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Compressor Cooler

Are you looking for a way to reliably cool your food and drinks on warm summer days? But conventional coolers are too small for you and you can't control the temperature properly? Would you like to take your fridge with you when you travel? Then compressor coolers are just right for you! They have a high capacity and an enormous cooling capacity. You can also adjust the temperature to the exact degree. Our test winner is the Compressor Cooler by Prime Tech: Its features help to adjust exact temperatures, is equipped with lighting and allows easy transportation with foldable handles. Test score: 8.9/10!

We test independently. uses affiliate links. For a purchase via a link marked with a or our price comparison, we may receive a small commission.

last modified: 08.04.2020, 10:02
Winner Best price winner
Our winner: Prime Tech Compressor Cooler Engel Cooling Box MR040 Review DOMETIC CoolFreeze CFX Review

Prime Tech Compressor Cooler

Engel Cooling Box MR040


Test seal: Prime Tech Compressor Cooler, Rating 1.75
Test seal: Engel Cooling Box MR040, Rating 1.9
Test seal: DOMETIC CoolFreeze CFX, Rating 2.1
  • Battery monitoring mode
  • Digital temperature control
  • Emergency switch
  • Automatic switch-off
  • Foldable carrying handles
  • Removable basket
  • Cover can be swivelled on both sides
  • Lighting
  • Door pivoting direction changeable
  • Rubber feet
  • Removable basket
  • Automatic switch-off
  • Battery monitoring mode
  • Digital temperature control
  • Emergency switch
  • Automatic switch-off
  • Pre-assembled carrying handles
  • Removable basket
  • Lighting
  • USB port
  • WLAN connection
  • High weight
  • Complicated transport
  • Handles not pre-assembled
  • High weight
  • No digital temperature display
  • Hardly variable temperature control
  • No battery discharge protection
  • High weight
  • Difficult transport
  • Door only swingable on one side

Good cooling performance. The box is also very user-friendly thanks to additional features.

The box has the best cooling capacity. The only drawback: The temperature is not adjustable to an exact degree.

Optimum cooling including USB- and WLAN-connection for temperature control.

Isolation time
Range of functions
Temperature control
Scope of delivery Cooler, connection cable for 12/24 V, connection cable for 220 to 240 V Cooler, connection cable for 12/24 V, connection cable for 220 to 240 V Cooling box, car cable, power cable, operating instructions, energy certificate
Height 43,5 cm 47,5 cm 56 cm
Width 72 cm 63 cm 71 cm
Depth 44 cm 39 cm 44 cm
Weight 20 kg 18 kg 22. kg
Capacity 40 l 38 l 65 l
Power On average approx. 55 W On average approx. 45 W On average approx. 55 W
Capacity 1.5 l bottles Ca. 10-12 bottles, upright Approx. 12 bottles, upright Yes, 12 units
Material Plastic Plastic Plastic
Additional warranty No information 3 years No information
Quality impression Very good, stable Very good, robust Good
Quality of instructions Well written, easy to understand, illustrated Very good, comprehensive, detailed and comprehensible explanations, illustrations and pictures for explanation Very good, very detailed description, unfortunately no pictures / illustrations for explanation
Manual language GER, EN EN, GER, FR, DA EN, GER, FR, ES, PT, IT, NL, DA, SV, NO, FI, RU, PL, SK, CS, HU
Handle Yes, foldable Yes, install before commissioning
Isolation Yes, three-dimensional, 45 mm polyurethane foam Pu-isolation Fckw/Fkw-free No information
Battery monitoring Available, 3-step monitoring. No information 3-stage battery monitor
Cooling system Cooling circuit with compressor No information Evaporation process, cooling unit, compressor
Automatic switch-off Yes, at low battery voltage Yes, the compressor switches off after reaching a certain temperature. Yes, the compressor switches off after reaching a certain temperature.
Temperature regulation With two buttons in increments of 1°C (2°F) With two buttons in steps of 1°C
Digital temperature display Yes, in °C and °F No, temperature setting knob
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.

Tested products

1st place: Prime Tech Compressor Cooler

Test seal: Prime Tech Compressor Cooler, Rating good

The Prime Tech Compressor Cooler has many advantages that other competitors' products cannot offer. The digital display is very advanced and makes operation easy. The box is completely assembled from the beginning and the lid can be opened on both sides immediately. The box takes a little longer to cool down completely, but the cooling performance is still good. It keeps this cooling level relatively long, so the insulation is really great.

read review
Engel Cooling Box MR040 - thumbnail Test seal: Engel Cooling Box MR040, Rating good

2nd place: Engel Cooling Box MR040

The Engel Cooling Box MR040 is a solid product. However, there are a few shortcomings. Unfortunately, the box doesn't have any temperature displays or settings and is relatively noisy. Also, the handles have to be mounted before use and the hinges of the lid have to be loosened with many screws to change the swivel direction of the lid. But the cooling performance is very good. The box quickly cools down to its maximum. This cooling level is good compared to the competition.

read review
DOMETIC CoolFreeze CFX - thumbnail Test seal: DOMETIC CoolFreeze CFX, Rating good

3rd place: DOMETIC CoolFreeze CFX

The DOMETIC CoolFreeze CFX is technically very well equipped and has many helpful extras that make cooling much easier. The digital display is very advanced and guarantees accurate cooling. The box is completely assembled right from the start. Another advantage of the cooler is that the competition has more capacity. Unfortunately, the lid can't be opened on both sides. The functions were very promising, and the box quickly cools down to the maximum in 220 V mode, but the cooling performance in 12 V mode isn't very good. The box simply switches off at a certain temperature and can't be turned on again. The insulation is also a little bit less than that of the competition, as food is only cooled for an average length of time.

read review

Prime Tech - Compressor Cooler

Winner: read review
  • Choose a well-ventilated location that is protected from direct sunlight
  • Allow warm food to cool before placing it in the appliance
  • Do not open the cooler more than necessary to ensure reliable cooling performance
  • Do not leave the cooler open for an unnecessarily long time
  • Defrost your cooler as soon as an ice layer forms
  • Avoid unnecessarily low temperatures

In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:

  • Cooling
  • Functional scope
  • Capacity
  • Isolation time
  • Temperature control

In order to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for the compressor coolers. In these, we check how far and how fast the coolers cool down in their highest modes (to -22°C). The outside and inside temperatures are measured every 20 minutes using a thermal imaging camera and an infrared thermometer. The starting current, compressor stop, power curve and the power consumption at 12V are recorded to illustrate them in graphs. During the test, the volume of the devices is measured. Using up to 12 1.5 litre bottles and food, we test how much the boxes hold and how well the stored products are cooled. The tests are carried out empty, half full and full. We also evaluate the existing connections and additional functions of the boxes.

In order to avoid mistakes and to ensure the load of everyday use, each test takes place in several rounds.

The test criteria receive percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.

Product selection

Our product selection is based on an observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).

The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.

As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.

When camping, on holiday or for a trip to the lake, Kompressor coolers are ideal for keeping food and drinks cool. The individual boxes differ from each other. When is which model appropriate and what are the advantages and disadvantages of compressor coolers? This article informs about all the essentials about mobile coolers.

Definition: What are coolers?

Refrigerator boxes are available in various colours, sizes and modes of operation. Travelling by car or camper van can benefit from fridge-freezers. In addition, a trip to the beach is ideal for the use of a fridge-freezer. But what are fridge-freezers? Such a box combines the advantages of a classic cooler with those of a freezer. On some models, it is also possible to keep food warm using the box. The conventional cooler works in principle like a small, mobile refrigerator. They are transportable and well insulated so that food and drinks are kept cold. However, there are a few points to note here.

What types of compressor coolers are there?

If you want to cool or deep-freeze your drinks and food reliably on the move, you will often need a refrigerator box. Which one should it be? Which is the right box for the occasion? Compressor boxes, thermoelectric boxes, absorber boxes and passive refrigerator boxes are available. What is the difference between the different fridge-freezers? How do they work and what are their advantages?

What is a compressor cooler?

Compressor coolers are the ideal companions for reliable refrigeration and freezing of food on the move. They are designed to function like refrigerators so that they are able to maintain a certain temperature for a longer period of time. It allows the temperature inside the fridge to be precisely adjusted using a controller. This makes it possible not only to cool drinks but also to reliably deep-freeze ice cream or the like. Above all, this requires a power connection.

These fridge-freezers operate on 230 volts. As soon as the power connection and the energy supply of the box are guaranteed, the box is in operation. It is also immediately ready for use at this time and can be used directly. The biggest advantage of a compressor cooler is that it operates independently of the ambient temperature. Whether summer heat or rain-wet autumn - the box is always ready for use with an appropriate power connection. This low-noise fridge-freezer is ideal for camping trips.

Other types of refrigerator boxes: Thermoelectric boxes

In addition to the compressor boxes, thermoelectric versions are also available. A thermoelectric cooler depends on the ambient temperature. Such boxes contain the "Peltier element". This enables the boxes not only to cool but also to heat food. Such thermoelectric boxes are on the one hand comparatively inexpensive, on the other hand, less suitable for warm countries.

Such a thermoelectric refrigerator box needs a power connection in order to function. This makes the box similar to a compressor cooler. The most convincing feature of these fridge-freezers is their favourable price/performance ratio.

coolboxes on the road
coolboxes are practical for taking chilled food and beverages everywhere

Such boxes are cheaper than compressor coolers. They allow food temperatures of up to 20° Celsius below the ambient temperature to be achieved. With an additional 12 volt connection, some of these boxes are also suitable for practical use in cars and caravans.

Other types of fridge freezer boxes: Absorber box

An absorber cool box offers the practical advantage that it works with either gas or electricity. It is less suitable for countries where the ambient temperature is above 30° Celsius. These fridge-freezers are primarily designed to cool up to 25° Celsius below the ambient temperature. Their greatest advantage is their robust workmanship and high performance. This makes these refrigerated freezers particularly durable.

However, there is a greater disadvantage with absorber coolers: Air bubbles can settle in the lines of the box so that the cooling performance is less good. However, this can be easily remedied. We recommend turning the fridge upside down at night using absorber technology. It is important that the absorber box is out of order. The next day, the box can simply be set up again as usual and after a rest period of half an hour, it can be put back into operation again.

Other types of fridge-freezers: Passive fridge-freezers

A passive fridge-freezer is a bargain among fridge-freezers. Such boxes are particularly cheap. They also do not require electricity. Due to their passive mode of operation, these boxes are ideal for short trips with well-chilled drinks and food. Such fridge-freezers can be used for beach trips or on the road. It is important with these variants that the cooling can not be maintained too long. This makes them ideal mainly for day trips.

Advantages and application areas of refrigerated freezer boxes

There are several possibilities for the use of a fridge-freezer. These coolers are particularly popular at swimming lakes or picnics. At the same time, many people enjoy refrigerator boxes in trucks and on long journeys by car. The boxes are well suited for excursions, parties or camping. The choice of the fridge should not be left to chance. The destination of the refrigerated boxes determines which box is ideal.

Passive coolers are particularly flexible and quickly ready for use. Since they require no electricity, they are ideal for the beach or picnic at the swimming lake and in nature. On the move or wherever the fridge-freezers need to cool longer effectively, models with electricity or gas connection are available. Compressor coolers, for example, are ideal for using a cooler as reliably as a refrigerator.

Despite different methods of refrigeration and freezing, some tips for refrigerator-freezers are helpful. This improves the refrigeration performance of the boxes and the food keeps its temperature longer. This allows improved energy consumption of the compressor cooler. What is therefore optimal for an ideal cooling performance?

Setting the temperature efficiently

A compressor cooler usually has a temperature controller. In order for the use of the energy to function optimally, it is advisable to adjust it accordingly. What does this mean? If you don't need full power, you can set the temperature lower. The most important thing here is that the compressor cooler does not cool faster if the power is set to the highest level.

Setting up the compressor cooler cooler

To ensure that energy consumption is as efficient as possible, it is worth installing the compressor cooler as cool as possible. The location is therefore decisive for energy efficiency. A cool box that depends on the ambient temperature benefits from a cool place. This is particularly recommended in warm countries or in midsummer. Staying in the blazing sun is not recommended for the fridge-freezer in order to maintain the desired cooling capacity.

Cooling drinks and food beforehand saves energy

It usually takes some time - often several hours - for the fridges to reach their desired temperature. It doesn't matter whether it's a passively functioning box or a high-quality compressor cooler.

Best to use pre-cooled food and beverages.

The warmer the food that enters the box, the longer it takes to reach the appropriate cooling temperature. It is therefore advisable to place pre-cooled drinks or food in the compressor cooler.

Keep compressor coolers closed as far as possible

Opening the cooler reduces performance. The heat from the environment heats up a small part of the cool air inside the cooler each time. This significantly reduces energy efficiency - especially if the compressor cooler is repeatedly opened and closed. Opening and closing the box is intended to remove the drinks or food. However, it should be clear beforehand what is to be removed so that as little cooling capacity as possible is lost.

Keep the fans of compressor coolers as free as possible

Modern compressor coolers, especially those with power connection, contain a fan. This is located on the side of some boxes and in the lid of others. Cooling creates warm air that should escape to the outside. This provides the necessary cooling performance. Some coolers have the fan built into the lid. It is important that no objects are stored on them or that the fan is covered. The same applies to a fan on the side of the cooler. Lateral fans should not be blocked, in order to guarantee an optimal cooling achievement. Therefore it is advisable to transport such a cooler in the car rather in the trunk.

Finding the ideal compressor cooler for yourself doesn't have to be difficult. Although there are different models on the market, the decision can be made on the basis of a number of factors. An important aspect is the cost factor. Many people want to save money - even when buying a fridge-freezer. The cheapest models are passive compressor coolers. However, they are not suitable for every purpose. Thermoelectric coolers are also relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, a compressor cooler is the most expensive variant.

Transport conditions for cooling boxes

Travel habits and transport are other factors. An important question is therefore where the fridge is likely to be used. At the same time, it is important to know how the box will be transported to the desired location. Is it transported by car, caravan or on foot? How long should food and drinks remain cool? A short trip to the lake does not necessarily require an expensive compressor cooler. In contrast, a passive box is not always sufficient for a long drive.

The cooling capacity of compressor coolers

An additional aspect is the operability of the fridge-freezer. How quickly should the box reach the desired cooling temperature? In addition, the question arises of how long the cooling capacity should be maintained. Are a few hours enough or should the performance be constant over a longer period of time?

coolbox in the car
coolboxes are designed to be taken along on journeys.

In the latter case, it is helpful to select a refrigerator freezer with power connection. This can be connected to the caravan or car, thus ensuring a constant cooling capacity.

Size and design of coolers

Not least, the size of the compressor cooler and the design play a role. The capacity decides how many drinks and food can be cooled. The design, on the other hand, is decisive for personal taste. Boxes of different sizes and colours are available on the market. For whom is which capacity suitable?

Large coolers offer a capacity of between 40 and 75 litres. These are particularly suitable for longer holidays or when larger groups are travelling. The next smaller size offers space for a total of 25 to 40 litres. These sizes are usually well suited for camping or multiple uses. Small fridge freezers have a capacity of between 20 and 25 litres. They are ideal if someone wants to travel alone or in pairs. It is ideal if the journey does not exceed a few days.


Compressor coolers are an optimal supplement to organize trips of several hours or days alone or with several trips. When camping, in the car, on the beach or at parties, drinks and food can be reliably cooled with the right compressor cooler. The modern coolers work either with or without electricity. A gas connection is also possible on some models. This means you always have a free choice - according to your personal needs and requirements. Expensive, inexpensive, colourful or rather simple are important decision criteria for Compressor coolers. Last but not least, the quality of workmanship and the cooling performance of the right compressor cooler are of paramount importance.

How do we test at

Live and authentic: We get the devices into our Hamburg test laboratory. Here we take a close look at everything.

Each test is preceded by an extensive search:

  • Which suppliers are on the market?
  • What current products are there?
  • What are the comparison criteria?
  • What tests are we going to run?
  • What is the test procedure?

When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.

Have fun!

Rate this test


Which is the best compressor cooler?

Are you looking for a way to reliably cool your food and drinks on warm summer days? But conventional coolers are too small for you and you can't control the temperature properly? Would you like to take your fridge with you when you travel? Then compressor coolers are just right for you! They have a high capacity and an enormous cooling capacity. You can also adjust the temperature to the exact degree. Our test winner is the Compressor Cooler by Prime Tech: Its features help to adjust exact temperatures, is equipped with lighting and allows easy transportation with foldable handles. Test score: 8.9/10!


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