|Koolatron Compact Kooler
|List Price: $84.95
Our Price: $69.97
You Save: $14.98 (18%)
The Koolatron Compact 18 quart 12 Volt cooler is tall, slim and sleek. The Compact Cooler from Koolatron was specially designed to fit in those tight spaces between and behind the seats of your car, van or truck. A 12 Volt plug is included with your Compact Cooler and plugs into your cigarette lighter to keep all your favorite snacks and beverages chilled up to 40 degrees F below the ambient temperature. Also with the optional AC adaptor the cooler can be plugged into a standard 110 Volt household outlet and used indoors. A featherweight lid without latches opens full length for effortless one handed access to your compact cooler's contents. A single convenient folding handle swings up for easy carrying. Features unique cord wrap and lighter storage spot plus a long life brushless motor and interior convection fan.
Perfect gift for RVers, boaters, outdoorsmen, hunters or college students!
Coolers are usually large and unwieldy, which is why Koolatron developed the Compact Kooler, specially designed to fit in the snug spaces behind the seats of many cars, trucks, and vans. Like many of Koolatron's coolers, this unit features a 12-volt cooling system that plugs into a car's cigarette lighter. The cooler's motor blows cold air over your food and beverages, keeping them 40 degrees F cooler than the outside temperature. The cooler also doubles as a warmer, if you'd rather keep the contents toasty. Outside of the car or truck, the cooler is still versatile, with a swinging, foldaway handle for easy portage and a latchless lid that opens with one hand. Other handy features include a convenient cord wrap and a unique storage spot for the unplugged cigarette lighter. Despite the unit's compact size and weight (only 9 pounds), it can still hold up to 23 12-ounce soft drinks. --Rivers Janssen
- Designed to fit behind a car, truck, or van seat
- Cooling system plugs into your vehicle's 12-volt cigarette lighter
- Keeps contents 40 degrees F cooler than outside temperature
- Foldaway handle swings out for carrying
- Weighs 9 pounds and carries 23 12-ounce soft drinks
- works, not well insulated
This review is for the Koolatron Compact Kooler (Model P20 I think). Checking the [...] site, I noticed they specialize in As Seen On TV exclusives.
I used this cooler on a three week road trip. After the trip I think my normal personal size igloo is more practical.
The P20 does do a decent job cooling while it is powered. For my use, the problem is that it is such a poorly insulated container. Any $[...] cooler would hold temperature better. This made me use a real cooler with fresh ice every day instead....more info
- Useful to keep drinks and food cool while traveling
We bought the Koolatron Kooler a year ago and find it very useful to keep food and drinks cool while traveling.
To use this effectively both the cooler and the items to be placed in it should be cool to begin with. The empty unit will cool about 10 degrees an hour to about 40 degrees lower than the ambient temperature around it, and maintain it's pre-cooled contents at that temperature as long as it powered on. Warm items placed in a warm cooler take much longer to cool, (the manual says up to 12 hours or longer).
We purchased the optional AC power adapter, so the night before we leave on a trip we plug the unit in and pre-cool it. The morning we are leaving we load it with a few soda and water bottles that have been cooled in the refrigerator. We also put in 2-4 plastic food containers that have been chilled in the refrigerator. One or more of those we fill with ice. The more space that is filled with cool/cold items the better the cooling process for everything else (less infiltration of warm air every time the unit is opened, less warm air to cool).
On our trip we then have cool soda and water to drink, and ice to use with the soda in a cup kept in the cup holder. If we add a room temperature soda or bottle of water the presence of the other cool/cold items filling the rest of the unit together with the action of the unit will cool that within an hour or two.
The plastic boxes are mostly for use with "doggie bag" contents from restaurant meals. Assuming an ambient temperature around the unit of 75 degrees, if the other contents were already cooled to the 35 degree temperature produced by the 40 degree cooling capacity of the unit, a room temperature container of food will be below 45-50 degrees within a couple of hours . We usually have dinner left overs for lunch the next day, certainly within two days.
The unit fits nicely in our sedan behind the drivers seat (assuming there is no passenger in the back seat that needs that leg room) and is easily reached from the front passenger seat over the console between the bucket seats.
At night we take the unit into our motel room and plug it in with the optional AC power adapter. The unit cannot be left plugged in to the cigarette lighter in the car for more than 4 hours or it will run the car battery down.
There is an optional battery saver adapter that will shut off the unit if it overtaxes the car battery. (Buying that is the reason I have returned to this item on Amazon a year later.) That will allow us to leave the unit plugged in when we leave the car for an indeterminant period of time that could be more than 3-4 hours. But after 4 hours or so the unit will shut off to protect the car battery and the contents will start to warm. So, if it is in a warm place we still can't be gone much longer than 4-5 hours if we want to keep food edible.
Finally, I keep an ordinary indoor/outdoor thermometer in the unit so that I can tell what the temperature in the unit is and am comfortable that food has not been subjected to temperatures that would make it unsafe to eat. (I think the manufacturer should build that in to the unit.)...more info
- Koolatron Cooler
I have not used the Koolatron Cooler much, but so far it is working well. It appears decently made and I was happy with it for the price....more info
- fits as a carryon for air travel too!
I fly several times a year to do cooking demos for aquaculture associations. This cooler fits exactly under the airplane seats so the flight attendants don't fuss. Even when full of fish, it's easy enough to handle by attaching to my rollaround suitcase in the airport. For several years I used an Igloo brand, which has since been discontinued. I'm happy with the Koolatron brand so far. Adaptor is a must when travelling, for the car and hotel room. As everyone here has stated, cold food/drink to start with really helps.
- Finally, A DC-Powered Cooler/Warmer That Works!
After going through a bad experience with trying to buy and then (in some cases) buying first a Vector, then a RubberMaid, then a Wagan Tech, and now a Koolatron, I can tell you that it's a relief to find a well-designed, well-built DC-powered cooler/warmer that actually works! Our Canadian neighbors to the north have done a great job with this unit.
I worried about its 17" height and depth, but once it was decided that it was going to live behind the passenger's front seat, those concerns became non-issues. In fact, its height is a benefit as long as it doesn't interfere with the seat back when you lift the lid, as you can reach right in from the driver's seat and get a can or a sandwich without much effort if you pack it well.
I also worried about all the ads that portrayed it as being only a cooler. But after having so much trouble with other companies' cooler/warmers, I decided to forget warming and bought the Koolatron without it (or so I thought). So when the unit arrived--in its original box, no less--I was pleased and surprised to see that it warms too! Excellent combination, since I have consumer-issue MRE's that I can now warm in it while I use my clumsier (and larger) Igloo Cool-Mate unit to cool other things down. And when I'm not doing that (like when the world ends or Limerick blows up), I can use it in the car as a cooler as I originally planned--an ideal situation.
If you need cooling in the car--or in an emergency situation (such as a power outage)--for medicines or for food, don't hesitate to buy this unit. In my opinion, it's by far the best one out there for its size and price, and I've seen or tried almost all of them.
- Spot On
I selected this model because of the great reviews it got. They were spot on. Compact enough to easily fit behind the driver's seat so that the front seat passenger could reach it easily. Large enough to carry the essentials for our trip. With the optional multi-purpose adapter, it is everything we needed in a portable, electric cooler....more info
- Awesome cooler/heater
This cooler does exactly what advertised. My husband uses it when shopping and camping to keep things cold. When he picks up warmed subs on his way home from work, he uses it to keep them nice and toasty until he gets home. I highly recommend this product!...more info
- Works well
I use this for keeping my coffee warm while on the road. I will usually get 3 large containers and keep 2 in the cooler using the heat to keep them hot.
I noticed that the containers are wet along with the holders I put inside to hold the containers in place. Not sure why it does this but it does keep the coffee hot for several hours even if you unplug it after a half hour.
Other than the moister it works like I wanted. ...more info
- AC Adaptor
I bought this cooler-heater together with an AC Adapter through Amazon.
Subsequently I read where their AC Adapter caused fires.
I wrote to Koolatron to see if they had modified the Adapter to prevent these fires and they refused to answer me.
I am not sure why Amazon still carries the product under these circumstances....more info
- Works great but with design flaw
My husband and I are over-the-road truck drivers. We keep this cooler in the top bunk which is the hottest part of the truck yet it still does a great job of keeping things cool. The size is perfect for 1/2 gallon cartons or cans of pop stacked two high. My only gripe is a design flaw which does not protect the fan. There is no reinforcement around the fan (such as styrofoam as in our other cooler) so if something happens to fall against the fan side of the unit, the fan is prevented from spinning thus burning up the motor. Even holding onto on the fan side in order to move the cooler is enough to stop the fan from turning. Other than that, we are very happy with it. ...more info
- Great addition for travel
The Koolatron Kooler works better than advertised. Used it on my last 3 week vacation and always had cold drinks and snacks when needed. The unit set behind the driver's seat and was very quiet. In the hotel room you can quiet the fan noise by setting the unit on the carpet. You do need the 120 volt converter for complete coverage. Comes in handy when your home refrigerator quits working....more info
- Koolatron Compact Kooler P 20
I ordered, as a package, both the P20 Cooler, along with the Koolatron Muti-Purpose Adapter 110VAC to 12VDC, March 10, 1907 I checked to see both item were in stock, both were.
The Cooler arrived promptly on March 16, 2007. However, the 110VAC Adapter was back-ordered. With the Adapter on back-order, there was no way to check the Cooler's function. There was no way to pre-cool the unit, since the recommended time was about 12 hours, and it is not to be powered by vehicle battery for longer than 4 hours without the engine running. Furthermore there was no way to keep the contents cool at night while in the motel room, unless one wanted to let the engine run all night. So for the first 2 months the Cooler was useless!
The Adapter finally arrived on May 10, 2007, a full two months after the original order was placed. (This slow delivery is the reason for the 4-stars.) With the Adapter it was finally possible to test out the unit.
The unit was completely empty, outside air temp. was about 80 degrees. I was impressed by the cool-down time; a little over an hour to reach 40 degrees. Certainly the unit was not pre-cooled enough to fill with food, but the fact that it reached 40 degrees so quickly was encouraging. The adapter is somewhat cumbersome, but is easy enough to use and connect.
I have used the unit on several trips and have found it quite adequate, provided items are cold when they are introduced to it. Warm items take forever to cool down; twelve hours is not usually long enough. While the product may be cool-er it certainly is not cold. Extra frozen ice packs and/or freezer containers filled with frozen water help a great deal. They add extra cold air to the inside of the unit while frozen. Even thawed, they are still maintained at about 40 degrees. They fill up empty space within the unit, a REAL Killer: Each time the unit opens any empty space fills with warm air. This unit, being a top-loader, is a little better than others that are front-loaders. Since cold air tends to sink, more cold air stays in the unit when opened. Front-loaders spill ALL their cold air as soon as the door opens.
The unit is well constructed, and seems to perform quite well within its design capabilities. A few things to remember:
1. The unit is a COLD PRESERVER, NOT a REFRIGERATOR. Put it in cold it will come out warmer but still cold. Put in warm? Well, let's hope it is canned when you put it in.
2. The unit is a small heat-pump, (removing heat from the air to cool the inside of the unit) and it will do just that no matter what the outside air temp. is. This unit cools to 40 degree below the outside air temp. and if it is 32 degrees outside, it will cool to 40 degree BELOW that.
There is no thermostatic control, while it is plugged in, it is cooling.
The unit is insulated, but not real well, so it does no better job keeping cold out, than it does keeping it in. Water still freezes at 32 degrees, F. Transporting the filled unit in a trunk or other unheated space, in cold weather, is not the best idea. If you do, a least unplug it! If you are transporting medication which must be refrigerated, but not frozen, keep the unit in a heated area, so the unit can cool properly.
3. A small indoor/outdoor thermometer is a great idea. They are reasonable in price. They allow you to monitor both inside and outside temp. without opening the lid. Small units can be mounted outside on the top or side with double-stick tape, with the outdoor sensor inside. Ideally this would have been installed by the manufacturer, but it is a simple fix....more info
- Fabulous product
This was a fantastic way to keep drinks and other things cold during a recent trip. It is easy to take into the hotels at night and plug into an outlet. It worked flawlessly! You need to remember that the startup needs to have the pop and other items cold and the kooler needs to be pre-cooled before you put it in the car. It is a must to buy the adaptor to plug into an electrical outlet. ...more info
- Koolatron cooler
I don't know how this got on my list of things to review. I have never owned one. I do have two other Koolatron coolers, and they are great. One is over 30 years old and still going. I gave this a 5 star rating because Koolatron makes 5 star products....more info
- Great Compact Cooler
Before a recent road trip we decided to invest in a portable fridge/cooler, which we could use to help us save money on buying milk and other items for our 2 year old. After researching a number of coolers I decided to go with the Koolatron Compact Cooler based on the other reviews.
Before embarking on our trip, I pre-cooled the cooler as instructed in the owner's manual. One thing to keep in mind is that the cooler does NOT come with an adapter, which will allow you to cool the unit outside of a vehicle. I purchased the 5 Amp AC to 12V DC Power Adapter and had great success pre-cooling the cooler. The adapter never got really hot even after over 12 hours of being plugged in.
I filled the cooler to the max and plugged it in our car. Our road trip lasted over 12 hours and all the items in the cooler remained icy cold. On the trip back home the cooler was empty, so I didn't pre-cool the cooler. However, after making a few stops I had a few items to put in the cooler. After having the cooler plugged in the car for a few hours, without pre-cooling, I felt that the items kept cool enough and eventually became icy cold.
The bottom line here is that you probably want to pre-cool the cooler ahead of time, but if you have something already cold you can get away without having to pre-cool. If you are throwing in some items like cans of soda, which are room temperature you definitely want to pre-cool.
I only had two minor issues with the cooler, which prevented me from awarding it with 5 stars.
1. As previously mentioned, the cooler does not come with an adapter (AC), which will allow you to power the unit outside of a vehicle. The owner's manual specifically mentions that you should pre-cool the unit, but if you were to buy the cooler before reading reviews you would not know this bit of information ahead of time. I think Koolatron would be better off increasing the price of the cooler and including the adapter, since most people are going to need to buy this accessory.
2. The fridge is somewhat noisy or at least the fan is anyway. When you are riding in a car the sound is somewhat negligible, but if you are staying in a hotel overnight the sound of the fan spinning may keep you up. I was able to get around this by plugging in the fridge inside the bathroom and closing the door, which muffled the noise to the point where it was not noticeable.
Despite the two minor issues I mentioned, I am very happy with the purchase and I would make the same decision if I had to do it all over again. ...more info