Halfords Electric Cool box
Capacity: 14 litres
The Halfords Electric Cool box has a capacity of 14 litres enough to hold 16 standard 330ml drink cans and uses a twin-fan cooling unit that's powered by a 12V DC cigarette lighter. A mains adapter is available as a separate item if you want to pre-cool the box at home.
The budget price makes this box attractive just 10 more than comparable unpowered units while its slim design means it fits snuggly behind car seats.
A capacity of 14 litres won't feed an army, and the tall upright design can make it prone to toppling over if not stowed securely. The lack of a mains adapter as standard is also a letdown.
With the unit's two fans running for 1.5 hours, the core temperature of the test food was 14.6C, which was 12.4C below the external temperature. With the fans idle, the temperature rose to 19.8C after an hour, before hitting 21.9C 60 minutes later.
As an entry-level route into powered cool boxes, this unit is one of the best. It's just a shame its performance wasn't enhanced by the option of a standard mains adapter to allow it to be precooled.
All coolboxes at-a-glance
See how all the cool boxes compare with each other on one graph. Simply click here to see all the temperature plots in one place.
We've included a couple of unpowered cool boxes too - just to see how they compare with the powered units.