Compressor Coolers in Comparison 2021

Compressor Coolers in Comparison 2021

Coolers are the perfect solution when space and battery capacity on board are limited. Perfect for a road trip by car, or great to have in your truck, caravan, mobile home or on board, coolers can be used anywhere and are extremely portable thanks to integrated carry handles.

Nowadays, a large selection of coolers is available on the market, each with different technical abilities and properties, making it often difficult to decide which cool box is right for you. Thankfully, help is at hand.

Which are the Best Coolers?

The advantages and disadvantages of each cooler varies and depends really on what they are used for. Here, we briefly explore the different cooler types and give recommendations for choosing the right cool box to suit your needs.

The Most Important Models at a Glance:

1 Compressor Cool Boxes

Compressor coolers are connected to your 12 or 24 V on-board power supply. Many models can also be used with 230-volt shore power. In an evaporator, the refrigerant turns from a liquid into a gas. By extracting surrounding heat, it cools the area around it. The compressor circulates the refrigerant back into the evaporator and the refrigeration cycle starts again.

  1. Thumbs up: made with the latest technology and are very efficient in terms of energy consumption and cooling capacity. Work well, regardless of outside temperature.
  2. Thumbs down: Need to be powered by electricity. The compressor tends to be noisy. Weight and price are considerably higher than absorption coolers.

2 Passive Coolers

Passive coolers work without power and keep contents cold for short periods. Thick, insulating walls keep the cold in and warmth out. They're perfect for taking with you on your dinghy or when fishing.

  1. Thumbs up: No power supply necessary.
  2. Thumbs down: Keep food chilled for a short period of time only.

3 Thermo-Electric Cool Boxes

Thermo-electric coolers are also known as Peltier coolers. These coolers use a voltage to create a temperature difference, which results in cooling. The warm air is fed outside via a Peltier element in the cool box.

  1. Thumbs up: Extremely light and quiet. Can be operated in an upright position or lying on the side. Good price for relatively large cooling volume.
  2. Thumbs down: Require a lot of electricity in relation to their size and cooling capacity. Cooling capacity greatly depends on the outside temperature. Can only cool down to max. 30° C below ambient temperature. Considerably heats up the air temperature in small rooms. Freezing not possible.

4 Absorption Coolers

Absorption cool boxes are electrically operated and use a gas as a coolant. A mixture of water and ammonia is heated. The ammonia evaporates and absorbs heat as it cools, lowering the temperature inside the cooler. The absorber converts the refrigerant from a gas back into a liquid, which allows the cycle to repeat.

  1. Thumbs up: Can be operated with gas and also electricity, making them very popular with anyone who does not have their own self-sufficient source of power. Cheaper than compressor boxes. Maintenance-free and virtually noiseless in operation.
  2. Thumbs down: Consume a lot of electricity or gas. Maximum 25 to 30 degrees below ambient temperature possible. Cooling capacity varies greatly due to external conditions and is not reliable.

Our Comparison Test

In our cooler comparison, we took a closer look at we took a closer look at various compressor coolers from different manufacturers. Compressor coolers have several advantages over passive absorption or thermoelectric coolers, and manufacturers such as Dometic, Mobicool or Engel each offer compressor coolers with various strengths.

Our comparison test will help you find the best cooler to suit your personal needs:

Compressor Coolers in Comparison 2021

September 2021
1
Test winner
Very good
2
Price / performance winner
Very good
3
Bestseller
GOOD
4
GOOD
5
GOOD
6
GOOD
7
GOOD
8
GOOD
9
GOOD
10
GOOD
Reviews and customer opinions
(6)

(347)

(10)

(3)

Good product, cools quickly

(17)

(5)

(54)

(1)

(5)

(3)

Cooling system
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Compressor
Volume
34.5 l
38 l
50 l
43.5 l
40 l
14 l
31 l
34.3 l
58 l
32 l
Inside light
Energy efficiency grade
C
C
B
C
F
 
D
D
B
F
Dual zone
Weight
17.5 kg
12 kg
20.4 kg
18.6 kg
22 kg
14 kg
11.5 kg
17.2 kg
18.4 kg
21 kg
Operating voltage
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
12 V, 24 V, 230 V
Power consumption per year
62 kWh
40 kWh
66 kWh
48 kWh
94 kWh
 
52 kWh
52 kWh
35 kWh
80 kWh
Freezing
Noise Level
42 dB
49 dB
42 dB
47 dB
47 dB
 
49 dB
45 dB
49 dB
48 dB
Digital temperature display
WiFi
Height
411 mm
446 mm
471 mm
475 mm
470 mm
395 mm
407 mm
407 mm
470 mm
408 mm
Width
398 mm
365 mm
455 mm
398 mm
394 mm
284 mm
365 mm
398 mm
440 mm
364 mm
Length
693 mm
584 mm
725 mm
590 mm
630 mm
442 mm
584 mm
590 mm
680 mm
647 mm
Availability / Price
In stock
only 504 16 €
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In stock
only 252 06 €
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In stock
only 571 39 €
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In stock
only 445 34 €
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In stock
only 419 33 €
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Only 4 in stock
only 378 11 €
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In stock
only 231 05 €
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In stock
only 403 32 €
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In stock
only 319 29 €
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In stock
only 529 37 €
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How Does a Compressor Cooler Work?

Compressor coolers are made with the latest technology and are very efficient in terms of energy consumption and cooling capacity. They work virtually independently of the outside temperature, which makes them particularly popular as coolers for campers and boat owners. However, compressor coolers can only be operated with electricity, are not very quiet and are significantly higher in weight and price than, for example, an absorption cooler.

Compressor coolers are connected to your 12 or 24 V on-board power supply. Many models can also be used with 230-volt shore power.

Which Cooler is Best for my Boat?

Whether you choose a fixed on-board fridge or a mobile cooler depends on the size of your boat and space. Today's compressor coolers offer virtually the same cooling comfort as an on-board fridge. They are easy to connect and have high cooling power. So, if you don't have that much space on board, a compressor cooler is a good choice. It can also be used in the car or camper van, provided you have a power supply (12V).