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Best Car Electric Coolers & Refrigerators 2020 – Top 10 Rated Reviews

When out cruising in your SUV in the hot summers, we all wish our car had one thing: a fridge. Taking your sodas along with you on a road trip can be quite a migraine. How do you keep the cans cold? How can you keep your liquor fresh and icy chilled?

The answer is an electric car cooler. They’re the most convenient freezing solutions, and using them is simply plug-and-play.

For this purpose, we went out and found the top 10 brands of coolers that have made our road trips memorable.

Have a look!

Best Car Electric Coolers & Refrigerators Comparison Table

ProductsDimensionsWeightCapacityTemperature RangeVoltageRating
Dimensions
11 x 15 x 8 inches
Weight
5.5 lbs
Capacity
6 quarts
Temperature Range

36 F (cool)

140 F (warm)
Voltage
12 V DC
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Dimensions
5 x 5 x 5 inches
Weight
53  lbs
Capacity
50 quarts
Temperature Range
0 F
Voltage
12 V DC

110 V AC
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Dimensions
24 x 12.5 x 15.5 inches
Weight
28.5 lbs
Capacity
27 quarts
Temperature Range
-13 to 50 F
Voltage
12/24 V DC

100/240 V AC
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Dimensions
10.2 x 7.7 x 10.5 inches
Weight
4.85 lbs
Capacity
4 quarts
Temperature Range
40-45 F (cool)

122-144 F (warm)
Voltage
12V DC

110 V AC
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Dimensions
10 x 7.2 x 11 inches
Weight
4.65 lbs
Capacity
4 quarts
Temperature Range
32 F (cool)

150 F (warm)
Voltage
12V DC

110 V AC
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Dimensions
17.8 x 9 x 16.5 inches
Weight
5 lbs
Capacity
18 quart
Temperature Range
40 F (cool)

135 F (warm)
Voltage
12 V DC

110/120 V AC
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Dimensions
16.1 x 23.2 x 17.7 inches
Weight
16.65 lbs
Capacity
48 quarts
Temperature Range
40 F (cool)

130 F (warm)
Voltage
12 V DC

110 V AC
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Dimensions
23.5 x 17 x 15.3 inches
Weight
17.6 lbs
Capacity
40 quarts
Temperature Range
40 F
Voltage
12 V DC
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Dimensions
11.4 x 9.4 x 13.4 inches
Weight
10.1 lbs
Capacity
10 quarts
Temperature Range
35-40 F
Voltage

12 V DC

110 V AC
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Dimensions
16.16 x 13 x 17.88 inches
Weight
9 lbs
Capacity
26 quarts
Temperature Range
36 F
Voltage
12 V DC
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Top 10 Best Car Electric Coolers & Refrigerators 2020 Reviews

best car electric coolers refrigerators

1 Wagan EL6206

Managing your liquor on a road trip is now made easier by the Wagan EL6206. Arriving with its ergonomic design and two cup holders, the Wagan provides everything you need for cooling your beverages. It’s one of the best car cooler & refrigerator that doubles as an electric warmer.

So what does the Wagan have for us?

This Wagan cooler is designed for those who drink light or only need to cool a few cans. It can hold up to 6 quarts (5.68 liters), which is enough to say 9 cans. So it’s perfect for road trips with a small group of friends.

Here’s more…

The Wagan can keep your drinks cool 36 degrees F below the external temperature. And if you want to warm your food, it can warm it up to 140 degrees F. However, Wagan recommends pre-chilling/heating your food before you use the cooler.

The Wagan EL6206 uses a 12V DC power supply, which can be supplied by your car’s battery. Simply plug the cord into the cigarette lighter socket and let the unit preheat/chill. Alongside that, this cooler also features two cup holders.

But is it safe to use?

Certainly! While most coolers tend to use CFCs and harmful coolants, the Wagan cooler uses an electric element. So all cooling is done via the thermos-electric system, and no gasses or liquid coolants are required.

For a consumer, this means that their cooler will be non-toxic and won’t harm the environment. Plus, in a CFC cooler, if there’s a gas leak, it can be quite a hazard for the users.

It’s a great choice for cars, SUVs, trailers, and RVs. However, if the vehicle is your permanent home, you might want to look into a bigger cooler.

Wagan EL6206
Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Doubles as a heater.
  • Two cup holders.
  • Perfect for small circles.
  • Easy to carry.
  • Environment-friendly.

Cons

  • Sucks up too much battery power.

2 ARB 50 Quarts

If you want a bigger freezer, then what could be better than the ARB? It is a portable freezer that can reach critical temperatures of zero degrees. It can house up to 72 cans (assuming a can is 12 fluid ounces). So it’s a great find for anyone who travels with more friends or lives in a trailer.

What’s so special about the ARB freezer?

Well, aside from the bigger size, the ARB freezer can connect to two different types of power supplies. It uses a 12 V DC supply (can be provided by your car’s cigarette lighter socket).

Or, if you want to use it in your house, you can use the 110 V AC supply cable. Both the power cables come with the product, so there’s no need to worry about finding a suitable cable.

Alongside that, your ARB freezer has a temperature range of 50 F (10 C) to 0 F (-17.78 C). The ARB has your back if you want a light chill or a deep freeze. The designers have incorporated an LED screen on the front face of the freezer. Some very simple “up and down” controls allow you to set the temperature to your preference.

But how durable is it?

All ARB freezers come with highly durable patented latches and hinges. The lid is injection molded and is UV stable. What this means is that the contents inside the freezer will not be exposed to UV radiation. It, in turn, prevents both the electrical components and your beverages from long-time degradation.

Adding to that, the ARB freezer can be tilted about 30 degrees, due to its highly secure latching system. Tilting will neither force the lid open, and it will also not damage the components inside.

ARB 50 Quarts
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Connects to both AC and DC.
  • It can be used for permanent residences.
  • Simple controls.
  • UV protected lid.
  • Automatic safety shut-off.

Cons

  • Thermometer may be inaccurate.

3 COSTWAY Compressor Freezer

It’s not just the design that sets the Costway aside. This Costway Freezer has features you may not have seen in other coolers. For instance, you get to use two cooling modes, and the temperature can go well below freezing. It’s a spectacular product for blast freezing your drinks and fruits.

What’s new in the Costway?

To start with, the Costway introduces the concept of cooling modes. If you want to cool your drinks with the best power savvy option, then use the ECO Mode.

If, however, you want to freeze your beverages, then try the HH Mode. The HH Mode is only for emergency cooling and sucks up a lot of power in a short amount of time. The addition of modes helps you tailor your experience.

Subsequently, the Costway freezer also allows you to freeze at extreme temperatures. The temperature range of this cooler is from -13 F (-25 C) to 50 F (10 C). It still can’t be used as a heater, but the lower temperatures allow for freezing ice and veggies.

The Costway is made to be semi-intelligent. It can remember your previous temperature preferences and automatically sets itself accordingly.

But wait, there’s more.

The Costway comes with intelligent battery protection. It features a 3-level monitor that helps keep your battery safe from run-downs and high power consumption. Also, the interior features a shock absorber to prevent your cans from bursting.

Coming on to the size, the Costway freezer can house 46 cans, 29 regular bottles, and 12 bottles of red wine at a time—the interior features three compartments to separate your beverages.

COSTWAY Compressor Freezer
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Intelligent battery protection.
  • Features rapid freezing.
  • Saves up energy.
  • Memory function.
  • Three compartments.

Cons

  • May suck up more battery than expected.

4 Cooluli Mini Fridge

Don’t go out much? While a road trip with your friends can certainly be fun, some people prefer going solo. If you want a cooler that does not require a big circle of friends, then the Cooluli is the perfect choice for you. It is a personal cooler that’s made to house up to 6 cans.

Why is the Cooluli best for me?

The Cooluli offers a quick solution to both cooling and heating. When on cooling mode, its working temperature range is 40 F to 45 F, and on warming mode, its capacity is 122 F to 144 F. So it’s not good for freezing food. The Cooluli is simply meant to chill beverages and skincare products.

Is that all? No, wait!

So how does this thermoelectric system work? The Cooluli works by transferring heat from one side of the unit to the other end. Preferably, you should wait about half an hour before switching from cooling to warming. It does not use CFCs or Freon as a cooling agent, so there’s no need to worry about leaks.

How can I use this?

For more flexible usage, the Cooluli provides three connectivity options. Use the 12 V DC supply for cars, trucks, and RVs. Use the 110 V AC supply for permanent homes or motorhomes with an AC supply. Or you can use the 2 Amp USB cable to charge the unit through a power bank.

The Cooluli mini fridge will help you save a lot. It’s designed to consume the minimal amount of energy, and its fans help it to actively dissipate heat. This fridge is made for use for skincare products, baby milk, small food items, and beverages.

Cooluli Mini Fridge
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Quiet operation.
  • Best for warming milk.
  • CFC and Freon free.
  • Power bank USB cable included.
  • Features carry handle.

Cons

  • Not for deep freezing.

5 Gourmia GMF600

Another personal fridge, these come in a pitch-black design. The Gourmia takes your idea of a personal fridge and gives it its twist. This cooler is capable of housing 4 liters or 6 cans and is the perfect solution to a personal mini-fridge. You can also use the Gourmia for cooling all your skincare products and keeping milk warm.

How does it work?

The construction and working of the Gourmia are similar to other fridges in the price range. It uses a thermoelectric system, whereby a heating element is heated or cooled by electricity. This manner of heating is the most eco-friendly, as it does not use CFCs, Freon, or other coolants.

The best part…

More specifically, the Gourmia has a working temperature range of max 32 F below the ambient temperature. So most of how cool it can get depend on how hot it is outside.

As for the warming function, the Gourmia can heat the contents to 150 F. This temperature range and dual-mode use makes it perfect for cooling beverages and heating milk.

What’s more?

Adding to that, the Gourmia fridge can attach to both AC and DC power outputs. The DC will fit into your car’s cigarette lighter socket, whereas the AC can fit anywhere in your home. The inner structure features a removable shelf. Although if you want to store 6 cans, we recommend keeping the shelf intact.

Unfortunately, the Gourmia does not allow you to set the temperature. You can only go either full cold or full warm. If you want more control, you can insulate the exterior or keep the food in for a shorter time.

Gourmia GMF600
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Eco-friendly.
  • Best personal fridge.
  • Stores milk and formulas.
  • Longer lifespan.
  • Easy to carry and store.

Cons

  • No discreet temperature control.

6 Koolatron P-20

The Koolatron P-20 is all about the design. This cooler is a great companion for a road trip with a close circle of friends. It can connect directly into your car’s power outlet and makes for some exceptional cooling. The Koolatron can store up to 23 cans and features both a DC and an AC supply line.

More on this later.

The first thing you’ll notice is the slim, compact design. It has a height of about 16 inches, but only a 9-inch width. Many people have to keep their coolers on the backseat when there are already enough people in the car. Or some people put their coolers in the trunk.

More so, the Koolatron has been molded from plastic. The exterior is insulated, so no heat can escape or enter the system. Speaking of heat, the Koolatron has been designed to both cool and warm your food. It can warm your food up to 135 F (57 C) and cools down to 40 F (22 C) below room temperature.

But there’s a catch.

Admittedly, there isn’t much temperature control in the Koolatron. You can either go full warm, or full cool. So if the food you want to heat or cool is too temperature sensitive, this product may not be for you.

It’s an 18-quart cooler that can store up to 23 cans, so you can use it in SUVs and RVs. The top features a foldable handle, and the empty cooler itself only weighs 5 pounds.

However, you do get both a 12V DC power line and a 110/120 V AC line. Plus, it draws a more conserved amount of power, saving you hundreds in the longer run.

Koolatron P-20
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Compact design.
  • Perfect for SUVs and RVs.
  • Doubles as a heater.
  • Insulated exterior.
  • Lower power draw.

Cons

  • No discreet temperature control.

7 Knox Electric Cooler

Now you can get all of your favorite features but on wheels. The Knox is the first and only cooler on our list that can be carried away easily using the wheels.

It’s a big and heavy cooler, made to house up to 60 cans of soda. So you’ll be needing the added wheels. The side features handle on both sides, along with highly secure latches and insulation.

But that’s not all.

The Knox Electric Cooler is made to be bigger and better. It can handle a total capacity of 48 quarts. It is roughly about 60 cans of soda, or 6 two-liter bottles and 15 cans. In essence, the interior features removable dividers to separate different beverages.

And the top houses two compartments for storing the plugs. These compartments have lids that keep the plugs where you need them.

And while we’re on the topic of plugs, it is important to note that this cooler has two power cords. They’re both built-in: one supply 12V DC, and the other can supply 110V AC. Aside from that, the operation of the cooling unit is extremely quiet.

What’s more?

Aside from all that, the Knox doubles as a heater. It can warm up your soup and tea to 130 F. And the unit can reach a lower temperature of 40 F to chill your favorite soda. The temperature cannot be fine-tuned, and can only be 130 F or 40 F.

It is the perfect companion for road trips, tailgating, taking to the beach, and using a motorhome. However, it is bigger than the others and weighs about 16 pounds.

Knox Electric Cooler
Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Conserves power and battery.
  • Extremely quiet operation.
  • Easier to drag around.
  • Larger capacity.
  • Compartment for storing plugs.

Cons

  • Heavier than others.

8 Coleman Cooler 40 – Quart Portable Cooler

If you want a cooler for a tailgate party but fail to compensate your budget, then the Coleman Cooler is your best shot. You can find Coleman at a reasonable price. It’s one of the best 40-quart coolers for its value and high quality. You can fit up to 44 cans of soda into the Coleman, or about 19 two-liter soda bottles.

So what’s new in Coleman?

Well, for starters, the door of the Coleman can open from both sides. So you don’t have to worry about the cooler facing the right way.

The door latches securely on both sides and allows you to tilt the cooler about 30 degrees. It is so you can carry the cooler by dragging it. With the Coleman, you are also supplied an 8-foot long power cord.

The cooler can be charged even a few feet away from the car. So its applications aren’t just limited to your vehicle. Unfortunately, Coleman only works with a 12V DC power supply. So you can’t use it in your home. But you can buy an adapter to make it work in your household.

But how exactly does it work?

Much like other coolers in the price range, Coleman uses a thermoelectric element to cool the beverages. It avoids the usage of coolants such as Freon and CFCs. The fumes from those substances can be fatal, especially in an enclosed environment, such as a vehicle.

Last but not least…

The Coleman can cool your food down to 40 degrees below the room temperature. It can prove to be disadvantageous when the room temperature is too hot. Especially on boats or cars during sunny days. Additionally, Coleman does not include a heater.

Coleman Cooler 40 – Quart Portable Cooler
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Conserves energy and battery power.
  • Door opens both ways.
  • Eco-friendly and CFC-free.
  • 30-degree tilt.
  • Best for tailgates and picnics.

Cons

  • Dependent on the temperature outside.

9 Cooluli K10LGA

Let us introduce you to another mini-fridge, one which you can share with your roommates and friends. The Cooluli K10LGA is a compact cooling unit that can fit up to 12 cans of soda. It’s the ideal choice for sharing with your roommates or using on the go.

What does this cooler offer?

First off, the Cooluli K10GA has a versatile application. It can be used for almost anything – from soda cans to greens and even milk and formulas. The small size of the fridge makes it more personal, suiting at best 3 people. Preferably, you can take the cooler on a road trip, as it fits neatly into your car’s trunk or RV.

Equipped with semiconductor technology, this Cooluli model is CFC free and cannot leak or cause poison. It not only makes the Cooluli more energy efficient but also reduces the noise produced by the unit. So you can freeze your food overnight without waking everyone up.

But wait, there’s more.

The unit cools your beverages to about 35 to 40 degrees F below the ambient temperature. It is the perfect range for chilling drinks but not freezing veggies. More so, the temperature of the cooler will depend on the external temperature. But it’s perfect for keeping your ice cream frozen or chilling breast milk.

Not only that, but the Cooluli also comes with a 1-year limited warranty. And the top features a molded foldable handle. However, you might find this unit harder to carry, as it weighs about 7 pounds when empty.

Cooluli K10LGA
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Perfect for dorms and apartments.
  • Saves up energy.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Easier to pick up and carry.
  • 1-year limited warranty.

Cons

  • Interior sweats a lot.

10 Igloo Cooler

Igloo is improved for on-the-go use, as it doesn’t require any ice. Instead, you can power it with the help of the cigarette lighter. This powers the thermoelectric semiconductors that keep the Igloo cool and chilly.

What’s in it for me?

This unit is perfect for long outings as there is no compelling reason to revive the ice in a cooler. Igloo features side handles that are molded-in to the cooler. It also features a brushless motor and convection cooling. Convection cooling moves the air around the cooler to ensure that all items are evenly cooled.

Igloo also comes with an 8 feet long supply line that can be connected to any 12V DC port (ex. a vehicle cigarette lighter). Likewise, it can be connected to a standard AC outlet through the provided AC plug. Igloo has a dimension of 16.16 x 13 x 17.88 inches, and the cooler weighs 9 pounds.

Why should I use the Igloo cooler?

Igloo has many advantages. Firstly, it offers an innovative technological solution to the issue of transporting cold food or drinks over long distances.

Secondly, an adapter cord can be used to plug the cooler into an AC outlet. It is ideal for traveling, as the cooler can be brought inside and kept cool even when the car is turned off.

Both the top handle and the molded side-handles allow for easy transportation. It is an important feature as this cooler will likely need to be moved in and out of the car frequently. It is the best cooler for picnics and tailgates.

Igloo Cooler
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Ideal for traveling.
  • Runs constantly to keep things cool.
  • Shape is optimal for storage.
  • Features a brushless motor.
  • Fan isn’t too loud.

Cons

  • May harm the car battery in the long term.

Best Car Electric Coolers & Refrigerators Buying Guide

There’s a lot that goes into making the best car cooler & refrigerators. It’s all about the design, size, capacity, and of course, power conservation. We’re here to help you decide which electric car cooler is the best choice for you.

Remember to choose according to your needs, the occasion, and your current budget.

car electric coolers refrigerators

Capacity

First things first, decide what capacity you want. If you want to store small fruits, sweets, milk, and a few cans, then a mini-fridge of 4-quart capacity should be sufficient.

For going on road trips with a group of say 5-6 adults, get a cooler that can fit 12-18 cans. It should usually be in the 10-20 US quart range. For tailgating or bigger parties, get a cooler that can store up to 60 cans. You can find these in the 20-48 quart range.

Usually, the interior of the cooler will have a compartment divider that will help separate the bottles from the cans. Use this to your advantage and optimize the space to carry both bottles and cans.

Size

When we talk about the size, we refer to how well the cooler fits inside your standard car. Some coolers are deeper instead of being wider. It reduces the surface area taken up by the cooler. So these will be easier to store in a trunk or keep on the backseat.

But it’s not all about storing it. You need to be concerned about how you’re going to carry it in the first place. In our experience, many coolers battle the portability issue by featuring a carry strap or a handle. Some may even come with small caster wheels.

But it’s not just that- you need to check the weight as well. The weight for smaller coolers should not be more than 7 pounds. Larger coolers can weigh as much as 20+ pounds.

Indoor Use

Most electric car coolers come with a 12 V DC power outlet. But some have been faceted with a 110/120 V AC supply. Your car cooler can double as a regular cooler in your home when you’re not traveling. Most households and even temporary houses, such as motorhomes, will have a 110 V AC mains supply.

Using the cooler inside the home will be harder if the internal temperature is high. Most car coolers depend on the external temperature.

Additionally, you can purchase an AC to DC adapter for a median price. Many are designed specifically to match the male part of the cigarette lighter plug. Simply plug the DC power line supplied by the manufacturer into one end of the adapter. And plug the other end into a wall outlet.

Temperature Range

It is the next essential thing to look out for. Some coolers will also function as heaters. So the temperature range can vary. For cooling units, the temperature should be a maximum of 50 F (10 C). And the lower limit can be anywhere in the negative.

If you prefer freezing the food, then go for a range below 32 F (0 C). If you just want to chill your food, then anything lower than 50 F should be fine.

For heaters, below 130 F, and above 100 F seems to be the suitable range. You want to keep your soup and bread warm. However, many electric car coolers won’t allow you to change the temperature in steps. Instead, they will have a single preset temperature and won’t be able to deviate from that.

Warranty

Electric car coolers can have a warranty period that’s about 1-2 years. However, the conditions differ from brand to brand. Some may only offer a limited warranty after one year. Most warranty policies are available online and can be found on the manufacturer’s website.

Noise Level

Noise level isn’t the first issue people may face. After all, you’ll be using the cooler in your car, where road noises and truck horns are enough to drown out the noise. However, if you’re not in a moving car (say, you’re living in an RV or a trailer), then the noise should concern you.

Typically, a good cooler should not make more noise than your average dehumidifier. Most brands don’t list the exact noise level, but it’s safe to assume it’s somewhere close to 30-40 dB. For reference, a traditional vacuum cleaner has a noise level of 74-76 dB.

Wrap Up

To conclude, road trips are no fun without our favorite cooler, casually chilling our drinks for us. While we reviewed some of the most amazing coolers, we found that one cooler stuck out. The Costway cooling unit proved to be the best car cooler & refrigerator. We chose this one as the final winner, especially due to its high value and quality design.

And it has all the features you need, including discreet temperature control and internal memory. It may cost you more, but it will be worth the expenditure.

So pull out your wallet and buy your very own electric car cooler now!

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