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The 9 Best Electric Coolers & 12V Portable Refrigerators for Camping

Bodega TWW35
Bouge RV 12V 30 Quart Portable Refrigerator
Dometic CFX3 75 Dual Zone Powered Cooler
  • Dual-zone cooler with 35L capacity

  • Wheels and handle

  • 5-year compressor warranty

  • Cools to 32 degrees within 16 mins

  • 2 Year Warranty

  • Energy Efficient

  • Premium dual-zone cooler

  • Extremely durable materials

  • Huge 75 Liter Capacity!!!

Wilderness Times may receive commissions for links included in articles to Amazon and other affiliate partners. We take pride in our testing and research, and recommendations are not given out lightly.

If you’re in a rush, the Bodega Dual-Zone 37-Quart Electric Cooler is the best electric cooler on the market today.

Owning an electric cooler can boost up your campfire cooking game, since you can bring whatever ingredients you want.

With an electric cooler, you can keep any ingredients chilled at just the right temp until you’re ready to use them – without worrying about them getting wet and spoiled from melted ice.

But which model is best for you? We’ve tested and reviewed all the best electric coolers on the market today. Here is what we recommend:

Best Electric Cooler for Camping – Our Top Picks

Bodega TWW35 Dual-Zone 37-Quart Electric Cooler

Bodega TWW35

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 39.2 lbs | Capacity (L): 35 | Materials: Plastic/polyurethane

This model by Bodega holds a well-deserved first spot on this list. It’s both affordable AND has it all.

Since it is dual-zoned, you can use the cooler however you want: as a fridge/freezer, freezer/freezer, or fridge/fridge!

The temperature can go as low as -4ºF, so you can make sure your food is chilled just the right way.

This portable cooler also makes cleaning easy with removable baskets for both compartments.

Other cool features are the removable door that can switch directions, as well as a cutting board you get with the purchase.

And last, but not least, the adjustable handle and wheels make moving this cooler around a breeze.

It’s also surprisingly quiet (~47 decibels) compared to other electric coolers that we’ve tested!

Read the full Bodega Electric Cooler Review.


  • Features dual zones, both of which can work as either a fridge or a refrigerator
  • High-quality rubberized wheels and adjustable handle
  • You can control the temperature, the mode, and the on/off function via a phone app
  • LED lighting allows you to operate the cooler in the dark
  • Features a cutting board for convenient food preparation, so you don’t have to bring your own
  • Offers a five-year warranty on the compressor and one year on all other parts


  • Slow customer service

Best for: weekend camping trips with family

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price at Bodega

Bouge RV 12V 30 Quart Portable Refrigerator

Bouge RV 12V 30 Quart Portable Refrigerator

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 22.8 lbs | Capacity (L): 28 | Materials: PP Durable Shell, Magnetic Lid

If you’re looking for an affordable electric cooler, this model by Bouge RV won’t disappoint.

You don’t often see compressor coolers at this price range, so that’s already a win.

This model has a 28L capacity, and you can use it as either a fridge or a cooler.

Thanks to the decently sized LED display and intuitive control panel, this is a straightforward cooler to use.

It features 2 modes: eco and max.

So, you can switch between the two, depending on whether your car is currently working or not.

And speaking of powering, this cooler can run on 12/24V DC power on various vehicles, as well as on solar power.

Read our full BougeRV 30 Quart Review here. 


  • The control panel is straightforward and easy to use
  • Runs on 12/24V DC power from any type of vehicle or on solar power
  • Cooler runs with low noise ranging between 53 to 60 dB
  • Features a removable partition, allowing food separation


  • Has a weird plasticky smell when you first buy it

Best for: campers looking for an affordable budget electric cooler

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price at BougeRV

GoSun Chill 40L Electric Cooler

GoSun Chill 40L Electric Cooler

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 28 lbs | Capacity (L): 40 | Materials: R-10, Closed cell polyurethane foam

Your vehicle can power your electric cooler while you’re driving, but additional charging options are always great to have.

Well, this model can be powered by a power bank (which is included), an AC adapter, a car port charger, or even flexible solar panels (sold separately).

The power bank that comes with the purchase is actually pretty impressive.

Not only can it charge your electric cooler, but it also features 3 additional USB ports for charging your other devices.

It also provides a cigarette lighter and white and red LED lantern lights, which are always handy.

With a capacity of 40L, this is quite an ample electric cooler. It can store as many as 58 cans of soda, so it’s great for groups.

The temperature control ranges from -4-68ºF, so you can keep your food and drink cool just the right amount.


  • Has a capacity of 40L, which allows you to fit 58 cans of soda
  • Comes with a power bank that can also charge 3 of your other devices
  • Touchscreen makes the cooler very easy to operate
  • Comes with 2 bungee cords, which allow you to keep the cooler in place while driving


  • Expensive for a single-zone cooler

Best for: those who don’t want to use their car for charging their electrics

Check Price on GoSun

Check Price on Amazon

Dometic CFX3 55IM Powered Cooler + Icemaker

Dometic CFX3 55IM Powered Cooler + Icemaker

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 47 lbs | Capacity (L): 53 | Materials: Plastic/polyurethane

If you’re willing to invest more in an electric cooler, this model by Dometic is just as good as your freezer at home.

It features a powerful compressor, which allows you to efficiently freeze your food at a temperature down to -7ºF.

This cooler can run on AC, DC, or solar power.

And thanks to the 3-stage dynamic battery protection system, it prevents dead car batteries while still keeping your food and drinks cool.

The Rapid Freeze Plate with silicone ice trays produces ice in a matter of hours, which is also a nice touch.

The fact that you can operate the cooler through an app makes things so much easier, too.

That way, you can adjust the temperature even when you’re away from the campsite (if connected to wi-fi), so that your food stays just the right temp.


  • Has a generous 53L storage capacity, which can hold up to 83 cans
  • Comes with 2 silicone trays and makes ice within just a few hours
  • Can adjust the temperature and get a detailed history of energy consumption and temperatures through the app
  • Deep-freezes to -7ºF, meaning your food will stay chilled no matter the outside temperature


  • Rather expensive

Best for: campers willing to invest in a premium, reliable cooler

Check Price at REI

Check Price On Amazon

BougeRV 37-Quart Wheeled Electric Cooler

BougeRV 37 QT Wheeled

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: ‎38.5 lbs | Capacity (L): ‎37 | Materials: Plastic/polyurethane

If the dual zone is the most important feature you’re looking for in an electric cooler, then this mode by Bouge RV is definitely worth consideration.

It falls under a more affordable category, but it’s at par with high-end models when it comes to quality.

The cooler features 2 sections that are slightly different in size, and you can use them for freezing, cooling or both.

Temperatures on both sections are easy to adjust, be it on the control panel or through an app on your phone.

The cooler has a capacity of 35L, but its tall construction is what allows you to make the best use of the inner space.

Aside from fitting up to 56 cans of soda, this cooler can also fit 12 wine bottles standing upright.


  • Takes just 15 minutes to cool 68ºF to 32ºF.
  • It can be used as a fridge/freezer, freezer/freezer, or fridge/fridge, depending on your needs
  • App allows you to control and adjust settings from your phone
  • Brand offers a 2-year warranty on the compressor and all other accessories


  • Handle feels rather flimsy

Best for: campers on a budget in need of a dual cooler

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price at BougeRV

Dometic CFX3 75 Dual-Zone Powered Cooler

Dometic CFX3 75 Dual-Zone Powered Cooler

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 61.29 lbs | Capacity (L): 75 | Materials: Rugged construction Fender frames protect the unit from damage

This model is basically a bigger version of the CFX3 55IM, and it’s great for longer camping trips.

With an ample capacity of 75L, this cooler can fit up to 113 cans of soda.

It comes with 2 zones on each side, both of which feature a separate lid.

This is great because you don’t have to let heat into the freezer whenever you’re opening the fridge for a drink.

Operating the cooler is a piece of cake. The interface is simple and intuitive, with big buttons and a high-resolution display.

Of course, you can always use the phone app to navigate the cooler when you’re not standing right next to it.


  • Can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear due to its rugged design
  • With a capacity of 75L, it can fit up to 113 cans of soda
  • Both compartments have their own lids, so you’re not unnecessarily interfering with temperature on either side
  • Phone app allows temperature control via WiFi or Bluetooth


  • No wheels and quite heavy to carry
  • Very expensive

Best for: long camping trips or large groups

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price On REI

Engel Platinum MT35

Engel Platinum MT35

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: ‎59.2 lbs | Capacity (L): 34 | Materials: ‎Galvanized Steel

Having a sturdy cooler is actually quite handy for camping trips. And this model by Engel is built for such occasions.

The outer shell is made of galvanized steel, and it can hardly go any stronger than that.

Everything about this cooler is sturdy, including the hatch and handles.

In other words, I’m pretty sure that even a tree falling down on it won’t cause much damage.

That’s not to say you should try it, but the cooler is extremely durable.

This electric cooler can run on battery power, 12/24V DC or 110/120V AC, meaning you can use it wherever you need it.

Fortunately, you get both cords along with the purchase, which is not typically the case with electric coolers.


  • Practically impenetrable since it’s made of galvanized steel
  • Can operate at the incline up to 30º off-level
  • Runs on a battery, DC, or AC
  • Can also be used as a sitting bench when needed (since it’s so sturdy)


  • Very expensive
  • No wheels, so you need to carry this heavy cooler in your hands

Best for: trips requiring a heavy-duty cooler

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price on Engelcooler

ICECO VL60 Dual-Zone Portable Refrigerator

ICECO VL60 Dual-Zone Portable Refrigerator

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 65.7 lbs | Capacity (L): 63 |

With a platinum paint shell, heavy-duty corner cap and built-in spring steel handles, this cooler is built to last.

The design is shockproof, which allows the cooler to withstand the hard environment.

And it is a dual-zone cooler, and both zones have a separate lid.

The zones are similar in size, and together, they can fit about 91 cans of soda.

The cooler is rather tall, which allows you to add wine bottles upright, too.

What’s also great is that you can use just 1 zone for cooling in case you don’t need both.

That way, you can save up energy, while using the other side for regular storage.


  • Could last a long time due to its sturdy design and protective cover
  • Features 2 zones that can be used separately/one-at-a-time
  • Can work at a 40º incline
  • Has a 5-year warranty on the compressor and a 1-year warranty on all other parts


  • One of the heaviest coolers on this list
  • Bulky and has no wheels (i.e. difficult to carry around)

Best for: campers looking for a dual-zone cooler that can withstand the harsh environment

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price on Walmart

Alpicool CF45

Alpicool CF45

Cooler Type: Electric hard-sided | Weight: 30 lbs | Capacity (L): 47.5 | Materials: ‎Foam

When you take all features into consideration, this model by Alpicool gives you the best value for your money.

Sure, this is a single-zone cooler, but it’s a pretty fast one at that.

It takes just 15 minutes for it to drop from 77ºF to 32ºF, which is quite impressive.

Of course, the cooler can go all the way to -4º, so it can work as a freezer, as well.

The worst thing for your electric cooler would be draining your car battery, but that shouldn’t be an issue with this model.

With a temperature memory function and 3 different levels of battery protection, it ensures your car battery remains alive at all times.


  • Fast at cooling (can drop from 77ºF to 32ºF in 15 minutes)
  • Features an internal removable basket for easier storage of fruits and veggies
  • Built-in LED light allows you to use the cooler at night
  • Very affordable


  • Unsturdy handle

Best for: short camping trips and picnics

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price on Walmart

Electric Cooler Buying Guide

Choosing an electric cooler is not an easy task, since they all look pretty similar.

However, you need to pay attention to every single feature as they can make quite a bit of a difference.

Here are some of the features you can look at to compare what would work best for your needs:

Size & Capacity

Electric coolers come in different capacities, with most models being between 30 and 75L (32-79 quarts).

Given that you’re not using ice to keep your food cool, you can use the entire cooler just for storing what you’ll be eating and drinking.

Naturally, this means the bigger the size, the larger its capacity.

Now, should you always go with the largest one available? Not really.

And not just because buying a cooler that’s too large for your needs would be wasting money.

A larger cooler will also use more energy to keep the interior chill, so you’re also wasting electric power.

Instead, choose a cooler depending on the size of your camping group, as well as the length of your camping trip.

This is yet another reason why we like the Bodega 37-Quart. It’s big enough to hold food for a multi-day trip for a family of four.

Read: What Size Cooler Do I Need for Camping?

Power Source & Battery Life

Best Electric Cooler

When choosing a model, its power source is one of the most important features to pay attention to.

Certain models are powered by an AC adapter, while some use a 12 volt DC power port.

But most models will use both or come with both AC and DC power cords.

Most electric coolers can also operate on external batteries or solar-powered ones.

This is something to keep in mind, as your car’s DC power most likely won’t be in use for the duration of the trip.

Depending on the model, you’ll need to make sure that you have either an AC power source (standard) at your destination or a power station and solar power.

The worst situation you can get in would be having a power station that’s battery might only keep your food and drinks cool for up to half a day.

But during the hottest hours, you should keep the cooler powered through one of the available means.

We recommend the EcoFlow Delta 2 Power Station, but there are many others on the market!

Dual or Single Zone

Electric coolers can be either dual- or single-zoned.

Dual zones allow you to use 2 different temperature settings at the same time.

Basically, this means you can use one zone for cooling, and the other for freezing.

Of course, both zones can have the same temperature, so you can use both for the same purpose when needed.

However, dual-zone electric coolers tend to be on the pricier side, so you should think about whether you actually need one.

For shorter camping trips, a single-zone electric cooler is typically more than enough.

For longer trips, the dual-zone makes sense since you’ll want to keep meat frozen.

But another advantage of having a freezer option available to you is you can pack ice cream and other cold deserts for those hot summer camping days.

Energy Efficiency

Best Electric Cooler

The fact that your car can power your electric cooler is great.

But one thing you don’t want to happen is your cooler killing your car battery.

Many models solve that problem by having different operation modes.

That way, you can use the cooler on max power while you’re driving the car, and keep it in eco-mode when you’re not on the road.

We also do not recommend using your car’s power upon arrival. This will drain your car’s battery and that is the last thing you want when camping.

So again, make sure that you bring an additional power source with you.

Portability & Weight

Best Electric Cooler

All electric coolers on our list use compressors, and those things are heavy.

Of course, other things add to the overall weight, including the material and additional features.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect the cooler to weigh around a pound for every liter of capacity it has.

This means that a 30L electric cooler usually weighs more than 30 lbs when empty.

And given that you’re storing food and drinks in it, the numbers just get bigger and bigger.

Trust me, moving such a cooler around is not an easy task. Pretty much every model features side handles.

But with bigger coolers, you’ll need another person to help you carry it, which is quite a hassle.

This is where the wheels come in handy. Certain models feature wheels, which makes moving them around much easier.

That is, if the terrain underneath you allows you to drag it around.

If you’re crossing over mud or sand, wheels won’t help you much.

Care & Maintenance

Best Electric Cooler

In order to have your electric cooler working for many years to come, proper maintenance is the key.

Luckily, there’s not much you need to do to keep your electric cooler in perfect shape.

Before you even start cleaning, you should always make sure that the cooler is turned off and unplugged from the power source.

To clean it, a damp cloth is your best friend. In most cases, the inside is easy to clean.

In the case of stubborn stains, don’t reach for anything too abrasive.

Instead, a bit of baking soda in lukewarm water will do the trick.

While cleaning with that, pay close attention so that no water drops into the seals, as that can cause damage to the electronics.

Finally, leave the lid open for the cooler to air dry.

In fact, you should always store your fridge with the lid slightly open, which prevents mold or foul smells from forming inside.

Read: How to Clean a Camping Cooler


What Are The Advantages Of Electric Coolers Over Standard Coolers?

Since they operate on electric power, these coolers don’t need ice to keep the temperature down.

This means you can use the entire interior for storing your food and drinks.

Are Electric Camping Coolers Energy-Efficient?

That depends on the model, but they are generally designed to be energy-efficient.

While your vehicle is on, these coolers can operate non-stop without draining your car battery.

Can I Use A Solar Panel To Power My Electric Camping Cooler?

Generally, you can as long as the solar panel can produce the same or more watts than your electric cooler.

How Long Can An Electric Camping Cooler Maintain Its Temperature?

That depends on the quality of the insulation used.

But generally, most coolers will maintain temperature for at least half a day when not powered.

Are There Any Quiet Electric Camping Coolers That Won’t Disturb My Sleep While Camping?

Yes. The Bodega TWW35 37 Quart is a good example of a quiet electric cooler.

With a noise level of less than 47dB, this cooler is even quieter than the fridge you have at home.

Can I Use An Electric Camping Cooler In Extreme Weather Conditions?

Most electric coolers can work in extreme weather conditions, thanks to the insulating materials and strong processors.

Of course, you should still make sure not to keep it in the direct sun, as that can affect the temperature inside.

To Sum Things Up

Having an electric cooler when camping is quite a game changer when it comes to making meals.

Among so many great models on the market, the Bodega TWW35 Dual-Zone Electric Cooler is currently one of the best ones you can get.

It’s dual-zoned, has great temperature control, and can be operated via an app.

However, if that model doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of other options in our list that have something for everyone.

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