Discover the Best Thermoelectric Coolers to Keep Your Drinks Cold

#1 Pick

Dometic TC35


Igloo Iceless 40-quart cooler

Best Budget

Igloo 28-quart Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler
#1 Pick
Dometic TC35
Score 8.2 OUT OF 10
Igloo Iceless 40-Quart Cooler
Igloo Iceless 40 Quart Cooler
Score 8.6 OUT OF 10
Best Budget
Igloo Portable 28 Quart Thermoelectric
Igloo 28-quart Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler
Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
Koolatron Electric Portable Cooler Plug in 12V
Koolatron Thermoelectric Cooler
Score 7.8 OUT OF 10
Wagan 12V Portable Thermoelectric Cooler
Wagan 12V Personal Cooler/Warmer
Score 8.6 OUT OF 10
YAPASPT Electric Car Cooler for Vehicles
YAPASPT Soft Electric Cooler
Score 7.6 OUT OF 10
Cooluli Skincare Mini Fridge for Bedroom
Cooluli Mini Fridge
Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
NewAir NPR080GA00 Portable 80 Qt. Electric Car
NewAir Solar Panel Portable Electric Cooler
Score 8.8 OUT OF 10

Listen, there’s nothing worse than reachin’ for a cold drink on a scorchin’ hot day, only to find it’s lukewarm. Thermoelectric coolers are an essential part of a successful outdoor excursion, ensuring your drinks stay cold and refreshing. These units offer a convenient and energy-efficient solution to keep your beverages chilled. Some of the best of the lot are energy-efficient to boot. The compact design of these coolers, combined with features like a lockable handle and cord storage compartment, make them ideal for various outdoor activities. Despite their limited space, these coolers are capable of holding enough drinks for a week, cooling a room-temperature water bottle in just a few hours. As a result, they are highly favored by truck drivers who keep their coolers plugged in for a week without any power drainage issues.

Why Do You Need a Thermoelectric Cooler?

Thermoelectric coolers come with a host of benefits that make them a preferred choice for many. 


One of the most significant advantages of thermoelectric coolers is their affordability.  Compared to traditional refrigeration units, these coolers are relatively inexpensive, making them a cost-effective solution for keeping your drinks cold during outdoor adventures. Despite their lower price point, they do not compromise on performance, offering excellent cooling capabilities for a range of beverages.


Thermoelectric coolers are also renowned for their durability. Constructed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use, these units can endure varying conditions, ensuring they last for a long time. From sturdy handles that lock to secure your drinks to robust construction materials that can resist wear and tear, these coolers are built to deliver reliable performance while standing the test of time.

Great Temperature Control Within Their Range

One of the most advantageous features of thermoelectric coolers is their excellent temperature control within their set range. Unlike traditional refrigeration systems, they don’t fluctuate and are capable of maintaining a constant, precise temperature. This ensures that your drinks remain at the perfect level of coldness, offering a refreshing experience every time.

Highly Efficient at Small Sizes

Thermoelectric coolers shine when it comes to energy efficiency, especially in smaller sizes. Their compact and simple design contributes to their high efficiency, as they use less power compared to their larger counterparts. 

No Refrigerants Required

Unlike compressor coolers that require refrigerants for cooling, thermoelectric coolers function without them. They use a process known as thermoelectric cooling, which involves the transfer of heat or cold through a solid metal plate. This not only makes them safer and more eco-friendly but also reduces the need for maintenance and the potential for leaks.

A Deep Dive Iinto the World of Thermoelectric Coolers: Detailed Review

Alright, so you got the names, but you want the skinny right? Well, stay tuned cause we’ll be hopping, skipping, and jumping through a detailed look into the creme de la creme of thermoelectric coolers in 2023. We’re talking about everything from the overall best, and most compact, to the most energy-efficient coolers, not to mention some excellent picks for all you budget-savvy folks out there. So, brace yourself for the ultimate showdown of the thermoelectric coolers.

1. Dometic TC35

Score 8.2 OUT OF 10

The Dometic TC35 cooler is the boss of bosses. Not only is it rugged and ready to last a lifetime, but it also runs seamlessly on dual power modes. Moreover, it boasts an impressive cooling capability, driving the temperature down by 32 °F. It comes with a digital temperature display that lets you pick and choose your preferred coolness level. Now that’s convenient in a box.

Key Features

There are a few things about the Coleman 40-Quart Powerchill Iceless Cooler that stand out. For starters, it’s a variant of the iceless bucket seat design, which is a real boon for those on cross-country trips or outdoor picnics. It runs on dual power modes, either 110 V AC for home use or 12 V DC when you’re on the move. The door orientation is a sweet touch. It can open either to the left or right in the upright mode – handy if you’re trying to sneak a snack from a particular direction! 

  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor usage
  • The bucket seat design makes it a perfect fit for long road trips or camping expeditions
  • Improved accessibility
  • Cooling capacity of 40°F
  • Not spacious enough for a family outing
  • The overall size of the cooler might be a bit large for truly compact spaces

2. Igloo Iceless 40 Quart Cooler

Score 8.6 OUT OF 10
2 - Igloo Iceless 40-Quart Cooler

The Igloo Iceless 40-quart cooler is a renowned product in the thermoelectric cooler market. Recognized for its large capacity, the cooler provides ample space for storage, making it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Key Features

The Igloo Iceless Cooler is known for its large storage capacity, capable of accommodating more than the average cooler. It doesn’t just offer size. This unit has a couple of pleasant surprises up its sleeves. For starters, it comes with bucket seats designed to keep your drinks and meals cool. This feature is like a cozy little nest for your beverages. It’s energy efficient and environment friendly. The cooler’s energy efficiency is another notable feature, enabling it to maintain low temperatures without consuming excessive power. The cooler’s design also includes a food cool feature, which ensures that your food items are kept at an optimal temperature, preventing spoilage.

  • Good storage space
  • Excellent energy efficiency
  • Powered by both 110 AC and 12 V DC
  • Larger size might not work in smaller spaces

3. Igloo 28-quart Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
3 - Igloo Portable 28 Quart Thermoelectric

Say hello to the Igloo 28-quart Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler, a real game-changer for those fun road trips and camping adventures you love. Despite its compact size, it’s got as much power as a heavyweight champ. This Igloo Iceless Cooler has the unique ability to cool down to 38 °F from room temperature.

Key Features

This compact cooler comes entirely equipped and ready to show what it’s got. First off, it boasts the Igloo thermoelectric technology that delivers excellent cooling capacity. Add to that, it’s got a roomy interior despite its small size, giving you more than enough space to stash your drinks and snacks. Plus, it works on both 110 AC and 12 V DC power sources, making it a versatile choice – whether you’re chilling at home or hitting the open road. Here’s the kicker, this cooler doesn’t need refrigerants to keep your drinks cold. It’s got a powerful compressor that does it all, making it one efficient and energy-saving beast of a cooler. 

  • Compact size perfect for road trips and camping adventures
  • Efficient thermoelectric cooling system
  • 38 °F cooling range from room temperature
  • Dual power options offer versatility for users
  • Powerful compressor for efficient cooling without the need for refrigerants
  • May seem a bit pricey for its size
  • Short power cord

4. Koolatron Thermoelectric Cooler

Score 7.8 OUT OF 10
4 - Koolatron Electric Portable Cooler Plug in 12V

The Koolatron Thermoelectric Cooler is a reliable option for those seeking a cooler that functions best at ambient temperature. This little gem is a handy addition for outdoor trips, fishing, and long drives, as it can be plugged directly into a car’s DC port or a boat’s power source. The cooler’s compact design doesn’t compromise its efficiency and it has proven to be a go-to choice for many users.

Key Features

This cooler packs an energy-efficient fan that insulates items up to 36° F, meaning your soda pop will stay cool and crisp. It plugs in directly to your car’s DC port or cigarette lighter, adding a bit of that high-tech feel to your old-school camping trip. It can also keep stuff cool for three days – even without being plugged in! Plus, it’s got a built-in compartment for the cord, so you won’t be tripping over any wires. Say goodbye to messy storage.

  • Energy-efficient and eco-friendly
  • Built-in handle for smooth transportation
  • Keeps stuff cold for up to three days
  • Limited storage space

5. Wagan 12V Personal Cooler/Warmer

Score 8.6 OUT OF 10
5 - Wagan 12V Portable Thermoelectric Cooler

Leave it to the geniuses at Wagan to develop a cooler that isn’t just a cooler. This cooler is everything you need for a good time on the go. Wagan 12V is a personal cooler and warmer rolled into one.

Key Features

This cooler/warmer sports a massive 24-liter capacity, so you’ll be sure to have room for all your favorite beverages and snacks. And with a super simple flip of a switch, you can go from cooling to warming that cabin picnic pie. The Wagan 12V cooler includes removable shelves, a built-in carrying handle, and even a cord compartment for easy storage. Plus, it can keep things fresh as a daisy, or hot as a summer sidewalk, depending on what you need.

  • Large storage space can accommodate up to 27 cans
  • It can cool and warm, maintaining the perfect temperature for your food and drinks
  • The handle allows easy transportation
  • Cord storage compartment for neat storage
  • It might not cool as well in extremely hot environments
  • The power cord could be longer for more flexible use

6. YAPASPT Soft Electric Cooler

Score 7.6 OUT OF 10
6 - YAPASPT Electric Car Cooler for Vehicles

When you’re packing for a small car camping trip and need your cold drinks handy without eating up all the storage space, the YAPASPT Soft Electric Cooler is your go-to buddy. 

Key Features

One look and you’ll see, this cooler’s not about glitz and glam. The YAPASPT Soft Electric Cooler boasts a 25-litre storage capacity in its primary compartment and additional storage space for little extras in its smaller front pocket. This means it can easily accommodate a decent number of cold drinks and food items, perfect for those long drives or car camping trips. But that’s not all; its power draw is impressively low, protecting your car battery from rapid drainage.

You can easily carry this cooler around thanks to its sturdy shoulder strap, which can support a load of up to 50 pounds. Additionally, it’s engineered to maintain consistent internal temperatures, like a solid 50 degrees F.

  • Great storage capacity for a compact cooler
  • Excellent for long journeys.
  • Low power draw 
  • A reliable shoulder strap makes this cooler easy to carry around.
  • May struggle to maintain cold temperatures in extremely hot conditions

7. Cooluli Mini Fridge

Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
7 - Cooluli Skincare Mini Fridge for Bedroom

They say big things come in small packages. The Cooluli Mini Fridge fits the bill and proves that statement right. Weighing a mere four pounds and measuring a compact 7.25″ W x 10.25″ D x 10.75″ H, this little guy is the epitome of portability. But don’t be fooled by its petite size. It may be small, but it sure packs a punch.

Key Features

A standout feature of this mini fridge is its sturdy construction. Despite its compact design and affordable price, the Cooluli Mini Fridge promises longevity. This cooler is built to last, capable of running 24/7 without any glitches. It’s perfect for those who love to go on spontaneous adventures or those who need constant cooling, such as travelers.

With its ability to store up to 6 cans, this fridge offers just enough space to store your favorite drinks or snacks. It is especially handy for those seeking a cooler option for relatively smaller storage requirements. It also comes with an eco-mode feature that enhances its power-saving capabilities. Lastly, it can run on solar panels, making it a viable choice for camping and outdoor events. Isn’t that pretty useful?

  • Solid build ensuring longevity
  • Highly energy efficient with an eco-mode option
  • Compact size increases its portability
  • Can be powered by solar panels, adding to its versatility.
  • Can run continuously, guaranteeing dependable cooling.
  • Heavier than other models, which can be a disadvantage for portable use
  • The solar panel feature can be challenging to understand for first-time users

8. NewAir Solar Panel Portable Electric Cooler

Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
8 - NewAir NPR080GA00 Portable 80 Qt. Electric Car

The NewAir Solar Panel Portable Electric Cooler is like the Superman of coolers, but, instead of the sun just giving it strength, it also keeps your drinks ice cold.  It’s an innovative and eco-friendly option for those who frequently camp or travel in remote locations. This model is designed to run off solar panels, making it one of the best electric coolers for off-grid use.

Key Features

What makes the NewAir cooler than the talk of the town? Packed with features, it’s like the Swiss Army knife of coolers. One of the most distinctive features of this cooler is its ability to perform efficiently using solar energy. It includes a USB port for charging devices, making it a convenient option while camping. The cooler also features a bottle opener, a handy addition for outdoor gatherings.
Its interior is spacious enough to hold ice chests, keeping drinks organized, much like a mini-fridge. A separate freezer area offers space for storing meat or ice cream. The cooler is also equipped with two drain plugs and a cutting board, enhancing its utility.

  • Perfect for camping in remote areas
  • Impressive storage space
  • Comes with a USB port and bottle opener for added convenience
  • Heavier than other models
  • May require larger solar panels for extended off-grid use

The Ultimate Thermoelectric Cooler Buying Guide: Factors to Consider when Choosing a Thermoelectric Cooler

Purchasing a thermoelectric cooler can be a daunting task due to the vast variety of models available. Like any other product, there are factors to consider when choosing a thermoelectric cooler. Size, weight, power consumption, and even extra features could all influence the cooler’s effectiveness for your particular needs. So, let’s hash out some of these details, shall we?


Prechilling is like the secret sauce to kick-start your thermoelectric cooler. Think of it like this, you’re having a mid-summer barbecue, the summer heat is blazing, and you need your drinks icy cold. You don’t just toss lukewarm drinks into a hot cooler, now, do you? Nah, you prechill them in your fridge. Doing the same for your thermoelectric cooler makes sense. It assists with temperature control by lowering the cooler’s initial internal heat, especially vital in the face of the summer heat. Your cooler not only cools down your beverages quicker compared to a non-pre-chilled cooler, but it also decreases energy consumption.

Ambient Temperature

Ambient temperature is essentially the surrounding heat, and it’s a tricky player in the game of thermoelectric coolers. Thermoelectric coolers operate by moving heat from the inside to the outside, so warmer outside temperatures can slow this process down. Now, these coolers don’t have a set “cold” they can achieve. Instead, they cool a certain degree below the minimum temperature around ’em. So, if it’s a sizzler of a day, don’t expect ice-cold drinks, but something more on the cooler side. 


Size matters, especially when we’re talking thermoelectric coolers. It’s not about the bigger, the better, though — it’s about what suits your needs. A family road trip might need a big cooler to keep the kids happy with cool drinks and snacks. But if you’re a lone ranger, hauling a heavy-duty cooler can feel like dragging an elephant. Go small, and you save on some space and energy. 

Power Consumption

Selecting a thermoelectric cooler is a breeze, but don’t let them fool you with fancy-looking exteriors. Take a peek at the power consumption figures. A cooler that’s hungry for power will suck dry your AC or DC power sources. The efficiency of the cooler directly impacts how much energy it consumes. A cooler with a modest power consumption requirement keeps your electricity bills in check and lets your other gizmos have their fair share of electricity. Less power, more savings, that’s the rule of thumb!

Number of Dividers/Shelves

Ever open a cooler, and everything’s just thrown in there like a hurricane hit? That’s where dividers and shelves come in handy. The number of dividers or shelves in a thermoelectric cooler can greatly affect its usability. Navigating through a jumbled cooler can turn your picnic into a scavenger hunt. A cooler with multiple dividers or shelves allows for better organization of items, making it easier to find what you need. Containers neatly arranged, sandwiches not squished under a watermelon, and oh boy, those cold drinks accessible without unearthing half your cooler. 

Power Rating

The power rating tells you how much energy it takes to get the job done. Now, don’t just blindly run after high power ratings. They are the measure of energy your cooler needs to run. Different power sources can provide different power ratings. The higher the power rating, the more juice your cooler will use. So if you’re planning a day trip, a cooler with a lower power rating should be fine. But for multi-day adventures, a cooler with a higher power rating will keep your stuff colder for longer.

Bonus Features

Last up, we gotta talk about bonus features. Some thermoelectric coolers have fancy extras like the ability to set the temperature. That means you can make your cooler hotter or colder, depending on what you’re storing. Let’s say you have a batch of hot dogs you want to keep warm for later, just turn up the heat! On the flip side, need to keep your sodas icy cold? Dial it down. It’s like having your own personal mini climate control. Now, that’s what I call a nifty bonus feature!

Conclusion – Find the Best Thermoelectric Cooler for Your Needs

Alright, let’s wrap this up. Thermoelectric coolers are handy to keep your food and beverages cool when you’re on the move. The great thing about them is they don’t need ice, which makes them nifty for those long drives. Whether you’re after a cooler that’s big and roomy, or small and compact, there’s a thermoelectric cooler out there to fit your needs.  These babies can run on your car’s power or standard outlets, and boy do they come in handy. Just remember to keep the power cords in check; you don’t want to trip over them every five minutes. Remember, the best thermoelectric cooler for you is one that offers the cooling power you need, is energy efficient, and fits within your budget. Consider factors such as the size of the cooler, its power rating, and any bonus features it may have. Regardless of your specific requirements, rest assured there is a thermoelectric cooler out there that fits your needs perfectly.

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