The Best Car Coolers for Keeping Your Snacks and Beverages Chilled

Whether you're on a road trip, camping, or planning to go to the beach, we have a cooler for you!

best car coolers 2018
Cooluli

A car cooler is a convenient way to transport food and drinks without the stress and mess of ice with a traditional cooler. They plug into your vehicle's 12-volt accessory outlet (cigarette lighter) to keep everything fresh and chilled. Some models even double as a warmer, which can come in handy for potlucks and picnics. We've evaluated several models of all shapes and sizes to help you find the best car cooler to take with you anywhere!

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Causalyg
Causalyg Soft Electric Car Cooler
$89.99

This portable pick gives you the best of both worlds. It doubles as a cooler that can chill its contents down to 48 degrees Fahrenheit, or it can warm them up to 140 degrees. Unfortunately, there's no way for you to set a specific temperature — you can only choose between "hot" or "cold." 

The bag is 14 inches long and 9 inches tall, and it's perfect for either storing several snacks or up to 20 cans of soda. It comes with a 74-inch cord that plugs into your vehicle's 12-volt accessory outlet (cigarette lighter).

Related: Everything You Need for an Epic Road Trip

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Cooluli
Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Car Cooler and Warmer
$44.99

If you're looking for a versatile car cooler that doesn't take up much space, the Cooluli may be the cooler for you. It's about 11 inches tall and 10 inches wide, making it small enough to fit on top of the armrest in your backseat. It has enough room to store 6 cans of pop.

This pick comes in several bright colors and patterns, including blue, pink, and even a cow print. Its cable plugs into your car's 12V adapter, a standard wall outlet, or a USB battery pack. We wouldn't recommend using the cooler over USB because it doesn't generate as much power, and it won't keep your items as chilled. We're big fans of the cooler's sleek design, and appreciate its convenient carrying handle at its top.

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Wagan
Wagan EL6214 12V Car Cooler
$92.84

This Wagan car cooler is the best option for long road trips. We love that it has two built-in cup holders and can double as an armrest for backseat riders. It offers plenty of storage for beverages and snacks — there's enough room for 12 cans of soda, and it's also big enough for wine and water bottles. It comes with a 9-foot-long power adapter for plugging into your vehicle's 12V DC outlet, and a shoulder strap for easy transport. 

The manufacturer also sells an adapter that lets you plug the cooler into a standard outlet.

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Koolatron
Koolatron 18 qt. Compact Car Cooler
$88.40

For those looking for a slim cooler to place behind a seat, this one from Koolatron offers plenty of storage without taking up much room. 

It's perfect for keeping soda ice-cold, and it's tall enough for half-gallon cartons. It cools to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can also keep your snacks warm, because it heats up to 135 degrees. The Koolatron comes with a plug for powering it in your vehicle, but you can also purchase an adapter to use it with a standard wall outlet.

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Wagan
Wagan EL6224 12V Car Cooler/Warmer
$64.99

Another great option from Wagan, this car cooler is an Amazon best-seller — and for good reason. It's an affordable option that can cool down to just 32 degrees to keep all your snacks and beverages chilled. This cooler is larger than most, making it a good pick for a family. Its roomy interior stores 27 cans of soda or four 2-liter bottles. 

Although it has a handle for transport, this cooler is quite heavy — especially when full, so we don't recommend lugging it around the beach or carrying it up the hill for a picnic. The manufacturer also sells an adapter that lets you plug the cooler into a standard outlet.

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Koolatron
Koolatron 29 qt. Voyager Car Cooler
$105.99

Brewers and tailgaters will love this car cooler's enormous size. It has enough space for 48 cans. The cooler plugs into your vehicle's 12 volt plug to keep your drinks and snacks cool for hours. This one reaches temperatures just below 40 degrees, but it also doubles as a warmer — making it the perfect companion for potlucks. 

Compared to other coolers, this one is much quieter, and it's one of the few that lets you use it in multiple orientations. You can open the lid from the top, or have its door open like a mini fridge. 

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Knox
Knox 34-Quart Electric Car Cooler/Warmer
$89.99

Most car coolers only come with a 12V adapter that connects to your vehicle for power. This offering from Knox has two built-in cords — one for standard wall outlets, and another for car power adapters. There's even a convenient storage compartment to tuck the cable away when they're not in use.

You get 34 quarts of storage space with this mid-size cooler — that's enough space for 48 cans of soda, or a 2-liter bottle with plenty of room for snacks and perishables. It's also tall enough for wine bottles. The cooler has a convenient storage handle, and it comes with a removable divider that creates two compartments, so you can keep your food and beverages separate from one another.

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Igloo
Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Car Cooler
$67.82

Igloo is one of the most well-respected cooler brands, and you can be confident that this electric one from them is reliable and will keep all your food or beverages cool. It comes in two sizes — 26 or 28 quarts, with the latter being large enough for 32 cans of soda.

Its included 8-foot-long power cord plugs into your vehicle’s 12V DC adapter. It should be plenty long enough to reach any outlet in your car. We like that it has several handles for easy transport. There are two side handles that two people can use together, and another main one that folds down when not in use.

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Knox
Knox 48-Quart Electric Car Cooler and Warmer
$109.99

For those who camp off the grid and and need food and beverage storage for several days, we recommend this 48-quart car cooler from Knox. It's similar to the taller and smaller 34-quart Knox cooler we previously mentioned. It has two built-in cords — one for standard wall outlets, and another for car power adapters. However, it's much larger and has enough space to fit 60 cans of soda or six 2-liter bottles. With a cooler this large, it's definitely heavy and hard to lug around.

Fortunately, Knox gave it two carrying handles on its side that two people can use to lift it for transport. Even better, it's on wheels and has a carrying handle that you use to pull it like a suitcase! Like other offerings, this one can heat up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great option for any getaway, whether you're camping, tailgating, or taking it to a cookout.