Best Portable Air Conditioner and Cooling Fan for Car and Truck You Can Buy in 2020

There is no question that if there is one thing that ruins our day, is when we get in our vehicle and we find out that our air conditioning system has finally kicked the bucket.

When you have to spend 10 to 20 bucks in filling up the air conditioning liquid in order to ensure that it will work as intended.

This can be a reasonable expense for anyone, but when the air conditioning system fails internally, the expenses can be much higher and that is the moment when most people realize that they are going to have to come up with a lot of cash to bring their AC back to life.

Best Portable Air Conditioner for Car and Truck

A proper repair for your air conditioning system, the same with the car’s heater repair, can cost you thousands of dollars depending on your vehicle model and the kind of damage that needs to be repaired. In some cases the entire system has to be replaced and that is going to raise the expenses even more.

The good news is that there are portable air cooling systems, especially designed for cars and trucks, that are to provide you an affordable solution for your needs.

List of the Best Portable Car AC and Cooling Fan

ImagePortable AC/ Cooling FanDimensionsPower Source

Availability

MightyKool 12-volt Portable Model K2 - Editor's Choice12 x 11 x 8 inches12v DC Power Cord See Price
IcyBreeze v2 Portable Air Conditioner and Cooler, IcyBreeze Cooler Chill PackageIcyBreeze v2 Portable Air Conditioner - Editor's Choice23.50 x 16.25 x 18.50 inchesLi-Ion Battery w/ Charger See Price
Evapolar evaCHILL Personal Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier Portable Air Conditioner FanEvapolar evaCHILL6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inchesUSB Power Supply See Price
12V Car Fans Cooling Air Fan Powerful Dashboard Electric Car Fan Low Noise 360 Degree Rotatable with 2 Speed Adjustable for Truck Vehicle Boat Brand: EXCOUP12v Dual Head Car Fan by EXCOUP - Editor's Choice9.84 x 4.33 x 4.33 inches12v DC Power Cord See Price
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless FanDEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Fan12 x 8 x 17 inchesLi-Ion Battery w/ Charger See Price
Arctic Air Portable Airplane Air Conditioner 12 Volt 38 QtArctic 12 Volt Air Portable Airplane AC19 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches12v DC Power Cord See Price

When to use the portable AC/Cooling Fan for car or truck?

There are many people who live in very cold areas that have short summers and long winters. If you want to save money on air conditioning. You should simply forget about the internal air conditioning system of your vehicle and start using a portable AC or a cooling fan for the hottest season of the year only. There will be no need for air conditioning once winter comes and the temperatures get very low.

See Also: Best Portable Air Conditioners for Your Home

This is also ideal if you are on a budget and you live in a country where hot days outnumber cold days and even the winter is barely cold enough to keep things cool inside your car. The 12v portable air conditioner for car or 12v cooling fan is always a great thing to own and it is much more affordable than repairs and maintenance for your internal AC.

The 12 volt portable air conditioner for car or 12v cooling fan can be connected through your cigarette lighter and they will be extremely useful for your needs. Others require being charged prior to being placed on your vehicle, but there are plenty of portable AC and cooling fan options depending on your budget.

The Advantages

The advantages of the 12v portable air conditioner for car or 12v cooling fan are that it will cost much less than the average air conditioning system. Another important thing to consider is that this usually a very durable purchase and it will be a much better option for anyone who needs air conditioning only during certain seasons.

We recommend the 12 volt portable air conditioner for car or the 12v cooling fan to maximize savings.

The Disadvantages

The most important and relevant disadvantage of the 12v portable AC and 12v cooling fan is the fact that it provides a very limited range of cooling even inside of a vehicle, but it will get the job done in a similar fashion to the lowest settings of air conditioning in the internal AC of your car. Since portable car AC has no compressor, it relies on ice that serves as a cooling agent, the same concept to evaporative air coolers.

You also have the fact that they required charging with your vehicle and this means there will be more gas or battery consumption, but this is also inevitable with any AC. In addition, you will also need space inside the car or truck to place the portable AC while the cooling fan needs space on dashboard to be mounted.

The Best 12v Portable AC/Cooling Fan for Cars

12v Dual Head Car Fan by EXCOUP – Editor’s Choice

Car Fan 12V Vehicle Fan, 5inch Truck Cooling Fan with LED Display Temperature & Humidity, 12 Speeds and 360 Rotatable for Car Truck Van SUV RV Boat Auto Vehicles Golf Brand: EXCOUP
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Inexpensive AC alternative for car
  • Powerful motor that delivers great air flow
  • 360 degree rotation
  • 12 speed settings
  • Digital display for temperature and humidity
  • 12v operation with 12v cord included

The Bad

  • Only adhesives are included to mount the fan

Are you looking for a good alternative for AC in your car? The 12v Dual Head Car Fan from EXCOUP is a good option with its great operation yet inexpensive cooling alternative for car. Just plug the fan to your car’s 12v socket and switch it on.

There are 12 settings you can choose plus the fan can be adjusted 360 degrees. The operation is not noisy though. The fan blows similarly to the lowest setting of car’s fan. This fan can be used on most vehicles with 12v socket.

Mounting this fan is easy with the adhesives provided. One drawback is that it might cause problem with your car’s dashboard if you want to remove it to change its position. If you want to do this, you also need to get another pair of adhesive.

The advanced LED display is a great feature to determine the temperature inside your car. This is the only fan listed with a temperature and humidity sensor. That’s why this fan made it to our top choices for 12v fan for cars.

How it works?

Just plug the 12v cord to your car’s 12v socket. Then choose your desired fan speed.


IcyBreeze v2 Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Choice

 IcyBreeze v2 Portable Air Conditioner & Cooler with Rechargeable Battery
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Sturdy and durable plastic
  • Battery powered for portability
  • Battery charger and battery pack included
  • Flexible hose for desired adjustments
  • Can be used as a food and beverage cooler

The Bad

  • Needs extra space to place in the car
  • Not suitable for cooling larger spaces like RV’s

The IcyBreeze v2 Portable Air Conditioner is a great air conditioner solution for your car that has a broken air conditioner. This quality-grade 12v AC doesn’t require any installation. Just plug the battery in and you have an instant air conditioner.

How IcyBreeze v2 Portable Air Conditioner works? Ice and little water is filled in the Icybreeze cooler and the power is turned on. Air is then pulled from outside, to run across the cooling coils placed internally. The cooled air is blown out by the flexible hose. The hose directs the air to the required location. It is blown by a three speed fan keeping the area cool. This makes the product suitable for use by boaters, campers and even during sporting activities.

The 12v car AC also includes power source options namely a standard charger and a 12v 6AH Li-Ion battery pack. This unit has an optional 12v car adapter (sold separately) to maintain its cooling capability even for hours of traveling.

See how Icybreeze Portable AC works.

Key Features

  • The cooler space has 38 quarts
  • Three-speed highly powered fan which blows up to 25mph
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery (12V)
  • 2 cup holders
  • Multiple lift points and ergonomic handle
  • Built-in wheels for portability
  • Thick and insulated side walls
  • Additional integrated vent
  • Made in the USA

Evapolar evaCHILL

vapolar evaCHILL Personal Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier Portable Air Conditioner Fan, White
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Good value for the money
  • Light, compact and movable
  • Efficient
  • USB-powered
  • Cools and humidifies

The Bad

  • Only works for one person

The Evapolar evaCHILL is the smallest yet very promising portable air conditioner that you may utilize in your car. It doesn’t just cool but it also humidify your car.

This cooler is very easy to setup. Just add water to its tank and it will work for up to 8 hours. The handle is very convenient for moving this unit. It has a cartridge inside and is replaceable whenever necessary.

There are four fan settings with a simple touch of a button. Just plug this unit in to your car’s USB and voila you may enjoy the cooling effects yourself!

One thing to note that this portable cooler is not designed for two or more people. When the sun’s heat is at its peak, you will notice that it’s cooling capacity will not sustain. In addition, this unit needs a space to be placed and your car’s dashboard is not enough. You can place it on the front passenger sit if you want to use this. Therefore this is a great cooler for the driver alone.

Key Features

  • USB-powered cooler
  • Air-cooler functionality
  • Humidifier
  • Replaceable evaporative cartridge
  • Light and compact

Cooler Breeze Portable AC by Ice Chest Radios

Cooler Breeze Portable AC Air Condition Cooler Ice Chest
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Big ice chest
  • Battery-powered
  • High air-flow fan
  • Includes battery charger

The Bad

  • Consumes a lot of ice

This battery-powered air conditioner works efficiently in all circumstances and is able to change the temperature to 20F. The process goes on as air is forced through a radiator which is then cooled by iced water and then recirculates by a water pump. A silent fan blows the cool air with high speed, the 20 MPH fan is powerful yet quite.

This amazing air conditioner comes with a rechargeable batter and charger. It can accommodate 60qt of ice. Ice lasts in the air conditioner for more than 5 hours average. There is a 12v socket for other means of charging your phone.

How it works?

Add ice or water in its ice chest. This is battery-powered so you need to have the battery charged before you can use it. Then, turn it on.

Product Features

  • Two closable vents
  • Includes rechargeable battery & charger
  • 60qt. chest
  • 20MPH fan blower
  • 12v power outlet

Best Portable 12v AC/Fan For Trucks

12-Volt MightyKool K2 Portable Cooling Unit – Editor’s Choice

12-Volt MightyKool K2 Portable Cooling Unit
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Works incredibly well for trucks
  • Large space for ice or water
  • Not heavy to lift for portability
  • Water meter lets you know how much water is filled/left
  • Comes with an exhaust

The Bad

  • Comes with a hefty price
  • Doesn’t work well if you put a lot of water

The 12-Volt MightyKool K2 is not an ordinary cooling unit. It works very well and not just some sugar coating claims. So let’s get to the chase.

The 12-Volt MightyKool K2 is an evaporative cooler designed for outdoor use. Just add ice or water and you are good to go. It has a 12-inch 12v power cord that lets you connect to your 12v cigarette socket. It has 2 vents, both adjustable for best personal cooling experience.

The water level meter is a useful feature. It tells you how much water is filled or left in the cooler. At the back of the cooler is an exhaust. This unit works incredibly well on cars, trucks boats or even great for camping. Do note that adding too much water will submerge the cooling pad resulting to less cooling performance.

This unit has a 2-year warranty which is great attraction for first time buyers.

12-Volt MightyKool K2 Demo


DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Fan

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Fan for Jobsite
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Cordless operation
  • Excellent airflow up to 500 CFM
  • Long battery life
  • Integrated hooks for placement
  • Battery and charger comes in handy

The Bad

  • Battery is sold separately
  • Placing it in your car or truck can be challenging

Here we go with another cooling fan. But this time it is not the usual thing to see in your car or truck.

This cordless fan from Dewalt comes in handy. It is portable and powered by a lithium ion battery that is rechargeable. This fan can be a solution for trucks with broken air conditioning system.

The battery can power this fan for up to 7 hours. One thing you need to know is that the battery is sold separately. You need to get the starter kit for you to be able to run this thing cordlessly.

One concern you need to know is that you need to find a good place to put this fan on. There is a hook in this fan but you need to find a good place to hang. One solution is to get a 3M adhesive.

Sometimes we need to be creative when our AC finally retires. The DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Fan is not your typical solution but according to its features, it can be used both indoors and outdoors. And by the way, do not charge the battery through your car battery even if you are using an inverter. Get two or more batteries if you are using it on a long drive.


Arctic Air Portable Airplane Air Conditioner

Arctic Air Portable Airplane Air Conditioner 12 Volt 38 Qt
View on Amazon

The Good

  • Great air cooler for large spaces
  • Works well for trucks
  • Built-in pump out feature
  • 12v power cord

The Bad

  • Comes with a hefty price
  • The louver vent is sold separately

The Arctic Air Portable Airplane Air Conditioner is a portable air conditioner powered by 12v DC. It is designed for cooling airplane baggage but it works incredibly well on trucks.

This portable AC looks like a normal cooler but it has a large compartment for ice or water. Its exterior is made with ballistic nylon which is not an ordinary material. It can withstand wear and tear, or even in harsh conditions. If you want a louver vent, you need to buy it separately. The built-in pump out feature lets you empty the cooler from water.

This AC has an extensive power cord measuring 84 inches. Its compartment has a capacity of 38-quart. There is also a 52-quart available.

Product Features

  • 12v DC powered air conditioner
  • 38-quart capacity for ice
  • Holds up to 40 lbs. of ice
  • Exterior material is made with ballistic nylon
  • 84-inch power cord
  • Built-in pump out feature

Conclusion

A 12v portable AC system or 12v cooling fan can definitely be a life saver for people who are on a limited budget. There is no need for you to be experiencing the scorching hot days of summer inside a car that can easily turn into a sauna if you park it under the sun for a few hours.

The portable air conditioner for car is an option that will save you plenty of money and it will help you avoid the expenses of the internal AC that comes with your vehicle. Get a portable air conditioner for car or truck today and save money while keeping your vehicle cool.


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(16) Comments

  1. Michael

    Hi,
    Which of these units lasts the longest ( any of them an average of 6 – 8 hrs. )

    Reason I’m asking is ….. if I have to sleep in my truck a few times on a trip ( it’s an SUV….. Expedition )

    So these work and run for hours on end , even with the vehicle off?

    Thanks so much, I really appreciate it

    1. The Comfy Buddy

      Hi Michael,

      Most of these units are powered through a DC adapter. If you want to use these portable AC’s, you can opt for IcyBreeze Blizzard, Ice’nplug or GoCool which also use batteries to operate. Please note that these units use ice as a cooler since there is no built-in compressor like the AC ‘s for households. These units mostly last an average of approximately 2-4 hours running continuously.

  2. Anthony V,

    Out of all of them I tried one off the radar called KoolerAire for $40..00 bucks and it worked for me. The new model came out last year I think and it has some velocity to it. Throw in some frozen bottles and you set for a few hours. Thing is you need to trim it, not a big deal but it will fit any cooler.

    1. Leah B

      Thanks; ordering a KoolerAire and giving it a try!

      1. Dana

        Hi. Did you enjoy the one you bought ?

  3. Angela Waterford

    It’s true and it’s sad to know that there will come a time where the car air conditioner will kick the bucket. I think I should buy some portable vehicle ventilation from an online store if it’s possible since I can’t afford to come up with a lot of cash to bring my air conditioner back to life. After all, it costs thousands of dollars just to bring my old car AC back so I should just buy an alternative to keep my car cool.

  4. Jimmy Reilly

    I’m obviously having trouble with my car air conditioner, since I’m reading this article. My Google search was more like a Google wish, hoping that I could find something to cool my car off. Thank you for an outstanding article that gave me just what I was looking for.

  5. Joe the Iceman

    I’ve come up with a 244000 btu in 24hr coutinual use before needing to recharge system it has no compressor no 50lbs in ice and has very little btu loss when not in used average loss in 8hrs is 100to 200btu depending on ambient conditions , but system is split no water emoting no 100bill buying ice and will remove 12000 btu an HR for 24hrs at 100watts at Max air flow per hr yes this is the the equivalent of hooking up a window unit to ur car it will maintain 70degreess in average size car at 100degrees all day ! Nothing new here just old tech lost and forgotten a single charge cost average 2to 5dollars for 244000 btu no mess no bumping water closed loop system sound to good to be true contact me I will prove my tech I came up with this for stealth vanlife hearing their problems with no noise and power consumption I found the soultion !

    1. Bobi

      We’d really like to know more about what you are writing about for portable AIr Conditioning

    2. mike

      how do I get this unit

    3. Leeann

      I’d like to know more about this

  6. Brandy Dotson Moore

    Which one is the coldest? My friend’s air conditioner in his truck died, and Texas is the last place you want to be without an a/c.

    1. The Comfy Buddy

      Hi Brandy,

      The MightyKool so far is the coldest but it is not on par with your car or trucks air conditioner. The second is the IcyBreeze. The purpose of these portable AC’s is a quick solution if your car’s air conditioner broke out.

  7. Pete bandel

    Anyone out there that can bring me a reliable portable ac unit for a small truck, (300 cubic feet), that doesn’t need ice.and water! And , can be hooked up to the cig lighter outlet? I have a huge market for that device. Unit needs to be totally portable, with easy install and removal. If you have such a device capable of cooling a small vehicle and is extremely durable and also affordable. I would very much like to discuss this issue with you. The possibility of a very profitable business is there to be had.
    Pete Bandel
    Thorvald58@yahoo.com

  8. Anthony Robles

    I have a 1966 Chevy Impala SS that does not have an A.C unit in it. I need something that will cool off the inside of this vehicle during a hot 90° Chicago summer.

    1. The Comfy Buddy

      Hi Anthony,

      The best I can recommend is the Mightykool. By far it is comparable to an AC of car.

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