We test 12v coolers for this summer’s drive

Three different techniques

Three different technologies are used for electric cooling boxes: thermoelectric elements, absorption technology and compressor operation. Thermoelectric elements are the most common. Power is sent through a cooling element that conducts heat from the inside to the outside. On the outside is a fan that blows away excess heat. The main advantage of thermoelectric elements is that they are relatively inexpensive. However, they cool slowly and have low efficiency. Thermoelectric elements can also be used for heating, and we have tested two boxes that can be used either as a cooling or heating box. The absorption technique was used in the first refrigerators and is still common in the camping context. The absorption element conducts heat when you supply energy from electricity, gas or even solar heat on the outside. One of the advantages is low noise level. The compressor operation works like a regular fridge or freezer, and is relatively energy efficient. The main advantage is that you can maintain a uniform, low temperature, just like in the freezer at home. A cooler with compressor is a safe choice, but the price is also high.


Mobicool T25 AC / DC

Comment: Best budget choice
Review: MobiCool is known for its quality and good performance, and this box is no exception. The lid can be opened or removed with a delicate locking of the handle. Double fans distribute the cold more efficiently than any other box in the same price range. PET bottles are kept upright. A favorite.

Cooling technology: Thermoelectric element

Volume: 25 l

Weight: 4 kg

Dimensions (wxlxh): 29x43x45 cm

Powered by: 12/230 V

Power: 38 W

Temperature after 14 hours: 8 ° C

Circa price: 700 kr

Customer contact: 0247-445 00,

Plus: Robust. Double fans. Silent. Cord holder in the lid.

Minus: The handle takes in the cord holder.


 Mobicool T26 DC / AC

Comment: Well thought out
Review: A well-designed box that is sturdy without feeling heavy, but unfortunately only a PET bottle is standing. The box, on the other hand, cools really well and distributes the cold nicely. The fan is quite loud. The lid contains practical spaces for the cables, and the box can be operated in two different power modes.

Cooling technology: Thermoelectric element

Volume: 26 l

Weight: 4 kg

Dimensions (wxlxh): 30x40x40 cm

Powered by: 12/230 V

Power: 47W

Temperature after 14 hours: 4 ° C

Circa price: 850 kr

Customer contact: 031-734 11 10,

Plus: Cools well. Two power modes. Thoughtful design. Good insulation.

Minus: Loud.


 Igloo Cool Chill

Comment: Lightweight
Review: A flexible cooler bag that fits on the floor in the back seat of the car. PET bottles are kept upright. The box insulates well despite thin walls thanks to a special insulating material. The neat, rounded, high shape makes the box easy to carry. The handle can be used to set the lid, but when the box is closed it only takes up extra space.

Cooling technology: Thermoelectric element

Volume: 25 l

Weight: 6 kg

Dimensions (wxlxh): 28x55x43 cm (excluding the handle)

Powered by: 12/230 V

Power: 60 W

Temperature after 14 hours: 9 ° C

Circa price: 1150 kr

Customer contact: 08-58355078,

Plus: Easy to carry. Takes little space. Good insulation. Good quality.

Minus: The handle is not built-in.


5 Total Score
So we did:

The testing company Smartson has tested 5 electric coolers in different price ranges and designs. Only the cooling function has been tested. We used water bottles with a temperature of 16 ° C and left the boxes on for 14 hours at room temperature. Products with thermostat were set to maximum cooling. The measurements then proceeded with the boxes turned off for another 8 hours. The liquid temperature was measured at regular intervals where the level after 14 hours is reported for each product. The products are rated by design, quality, features, performance and value for money. The maximum score is 5 points.

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