The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Igloo Iceless 40 Review

A no-frills thermoelectric cooler that works ok, though it's not very tough.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $245 List | $153.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Good cooling ability, large capacity, can use as chest or standing
Cons:  No heat function, not durable, lid strap detached during testing
Manufacturer:   Igloo
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 14, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
42
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 9
  • Temperature Control - 25% 4
  • Insulation - 25% 3
  • Energy Consumption - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 3
  • Portability - 10% 8
  • Features - 5% 3

Our Verdict

The Igloo works as advertised, though those claims aren't spectacular and neither is this cooler. It has decent cooling ability and a large capacity. However, unlike most thermoelectric models, it has no heat function and is so poorly made that a piece ripped right off during our testing. This cooler not only scored the lowest overall but is also fairly expensive to boot.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Igloo Iceless 40
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $153.00 at Amazon$965.14 at Amazon$999.97 at Amazon$375.43 at Amazon$379.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
42
100
0
79
100
0
71
100
0
70
100
0
66
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good cooling ability, large capacity, can use as chest or standingExcellent temperature control, energy efficient, large capacity, extremely sturdy, full of useful featuresEnergy efficient, good features, super durable, long DC cordExcellent low energy mode, long cord, good temperature range and control, useful baskets, less expensiveVery energy efficient, relatively inexpensive, impressive minimum temperature, surprisingly lightweight, long cord
Cons No heat function, not durable, lid strap detached during testingExpensive, relatively short cords, no energy-saving modeUnimpressive minimum temperature, heavy for its size, relatively loudHeavy, small capacity, control panel on backNot durable, takes a long time to cool, insulation not great, fairly loud
Bottom Line A no-frills thermoelectric cooler that works ok, though it's not very tough.Precision performance and everything you want in a cooler made to last through years of adventures.Energy efficient and tank-like, though not the coldest or the quietest.Performance where it matters for a lower cost.An impressive performer for a lot less than the competition.
Rating Categories Igloo Iceless 40 Dometic CFX 50W Engel Platinum MT35 Whynter FM-45G Costway 54
Temperature Control (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
Insulation (25%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
Energy Consumption (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
5
Portability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
3
10
0
7
Features (5%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
6
Specs Igloo Iceless 40 Dometic CFX 50W Engel Platinum MT35 Whynter FM-45G Costway 54
Minimum Temperature Achieved (F) 51.4ºF with contents
28.2ºF empty
-8.9ºF 5.5ºF -5.8ºF -8.9ºF
Temperature Increase in 36 Hours Unplugged (F) 10.8ºF 20.7ºF 18.9ºF 21.6ºF 27.9ºF
Power Draw in Watts (cooling) 55.1 W 51.8 W 31.7 W 65.5 W
35.5 (low)
50.0 W
38.9 W (eco)
Power Draw in Watts (steady) N/A 0.8 W 1.1 W 0.8 W 1.0 W
Power Draw in Watts (heating) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Voltage Use (cooling) 11.86 V 13.26 V 13.85 V 13.39 V 13.47 V
Amperage Use (cooling) 4.65 A 3.89 A 2.30 A 4.91 A 3.72 A
Minutes to Cool (according to display) N/A 16 min 52 min 145 min 80 min
Hours to Cool (measured) >12 hrs 5.5 hrs 16 hrs 8 hrs 9.5 hrs
Maximum Temperature Achieved (F) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Temperature Accuracy (diff btwn display and actual) N/A +/- 3.0ºF +/- 2.5ºF +/- 1.6ºF +/- 3.8ºF
Weight 16.2 lb 46.4 lb 47.8 lb 54.6 lb 34 lb
Claimed Capacity (volume) 37.9 L
40 quarts
46 L
48.6 quarts
32 L
34 quarts
42.5 L
45 quarts
51.1 L
54 quarts
Measured Capacity (volume) 40.5 L
42.8 quarts
54.2 L
51.3 quarts
27.5 L
29 quarts
42.4 L
40.1 quarts
49.1 L
51.8 quarts
Capacity (cans) 60 cans 86 cans 38 cans 58 cans 72 cans
Method of Cooling Thermoelectric 12V compressor 12V compressor 12V compressor 12V compressor
Advertised Achievable Temperature Range (F) 36ºF below ambient -8ºF to 50ºF 0ºF to 50ºF -8ºF to 50ºF -4ºF to 50ºF
Acceptable Ambient Temperature Range (F) Not specified 61ºF to 109ºF
(min temp cannot be reached is >90ºF)
Not specified 41ºF to 90ºF
(max setting if >90ºF)
50ºF to 109ºF
Exterior Dimensions (D x W x H) 15" x 22" x 14.25" 17.9" x 28.5" x 18.5" 14.25" x 28" x 15.7" 17.25" x 25" x 20" 21" x 27.5" x 14"
Interior Dimensions (D x W x H) 11.6" x 17.4" x 12.25" 13.2" x 13.5"/7.25" x 14.2"/6.25" 15.25" x 10.75" x 10.25" 11.25" x 11"/7.25" x 15"/7.25" 10.4" x 12.75"/6.4" x 17.25"/10.6"
DC Cord Length (feet) 7' 10.5" 6' 3" 9' 6.5" 9' 6" 7' 9.75"
AC Cord Length (feet) 6' 10.5" (AC adapter only)
14' 2.5" (DC and AC adapter)
6' 3" 5' 8" 6' 2" 6' 4.25" (AC adapter only)
14' 7" (DC and AC adapter)
Comes With DC cord, extra fuse AC cord, DC cord AC cord, DC cord, extra fuse AC cord, DC cord DC cord, DC to AC adapter and cord
Features Cord management strap WiFi app, internal light, C/F display, USB port, adjust display brightness, drain/plug, removable adapter collar on DC cord, emergency switch for control panel failure Removable lid, internal light, C/F display Displays battery level, drain/plug Eco power-saving function, internal light

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Thermoelectric models we tested  from left to right: Koolatron  Knox  Igloo.
Thermoelectric models we tested, from left to right: Koolatron, Knox, Igloo.

Temperature Control


As Igloo claims, this thermoelectric model was able to reach 36º F below ambient temperature. However, most thermoelectric models reach 40º below ambient, so we aren't that impressed. And just as it states helpfully on a sticker on the lid, it won't really cool contents from room temperature - you need to pre-chill them before using the cooler. This is also the only thermoelectric cooler we tested that doesn't also have a heating function. A detail that we found odd, as thermoelectric coolers work by pumping hot air from one side to the other and so, therefore, are easy to reverse the direction the hot air is flowing. We're unsure as to why the Igloo lacks this feature.

Keep cans cool in the Igloo  but don't expect much more.
Keep cans cool in the Igloo, but don't expect much more.

Insulation


All thermoelectric coolers we tested showed about the same performance in insulatory capacity, and the Igloo came in right in the middle of the pack. However, this model is quite poorly made. The lid won't stay open for loading and unloading, and during our testing, the screw holding the connector between the body and lid of the cooler ripped out from the lid. We also found many user complaints online of other pieces of this cooler being unable to withstand the test of time.

Over the course of our testing  the screw holding this connecting piece to the lid pulled right out.
Over the course of our testing, the screw holding this connecting piece to the lid pulled right out.

Energy Consumption


Though not as power-hungry as some of the competition, the Igloo is no small eater when it comes to electricity. It draws 55.1 watts - more than half of the large compressor coolers we tested! It also has no battery protection settings, and can easily drain your car battery dry if you let it. The manual actually states that this unit can't be left plugged into a car that's not on for longer than 2 hours. This certainly won't get you through a hot summer night of car camping!

The Igloo isn't meant to be plugged into your car for more than two hours at a time while the car isn't running.
The Igloo isn't meant to be plugged into your car for more than two hours at a time while the car isn't running.

Ease of Use


While several other thermoelectric models we tested are designed to be able to hold ice like a regular cooler and extend the life of that ice, the Igloo can't have any ice or fluids inside it. That's a pretty big detriment for anyone hoping to achieve USDA food-safe temperatures if it's warmer than 76º F outside! That fairly major flaw notwithstanding, the Igloo does have a decently large capacity of 60 cans - and beers or sodas don't need to be 40º F. The Igloo is also the only cooler we tested that actually includes a fuse replacement, which is handy.

A single removable shelf that can float on top or slide into multiple locations when the Igloo is used standing on end.
A single removable shelf that can float on top or slide into multiple locations when the Igloo is used standing on end.

Portability


Compared to the behemoth compressor models in this review, the Igloo's measly 16.2 lb is nothing. It is the heaviest of the thermoelectric models we tested, though they are more similar in weight vs. capacity than the compressor units. The handles of the Igloo retract into the overall shape of the chest, which is a pretty neat feature when you want to squeeze this little box into a tight space. It also has a long DC cord, at 7' 10.5" - though no AC cord is included.

The handles tuck down and out of the way when you're not using them  and slide up and out when you want to carry your Igloo.
The handles tuck down and out of the way when you're not using them, and slide up and out when you want to carry your Igloo.

Features


The Igloo is a pretty simple cooler, with not even a heat function. At the time of writing, Igloo includes a one-year warranty on this item, which is a helpful touch for a fairly pricey food storage system. It also has a small strap on the cord to keep it wound up and organized. It is a bit noisy to sit next to, but nothing compared to the hums of some others we tested.

The Igloo includes a small cord management strap on its cable and a replacement fuse attached there as well.
The Igloo includes a small cord management strap on its cable and a replacement fuse attached there as well.

Value


Igloo itself offers this model for a much higher price than we think its performance warrants. However, during the time we've been testing our unit, we've seen a wide range of prices from a ton of different retailers, so it's possible there's a deal out there that makes this unimpressive thermoelectric cooler worth it.

Load up on things you might otherwise skip with an unpowered ice chest.
Load up on things you might otherwise skip with an unpowered ice chest.

Conclusion


The Igloo is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of product. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, in this case, it's far outshone by its competition. It lacks a heat function and isn't durable. However, it does a decent job of temperature control and has a fairly large capacity. If this simplicity does the trick for you, and you don't mind a few downfalls, you might be alright with this lackluster cooler from Igloo.

Keep the Igloo in your front seat during a road trip for handy access to snacks and beverages.
Keep the Igloo in your front seat during a road trip for handy access to snacks and beverages.


Maggie Brandenburg