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Solar Powered Coolers: The Definitive Buyers Guide

Solar Powered Coolers have revolutionized what it means to live and thrive off of the grid sustainably.  By using the power of the sun to keep your food cold, you can now go for longer periods without having to resupply any ice or perishable items.  

Solar Powered Coolers: Everything You Need to Know

In this article, we are first going to take a look at the three best solar powered coolers available right now, discuss the pros and cons of each model, and also provide the answers to some frequently asked questions.  We hope this guide makes it easy for you to choose the right solar powered cooler for your needs!

The LionCooler from ACOPower

Overall, The LionCooler from ACOPower is the ultimate choice for anyone looking for a solar powered cooler.  The brand offers a variety of portable models with varying size and price that are perfect to match any solar setup or budget.

Key Features

  • Extremely Portable - LionCoolers are built to be moved around.  The luggage style handle and design, paired with the durable multi-terrain 6 inch wheels, make ACOPower’s solar cooler the best option for mobility.  This device is perfect for bringing out to the campfire across a rugged surface or simply rolling out onto the deck for your next cookout.  
  • Battery & Charging - The LionCooler can be charged in three different ways:  solar panels, standard AC wall outlets, or a DC car port (cigarette lighter).  The battery fully charges in about 4 to 5 hours, so if you are going camping the options are limitless.  You can charge the cooler in your home the night before, with your car on the way to your campsite, or with the sun while you are enjoying the great outdoors.  The battery is also easily replaceable, so you can bring along as many batteries as you need to maximize your coolers lifespan. 
  • Performance - Most importantly, ACOPower’s solar powered coolers are extremely high performing.  With a full charge, the LionCooler can power between 10 and 15 hours of 0℃/32℉ cooling.  The temperature settings can be completely controlled all the way down to -4℉ via the built in LCD screen or remotely with the free Bluetooth App for Android or iOS.  The LionCooler works great as both a solar powered cooler and freezer, as the unit can cool to 10℉ in as little as 40 minutes.

  • Available Sizes

    • 17 Quart
    • 32 Quart
    • 42 Quart
    • 52 Quart

    Click to view the ACOPower Solar Powered Cooler

    ARB Solar Powered Coolers 

    ARB is a well known and highly rated producer of solar powered coolers.  Although they are not made to be portable, ARB coolers may be the best choice for you if you are looking for a permanent solar powered cooler setup. 

    Key Features

  • Size & Capacity - ARB’s solar powered coolers are both large and well designed, making them perfect for storing large amounts of food.  The brand’s largest model has a capacity of 82 quarts, which is large enough to hold a significant amount of groceries, or 120 12-ounce cans, depending on how you are planning to spend your weekend. 
  • Performance - ARB coolers come with built in Danfoss compressors which are powerful enough to maintain temperatures below freezing even during the warmest summer days.  The smart system is made to actively detect the interior temperature and rapidly cool down the coolers contents if it gets too warm. With this and its weight and size in mind, an ARB cooler is perfect for sitting in your truck bed during a tailgate.  
  • Bonus Features - ARB coolers come with a few thoughtful features to use and maintain your unit.  In addition to the standard LCD screen for temperature control and monitoring, there is a separate compartment for dairy items or fruit, a built-in cable storage system, and a drain plug for cleaning.  Although you will not be needing ice to keep your food cold, having the drain plug will be useful when cleaning the product’s interior.

  • Available Sizes

      The Dometic CFX

      Lastly, we’d like to recommend an electric cooler that is both portable and capable of keeping a large number of items cool for an extended period of time: The Dometic CFX.

      Key Features

    • Built to Last - Both models of the Dometic CFX come with heavy-duty, foldable carrying handles that ensure long lasting portability.  The lid is completely detachable, and is connected with a stainless steel hinge. For a longer lasting battery, the display and interior lights are also powered by LED.  
    • Awesome Bonuses - Dometic Coolers come with 2 USB for phone or tablet charging built right into the hardware. Your purchase includes an AC wall and a DC car power chord, as well as removable baskets for dividing and organizing your groceries.  
    • Cooling Capabilities - Dometic coolers come with a built in turbo rapid cooling system and can save temperature presets even while the unit is turned off.  Larger models include two separate interiors that can keep the dual compartments at different temperatures.  

    • Available Sizes

      Does a Solar Powered Cooler Work When it is Not Plugged in?

      Yes.  Although most solar powered coolers can be plugged into solar panels, an AC wall outlet, or a DC car outlet, they do not have to be plugged in to keep food cold.  When the battery is charged, the device will monitor and manually cool the interior. Even after the battery runs out, most high quality solar powered coolers are insulated enough to stay cool for even longer.

      Can I use a Solar Powered Cooler as a Freezer?

      Yes.  Most high end solar powered coolers are able to be programmed to maintain temperatures far below freezing, even in very hot conditions.

      Can I put ice in an Electric Cooler?

      No.  You will no longer need to stop at the gas station for ice, as solar powered coolers work using electricity.  Solar powered electric coolers can be damaged if some of the electrical components are damaged by water from ice melt.  


      If you are looking for a solar powered cooler we hope this guide was helpful to you.  We’ve tested just about every solar powered cooler on the market, so we stand by our recommendations.  If you have any questions or want to learn more, feel free to contact us today.


      Affiliate disclosure: We aim to provide honest information to our readers. That being said, we do not do sponsored or paid posts. In exchange for referring sales, we may receive a small commission through affiliate links. This post contains affiliate links. This comes at no extra cost to you. 

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