Koolatron Compact Cooler – Road Trip Tech Corner

Automotive travel refrigerators have been around for ages. For the most part they were terrible. Technology progressively marches forward. So, are travel refrigerators good now that we live in the future?

I have to admit, I have a great interest in this category. Ice chests are vital components of a successful road trip. They also tend to be, well, a pain. All that dealing with ice, you know dumping out the old ice, filling up the ice chest from the hotel ice machine while impatient fellow guests glare at you and then look at the “do not fill ice chests” signs that you obviously saw.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take your fridge with you when you hit the road? Just put your stuff in there, and through the magic of AC power and those outlets our ancestors used to use to light cigarettes you have modernly cooled beverages and snacks. Science!

The answer is yes you can… sort of. I scoured Amazon and other online merchants in search of a highly rated travel refrigerator. What I turned up is the Koolatron Compact Cooler ($99 at Amazon.com). The word cooler (actually Kooler) is a bit telling, this will keep things cool, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for a refrigerator.

The Kooler keeps things about 40 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. You’ll want to make sure whatever you put in there is already cold.

This gadget is hard sided and durable. It features a carry handle so you can tote it around as required. Not only can it run on AC power from your car, but you can also pick up a wall adapter so you can plug it in at home before you leave, or in the hotel to make sure everything is as cool as possible before you hit the road.

Tossing in a couple of those blue ice packs might also give the cooler a little boost.  But, you might be thinking to yourself, that seems like a lot of hassle. That is true, we’re still a long way off from having a real fridge with an icemaker in the car, but, it still beats lugging around an ice chest.

And you know what else? Since you aren’t filling this up with a lot of ice, that means more room for your stuff. The capacity on this travel cooler is pretty impressive. It can hold nearly a case of soda in cans and still fit behind the seat.

The only downside there is you might find yourself hitting more rest stops than you planned.

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