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Engel Platinum MT35 Review

Energy-efficient, even on its highest settings, and built like a tank, though not the coldest or the quietest
Engel Platinum MT35
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $1,000 List
Pros:  Energy efficient, good features, super durable, long DC cord
Cons:  Unimpressive minimum temperature, heavy for its size, relatively loud
Manufacturer:   Engel Coolers
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 16, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 11
  • Temperature Control - 25% 6.0
  • Insulation - 25% 9.0
  • Energy Consumption - 20% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6.0
  • Portability - 10% 6.0
  • Features - 5% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Engel Platinum MT35 is a galvanized steel powered cooler that uses a surprisingly little amount of energy to cool, making it our Top Pick for Energy Efficiency. It has a long DC cord that easily stretches the length of an average vehicle to keep your food cooled in the back. The Engel features some impressive durability and features we love, like a non-slip pad for the bottom of the cooler, a lid that's easily removable, and extra pieces to keep it running well for years to come. Though it's not to be used around saltwater and is a bit on the loud side (and on the expensive side), we really like this tank-like powered cooler and think it's a great choice with a solid overall performance.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Engel Platinum MT35
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $1,000 List$914.98 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$529 List
$605.99 at Amazon
$464 List
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$200 List
$223.38 at Amazon
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Pros Energy efficient, good features, super durable, long DC cordGreat temperature control, quality insulation, rugged and tough, convenient to use, good battery protectionExcellent low energy mode, long cord, good temperature range and control, useful baskets, less expensiveVery energy efficient, relatively inexpensive, impressive minimum temperature, surprisingly lightweight, long cordLargest temperature range, good insulation, lightweight, few moving parts, can be used as a chest or standing up
Cons Unimpressive minimum temperature, heavy for its size, relatively loudExpensive, relatively short cordsHeavy, small capacity, control panel on backNot durable, takes a long time to cool, insulation not great, fairly loudNo AC cord included, not the most durable, energy hog
Bottom Line Energy-efficient, even on its highest settings, and built like a tank, though not the coldest or the quietestThis cooler is well worth its price when you need something rugged and reliable to join you on remote adventures or just regular useImpressive performance and a sturdy metal build for a little less than someIf you're on a tighter budget but still want mid-level performance, we recommend this modelAn impressive temperature range from this lightweight, no-frills thermoelectric cooler (and heater)
Rating Categories Engel Platinum MT35 Dometic CFX3 45 Whynter FM-45G Costway 54 Koolatron Portable 45
Temperature Control (25%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Insulation (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Energy Consumption (20%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
Ease of Use (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Portability (10%)
6.0
6.0
3.0
6.0
7.0
Features (5%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Engel Platinum MT35 Dometic CFX3 45 Whynter FM-45G Costway 54 Koolatron Portable 45
Minimum Temperature Achieved (F) 5.5ºF -7.6ºF -5.8ºF -8.9ºF 38.2ºF below ambient
Temperature Increase in 36 Hours Unplugged (F) 18.9ºF 17.6ºF 21.6ºF 27.9ºF 9.9ºF
Power Draw in Watts (cooling) 31.7 W 50.7 W 65.5 W
35.5 (low)
50.0 W
38.9 W (eco)
62.3 W
Power Draw in Watts (steady) 1.1 W 1.0 W 0.8 W 1.0 W N/A
Power Draw in Watts (heating) N/A N/A N/A N/A 48.1 W
Voltage Use (cooling) 13.85 V 13.17 V 13.39 V 13.47 V 13.29 V
Amperage Use (cooling) 2.30 A 3.84 A 4.91 A 3.72 A 4.69 A
Hours to Cool (measured) 16 hrs 16 hrs 8 hrs 9.5 hrs >12 hrs
Maximum Temperature Achieved (F) N/A N/A N/A N/A 130.8ºF
Temperature Accuracy (diff btwn display and actual) +/- 2.5ºF +/- 2.4ºF +/- 1.6ºF +/- 3.8ºF N/A
Weight 47.8 lb 42.0 lb 54.6 lb 34 lb 14.2 lb
Claimed Capacity (volume) 32 L
34 quarts
46 L
48.6 quarts
42.5 L
45 quarts
51.1 L
54 quarts
43 L
45 quarts
Measured Capacity (volume) 27.5 L
29 quarts
46 L
48.6 quarts
42.4 L
40.1 quarts
49.1 L
51.8 quarts
45.1 L
47.7 quarts
Capacity (cans) 38 cans 68 cans 58 cans 72 cans 63 cans
Method of Cooling 12V compressor 12V compressor 12V compressor 12V compressor Thermoelectric
Advertised Achievable Temperature Range (F) 0ºF to 50ºF -7ºF to 50ºF -8ºF to 50ºF -4ºF to 50ºF 40ºF below ambient and up to 135ºF
Acceptable Ambient Temperature Range (F) Not specified 61ºF to 110ºF 41ºF to 90ºF
(max setting if >90ºF)
50ºF to 109ºF Not specified
Exterior Dimensions (D x W x H) 14.25" x 28" x 15.7" 27.5" x 15.75" x 18.5" 17.25" x 25" x 20" 21" x 27.5" x 14" 16" x 21" x 17.25"
Interior Dimensions (D x W x H) 15.25" x 10.75" x 10.25" 11.5" x 14.5"/7" x 12"/7.5" 11.25" x 11"/7.25" x 15"/7.25" 10.4" x 12.75"/6.4" x 17.25"/10.6" 12.25" x 15.5" x 14.5"
DC Cord Length (feet) 9' 6.5" 6' 2" 9' 6" 7' 9.75" 8' 10"
AC Cord Length (feet) 5' 8" 6' 2" 6' 2" 6' 4.25" (AC adapter only)
14' 7" (DC and AC adapter)
6' 11" (AC adapter only)
15' 11" (DC and AC adapter)
Comes With AC cord, DC cord, extra fuse AC cord, DC cord AC cord, DC cord DC cord, DC to AC adapter and cord DC cord
Features Removable lid, internal light, C/F display Internal light, removable baskets and divider, C/F display, drain/plug, USB power cord, bluetooth enabled, wifi compatible, free app Displays battery level, drain/plug Eco power-saving function, internal light Heating ability

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Platinum is a 12V compressor cooler that we tested in the 35L version (it's also available as 45L, 60L, and 80L). It's advertised to cool from 0ºF to 50ºF and comes with an AC cord, DC cord, extra DC fuse, extra foot piece, and an easy-to-remove lid hinge.

Performance Comparison


Car camping for the weekend or living in your van, the Engel can...
Car camping for the weekend or living in your van, the Engel can help make life easiser.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Temperature Control


As a 12V compressor cooler, the Engel Platinum has better temperature control than any thermoelectric cooler could ever hope to have. Engel advertises this model with a temperature range of 0ºF to 50ºF, though, in our testing, it was only able to reach as low as 5.5ºF, even when completely empty. This is one of the least impressive minimum temperatures of any compressor cooler we tested, though it's still plenty cold enough to keep food frozen solid if you want to. The Engel also claims it has the ability to cool to 80º below ambient temperature, which is similar to other compressor coolers.


Starting from room temperature and filled with room temperature cans, the Platinum reached our desired temperature of 34ºF in 16 hours, which is one of the longest times to cool of any model we tested. The manual states to put in already chilled or frozen food, which would clearly help this thing reach a cool state faster. Once chilled, the display read 2.5ºF different from the actual temperature inside on average, which is pretty darn accurate compared to the competition. Though we're not impressed by the Engel's minimum temperatures, it certainly does the job just fine for keeping things fridge cool.

Bring things that most standard coolers can't handle, like eggs in a...
Bring things that most standard coolers can't handle, like eggs in a cardboard carton.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Insulation


Over the course of 36 hours, the Engel gained 18.9ºF. Considering it's a bit smaller than most of the other compressor models we tested, this temperature gain is about on par with the competition. It's not likely to keep your raw meat from spoiling if you lose power in the desert during summer, but it's enough to keep your drinks cooled in an emergency.


Made of galvanized steel and running a CFC-free compressor with HFC134-A gas, the Platinum is a pretty durable unit. The handles must be attached when you pull it out of the box but are really solid if you do decide to use them. Both the AC and DC plugs come out at downward angles, helping the cords to stay protected during use. Rather than a chain or some such thing to stop the lid from flopping too far open, the Platinum actually rests against the back of the unit and literally can't be overextended. Pretty much everything about this unit shouts its durability.

With decent insulation, a handy removable basket, and an...
With decent insulation, a handy removable basket, and an easy-to-clean non-stick bottom pad, the Engel is well-suited to be used for the long haul.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Energy Consumption


This is where the Engel truly shines, as it uses the least amount of energy during cooling of any model we tested - including the thermoelectric units. Not even running on a specific "Eco" mode (which it doesn't have because it doesn't need), the Platinum pulls just 31.7 Watts of energy even on its coldest temperature. This is less than half of some of the other models' energy draw! These power savings along with a battery saver option will help ensure that your Engel doesn't drain your battery below the point where you can start your truck or van.


Of course, this energy savings is wonderful if that's what's most important for your van life or cross-country trucking. Yet it is probably also the reason that the Platinum is less impressive when it comes to metrics like its minimum achievable temperature and the amount of time it takes to cool down from room temperature. Though it claims to be a quiet model, compared to the others we tested, it's rather loud. If you're a light sleeper, this thing turning on and off through the night next to your head might wake you up.

Though it seems a small detail, we love that the lid rests on the...
Though it seems a small detail, we love that the lid rests on the back panel when it's open, avoiding overextending the hinges.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


Advertised as a 35-liter, 34-quart model, with the interior liner and basket in place, we measured the Engel Platinum at just 27.5-liters, which is a pretty big discrepancy. It fits up to 38 standard 12-ounce cans if you pack nothing else inside. An interior light helps to find what you're looking for in this relatively narrow, deep cooler that lacks any shelving or top baskets to keep you organized. If you remove the basket, you'll get a little bit more space, but not a significant amount. A rubbery mat goes on the bottom of the unit, helping to stop your contents from sliding around as much and making spill clean-up easier.


The Platinum opens the long way, which is a bit of a bigger pain in a shorter vehicle, though is less obnoxious given its smaller capacity than some of the larger models. The metal latch is strong, easy to use, and secure, and a physical dial on the top adjusts the internal temperature. The unit comes with a special hinge that you can switch out for the lid to make it easily removable if you'd like. It also comes with both an AC and DC cord, as well as some extra pieces just in case, like a DC fuse and an extra foot piece. The Platinum can operate up to 30º off of level, though is not supposed to be around saltwater, so installing it on your ocean-going yacht is out of the question.

A very secure metal latch holds this cooler tight against the...
A very secure metal latch holds this cooler tight against the outside heat.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


For a relatively small-capacity cooler, the Engel is surprisingly heavy. It weighs a whopping 47.8 pounds, which is significantly more than some of the units we tested that feature double the amount of storage space. However, a quality compressor just isn't that light, and powered coolers really aren't meant to be carried around for long distances. Once you get your unit in place, ideally you can just leave it there and forget how heavy it is.


Long, large, sturdy metal handles make it easier than others to move this unit around when you do need to. They're also removable, which may help save space wherever you store your cooler — just be sure to leave the appropriate-sized clearance around the compressor vents. The Engel's DC cord is an impressive 9.5 feet long, which helps you to stretch it down the length of your vehicle if you need to.

Though not light, the large, heavy-duty handles of the Engel help...
Though not light, the large, heavy-duty handles of the Engel help you to place it exactly where you want it.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Features


Though it doesn't appear at first to have a ton of features, the Platinum does have a few key details that are really handy. An optional removable hinge for the lid is a nice touch if you want to be able to easily remove it. The handles can be removed as well if you so desire. Though the internal basket is basic, it's helpful to have the option to load it up in your house and carry it out to your car easily.


The non-skid mat on the bottom is useful both to stop contents from sliding and make cleaning easier. And the top of the lid has a few indents that make it safer to set something up there without it flying around willy nilly. The Engel will also automatically switch between AC and DC power to preserve your battery if you need. All in all, it's a pretty handy little cooler.

Indents on the lid and a simple to use screen and temperature dial...
Indents on the lid and a simple to use screen and temperature dial are some of the thoughtful features we appreciate about this unit.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Engel is not a cheap cooler, and it runs right up there with some of the other very expensive options we tested. Regardless, for the quality performance and stellar energy efficiency in a durable box that you get with the Platinum, we think it's money well-invested.

Conclusion


The Platinum is a high-quality powered cooler that offers impressively low energy usage in a durable package, making it our Top Pick for Energy Efficiency. Its combination of quality construction, thoughtful features, and excellent performance make it one of our favorite compressor coolers. As long as you're not planning to use it around saltwater, this beast is built to last.

With the energy savings of the Platinum, we worry much less about...
With the energy savings of the Platinum, we worry much less about draining our car battery.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg
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