Best 12 Volt Coolers of 2020 – Rated & Reviewed

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When the heat starts to break you down, you need a breakthrough to cool you. Taking cool showers and an air conditioner may do the job for you, but in order to keep your drinks safe from the scorching heat, especially while out on the road, you need a cooler.

A 12-volt cooler is the perfect solution for that purpose, providing your drinks with the chill they need, without the mess that ice may leave.

This article will provide you with all the guidance you need to find the perfect 12-volt cooler.

Comparison Chart of the Best 12-Volt Coolers


Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler

  • Best overall 12-volt cooler
  • 4-liter capacity that comes in a compact size for better portability
  • Thermoelectric functioning can keep the unit cold as well as warm
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Koolatron 29 qt. Voyager Cooler

  • Runner up on our list
  • Capable of being used horizontally or vertically, as required
  • State-of-the-art thermoelectric cooling technology that utilizes polypropylene
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Wagan EL6224 24 Liter Electric Cooler

  • Best for the money
  • Can cool up to 20 degrees Celsius and heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Unit features a capacity of 24 liters with enough space for a bottle to be kept vertically
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Coleman Cooler 40-Quart Portable Cooler

  • Best from Coleman
  • 40-quart capacity that equals to about 44 cans, allowing ample of space
  • Thermoelectric cooling that will keep your items cool up to 40 degrees colder than the environment
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Wagan EL6206 - 6 Quart Cooler

  • Best for cars
  • Compact size with an ideal capacity of 4 quarts
  • Capable of cooling and heating the food to the required temperature
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Portable Refrigerator 42 Quart

  • Best for trucks
  • Ice free cooling that takes no time with a precise temperature control
  • 42 quarts capacity that is enough to hold all that you would want to keep on your trip
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Cooluli Electric Cooler 10 Liter

  • Best for water
  • Easy switch between heating and cooling using nothing more than a simple button
  • 6-foot cable that allows easy placement of the unit while plugged into the cigarette lighter
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54 Quart Portable RV Cooler

  • Best for wine
  • 54 quarts capacity that provides with enough space for all your items to be stored
  • Provided with multiple adapters for easy and convenient connection to your vehicle
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Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Cooler

  • Best for lunchboxes
  • 45 quarts capacity that provides ample space for your lunchboxes
  • Two power cords for AC and DC connection for added convenience
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How Do 12-Volt Coolers Work?

The function of a 12-volt cooler is no different from a normal refrigerator you would use in your home. Basically, these units can serve as mini fridges you can use on the go. Put in drinks or food items and they will be kept cool by a complex principle known as the Peltier effect.

How to Choose a New 12V Cooler?

Choosing a new 12-volt cooler may not be such a hard task if you know the right features to consider. Just look at the right aspects, pick one for yourself, and rest assured, it will be the right one for you.


Before you get a new unit, you need to take into consideration how much you will actually be putting in there. Spending extra on a model with greater capacity is useless if you don’t plan on storing much in there. So always remember the capacity you will need for yourself.

Energy Efficiency

Since these units are connected to a power outlet, it is important to consider how efficiently these units consume electricity. If they aren’t good at that, you may end up paying more in electricity bills than you would for the unit itself.


Portability is a very important factor, as these units are mostly used outdoors. Consider a lightweight unit that is easy to move around. If not, you may be stuck with a constant ache from carrying the unit around

Split Compartments

This is obviously an optional feature, but if you are someone keen on keeping different type of items separate,  it may be a key feature. A divided compartment can help you separate food and drinks, or even different type of foods.

Quick Take - The Best 12-Volt Coolers

Before you go any further, here are our top picks for the best 12-volt coolers: 

  1. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler
  2. Koolatron 29-Quart Voyager Cooler
  3. Wagan EL6224 24-Liter Electric Cooler

Review of the Best 12-Volt Coolers

Going through all the 12-volt coolers in the market is a long, tiring, and painstaking task that is also absolutely unnecessary. Why go through all the products yourself when you can simply look at the best ones? We have rated and reviewed some of the best ones to cut down the task. All you need to do is choose one for yourself.

Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer (4 Liter / 6 Can): AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric System w/ Exclusive On the Go USB Power Bank Option (White)


  • It Also Features a USB Cord That Allows You to Use it Wherever You Want
  • Its Functioning is Very Energy Efficient, Ensuring the Bills Don’t Run Too High
  • The Unit is Perfect for Keeping All Your Skincare Products at the Required Temperature
  • The Low Weight of the Unit Ensures You Don’t Have Too Much Trouble Carrying it Around


  • The Size of the Cooler May Be Off-Putting to Some

If you want to ensure that your drinks are perfectly chilled and your cooler provides all the features you are looking for, this unit is the perfect one for you. It is designed to provide you with the best of functionality and serve as a wonderful companion on picnics and camping trips.

This compact and lightweight unit is designed to ensure your convenience. With a capacity of four liters, this unit functions as not only a thermoelectric cooler but also a warmer. So with this unit, you will be able to not only keep your food cool but warm as well.

Given the design and function of the unit, storing food items for picnics and camping is not its only function. It is also ideal for storing all your skin care products and beauty essentials that need to be kept at a specific temperature. There’s no need to waste creams and moisturizers due to too much heat.

Bottom Line
Can this unit be bigger? Yes, but that would compromise the ease of storage the unit provides with its compact size. Disregarding that, there is absolutely no flaw in the design of this unit, which is why it has ranked as the best one on our list.

Koolatron P27 Grey Voyager Cooler


  • It is Capable of Keeping Items Heated as Well as Chilled
  • The Unit Functions Quietly, Not Producing Any Disturbances
  • The Design Imparts its Durability, Ensuring that it Lasts for a Long Time


  • The Power Cord of the Unit Falls Out Easily and May Have to be Plugged Back in Again Frequently

This unit comes in as a very close second to our top product for this list. It provides with the same great functionality. It has been used and reviewed by a number of people and has never failed to fulfill all their expectations. That is what puts it on the second number, only by a small margin, on our list here.

This unit uses a compound called polypropylene to keep your food items chilled. So, you can say goodbye to all the standard coolers with ice and all the watery mess they make. It features a state-of-the-art, thermoelectric cooling technology that will be sure to meet your standards.

If you are wondering about how much this unit can hold, then you can take a guess by the fact that it is capable of holding up to 48 twelve-ounce soda cans. That is quite a lot! This goes to say that you do not need to worry about where to put your food and drinks for your outdoor trips anymore.

Bottom Line
Koolatron is one of the most widely used brands when it comes to mini fridges and other such appliances. And this unit is a perfect example of how well the devices by this brand function. If you need a device that comes with great reliability, this is the one for you.

Wagan EL6224 24 Liter Electric Car Cooler and Warmer


  • Features a Hot, Cold, or Off Indicator Light 
  • Functions as a Two-in-One Model, Providing You With a Heater as Well as a Cooler
  • Can Hold Up to as Many as 27 Cans at One Time


  • The Cord is Not Detachable, and its Storage Space is Not Convenient or Strong, Meaning the Lid May Break if Not Handled With Care

Spending extra bucks on an item is not the best way to get the the features you need. The right way is to find a product that gives you the right features for the right price, just like this model by Wagan that will be sure to give you a run for your money with all the features it is packed with.

This unit will provide you with a capacity of 24 liters, which is more than enough to hold all your food and drinks for a small outing trip. A better understanding of the capacity can be illustrated by the fact that it is capable of holding about 27 cans. The height of the unit is also enough for you to store bottles.

The unit will cool your food to about 20 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature., and in only 30 minutes! But that isn’t all. It can also heat your food to up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So be it hot or cold, your food will always be at your desired temperature every time you are on the road.

Bottom Line
In terms of functioning and portability, this unit is as close as it could get to perfect. It efficiently heats and cools the food and even features an indicator light for heating or cooling. Can we really ask for more? And all that from an item in the small budget range? Absolutely not.

Coleman Cooler| 40-Quart Portable Cooler | Iceless Electric Cooler with cooling technology up to 40°F  for Picnics, BBQs, camping, tailgates and Outdoors


  • The Unit Provides Efficient Functioning, Keeping Your Items as Chilled as You Want
  • The Door Can Be Opened From the Left or the Right For Placement Flexibility
  • The 8-Foot Power Cord Ensures You Are Not Restricted by Movement


  • Can’t Be Left Plugged In for Too Long, or the Insides Start Frosting Up

Coleman is a name that is frequently used when it comes to electric appliances. That is because the products produced by the company have been tried and tested over the years by a number of users, earning it the name it has today. So if you were to choose a cooler from the brand, it would work great. But if you choose this particular model, it will surely be a great choice.

This unit works on a thermoelectric basis to ensure that your food is kept cold enough. It functions to keep your food and drinks chilled up to 40 degrees colder than your surrounding temperatures. So no matter how hot it gets out there, your drinks will always be served chilled.

The unit also features a long eight-foot power cord. This extra length will ensure that you can easily use this model outdoors and power it with your car or boat outlet. It offers a 40-quart capacity, which would equal roughly 44 cans. And you can carry all 44 cans easily since the unit features a lightweight design that allows portability.

Bottom Line

Coleman is a trusted and reliable name and one can be sure a product by them will not fail its users. The same is true for this unit. It is designed to simply impress the users with its outstanding functioning and great features. It is a device that you will not regret investing in.

Wagan EL6206  - 6 Quart 12V Portable Electric Cooler/Warmer for Car, Truck, SUV, RV, Trailer DC Powered


  • Uses no CFCs or Other Chemicals That Are Harmful to the Environment.
  • The Small Size Does Not Take Up Too Much Space and Also Provides Easy Transfer From One Place to Another
  • Can Cool Food to 36 Degrees Fahrenheit Below the Room Temperature and Heat it up to 140 Degrees


  • Since This Comes Only With a Car Adapter, it Can’t be Used Elsewhere if Ever Needed

Taking your car on a road trip may be one of the best experiences you can have. Having a good functioning cooler can greatly enhance that experience. This unit is designed to be the perfect companion in your car. It will not only meet all your expectations but is likely to exceed them too.

This compact-sized unit will provide you with a capacity of six quarts and will be ideal for all your necessities on a road trip. And since you are in your car and do not have much extra room, it will also be sure only to take up a small amount of space there. The small size also gives it low weight, making it easy to carry around.

The unit is capable of not only cooling your food but also heating it equally well. So be it cooling your water bottles or heating your packed away lunch, this unit will do it all for you. It will serve to cool as low as 36 degrees below the ambient temperature and warm up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bottom Line
Equip your car with the perfect unit to keep your food at the right temperature. Keep your drinks chilled, and food hot throughout your journey. And so what if it comes only a car adapter? Cars are what this unit is specifically designed for, so why use it elsewhere?

Portable Refrigerator 42 Quart (40 Litre) Mini Car Fridge for Truck, RV, Caravan and Boat |12V/24V DC 110V AC Compact Freezer |Small Electric Cooler for Camping, Fishing, Outdoor Picnic and BBQ Party


  • Allows You to Decide Between a 12-Volt and a 110-Volt Power Cord, Whichever Suits You Best
  • The Model Features a Shock-Proof Design that is Capable of Withstanding Rough Use and a Harsh Environment
  • Features No Frosting Inside; No Matter How Long You Leave it Plugged in


  • Not as Efficient at Precisely Noting the Temperature as the Brand May Suggest

Driving a truck can be a seriously tiring job. The ideal relief from this is to have chilled drinks waiting by your side whenever you get the time. To aid you with that sort of relief, what you need is a 12-volt cooler. This model will be sure to provide you with the best of that function and make all those truck drives a lot better.

With a capacity of 42 quarts, this unit is capable of holding a good amount of food and drinks. And what we love is that it will chill your food with not just a 12-volt power cord but is also capable of doing so with a 110-volt cord. And both  work the same.

The unit features fast cooling with precise temperature control. So you can have an accurate idea of how well your unit is working. The temperature and other notifications are visible on an LCD panel which allows you to switch between an ECO and a MAX mode. But that’s not all, the unit also features a three-level battery protection. What more can we ask for?

Bottom Line
Temperature control may not be one of the greatest needs while in a truck. So, it doesn’t matter if the recorded temperature is slightly off from the actual temperature. The unit functions efficiently to provide you with the temperature that you need. And that is really all we need.

Cooluli Electric Cooler and Warmer (10 Liter / 12 Can): AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric System (White)


  • Works Efficiently at Not Only Cooling Your Items but Also at Heating Them
  • The Thermoelectric System Means You Do Not Have to Bother with Ice 
  • The Capacity of 15 Liters Means There is Ample Space to Store All that You Want


  • Features No Temperature Control, so the Items are Stored at a Standard Cold Temperature

Water is an essential part of life and when you’re thirsty, nothing can substitute for it. So when you’re out on the road and need some chilled water, this unit will be your savior. It is the ideal model to store your water bottles while you are out and about, which is how it has found its way into this list.

The thermoelectric cooling system ensures you do not have to deal with a cooler full of ice that creates a mess everywhere it is kept. The unit does not only cool your water but can also heat it up if that is the way you like it. It can hold up to twelve of the 12-ounce cans, meaning quite a lot of stuff can be kept in there.

The unit can be easily switched from cooling mode to heating mode with just one switch of a button. It can be powered by a cigarette lighter in a car and seated in the back, thanks to its six-and-a-half-foot cable. No more wasting money on stops while on your way. Keep all your food and drinks with you.

Bottom Line

Water doesn’t need a controlled temperature, all it needs is to be pure and chilled. The pure is what you put into this unit and the chilled is what it will provide you with. And rest assured it is the best at what it does, assuring you no disappointments.

54 Quart Portable RV Refrigerator/Freezer Compact Vehicle Car Fridge Compressor Electric Cooler for Car,Truck,RV,Boat,Outdoor and Home use 12/24V DC and 90-250 AC,Cooling from 68°F to -13°F


  • Also Offers a One-Year Warranty That Ensures Customer Satisfaction
  • Comes With Three Battery Protection Modes 
  • Features a Compressor to Cool Your Wine Fast and With a Deep Cooling Performance 


  • Getting the Hang of Setting the Temperature Might Be a Little Tricky

Picnics and camping trips are pretty much incomplete without a good, chilled bottle of wine. The keyword here is chilled because if it isn’t chilled enough, it just isn’t good enough. This unit is specifically designed to ensure that your trips are not deprived of the luxury of chilled wine.

A unit with a 54-quart capacity but a lightweight design that ensures that best of portability? Yes, this is the one! It is perfect for all your outdoor trips since it poses no issues of it being transferred in and out of the car. It also easily connects in your car using the different power adapters that are provided with the standard 12-volt cord.

The unit also features three battery protection modes. These modes work to save the battery of your car, ensuring your vehicle is not maxed out. It also features different temperature ranges to store a number of items, including wine, vaccines and insulin, meat, fruit, beverages, and many others.

Bottom Line
You can trust this unit to keep your wine at the best temperatures, once you figure out how it works. But great things do require some effort. And why shouldn’t they when the results are absolutely worth it? This unit will provide with a functioning unmatched by others.

Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Fridge/Freezers, Platinum


  • The Fast Freeze Mode Rapidly Freezes the Food, Faster Than You Expect 
  • Extremely Portable With its Compact Size and Lightweight Design
  • Comes With Two Separate Baskets for the Storage of the Connection Cords


  • Comes With Very Poor Customer Service if it Was Ever to Encounter a Problem

When you’re out and away from home for a long stretch of time, you ought to have some food with you. But most of the time, this food needs to be kept at appropriate temperatures in order to ensure it doesn’t go bad. This model by Whynter ensures that the required temperature is provided for your food to keep it fresh.

This unit comes with a 45-quart capacity that is ideal for lunch boxes of almost all sizes. It functions just like a refrigerator and just as well too. It connects to your vehicle with an eight-foot AC power cord and a five-foot DC power cord, allowing you to connect your device according to your convenience.

The cooler also features a fast freeze mode. This feature allows the unit to be cooled down to -8-degrees Fahrenheit, in almost no time. It features a lightweight design that allows easy portability of the unit.

Bottom Line
Keep your lunchboxes at an ideal temperature throughout your journey. From the convenience of connecting to fast freezing, this is equipped with all the right features. At the end of the day, this is a model you will not regret buying.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Model From Our List

The final question that stands is, why should you choose from this list? Sure, the options are plenty, but this list provides you with a couple of advantages that may serve to be the reason why you choose a certain item.

The Best Of The Best

This list is basically a summation of all the best 12-volt models in the market. So, while choosing from all the items listed above, you can be sure you will be selecting the absolute best for yourself.


Going through a long list of items to find the right one for yourself can be a painstaking task and one that we all try to avoid. This list will do all the troublesome work for you and ultimately provide you with the good products right at your fingertips.

Product Outline

The list not only reviews the best products but also provides you with a complete product outline that guides you through their main features. So, when choosing from this list, you will know exactly the features you will be getting from a product.


Forget the hassle of using ice in your coolers. Pick a 12-volt cooler from this list and make your life considerably easier. Keep your food and drinks chilled or hot, and enjoy your picnics, camping trips, or even long drives. Just ensure that you’re looking for all the right features.

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