IcyBreeze Cooler Review
While we traditionally focus on ice-powered or ice pack-powered coolers here at TheCoolerZone, we do decide to branch out from time to time and try out some coolers that fall into other categories.
Our search has led us to the IcyBreeze Cooler. The IcyBreeze Cooler is different from your average cooler. That is because this cooler is has a built-in heat exchanger that allows it to function as a portable AC unit.
These features not only help to boost cooling performance, but a hose can be redirected to make this cooler also double as a mobile air conditioner!
In this IcyBreeze Cooler review, we will go over the available models, discuss the various features, test the ice retention ability, discuss other metrics such as price and reliability, and finally give it a TheCoolerZone rating! So let’s begin.
- 1 IcyBreeze Cooler Review
- 1.1 IcyBreeze Cooler Model Lineup
- 1.2 IcyBreeze Cooler Features
- 1.3 IcyBreeze Cooler Build Quality
- 1.4 IcyBreeze Cooler Ice Retention
- 1.5 IcyBreeze Cooler Aesthetics
- 1.6 IcyBreeze Cooler Price
- 1.7 IcyBreeze Cooler Review
IcyBreeze Cooler Model Lineup
When looking at the available IcyBreeze models, the list is quite short. In fact, there is only one size currently available. This size comes with approximately 38 quarts of storage volume. This translates to roughly 48 cans. However, depending on how much ice you put in the cooler, you may find that the number of cans that you can realistically store is reduced.
There are technically two IcyBreeze models in existence: the original IcyBreeze and the IcyBreeze V2. There are some differences in the features on each model (which we will discuss in the next section) but the overall storage size of them is identical.
IcyBreeze Cooler Features
There are clearly some features that make IcyBreeze Coolers unlike your typical ice chests. In this section, we will go over the top available features.
At the center of this is the patented IcyBreeze cooling technology.
The way this works is that there is a built-in heat exchanger on the lid of the cooler. This heat exchanger is fed water (which you fill up inside the cooler). External air is sucked in from vents at the top of the cooler and transferred across the exchanger. This is a similar technology to what you would find in your home’s AC unit.
The act of passing the air across the exchanger results in a temperature drop of up to 35 degrees lower than the initial temperature. This cold air is then dispensed through the tube into whatever direction it is facing.
The clever part of this is that the dispenser can be plugged into the cooler lid and the cold air fed back into the inside to prolong ice retention or it can be unhooked and used as a makeshift mobile air conditioner!
This makes the IcyBreeze Cooler great for camping, fishing, tailgating, or any other activities where you may not only need ice to keep your food/drinks cold but also a mobile AC unit to keep your body cool.
There are three different fan speeds (low, medium, and high). The highest fan speed blows out cold air at an impressive 25 mph! The only negative of this speed is that it makes the unit pretty loud (around 60 dB).
If it isn’t obvious, this clever cooling feature will require an outside power source. IcyBreeze has several different power source options to choose from. They include a 12V power supply (car adapter), a 110-220V power supply (wall adapter), a 6AH battery, and a 10AH battery. This means that no matter what environment you are in and what sort of power sources you have to work with, powering your IcyBreeze Cooler shouldn’t be a problem.
Due to the built-in cooling features and necessary accessories, it does add a bit of weight to this ice chest. To help with transporting, IcyBreeze has included a set of wheels on the rear. On the opposite side of the cooler is a rotating handle that helps you to two the cooler along.
Another helpful feature (that you can see in the image above) is the drain port. This allows you to drain melted ice without having to tilt over the somewhat top-heavy cooler.
At the top of the cooler lid, you will also find two cup holders, the previously mentioned fan switch, and a remote cord and power port.
IcyBreeze Cooler Build Quality
One of our primary concerns, whenever we are checking out coolers with built-in electronics, has to do with their build quality. Having these sensitive parts can impact how “tough” a cooler can be. You will be hard-pressed to find one of these types of ice chests that can achieve a Grizzly Bear Certification, for instance.
And true to form, the IcyBreeze Cooler won’t be able to hold up to the wear and tear of a more traditional rotomolded cooler. Not only are the sensitive parts more prone to breaking, but the overall build quality here isn’t as impressive. Instead of thick poly rotomolded walls, the IcyBreeze Cooler utilizes a more standard polyethylene construction. The fit and finish will resemble a normal Coleman Cooler more so than a high-end Yeti or Engel Cooler.
The latches, hinge system, and gasket layout are also a bit underwhelming. In our opinion, the hinge could have used some beefing up since it does play a vital role in the operation of the cooler. There is no latch system to speak of, so the lid won’t be as airtight as you have seen in cooler with a latch system. And the “gasket” is just a groove plastic cavity as opposed to a standalone rubber o-ring.
That isn’t to say that this ice chest won’t hold up. If you take care of it, it should operate fine for years to come. Just don’t go in with the mind frame that you will be able to throw these cooler around like you can with other non-electric models.
Also, IcyBreeze stands behind their product with a 1-year limited warranty (except for the battery which has a 90-day warranty). This is a better warranty than you will get in other brands but still a step down from the ultra-premium cooler brands on the market.
IcyBreeze Cooler Ice Retention
Ice retention is always an important consideration for any cooler purchase. When analyzing the cooling ability of IcyBreeze Coolers, a different approach has to be taken. This is because IcyBreeze’s fundamental cooling ability comes from an electric source as opposed to just ice.
Because of this, it isn’t fair to compare an IcyBreeze Cooler to a more traditional cooler. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still analyze the results.
The key to maximizing ice life in your IcyBreeze Cooler is having the attached cooling system working. According to the IcyBreeze website’s FAQ section, your ice life will be heavily driven by the operation time of the AC system.
Since there are multiple ways to power this cooler, your best bet to increase performance is to directly plug the unit into a power source as opposed to relying on the mobile battery. For instance, the battery life is stated to be around 4 to 6 hours. After this battery dies, you will be relying solely on the insulation of the cooler.
As we mentioned earlier, the AC unit will drop the air temperature around 35 degrees. This means that if the outside air is 80 degrees, the air that it blows will be around 45 degrees. This is still above freezing but at a much colder level. As you likely have guessed, this greatly helps in preserving ice.
With mild outside air and a never-ending supply of power, you can expect ice to last for an extremely long time. We are talking weeks in some cases! If you don’t have a constant source of power then expect this figure to drop. A good way to look at it is you can expect ice life to last around the battery life + 24 to 72 hours.
IcyBreeze mentions on their website that ice can last up to 7 days at temperature up to 90 degrees when not using the AC. Unfortunately, we weren’t seeing numbers nearly this long. Perhaps if you load the cooler up to the lid with nothing but ice and never open it…but that just isn’t how most people plan to use their cooler!
The IcyBreeze Cooler overall isn’t a great performance when you take the AC out of the equation. The walls are relatively thin and the sealing feature between the lid and body is lackluster. So if you plan on needing a long-term cooling solution, make sure to have constant access to a power source to keep the AC unit running.
IcyBreeze Cooler Aesthetics
At the time of this writing, there are 6 different color options to pick from: Polar Blue, Molten Red, Electric Green, Hot Pink, Desert Tan, and Navy Blue. This is a nice selection of color choices.
The overall styling of these coolers is subjective. They don’t give off a “feel” of quality. Inspecting a Yeti or RTIC Cooler and then comparing it to an IcyBreeze Cooler, you will likely see that various components on premium coolers feel to be better made. The overall feel of an IcyBreeze Cooler more resembles one of the budget cooler brands such as Igloo or Coleman.
However, the real eye-catching feature is, of course, the attached AC unit on the lid. This by itself will make an IcyBreeze Cooler stand out from the crowd. If you are someone who doesn’t like added attention and people asking about what kind of cooler you are using, then avoid this brand! We found that curious people would constantly approach us asking about what type of cooler it was and how it worked.
IcyBreeze Cooler Price
Price is another essential consideration that people make when shopping for a cooler.
While IcyBreeze does come with some unique features, it is no surprise that these features do affect the asking price.
When considering the storage size of this cooler, the asking price is pretty high. You will find that it is aligned with other similarly priced premium coolers on the market right now.
From a performance standpoint, as long as you have a consistent power source, the IcyBreeze Cooler should out-perform just about anything on the market at this size. However, it will be much more fragile.
If you are relying on mobile batteries, then the performance will be more in line with lower-end coolers when you aren’t taking advantage of the AC unit.
So, in our opinion, whether or not this brand could be considered a bargain will depend on how you plan on powering the AC unit on the lid. If you plan on being in the great outdoors away from a permanent power source, then you may be better off going with a similarly-priced premium cooler that will utilize thicker walls and a superior gasket system for prolonging ice life. But if you foresee having consistent access to a power outlet, then the IcyBreeze Cooler makes a strong case.
IcyBreeze Cooler Review
Pros: Clever design, Good performance if you have access to constant power, Surprisingly mobile, Nice selection of colors
Cons: Expensive for the size, Lackluster performance if you don’t have power for AC unit, A little fragile
Features: 3-speed fan, Integrated vent, Dual lift handles, Integrated pull handle, Mobile wheels, Two cup holders, Drain plug
The IcyBreeze Cooler thinks outside of the box and combines the traditional ice retention features found on normal coolers with an integrated fan-powered AC unit. The result of this hybrid ice chest is ice performance numbers that can be staggering when plugged into consistent power. There is one size available that is approximately 38 quarts in volume. Along with the AC unit are a few other helpful features and there are multiple color options as well. The inclusion of the AC unit does result in a higher price tag, however.
Build Quality/Features –
The most obvious feature to discuss here is the AC unit. This is attached directly to the lid and comes with everything that you would need to lower the air being injected into the cooler by upwards of 35 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also a tube that can be redirected outside of the cooler which makes it double as a makeshift cooling fan. This can be helpful to cool a small area off such as the inside of a tent during the summer.
To control the fan, there are 3 different fan speeds. Next to this adjustor is a remote power cord charger and power port. The lid also has a spot for 2 cup holders.
For transporting the cooler, you will enjoy multiple carrying handles as well as some oversized wheels. Lastly, there is a drain port that helps to drain out melted ice.
From a build quality standpoint, this ice chest is a little flimsy. It doesn’t utilize rotomolded construction and the exposed hardware elements aren’t as durable as you will find in certain premium coolers on the market. The fact that there are electronics onboard also means that you will need to be a little more cautious when transporting this cooler or exposing it to the elements.
That being said, IcyBreeze does stand behind their product with a limited 1-year warranty.
Ice Retention –
A discussion of ice life is a little more complex. The cooler has two faces: when it is utilizing the AC unit and when it is not.
When the AC unit is running, the ice retention is fantastic. Thanks to the air around the ice dropping by as much as 35 degrees, you will find a nice performance boost with the ice that you are using. In optimal conditions and with unlimited power, ice can last for well over a week and even into the multiple weeks!
However, if you plan on enjoying this cooler in the great outdoors or somewhere that doesn’t have an easily accessible power outlet, then you will have to rely on batteries to power the AC. Once these batteries run out, this cooler reverts to relying on more traditional methods of keeping ice cold.
At that point, this ice chest is only so-so. You can expect ice life to last for 1 to 3 days in normal settings. This aligns it more closely with other budget-type coolers on the market. And premium coolers at this size will typically outperform the IcyBreeze Cooler when it is not running its AC unit.
The giant black tube on the lid will quickly tell people around you that this isn’t just some ordinary cooler. Some people may find that the bulky contraption is more of an eyesore, but we consider it a fun conversation piece.
There are also 6 different colors to pick from. This size of color selection is more expansive than many other cooler brands can promise.
You will certainly feel the impact of the extra AC features on your wallet. This cooler trends up into the high-end cooler price range because of the AC and other included features. Whether or not this could be considered a bargain will depend on how you plan to use this cooler. If you have a reliable power source and are after the absolute maximum in ice life, then the IcyBreeze Cooler’s high sticker price will be much easier to digest. But if you plan on using it in outdoor settings and don’t want to lug around a bunch of backup batteries, then the higher asking price may not look as attractive.
Overall Rating –
We enjoyed our time with the IcyBreeze Cooler. While it certainly won’t be for everybody, we definitely do see some value in it for certain applications. The AC unit runs well and we were impressed with just how cold the air that it outputted was. So it is no surprise that you will see excellent ice retention numbers while utilizing this feature. The way it is presented and the other features on the cooler to help with transporting it are also nicely thought out.
But it doesn’t come without some concerns as well. When not using the great AC feature, this cooler is nothing special. Not only that, but the extra electronics onboard do mean that you have to be more careful when transporting this cooler outdoors. There is also only one size to choose from.
Whether or not this type of unique cooler checks all of your boxes will be up to you. We see value in it but encourage everybody to think out how they plan to use their new cooler before you purchase it.