler for Ambient Temperature—Mobicool Electric Cooler

best electric cooler


The temperature outside is always a significant factor when it comes to keeping items in coolers at an ideal and safe temperature. This Mobicool portable cooler can maintain food and drinks between 34-43°F of the external ambient temperature.


This large capacity cooler has two separate compartments, with an additional small area to hold a large bottle of water or wine. It is equipped with wheels and a handle for easy portability.


“One reviewer explained that they loved the option to power this cooler from a 12V DC or plug on the additional transformer to a wall socket. They recently took it on a long road trip (12 hours) and it performed great. It gets cold enough to keep drinks and fruit chilled.”




Capacity: 34 liters


Power source: AC or DC power adapters


Can capacity: 48 cans


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): 34°F below ambient or 43°F above for warming


BUY NOW: US$125.99, Amazon

Best Compact Electric Cooler—YAPASPT Soft Electric Coolers

best electric cooler


Campers or drivers with smaller cars can opt for a compact electric cooler like this YAPASPT soft-bodied bag. Despite its small size, it can hold 25 liters of drinks or food and consumes very little power from a car's battery.


It can be connected to a DC port and has a large main pocket with a smaller front pocket for snacks and other small items. The shoulder strap can safely hold up to 50 pounds, and the cooler can maintain a steady temperature of 50°F.


“I have had this cooler for over a year, and I use it every day in my work truck. It is thrown around and kicked all day long but still works great and keeps everything cold. I would buy it again if it ever fails.”




Capacity: 25 liters


Power source: DC power draw and AC adapter not included


Can capacity: 34 cans


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): Maintains 50°F temperature without ice and 60°F below ambient when plugged in


BUY NOW: US$124.99, Amazon

Best Cooler with Solar Panels—NewAir Solar Panel Portable Electric Coolers

best electric cooler


Very few compressor-powered coolers come with the extensive features and capabilities of this solar panel model from NewAir. It is easily one of the best electric coolers available thanks to its thick walls, two drain plugs, cutting board, and ample space for organizing beverages.


Similar to a mini-fridge, the freezer area can accommodate ice chests, meat, or ice cream. The cooler includes a USB port, bottle opener, and convenient interior lighting.


“One reviewer mentioned that they purchased this unit to work off of solar panels when camping in remote locations. They described it as a good buy and stated that they have never had any issues with the power, even with their 300W panel.”




Capacity: 45 liters


Power source: AC or DC ports, external battery, or solar panels


Can capacity: Over 55 cans in the fridge or freezer


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): Up to -68°F below ambient temperature


BUY NOW: US$549.99, Amazon

Best Electric Car Battery Cooler—Knox.Lifestyle Electric Coolers

best electric cooler


With 48 quarts of capacity, this large Knox Lifestyle cooler offers more storage space than many similar electric coolers on the market. It keeps food cool in its two compartments, which can also be removed to accommodate larger items.


The cooler plugs into a car's cigarette lighter and has a heating function that can reach up to 130°F, keeping soups warm during cold winter drives. Some customers add ice packs in summer to make the contents even colder.


“According to one buyer, this cooler was perfect for keeping snacks and drinks cool and fresh. They mentioned that it easily fits on the back seat and can be plugged into the car outlet. The cooler runs quietly enough that they barely notice it.”




Capacity: 45 liters


Power: AC or DC ports


Can capacity: 60 cans


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): Can maintain 40°F temperature for cold foods or 130°F for warm foods


BUY NOW: US$189 (Was US$208.60), Amazon

Best Large Electric Coolers—Koolatron Thermoelectric Coolers

best electric cooler


As far as large electric coolers go, this Koolatron thermoelectric iceless cooler is a versatile and powerful option. It plugs into a car's battery, and the advantage is that you do not need to keep it plugged in all night.


Additionally, it can keep foods heated up to 140°F, and the magnetic door ensures that internal temperatures are maintained. Despite its functionalities, it is priced more affordably compared to other models with similar capacities.


“One customer described how they took this cooler cross-country in the car, and it worked great. They brought it into the hotel room and plugged it in at night. They noticed that some items at the bottom, such as milk, froze a bit, so they rotated things to control that. They mentioned that it is much roomier than most coolers they have seen.”




Capacity: 49 liters


Power: DC port


Can capacity: 80 cans


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): Can maintain 40°F temperature for cold foods or 140°F for warm foods


BUY NOW: US$231.88, Amazon

Best Mini Fridge—Coleman Thermoelectric Coolers

best electric cooler


With impressive cooling performance, this Coleman portable refrigerator surpasses many electric coolers in a similar price range. This mini fridge can be oriented upright or laid down, and the door can be installed on either the right or left side.


It is large enough to hold a few gallons of milk and can keep items approximately 20°F below ambient temperature. Some customers use this unit with a heat sink on hot days to reduce the risk of overheating.


“One customer wrote that it works like a charm. They mentioned the importance of keeping the blower/vent clear and stated that it reaches 30°F when running the pre-chill in the house. They had to get a thermometer to monitor the temperature constantly, but now they completely trust it.”




Capacity: 40 liters


Power: DC adapter (AC source must be purchased separately)


Can capacity: 44 cans


Max temperature (as stated by the manufacturer): 40°F cooler than the surrounding temperature


BUY NOW: US$125.91 (Was US$154.99), Amazon

Top Iceless Electric Coolers—Experience the Convenience of Change Moore Electric Coolers

best electric cooler


While traditional coolers depend on ice to keep beverages cool, the remarkable Change Moore electric cooler eliminates the need for ice entirely. This exceptional fridge freezer stands out for its generous capacity, rapid cooling capabilities, and ability to freeze items.


The temperature control feature allows the cooler to keep contents chilled or frozen as desired, with a convenient divider for separating food and beverages that require different temperatures. Furthermore, this cooler is designed to automatically shut off when the vehicle's battery is low.




According to one satisfied customer, "I have this fridge freezer running 24/7 and it works amazingly well. I place Igloo ice packs in the freezer and fridge compartments to optimize its efficiency, and it consistently keeps the freezer side at zero temperature."


Key Specifications


Capacity: 40 liters


Power: AC and DC ports


Can capacity: 57 cans


Maximum temperature (as specified by the manufacturer): -7.6° F


Purchase now for US$349.90 on Amazon

Superbly Efficient Thermoelectric Coolers—Discover the Ivation Thermoelectric Cooler


The Ivation unit has secured its place among the top electric coolers due to its impressive cooling power and the ability to maintain an internal temperature of up to 130° F. It can keep items cold, preserving most foods, with temperatures as low as 40° F, although it may not be cold enough to freeze ice chests.


While some customers found the handle to be slightly short for comfortable transportation, the cooler is equipped with wheels that facilitate short-distance movement.



One purchaser expressed their satisfaction, stating, "I have had this cooler/warmer for two weeks now and have taken it in the car and out on a boat. I love the two plug-in options and the ability to tuck away the cords. It consistently keeps things nice and cold."


Key Specifications


Capacity: 45 liters


Power: DC and AC adapters


Can capacity: 60 cans


Maximum temperature (as specified by the manufacturer): Can maintain 40° F temperature for cold foods or 130° F for warm foods


Purchase now for US$189.99 on Amazon

Bucket Seats Electric Cooler—Discover the Convenience of Wagan Thermoelectric Cooler


Larger electric coolers often consume excessive power from smaller vehicles, but the compact Wagan cooler stands as an exception. This energy-efficient cooler effectively keeps beverages cold and features front bucket seats capable of holding up to two drinks.


Although this lightweight cooler offers a smaller storage capacity compared to some alternatives on the market, it is the perfect size for keeping lunch and drinks cool on a hot day or storing a few cans of soda for an outing.



According to a satisfied buyer, "The first thing you'll notice is that this cooler is super light, which is a big pro considering you're probably going to put a six-pack in there. The added strap is convenient for carrying the cooler, and it is simple to use, thanks to the intuitive warm/off/cool slider."


Key Specifications


Capacity: 3.74 liters


Power source: DC port


Can capacity: 9 cans


Maximum temperature (as specified by the manufacturer): 36° F below ambient temperature


Purchase now for US.45 on Amazon

**Disclaimer: While most thermoelectric coolers on this list can achieve the stated temperatures, some customers have noted that the actual temperature achieved may vary depending on the level of filling in each ice chest.


Portable Electric Cooler Buyer’s Guide

Consider What You Intend to Store

When choosing a portable electric cooler, it is essential to consider the items you plan to store. Different coolers offer varying sizes, depths, and capacities to accommodate specific needs. If you intend to store basic food and drink items such as sandwiches and water bottles, a standard portable electric cooler with average storage capacity may suffice. However, if you plan to carry wine or larger food items, opting for a cooler with a greater depth and capacity would be more suitable.


Consider Your Carrying Capacity

It is important to assess your carrying capacity when selecting a portable electric cooler. Each cooler has unique dimensions and weight specifications, and it is crucial to choose one that is manageable and fits comfortably in your vehicle or camping setup. Ensuring that the cooler is easy to carry and transport will contribute to a more enjoyable camping experience.


Consider Your Camping Locations

The location of your camping trips should also be taken into account when choosing a portable electric cooler. Some coolers are designed with wheels or are lightweight for easier transportation, making them suitable for campsites closer to your vehicle. If you frequently engage in carry-in camping or have longer distances to cover, opting for a smaller, lightweight portable electric cooler or one with wheels would be more convenient.


Consider Your Power Source

Assessing your power source options is crucial when selecting a portable electric cooler for camping. Different campsites offer varying power sources, and understanding the power needs of your cooler is essential for planning and ensuring compatibility. Some coolers operate well with a standard 12-volt car battery, while others may require additional power sources. Knowing your power needs and availability will help you choose a cooler that suits your camping requirements.


Cost of a 12V Cooler

The price range for a 12-volt cooler is between $100 and $1,000. Most options fall between $200 and $400. We have categorized each cooler as low, moderate, or expensive based on cost.


  • Low ($100 - $200): In this price range, you can find functional 12-volt coolers of various sizes. However, coolers in this range usually lack convenience features such as solar charging options, multiple temperature zones, or Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Moderate ($200 - 0): More expensive 12-volt coolers tend to offer superior cooling power and build quality. Coolers in this price range are durable and perform well even in hot weather.
  • Expensive (0 - $1,000): The most expensive 12-volt coolers are typically the best-designed ones. Not only are they built to last, but they also have enough power to function as freezers. If you are looking for dual-zone temperature control, you will likely need to invest in a cooler in this price range.

Our top pick for a 12-volt cooler is the Alpicool CF45. It offers exceptional cooling power, a spacious storage capacity, and a protection system that prevents it from draining your car battery. For most needs, we believe the Alpicool is the best choice.


If you want a cooler with more features and capabilities, consider the Dometic CFX3. This compressor cooler is expensive but offers multiple charging options, including solar charging (solar panel not included).


Types of Electric Coolers

There are a few types of electric coolers that are worth knowing about. We will provide a more detailed description of two main types: thermoelectric (electric) coolers and compressor cooler models.


Thermoelectric Coolers

Also known as electric coolers, thermoelectric coolers function using either an AC adapter or a DC power port. Some models do not come with a car AC to DC adapter, but more expensive models usually include both.


Many larger-capacity units have the option of being powered by an external battery or solar-powered batteries. These electric cooler units use an electric current to maintain a cool interior and employ fans to circulate air. The advantage of these coolers is that they do not use refrigerants.


However, there are a few disadvantages. They do not cool items as effectively as compressor coolers, and the external fan must be kept clear to prevent the unit from overheating. Thermoelectric coolers are best suited for car camping, where they can be turned off intermittently to conserve energy.


Compressor Coolers

Compressor coolers operate similarly to refrigerators and use refrigerant to maintain a constant temperature. These coolers consume more energy, and some customers use external or auxiliary battery sources to power them overnight or continuously.


Some compressor models can be operated using solar panels as well. If not continuously used, they can be plugged into a car's DC port while the car is running. However, they should be unplugged when the car is turned off to prevent draining the car's battery.


Other Considerations

Here are a few additional factors to consider when choosing the best cooler for your needs.



Thermoelectric coolers take longer to cool than compressor coolers. When storing a cooler in a garage during summer heat that reaches 100°F or higher, it is crucial to allow the cooler to reach a cooler temperature indoors for a few hours before plugging it in and adding food and drinks. Some users even suggest pre-chilling large capacity coolers with ice packs to maximize energy consumption and temperature control.



Melted ice is no longer considered the best solution for maintaining the interior temperature of an electric cooler. It is recommended to use ice packs instead to avoid the need for draining water from an ice chest or cooler's drain plug.


Ambient temperature

Most coolers have an ambient temperature range that runs between 35-40°F below the external temperature. For example, if it is 100°F outside, the cooler's minimum temperature will be 60°F. In colder temperatures, it can reach zero degrees. The minimum and maximum temperatures of a cooler depend on the external ambient temperature.


In conclusion, when it comes to keeping your food and beverages cool on the go, electric coolers are the way to go. With their convenience, portability, and efficient cooling power, they make road trips, picnics, and camping adventures much more enjoyable. After considering factors such as storage capacity, organization, cooling power, and cost, we have compiled a list of the best 12V coolers on the market. From the Koolatron Thermoelectric Coolers to the Wagan Thermoelectric Cooler, there is a cooler to suit every need and preference. So, don't let your next adventure be spoiled by warm drinks and spoiled food, invest in one of these electric coolers and hit the road with confidence.


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