Dewalt Toughsystem Ds404 Cooler
Cheapest price: £143.30, available at , also available at Screwfix
Outer dimensions : 40.5 x 54 x 35cm
Inner dimensions : 27 x 41 x 23cm
Stated capacity: 25.5 litres Can capacity: 38
Key features: One-year guarantee, two cup holders on top of the lid
DeWalt is famous for its power tools and is a brand typically associated with building sites.
This cooler is far more expensive than the other coolers we’ve tested and we wanted to find out whether it was worth paying that bit more for a cool box.
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Compressor Coolboxes And Fridges
- Compressor fridges are the top of the range because you can set a temperature for your food, or even freeze it, and thats what youll get unaffected by the searing sun outside. Theyll have to do more work in hotter temperatures, of course, which means theyll run more often but theyre very efficient.
- They run on the car battery and also on mains . Many have power-savings features and some can operate with solar.
- Average power consumption over a day tends to be low compared to other types, as the compressor only operates when needed.
- Theyre heavier, but theres a good range of sizes.
- Theyre suitable for camping in real heat, but are probably overkill for the UK and cooler weather.
- Cost: From around £250
Our choice for compressor camping fridges are either the Dometic CDF range or one from the Dometic CFX range. See more at our best camping fridge page.
Best Small Cool Box Coleman 6 Can Personal Cooler
A perfect size for a 6 pack of 330ml cans or you can get lunch for a couple of people into it too.
If you have any day trips to make where you want to take a few things with you and keep them cool then this is the way to go.
Its comfortable enough to hold and carry and not too bulky so its easy to store as well.
The lid is reversible so you can flip it around and use it as a tray which is nice, somewhere to put a cold drink while you enjoy it.
At 5L it might be smaller than some were hoping for but its plenty big enough for small trips.
Overall, a great cool box ideal for taking a few lunches or a 6 pack of 330ml cans for a day. Ideal for fishing!
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Why Do You Need One
These boxes are not limited to outdoor activities. It can also be used inside the home in order to keep food and liquid contents cold whenever the fridge are full. If you are relaxing and watching television series, you can have this essential device and keep your favorite beverages.
It is definitely a worthwhile investment especially when you and your family are enjoying different indoor and outdoor activities.
How Tough Does It Need To Be
Depending on the kind of use your cool box is going to get, you might need to give some thought to what its made of. Most cheaper units will have a plastic shell, outside and in, which will usually survive low to moderate usage, maybe over a festival weekend or some shorter camping trips. However, heavy-duty usage is going to need a heavy-duty build. Some units feature a hardened plastic, or even metal in some cases, which naturally can stand up to a bit more.
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How Does An Electric Cool Box Compare
Unsurprisingly, the electric cooler we tested, the Outwell ECOcool Lite 24L , outdid the passive coolers in the insulation test, with only a small temperature increase across the day. However, one of the passive coolers wasn’t far off.
With this particular electric cooler, there’s little guidance on how long you should have it cooling down for before use. We pre-cooled ours for 15 minutes but we’d recommend doing it for longer because the temperature only stabilised after about four hours.
Although they stay cold, the issue with electric cooler boxes is that they aren’t very portable. The most widely available tend to only be compatible with car cigarette lighters, and those that can be powered by both your mains and your car still have to be plugged in at all times to keep chilling.
Dometic Cff 35 Portable Compressor Cool Box 34 L
essentially a transportable fridge: very impressive
Essentially the Rolls Royce of the cool box world.
This portable cool box from Dometic is a serious piece of kit. The box is a generous 34 litres which takes some filling, and usefully, one-litre bottles stand upright comfortably. Though it is large, it is surprisingly light to lift when empty despite having a powerful energy-saving AC/DC built-in compressor.
There are some thoughtful touches on this box, such as a double-sided opening lid, which doesnt sound exceptionally wow, but access from both sides is handy.
The carry handles are super strong and comfortable to hold, and theres a dimmable led screen displaying the cooling temperature.
Having excellent insulation, once at the optimum temperature, it holds even when left in full sun. One aspect to this box that we appreciated is how quiet it is on both mains electric and plugged into the car this is a real bonus using in a tent, motor home or boat etc
The box may be expensive compared to others, but what it delivers is beyond any we tested and definitely is one for the serious outdoor adventurist.
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Buying Guide How To Buy The Best Cool Box
When selecting the finest cool box for your next outdoor activity, there are a few factors to consider. This guarantees that you get the right cool box for your needs, regardless of size or cooling capability. Weve created a detailed buying guide below, including all of the essential characteristics to look for.
Capacity And Weight
Size is a key feature to look out for since it determines how much your cool box can support. Passive or non-electric cool boxes have a size range of between 1 L to up to 100L. For example, a 28L cool box can carry up to 36 330ml cans. A 57L cool box, on the other hand, carries up to 75 cans.
However, you will have to spend more on larger cool boxes. Furthermore, you should expect extra weight with a large-sized cool box although weight is impacted by the material as well.
This weight is also significant since it affects how you handle the cool box. Regular carrying handles, for example, would be insufficient for a fully loaded 57L cool box. The big cool boxs wheels make transportation easier and more convenient.
Different cool boxes come with varying cooling capacities. For passive cool boxes, the cooling effect is prolonged as the size increases. Typically, cool boxes maintain their effect for about 12 to 100 hours. So, you certainly want to go for a large box with at least a 2-day cooling effect for overnight camping trips.
Best Heavy Duty Cool Box
- Dimensions: 97 x 44 x 45 cm
- Capacity: 114 litres
- Material: Plastic and UltraTherm
Replacing anything on a regular basis makes no financial sense. So if you are in the habit of buying things that last, then this is the cooler box for you.
Indeed, the case is virtually indestructible thanks to its wildly durable construction.
Not only is this box exceptionally durable but if you give it a good pre-chill, it will keep your food or drinks cold for 5 days or more. On average, though, you can expect the box to keep items cold for 3 to 5 days without a thorough pre-chill. The box is also easy to open, lock, and is also leak-proof.
Our reviewer loved this thing. Its extremely durable and large enough for even the largest gatherings. This is, however, a bit of a double-edged sword. The size of this thing makes it nearly impossible to move alone, requiring another person to help carry the thing. Otherwise, though, its stable, easy to clean, and locks a standout in this list.
- Lock that doubles as a bottle opener.
- Drainage holes for easy cleaning.
- Stable bottom.
- Dimensions: 74.9 x 40.3 x 41.9 cm
- Capacity: 66 litres
- Material: Polypropylene
Heres another great choice if you are shopping for coolers that can keep stuff cold for a couple of days.
True enough, you can expect up to 5 days of frostiness regardless of how hot the day becomes. This is a small cooler that weighs around 4.9 kilograms when empty and is suitable for camping or travelling.
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Keep Cool And Carry On Camping Enjoy Fresh Food And Cold Drinks Anywhere With Our Favourite Ice Boxes And Electric Coolers
Fridges are never there when you need them most. When you’ve spent all day rambling, for example, and you’re finally back at your tent, feeling ravenous . Or you’ve been driving for six hours. Or maybe you’re having a party, when one fridge is never enough.
A cool box will keep your food edible and your drinks ice-cold in all these situations, but one box doesn’t fit all needs. We’ve tried to find good all-rounders, but with coolers you have to choose between competing attributes. Large or easy to carry? Collapsible or electric?
In this article, we’ll take the stress out of choosing the right cooler for you. First, we’ll run through the different factors to consider, and then we’ll reveal the best cool boxes on the market today.
- The best electric cool box: Outwell Ecocool Slate Grey Cool Box 24l
Amazon Basics Thermoelectric Cooler
There used to be a great TV advert in the UK which went something like Ronseal quick drying wood stain it does exactly what it says on the tin!. Well the is essentially the electric cool box equivalent of that advert! What can it offer the discerning camper? Lets check out the key features
- A roomy 24 litre capacity
- Portable and versatile can warm to 65°C as well as cool
- Powered by either 12V connection cable or 240V mains power
- Substantial self-locking handle for lugging around even when fully laden
- Energy-efficient and perfect for long drives, hikes, and camping.
With a decent 24L of space on offer, you can comfortably load all your food and drinks inside the Amazon cool box and drive off on a camping adventure.
It will operate from the 12V cigarette lighter of your car or campervan and comes with the requisite lead. This is perfect for chilling your perishables before, during and after your journey. No chance for stuff to warm up if you dont want it to.
Its not the most powerful in terms of absolute cooling though. It uses the thermoelectric Peltier technique rather than a compressor like the Alpicool above. This means it can only maintain a temperature around 18° below ambient. On a hot summer day in the mid to high 20s, you may struggle to get the Amazon coolbox to chill below 10°C however, lets be honest in the UK, temperatures like that are a bit of a rarity. For most trips it will cool just fine and is an excellent price for the features on offer.
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How To Choose The Best Cooler For You
Before you choose a cooler, you must consider its size. Size ultimately affects the portability. On top of that, you need to decide on the external material â whether you want a hard or soft case. If you need to carry it for extended times, opt for soft, but if you want one for large get-togethers, or you need durability, a hard case would be best.
Portable vs. non portable: If you donât plan to move your cooler once itâs placed, then you donât need to worry so much about its portability. But, if youâre planning to take it on vacation or on road trips, then consider how much it will weigh at full capacity and whether you will be comfortable carrying it.
Durability: The latches must seal securely and shouldnât ease up when travelling. The cooler wonât be able to insulate effectively if the seal is broken.
Insulation: You want your cooler to be effective at insulating, so it keeps its contents chilled for as long as possible. The performance in this can vary â some models will keep ice frozen for up to a week, while others will only last a day.
Extra features: If you want the latest features and youâre happy to pay for it, look out for external storage compartments, cup holders, bottle openers and even umbrella holders. There are also models available which offer bike attachments.
Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.
How Do I Choose A Cooler For Camping
If youre looking for a cooler for your next camping trip, youll find a lot of great options on the marketfrom high-end coolers with tons of features to budget-friendly Coleman options. Here are a few considerations before you buy your next cooler:
This list of the best camping coolers features products that you can find at outdoor stores like REI and Backcountry, or from retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Whether youre looking for a Yeti, Coleman, Igloo, ORCA, or another brand, weve rounded up some of the best products available to keep ice, drinks, and food cold for days or weeks.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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Mobicool Mq40 Coolbox 12 V/230v
If you need an effective cool box with a large capacity, then the Mobicool MQ40 Coolbox could be an ideal choice for you. The cooler has a dual voltage system so it can connect to both vehicle cigarette lighters and mains power.
In terms of portability, the unit has two wheels and lifting handle so you can easily pull it to your chosen location. You can easily organise the inside of the unit with two removable inner dividers so you can neatly pack your items, while there is no shortage of space with its whooping 39-litre capacity.
The coolbox can cool 18 degrees below ambient temperature and has a split lid which minimises cooling loss when you open it. Due to its height, it can fit standing 2-litre bottles and has a double fan system which cools the contents quicker.
The lid has a cable compartment so you can neatly store them away and use of this cool box isnt just limited to a caravan but also camping, boats, festivals or any other outdoor event.
Its best to use at camp sites with a power hook up, or if you already have a good solar system in place.
Summerhouse Coast Insulated Seat Cooler 2699
Best for doubled-up usage
Capacity: 15L | Weight capacity as seat: 100kg
This handy cool bag is ideal for family picnics and camping when you never seem to have quite enough fold out chairs for the whole family. This picnic cool bag doubles up as a seat and can take up to a 100kg in weight on top of it.
It also folds flat when not in use so it can be easily packed away and the 15 litre internal capacity should be enough to carry your lunches along in too. Theres an adjustable shoulder strap included for easy carrying and the lid is also padded for a little extra comfort.
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Product Testing & Comparison
Our reviewer followed a specific set of guidelines to determine the best of the best for our list:
Our reviewer focused primarily on durability. These boxes need to be strong enough to take a minor beating without the insulation failing. We also looked for another important factor portability. It doesnt matter how spacious or effective the cooler is if you cant take it anywhere, right?
Finally, we looked for a large capacity. While this could be gotten around by being very lightweight and easy to move around, we primarily favoured cool boxes that had a decent capacity. Now lets see whats best for you, shall we?
Advantages Of Electric Cool Boxes
At a camp site, its very common to have access to either 12V or 240V main electricity, either via an electric hookup or a leisure/car battery. Its now also possible to buy portable lightweight battery power packs which can last for extremely long times running a fridge if you dont have access to mains power. These work very well and allow simple operation of your electrical goods when youre in the middle of nowhere with no mains to rely on.
Using mains or stored power in this way means you have almost a guaranteed supply of energy for your chilling and are unlikely to quickly lose your cool man!
The alternatives to electricity include gas powered fridges which can take cannisters of propane/butane to provide the chilling action. The problem with this is both cost and supply you might run out when you need it most! However, most gas fridges can also run off electricity, but cost more than pure electric alternatives.
Finally there is the good old fashioned insulated cool box with absolutely no tech built in you basically load them with frozen ice blocks before you set out from home and hope that it lasts a day or so. These can be good for day trips, but are no good for serious camping holidays in our view.
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