Air conditioning is a basic requirement for everyone, especially when the summer season is at its worst. You should be able to get the best quality environment whether you are relaxing at your home, working at your office, or traveling from one place to another.
For that, most cars have a built-in air conditioning system installed. However, there are a few exceptions. If your car doesn’t have one or it has been damaged beyond repair, you can go with a portable AC unit designed for cars. Here are some important qualities that you will find even in a compact AC unit.
- Number of Fans: Even in portable ACs, there are small fans inside the front compartment that pushes the cold air outside. Naturally, the higher the number of fans, the more air-flow you will get with higher air pressure. Such models are ideal for large cars. However, you might also get a satisfying performance from a few fans if you own a compact car.
- Water Tank: Since portable air conditioners use water to extract heat from the intake air, you will find a dedicated water tank built inside the portable AC units. You will have to refill the water tank once the water inside the tank is fully utilized. As you can imagine, you won’t have to refill the tank too frequently if the water tank offers a large capacity.
- Battery Capacity: If your car battery isn’t capable of powering a portable air conditioner, you will have to go for one that offers standalone performance with the help of a built-in battery. The battery capacity varies from product to product. And thus, the battery backup available with every AC unit will vary based on the battery capacity.
There are a handful of options present in the market when it comes to portable ACs. And if you are looking for ones that are suitable for cars, there are even fewer options that offer the right performance for the investment. Therefore, we have gathered all of these options on our list of the best portable ACs for cars. If you want to know more about how you can pick up the best option according to your car, make sure you check our Buying Guide for the same.
Best Portable AC For Car 2022
Best Portable AC For Car Reviews
Vivibyan is quite a reputed brand in the market, especially for its affordable range of portable air conditioners. It also designs highly compact units that could be used with cars.
Our top recommendation for the best portable AC is the Vivibyan Portable Air Conditioner. This is one of the affordable options designed by Vivibyan which is quite popular in the market for its specifications. This is a personal air conditioner that offers 3 fan speed settings so that you can personalize the air-flow as per your needs.
Since this is a cordless air conditioner, you don’t need to worry about any wiring work for its installation. It is powered by a 2000 mAh internal battery that offers a long performance once it is fully charged. This is a multi-functional unit that combines the working of a normal fan, humidifier, and air conditioner in a single product. On top of that, it also has a 7-color LED light on the top which lets you use it as a customizable night light.
- Powered by a 2000 mAh battery
- Comes with a 300 ml built-in water tank
- Features 7-color LED light
- 3 speed adjustable mini air conditioner
- One of the affordable options for a mini air conditioner
- Battery backup is good
- Decent tank capacity
- Not as reliable as a few other options
While we are discussing budget-friendly portable air conditioners, we should familiarize you with SHAALEK, which offers similar products. Apart from portable air conditioners, you will also find their replacement parts and other necessary accessories from SHAALEK.
In the 2nd position, we are putting the SHAALEK Portable Air Conditioner. Despite being a budget-friendly option, the SHAALEK Portable Air Conditioner features a 4000 mAh built-in battery, making it the most reliable option in terms of performance. Once fully charged, the SHAALEK Portable Air Conditioner offers about 7 hours of battery backup which is pretty good. It also supports fast charging, allowing the unit to be completely charged in under 4 hours.
This also doubles the functionality as a night light thanks to the 7-color LED light offered on the top of the air conditioner. Using this portable AC is as easy as putting it down to use. There are a handful of buttons present on the top of the device that allows you to change the working mode as well as the timing feature of the SHAALEK Portable Air Conditioner. You will be able to check the remaining battery level and power level as will on the digital display.
- Powered by a 2400 mAh battery
- Comes with a 420 ml built-in water tank
- Comes with a digital display
- Easy to use with easy-access buttons
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Battery capacity is higher than other options
- Doubles the functionality as a night light
- Comparatively heavier than other options
If you are looking for a premium choice that will offer years of reliability, you should go with the portable AC made by Evapolar. Due to its long-lasting options, Evapolar is the most popular brand for portable ACs.
In the 3rd place, we are putting the perfect option for those who are looking for a permanent upgrade over the factory car AC. The Evapolar evaCHILL Portable Conditioner is also a small and portable unit similar to other options on this list. However, it still manages to combine 3 functions in the same unit that are colling, humidification, and illumination. The evaporative material used for this air conditioner makes the air 100% safe for breathing with no health hazards.
The coverage area of the Evapolar evaCHILL Portable Conditioner is about 21 sq. ft. wide. Meaning it can easily suffice for a large car, suitable for its price class. And since it is a completely leakage-proof system, you don’t have to worry about its maintenance. Even though this is a small unit, its water tank is sufficient to offer up to 8 hours of cool air without needing a refill.
- Backed by a year of warranty
- Offers up to 8 hours of performance
- 3-in-1 portable air conditioner
- 100% safe for breathing
- Made by 100% non-organic materials
- Offers a wide coverage area of 21 sq. ft.
- Completely leakage proof design
- It is not as affordable as other portable car ACs
While we are at popular brands for portable conditioners, let us talk about Logkern. The following option from Logkern is our cheapest option for a portable AC which is currently being used by thousands of car owners.
Next up, we have the cheapest option you can find for a portable air conditioner. The Logkern Portable Air Conditioner offers a similar set of features as most other options which make it a value for the money choice. It is a rechargeable portable air conditioner with a 2000 mAh built-in battery for prolonged performance. Furthermore, it features a 300 ml water tank capacity which reduces the hassle of frequently refilling the tank.
As for the controls, there are dedicated buttons provided on the bottom of the device which include 3-level speed adjustment settings as well as a timing function for automated performance. The Logkern Portable Air Conditioner can be charged by a standard USB charger. Thus, it is an ideal choice for many applications such as your car, bedroom, living room, or office desk. And as for the noise level, the Logkern Portable Air Conditioner creates less than 50 dB noise which is almost unnoticeable in a car.
- Powered by a 2000 mAh battery
- Comes with a 300 ml built-in water tank
- Noise level is below 50 dB
- 90-degree oscillation with 120-degree coverage angle
- Versatile choice for a portable air conditioner
- Covers a wide area
- Works as a night lamp too
- Maximum air-flow capacity is only 2.5 m/s
KUUOTE also has a highly affordable option for a portable air conditioner. As for its design and performance, you will surely find it a decent choice for the price.
The KUUOTE Portable Air Conditioner is yet another economical choice for a portable air conditioner. Without spending a fortune, you will get multiple functionalities and reliable performance with the KUUOTE Portable Air Conditioner. This is a USB rechargeable mini air conditioner that consists of a large fan for a strong air-flow. You can also put a couple of ice cubes in the water tank to get a chilling air-flow from the unit.
The KUUOTE Portable Air Conditioner also combines the functionality of a humidifier, air conditioner, USB desk fan, and a night light into one. Even with the powerful air-flow, this portable air conditioner manages to keep the noise level within a tolerable limit. You can even adjust the air-flow speed in 3 levels to get the performance you want. And the air-flow can also be adjusted to spread at up to 120-degree coverage angle based on its position.
- One of the most lightweight portable air conditioners
- Powerful and reliable performance
- Easy to carry and install
- 3 speed adjustment settings
- air-flow can be adjusted within 120-degrees
- USB charging port for versatile applications
- Can be used with ice in the water tank
- Built-in LED is light is not as powerful as other options
We will conclude our list of the best portable ACs with a delightful choice from Mekomy. Even though it is not as well-known as other brands, you will still find this product quite effective in this budget range.
The position on our picks is secured by the Mekomy Portable Air Conditioner. This is a fan, USB cooler, air conditioner, and LED light combined into 1 package. The Mekomy Portable Air Conditioner also ensures an ultra-quiet performance which is preferred by many car owners. However, it is still capable of offering a soothing environment in your car thanks to the evaporation cooling technology.
The water tank of the Mekomy Portable Air Conditioner offers about 500 ml capacity. You won’t have to refill the water tank until at least 10 hours, if not more. Such long performance is certainly suitable for long distance trips and overnight campings. The Mekomy Portable Air Conditioner also has built-in LEd illumination to offer an additional feature along with air conditioning. You will be able to adjust the operating speed of the Mekomy Portable Air Conditioner within 3 levels for best performance.
- 3 speed level adjustment
- Comes with a 500 ml built-in water tank
- Evaporative cooling technology
- Multi-functional portable air conditioner
- Easy to use and set up
- Speed adjustment is available
- Ultra-quiet portable air conditioner
- A bit larger in size compared to other portable car ACs
Buying Guide For The Best Portable AC For Car
Portable air conditioners are perfect for cars since there is already a very limited installation space available below your dashboard. On top of that, you will have to choose the option that can offer a satisfying performance and create a chilled environment without spending a fortune. Therefore, we have crafted this list of the best portable ACs that are specifically designed for cars.
While you are buying one, you have to be aware of many characteristics that you would find on an AC. On top of that, there are some additional factors that you should know since there are compact and possibly battery-powered units. To offer you in-depth knowledge about these factors, we have prepared the following buying guide right here. In this guide, we will discuss such properties in detail and let you know how these qualities affect the performance of the AC in day-to-day usage.
Installation becomes a major factor for portable AC units, especially if you are looking for one that will be installed in your car. Unlike standard AC units that can be installed on a window or a wall with ease, portable ACs have to be placed in a secured location or installed permanently below your dashboard. It is only possible if the size of the portable AC you are buying is suitable for your requirements.
But with that being said, you should also consider the fact that the overall performance of the portable air conditioner decreases with a decrease in its size. As there is less space available inside a compact air conditioner, there will be smaller fans on the inside or fewer fans based on its design. It also has a major effect on the coverage area of the portable AC which must be in accordance with your car size.
If you are buying a portable AC for your car, there is a high chance that you are getting one replacing the one that came pre-installed in your car. If you don’t wish to replace the new unit anytime soon, you should prefer the one that offers reliable build quality along with the performance. There are many small components installed on the inside of a portable AC that complete the air conditioning cycle.
If any one of these components is damaged, the AC’s performance will be severely degraded, that is if it is still functional. The only way to get an assurance about the quality of parts installed in your AC, you should consider going with reliable option that comes with a warranty period from the manufacturer. If the product comes with a warranty period, you will get free repair service if any internal part of the AC is damaged on its own. And if the damage is beyond repair, you will get a replacement unit as well from the brand.
3. Design and Performance
The most important quality of the portable air conditioner is its design and performance. It is quite obvious that a portable AC will be of no use if you are not finding any difference in the air temperature and quality even after turning it on for hours. To avoid such a situation, you should carefully check the overall design of the unit. This will give you an idea about how the AC will perform once it is turned on.
The important factors in terms of the design of a portable AC are the number of fans installed in the unit, the air-flow capacity, charging options, and battery capacity. Since you will be in your car while you are using the portable AC, it is important to get a desirable performance without having to change its settings or change its position every other minute. While you are at it, you can also check out some additional features that you will find on portable ACs such as LED illumination or speed adjustment settings. Some portable ACs also offer a moving vent design that manages to distribute the cold air in all directions evenly.
4. Tank Capacity
Portable air conditioners are mostly designed to work with water. For that, there are dedicated water tanks built into the air conditioners. The water inside these water tanks is utilized to extract the heat from the surrounding area by the addition of moisture in the surrounding environment. The process is called cooling with humidification which can be observed in domestic water coolers as well. If you are familiar with their functioning, you must know that the water is constantly utilized in order to cool the air.
Thus, you will have to refill the water tank eventually if you want to keep getting cold air from the portable AC. While you are on a long-distance traveling route, it might not be possible to refill the water tank. For such instances, it helps a lot if your portable air conditioner features a large built-in water tank. If you buy a portable AC with a large water tank, you won’t have to refill the tank as frequently as compact options. It is definitely a desirable option for a lot of users as they will be able to get a long-lasting performance from the air conditioner without a whole lot of maintenance.
Q. Are portable ACs suitable for a large room?
To put it simply, no. Portable ACs cannot offer a desirable performance when installed in a large room. As you may already know, the load on an air conditioner increases with an increase in the space that is to be cooled by one. If you install a portable AC in a large room, it won’t be able to cool the surrounding air fast enough and the air will revert back to its original temperature at a faster pace. However, these units can be a great option for your desktop computer or a living room table, as long as you are sitting close to it.
Q. Are there any disadvantages of a portable AC?
While portable ACs offer the biggest advantage of being portable, they also have a fair share of advantages that you should be aware of before you buy one. First and foremost, you cannot expect the same cooling performance from a portable AC that you would get from a standard AC. On top of that, portable ACs require manual water tank refill which is not seen with central window air conditioners.
Q. Are portable ACs loud?
Portable ACs, as the name suggests, are designed to be portable. Therefore, they do not come with any ducts that you would see on a central air conditioning system. Since there are no ducts to silently transfer the air, you will notice a perceptible noise coming out of these ACs, even if they are operating at a low speed. With that being said, you should also consider that portable ACs designed for cars are significantly smaller than portable ACs designed for a room. Therefore, the sound of a portable AC designed for cars is quite low. And if you are listening to music or radio, you may not even notice any sound coming out of your car AC at all.
Air conditioning is slowly becoming an essential feature, even for cars due to the rise in surrounding temperatures. In summers, you may find the inside temperature of your car unbearable. In most cases, the factory AC unit that comes pre-installed in the car should be more than enough to maintain the temperature levels of the car. But, these ACs are quite intricate in design and can be damaged easily. So instead of spending a fortune on replacing the car AC, you can buy a portable AC made for cars and see if it gets the job done in your case. You will find the best portable ACs designed for cars on our list today. If you have any doubts about the features or specifications of the AC, you can refer to our guide for the best portable AC right on our list. We also have some recommendations listed here to offer you a quick choice.
When it comes to battery performance, the SHAALEK Portable Air Conditioner is the best option that we have picked for this list. This unit is powered by a 4000 mAh built-in battery that offers a long-lasting performance, best suited for long travels. It also has a timing feature that lets you automate its performance in order to conserve the battery life for even longer performance. The SHAALEK Portable Air Conditioner also has 7-colors LED lights that work as a night light if you are out on a camping trip.
The Mekomy Portable Air Conditioner is also a great choice present on this list since it offers a large built-in water tank. It has a 500 ml water tank which allows a significantly longer cold air output compared to other units. This unit also offers 3 level speed adjustment so that you can get the performance you desire without worrying about the power consumption. This is a quiet portable air conditioner thanks to the evaporative working principle which is perfect for cars.
Lastly, we will recommend the Log Kern Portable Air Conditioner since it is the cheapest option we could find for a portable AC designed for cars. This is a rechargeable portable air conditioner with a built-in 2000 mAh battery. It also offers a 300 ml built-in water tank capacity with 3-speed spray setting for an adjustable performance. Furthermore, the Logkern Portable Air Conditioner manages to spread the cool air within a 120-degree wide coverage area for even distribution over a large area.