Igloo Iceless 40 Review
Cons: No heat function, not durable, lid strap detached during testing
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Igloo Iceless 40
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|Pros||Good cooling ability, large capacity, can use as chest or standing||Very energy efficient, relatively inexpensive, impressive minimum temperature, surprisingly lightweight, long cord||Good energy options, solid insulation, relatively lightweight, inexpensive||Super portable, very quiet, can be cold or hot, pretty low energy usage||Decent temperature control, easily portable, ergonomic shape, convenient size|
|Cons||No heat function, not durable, lid strap detached during testing||Not durable, takes a long time to cool, insulation not great, fairly loud||Not great temperature control, baskets aren't great, internal shape is challenging||Can't control temperature, not the best seal, USB can't be used in computer, plastic hinges, unknown longevity||Small interior, not great insulation, oddly shaped inside|
|Bottom Line||A no-frills thermoelectric cooler that works ok, though it's not very tough||If you're on a tighter budget but still want mid-level performance, we recommend this model||An inexpensive option that's tall and slender with good insulation but unimpressive minimum temperatures||Quiet and tiny, this is a decent personal cooler, though with several limitations||A small cooler that heats and cools, with a handy shape to be an armrest and convenient strap to tote it around|
|Rating Categories||Igloo Iceless 40||Costway 54||Alpicool CF45||Cooluli Mini Fridge||Wagan 12V 14 Liter...|
|Temperature Control (25%)|
|Energy Consumption (20%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Igloo Iceless 40||Costway 54||Alpicool CF45||Cooluli Mini Fridge||Wagan 12V 14 Liter...|
|Minimum Temperature Achieved (F)||36.8ºF below ambient||-8.9ºF||6.4ºF||32.4ºF below ambient||36.45ºF below ambient|
|Temperature Increase in 36 Hours Unplugged (F)||10.8ºF||27.9ºF||14.9ºF||26.6ºF||30.6ºF|
|Power Draw in Watts (cooling)||55.1 W||50.0 W
38.9 W (eco)
38.6 W (eco)
|33.9 W||56.8 W|
|Power Draw in Watts (steady)||N/A||1.0 W||0.8 W||N/A||N/A|
|Power Draw in Watts (heating)||N/A||N/A||N/A||29.7 W||45.6 W|
|Voltage Use (cooling)||11.86 V||13.47 V||13.25 V||13.84 V||13.26 V|
|Amperage Use (cooling)||4.65 A||3.72 A||4.01 A||2.45 A||4.34 A|
|Hours to Cool (measured)||>12 hrs||9.5 hrs||23 hrs||20.5 hrs||28.5 hrs|
|Maximum Temperature Achieved (F)||N/A||N/A||N/A||136.0ºF||137.3ºF|
|Temperature Accuracy (diff btwn display and actual)||N/A||+/- 3.8ºF||+/- 3.4ºF||N/A||N/A|
|Weight||16.2 lb||34 lb||30.0 lb||3.7 lb||8.4 lb|
|Claimed Capacity (volume)||37.9 L
|Measured Capacity (volume)||40.5 L
|Capacity (cans)||60 cans||72 cans||62 cans||6 cans||16 cans|
|Method of Cooling||Thermoelectric||12V compressor||12V compressor||Thermoelectric||Thermoelectric|
|Advertised Achievable Temperature Range (F)||36ºF below ambient||-4ºF to 50ºF||-4ºF to 50ºF||40ºF below ambient to 149ºF||32ºF to 36ºF below ambient and up to 140ºF|
|Acceptable Ambient Temperature Range (F)||Not specified||50ºF to 109ºF||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified|
|Exterior Dimensions (D x W x H)||15" x 22" x 14.25"||21" x 27.5" x 14"||27.5" x 13.5" x 17.8"||10" x 7.25" x 10.5”||19" x 10.5" x 11.6"|
|Interior Dimensions (D x W x H)||11.6" x 17.4" x 12.25"||10.4" x 12.75"/6.4" x 17.25"/10.6"||10.25" x 14.5"/8" x 12.5"/6.25"||5.75" x 5.25" x 8"||12" x 8.5" x 6.6"|
|DC Cord Length (feet)||7' 10.5"||7' 9.75"||7' 10"||6' 3.5"||8' 11"|
|AC Cord Length (feet)||6' 10.5" (AC adapter only)
14' 2.5" (DC and AC adapter)
|6' 4.25" (AC adapter only)
14' 7" (DC and AC adapter)
|6' 8"||5' 8"||(none included)|
|Comes With||DC cord, extra fuse||DC cord, DC to AC adapter and cord||AC cord, DC cord||AC cord, DC cord, USB cord (3' 1")||DC cord, extra fuse|
|Features||Cord management strap||Eco power-saving function, internal light||Internal light, removable baskets, C/F display||Top handle, heating ability, USB power cord||Cord storage, heating ability, cup holders|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Igloo Iceless 40 is a thermoelectric cooler with an advertised capacity of 40 quarts. It claims to cool up to 36°F below ambient temperature and comes with a spare fuse.
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 that hot air is flowing. We're unsure as to why the Igloo lacks this feature.
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.
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 that 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!
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 one of the only coolers we tested that comes with a fuse replacement, which is handy.
Compared to the behemoth compressor models in this review, the Igloo's measly 16.2 pounds 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 Igloo is a pretty simple cooler, with not even a heat function. It has a small strap on the cord to keep it wound up and organized. It's a bit noisy to sit next to, but nothing compared to the hums of some others we tested.
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.
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.
— Maggie Nichols
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