Cool Boxes Buying Guide


The ideal portable cooler varies from person to person. This guide sets out important considerations to have in mind, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your individual needs and preferences.

  • Cooling technologies – what’s available?
  • Cooling and freezing in hot climates
  • What size should your cooler be?
  • Which energy sources do you want to use?
  • Avoid a flat vehicle battery
  • Are you concerned about noise from your cooler?
  • Will you travel for long or short periods of time?
  • Coolers for use away from the vehicle
  • Is it possible to cool “passively” without the need for power?
  • Do you want to pre-select a target temperature?
  • Cold drinks for the driver
  • Easy to clean features
  • Refrigerate and freeze simultaneously
  • Is there a cooler that can heat too?
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Cooling technologies – what’s available?

There are three types of cooling technology: absorption, compressor and thermoelectric cooling. Each technology has its own particular advantages that recommend them for certain conditions. The key features of each are:

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Types of Cooling technologies


  • Gas-powered cooling allows you to travel off-grid
  • Silent operation
  • Cooling performance depends on the ambient temperature
  • Convenient three-way power options: 12 V DC, 230 V AC and gas operation

View absorption portable coolers >


  • Low purchase cost
  • Lightweight
  • Performs well in inclined position 
  • Typically heavily dependent on ambient temperature, but the unrivalled cooling power of certain Dometic thermoelectric models break the mold!
  • 12/24 V DC, 230 V AC operation possible
View thermoelectric portable coolers >


  • Excellent cooling even in extreme ambient temperatures
  • Powerful cooling enables refrigeration and deep-freezing
  • Low power consumption
  • Performs well in inclined position 
  • Suitable for solar operation
  • Integrated battery protection
  • 12/24 V DC, 110 – 230 V AC operation possible

View compressor portable coolers >

Cooling and freezing in hot climates

It is important to consider the type of climate you’ll be in, while using your portable cooler. 

Thermoelectric and absorption coolers will cool between 18–30 °C below the ambient temperature. Clearly, this may not be adequate if you are travelling in a region where temperatures reach 30 °C or more.

And so in hot regions, we recommend using a compressor cooler. As shown in the table below, the cooling performance is so powerful that it can deep-freeze in even the hottest ambient temperatures:

Cooling technology

Outside temperature

Internal temperature achieved


40 °C

22 °C to 10 °C (depending on model)


40 °C

20 °C to 10 °C (depending on model)


40 °C

Preset temperature within range: 10 °C down to –22 °C (depending on model)

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Hoe groot moet uw koelbox zijn?

Kijk eerst naar de hoeveelheid opbergruimte in uw voertuig. Bekijk daarna het aantal mensen dat afhankelijk is van de koelbox. Houd er ook rekening mee hoelang u onafhankelijk kunt en wilt zijn van winkels–. Wellicht bent u van plan om naar afgelegen gebieden te reizen? En ten slotte verbruiken grotere koelboxen meer energie. – ls dit extra verbruik wel de moeite waard? We bieden afmetingen voor alle verschillende omstandigheden.

Het aanbod capaciteiten op basis van koeltechnologie is:

Absorptie: 31 liter – 40 liter
Thermo-elektrisch: 8 liter – 37 liter  
Compressor: 10,5 liter – 88 liter
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Welke energiebronnen wilt u gebruiken?

De standaard energiebronnen voor draagbare koelboxen van Dometic zijn:




12 volt / 230 volt / gas

Thermo-elektrische technologie

12 volt / 24 volt / 230 volt


12 volt / 24 volt / 110 volt – 230 volt


Absorptiekoelboxen onderscheiden zich door hun gebruiksgemak, omdat ze werken op wisselspanning, gelijkspanning en, indien buiten de auto gebruikt, ook op gas! Terwijl compressorkoelboxen ideaal zijn voor gebruik op zonne-energie dankzij hun laag energieverbruik. Zonne-energie is een goedkope en schone optie.

Bekijk op verschillende manieren gevoede absorptiekoelboxen >
Bekijk de compressorkoelboxen die geschikt zijn voor gebruik op zonne-energie >

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Voorkom een lege voertuigaccu

De geïntegreerde accubeveiliging van uw compressorkoelbox voorkomt een lege accu. Zodra het vermogensniveau van uw voertuigaccu is afgenomen tot een vooraf ingesteld “niveau”, wordt de voeding naar uw koelkast onmiddellijk onderbroken. Uw drankjes worden na verloop van tijd wellicht iets warmer, maar u kunt in elk geval naar huis rijden!

Aangezien absorptiekoelboxen zowel op gas als op elektriciteit werken, bieden ze een goede oplossing als u niet altijd elektriciteit voor handen heeft. Een aantal thermo-elektrische units beschikken standaard, en andere als optie, over een onderspanningsbeveiliging die de accu beschermt door bij onderspanning de voeding automatisch te onderbreken. 

Efficiency is ook belangrijk. Alle koelboxen die op netspanning werken, moeten wettelijk voorzien zijn van een efficiencyklasse. We zetten een nieuwe efficiencynorm voor compressorkoelboxen – onze CFX-serie is de eerste koelbox met een klasse A++. Onze thermo-elektrische koelboxen behalen ook steeds maximaal klasse A+++. Absorptiekoelboxen hoeven geen energieklasse te hebben omdat ze ook op gas werken.

Bekijk compressorkoelboxen met accubeveiliging >
Bekijk uiterst efficiënte thermo-elektrische koelboxen >
Bekijk uiterst efficiënte absorptiekoelboxen >
Bekijk onderspanningsbeveiliging >

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Are you concerned about noise from your cooler?

Depending on where your fridge will be placed and how sensitive you are to noise, the operating noise of a fridge may be important. Noise levels depend on the cooling technology used in the cooler:

Absorption – absolutely silent
Compressor – occasional, quiet running
Thermoelectric – continuous fan noise

View silent absorption portable coolers >
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Will you travel for long or short periods of time?

While travelling for long periods, you’ll appreciate having a deep-freeze function that extends the life of your food. A compressor cooler can freeze down to –22 °C.

For shorter trips of a few days or a week, an absorption cooler will be perfectly suitable. In certain models, you can even store ice cubes inside the refrigerator’s evaporator component. Although not as powerful as compressor units, absorption fridges will cool contents.

A thermoelectric refrigerator keeps items cool, rather than cools them itself. This makes it necessary to pre-cool items before setting off on your trip. It also makes it a less suitable option if you intend to rely on it for more than a day or two.

View compressor portable coolers >
View absorption portable coolers >
View thermoelectric portable coolers >

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Coolers for use away from the vehicle

Several models of Dometic cooler are suitable for taking to the beach or for use at picnics away from the vehicle. For this type of usage, we recommend a lightweight model of cooler which should, ideally, also feature a carry strap and/or sturdy handles for convenient transport.

To maintain cooling performance, wherever you are, an absorption cooler’s ability to run on gas is a significant advantage. All types of portable cooler could rely on a battery for power away from the vehicle. Alternatively, you could adopt the traditional and cheap solution of reusable ice packs.

Finally, there are the non-powered, passive coolers which are specifically designed for cooling “off-grid” (see next).

View coolers with carry handles or straps >
View absorption cooler with gas cartridge >
View batteries >

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Is it possible to cool “passively” without the need for power?

Our “roto-molded” non-powered cooling boxes boast superior insulation and durability thanks to their thick construction. This allows ice to be kept for 3–7 days depending on usage and ambient temperatures! Impressive stuff. View non-powered cooling boxes >
Passive Cool box Fishing

Do you want to pre-select a target temperature?

Only compressor coolers allow an exact, pre-set temperature to be achieved. Some models of thermoelectric and absorption coolers allow you to vary the level of cooling power used, but a specific, target temperature cannot be chosen. View compressor coolers with pre-set temperature control >
CFX100 detail

Cold drinks for the driver

Long drives can be thirsty work and, on such occasions, you’ll appreciate having a portable cooler within easy reach of the driver’s seat! Some models of portable cooler fit neatly between the front seats while others can be firmly strapped into a passenger seat using the seatbelt. View ideal coolers for use while driving >
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Easy to clean features

If hygiene is a priority for you and your family, then a cooler that is convenient to clean is a big plus. Look out for features such as a plug to drain away melted ice and removable parts such as baskets or dividers. View portable coolers designed for easy cleaning >
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Refrigerate and freeze simultaneously

Certain models of compressor cooler have two independent cooling zones. This means that one zone can be used to refrigerate and, at the same time, the second zone for freezing. A highly convenient feature that saves you having to buy (and store) two cooling units. View compressor coolers with two cooling zones >
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Is there a cooler that can heat too?

Some of our coolers can keep their contents warm, as well as cool. Although not designed for heating food from chilled, by placing a hot pie in a unit that heats up to 65 °C, it can be enjoyed warm later that day! View portable coolers with heating function >
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