The 7 Best Car Coolers That’ll Keep Your Drinks Ice-Cold And At The Ready

You may be looking for an auto cooler to ensure that your food items are kept cool after a Costco haul, planning to go camping on the weekend or you just want to keep drinks cool in your vehicle for a trip on the road A car cooler is the perfect investment for any trip in the road. The only issue is Finding the perfect car cooler that meets your needs isn’t as easy as you think.

There are many to choose from, and they’re all different in insulation materials, sizes and shape, and of course, cost. I’ve compared and researched more than 30 options to let you choose the ideal car cooler to take anywhere.

CFX3 35-Liter Portable Refrigerator and FreezerDOMETIC Read More$300 AT AMAZON$125 AT AMAZON

To distinguish the top from the others I have reviewed hundreds of editorials from experts in outdoor equipment as well as campers, boaters, and even consumers. Our top picks offer the most efficient insulation to keep your food and beverages cooler for longer and are the most comfortable to carry around. As the name implies they’re all small enough to fit inside the trunk of your car.

Brandon Carte

What to Consider

Before you begin looking for the top car cooler, here are some important things to consider.

Cooler Type

This is a brief overview of the most commonly used kinds of coolers so you can determine the one that is most suitable for your requirements.

  • Roto-molded coolers This kind of cooler is made of an entire piece of plastic instead of having individual pieces that are joined making the most durable cooler, which is resistant to leaks. However, the coolers made from roto are generally larger and cost more. Roto-molded coolers such as the top-selling Yeti Tundra range have a nice design and are built to last well. In addition, they are able to keep drinks and food cold for the longest time.
  • Softshell coolers These coolers, like the comparatively inexpensive Polar Bear 24-Pack are usually made of vinyl, nylon or canvas. They are lighter and more compact than their hard-shell counterparts but however, they are less effective in cold retention. On the other hand, they’re usually less expensive and can keep your drinks and food cool for hours at a time.
  • The plug-in coolers are: As you’d expect from these coolers, which are made by brands such as Dometic as well as ICECO connect to your vehicle’s 12-to 24 volt accessory outlets (aka”cigarette lighters”) or 100-240-volt AC outlet. Instead of relying upon the use of ice to chill your drinks and food the coolers are equipped with compressors and function as a portable refrigerator or freezer. You can determine a temperature that is the temperature you desire.

Size and Volume

When you’re buying a car cooler, larger isn’t always more efficient, particularly since they’re directly related to losing the space for cargo. The majority of smaller coolers are under 25 liters and mid-sized coolers are between 35 to 45 liters, however, you could choose a cooler that is as big as 100-plus liters.

I suggest that most families purchase something in the 30- and 45-liter range. But for those who want something lightweight and portable for long periods of time it’s worth looking at something smaller.

Cooling Capability

Ice retention is definitely one of the primary features of a hard cooler. But, many automobile coolers plug in and have compressors that keep them cool. In addition, they usually are equipped with precise temperature controls.

If you decide to go with an electric refrigerator, you should know that certain models can support dual temperature zones, which means you can carry frozen and refrigerated food items.

Closure System

Some coolers for cars have lids that can be removed, while others have latches and hinges Many have zippers, and some even use magnets to keep them sealed. Closure systems could seem like a minor aspect to be nit-picking about however, even the tiniest of options can be frustrating. Therefore, it is recommended to decide on the closure system of your cooler before you pick one to make sure you have quick access to drinks or snack in the event of a need.

Brandon Carte

Different preferences are exhibited by each person using them, but hinged coolers provide rapid and simple access, which implies that pets or children could easily access them, too, when they’re not latched. Zippers can be useful in case you’re worried about your cooler spilling over and falling over, however they can be harder to open. Additionally, the coolers that are magnetic tend to not be as prone to leaks, however, they need two hands for opening.

Take a look at our top seven vehicle coolers ideal for your next adventure regardless of where you’re going to!


  • Feels more luxurious than the rivals.
  • It has LED lighting in the interior.
  • It can take a couple of hours to achieve the desired temperature
  • The size of the item makes it difficult to accommodate tall objects
  • Expensive (but worth it!)

Key Specs

  • Capacity:35 liters
  • Weight: 37 pounds
  • Dimensions27.32 L 15.67 W * 16.02 H inches

There’s a reason Dometic coolers have become the most popular brand for people who live in vans, RVers and other people who lead an increasingly nomadic life. Simply put, they’re sturdy, efficient, and durable. In reality, the only issue is the price the cheapest and most compact model is still an enticing amount (~$750).

I would suggest that you choose the 35-liter CFX3 model. It keeps your beverages and food cool at any time and at any place. The car cooler is able to reach a temperature of seven degrees F. It’s extremely well insulated and built to last longer than other coolers and its handles are solid and make it easy to carry around.

The cooler is able to run on either 12- or 110-volt power sources. It consumes between 0.5 and 1 amp per hour (to maintain temperatures at 38°F.) Because of its effectiveness and precision temperature control, you’ll be confident in storing delicate food items such as seafood or even medications.

The CFX3 includes a complimentary smartphone application that provides users with remote controls, as well as an easy but simple way to check the internal temperature. A reviewer from Vancillary who has been using the Dometic cooler for more than three years — described the Dometic CFX3 a “game-changer” and said it’s very worth the high cost.

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