Once again the Appliance Hunter has been deep in the trenches, jumping from shade to shade this time trying to find the Best Cool Box.
And what a success!
I’ve found several great cool boxes all available on Amazon so you can order yours today. No matter what you need I’ve got you covered.
Here’s a quick summary of my top picks. Just click on the name to go to Amazon, get some more details and order yours.
- Top Choice – Thermos 32L Basic Passive Cool Box
- Best For Camping – Coleman Xtreme 47L Wheeled Passive Cool Box
- Best Small Cool Box – Coleman 6 Can Personal Cooler
- Best Electric Cool Box – Crystals 24L Electric Cool Box Cooler For Home and Car
- Best For Car – MobiCool 12v Thermoelectric Cool Box
1. Top Choice – Thermos 32L Basic Passive Cool Box
- 8 Hour Cool Time
- 43cm x 30cm x 45cm
- Holds about 30 330ml Cans
- Great For Day Trips
Who better to keep your food cool then Thermos? One of the original and no surprise it’s one of the most popular.
This one actually comes in a 28L and 32L size. I prefer the bigger one because it’s always better to have more space than too little.
If it’s full to the brim with something heavy like drink cans then the handle can feel a little flimsy. But that’s because that’s going to be a lot of weight! If it’s that full then best to carry it by the base rather than the carry handle.
Because it’s passive you’ll want to get a couple of ice packs to help keep the temperature down. Especially if you’re taking it anywhere in a hot car.
And if you get some freezer packs it’ll stay cool even longer.
Overall, a great choice of cool box, a trusted brand, good cool time and a great price.
2. Best For Camping – Coleman Xtreme 47L Wheeled Passive Cool Box
Size: 47 Litres
- 5 Days Of Cool Time!
- Tall Enough For 2L Bottles
- Wheels For Easy Maneuverability
The Coleman Xtreme is an ideal camping cooler, it’s got wheels so you can move it around easily, a big capacity for all your goodies, it’s heavy-duty, and of course, it stays cool for a long time!
I believe only the 50QT model comes with wheels but that’s more than big enough for most people.
The wheels are big and tuff but will struggle if you’re going off-road, pulling it through a field is possible but it won’t be easy.
A lot of time has gone into making the perfect cool box with this one. They’ve found all the problems that cool boxes have for letting heat in and done their very best to solve every one.
So there are extra air layers to help keep heat out and even the shape has been optimized for the best cool experience possible. That’s why, with proper care, it can keep your food cold for 5 days.
Overall, a great cool box for camping with its 5 days of cool time and generous size.
3. Best Small Cool Box – Coleman 6 Can Personal Cooler
- Holds 6 330ml Cans
- Cools For 9 Hours
- 27 x 18 x 21 cm
A perfect size for a 6 pack of 330ml cans or you can get lunch for a couple of people into it too.
If you have any day trips to make where you want to take a few things with you and keep them cool then this is the way to go.
It’s comfortable enough to hold and carry and not too bulky so it’s easy to store as well.
The lid is reversible so you can flip it around and use it as a tray which is nice, somewhere to put a cold drink while you enjoy it.
At 5L it might be smaller than some were hoping for but it’s plenty big enough for small trips.
Overall, a great cool box ideal for taking a few lunches or a 6 pack of 330ml cans for a day. Ideal for fishing!
4. Best Electric Coolbox – Crystals 24L Electric Cooler For Home and Car
Size: 26 L
- Car and Mains Plug Included
- Cools to 15 below ambient temperature
- Keeps Food Cold Or Hot
This cool box is a great choice for an electric cool box. It can keep your food 15 below the temperature the box is in so that’s about 0-10 degrees Celsius depending on the outside temperature.
It comes with a mains power plug which is great for caravans or at home. Having a party? You’ve got yourself an extra drinks fridge.
It’s car charger is nice and long so you can set it on the floor of the back seat and have it plugged in which is handy.
24L is a nice big size so it’ll hold a 1.5 litre bottle upright but it’s not big enough to quite fit a 2L bottle in.
But you can get a bunch of cans inside as well as a good deal of food too! Electric cool boxes are more effective and some find them better because they don’t need ice blocks to keep them cool. But they definitely aren’t waterproof so be careful not to spill over them.
Overall, a great electric cool box, good storage and practical plugs.
5. Best For Car – MobiCool 12v Thermoelectric Cool Box
Size: 8 Litres
- Seat Belt Attaches To Cool Box
- Keeps Hot Or Cold
- Not The Longest Power Cable
The main problem with this cool box is the power cable to reach the cigarette lighter isn’t the longest. So it needs to sit in the front seat and some people need to get an extension cable.
But it is designed so that you can feed the seatbelt through the lid so that it stays in place securely but the lid stays sealed.
It’s 8L big so a compact size but more than big enough to keep food and drink in your car cold while you’re on a road trip!
Overall, the seatbelt design makes this an ideal cool box to have in the car.
Types of Cool Box
You want to make sure you’re buying the right type before you do anything else. Luckily there are just two different types of cool box, passive and electric.
Passive Cool Box
Passive Cool boxes are the classic kind. They’re insulated to keep the cold in (heat out?) and you can put a couple of freezer packs in with them for extra chill.
Nice and easy because you don’t have to worry about keeping power to them and they’ll stay cold.
They’re also (usually) cheaper than their electric counterparts which are always nice.
Electric Cool Box
Electric cool boxes are or course powered by electricity!
Blowing your mind right?
Most people run them off of the 12v car cigarette lighter but a lot of them have a mains adapter too which is more useful if you have a caravan.
They stay cool (or warm) much longer without the need for freezer packs, so if you’re heading out in a caravan for a couple of days they’re perfect.
The downside is they’re heavier because they have more components inside them to keep the cooler running.
What To Look For When Buying A Cool Box
Just a couple of different things you might want to look out for when you’re buying a cool box. Besides of course whether or not it’s electric or passive.
Cool Box Capacity
A very important feature is of course how big it is!
Whether you’re packing it full of beer for a festival or food for a weekend camping trip with the kids you’re going to need the right size.
Bigger isn’t always better in this case because once it’s full it’s going to be A LOT heavier and you’re going to need to carry it.
5L will hold about 6 cans of beer, juice, coffee, whatever you’re into.
A couple will have loads of room with 20-30L of space.
A family of 4 might need upwards of 40L to get everything in and basically scale up from there if you have more people than that.
If you already have some sort of cool bag you can fill that, find out the size and try to guess how much more space you need.
Otherwise pack a box then measure it and compare the dimensions to the cool box you want.
Not many cool boxes have wheels but I know some people will love the ones that do so I’ve tried to include at least one box that comes with wheels.
Tips For Keeping Your Cool Box Cool
Just a couple of tips for you so you can get the best possible experience out of your cool box.
Frozen Stuff On Top
Put frozen items and freezer packs nearer the top, heat rises so this causes the cold air to circulate over all the items not just fall out the bottom.
Keep In The Shade
You don’t want it to have to try and stay cool while sitting in the sun right?
So keep it in the darkest shade you can find.
Even better find some shade that’s present all day long.
Cover With A Wet Towel
Again this just helps to keep it cold, it does mean your towel won’t dry as fast (if at all depending on the weather) but it does help keep it a lot colder.
Keep Adding Freezer Packs
Easier said than done but if you can keep re-adding freezer packs or other frozen items it’ll keep everything cooler for longer.
Some campsites will let you refreeze your freezer packs so it’s worth asking if you’re going to be away for a while.
A question for you dear reader!
Is it coolbox or cool box? I was quite sure it was a cool box but I’ve seen a lot of brands cool them coolboxes so now I’m not sure… Any input is appreciated! And note this is not a failing of the Appliance Hunter merely a grammar matter, totally different…
There are some other great choices of cool box, you’ve got the Outwell Ecocool, Campingaz, Dometic, Ultratherm, the Igloo brand does some great cool boxes, and none in my list have dividers in them. But I’m happy with my choices and think you will be too with any one of these high quality cool boxes.
Enjoy ice cold water bottles on the road, in your camper or your car. Many a happy memories are bound to be made.