If you like to spend most of your summer days outdoors—whether camping, fishing, hunting, or throwing BBQs—then it’s time to get all your gear ready. And no summer outdoor trip is complete without a cooler.

But if you’re still stuck with a conventional cooler, then you know the hassle of filling it up with ice, checking regularly to make sure your drinks are chilled, and draining the water at the end of the day. Then, let’s not forget checking for leaks. After all, the last thing you want is to clean up a drenched car.

But did you know that a thermoelectric cooler could save you from all this hassle? They work with electricity, so all you need to do is plug it into a power socket. And vóila, you’re good to go. No ice, no draining, and no worrying about leaks.

A thermoelectric cooler is a great solution for anyone looking for a hassle-free summer. And they are especially perfect for those long summer trips and outdoor activities.

How a Thermoelectric Cooler Works

How does a thermoelectric cooler actually work?

So, how exactly does a thermoelectric cooler work? To answer this question, we need to get you up-to-date on a little bit of science.

These coolers use something called the Peltier Effect. To put it simply, when you run an electric current between two different electrical conductors, like zinc, copper, or aluminum, you can create a temperature difference, i.e. a cooling and heating effect. As the current flows, the heat will move from one side to the other, making one side higher in temperature and the other cooler.

And this effect can be multiplied, so it can generate significant cooling, say, to keep your drinks chilled in a thermoelectric cooler. To do that, these coolers use two large Peltier plates to create the same Peltier Effect. And the colder side of these plates is used to maintain a lower temperature needed for your food and drinks.

So, there you have it. The bottom line is, this bit of science can help you to keep a thermoelectric cooler reliably working so you no longer need to worry about ice.

How to Use a Thermoelectric Cooler

How should you use a thermoelectric cooler?

Unlike the conventional icebox, using a thermoelectric cooler is pretty simple. All it needs is a power supply. So, you can easily plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter socket, and sit back and forget about it.

This is exactly why thermoelectric coolers have become so popular for outdoor activities. Since they are completely iceless, they guarantee you a hassle-free outdoor time with your friends and family. You don’t need to worry about looking for ice or even having melted ice seeping into your food.

And best of all, no ice means no leaks. So your car interior is perfectly safe from getting soaked by a leaking cooler. This has made thermoelectric coolers a popular choice to take around in cars, even on long-distance travel.

They’re also great for indoor use and work as a practical alternative to a portable refrigerator. And no leaks mean no drenched carpets and cleaning up. So, they’re perfect for your bedroom or even to keep in a motorhome or a camper trailer.

The Best Thermoelectric Coolers in 2020

If you’re convinced that thermoelectric coolers are the perfect solution for you, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind. You’ll first need to weigh in quality, durability, price, and features so you can find the best fit for your needs.

To make your life easier, we’ve reviewed the top thermoelectric coolers on the market and listed down some of the best options available. And we’ll take you through their best features and things to watch out for before purchasing.

So, keep reading.

Outdoor Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer by Guay

Portable outdoor thermoelectric cooler by Guay.

If you’re on the hunt for a mini cooler that you can keep neatly tucked away in your car, then here’s the perfect option. This is a portable 4-liter unit that is so compact, it’ll fit in anywhere—whether you want to keep it at the back of your car, in your bedroom to double as a mini chiller or even in your office.

This cooler can easily fit in six cans and keep them chilled around 32०F below room temperature. But the first thing you’ll notice is its super cool design with a light grey finish. It’s also built to last with a sturdy, durable construct. And what’s more, it’s specially designed for low energy consumption and the magnetic self-locking feature will prevent warm air from seeping in.

And the best part? If you’re done with chilling, it can double as a food warmer with a temperature of up to 150०F. So you don’t need to worry about heating your lunch when you’re outdoors.

The bottom line is, this lightweight mini cooler not only looks great but is also highly versatile and functional, making it a great choice for all your cooling needs.

To learn more, click here.

Mini Fridge Portable Electric Cooler and Warmer by AstroAI

Portable mini electric fridge by AstroAI.

Here’s another great product in the mini thermoelectric cooler category. It’s compact, lightweight and comes in a stylish design.

This portable cooler has a 9-liter capacity. This makes it perfect even for indoor use—whether you want to store beauty care products, medication, or baby formula. It has a removable shelf so you can easily stack up items if you need some extra room or want to chill larger bottles.

This cooler comes with two removable plugs for added convenience. So whether you want to plug it into your home power outlet or your car’s cigarette lighter socket, this portable cooler will work just fine.

The low-noise function makes it great to keep around your bedroom or even the office with minimal disturbance. But keep in mind, it’s not completely noiseless.

It could also be considered higher in price compared to other products in the category, but its high-quality and durable finish could very well compensate for the extra price you pay. And if you’re looking for some extra assurance, worry not, this mini cooler comes with a 3-year warranty.

To read the latest reviews, click here.

Gen2 Portable Ice Car Cooler by SUPER DEAL

Thermoelectric cooler by Super Deal.

This is a larger thermoelectric cooler that can hold plenty of drinks and food for those camping trips or BBQs. It’s designed with a 26-liter capacity and a taller finish so you can store larger bottles with ease.

The roto-molded construct places it ahead of most other options in its category when it comes to durability and insulation. It’s made for rugged use with heavy-duty material, skid-resistant feet, and a solid handle. The thick, commercial-grade insulation material and the tight-fitting latch can truly deliver impressive insulation, keeping your food chilled for a longer time. The stylish design is also hard to beat.

This portable cooler is designed with an odor-resistant lining to keep away lingering food smells. It’s also super easy to clean.

But keep in mind that it could take a while to cool when you first plug it into a power socket. And if you’re thinking of using it to keep food and drinks warm from time to time, it could reach only about 90०F. Having said that, this is still a convenient option for large storing requirements for all those summer outdoor activities.

To see pricing, click here.

12V 24L Cooler/Warmer by Wagan

Wagan large 24 liter thermoelectric cooler.

This Wagan thermoelectric cooler is considerably large at 24 liters. The taller shape and sleek design make it a very practical option to store in your car as well as small indoor spaces. This also means you can store taller bottles easily.

According to Wagan, this unit can reach 36०F below room temperature and could chill your food and drinks in just thirty minutes. User reviews seem to confirm this as well. The warming function is also useful and can reach up to 140०F.

It’s designed with only your convenience and practicality in mind—from its large capacity to the functional design for easy storage. The lid is removable so you can easily clean it, and the handle is sturdy to carry around significant weight.

Based on reviews from customers who purchased this cooler, you’ll need to ensure that it’s switched off and unplugged before starting or turning off the engine. Otherwise, the product warranty would be null and void. Its cord is also not removable, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it when carrying it around so it doesn’t get damaged.

But overall, this is a highly durable and versatile thermoelectric cooler by Wagan that’s quite a bargain for its price.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

12V 14L Personal Cooler/Warmer by Wagan

Wagan personal electric cooler and warmer with 14 liter capacity.

This 14-liter cooler by Wagan is a medium-sized unit that’s especially perfect for personal use to avoid dealing with messy ice when you’re out and about.

The 9-foot power chord will allow you to easily place the cooler in the back seat or center console and plug it into a 12V DC socket. And if you’re planning on using it indoors, then there’s a separate AC adapter that could be used with this unit. However, you will have to purchase it separately from Wagan.

This cooler comes with a stylish compact design and is lower in height for greater stability, especially when you’re taking it in your car on those long rides. It’s also spacious and has two built-in cup holders to hold your drinks.

Customers seem to love the cooling and insulation capacity of this unit, which can cool pretty fast and reach around 32०F below room temperature.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you purchase this cooler. According to user reviews, the cooling and warming capacity seem to change with altitude and outside temperature. So, if you do a lot of hiking or skiing, this might not be the best option for you. Also keep in mind that while this is a significantly quiet product, you might find the quiet humming a bit disturbing if you’re super noise sensitive.

But considering the price tag, it’s still a highly economical option in the medium range thermoelectric cooler category.

Ready to buy? Click here.

K-box Electric Cooler and Warmer with Wheels by Koozam

Thermoelectric cooler with wheels by K-box.

If you’re thinking of getting a larger thermoelectric cooler for those summer BBQs or road trips, then this K-box Cooler by Koozam is a good choice for you. It’s a significantly large unit at 45 liters and can hold plenty of food and drinks without the hassle of filling up with a ton of ice.

It not only looks great but is also highly functional from design to build.

To begin with, it comes with two separate power cords so you can easily plug it into both wall sockets as well as car power outlets. This makes it a highly versatile cooler not only for outdoor use but also for indoors when you need some extra cooling during summer months.

The cords are of decent length at six feet and can be stored easily in a hidden built-in compartment on the cooler. So, you don’t need to worry about damaging or getting them wet when dangling while you carry.

The storage space is equally impressive and has a divider that you can insert when you need to organize or separate items. It also comes with wheels so you can easily drag and move the cooler when it gets too heavy.

To learn more, click here.

To Sum It Up…

If you’re tired of messy leaks and constantly checking the temperature of your conventional icebox, then a thermoelectric cooler is the perfect solution for a worry-free summer.

These ice-free coolers are powered by electricity and will let you enjoy your outdoor activities with peace of mind. They’re also great for rugged use and are far cheaper than the portable refrigerators. And best of all, they’re durable and come with great insulation so you can keep your drinks chilled on those long summer days.