We needed a cooler for a road trip, and since we were flying in and getting a rental car, our first thought was to get a cheap styrofoam cooler and toss it at the end of the trip. But that was inconsistent with our reuse/recycle beliefs.
After a lot of research, I settled on this cooler. Here's why:
- It included two power cables: one for the car and one for indoors.
- We would be able to take it home with us on the airplane as carry on luggage. It measures 13 x 17.2 x 18.4 inches and the airlines carryon limits are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches.
- The reviews were good. There were some negative, but that most likely had to do with people not reading the directions.
- We could have it delivered to our hotel and the price was right.
A couple of notes...
- We used this cooler during a 10-day road trip and not once did we did not eat out (pandemic + Celiac = self food prep).
- Food was kept nicely cold. Some of the items we stored included 1/2 gallon of milk, 1/2 gallon of orange juice, a giant tub of yogurt (which we used all 10 days), almond milk, frozen dinners/burritos, bagged salad, boiled eggs, and so forth. For two people, it was the perfect size!
- Before loading it up with food, we would pre-chill it for 20 minutes or so. For example, when staying in a hotel for the night, we would put the food into the refrigerator overnight; the next morning, we turned on the cooler prior to loading up our food.
- The fan is very quiet. But, I am a person who doesn't like to hear any noise at night, so I opted to use the hotel refrigerator. We did leave the food in the cooler plugged in one night and it worked great.
- Since the cooler shuts off when the car is off, we had brought a quart sized freezer bag, filled it half way up and froze it each night so that we had a little piece of ice for the cooler. I don't know that this was necessary, but I liked not worrying about the food when we stopped to do something for a few hours. We also had one frozen meal in the cooler just about every day (more on this in our "oven" post)
- Our experiences are based on a road trip in mid March, and the high temperatures were in the mid-70s. If it had been summer time, I would have moved the cooler to the trunk when we made stops, just to keep it out of a hot car.
- The lid is heavy, so when it is empty, it is helpful to position it so that the lid is against a wall so that it doesn't accidentally get tipped over.
- We did not use the warming feature on this cooler.