Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

8 Best Coolers for Cars To Keep Your Beverages Cool

The best coolers for car camping are almost better than your fridge at home.

Keeping your favorite beverages cold on the go has long been a headache for tailgaters, concert-goers, and car campers alike. These days, most vehicles boast more cupholders, power outlets, and computer capability than NASA’s original moon lander. All that tech means they make a great home base — for sleeping, cooking, and entertaining — for your next outing. If you’re looking to keep the party going along the way, even at your next campground, these are the best coolers for your car, truck, or SUV.

Igloo 28-Quart Thermoelectric Cooler

Igloo's 28-Quart Thermoelectric Cooler might be the best travel cooler for cars.

Due to the complicated technology and hardware required, the best coolers for your car are also the most expensive. Thermoelectric coolers, on the other hand, aren’t as efficient, but they’re far more affordable. Igloo’s 28-Quart Thermoelectric Cooler is a steal at less than $100. The waterproof interior is large enough for 32 12-ounce cans and can chill them down to 36 degrees F below the ambient air temperature. It’s a solid step-up from ordinary coolers, and the iceless design means you can fit a lot more food and drinks inside. For casual road trips, this is our pick for the best travel cooler for cars.

Related Videos

Aspenora Portable 37-Quart Car Cooler / Refrigerator

Aspenora Portable 37-Quart Car Cooler / Refrigerator keeps cool for 10 hours, even with the power off.

Aspenora’s Portable 37-Quart Car Cooler is a solid mid-range choice for those looking to upgrade from a Yeti-style cooler or a thermoelectric cooler. This dual-zone, inverter-style car cooler has a wide operating range between -4 and  68 degrees F, split between a large refrigerator compartment and a smaller freezer space. An advanced aluminum core and 1.5 inches of insulation allow the cooler to keep cold for up to 10 hours, even with the power off.

SetPower AJ50 53-Quart Portable Freezer Fridge

SetPower's AJ50 53-Quart Portable Freezer Fridge is a great choice for overlanders.

For epic road trips or seriously thirsty travelers, SetPower’s AJ50 offers a whopping 53-quart cold storage capacity. The sturdy design is shake-proof and allows it to be operated on slopes up to 30 degrees, making it an ideal choice for overlanders and hardcore offroading. It’s also whisper-quiet and boasts three levels of battery protection, so you needn’t worry about it killing your vehicle’s power supply.

Ivation Electric Car Cooler & Warmer

Ivation Electric Car Cooler & Warmer keeps food cold or warm on the go.

Ivation’s Electric Car Cooler & Warmer is an excellent option for those on a budget. The 25-liter interior is plenty spacious, even for two-liter soda bottles, yet compact enough for one person to transport when full. While it won’t work as a freezer, the 90-degree operating range is the widest and most versatile on this list. That means it can chill down to 40 degrees F or keep cooked food warm up to 130 degrees.

AstroAI Mini Fridge 4-Liter Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer

AstroAI Mini Fridge 4-Liter Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer is one of the most compact on the market.

For solo travelers seeking a compact portable chilling solution, there’s AstroAI’s Mini Fridge. The ultra-portable size measures less than one foot cubed and holds just a single six-pack. But, the thermoelectric design is capable of chilling down to 32 degrees below the surrounding air temperature or warming up to 150 degrees F. It’s also available in a handful of colors, in case you like to color-coordinate your travel gear.

Koolatron D25 Hybrid Portable 12V Cooler Bag

Koolatron D25 Hybrid Portable 12V Cooler Bag features plenty of storage options.

Koolatron’s D25 Hybrid Portable Cooler Bag features a soft-sided design that feels more like a traditional cooler than a powered, go-anywhere refrigerator. The 26-quart capacity is perfect for most day trips, and the dual power options (12V DC or 110V AC) mean it’s versatile enough to charge at home or in your vehicle. Plus, built-in interior and exterior stash pockets make quick work of smaller kitchen essentials like silverware, napkins, bottle openers, and more.

Iceco JP40 Portable Refrigerator

Iceco JP40 Portable Refrigerator is arguably the best bang-for-your-buck car cooler.

For hardcore food and beverage enthusiasts, Iceco’s JP40 Portable Refrigerator is arguably the best bang-for-your-buck car cooler on the market. It’s pricier than most on this list, but you get what you pay for. The operating range can freeze to -7 degrees F or “simply” chill your favorite hard seltzer to a more modest 50° degrees. The integrated Secop compressor delivers ultra-fast cooling, while the unit can also run in economy mode to minimize electrical use in the event you’re running off of a portable battery.

Dometic CFX3 45 Powered Car Cooler

Dometic's premium CFX3 45 Powered Car Cooler might be the most versatile on the market.

Dometic has long been the go-to brand for RV campers and hardcore outdoorsmen looking for the best in portable refrigeration. The latest lineup includes the CFX3 45 Powered Cooler, arguably the best electric cooler for cars and the best cooler for car camping. With Bluetooth connectivity and its own mobile app, it’s probably smarter than your fridge at home. It boasts a durable ExoFrame construction and waterproof high-res display that are both built to take a beating. Inside, you’ll find 46 liters of cold storage space that can chill or freeze — your call. The best part: Three-way power means you can run it off your vehicle’s DC outlet, a home AC wall outlet, or solar panels.

If money is no object, check out our roundup of the swankiest, most luxurious coolers for elevating your outdoor drinking game.

Editors' Recommendations

Best Grill Deals: Get Your Grilling Hat on From $107
how to grill a filet mignon on gas barbecue gourmet entrecote steaks at summer party

Summertime isn't the only time for grilling and eating well. Now that summer is over this is a great time to find some of the best grill deals as the season begins to wind down. There are plenty of amazing deals right now as new grill models continue to fill retail inventories. If you love to cook and grill outside, you can’t beat a high-quality grill, and the only thing better than a new grill is a great deal on one. Read onward for more details on the best grill deals available right now.
Expert Grill 24-Inch Charcoal Grill -- $107, was $124

Why Buy

Read more
Best cheap electric bike deals for October 2022
Juiced Bikes Scorpion

This is an excellent time  to shop for electric bike deals. Most brands are having outstanding sales, perhaps because inventories have begun to load up. The selection of e-bikes has risen rapidly in the last three years. You can find great e-bike deals quite easily today. The best approach is to be sure you consider both the price and the best use of any electric bike deals. In the following sections, we include today's best e-bike deals and how to find the best electric bikes for every kind of ride.
Best Cheap Electric Bike Deals

How to Choose an Electric Bike
It's not hard to find good deals on electric bikes. However, you need to be careful about the type of and design purpose of any e-bike. There are now electric bikes for such a wide range of purposes that you want to be sure you select an e-bike that's both a good deal and appropriate for your intended use.

Read more
Best Lawn Mower Deals for October 2022
A man mows his lawn with the Black Max self-propelled lawn mower.

It’s the right time of the year to find a cheap lawn mower deal, and one great way to grab some savings is by catching a deal on this year’s model. With many retailers stocked up on new models, fat inventories can mean extra savings now. Lawn care involves more than just mowing, but a good lawn mower is key. Read onward for details on the best lawn mower deals you can currently pounce on, and check back regularly, as we’ll update this post as new deals arise.
Sun Joe Cordless Lawn Mower -- $148, was $180

Why Buy

Read more