Let’s not be naive. No one enjoys driving around in the summer without air conditioning. There’s an easy solution to this problem: portable air conditioners.
Since 1945, portable air conditioners have been available. However, because of the inbuilt air conditioning system, they are rarely heard. It’s hard to find the right model for your vehicle. But don’t stress.
You’re probably wondering what the best portable air conditioner for your car is. Which portable air conditioner is best for my car?
We’ve reviewed 15 of the best portable air conditioners to help you answer this question. Here’s a table to help you before we continue.
Battery-Powered Portable Air Conditioners.
This section will review the best battery-operated portable air conditioners. Batteries are a great option for those who need cooling on the move. Many models are compact and flexible, allowing them to be moved from a car to a backpack.
Battery-operated models are the only option for drivers with older vehicles. USB ports became standard only in the past five years. We’ll review a wide range of models at different price points, as each model has its own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s get started (and cool).
1. Yleadea portable handheld fan. Best portable air conditioning (battery operated).
Pros: The Yleadea Portable Handheld Fan makes a great (and affordable!) The fan is a great choice for any car. The fan can rotate 360 degrees, and it will run for up to 6 hours without recharging. The fan uses a 220mAh non-removable battery that recharges via USB in just 2 to 3 hours (included). The fan is still lightweight and can be mounted on a tripod to wrap around any surface of your vehicle. It is stable but can be removed in an emergency.
We’ve selected this fan for drivers who need a powerful yet affordable air conditioner for their daily commute. Its affordability and flexibility made it our choice for the “Best Portable Air Conditioning”.
Cons: Even though the fan is made of ABS, a baby can still get their fingers caught in it. Install this product away from children.
2. Comlife car fan. The runner-up for best portable air conditioner battery operated.
Pros: The Comlife Car Fan has a compact and powerful fan that can be easily mounted into the car’s air vents. It weighs less than one pound and has four speeds, up to 4000rpm. The 2200mAh USB rechargeable battery will last up to seven hours without needing to charge.
The fan can be removed from the clips, but then you’ll have to hold it, as it doesn’t have a hook or suspension option. The fan rotates 360 degrees when removed from its clips. Comlife Car Fan also has a very low noise level, which is perfect for drivers looking to cool their cars without disrupting their concentration.
Cons: While this fan is stable once installed, the clip-on design is not ideal for passengers sitting in the rear seat since it clips onto the dashboard air conditioning vents. It is not recommended to install it around children as it can be dangerous. This model may be suitable for single drivers but not for families.
3. GQQG personal air conditioner.
Pros: The GQQG air conditioner can be used to cool the air of a car in style. This bucket fan is made from ABS and leather. The 240mL tank can hold either water or ice. It then pushes cool air into your car. It can run for up to 7 hours on a 2000mAh rechargeable battery.
The cooler can be attached to your dashboard using adhesives (not provided) or removed and carried with its strap. This model has three fan speeds and is ultra-quiet. It’s stylish, sleek, and easy to clean.
Cons: While the air conditioner looks great, it would require adhesive straps in order to install. It can be suspended from the roof of your vehicle, but this is not recommended (because it’s heavy and could hurt someone if you drop it). It’s not suitable for everyone, even though it is a fantastic cooler.
4. Arctic cove bucket fans.
Pros: The Arctic Cove Bucket fan is a powerful and flexible fan. This fan can run for up to 2 hours on an 18v car battery. The fan has two speeds and can be easily removed from your car.
This car can be mounted on an ice bucket (not included), but we do not recommend that you use it in your car. This model can either be mounted to the dashboard or center console of your car. The fan can be disassembled to allow for cleaning, which is a very convenient feature. You can charge the fan by removing the battery and plugging it into the wall socket.
Cons: This model can be installed anywhere on the vehicle. However, it must be installed with care as it is not clipped to the car. This can be done with some tape or adhesive surfaces, but these are not included. The fan is powerful! The fan is loud enough to wake up sleeping children and even drivers.
5. Rovta tripod clip fan.
Pros: Rovta Tripod Clip Fan’s flexible legs allow it to be attached to any surface in seconds. It is coated in rubber and will remain in place while you drive, but it can be removed within a minute. The fan has three speeds and can rotate 360 degrees at the maximum speed of 4.4m/s. The 5000mAh battery will last between 6 to 20 hours. The unit can be charged in just 2 to 4 hours using a USB cord.
Cons: This fan’s rubberized legs can cause dust to stick. This can be easily fixed by wiping the fan with a soft cloth. This fan starts to slow down rapidly as it runs out of energy, which can be frustrating. The manufacturer warns against running fans in an unnatural position.
6. Reyo portable air conditioner.
Pros: The Reyo Portable Air Conditioner is compact, powerful, and convenient. It runs at a very low volume – less than 55 decibels when at maximum speed. The bucket can hold 300mL water and run for 4 to 5 hours. The LED lights are available in seven different colors.
This unit is very energy efficient, as it only uses 1W to 8W. The unit can also spray mist and has three speeds. The top of the unit is equipped with a strap that allows it to be suspended by a hook. This cooler is a great investment for those who want to save a few pennies.
Cons: Despite Reyo’s small size, it is one of the most expensive options on this list. It’s obvious that it isn’t for everyone. You’ll also need adhesive or a hook to mount the cooler on your dashboard.
7. Skygenius clip-on cooler. Battery operated best budget buy.
Pros: The SkyGenius Clip On Cooler is the best budget buy. The clip-on fan can be mounted anywhere in your car. The fan operates at three speeds and can run for up to 6 hours on the 2500mAh battery. The fan can be rotated 360 degrees, but small children cannot reach the blades.
This product is perfect for those who want to use it all day long. It charges via USB and can be used for up to 3 hours. This fan spins faster than most fans in this price range. It does so at a speed of 16.5ft/s. This is an excellent budget purchase for drivers who need cooling quickly but don’t want to worry about installing a costly fan.
Cons: This fan is made of plastic and may not last very long when used at its maximum speed. It is possible to swap the battery for another 18650 battery, but it would not be worth the price. The clip and fan are both safe. However, it is important to check that the product is secure around children, as the blades can be removed for cleaning.
USB-Powered Portable Air Conditioners.
A USB-powered unit is the perfect choice if you don’t want to have to remove or recharge your air conditioner. These units can be powered by a USB plug or the Bluetooth plug in your console.
USB-powered air conditioners are lighter, cheaper, and more powerful because they don’t require batteries to run. We’ve reviewed the top seven portable air conditioners, with models for families and single drivers of all price points.
8. Will comes auto fan dual head. Best portable air conditioners (USB operated).
Pros: The Will Comes Dual Head Car fan is the ideal portable car fan for families who have children in the rear seat. The fan comes with two fan heads that can be powered by either a battery of 12v or 24v. The fan can be clipped into the seat or dashboard and has two speeds controlled by a large button. The 12v version is extremely quiet. However, the 24v version is also quite quiet.
This fan can be mounted directly on the battery so that it will not vibrate your vehicle’s front seats. This fan offers great value as it is easy to remove from the vehicle if necessary. The fan is powered by the 12v port in the car, and the cable is long enough to reach the backseat.
Cons: The large orange/blue buttons on the front are probably not the best choice of design for a product that is child-safe. The button is easy to use, but it will attract attention from children of preschool age. It’s easy for kids to stick their fingers in the blades of the fans, so be careful when installing.
9. LED portable fan KOXXBASS. The runner-up for best portable air conditioner (USB operated).
Pros: The KOXXBASS portable fan with LED is a safe option. The fan can be suspended from the ceiling and mounted to the vehicle. The fan can be rotated 270 degrees, but it is also kept out of sight of the driver (and away from children in the rear seat!). There are multiple light settings, and the LED lights on the fan can be switched on at the base.
This fan has three speeds, and they are all relatively quiet. This fan has an unusual aroma chamber that allows you to add essential oils. We’ve given this runner-up award for the ‘best portable AC’ because of its affordable price, child-safe design, and unique (okay, slightly strange) design.
Cons: The KOXXBASS is a good fan, but the excessive rotation can wear down the plastic if not careful. The fan can also be powered by batteries of 5200mAh, but this is not recommended as it will only run for 2 hours.
10. HOPEME car fan cooling.
Pros: HOPEME Car Cooling Fan is one of the most affordable items on this list. This cooling fan is available in a variety of colors and has LED mood lighting. It is quiet, strong, and has three speeds. With 5v power, it can turn 360°. The clips on this model secure it to the air conditioning vents of your car or its front seats.
The product is made of rubber and stainless steel, so it will not melt or slip in heat. This product is so small that it will not obscure the driver’s view if installed on the backseat. The fan can be disassembled to be cleaned. This is a stylish, funky, and affordable option that will fit most vehicles.
Cons: This fan comes with a USB cable that is 3.7ft long, so it can be a hassle to have in a car. The fan vibrates a bit on the highest setting. This may be annoying to the driver if it is installed in the rear of the vehicle.
11. MSM air humidifier.
Pros This cute little bucket fan can be mounted on your dashboard. It is lightweight, simple, and available in four colors: light green, black, or white. The unit can hold 350ml at a given time and lasts for 3 to 5 hours.
The 5v fan is very quiet when plugged into a USB. Its maximum speed is under 55 decibels. Three speeds are available, with a maximum distance of 2m. The MSM fan (or the GQQG) is perfect for solo drivers who don’t want to have a large fan in their way.
Cons Although the fan is beautiful, it needs to be filled with water daily. The unit cannot be operated without power, and no adhesives are provided for mounting it on the dashboard. This unit cannot be installed in the rear seat, and it can’t be suspended.
12. C-Color personal cooler.
Pros: The C-Colour personal air cooler is an extremely powerful bucket fan powered by 18W. The water tank can hold 480ml of fluid, and it releases around 70ml per hour. With three speed options, the unit can cool down the air by 3-10 degrees. The fan is very quiet at 58 decibels when it’s running at its maximum speed.
The fan can be hung on the roof or placed on the dashboard. The fan has seven different LED lighting options and is able to handle essential oils. It can also be used in the winter to humidify dry skin.
Cons: This cooler sprays more liquid than others and won’t be suitable for drivers who have fabric seats. It is also quite heavy and not suitable for smaller vehicles or mounted directly in front of a driver, as it could obscure their vision.
13. SmartDevil USB fan.
Pros: The SmartDevil USB Fan is small, and it can be easily installed anywhere in your car – provided that you plug it into a power source of 5V. The fan rotates 360 degrees and comes in three colors: pink, white, and blue. The fan has three speeds, with the highest setting only generating 50 decibels. This makes it the quietest of the fans on this list.
The USB cord is 3.9 feet long and has a rubber seal on the base. This fan is usually only used on its lowest setting as it has a powerful cooling effect. This fan’s cover is very small and difficult to reach.
Cons: This fan does not have a hook. You would need to purchase a separate hook in order to hang it inside your vehicle. This fan is perfect for hanging behind the driver and passenger seats of a car for kids, but it weighs only 3 pounds.
14. Semioc car fan. Best buy USB operated.
Pros: The Semioc Car Fan we reviewed today is the cheapest USB-powered fan. The fan can be mounted to the dashboard and rotates in all directions. The fan has three speeds. Two of them are quiet. When the fan is turned on, it has a few small LED lights that create a pleasing rainbow effect. The base of the Semoic Fan is coated with adhesive, making it very easy to install.
You can stick the fan on your dashboard by peeling off the backing paper. The fan is small but powerful enough to cool the driver without blocking their vision. This is a great buy for solo drivers on a budget.
Cons:: This fan cannot be removed as it is attached to the dashboard. You can install it on the air conditioner vents, but you will need extra slips. The fan is made of plastic, so it may need to be replaced every season. The fan cannot be operated without being plugged into a power source, and its cord is only one meter long.
15. MOOCII neck fan. Most unique air conditioner.
Pros: The MOOCII Neck Fan is a unique device that wraps around your neck and blows air 180 degrees. The MOOCII neck fan has two fans that are placed on either side of the neck. It also comes with three speeds. The device can be charged via USB, but it also uses two 1600mAh batteries. This odd device can last between 2 and eight hours. This strange device is not for everyone, but it’s a good investment for solo drivers that want to use their air conditioners.
Cons: The MOOCII Neck Fan is expensive. It is quite heavy at 1.12 pounds and can be distracting to drivers. This product is not suitable for children younger than 12.
Portable air conditioners can be a magical invention. Air conditioners were first invented in 1902, but they weren’t available in cars until Packard began offering them in 1940. In 1969, air conditioners were installed in more than half of all new cars.
How do portable air conditioners work?
Let’s briefly review the science behind three of the most common types of air conditioning units used in cars today before we compare the top portable air conditioners.
The automotive fan cooler is a portable version of the fan cooler. You can tell by watching how they work that they are designed for air movement, creating a cool breeze.
You can choose between a bucket or an oscillating fan if you want to save some money. Bucket Fans are cooler fans with a bucket of ice water.
The fan creates a mist or cool breeze by blowing air through the ice. You’ll want to check that the bucket fan has a water container that can be sealed before you buy it. If you don’t, a sudden brake could coat your pride and joy with ice-cold water.
How To Install & Maintain Your Air Conditioner In A Safe Way.
Installing the portable air conditioner safely and following the manufacturer’s directions is important once you have chosen the right unit for your car. Here are a few hot tips to help you:
Clip-on air conditioners.
To ensure that they do not move, you should:
- Fix the clip to rubber or fabric.
- The fan’s weight will not cause the clip to fall off as it runs.
- Use the whole clip whenever possible.
Tripod air conditioners.
Tripod air conditioners can be adjusted to any position, which is fantastic! If you want to make sure they don’t move when you use them, ensure that:
- Wrap your legs multiple times around the anchor.
- Keep the unit upright so that gravity does not loosen it.
Adhesive-mounted air conditioners.
Installing bucket air conditioners in a car can be a challenge. Double-sided tape works perfectly. Installing your air conditioner is as easy as:
- Both the dashboard and fan base should be cleaned and dried.
- Remove the adhesive by peeling it off in a side-by-side manner.
- Allow the fan to dry for at least two hours before using it.
Maintaining Your Air Conditioner.
It is important to maintain your air conditioner. The longer your unit will last, the better you take care of it. Here are a few tips on how to get the best out of your unit.
- Before setting up your cooler, clean the blades. You may get a dusty face if you haven’t done so.
- Regularly wash out the bucket of a bucket fan. Even though you may only be using water to fill your bucket fan, bacteria, and mold can still accumulate.
- Keep the battery dry. It’s pretty obvious, but make sure your batteries are dry. They will rust when exposed to water.
The best portable air conditioner is a subjective choice. Some drivers may find that a dashboard-mounted fan is sufficient, but others will require a fan that reaches the backseat.
Suggests choosing a cooler that is:
- At least a six-month warranty
- It will not distract you when driving
- The tripod can be fixed in place using a clip or adhesive tape.