Cooler for the car: test Which cools best?

Cooler for the car: test Which cools best?

Which one cools best?

Whether in the car or caravan – on hot days it's not possible without a cooler. Eight thermoelectric coolers in the How To Cars test!

WHe does not want to give up chilled drinks in the summer on the way, can rely on a cool box for the car. The power comes from the 12-volt socket, the cold is generated thermoelectrically. This means: The electricity provides for the transport of cold air. Compressor and refrigerant – typical components of a refrigerator – do not exist here. Accordingly, the boxes are cheap. Most models are already between 60 and 80 euros. By comparison, similar coolers with compressor and refrigerant cost at least five times. But what good are the thermoelectric coolers in everyday life? How To Cars has tested eight boxes!

Cool box test: Cooling performance very different

Especially important: a good cooling performance of the box.

The best cooling performance is shown by the Campingaz device and the more than 200 Euro premium model Dometic Tropicool TCX21: both reach a temperature difference of 19 degrees Celsius to the outside temperature within two hours. After three hours, the difference is even 20 degrees. At the ambient temperature of 22 degrees in our test room, there are now refreshing two degrees in the speakers. Although Dometic promises a temperature difference of 27 degrees for the premium box – in the three hours in our test room the box does not reach this value. But also the performance of the other speakers is quite acceptable. Almost all models cool down to less than 10 degrees Celsius within an hour – then the cooling of some slows down slowly. The box of Xcase falls out of the ordinary: with a maximum temperature difference of only nine degrees, it cools the worst overall. By the way: Minus degrees can not produce the thermoelectric boxes, only compressor boxes.

Operation similar, subtleties make the difference

When operating the coolers, there are hardly any differences. Some have cooling levels (the Dometic premium model even has seven of them), others have stepless adjustment. Almost all models can keep warm as well as cooling. Only with the models of Berger and Campingaz you have to do without keeping warm. Otherwise, the handling of the devices is almost identical. However, they differ in the subtleties, such as the additional functions and the design.

Especially practical: Some boxes have a small compartment for cable storage. Then you save the requests for the right cable and do not have to worry about cable clutter. Important: The connections should be at the top of the box or covered – this is the case with almost all models, except the Tropicool. She has the connections below, after a trip to the Elbe beach, they were full of sand.

Particularly important: The Campingaz box and the Dometic Tropicool have so-called battery guards. If the battery voltage drops too low when the engine is switched off, it switches off automatically. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep an eye on the battery: If power has been drawn over the electrical system for a long time, startup problems are imminent.
Especially cool: The Severin box has a USB charging port. For example, it can be operated with a power bank. This is especially handy if you take them to the beach and keep them cool. The Dometic Coolfun also has a USB interface. Here, however, it serves to charge the cell phone. The Xcase box has a pulling aid, which saves dragging.

# Cool boxes in the test

AmazonBasics cool box

Price *: 58,99 Euro

Test verdict: highly recommended


Campingaz Powerbox

Price *: 63,57 Euro

Test result: recommended


Severin KB 2923

Price *: 88,60 Euro

Test result: recommended


First Austria cool box

Price *: 53,99 Euro

Test result: recommended


Dometic Tropicool

Price *: 212,00 Euro

Test result: recommended


Dometic Coolfun

Price *: 74,55 Euro

Test result: recommended


Berger cool box

Price *: 79.99 euros

Test verdict: conditionally recommendable


Xcase electric cooler

Price *: 79.95 Euro

Test verdict: conditionally recommendable

* Prices: Stand 01.08.2019

So there are optimally cooled drinks

Thermoelectric coolers are not refrigerators. If you value cool drinks, you should cool them down the night before. The cool box can also be connected in advance to the household socket and cooled down. Cooling batteries provide the added freshness kick. The excursion then applies: If possible, do not put the devices in the blazing sun and do not cover the ventilation grille as the fan needs fresh air. Always open the lid only briefly, because with every breeze of warm air, condensation also gets inwards.

So AUTO BILD has tested

First ran to the pits: how is it processed? Are there any disturbing components? Is the handling unproblematic? Then the cooling performance is examined. In a room with a constant temperature of 22 degrees, the boxes are connected and the temperature in the box is measured every ten minutes. Since the thermoelectric coolers work with a Peltier cooling element, no predetermined target temperature is generated in them, but always a temperature difference – therefore, the outside temperature plays a major role. Finally, all the boxes were allowed to the excursion to the Elbe beach and prove how they beat on the way.

Conclusion: There are only a few differences in the boxes – everyone has to decide for themselves what they value. Important is a good cooling performance, otherwise the cooler does not reach higher temperatures.

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