When the heat wave strikes, nothing is more refreshing than enjoying a cool beverage on the deck or at a picnic. But what to do if you’re in the middle of nowhere? The solution is pretty simple: use an electric cooler. It can keep your favorite drinks cold regardless the outdoor temperature. And not only the drinks, as you can stock it with fruits, sandwiches, or whatever else you want. The compact design makes it perfect for placing it in the car and taking it with you on your vacations.

Similar to a mall refrigerator, an electric cooler is able to cool a variety of food and beverages and is of great help for when you go camping or you have a party outdoors. However, for it to run smoothly and to reach its purpose, it must be designed to work fast and to maintain a constant temperature. For helping you choose a cooler, we selected and reviewed the best models on the market. They come in different sizes, so you will most certainly find one that suits your needs…and budget. Some of them can even warm your food and drinks, being perfect for a budget-friendly winter holiday. So, take your time and choose wisely.


Top 10 Electric Coolers Comparison

Photo Product Capacity (qt.) Temperature Range Interior Organization Power Warranty Price

Best Overall
1. Dometic CFX-50US 48 -8°F to 50°F Removable basket AC or DC power 2 years Check Price

Our Choice
2. Igloo 40375 Iceless 40 Cools down to 38°F below the ambient temperature Adjustable shelving 12V auto plug adapter, 120VAC converter 1 year Check Price
3. Koolatron P75 36 Cools down to 40°F below the ambient temperature and heats up to 135°F Removable shelf Car’s lighter outlet 1 year Check Price
4. Coleman PowerChill 40 Cools to 40°F below the surrounding temperature and heats up to at least 40°F above the ambient temperature Adjustable shelf divider 12V car power adapter 1 year Check Price
5. Wagan EL6224 25 Cools down to 36°F below ambient temperature and heats up to 140°F 120V DC power supply, optional AC adapter 1 year Check Price
6. Black & Decker TC212B 9 Cools down to 40°F below ambient temperature and heats up to 120°F Dual cup holder 12V DC power supply 1 year Check Price
7. Knox B01D3O9UB4 48 Cools down to 40°F and heats up to 130°F Removable divider Dual 110V AC house, 12V DC vehicle plug N/A Check Price
8. SUAOKI Portable Car Fridge 25 Cool down to 18-36°F below the surrounding temperature and heats up to 104-140°F Dual cup holder DC power supply, optional AC adapter N/A Check Price
9. Cooluli CMF10LW 10.5 Cools down to 29°F and heats up to 120°F 2 removable shelves AC or DC power 1 year Check Price
10. Housmile CW-7L 7 Cools down to 59-64°F below ambient temperature and heats up to 130°F AC or DC power 1 year Check Price

Reviews of the Top Electric Coolers

Dometic CFX-50US

Forget about using ice, as this portable cooler can keep your food and beverages cool without hassle. It is made by a trustworthy brand, so it is backed by a longer warranty in comparison to the other models – 2 years. Also, it looks pretty nice and provides efficient cooling, so no wonder that this cooler is a great companion for every outdoorsman.

Interior&Exterior Design

The unit is pretty solid as it is made of polypropylene. It comes in a nice blue and gray combination and it features 2 drop-down handles on the side.

  • Digital controls and LED display: comes with soft-touch controls which are conveniently placed on the right side of the unit. Also, it has a nice display that shows you the inside temperature.
  • Durable latches and hinges: the latches are made of stainless steel and the hinges are very solid, providing a sealed enclosure.
  • Compact design: the unit is 28.5 inches long, 18.5 inches wide, and 17.9 inches tall, being specially designed to fit into any vehicle.

Inside the unit, there’s plenty of room as it has a capacity of 49 quarts. This means it can hold approximately 72 cans, each of them with a capacity of 12 ounces. Additionally, it comes with a wire basket that can be easily removed.

  • LED light: the interior comes with an energy-smart LED light. You can grab your favorite drink even in the dark.

Benefits

With this model you can set the temperature anywhere between -8 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, another great advantage is that it works on both AC and DC current.

  • USB port: allows you to charge your mobile phone or other small devices.
  • Quick-chill function: runs at maximum temperature to reach the desired temperature.
  • Smart thermostat: it remembers the last temperature setting after turning it off.
PROS
CONS
  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Folding carry handles
  • High-quality materials
  • Features modern digital controls that make it easy to use
  • Comes with a convenient and energy efficient LED interior light
  • Features USB port that can be used for charging small electronic devices
VERDICT

When it comes to preserving foods and drinks while traveling, Dometic CFX-50US is the ideal cooler to go with. We particularly like the fact that it is made from quality materials and is easy to use for everyone, being at the same time very efficient. Additionally, while most products are backed by a 1-year warranty, this model comes with a 2-year warranty for peace of mind.

Igloo 40375 Iceless

Another high-end model that is worth your attention is the Igloo 40375 Iceless. What stands out the most when you first look at it is the fact that it’s a dual orientation model, meaning that you can either position it vertically or horizontally. Thus, it can either be used as a refrigerator or as an ice chest, and you will have an easy time finding a storage space for it when it’s not in use as well. The impressive performance of this unit can be easily understood once you take a look at the fact that it’s capable of cooling down to 38 degrees Fahrenheit below the ambient temperature, keeping your food or drinks perfectly cool. When it comes to the warranty that accompanies this product, the manufacturer actually backs it up during the first year after you purchase it.

PROS
CONS
  • Perfect for use in RV’s, boats, trucks, and when you’re on vacation
  • Dual orientation makes it easy to find a perfect location or storage space for it
  • It features swing-up side handles that allow an easy transportation
  • Motor is extremely quiet while operating<
  • Made with polypropylene
VERDICT

Igloo 40375 Iceless is a compact, yet spacious cooler that does a great job. Using it is a breeze and you can organize your items just as you want for gaining more space. The swing-up side handles make the transportation much easier while the dual orientation allow you to position it according to your preferences. It is very quiet, durable, and efficient, so we gladly recommend it to you.

Koolatron P75

This cooler can also warm your food and drinks for increased convenience, being able to cool down to – 40 degrees F below the ambient temperature and heat up to 135 degrees. Due to the fact that it doesn’t need any ice to cool the food and beverages, there is plenty of room inside the cooler, which makes it a great companion for your trips. In what concerns the power consumption, it is energy-efficient, and it can be easily charged into a 12-volt power outlet. At the same time, the electric cooler is lightweight and easy to transport from one place to another. Also, it has a built-in brushless motor with a quiet fan for an increased air circulation.

PROS
CONS
  • Portable and efficient
  • It sits horizontally or vertically for use as chest or upright fridge
  • Comes with shelf for optimal storage
  • Features a quiet brushless motor
  • Includes a performance enhancing internal circulation fan
  • The unit has to run 12 hours before storing the items
VERDICT

Koolatron P75 can also heat your items, so it is more versatile from this point of view. You can conveniently charge it into the car’s lighter outlet and you can store it in two positions: horizontally and vertically. At the same time, this model features a quiet operation and is very easy to carry around. However, before going on a trip, you have to run it for 12 hours in order to be able to keep your items cold or hot.

Coleman PowerChill

The Coleman PowerChill is a great option when it comes to cooling your food or beverage every time you want to go camping, fishing, and so on. The model comes with some unique features that are meant to increase the cooler’s performance and help the user carry it in an easy manner. The items inside the Coleman PowerChill can be stored and cooled down to 40 degrees F below the outside temperature, which is more than enough for keeping your items safe. At the same time, the door is adjustable allowing you to open it to left or right, according to your preferences. Furthermore, it has an adjustable shelf divider for keeping the items well-organized.

PROS
CONS
  • Adjustable door that can be opened on both the right and left side
  • Adjustable shelf divider
  • Features a storage tray that keeps the contents organized
  • Molded handles
  • Reliable brand
  • Power cord for standard electrical outlet not included
VERDICT

Coleman PowerChill is a well-made cooler that won’t disappoint you. It can also heat, so you actually get to buy a 2-in-1 unit. What is interesting is that you have the possibility to choose the side on which the unit door opens and you can adjust the shelf divider just as you want. However, when buying it, you also have to purchase a power cord as it doesn’t come with one.

Wagan EL6224

Another great product that will efficiently cool and warm your items is the Wagan EL6224. When it’s on, it can cool up to – 36 degrees below ambient temperature and heat up to 140 degrees F. Furthermore, the built-in light lets you know if it is in cooling or warming mode and you can easily choose it with the help of the switch places on the back. At the same time, the Wagan EL6224 operates on 12v DC and it comes with a 7 feet DC cord, so you can place it wherever you want in the car. Additionally, the model is spacious enough to store 21 bottles in a vertical position.

PROS
CONS
  • 40 watts-power consumption
  • The removable lid allows an easy cleaning
  • Features a control panel that displays mode settings and indicators
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • The AC adapter is sold separately
VERDICT

If you’re looking for a smaller cooler, then Wagan EL6224 is perfect for you. Just like the previous two models, it can also heat your items without no hassle. You will know for sure whether it is cooling or heating just by looking at the built-in light. The user-friendly control panel is a great addition, while the cleaning process is very simple. Unfortunately, you will have to pay extra money for the AC adapter.

Black & Decker TC212B

The Black & Decker TC212B is a great choice for all those who want to invest in a compact model, which additionally can warm your items. In what concerns its performance, it can cool down to maximum 40 degrees F below ambient temperature and heat up to 120 degrees F. It operates by direct plugging into the 12v DC outlet from your car, and it can be conveniently placed wherever you want in the car. At the same time, the Black & Decker TC212B features a low voltage cutoff, so your car battery will be protected from draining. Plus, you will surely love the fact that this cooler is lightweight and easy to transport.

PROS
CONS
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Zippered side storage pouch
  • Dual can/cup holder
  • Features low voltage shutdown that prevents battery damage
  • Affordable
  • Not very spacious
VERDICT

Black & Decker TC212B has the smallest capacity in our list, so it’s ideal for short trips. It has an attractive design and it comes with a dual cup holder for more convenience. Moreover, the unit is easy to carry around as it comes with a shoulder strap that can be easily adjusted. Last but not least, the low voltage shutdown is a great addition as you don’t have to worry about a possible battery damage.

Knox B01D3O9UB4

Specially created to keep your food and drinks fresh during your trips. You can use the unit as a cooler or as a warmer according to your needs. The 48-quart interior is very spacious, so it’s ideal for longer trips. It comes with a removable divider that allows you to organize the interior for best storage results. Unlike the other models, this one features wheels to transport it much easier. The 2 handles, among which one is extendable, allow you carry or pull the unit. For even more convenience, the manufacturer added a plug storage compartment. It features a built-in 110V AC adapter that can be used both indoors and outdoors. The cable is 57-inch long. Also, it comes with a 62-inch 12V DC car adapter cable.

PROS
CONS
  • Comes with a fan located on top
  • User-friendly locking mechanism
  • Features 2 handles: 1 fixed and 1 extendable
  • Built-in wheels to carry it like a suitcase
  • The included divider allows you to create 2 compartments
  • Doesn’t come with a shelf
  • Some customers complained that sometimes, when you try to pull it, it tips over backwards
VERDICT

All in all, this is a great product if you’re looking for a spacious cooler and/or warmer. It works well and seems to be durable. The built-in features make it easier to use and more convenient. The fan does a great job and it comes with a home plug and DC car plug. The only drawbacks are the lack of a shelf and the fact that it sometimes tips over backwards when you want to carry it like a suitcase.

SUAOKI Portable Car Fridge

With the help of this unit, you can cool and heat your food and beverages with no hassle. The 7-quart capacity is not very generous when it comes to storage space, so this model is ideal for short trips or picnics. It can cool your items to 18-36 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature and heats them to 104-140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can charge it into the car’s outlet or a 12V DC power supply but you can also use the Suaoki power station. Due to the thermal insulation system, it can also work without a power source for some while. The interior is divided into a compartment for food and fruits and 2 cup holders for beverages. The included shoulder strap promotes a convenient transportation. You can also use the unit as an indoor mini fridge or warmer but for this, you will need an AC-to-DC adapter. The exterior measures 15.7 x 11.8 x 7.9 inches while the interior 9.1 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches. It weighs 5.8 pounds, so is quite lightweight.

PROS
CONS
  • Fast cooling/warming
  • Compact and lightweight design that fits anywhere in the car
  • Features ventilation fans in front and on the sides
  • The lid features a magnetic closure
  • Comes with a shoulder strap
  • Small capacity makes it unsuitable for long trips
  • The AC adapter is not included
VERDICT

            This cooler/warmer is perfect for one or 2 persons. It cools and heats your food and beverages fast and you can put it anywhere inside the car. It looks very nice and is made of solid materials. The only complaint is that you will have to pay extra money for the AC adapter.

Cooluli CMF10LW

Another great option for your trips is this model made by Cooluli. With a capacity of 10.5 quarts the system is very compact, yet spacious enough to handle aaproximately 12 cans. Besides being able to keep your foods and drinks cool, it can also warm them up just by pressing the built-in switch. It comes with 2 shelves that can be easily removed to customize the interior space according to your needs. The shell is made of ABS plastic, so the system is highly resistant to impacts. Due to the fact that is well insulated, the appliance can maintain your foods and drinks warm or cold for approximately 2 hours. Unlike a refrigerator, the cooler uses an electric fan that blows air from the inside to the outside. This makes it an eco-friendly option. The system includes an AC power adaptor to plug it in the cigarette lighter and a DC power adaptor to plug it in an electric outlet. Another thing that we like about this appliance is that it comes in multiple color options. Therefore, you can opt for white combined with pink, turquoise, or black or yellow combined with black.

PROS
CONS
  • Features a self-locking doo
  • It is available in multiple color combinations
  • Includes a sealing for insulation
  • Has a side carrying handle for transporting it with ease
  • Includes both AC and DC power adaptors with wires of 6 feet, respectively 6.5 feet
  • Occasionally, you have to defrost it as the cooling pad freezes over
  • Some customers say that it can’t actually accommodate 12 cans
VERDICT

Overall, this system is well made and is totally safe for the environment. It comes with some nice features, including the warming option. You can plug it in the cigar lighter or wall outlet as it includes both AC and DC adapters. You have 4 color options to choose from. However, it seems that it needs to be defrosted from time to time and the specified capacity is not quite accurate.

Housmile CW-7L

This model made by Housmile is ideal if you’re looking for a versatile and compact unit. It comes in a beautiful blue color that gives it a stylish appearance and it weighs only 6.4 pounds. It has a capacity of approximately 7 quarts which means it can hold up to 12 soda cans. On the outside, the unit is 12.5 inches tall, 6.7 inches wide and 11.4 inches long while on the inside it is 8.2 inches tall, 5.5 inches wide and 9.4 inches long. You can use it to both cool and warm up your drinks and snacks and it can be charged in any 12V DC cigarette lighter. The unit is super quiet as it emits only 35 dB. For carrying it with ease, it features a shoulder strap that can be adjusted. It comes with one adapter and one cigar-lighter.

PROS
CONS
  • Features an automatic magnetic lock that creates a tight seal
  • Has 2 built-in metal hinges that are very durable
  • The seal ring is made of eco-friendly materials
  • Highly-efficient radiator with large air outlet
  • Features 4 non-slip feet
  • Small capacity
  • Doesn’t have organizational shelves
VERDICT

The unit is a really nice option for short trips. Its compact yet spacious design makes it highly convenient if you have a small size vehicle. It has a really nice color and it is available at an affordable price.

Products Ratings


Without rating the products, we wouldn’t be able to say which ones are the best. Even though all selected products provide superior performance, there will always be some products that are simply better than the others. As you will see below, the selected electric coolers were analyzed in terms of capacity, temperature range, interior organization, and warranty. Reading them will help you better understand which one is best for your needs.

  • Capacity

    A unit with a larger capacity will offer more storage space for your food and beverages. As you can see, our first choice, the Dometic CFX-50US, features a 48-quart capacity, which is the largest in comparison to the other models. The Igloo 40375 Iceless and the Coleman PowerChill feature a slightly smaller capacity, that is 40-quart. All these three models are an excellent choice for large families vacations or longer trips.

    However, in certain situations, you may need a unit with a small capacity. This may happen when you have to make short trips from one town to another or when you and your partner simply want to go on a one-day vacation. The model with the smallest capacity is the Black & Decker TC212B, which has a 9-quart capacity, but you can also opt for the Wagan EL6224, which is a little more generous from this point of view, featuring a 25-quart capacity. The models with a large capacity tend to take up more space and they are heavier, so why choose them if you just need a smaller storage space?

  • Temperature Range

    Most of the units selected by us cannot only cool food and beverages but also heat them. Some of them can cool contents up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature, so even if it’s hot outside, they will remain cold for as much as needed. The same with the heating feature. When it’s freezing outside and you go on a winter camping trip, your food and drinks will be kept warm until you reach the destination. You just have to switch to the heating mode several hours before you place the contents in the unit. Nevertheless, if you want to opt for a model that only cools your items, you can opt for the Igloo 40375 Iceless.

  • Interior Organization

    Some units allow you to organize the interior according to your needs. You can remove or adjust shelves exactly as you want and this without any hassle. This is a great advantage as you can fit all your items in the cooler. For example, the Dometic CFX-50US comes with removable baskets, the Koolatron P75 features a removable shelf, and the Coleman PowerChill has an adjustable shelf divider. The Black & Decker TC212B and the Wagan EL6224 have no shelves, but the first one features dual cup holder for your beverages, while the second one comes with a power cord storage compartment.

  • Warranty

    The warranty is very important and sometimes it may be the decisive factor in choosing a product. Knowing that your purchase comes with a warranty against manufacturing defects will ease your mind. From our list, the unit with the longest warranty is Dometic CFX-50US, which is covered by a 2-year warranty, while all other electric coolers come with a 1-year warranty.

Tips to Maximize the Efficiency of a Cooler


A product like this is an investment that you have to take proper care of to serve you for years to come. In case you have bought an electric cooler or you intend to buy one, make sure you take into consideration the advice given in the following lines to make sure you will enjoy the newly bought cooler for as long as possible.

  • If you have the possibility to do it, it’s preferable that you pre-chill the drinks and food before you place them in the cooler to avoid overexerting it, thus ensuring that it will remain in a perfect condition for a long time. Also, if you can, you should pre-chill it one hour before you load it with food and drinks by placing some packs of ice inside. This helps when it comes to efficiency and performance as well.
  • For the cooler to maintain its great quality for as long as possible, you have to avoid placing it in the sun. Otherwise, the warm air makes an entrance, causing the cooler to work twice as hard to maintain the perfect temperature inside, thus exposing it to irreversible damage.
  • When you organize the food and beverages you intend to place in the cooler, make sure you put the most often used items on top. This ensures that you won’t keep the cooler open for too long when you want to get something out of it, thus not affecting the temperature inside too much and not forcing it to work harder to keep the environment cool.
  • Of course, you have to clean it once in a while to not only prevent its performance from being affected but to prevent your food from getting contaminated as well. If you store in it messy perishables such as meat, for example, it’s necessary to clean the interior right after you use it.

Advantages of Having a Cooler


In comparison to other options, an electric cooler offers you many advantages, being a great option for all those who want to forget about the hassle of cooling the food and drinks when they go on vacations. So, in order to help you realize why an electric model is more convenient for you, we have gathered here below the main benefits of owning one.

  • No Ice Needed

    Using ice packs can be quite inconvenient, as you have to previously freeze them in a freezer. Fortunately, an electric cooler is powered by electricity, so you won’t have to use ice in order to maintain food cool for a longer period of time. As an added benefit, since there’s no need for ice packs, you will have more space for your food and beverages that you want to keep cool.

  • Versatile

    Besides the fact that you can use an electric cool box to keep your food cool, you can also use it to keep it warm. How is that possible? Well, there are some models that can also heat and maintain your food warm if that’s what you want. This feature is quite convenient as you will have two units in one without having to pay more money.

  • Portable

    One of the main advantages of an electric model is the fact that it’s very easy to transport from one place to another. At the same time, it doesn’t occupy too much space, so you can place it inside your trunk or in the back of your car with minimum effort on your part. Furthermore, for more convenience, most boxes offer you the possibility to plug them into the car power adapters. As you can see, these units were specially built to make things easier for you when you’re on the move.

  • More Durable

    What is great about this type of unit is that it’s made to last, most of the top-rated coolers having a life expectancy of up to 200,000 hours. Also, they are made of high-quality materials that make them very resistant, so you can rest assured because buying an electric model, it’s a long-term investment.

Tips for Maximizing Its Efficiency


Generally speaking, all the electric coolers are designed to keep your food and drinks cool when you’re on the road, but there are certain differences between the many models available on the market. Therefore, if you intend to buy one, you need some tips to help you choose the right model for your needs. Once you learn more about which factors to consider when searching for a reliable product, your decision will be much easier.

  • Consider the Insulating Efficiency

    The insulating efficiency is highly important as you need a cooler that can preserve your things cold for more days. According to various tests performed on a wide range of coolers, the highest rated ones are capable of providing a superior insulation performance in comparison to those which are less expensive. The difference appears when you want to go on a trip for more days and you may not always have access to a source of power. Some models can maintain a cold temperature for more hours, while others may not be that efficient, so it’s best to look for a cooler that can keep your things cold for more time.

  • Pay Attention to the Size

    The size is another important aspect as the available coolers come in different sizes. So, in order to figure out the right size for your needs, you have to consider how many things you want to store in the unit. Usually, when going on longer trips, you need a larger cooler to preserve your food and drinks, so remember this aspect. At the same time, if you have a bigger family, you surely need more depositing room.

  • Choose a Model That Is Easy to Use

    Nobody wants to use complicated appliances and devices, so it’s wise to look for a cooler that only requires you to plug it in. In general, the top-rated models can maintain the temperatures without having to do something special, so this is definitely an advantage. At the same time, most of the available coolers require little maintenance, so try to pick one that offers you ease of use.

  • Make Sure It’s Durable

    In case you intend to use the cooler more often, then you need a durable unit that provides the same performance for many years. So, make sure you read the manufacturers’ specifications regarding the materials used in producing the coolers and opt for those models that feature resistant handles, strong housing that can withstand both cold and heat weather conditions, as well as a durable interior. Take your time and pay attention to such details because otherwise, you may only enjoy your purchase for a short period of time.

            All in all, each of the selected electric coolers promises to deliver high performance, being able to cool or warm your items for as long as needed. No matter if you’re looking for a spacious unit or for a smaller one, there’s the right cooler for everybody’s needs>. From our point of view, Dometic CFX-50US and Igloo 40375 Iceless are the best options to go with as they have >many positive reviews from the customers and come with many helpful features. Also, they are very spacious and versatile. But there a significant difference between them in what concerns the price as Dometic CFX-50US is much more expensive. However, if you want a unit that can also heat your items, then we recommend you Koolatron P75 or Coleman PowerChill. These models are reliable and efficient, being at the same time spacious enough for your trips. When it comes to short trips, you can opt for a more compact cooler, like Black & Decker TC212B or Housmile CW-7L, this being highly performant and less expensive.

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