An Electric Car Cooler is extremely practical. It is the essential accessory to keep all your food and drinks cool during transport. Whether you like picnics, cold drinks during the summer, a short family vacation, camping, or just want to bring sensitive food to a meal, the cooler is the obvious choice. It remains much more efficient than the isothermal bag on long journeys or in periods of strong heat.
You are probably wondering how a pastry chef can help you choose your future cooler? Well, for many reasons to tell the truth. Already because I had to acquire a powerful model to be able to transport my foodstuffs and cakes while respecting the cold chain.
And I might as well tell you that I am particularly demanding when it comes to respecting the recommended temperatures. For me, it is out of the question to take the slightest risk when it comes to the transport of sensitive foodstuffs. And this is often the case in pastry making, especially when you are a home chef like me.
Before finding the model that best met all my expectations, I had to test countless coolers!
Best Electric Car Coolers (Thermoelectric)
As you probably know, breaking the cold chain can range from a simple stomach ache to food poisoning. Buying a good cooler is therefore far from being a simple formality.
Finally, it will probably be for you after reading this article. I have therefore used all the experience acquired over the years to help you choose the best possible model. While remaining completely impartial, because that is the most important.
So which electric cooler can claim to be considered the best electric car cooler? And which cooler to choose for a particular use? The answer is in the following article.
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Best Electric Car Coolers (Thermoelectric) | Comparison Table 2022
|Ivation Electric Cooler & Warmer with Handle |27 Quart (25 L) Portable Thermoelectric Fridge for Vehicles & Trucks| 110V AC Home Power Cord & 12V Car Adapter for Camping, Travel & Picnics||Ivation||Check Price|
|Wagan EL6206 - 6 Quart 12V Portable Electric Cooler/Warmer for Car, Truck, SUV, RV, Trailer DC Powered||Wagan||Check Price|
|AooDen Electric Car cooler and Warmer, 26 Quart Capacity, Thermoelectric Iceless Cooler for Travel, Camping, Vehicles, Truck, Home - 12V/24V DC and 120V AC (Black & Orange)||AooDen||Check Price|
|Koolatron Krusader P85 Thermoelectric Iceless Electric 12V Cooler Warmer, 49L / 52 Quart Capacity, for Camping, Travel, Truck, SUV, Car, Boat, RV, Trailer, Tailgating, Made in North America||Koolatron||Check Price|
|AstroAI Electric Cooler 26 Quarts/ 24 Liter, 12V DC Portable Thermoelectric Car Cooler for Beverage, Beer, Wine, Seafood, Fruits, Home and Travel with 2 Ice Packs (Gray)||AstroAI||Check Price|
|Holyfly Portable Electric Cooler and Warmer for Car, 28 Quarts Portable Refrigerator Thermoelectric Car Cooler for Beverage, Beer, Wine, Seafood, Fruits, Boat, RV, Camping (26L/28 Quart)||Holyfly||Check Price|
|Electric Car Cooler 25L 12V DC- Collapsible Portable Thermoelectric Refrigerator Keep Hot/Cold/Fresh for Hours Folding Waterproof Insulation Soft-Sided Bag with Large Capacity for Travel||YAPASPT||Check Price|
|Coleman Cooler| 40-Quart Portable Cooler | Iceless Electric Cooler with cooling technology up to 40°F for Picnics, BBQs, camping, tailgates and Outdoors||Coleman||Check Price|
|K-Box Electric Cooler and Warmer for Car and Home - 34 Quart (32 Liter) - Dual 110V AC House and 12V DC Vehicle Plugs (Blue)||Koozam||Check Price|
Best Electric Car Coolers (Thermoelectric) | 2022 Products Overview
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Buying guide to choosing the best electric cooler
An electric cooler is much more practical than one might imagine. Imagine the following circumstances and think about what to do if you do not have such a device.
- You go to the woods, to the edge of a stream, or to another place with family or friends. You must spend the day there and you will certainly want to cool off when the sun is at its peak. Won’t you appreciate having your drinks as cold as you want?
- You go for a hike or you decide to go camping. You will certainly have to get away from the city. What if you need to store food that will be used throughout your stay?
- You are a truck driver or you own a caravan without a fridge. How do you plan to have food or drink stored at the right temperature?
Unbelievably, an electric cooler will come in handy and really make things easier for you. No wonder there are more and more users of this device. It allows you to keep cool and even refresh food or drinks by plugging into the mains or directly to your cigarette lighter socket. There are also many models that offer a keep-warm function.
Given the large number of models available on the market, it is not always easy to know how to choose an electric cooler that really suits your needs. Our buying guide will therefore help you to use the most important selection criteria for the successful purchase of your future electric cooler. But before we get to that, we think it’s important to help you understand a little better what types of devices these are and what expectations you can reasonably have from using one.
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Why choose an electric cooler?
An electric cooler really simplifies the organization of your walks, hikes, campsites … The possibility of being able to keep perishable food fresh and even being able to cool your drinks just with your cooler is really a genius idea. But what’s even more interesting is the fact that it is also possible to reheat or keep warm foods that need it. It is true that not all coolers are capable of playing both roles at the same time, but more and more models favor this versatility due to the varied needs of consumers.
And that versatility doesn’t stop there. The modern electric cooler is also capable of supporting two different power modes. It can be connected to the electrical outlets of the house or be directly connected to the cigarette lighter socket of your car. On the mains, the voltage is around 230 volts, but it drops drastically on a cigarette lighter socket whose voltage is 12 or 24 volts. Therefore, it must adapt to the tension. And the electric cooler succeeds perfectly in this bet.
The principle of operation of these coolers generally allows having optimal refrigeration or on the contrary excellent heating by using a minimum of energy. Many coolers are designed with an economical and very ingenious cooling system: the thermoelectric system or Peltier system. The energy class to which the majority of electric cooler models belong also has an impact on consumption. It saves around 30 to 40% of energy, which improves the cost-effectiveness of this type of device. In addition, the ability to adjust the intensity of heating or cooling your food saves even more energy.
In addition, the electric cooler is easily transported. Usually, its weight varies from 3.5 to 10 kg. The lightest models are necessarily the easiest to transport. But for relatively heavy devices, the problem does not arise. A solid and multifunctional handle (transport of the device and locking of the lid) makes it possible to hold and easily move the cooler, movement which can be further simplified thanks to the adapted wheels.
In addition, the noise level of a cooler is generally moderate. So that it does not disturb you too much. In terms of size, most electric coolers have a relatively compact size that allows them to take up very little space in the trunk of a car. Maintenance is also quite simple. Most of the time, you just need to open your electric cooler wide to let the interior dry out well. Of course, you have to clean the inside, especially when you’ve accidentally left something to pour in.
Although very versatile and practical, the electric cooler can have a few limitations. For example, its cooling capacity is directly related to the ambient temperature. So be careful about storing your food to keep cool during the hottest months. The result may not meet your expectations. This is also the case when the cooler is connected to 12 or 24 volts. It then operates at reduced speed.
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How to choose your electric cooler
To choose the right electric cooler, it is first and foremost important to analyze your needs. So you have to ask yourself some questions. For example, where do you plan to use your electric cooler? What do you generally plan to take with you when organizing such events? How many people will be present for your little excursion? By answering these very important questions correctly, you maximize the chances of a successful purchase. Here are the criteria you need to take into account.
The type of electric cooler
Some models of electric coolers can heat or cool food. It all depends on your current needs. While others are only able to cool down. So take the time to know the type of food and drink that you carry frequently. It often depends on the setting in which the cooler is used or simply on your preferences. Either way, take the time to analyze the issue. That said, many users choose to go with a versatile cooler in order to be prepared for any eventuality.
It depends on the number of people participating in your outings, the amount of food it takes to satisfy them all, and also the duration of the outing. For a small family outing of only about 4 people, you usually won’t need more than 25 liters for the cooling capacity. Calculate your needs carefully to make a wise choice. You have to plan ahead, that’s clear, but getting a cooler with a capacity too much above your actual needs is definitely not the best decision.
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The power of your cooler determines the speed with which, for example, it will cool food or drinks. The higher it is, the better. A power of around 50 watts is not bad at all. Such power will be optimized by the quality of the insulation of your cooler. The best coolers have an insulation system made entirely of polyurethane. It is the best subject at present. In addition, you need a lid that closes tightly. Moreover, for better preservation of the internal temperature, some models have a double opening system. This minimizes the loss of temperature, cold or hot.
Take a look at the cooling capacity. Typically, an electric cooler is capable of having an internal temperature that drops to 16 or 18 degrees below room temperature. But some models offer up to 30 degrees. Before making your choice, think about the temperatures in your region or in the places where you plan to go camping, for example.
Choose a cooler that is easy to adjust. The simplest general-purpose cooler models simply have a switch that lets you choose the type of operation you need at the time. To prevent you from choosing a mode by mistake, indicator lights with a color code are usually provided. It’s very useful. In addition, it is possible to choose the intensity of cooling or heating.
On some models, it is simply a choice between two modes: Eco for the lowest intensity level, and Max for the highest one. On more precise models, you can have up to 7 intensity levels which allow you to really adapt the intensity of the operation to the type of food you are storing. On these more advanced models, the control panel is necessarily more elaborate, but it remains very intuitive, which promotes easy handling.
However, it is not superfluous to point out that adjustments are practically impossible when the cooler is plugged into the cigarette lighter. By default, the lowest intensity is chosen.
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Convenience and sturdiness
Analyze the weight of your cooler. The ideal is that it does not exceed 6 kg empty. But obviously, everything depends on its capacity of containment. First of all, think about being able to easily move and transport the electric cooler. Good solid castors and an equally resistant carrying handle are preferred for this purpose. The cooler itself should be made from strong, durable materials that will last a long time. The places where such a cooler can be used are usually not cozy. So the cooler has to be really solid.
In addition, have a clear preference for coolers that plug into the mains and cigarette lighter socket and whose two types of cables are provided to you at the time of purchase. Such versatility is very appreciable.
An electric cooler with modular compartments could not be more practical. On some models, you will be entitled to a removable separation grid. This allows you to store the different types of food in the order of your choice. It is also more hygienic, as the fruits and vegetables can be separated from the water bottles. Always to be able to use your cooler more easily, prefer models that offer storage space for power cables (mains and cigarette lighter). This prevents you from ending up with an unusable cooler because you will have forgotten the cables.
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Electric Car Coolers (Thermoelectric) | Video Explanation
Frequently Asked Questions
? What is the best electric cooler?
We analyzed and compared 9 models of electric coolers for nearly 74 hours, and took into account the opinions of 791 consumers. More details in our detailed comparison.
How to choose an electric cooler?
Here are the criteria you need to take into account to maximize the chances of a successful purchase:
1. The type of electric cooler:
Some models of electric coolers can heat or cool food. It all depends on your current needs. While others are only able to cool down. It often depends on the setting in which the cooler is used or simply on your preferences.
For a small family outing of only about 4 people, you generally won’t need more than 25 liters for the cooling capacity. Calculate your needs carefully to make a wise choice. 3. Performance: The higher the power, the better. A power of around 50 watts is not bad at all. Such power will be optimized by the quality of the insulation of your cooler. The best coolers have an insulation system made entirely of polyurethane. In addition, you need a lid that closes tightly.
Also, consider the cooling capacity. Typically, an electric cooler is capable of having an internal temperature that drops to 16 or 18 degrees below room temperature. But some models offer up to 30 degrees.
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3. Ease of use:
Choose a cooler that is easy to adjust. The simplest general-purpose cooler models simply have a switch that lets you choose the type of operation you need at the time. In addition, it is possible to choose the intensity of cooling or heating. On some models, it is simply the choice between two modes: Eco for the lowest intensity level, and Max for the highest one. On more precise models, you can have up to 7 intensity levels.
4. Convenience and solidity:
The ideal is that it does not exceed 6 kg empty. But obviously, everything depends on its capacity of containment. First of all, think about being able to easily move and transport the electric cooler. Good solid castors and an equally resistant carrying handle are preferred for this purpose. More details are in our detailed buying guide.
What to choose: classic or electric cooler?
It all depends on your needs. The classic cooler is less bulky and cheaper to buy. But it allows food to be kept at a low temperature for a relatively limited time (17 hours on average). On the other hand, if you need to keep food cool during long journeys in the car, you should choose an electric cooler.
It is also more efficient than a conventional model since some electric coolers are capable of having an internal temperature that drops as much as 30 degrees below the ambient temperature. Another advantage, some models can heat food, which could be useful in the middle of winter or to feed a baby for example.
Hi, I am David Bailey a dedicated writer from Linden Bridge School with a degree in mechanical engineering and a degree in marketing. I strive to simplify complex subjects and like to explain complex and technical matters in an easy-to-understand manner. Read More Here