Whether you’ve got a long commute, road trip, or camping adventure ahead of you, it’s always nice to have a cold drink and snack at the ready. If you're ready to level up your on-the-road snack game, the best car coolers will keep everything chilled to a temperature of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the best one for you will be sized to store as much as you want without taking up unnecessary space. Some have warming or freezing functions for even more versatility.
When choosing an electric cooler for your car, you’ll first want to consider storage capacity. The coolers on this list hold between 4 and 45 liters, with several size options in between. So how many cans of Coke Zero are we talking? A 4-liter cooler has enough room for up to six 12-ounce cans, while a 45-liter cooler can hold up to 60, so it all depends on how much you want to stock at once and how much space you’ve got in your car.
Beyond that, each cooler comes with a 12-volt power cord that plugs into your car, but some options also include a 110-volt cord for wall outlets — a plus if you want to use your cooler once you reach the office or your hotel room. And as far as temperature goes, most coolers get down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit; keep in mind, though, that most of these coolers are designed to maintain food temperature, and not actively chill it, so you’ll want to pre-chill your sandwiches and sparkling water in a fridge first. However, if you do want a more active cooling option, I’ve included a car refrigerator and freezer that goes to sub-zero temps and has a touch screen for precise temperature control.
With all that in mind, read on for the best car coolers for road trips and other adventures that will keep drinks and snacks fresh while you're on the go.
1. The Best Mid-Size Cooler
With a 25-liter capacity, this electric cooler and warmer has plenty of space for drinks and snacks — and it has an impressive 4.6-star rating from Amazon reviewers. With enough space to hold up to 30 12-ounce cans, the cooler comes with a car adapter cord, as well as a standard power cord that plugs into wall outlets, and they both store neatly in a built-in storage compartment when not in use, so you won't have to search for them when it's time to plug in. This option can chill to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or heat to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s great for transporting foods of all temperatures. Plus, there’s a convenient carrying handle and removable divider to make organizing snacks and drinks a breeze.
According to a fan: “I bought this for an eight day trip, 3,000 mile trip. It was plugged into both the car and motel electricity. It worked flawlessly.”
2. The Best Compact Cooler
If you’re looking for a compact cooler that won't take up much space in the car, the Cooluli mini fridge is a user-approved pick with more than 12,000 reviews, and it's small enough to fit in the middle seat. The electric cooler and warmer has a 4-liter capacity (enough for six 12-ounce cans) and comes with 12-volt and 110-volt adapters, so it can be plugged into your car as well as a wall outlet. Even better, it comes with a USB cord, so you can plug it into a portable power bank (not included).
The fridge cools to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature — so keep in mind it won’t get things super cold if you’re driving in the summer with no air conditioning — and it also warms to between 122 and 144 degrees Fahrenheit. There's a small carrying handle, and inside the fridge, there’s a storage shelf and basket that you can remove to maximize space. This one earns style points, too — it looks like a tiny fridge and comes in colors like pink, red, and baby blue.
According to a fan: “Lightweight, car travel friendly, compact and very quiet. Keeps things chilled, even if I turn off the car engine for a couple hours to sleep.”
3. A Slim Cooler That Fits Between the Seats
For another space-saving option that holds a lot more than the last pick, this slim Koolatron cooler is compact enough to fit on the floor between your front and backseat or on the floor between the passenger seat and dash. The tall profile of this 17-liter cooler means it can hold up to 23 soda cans — enough to last you for awhile. It plugs into your car's 12-volt outlet, but it doesn't come with a wall adapter, so you'll have to buy one separately if you want to plug in once you reach your destination. It cools to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature and warms up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and the non-locking flip-up lid makes it super easy to reach in and grab a snack. Plus, there's a carrying handle, so you can easily transport it.
According to a fan: “Love it! We always travel with cold snacks and beverages. After I unpacked our old cooler I thought there had to be a better way so after lots of searching I decided on this model. It's plenty big without being cumbersome. [...] I wish I had found this ingenious device years ago!"
4. A Large Cooler With Wheels
If you’re heading out for a long trip or have a car full of hungry people, this 45-liter car cooler (big enough to hold 60 cans of soda) can keep you stocked on food and drinks. The cooler comes with cords for both car and wall outlets, and the built-in storage compartment corrals them both when not in use. It chills to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and warms to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and there’s a removable divider inside to keep things organized. And for easy portability, this cooler is outfitted with two handles and wheels.
According to a fan: “We took it across country with us in the truck; water, cokes, yogurt - it was terrific! It kept the drinks cold and kept the yogurt cold enough to keep from going bad. The handle and wheels makes it so easy to transfer from vehicle to hotel room. We'll never travel without it again - no ice and cold drinks, can't beat it!”
5. A Cute Retro Cooler
For some fun retro flair, opt for this cute 12-volt refrigerator with vintage style. The cooler has a 10-liter capacity — enough space for about 12 soda cans — and comes with adapters for both car and wall outlets. It cools to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature and warms to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside, there's a removable shelf for organizational convenience. It features a carrying handle that flips up, and if you want a fridge with just the classic Coca-Cola logo, there’s a 4-liter capacity version that’s perfect for you.
According to a fan: “Looks great, its light and small enough that transferring it from car to office is not an issue. I Spend a lot of time in the car so its great to have drinks and snacks on hand."
6. A Car Refrigerator & Freezer With LED Touch Control
If you want colder temperatures and more precise control, it might be worth spending more for this car cooler with LED touch control. Unlike the other options, it acts as a small refrigerator that allows you to actually set the temperature anywhere between -4 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. And according to reviewers, it features two compartments: one that actively cools or freezes (and can hold up to 30 12-ounce cans) and a smaller adjacent compartment for simply keeping things cool (big enough for about three cans). And while this option gets the coldest by far — keep in mind that it does not have a warming function, so it's a little less versatile.
The cooler features two side handles and comes with 12- and 110-volt adapters, and it’s insulated enough to keep things cold for up to 10 hours after unplugging. Plus, it has a built-in USB charging port, so you can keep your phone or tablet powered up while you're on the road.
According to a fan: “We’ve had this portable fridge for well over a year. We’ve used it on countless road trips and camping trips and at home as well as a secondary freezer. Freezes well and gets to temperature quick.”