fbpx

Best Electric Cool Box in the UK for 2020 – Can it Really Keep Its Cool?

Last Updated On July 8th, 2020

Going to the great outdoors is not only beneficial to your health and wellbeing, but it is also lots of fun. Picnics, barbeques, beach days and camping trips are certainly a fantastic way for you to spend quality time with family and friends. However, while being outside in the summer sunshine is rewarding, it is even better when you can enjoy a refreshing drink or a fresh snack too. Luckily, the best electric cool box makes keeping food and drinks at the right temperature easy.

Unlike standard coolers, they don’t require ice packs to keep the contents cool. Instead, these coolers are plugged into your car or a mains power socket, ensuring your food stays fresh and appetizing for days at a time. In this review, we take a look at some of the most popular on the market, to help you choose the right one for your needs.

Best Electric Cool Boxes Compared

Editor's Choice
Waeco Mobicool G35 Electric Cool Box 12v/240v
Budget Choice
VonShef Electric Cool Box - Large 22L Insulated Cooler with 12V DC Car Adaptor - Ideal for Camping, Picnic, Beach
Best Value
Marko Cool Box Food Drinks Cooler Electrical Heater Portable (24 Litre Electrical Coolbox)
Best for Camping
Mobicool W40 Coolbox 12 V/230 V
Waeco Mobicool G35
VonShef Large 22L
Marko 24L
Dometic W40 Mobicool
Capacity
34L
22L
24L
40L
Power
12V DC or 230V AC
12V DC
12V DC or 240V AC
12 V DC or 230 V AC
Cooling
18°C
8 -12°C
15-18°C
up to 18°C
Heating
65°C
-
50-65°C
-
Editor's Choice
Waeco Mobicool G35 Electric Cool Box 12v/240v
Waeco Mobicool G35
Capacity
34L
Power
12V DC or 230V AC
Cooling
18°C
Heating
65°C
Budget Choice
VonShef Electric Cool Box - Large 22L Insulated Cooler with 12V DC Car Adaptor - Ideal for Camping, Picnic, Beach
VonShef Large 22L
Capacity
22L
Power
12V DC
Cooling
8 -12°C
Heating
-
Best Value
Marko Cool Box Food Drinks Cooler Electrical Heater Portable (24 Litre Electrical Coolbox)
Marko 24L
Capacity
24L
Power
12V DC or 240V AC
Cooling
15-18°C
Heating
50-65°C
Best for Camping
Mobicool W40 Coolbox 12 V/230 V
Dometic W40 Mobicool
Capacity
40L
Power
12 V DC or 230 V AC
Cooling
up to 18°C
Heating
-

Top 8 Electric Cool Box Reviews

Whether you are trimming the hedges in your garden, having a relaxing soak in your hot tub or on a camping trip underneath the stars, an electric cooler will surely be a great choice in keeping your drinks cool. So, which one is for you? Let’s get started.

1. Waeco Mobicool G35 (Editor’s Choice)

If you are Waeco Mobicool G35looking for the best electric cool box that can accommodate plenty of refreshing treats for your next camping trip adventure, this is a fantastic option. With a stylish and functional design, the Waeco MobicoolG35 can be used as an upright fridge or the usual chest cooler.

Features

Capable of running in a 12 volt DC car or in 230 volt AC mains, this enables you to plug it into either your car charger or the mains electricity as a power source.

We found the plug to be a little temperamental, but on the plus side, it has a built-in feature which protects your car battery from going flat. That means you don’t need to worry about keeping the ignition on when it is plugged in.

However, this 34-litre container doesn’t work so well at chilling items which are already warm. Hence, you should make sure they are cold before you place them in the box. If you need to keep your food hot, this 12-volt cool box also includes a special heating mode. We found this especially convenient when transporting hot food to a family gathering.

Another great feature is the easy-access round hatch in the lid. This allows you to reach in and grab a drink without having to fully open the lid and let cold air escape.

Pros:
  • Large capacity
  • Protects against car battery drain
  • Can both chill and heat items
  • Easy access hatch so you can get drinks without needing to open the lid
  • Includes a USB charging port for devices
  • Can be powered through a car cigarette lighter socket
Cons:
  • The plug can be temperamental depending on the power source
  • May not be very effective at cooling warm items
  • Quite expensive

2. VonShelf Large 22L (Budget Choice)

The VonShef Large 22LVonShef 22L offers a sturdy yet attractive design which is capable of keeping food and drinks cold for hours. It issolely powered by a 12V DC cigarette lighter car adaptor. This means it is great for long car drives. You can be sure that your snacks stay chilled, thanks to its lid lock that keeps the container sealed.

Features

When plugged in, the items will be chilled to between 8℃ and 12℃, which is cool enough for a refreshing drink on a hot day out. The power cable can be tidied away into the handy compartment in the lid, which is a great feature to ensure you don’t lose it.

This 12-volt cool box offers a roomy 22L compartment, within which you can easily store 1.5-litre drink bottles with plenty of room to spare. Furthermore, should you experience any leaks, you can wipe the interior clean in no time.

Pros:
  • Sturdy and stylish
  • Great for day trips, car journeys, and camping trips
  • Able to store large bottles
  • Interior is easy to clean
  • Includes a cable tidy
Cons:
  • Cannot be used with mains
  • It only keeps items cool for around 12 hours when unplugged
  • Heavy

3. Marko 24L (Best Value)

If you 24L Coolerlove spending time outdoors, but don’t want to be bothered with refilling your box with ice packs, this container could be the ideal solution. It has plenty of space inside the 24L interior and also features a removable divider which helps keep your drink bottles from falling over.

Features

If you are travelling, this model can be powered by your car cigarette lighter, as well as a 240V mains connection. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that your items will keep the desired temperature during transport.

Based on the product description, the cooling capability of this box is between 15℃ and 18℃ below the outside temperature. However, we found it wasn’t quite as cold as we expected. Annoyingly, condensation also accumulates in the lid, which can result in your food getting soggy.

Should you prefer hot snacks over cold, this cool box can also heat items to between 50-65℃. Luckily, there is a useful indicator light which displays the current setting, so you don’t inadvertently heat up items you wish to keep cold and vice-versa.

Pros:
  • Removable divider keeps drinks upright
  • Works as both a cooler and a heater
  • Indicator light helps prevent incorrect settings
  • Carry handle is comfortable to use
  • Sturdy design
Cons:
  • Some users had issues with the supplied cable blowing fuses
  • Accumulates condensation
  • Good for drinks but perhaps not cold enough for perishable items

4. Dometic W40 Mobicool 40L (Best for Camping)

If you Dometic W40 Mobicool 40Lhave a large family or wide circle of friends, you need a cooler which has the capacity to match. With an amazing 40L interior volume, this has the largest volume in our list, ensuring there’s a cold drink for everyone.

Features

Its dual voltage can maintain a temperature of 18℃ below the surrounding temperature so your items stay cool on even the hottest day.

While this box is quite bulky and heavy, the wheeled base and pull-out handle makes it easier for you to transport. Although it will roll about in your car if unsecured.

Cold loss is cleverly reduced, thanks to a split lid which is handy when all of your friends are opening the box every 5 minutes.

As with most large gatherings, there’s always the potential for things to get lost. Luckily, this has a special lid compartment for the supplied cables, so you don’t have to worry about them getting misplaced. For us, this is the best cool box for camping trips or big gatherings.

Pros:
  • Largest capacity we have seen
  • Easy transportation thanks to the wheeled base
  • Split lid reduces cold loss
  • Cable tidy limits the potential for loss
  • Keeps items cold even on a very hot day
  • Can be powered via a cigarette lighter socket
Cons:
  • Needs to be secured in the boot as it rolls about
  • Can only fit two 2-litre bottles
  • Quite heavy and bulky

5. Electric DC/AC Blue 24L (Best Compact)

Whether you Electric DC AC Blue 24Lwant to have a cool drink on a hot day or keep the food warm while on a camping trip, this cool box fits the bill. Both 12V car adapter and 240V mains power cables are supplied. No matter where you are, you will be able to keep it running smoothly, even if you get stuck in traffic.

Features

The cooling effect reaches 15℃ below the ambient temperature while food can also be heated to an impressive 65℃. This should be more than enough for you to enjoy a warming meal on a cold winter’s day.

It is powered by a brushless motor and uses an environment-friendly cooling system. Unfortunately, the fan is very noisy, which may be a problem for you. Also, many people reported the motor stopped working after light use, which doesn’t exactly fill us with confidence.

On the upside, this features a generous 24L capacity. You will be able to fit all your favourite treats into this cool box without any trouble. There is also a shelf to allow easy separation of your items.

The lid has a gasket seal, so it is kept airtight when closed. This means the temperature is very well maintained, but the poor design means you will have to unplug the box every time you wish to open it. The cable just really gets in the way.

Pros:
  • Keeps food and drinks both cooled and warmed
  • Can be powered by a cigarette lighter socket while travelling
  • Airtight seal keeps the temperature constant
  • Has a large storage space
  • With internal shelf for better organisation of items
Cons:
  • The fan is very noisy
  • Some users said the motor failed quickly
  • You need to unplug the power each time you want to open it

6. Waeco/Mobicool U32

With Waeco Mobicool U32the Waeco/Mobicool U32 you won’t need to fuss over ice bags ever again. This coolbox can be conveniently powered by both the 12V cigarette lighter in your car and mains once you reach your destination.

Features

The inner temperature can be cooled to a maximum of 18℃ below that of the temperature outside; so your drinks should always be refreshing, no matter what the weather. If you like to bring large 2L size drinks bottles with you, they will easily fit inside, unlike many other coolers.

Unfortunately, the fan system is quite noisy, but it can be turned down to make it less bothersome overnight. However, if you are a light sleeper, you may want to keep it in the car rather than in the tent.

We also like how this cool box has a USB socket which enables you to charge up your devices. This is especially useful when you are having a camping trip and the power source is taken up by the cooler.

Pros:
  • Can be powered in the car and via the mains
  • Has a large capacity
  • Is tall enough to fit 2L drinks bottles
  • Cools up to 18℃ below ambient temperature
  • Has a USB port so you can charge devices
Cons:
  • The fan is noisy
  • The handles are not very strong
  • Packing the cables away is awkward

7. Vivo 26L

This Vivo 26Lcoolbox comes complete with two power cords for ultimate versatility; one 12V DC cigarette lighter cord and one 240V AC mains cord. This is great if you are wishing to keep food at the right temperature in the car while on the way to another location.

Features

Once you arrive at your destination, the cool box can be plugged into the mains to keep the contents warm/cool until you are ready. Contents can be kept as cool as -15℃ below the ambient temperature, or up to +50℃ on warming mode.

Switching between the functions is easy, thanks to a simple switch on the back of the box. However, we feel the switch is too exposed, and you’ll have to be careful not to knock it accidentally during transport.

Also, we found that the hinged lid is difficult to open when plugged in, as the cable gets in the way of the hinge. This is clearly a poor design fault.

Pros:
  • Doubles as a food warmer
  • Can be plugged into both the car and mains
  • Compact design
  • Can fit tall drinks bottles
  • Able to maintain a range of temperatures
Cons:
  • The power cable gets in the way when the lid is opened
  • Condensation accumulates in the lid
  • Switch can be accidentally knocked to another mode

8. Andes Large 25L

The Andes Large 25LAndes Large 25L is the last one on our list which doubles as a chiller and food heater in one.

If you need to keep pre-prepared food warm until later in the day, this is for you. This powered cool box is able to keep food warm for as long as two hours and can reach an impressive temperature of 65℃. The cooling function chills to around 5℃.

Features

It is supplied with a mains adaptor and a 12V car-charger adaptor, so is a perfect solution for your short road trips, however, the motor is quite loud.

There is lots of space inside, so you should be able to fit enough food for 4 people. A removable divider is also included, which is useful for keeping your food items separated. However, water does tend to accumulate in the bottom of the box over time.

Three cup holders are included in the lid, which is very convenient to help you prevent spills. Disappointingly though, the way the power cable connects means you have to switch the power off before opening the box.

Pros:
  • Keeps food warm for up to two hours
  • Enough space for approx. 4 people
  • Removable divider keeps items separate
  • Three cup holders
  • Lightweight design
  • Can be powered via a cigarette lighter socket
Cons:
  • Motor is loud
  • Water accumulates inside when in use
  • You have to switch it off to open it

Benefits of Electric Cool Boxes

Now we have seen some that are available on the market, let’s examine the benefits of owning an electric cool box.

More Storage Space

One of the biggest attractions of an electric cool box is that you don’t need ice bags to keep the contents cold. Multiple ice bags will take up quite a lot of space, which then eats into the capacity of the box itself.

Because electric coolers use thermoelectricity to create the cooling (or warming) effect, this means you can fit much more inside them while food and drinks stay cool or warm if desired.

Portable & Versatile

friends using a 12 volt cool box during a partyAn electric cool box is designed to be used while travelling on day trips or camping trips, therefore, they are highly portable and often can be used with multiple power sources.

For example, many electric coolers can be plugged into your car cigarette charger, as well as the mains. So, you can keep all of its contents cold while on the road much like having a portable fridge. They will easily fit in the boot or back seat of your car, and often have wheeled bases and carry handles to enable effortless mobility once you reach your destination.

Potential To Both Heat and Chill Items

A further advantage of using an electric coolbox over a standard coolbox is that you can find many models that can also double as food warmers, thus eliminating the need for multiple devices.

Switching between heating and cooling modes is simple and takes moments, but of course, you will need to allow some time for the temperature to adjust. Many models will include a useful mode indicator light, so you do not get any nasty surprises should you accidentally hit the wrong switch!

How To Choose The Right Electric Cool Box

In this section, we look at some of the most important features to consider when choosing an electric cool box:

Temperature

First and foremost, you should find out the minimum temperature that the cool box can maintain, and how long it can achieve this for. A good electric cool box can reach as low as 20℃ below the ambient temperature, and keep this temperature as long as they are connected to power. Once disconnected, a high-quality cool box should be able to hold an adequately low temperature for at least 6 hours.

Power Source

a family using a cool box for campingAs mentioned previously, a major benefit of an electric cool box is that it can often be powered by multiple sources.

If you regularly travel long distances by car or go on a remote camping trip in your family tent, you should get a cool box which can also be powered by the 12V adaptor in your car.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a box which can simply be used as a backup fridge in a hotel room or cottage, a 240V mains powered unit will be sufficient.

Noise

If you are a light sleeper, you should investigate the noise level which will be emitted by each cool box you consider. Because these items use fans to cool the contents, the motor and the fan combined can mean that they are often a little noisy, especially in quiet surroundings.

Some will be worse than others, but there are also good models which allow the fan speed to be reduced overnight, in order to lower the noise when you are trying to sleep.

Conclusion

While any of the options mentioned in our electric cool box reviews would be a great choice, we find that the Waeco Mobicool G35 is the best electric cool box on our list.

We love how this large, 34L cool box is like a mini fridge. Also, it can be powered both in the car and via the mains, while also being able to double as a chiller and a food warmer. Also, there’s no chance of this running your car battery flat, thanks to an impressive built-in active battery security function.

Furthermore, unlike most others, this has an easy access hatch, so you can keep items cooler for longer by reaching inside while limiting the escape of cold air.

As if all these features weren’t enough, it also offers a handy USB port, so you can charge your phone and other devices while enjoying the great outdoors.

Additional Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *