Best electric cool box for camping
If you’re looking for the best electric cool box to take on your next camping trip, we’ve looked at some of the best ones one the market so you can find one that’s going to work for your camping party.
Regular cool boxes are great for a day or two, but for longer trips you’ll want to have a way to keep your food and drinks cooler for a bit longer, and these electric cool boxes provide a great way to do that.
If you’re unsure which size cool box you need for your camping party, have a look at our Cool Box Size Guide here.
How Does An Electric Cool Box Work?
Electric cool boxes work by having a heat pump fitted into the cool box. This pump, along with a fan system, then disperses the heat to outside the box, causing the temperature of the inside of the box to drop, keeping your food and drinks cool.
In fact, they work a little in the same way as fridge, except that your cool box doesn’t actually get cold, but rather cool, as the pumps removing the heat.
Our top electric cool boxes for camping
These are our top 5 picks if you’re looking for an electric cool box:
This iceQ 32 litre electric cool box is good quality cool box. It’s perfect for keeping your food and drink cool when traveling, and is great for camping.
It comes with both a UK mains plug and a 12 Volt car cigarette lighter socket and uses a thermoelectric cooling system. There is also a heating option which can keep your food warm if that’s needed.
- Capacity = 32 Litre
- Colours: Red / Blue
- Energy Rating = A**
- Climate Class = SN, N
- Noise Level = 30 dB
- DC Voltage = 12 V
- AC Voltage = 220 – 240 V
- Daily Power Consumption = 0.19 kWh
- Cooling Range = 20 °C / 68 °F (max below ambient temperature)
- Runs on 12 V DC or 230 V AC
- Cooling up to 18 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature
This 40L Mobicool electric cool box has wheels! That’s a great function as anyone who’s ever taken one of these camping will tell you they can get pretty heavy when they’re loaded up.
The lid has a two part ‘split’ feature which helps to regulate the temperature loss when the box is opened. There’s also a two part compartment section organiser so you can keep the contents organised. The handles also been well thought out so you can have it shorter or longer depending on which is more comfortable for you.
- 2 wheels for easy transportation
- Temperature range Max 18ºc below
- Foldable multi function handle and side carrying handles
- Split lid to minimise cooling loss
- Room for upright 2-litre bottles
- 2 removable dividers
- Interior and exterior fans
- ❆ COMPACT LAYOUT WHILE LARGE CAPACITY. Alpicool G22 car refrigerator with 22.8‘’x 12.6’’ x 13.2’’ exterior size, you can carry...
- ❆ FREEZES WITHOUT ICE & FASTER COOLING: -20℃(-4℉)to 20℃(68℉) powerful chilling performance. The Alpicool G22 car refrigerator can...
This Alpicool mini fridge is on the small side and better suited to an individual, or being used as a drinks only electric cool box. It’s a tough little cool box though, and has been designed to be driven over rugged terrain while maintaining it’s functionality, so if you’re going off grid this is good.
- Suitable for Car using work on 12/24V DC.
- Can freeze down to -4°F(-20°C) for true car refrigeration.
- 3 stage car battery protection system to prevent the car battery run down.
- Vibration resistant design to protect the device safety while driving on road.
- High-capacity 24-litre design; stores up to 39 x 330 ml cans and can fit a single 2L bottle upright
- Suitable for both cooling and heating; keeps items 18°C below ambient temperature when cooling or up to 65°C when warming
This electric cool box from AmazonBasics is a well priced good quality pick. Big enough for a small family, this 26L capacity box is really energy efficient having gained an A+++ rating.
The power cable stores neatly in the lid which has a locking handle. This is a fab mid range cool box we think!
- 26-litre capacity
- 39.6 x 29.6 x 39.5 cm; 4 kg
- Metallic blue
- Cools to 18°C below
- Warms up to 65°C
- Powered by 12V DC or 230V AC
- Cable storage, carry handle, and hinged lid
- Energy efficiency class A+++
This Hi-Gear cooler box is a slightly more basic model than some of the others but the lower price reflects that. If you’re looking for a simple electric cool box for your camping trip this one does the job.
- 28L capacity
- Powered by your vehicle’s 12V socket or a 240V mains
- Switch between hot and cold
- Integrated handle
Do electric cool boxes work?
If you’ve only ever used a regular non-powered cool box with ice packs previously, an electric cool box is ideal if you’re away for longer periods of time, but you need to think about how you’re going to keep it running.
You’ll need to use your mains electric to completely cool your packed cool box before you leave for your trip.
These cool boxes can be power hungry, so if you’re travelling around in the car, using the 12V in car power is fine, but really a 12V power source will only help to keep your cooler temperature down, it’s not enough power to be able to maintain it’s lowest temperature which is why the box should be cooled on the mains power before you leave.
When you’re not travelling, and if you’re in a campsite you could pay for an electric hook up (assuming it’s all been done to legal safety standards!).
You also have the option of powering your electric cool box using solar panels, although this is more complicated. You can read about powering a cool box using solar power here.
Are electric coolers worth it?
It depends on your camping trip as to whether an electric cool box is worth it. As we just talked about, you’ll need to have a proper power source to be able to keep your electric cool box at it’s lowest temperature and the 12V source in cars is not powerful enough to do this, and will also drain your car battery!
Some campers prefer to use an electric hook up at a camping site, in which case an electric cool box is definitely worth it. Other people don’t want to pay the sometimes very high cost of this and so wouldn’t be able to maximise the cool box benefits.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, your car 12V will be good enough to help keep the box temperature down, but that’s all.
Are 12v cool boxes any good?
12V cool boxes are good for helping to keep an already cooled cool box temperature down. If you cool your box using your mains power before you leave on your trip, the 12V power source in your car will help to maintain the temperature while you’re on the road.
However, a 12V source of power is unlikely to be able to get your cool box down to it’s lowest temperature. Some of these boxes are power hungry and will drain your car battery if the car’s not running, so you’ll need to think about your power source if you’re thinking about purchasing on of these.