Personal Air Coolers For Camping:
Mini coolers are a great way to cool your tent on your next camping trip. They are the same size as a good tent fan and provide additional cooling. The best personal coolers on the market are:
Artic Air Ultra
The Zen cooler is a light weight personal air cooler. It is not an air conditioner and works on the evaporative cooler or swamp cooler principle. The three-speed adjustable fan blows air through a moist air curtain and cools it down. Like all air coolers it's an efficient way of cooling without using the amount of power as a normal air conditioner.
The water tank holds 380 ml of water and depending on the fan speed and humidity it will last between 3 to 8 hours. The air filter (curtain) also purifies the air and will double as an air humidifier. It's important to soak the air filter for around 20 min when you use it for the first time to enjoy the full effect.
It is powered by a USB cable and on a medium fan speed will draw about 1.5A. The high-speed setting needs about 2A so it will not work on a low power USB port, however, a USB3.0 will run all fan settings.
The personal cooler is also fitted with a night light and weighs about 740g. Its compact size (70x152x157mm) and cheap price makes it a great option as a personal air cooler or tent air conditioner. The personal cooler is also fitted with a night light and weighs about 740g.
Its compact size (70x152x157mm) and cheap price makes it a great option as a personal air cooler or tent air conditioner.
The Blue Breeze air cooler is one of our favourite personal evaporative coolers. Unlike almost all other coolers, the Blue Breeze can run on batteries (4x AA) and/or USB power, which is a major plus when you go camping. It's the smallest of all the coolers we have tested at 5 pounds and 5x5x5 inches in size. Its got a 2-speed adjustable fan and a build-in light. It also has a LED display and a timer setting. The Blu Breeze is the smallest cooler we have tested. We found that this cooler suffers from water leakage so you have to make sure it sits on a level surface. It's got a carry handle, but in our test, it leaks too much when you hang it up.
The Blu Breeze coolers better than a standard tent fan but build quality is poor.
Evapolar, like ZeroBreeze, started as a crowd funding project and raised almost $2.5M and was the winer of the 2019 Red Dot Design award. Of all the mini air conditioners Evapolar is the best quality build, but is also the most expensive.
Initially there was only one model, but Evapolar now have 3 different models, the EvaChill, the EvaLight and the EvaSmart. The Evachill is our pick, its simple, compact, power-efficient and also the cheapest providing the most “bang for your buck”.
Like all the other units, the EvaChill is an evaporative cooler (swamp cooler) and blows the air through a moist filter which creates the cooling effect. The compact unit (6.5x6.5x6.5 inches) has a 800ml water tank and depending on the speed setting will run between 3-8 hours on a tank.
Its simple one-button design allows for a 4-speed fan setting and will cool an area between 33-45 sq/ft. Evapolar claims the cool air can be chilled to 59 Deg F but it will struggle to that in a camping environment. The build-in back light is bright enough to light up a tent and at 25-50dB it is the most quit of the units we tested.
The EvaChill uses a USB port to run and sips only 7.5W (input voltage/current is 5v/2A), so with the right power bank it can easily keep you comfortable on your next camping trip.
The filter is made from patented EvaBreeze nano-fiber technology and prevents any bacteria growth.
The Evachill is our choice for a personal air cooler, although more expensive then the others it is of superior quality and has a 1-year warranty.
Artic Air Ultra
The Arctic Air Ultra is the improved second generation of the original Arctic Air. The manufacturer claims that it's got twice the cooling power off the original, but we find that might be stretching it a bit. However the original had lots of people complaining about leaks and spillage and the new model seems to do better in this regard.
This mini-cooler has a 3-speed fan setting and a build-in night light. A full tank will last for up to 10 hours and its got adjustable vents. It does not work on batteries and a power source is needed.
The Arctic Air Ultra is a compact unit (9.8 x 8 x 7 inches and 2,65 pounds) and like most other coolers it humidifies and purifies the air.
This Arctic Air Ultra is one of the most known mini coolers and its at a reasonable price. It works well enough but don’t expect air conditioning type performance.
For our full review of the Companion evaporative cooler go here.
What is a Personal Air Cooler?
Personal Air Cooler (also called Mini Coolers) are mostly evaporative coolers or swamp coolers. Air is blown through a wet filter and the ambient heat turns the liquid water into vapor and there by cooling the air. They work the best in dry/arid conditions and the efficiency reduces as the air gets more humid.
In general, they are energy efficient and use less the 10W of power. Most units use a USB cable to run and some even batteries.
Mini Air Coolers are not as powerful as refrigeration style air conditioners and only cool the air in the near vicinity. They are not designed to cool a whole room but works great on a desk or tent.