Whether you are at the beach, camping or a long road trip, other than having the right gear and equipment, there is one thing that’s important and contributes to making your overall experience everlasting. Good food and drinks go a long way to add the excitement at the beach, tranquility in the woods and fun on the road.

Thus, you don’t want to be chugging down warm soda or munching on stale snacks or food. And this is why travel refrigerators are made. They offer convenience and cool storage wherever you are and not having access to a power outlet should never be a problem for you again. You can simply store your foods and drinks safely by using a 12-volt dc electrical supply.

Listed below are the 10 best 12 volt coolers in 2021 to explore and examine – and each has one thing in common – quality and convenience. So the choice is yours.

How To Choose A 12 Volt Cooler – Buying Guide


Compressed vs Convection

The best 12 volt refrigerators and coolers come in two distinctive types – i.e. convention types and compression types. Convention type coolers depend on a fan powered by a fast-moving motor. This rapid movement of the fan helps to circulate the cold air thus, providing the cooler with the ability to cool and freeze items.

Compression types on the other end feature a chamber to which air is compressed thus, maintaining that cooler air. Compressed types are more favored for use in longer periods. This is because once cold air is compressed and trapped, the temperature is then maintained for a longer time thus, making them ideal for energy saving and long term cooling.

Convection type coolers are favored for shorter periods because they tend to produce less cold air to at least 30 to 20degress Fahrenheit. Additionally, they require a power source throughout when cooling the contents. Thus, they can easily drain the battery of your power source.


Orientation translates to the opening of the cooler. Although the majority of the best 12 volt refrigerators and coolers feature a single and are normally top opening, some come with multiple opening. This helps to enhance accessibility and the handling of the cooler. Consider going for multi oriented coolers – with chest openings, as well as upright refrigerators, like to help allow for easy handling, position, packing, and access.


You want to invest in 12v cooler with the most valuable addition. Extra features such an LCD screen helps to easily monitor temperature whilst interior lighting help to add visibility especially if you are camping overnight. If you purchase a cooler with removable compartments, it’s even better for you because you can optimize your organizing game.

Some of the best 12 volt coolers can even detect low voltage from the power source. So for example, the power source is your car battery; this prevents it from being completely drained. Other coolers come with even more advanced and new-age tech such as Wifi compatibility to allow you to monitor and control the temperature remotely as well as USB ports to recharge small electronics.

Additionally, to maintain the freshness of your food, some coolers do both – cooling and warming. These particular types of coolers come with button settings that help you choose whether you want to chill or warm the contents.


The versatility of your cooler comes in several ways spanning from usage to the power source. A rugged and tough casing on cooler plus additional properties such as shockproof and weatherproof makes them ideal camping and road travel coolers. This doesn’t mean that you cannot haul them to the beach on a warm Saturday. The best 12 volt refrigerators and coolers also boast different power supply avenues mainly AC and DC.


The best 12 volt refrigerators and coolers incorporate an element of portability – whether they are light enough to carry on the shoulders or wheeled for easy hauling. Additionally, because of their versatile power supply, they qualify to be portable refrigerators because you can power them even with your car’s lighter plug.

Ease Of Use

Additional accessories and elements help your cooler be easy to use.  Soft and molded carry handles, for example, go a long way to enhance comfortability. Wire baskets and compartments on the other end also improve the experience in using portable coolers. The ease of opening and positioning also contributes to making them easy to use.


Capacity simply means how much the cooler can effectively hold and cool or warm. The capacity is normally denoted by volume. A 15 liter (15L) cooler, for example, has a capacity similar to that of 20 12 ounce cans. The capacity of your cooler depends on how you intend to use it and the group size. If you have a large group of friends, a 50+ liter cooler is an ideal choice for you.



Q: Are Electric Coolers Safe?


Yes, most electric coolers are extremely safe and can even withstand small rain showers. Thermoelectric coolers, however, all also generally safe but they should not be put in areas that pose risks of getting wet. Avoid putting ice cubes in thermoelectric coolers.

Related Review: Electric Cooler

Q: Do They Need To Be Plugged In All The Time?


To ensure your food and drinks stay warm or cool at all times, convection coolers need to be plugged at all times. However, compression type coolers do not need to be plugged in at all times.

Q: Do I Need To Carry Additional Power Source Or I Can Plug It In The Car?


12-volt coolers don't require you to carry extra power source, unless you are using them overnight or longer periods. All 12-volt coolers can work with car battery power supply.

Globo Surf Overview

The 12 volt cooler reviews prove their importance in the outdoors and by how far they cut down the hassle of making sure your edible essentials are cool and fresh. Their value-added features also enhance much-needed convenience in the outdoors.

With the buying guide above, you are also properly equipped in choosing the best option. And although you have to dig deep in your pockets with some of the choices, it’s worth the strain. And with the list of the 10 best 12 volt coolers above, you have an excellent start to begin with.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!