Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

All truck drivers understand the importance of having the cooler in the cab on the road. This small device will become your best friend for sure. Obviously this small device saves your money. If you have a cooler near you there is no need to stop and blow up your money at truck stops and in the road café. The other advantage: it helps to keep tasty homemade food and your favorite drinks near you all the time during an exhausting journey. 

HMD trucking has prepared a brief overview of the existing models with all pros and cons and gets deeper into the power of innovations used to keep your staff cool.

What is an OTR truck driver? It’s a demanding chore, for which the comfort of the truck cab is very important for effective performance. It is provided by the use of quality devices and accessories, one of which is a portable fridge that allows the driver to store some food.

The difference between cooler and mini fridge

At first sight these devices are quite similar. But if you look into details there is a big difference between a cooler and a mini fridge. We are sure that a lot of truck drivers would ask: should I buy a mini fridge or upgrade my cooler? Below we will try to find an answer to this question. 

The most obvious difference between two devices:

  • Price. Shure the cooler is cheaper because of its limited capacity. The cooler will not provide you such a wide range of functions. 
  • Size. It is quite small and can fit your cab easily. 
  • Lighter. This device is much more easy to carry anywhere you want. 
  • Easier to clean. There is just one compartment that is easy to clean.

Types of coolers

We can distinguish just 2 types:

  • Isothermal coolers.

The price is quite favorable. Such devices use only ice and insulation to stay cool. 

  • Thermoelectric coolers.

In our point of view, it is an upgraded type of isothermal coolers. They are powered with solar panels, household AC power, or 12v DC power of your vehicle. All these methods of power supply aren’t very cheap. 

In this article we would like to describe different models of thermoelectric coolers. In spite of the price they are much more practical than isothermal ones. 

Thermoelectric Cooler Models 

1. Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless 12 Volt Cooler

 Electric car cooler with a capacity of 27 L. Rather light as it is made from plastic. Powered with 12V power. Can hold up to 48 standard soft drink cans.


  • Door locks. Allows you to use this device as a classic cooler or as a portable front-opening mini fridge;
  • Large capacity of 27 L;
  • Weight;
  • Warming and cooling functions;
  • Eco-friendly iceless technology;
  • Plugs into any 12V outlet.


  • Doesn’t cool well without any effort from your side. You have to pre-cool the food and drinks and run the cooler for 30-60 min before loading it.
  • You can’t pack it completely full as the unit cools with a circulated air.

 2. Igloo Thermoelectric Iceless Cooler 

Electric car cooler with a capacity of 26 L. Made from plastic and metallic fiber. It is distinguished by a modern design. 


  • Molded inside handles. Easy to carry or lift;
  • Long power cord plugs;
  • Plugs into any 12V DC cigarette lighter.


  • Can’t cool well without ice otherwise is mentioned in the description; 
  • Unless your battery is in a charging mode, it will drain in about 6-8 hours

3. JOYTUTUS 12 Volt Refrigerator Portable Freezer

Super modern portable cooler with a capacity of 60 L. The great advantage is that you needn’t to carry it as it has small wheels so you can easily lift it. Operates similar to the mini-fridge as it has a compressor above the storage space and an automatic defrost system. 


  • Availability of compressors. A compressor effectively reduces the dust, entering the compressor bin;
  • No ice needed to cool the products;
  • Quite compact;
  • Operates under 12 V;
  • No need to buy additional cord. 


  • Cools quite well but rather slowly;
  • Need to fill up with pre-cooled goods.

In addition, we would like to advice to focus on the following while choosing the cooler:

  • Capacity. Don’t expect too much as such devices are always compact and you can store a limited amount of drinks and snacks.
  • Dimensions. Plan where you will put it before purchasing. If you have a limited space in your cab you really need to consider the exterior dimensions of the cooler.
  • Noise level. If you plan to sleep near a cooler, you have to choose the quiet device. Generally the noise level isn’t a great deal but for some people it can be an essential point while choosing the cooler.
  • Handles. Handles are very important. They have to be reliable and fixed well. Better to choose the device with molded inside handles. You will realize it when the time comes to move your cooler. 

As we see all coolers operate nearly in the same way. All cool up the food not very quickly and nearly all require ice in order to cool down quicker than usual. Before usage, it is better to plug the fridge to the cigarette lighter in your truck. In general this device is just an addition to a mini-fridge. 


Generally speaking you buy a portable cooler if:


  • You have limited budget;
  • You have access to ice; 
  • You have a possibility to pre-cool the goods;
  • You want to take your food anywhere;
  • You want a device that will not require additional care.

Making a choice, don’t be in a hurry. Just spend some time to analyze the market, get familiar with all pros and cons and consider your needs and expectations. 

We hope that this article will be useful and help you to choose the right model.

By admin

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