Best Thermoelectric Coolers 2019 – Reviews and Top Picks

Thermoelectric coolers represent a new stage in the technological development of mundane tools – after all, using a literal icebox at the time when everything is digital and powered up is hardly reasonable. What are the benefits of using modern iceless coolers? Well, for instance, when dealing with thermoelectric coolers you do not have to worry about ice supply or urgent refreezing, you can control the temperature and even enjoy warming functions. Today many companies with a long and successful history on the market are engaged in the production of various coolers: the choice is great and capable of satisfying any reasonable demands.

The latest selection of high-performance iceless coolers can combine mobility with durability, deep freezing modes with warming features. Since such a variety of options may be confusing, we’d like to provide assistance with our own choice of the best thermoelectric coolers of the last season.

Name
Minimum temperature:
Maximum temperature:
Operating mode:
Capacity:
Price
Name
Minimum temperature:
Maximum temperature:
Operating mode:
Capacity:
Price
№1
32F below ambient temperature
65F above ambient temperature
Cooling and warming
35 quarts
№3
40F below ambient temperature
130F above ambient temperature
cooling and warming
48 quarts
№4
30F below ambient temperature
120F above ambient temperature
Cooling and warming
6 12-oz cans
№5
36F below ambient temperature
N/A
Cooling
26 quarts
№6
40F below ambient temperature
145F above ambient temperature
Cooling and warming
29 quarts
№7
38F below ambient temperature
N/A
Cooling
40 quarts
№8
40F below ambient temperature
N/A
Cooling
40 quarts
№9
32F below ambient temperature
75F above ambient temperature
Cooling and warming
4 quarts
№10
86 ° F
149 ° F
cooling and warming
13.5 quarts, cooling to 34°F, single-zone cooling compartmentShow More

The Dometic’s Tropicool thermoelectric cooler has all the features of a truly satisfying product. It demonstrates high energy-saving parameters, great versatility, satisfying capacity, and modern design. The cooler is dust-, corrosion-, and moisture-resistant. It also features a durable magnetic lock, which provides both reliable protection of its contents and allows easy access when necessary. The cooler is also comparatively lightweight – the largest model, which provides 35 quarts of open space, weighs less than 23 lbs. The memory function is also available allowing you to avoid repeating the same commands. Being a modern eco-friendly model, the cooler has A++ energy saving rating, which is rather an exclusion for thermoelectric coolers with similar characteristics.

Minimum temperature:
32F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
65F above ambient temperature
Operating mode:
Cooling and warming
Capacity:
35 quarts
PROS

Seven-stage temperature regulator

Magnetic lock

A++ energy class rating

Power-saving circuit

USB-charging ports

Equipped with AC/DC cords

Fold-away handle

Quite durable

Cons

High price

Meet one of the most technologically advanced coolers available on the market! Dometic CFX 100W looks like it came to us, from the future, in a time machine. The design is both stylish and practical. It is made from a thermoplastic polymer, with reinforced corners (we all know that’s a weak spot for many coolers) and stainless steel hinges.
One more proof that this cooler represents high-end technology is the possibility of digitally controlling the settings and features – you can change the temperature, lights, voltage, and the battery from the display on the cooler and from your phone via the Dometic CFX app. Impressive, right?
Let’s not forget about one of its main advantages! The size of Dometic CFX 100W is significant – 93 quarts. You can place there about 146 cans! That’s more than enough for any kind of camping or vacation.

Minimum temperature:
-7F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
N/A
Operating mode:
Cooling
Capacity:
93 quarts
PROS

Low power consumption

Outstanding cooling performance

Advanced electronics

No ice

Practical and stylish design

Digital control

App

Easy organizing

USB port

Large capacity

Cons

Pricey

The K-Box Electric keeps your beverages or food as cold as you want it – or warms them up. Next, you probably want it to be as roomy as it is possible? How does 48 quarts sound to you? This allows you to store 60 cans of soda inside! Plus it has a removable divider, which lets you separate your food from the drinks.
Forget about carrying this little fella on your back – let the wheels roll. Double handles will make it even easier for you to take this cooler with you anywhere you want to go.

Minimum temperature:
40F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
130F above ambient temperature
Operating mode:
cooling and warming
Capacity:
48 quarts
PROS

Simple Cool/Heat switcher

A lot of space

Easy organizing

Double handles and wheels

6 ft. long cords, one for the car, one for the wall outlet

Special storage compartment for cords

No ice packs

Cons

Durability

Price

The Cooluli mini fridge is a perfect choice for those preferring modern design and stylish features. While it is rather small for its class, this cooler has a great number of distinctive and very beneficial features: compatibility with 110v, 12v or USB power supplies, energy-saving eco mode, classy warming features, and the capability to maintain temperatures in the range from 30F below ambient temperature to 120F above ambient temperature. The thermoelectric cooler has a protective scratching-resistant shell and intuitively understandable interface.

Minimum temperature:
30F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
120F above ambient temperature
Operating mode:
Cooling and warming
Capacity:
6 12-oz cans
PROS

Excellent style

Sturdy shell

AC + DC + USB power cords

Digital LED display

Maximum heat reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit

Highly portable

Five different colors

Energy-saving eco mod

Compact design

Cons

Average cooling properties

Limited storage capacity

The Igloo Iceless thermoelectric cooler is characterized by classic ergonomic design focused on reliable insulation and protection of food. The locking mechanism is durable enough to withstand constant use and provide comfortable access to its inner compartments. The capacity of this product is 26 quarts. There is also a bigger model available on the market that holds 40 quarts. The product is available in two color sets: white and silver.

Minimum temperature:
36F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
N/A
Operating mode:
Cooling
Capacity:
26 quarts
PROS

Durable handle

8-feet long power cord

Compact design

Reliable maintenance of low temperatures

Easy-to-use locking mechanism

Cons

No warming option

Average storage capacity

May require a special adapter

The Koolatron Voyager cooler represents a pinnacle of time-tested design (the manufacturer provides various thermoelectric coolers for more than 30 years with constant success). It is highly durable as for a portable cooler and designed to withstand moderately harsh conditions. The cooler can be plugged in an ordinary cigarette lighter in your vehicle without bothering with extra adapters. As for the warming capabilities, the cooler can heat the food up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightweight and roomy (the cooler holds up to 48 cans), this model easily fits in ordinary vehicles. All-in-all, this cooler may be an optimal choice for auto enthusiasts. Increased insulation also allows using it for transportation of medicinal drugs that should be stored under low temperatures.

Minimum temperature:
40F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
145F above ambient temperature
Operating mode:
Cooling and warming
Capacity:
29 quarts
PROS

Does not overheat

Compact

Molded handles

Easy-to-open

Cools down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperatures

Quite roomy

Cons

Slightly noisy

Decreased capacity

No review of the best coolers is worth your attention unless it does not feature at least one of the Igloo Coolers. The manufacturing company has been at the thermoelectric coolers market since its very beginning; thus, it is small wonder that it is capable of proposing a decent affordable product. The Igloo Iceless cooler features brushless quiet motor with optimum cooling performance. The cooler is made of polypropylene with several insulation layers providing a sufficient thermal barrier. The innovated cooling convection system helps to maintain low temperatures both enhancing the cooling effect and saving energy. The back of the ice chest is slightly curved, so it can be carried with maximum comfort. The cooler is powered by 12V DC adapter and provides a temperature of 38F below ambient temperature.

Minimum temperature:
38F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
N/A
Operating mode:
Cooling
Capacity:
40 quarts
PROS

Quiet

Compatible with 12-volt auto plug

Adjustable food shelf

Ergonomic design

Increased storage volume

Attractive price

Cons

Latches may not work perfectly

No heating option

Coleman 40-Quart portable cooler is the classic travel companion. It is light and easy to carry around, the cooling performance is outstanding, and the capacity of this little fella equals 44 beer or soda cans – what else do you need during a short trip? It can keep your food and beverages at a stable temperature that is below the ambient for 40F! That means that even if it is 80F outside, your cooler will still keep the contents cold at 40F. And there is no need for annoying ice packs everywhere! Just plug in its 12Vcar power adaptor. The Coleman Cooler fits into almost every car, as you can put it down as an ordinary chest cooler or put it vertically when space is an issue.

Minimum temperature:
40F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
N/A
Operating mode:
Cooling
Capacity:
40 quarts
PROS

Lightweight

40 quarts

Very nice cooling

No ice packs

8 ft. 12V car power adaptor

Can place it both horizontal and vertical

Storage tray

Doors open from different sides

Perfect fit for a truck or a boat

The price is very reasonable

Cons

Durability

High power consumption

If you need a cooler that can fit in 100 cans of beer for a long trip – this is not the right one for you. Gourmia GMF668 is a very small refrigerator. It can only accommodate about six cans of soda or beer, so no luck for a big company there. However, if it is just you and a couple of friends – then it will be more than enough. Moreover, this cooler has one more purpose! It has a Bluetooth speaker that connects to your gadget. Play your music, listen to an audiobook during a road trip or stream podcasts – whatever you want! It is an absolutely irreplaceable part of any outside party or long journey.

Minimum temperature:
32F below ambient temperature
Maximum temperature:
75F above ambient temperature
Operating mode:
Cooling and warming
Capacity:
4 quarts
PROS

Both cooling and warming

Bluetooth speaker

ETL certificate

Lightweight

Easy portability

2 power cords

Low price

Cons

The speaker creates additional noise that cannot be fixed

The cooler is really tiny.

Dometic TC14-DC-A thermoelectric cooler will be an indispensable helper for storing various products on the road and at home. It can please everyone, due to the presence of both heating and cooling functions. If you want to drink cold water when it is hot outside, it is enough to set the value of the cooler to the appropriate amount. The same applies to the opposite situation.

We should also mention the design and management of the cooler. It is ergonomic and compact outside, but inside it can fit a lot of products. The total volume of almost 14 quarts is not bad for the stated size. The cooler has a built-in magnetic lock for smooth operation.

You will not have any problems with the settings — the temperature sets on the front panel. To meet the many functions of heating, cooling, and heat preservation, the Dometic TC14-DC-A is equipped with a 7-stage air regulation system.

You can connect the device to the main universal. It operates under a direct and alternating current 12/24 V DC 110 V AC. You can use it at home by charging it at a regular outlet, the portable car charger will also work.

The built-in memory helps to remember your preferences. This saves you time when configuring regular programs.

The robust and convenient handle allows you to take the cooler with you on nature excursions or any kind of trip. You will not get tired carrying it, thanks to the use of modern lightweight materials in the construction of the device – it weighs 12.13 lbs.

Minimum temperature:
86 ° F
Maximum temperature:
149 ° F
Operating mode:
cooling and warming
Capacity:
13.5 quarts, cooling to 34°F, single-zone cooling compartment
PROS

7 step temperature control system

A magnetic lock on the lid

Ability to keep warm and cold

Easy to transport

Very lightweight

Compact

Durable polymer hurdles

Thermoelectric technology

Cons

High price

Limited temperature range

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Thermoelectric Cooler

How to Choose the Best Thermoelectric Cooler

Thermoelectric coolers have serious advantages when compared with traditional iceboxes: unlimited ice retention values, high operational freedom, guaranteed temperature maintenance, and optional warming capabilities. Until quite recently, thermoelectric coolers have been considered cumbersome and too heavy to deal with; however, the appearance of new portable and semi-portable models, such as the Koolatron Voyager cooler, allow us to slough off these obsolete prejudice.

Obviously, versatility comes in league with complexity: modern thermoelectric coolers with intelligent energy-saving circuits and various thermoregulatory sensors are more sophisticated and require special consideration. What features are crucial when it comes to choosing the best cooler? What options are necessary and what features are rather obsolete? Below are several key factors you may need to consider before a final decision.

Key considerations on choosing the best thermoelectric cooler

Is freezing mode necessary?

Well, if you plan nothing more than preserving a couple of sandwiches and sodas cold, a freezing mode is a certain overkill. The best models that feature this mode are quite expensive and may require additional maintenance. However, if you fancy rather extended trips then powerful freezing capabilities are strongly recommended. For a number of occupations, such as a truck driver, a freezing mode is pretty much the most important feature – when on the road you cannot risk your health. The Dometic’s TropiCool iceless cooler seems a reasonable choice in such a situation.
Is freezing mode necessary in thermoelectric cooler

Of course, a freezing mode is remarkable convenient for using your cooler as a stationary backup cooling agent. In this case, you may need iceless models with increased storage capacity in order to optimize the efficiency/cost ratio.

What are the advantages of warming capabilities?

At the cost of slightly increased consumption of power, you may get a handy warmer/cooler with doubled efficiency and obvious multipurposeness. The heating option is great not only when you need to prepare frozen food but also if you plan to serve both warm and cooled dishes. For instance, both Koolatron Voyager and Cooluli models provide enough warming capabilities to deal with such a tricky task. Naturally, this feature is rather redundant in extra-small iceless chests and intended for average-volume coolers.
What are the advantages of warming capabilities in thermoelectric coolers

How to Deal With Tight Spaces or the Advantages of Compact Coolers

An ideal cooler should contain everything you need, occupying minimum space. While smaller sizes are preferable but hardly essential for stationary coolers, when it comes to portable models ergonomic design is the most important feature, save for performance rate. A cooler of satisfying quality must be not only fit in tight places but also demonstrate necessary durability in order to withstand extended trips. Naturally, you may have your own requirements towards this issue in accordance with your ideas about the spare place you may be ready to sacrifice to fit a cooler. However, among the provided above models, Igloo Iceless Coolers provide the highest ergonomic adequacy, so if this issue is of great importance to you, you may start your search with these coolers.
how to deal with tight spaces of thermoelectric coolers

Efficiency

Efficiency determines what amount of time it takes to reach the desired temperature. It is reported that the best results are shown by thermoelectric coolers with USB-compatible chargers. Since both warming and cooling features depend on the quality of thermal insulation and cooling elements, the coolers featuring warming modes also demonstrate top results. You may not experience troubles with low-rate coolers until you start loading them until you reach their maximum capacity – this when the effects of slower cooling show themselves. Hence, highly efficient thermoelectric coolers are preferable even despite their increased cost.
Efficiency of thermoelectric coolers

Power Options

This factor determines how your cooler withstands rapid changes in the ambient temperature without failing to maintain a steady inner temperature. Usually, models with additional insulation have no problem with drastic temperature changes. The best results are demonstrated by premium coolers, which is only natural. This factor is crucial for those who plan long trips.
power options of a thermoelectric coolers

Volume and Size

When it comes to size and volume, the only correct answer is that the best size is the size you need. Of course, a certain balance between size and volume is preferable, yet a compact cooler that cannot store all necessary food won’t do you any good. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the correlation between the size and the storage capacity is not linear – some coolers have additional inner compartments whereas other models can keep only limited amounts of food despite their great size because of thickened walls.
Volume and Size of a thermoelectric coolers

Conclusion

Thermoelectric coolers are useful and multipurpose tools that may be of use in a countless number of everyday events. Although these models are pretty durable, they also require careful maintenance in order to provide satisfying performance rate. Therefore, when choosing a shiny new cooler, you should keep in mind such forgettable yet utterly important details as wide access, rust-resistant coating, along with additional cords and adapters. All of the provided above coolers are good enough to work long and steady, so you may stop worrying about the overall quality of the product and consider what features are of the most importance to you.

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By Chris Hayes
    about author

    My name is Chris and I am a hunter, outdoorsman, survivalist of 36 years old from Bosie, Idaho. Being a participant of Ihea-USA, I like big game hunting most of all, especially hunting white-tailed deer. Except hunting, I’m also keen on fishing and gaining new knowledge how to survive in the wild nature.As a professional hunter, I do not stop improving upon own hunting skills and testing new gear, equipment, hardware and weapons.I write articles to share my experience and knowledge with the readers who motivate me for more. For any additional information contact me at [email protected]

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