Best 12v Cooler: Top Picks 2022, Recommendations, And FAQs

Sara Ryan By, Sara Ryan
Updated
Igloo 28 qt , Iceless Gray
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Igloo 28 qt , Iceless Gray

"The Igloo 28 qt Iceless Gray Refrigerator is for those who want to keep their food and drinks cool without the ice. It features a lockable door, an interior shelf and a durable, all-aluminum exterior that's easy to clean. With an 8 ft. long power cord, it's perfect for camping, tailgating or other outdoor activity!" Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: Wagan 12V Cooler/Warmer - 24L Capacity (6224) -EL6224

"The Wagan 12V Cooler/ Warmer provides a flexible and convenient outdoor solution to the need of a cooler or warmer while on the go. This unit features a cool exterior and warm interior to maintain food at 36°F / 20°C below ambient temperature and provide cool, safe and hygienic storage. This unit will help keep your food fresh, safe, and cool for up to six hours." Read Review

3. Best Convenient: AstroAI Electric Cooler 26 Quarts/ 24 Liter, 12V Cooler

"Designed for outdoor entertaining, the AstroAI 24 Liter Personal Cooler is able to maintain ice retention of up to one day. Great for camping or picnics, this cooler stores up to 24L of food and drinks. With its ergonomic folding handle, it is easy to carry this personal fridge anywhere you go." Read Review

4. Best Performance: Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless 12 Volt Cooler Warmer 18 qt (17 L)

"Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless 12 Volt Cooler/Warmer is a convenient on-the-go solution for keeping food and beverages cool without the use of ice. This thermoelectric cooler/warmer comes with a 12V DC adapter for use on the go in your car, truck, or boat. It also comes with an AC adapter for use indoors." Read Review

When the temperature outside is sweltering and you need something to cool down, nothing beats a cooling unit. However, most of them are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Luckily, there are affordable options as well that won’t leave you broke after spending a few dollars.

And what better way to stay cool than with an icebox or cooler? There are many brands on the market, but not all of them make good products. In this article, we are going to look at some of the best 12v coolers and why they are worth your money.

Before making our recommendations, our specialists spend substantial time researching and analyzing your requirements. Then we found the Igloo 28 qt , Iceless Gray is the greatest choice for its high-quality performance. If you're looking for another one, consider Wagan 12V Cooler/Warmer - 24L Capacity (6224) -EL6224.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 Igloo 28 qt , Iceless Gray
Our Score:
9.8
Igloo
  • Molded-in side handles for two handed carrying or lifting. Capacity-32 12-oz cans; 26 quarts (24 liters)
  • Ergonomic design features a curved back that comfortably hugs your side while carrying
TOP Choice #2 Wagan 12V Cooler/Warmer - 24L Capacity (6224) -EL6224
Our Score:
9.6
Wagan
  • Làm nóng lên đến 140 ° F
  • Tay cầm hạng nặng để vận chuyển dễ dàng; cộng với dây nguồn DC 7 feet cho phép đặt thiết bị ở ghế sau của xe
TOP Choice #3 AstroAI Electric Cooler 26 Quarts/ 24 Liter, 12V Cooler
Our Score:
9.5
AstroAI
  • 24 LITERS OF CAPACITY: Store ! (30) 12 oz cans ! Store beers and wines with ease; Inner dimensions are 12.8”(L) x 8.8”(W) x 13.1”(H); The removable divider makes small items like beverages, beers, wines, food, or fruits easy to separate
  • ECO-FRIENDLY ENGINEERING: Semiconductor refrigeration chip is freon-free and environmentally friendly; The flip-up handle is locked towards the back and is open to the front, keep the lid tightly sealed, no worries of falling over when you drive in the bumpy road
  • Plugs Into Any 12V Outlet: Thermoelectric cooler/warmer comes with a 12V DC adapter for use on the go in your car, truck, or boat; also compatible with AC power (adapter sold separately) for indoors
  • 17 L (18 qt) Capacity Cooler: With a 17 liter (18 quart) capacity and unique slim design, the P20 cooler/warmer can hold 23 standard soft drink cans and fits between the front seats of most minivans
  • PRACTICAL AND DURABLE DESIGN- Features a sturdy carry handle, detachable lid, removable sliding shelf, and cord storage compartment
  • 24 L / 26 QUART TRAVEL COOLER- Portable 12 V DC powered cooler with a compact footprint holds up to 31 standard 12 oz/355 mL cans and is tall enough to fit upright 2L pop bottles
  • EARTH-FRIENDLY: It has no CFCs or refrigerant inside of the unit; there is nothing to leak out or deplete the ozone. The cooler/warmer uses thermo-electric cooling which is a simple transfer of electrical current.
  • DUAL FUNCTION: Cooling/ Warming functions. Max cooling to ≈ 36°F below ambient temperature. Max warming to≈140 °F. Pre chill/heat your items to assist the unit to reach the lowest/highest temperature as quickly as possible.
  • VERSATILE: With the included 12/24V DC and 100V to 240V AC adapter, you can cool your belongings with this portable refrigerator at home or in your car. You can even use it outdoors with a portable power bank!
  • BATTERY PROTECTION: Includes three levels of battery protection: low, medium, and high. The portable freezer reduces power consumption to the desired level, protects your vehicle battery from running out and maximizing vehicle battery life. Once you set a level, the refrigerator will automatically re-apply the setting whenever you turn it on.
  • 【Fast Cooling:time and money saving】With Compressor refrigeration technology, this 12v portable freezer could achieve 16 min fast cooling from 77℉ to 32℉ and 50 min from 77℉ to -5℉, keeping your food fresh. No ice needed, no food spoiled, money and space saving. (Demension:22.44*12.60*15.55in, Weight: 24.14lb lightweight)
  • 【Low Noise: quiet sleep】The truck freezer is designed 45dB low noise to make sure you a good sleep after a long driving. This camping fridge also has a shock-proof design to face the uneven road, operating with no problem in case of a 30 ° inclination when your are off road.
  • COLLAPSABLE HANDLE FOR COOL PORTABILITY | Bring the Refrigerator & Oven with You! | While an Integrated Handle Easily Extends & Folds Away for Stress-Free Transfer & Tidy Storage | Airtight & Watertight Lid Cover Also Includes Ergonomic Grips for Quick Open/Close Access
  • KEEP FOOD & DRINK FRESH ON THE GO | Powerful Thermoelectric Technology Provides Dependable Cooling & Warming for All Your Potables & Perishables | Maintains Drinks Icy Cold at 40°F & Maintains Hot Food at 130F. enjoy while While Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Catering, Dining Outdoors, Picnicking, Barbecuing, Road Tripping & So Much More
  • Plugs Into Any 12V Outlet: Thermoelectric cooler/warmer comes with a 12V DC adapter for use on the go in your car, truck, or boat; also compatible with AC power (adapter sold separately) for indoors
  • Made in North America: Proudly Canadian, Koolatron has been manufacturing industry-leading 12V coolers in North America for over 30 years
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Factors Should You Consider While Choosing best 12v cooler?

Getting to the best decision for a product purchase may take a bit of time. In a nutshell, we're available to serve you with your product problems at all hours of the day and night!

You can rest assured if you consider the following points before selecting best 12v cooler:

Weight And Portability

Weighing your cooler is an important factor for those who will be carrying it or moving it around regularly. For models with less capacity, they can weigh as little as 10-15 pounds and up to 50+ for those that have 75+ quarts storage. This number goes up dramatically when you load it down with food and drinks. Even though the handles are made of rope, some are plastic and others are nylon. They are too heavy to be carried for extended distances. We recommend wheels if portability is important. They are easier to carry for longer periods of time and more convenient for one person, so they're less burdensome.

Ice Retention And Cooling Capabilities

Ice retention is one of the most difficult things to determine when researching coolers. This is largely due to external factors. The temperature of the air and direct sunlight have a significant impact. Ice quantity is also important. Most brands suggest a ratio of 2:1. You should also open the lid as often as possible to let warm and cold air into your cooler. Pre-chilling your cooler before loading it is a good idea to ensure maximum efficiency. To reduce the cooler's interior temperature, you should fill it with ice at least for a couple of hours. Once you are ready to go, add fresh ice in the right ratio. You can also expect your cooler to become pre-warmed if it is left out in the sunlight before you load it up.

Cooler Drain Systems

Many of our hard-sided coolers have drainage systems that allow you to drain the water out once the ice is melted. This is usually a pop-off or screw-on cap located at the bottom of cooler. Simply remove it and let the water flow out.

Cooler Construction

There are two main types of construction techniques used to make premium hard-sided coolers: injection molding and rotational molding. Yeti popularized rotomolding (even though they weren't technically the first company to do so) and is the dominant market at the top end. This type of cooler is made from a single, continuous piece of plastic which is then rotated to form the desired shape. These coolers have fewer stress points, so they are more likely to break under pressure. They also feature a thicker outer shell that ensures exceptional durability. Cost and weight are the main drawbacks.

Bear-Resistant Ratings

Many top-rated hard-sided coolers can be listed as being bear-resistant. This is an important consideration if you are camping in bear territory. You should specifically look out for IGBC ratings. This indicates that a cooler has been tested and is in compliance with their regulations. You should ensure your cooler is included if you plan to travel in bear-proof gear or frequent backcountry areas.

Cooler Sizes (Capacities)

A few things to consider before we get started: Size. Importantly, coolers do not measure the interior capacity of all models. Some coolers use cans to measure interior capacity, others use liters or quarts. However, most manufacturers use quarts as a unit of measure. We've used that measurement in this article when it was possible. A final point: Don't let the product name fool you.

Wheeled (Rolling) Coolers

We mentioned above that if you have cooler needs such as mobility and large capacity or maximum ice retention it is a good idea to look into a hard-sided rolling model. These wheeled monsters can still be difficult to maneuver on uneven terrain, and will need assistance if there is no clear path. A rolling cooler is a good choice for camping, tailgating or days at the beach.

Cooler Latch And Closure Systems

The cooler's closure or latch is a key feature of premium models and will play a major role in cooling performance. Two rubber T-handles are a common feature on high-end, hard-sided coolers. They keep the lid in place and prevent it from opening. They are extremely sturdy and user-friendly.

FAQs

What Is The Best Hard Cooler?

There are many coolers. It really doesn't matter which cooler you choose. A cooler that is more resistant to damage will be the most suitable if you intend on using it every week.

How Long Does A Cooler Stay Cold?

It all depends on how efficient the cooler is at insulation. This includes the temperature outside, initial temperature of food and its stacking. Food can be kept cold for up to 4 days with ice (the best), in ideal conditions. A high-end cooler may even keep it chilled for as long as 10 days.

Which Size Cooler Do I Need?

Although you might feel compelled to buy a large cooler, make sure it fits in the car. Smaller coolers can be lifted without the need for assistance. However, coolers with larger capacities can hold more ice and so tend to stay cool longer than smaller models.
Higher coolers can store bottles more upright. Models with recessed lids are better for loading items higher, but they may become warmer.

Does Food Stay Cool In A Portable Cooler Without Ice?

But it will take longer than if you put ice inside the cooler. Insulation in the cooler stops food from heating up faster than if left out. The temperature of the cooler and how chilled the food were at the beginning will determine the time it takes to cool down. Even frozen foods will heat up faster if they are kept cool in a trunk compartment of a vehicle.

How Much Do Coolers Cost?

Consider what your cooler will be used for. If you need it to store food or drinks for several days or at extreme temperatures then more money is an investment in food safety. A cooler that is cheap and cheerful may suffice if you just need to chill a handful of drinks for an afternoon barbecue.

How Does A Portable Cooler Work?

Combining the insulation of the cooler with the ice you put inside, either ice cubes, ice packs, or foam, slows down warm air circulation and helps keep things cool.

How Do I Clean My Cooler?

Warm water and dish soap will generally clean your cooler. You can also use warm water and bleach to remove stubborn stains or odors.

Can I Use Dry Ice In A Cooler?

Most times, the answer is yes. Some coolers can be damaged by dry ice, but the majority should work fine. However, you will need to cover dry ice with blankets or other insulators. A cooler designed for dry ice is best if you plan to use it every day. You won't have to do any special tasks because the cooler has compartments to store dry ice.

In general, product information and news are now available to users. In addition, as previously said, the Internet is constantly updated with new technology. Thus, customers will need to be informed so please subscribe to our newsletter or visit our website frequently to check the latest information.

Do you have any product-related questions or concerns you'd like to share? As a result of your efforts, we will attempt to ensure even greater standards of excellence!


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About Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan is a freelance writer and avid diver. She first discovered her love for diving while on vacation in the Caribbean and has been hooked ever since. Sara loves exploring new dive sites and observing the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. As a native of Colorado, Sara enjoys spending her free time hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She also enjoys writing about her adventures in diving and wildlife conservation.

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