Whether you are buying an electric cool box for the first time, or simply want to buy a new one, choosing the right one for yourself can be a difficult process given the plethora of options available. Before you buy one, you should factor in the following aspects: type, capacity weight, and power connectivity.
So, what are the best electric cool boxes you can buy? The best ones include the Outwell EcoCool Cooling Box, the Subcold Ultra 15 Mini Fridge Cooler & Warmer, the Alpicool CX40 Portable Refrigerator, and the VonShef Electric Cool Box.
Read on to discover more great electric cool boxes you can buy and find out more about them. Happy reading!
What types of electric cool boxes can you buy?
If you’re thinking of buying an electric cool box for your next family picnic or camping trip, one thing you should think about is what type of cool box should you buy. Turns out, there are a few types of electric cool boxes available. Here, we list down these types.
- Compressor refrigerators. Compressor fridges are small versions of the refrigerators people have at home. The working principle is the same, but their size is smaller, of course. These coolers provide powerful cooling but make considerably more noise than thermoelectric cool boxes.
- Thermoelectric cool boxes. These cool boxes use an electric fan to cool the contents and are quite well insulated, keeping your food and drink cool for many hours.
- Three-way fridges. Three-way fridges provide cooling by absorbing heat. They can be powered by a variety of options, including gas canisters, AC supply, and DC supply. Of the three types, they’re the most versatile type of cool box you can buy.
Some things to consider when buying an electric cool box
Now that you’ve decided what kind of electric cool box you’re going to buy, have a look at some other important things you should consider when buying one.
- Storage capacity. The very first thing you should decide is how much space you need. Electric cool boxes are available in a variety of sizes and choosing the right size for yourself is important.
- Weight and ease of carrying. What good is an electric cool box if it is too heavy to carry and doesn’t have wheels? How can you carry it if you have to walk long distances? Make sure you pick a cool box that strikes a good balance between size and weight. Also check if it has a big, comfortable handle and wheels.
- Power connectivity. Cool boxes that can be powered by both AC and DC are better and more versatile.
- Insulation. The better your cool box’s insulation, the longer it will keep your food and drinks cool.
- Internal partitions. Having internal partitions in a cool box is great, but it also makes it more difficult to clean. Decide if you need a cool box with or without partitions. A box without partitions may be better in certain situations as it provides full access to the box at once.
- Brand. Buy your electric cool box only from reliable and reputable brands and sellers. This way, you can be sure you’ll be getting good quality products.
What temperature should your cool box be set to?
If you’ve bought an electric cool box for the first time, a question you might have is what temperature should I set it to? If you have a thermoelectric cool box, then you should set the fan speed depending on how hot it is outside. In a thermoelectric cool box, you cannot control or set the cooling — you can only control the fan speed. You can place a thermometer inside your thermoelectric cool box to help you get an idea of how cool it is at any particular moment.
With a compressor or 3-way refrigerator, you do have control over the cooling and temperature. You can simply use the control knob or thermostat to set your cool box at a certain temperature. This is one advantage these fridges have over thermoelectric cool boxes.
Best electric cool boxes you can buy
Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best electric cool boxes you can buy on Amazon. We describe the pros and cons of buying each cool box in detail and also explore their special features. Keep reading!
1. Outwell EEI Classified ECOcool 35L 12V/230V
The Outwell EcoCool Cooling Box is one of the best electric cool boxes you can buy on Amazon. Outwell is a reliable brand that makes great outdoor equipment, and its products offer great value at affordable prices. The EcoCool Cooling Box is one such product that you can buy. It is a thermoelectric cooling box that can operate on a 230V power supply as well as a 12V battery. It provides excellent cooling and has a couple of cooling modes that you can choose from depending on how cool you want the contents to be.
On the max setting, the EcoCool can cool the contents at a temperature up to 25 degrees Celsius below the outside temperature! This means you’ll get great cooling even if it’s too hot outside. The EcoCool also has an eco mode that you can select for less cooling and hence longer battery life. The 35-litre capacity of the box makes it an ideal choice for storing an assortment of cans, bottles, and containers when you’re heading out for a picnic. The EcoCool is available in a slate grey colour
- Outwell is a brand known for providing quality outdoor products
- Good cooling and multiple modes to choose from
- Ample space for storing food and beverages
- Strong and sturdy build
- Can run both on an AC power supply as well as a battery
- Is perhaps a tad expensive compared to similar offerings by Chinese brands
2. Subcold Ultra 15 Mini Fridge Cooler & Warmer
The Subcold Ultra is another excellent electric cool box you can buy. While it may not have as much storage capacity as some of the other electric cool boxes on this list, it has a lot of other great features that make it an option worth considering. For starters, the Subcold Ultra can not only cool the contents but can also heat them! And since it is essentially a mini-fridge, you can easily access all your cans and containers. Moreover, the shelves in it are removable, a feature that is pretty useful if you want to store larger items.
The Subcold Ultra can be powered by both an AC supply as well as a DC one. It can cool the contents to 20 degrees Celsius and heat them to a temperature of 65 degrees Celsius. The Subcold also operates almost silently! It also weighs quite less and is very compact. But this comes with a price: less storage capacity. Since the cool box offers only 15 Litres of storage, it can only be used for storing snacks and drinks and may not be suitable for larger picnics. It is also a great thing to have with you if you’re going out camping and need to keep your drinks cool.
- great design, affordable price
- lightweight, compact, and easy to carry
- can provide both cooling and heating
- almost noiseless operation
- can operate on both AC and DC supply
- too small for a large number of people
3. Alpicool CX40 Portable Refrigerator
The Alpicool CX40 is another excellent option to consider if you want to buy an electric cool box. It is one of the best electric cool boxes you can buy since it is affordable and provides excellent value. The Alpicool is great for camping and outdoor picnics and has multiple cooling modes. It can even cool the contents at a temperature low enough to freeze water! The cool box has excellent battery life owing to its great insulation. Like many other cool boxes on this list, the Alpicool CX40 can run on both AC and DC power.
The CX40 is the 40-litre variant of the Alpicool Portable Refrigerator series and other sizes of the cool box are also available. The Alpicool has a great design, an ergonomic handle, and wheels at the bottom for easy transport. It is also relatively compact and lightweight, making it an ideal choice for weekend picnics and camping trips.
- very good cooling ability and insulation which enables the contents to be cool for a long time, even with the refrigerator turned off
- has wheels for easy transport
- 40 litres is a very reasonable capacity for family picnics
- cool design and comfortable handle
- can be powered by both AC and DC power supplies
- easy to maintain and clean
- comes with a battery protection mode
- it is expensive compared to other more affordable cool boxes on this list
4. VonShef Electric Cool Box 22 Litre
The VonShef Electric Cool Box is another option you might want to consider if you’re on the hunt for great electric cool boxes. The VonShef has a simple design with a blue body and white top and handle. Priced at around £ 50, it is one of the most affordable electric cool boxes that you can buy. The VonShef has good cooling power but doesn’t cool as well as some other cool boxes. It can cool the contents to a temperature of about 10 to 12 degrees Celsius, but not below that. This may not be cool enough for certain items, but it is perfect for cooling drinks on a hot day.
A few great features of the VonShef include a nice, comfortable handle and an effective locking mechanism. The cool box comes with a 12V cable to power it. This means you can power it in your car using the cigarette lighter, but you won’t be able to connect it to an AC supply. For that, you’ll need to buy an adapter separately since it is not included. But still, the VonShef offers great value and comes with a 2-year warranty as a bonus!
- good design, simple and effective handle
- quite affordable
- the 22-litre capacity is adequate for camping trips and small picnics
- needs an adapter to be connected to an AC power supply
- may not be large enough for big picnics with many people
- the cooling power is adequate but not as good as that of some other cool boxes
5. Hi-Gear Lightweight Waterproof Cooler 20 Litre
The Hi-Gear Lightweight Waterproof Cooler with its 20-litre capacity and £ 52.00 price tag may be exactly what you’re looking for if you want a great combination of quality and affordability. The Hi-Gear is one of the best electric cool boxes you can buy. To begin with, it has a very cool and simple design and is quite a string and sturdy. It has a nice handle that helps keep the lid in place when you open the box and allows easy access. The interior of the box doesn’t have any partitions but is easy to clean and maintain.
Like the VonShef we talked about earlier, the Hi-Gear also has a 12V-only connection and thus requires an adapter to get connected to an AC supply. It can cool the contents to a reasonable 10 degrees Celsius, which is good considering the price tag. It also comes with a control dial to change the cooling settings. Overall, the Hi-Gear Lightweight Waterproof Cooler is an excellent option to consider if you want a cool box with decent cooling capability and an affordable price tag. You can be sure you’ll get your money’s worth with this cool box.
- has a simple, stylish design
- very reasonable price tag
- has good cooling capability, but doesn’t cool below 10 degrees Celsius
- nice, comfortable handle that makes it easy to carry
- can’t be connected to a mains supply; needs an adapter for that
- doesn’t have internal partitions
- the 20-litre capacity may not be enough for large picnics
Electric cool boxes come in a large variety of sizes and types. They also come with different features and different price tags. In this guide, we’ve mentioned some of the best electric cool boxes you can buy. We hope this guide helps you in choosing the best cool box for yourself.
Keep up with our full-time van life travels over on our YouTube channel! If you enjoy our videos, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel 🙂 – Three As A Bird – Vanlife Travel – YouTube
You can take a look at some of our other van life posts which include lots and lots of hints and tips on all things van life here – Van Life – Travel Information, Hints, Tips and Advice (threeasabird.com)
If you’d like to follow more of our adventures or keep up to date with our travel hints and tips, please join our Facebook group, we’d love to connect with you all! –https://www.facebook.com/groups/309295536220437
Also, if you have Pinterest, please give us a follow for your van life travel inspiration! –https://pin.it/770Cq1Q
I have always wanted to travel and luckily I always got to travel to some amazing countries while I was growing up with my family and this really encouraged me to continue this and get out into the world on my own when I was older.
My goal growing up was really to see as much of the world as I could, but then I started going to work and really concentrating on my career and travel took a back seat. I still tried to get away a few times a year but I always knew there was an end goal which was to travel as much as possible.
So I got my head down and worked as hard as I could as an e-commerce manager. I have always been techy, I love computers and websites, so that’s where it gave me the idea to start this blog and also have my own web design agency. If you want to check it out or need any help then please take a look rrwebdesign.co.uk (shameless plug there)
But after covid, we both knew this was now the right time to take the leap and go and see the world after being trapped inside our house and working from home for a couple of years. We realised more than ever that you only get one life and you really need to make the most of it and do what you love!