Good-looking and ruggedly built, the EcoFlow GLACIER cooler looks like it could have come off the set of a big-budget sci-fi movie. Its illuminated controls and bright LCD screen give it a futuristic look, albeit with a rugged design meant to keep your favorite beverage cold while exploring the planet Earth.
With features like a built-in icemaker, smart app control, a 40-hour battery life, and removable batteries, the EcoFlow GLACIER cooler sets a new standard for powered coolers.
The portable refrigerator can hold up to 60 canned beverages, has dual climate zones, and a powerful compressor that can cool the interior from 86 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 15 minutes. That makes it an ideal option for car campers, van-lifers, overlanders, and RVers. But all of that comes at a price — and not a small one.
In short: EcoFlow has hit a home run with its first entry into the powered cooler market. The EcoFlow GLACIER portable refrigerator ($1,099) has impressive build quality, removable batteries with amazing battery life, and a host of other features. It’s an excellent option for camping, tailgating, and backyard barbecues.
The device has dual climate zones, smart app control, and an onboard icemaker. But it’s a heavy piece of gear. And its high price tag will put it out of reach for many buyers.
EcoFlow GLACIER Powered Cooler
- Dimensions 30.6” x 15.2” x 17.5”
- Weight 50.7 lbs.
- Temperature Range -13 to 50 degrees F
- Carrying Capacity 38L (60 canned beverages)
- Battery Capacity 298Wh
- Noise Level 42dB standard, 52dB when making ice
- IP Rating IPX4 (splash-resistant)
- Power Input 120V AC wall outlet, 12V DC car port, 240W solar panels
- Built-in icemaker
- Excellent at maintaining temperature
- Great battery life
- Dual climate zones
EcoFlow GLACIER Cooler Review
Few companies on the planet know more about battery technology than EcoFlow. Over the past five years, the tech firm has built some of the best portable power stations on the planet, bringing mobile charging solutions to the campsite, job site, and home.
Now, the company is looking to leverage that tech in new and exciting ways by introducing a line of innovative devices designed for use in the outdoors.
The EcoFlow GLACIER cooler is perhaps the most exciting of those products. It’s a portable refrigerator with impressive build quality and fantastic features like dual climate zones with independent temperature settings, remote control via a smartphone app, and the product’s distinctive icemaker.
Best of all, the GLACIER can run for up to 40 hours on battery power alone, allowing it to wander far from the nearest power outlet. And those batteries can be removed and swapped.
Picking up the device reveals that it weighs more than 50 pounds. That’s on the heavy side for any cooler with a 38L carrying capacity. But since you don’t need ice to keep the contents of the GLACIER cold, the weight gap between it and a traditional cooler isn’t as wide as it first appears. Not requiring ice also frees up internal space for carrying more cargo, allowing the cooler to hold up to 60 canned beverages.
EcoFlow includes a set of heavy-duty wheels and a sturdy handle with the GLACIER cooler. Users can opt to add them to the cooler — further increasing its weight — or leave them off altogether.
While testing, I found that the portable refrigerator was much easier to move around with the wheels and handle installed, especially when filled with food and drinks. The installation process is straightforward but requires a little time and effort.
The GLACIER’s refrigeration unit is capable of maintaining an internal temperature ranging from -13 to 50 degrees F in either single or dual climate zone mode. A removable plastic divider — which doubles as a cutting board — separates the two zones, allowing different temperatures in each compartment.
This makes it easy to separate foods that just need to be kept cold from those that must remain frozen. It also allows for additional versatility in the items you can bring on your outdoor adventures.
The cooler’s temperature settings are adjusted using a set of intuitive controls located on the front of the cooler. A bright, clear LCD screen indicates the current temperature for each zone and shares other pertinent information like remaining battery life and whether or not the device is in single or dual climate zone mode. Those same settings can also be remotely monitored and adjusted using EcoFlow’s smartphone app, which connects via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
EcoFlow says the GLACIER can cool its internal chamber from 86 to 32 degrees F in less just 15 minutes. During testing, I found that it’s actually faster than that, requiring about 12 minutes to complete the task. This means you don’t have to let the device run for an extended period while waiting for it to lower the temperature.
We did find that it cooled faster when it was empty, however. So keep that in mind when using it. The cooler also makes a bit more noise when rapidly cooling off its storage space. It isn’t obnoxiously noisy by any means, but it is noticeable, especially because it’s very quiet most of the time.
Cold as Ice: The EcoFlow GLACIER Cooler
The GLACIER’s signature feature is its built-in icemaker — which the brand claims is a “first-to-market” feature. Although, other brands also produce powered coolers with icemakers.
Some aspects of the GLACIER’s icemaker are unique, though. It sits under a lid located on the top of the cooler. It takes the form of a reservoir with a series of metal pins lining the bottom. Adding water to the tank allows the unit to form ice around those pins in a process that is both quick and fun to watch.
EcoFlow says the GLACIER can make 18 ice cubes in about 12 minutes. During testing, however, I found it usually took a few minutes longer. That’s probably because the device can make two different sizes of ice, and I typically had it produce the larger variety. Still, the process is impressively quick, although the cooler is at its noisiest when the icemaker is in use.
A countdown timer appears on the EcoFlow GLACIER’s LCD, indicating how much time remains in the icemaking process. The unit also has a procedure for detaching the ice from the metal pins, making collecting ice much easier.
EcoFlow cleverly integrated a removable basket — complete with flip-up handles — into the icemaker to assist in that process. The basket allows EcoFlow GLACIER cooler owners to easily extract freshly made ice cubes and store them inside the cooler itself. A small plastic ice scoop is even included and comes in handy when adding ice to a pitcher or cup.
Battery Life and Recharging
EcoFlow claims the GLACIER can function off grid for up to 40 hours on a single charge of its 298Wh battery. That number seems possible, although there are a number of factors that can impact battery life.
For instance, if you’re using the cooler outside on a hot day, it will have to work harder to maintain a colder temperature. It will continue functioning just fine in hot conditions, keeping drinks cool and food fresh. But its runtime will definitely drop due to the increased challenges of maintaining a consistent temperature.
How you use the cooler will have an impact on how long the battery lasts as well. Predictably, I found that setting the refrigerator to a colder temp, running in dual climate zone mode, and making multiple batches of ice will consume more power and drain the battery faster.
Using the GLACIER in what I would deem a typical fashion gave me about 20-25 hours of use on a single charge. That is well short of the advertised 40 hours but still very good for a product of this kind.
Fortunately, there are several ways to provide power to the GLACIER and keep it running in the field. The device comes with a standard 120V AC adapter to plug it into a home wall outlet, as well as a 12V DC cable for use in a vehicle.
EcoFlow also recommends connecting the cooler to a portable power station — possibly one of the brand’s own — to get days of use at a campsite. You can even directly charge the battery using 240W solar panels. Owners can also purchase an additional battery pack that can be swapped out as needed.
EcoFlow GLACIER vs. Other Powered Coolers
So, how does the GLACIER stack up to the competition? For the most part, exceptionally well. EcoFlow’s model checks all the boxes that you would expect from a powered cooler. That includes dual temperature zones, plenty of cargo capacity, and the ability to cool down the interior rapidly. It also has intuitive controls and the ability to monitor and control the entire system using a smartphone app.
Most other powered coolers on the market still need to be plugged into an external power source, like a 12V DC port in a vehicle or a portable power station. The GLACIER’s removable and swappable battery pack eliminates that requirement and makes it easier to take with you wherever you go. But this isn’t the only model that runs on batteries these days.
For instance, we tested the Worx 20V Powered Cooler a few months back and found it to be an excellent alternative to traditional coolers. Like the GLACIER, that unit can keep its contents cold for hours, completely independent of another power source.
But EcoFlow’s device offers at least twice the battery life. It has more features, and it feels like a more premium product — with the price tag to match.
Dometic has been making portable refrigerators for years and would take umbrage with EcoFlow’s claims of introducing the first icemaker to this market space. The company also has a few models that can make ice, although at a much slower rate than the GLACIER. EcoFlow’s cooler requires about 12-14 minutes to create 18 ice cubes, whereas the Dometic models need several hours to complete the same task.
Dometic’s refrigerators also require a 12V power source to keep them running. Although they do have the benefit of maintaining the temperature inside the cooler even while making ice.
One of the drawbacks of the GLACIER’s design is that it has to shut down its refrigeration unit while the icemaker is running. Because the cooler is well insulated and sealed, this has little impact on performance, but it is worth noting nonetheless.
Feature-Packed but Expensive
The GLACIER is an impressive product, particularly for a first-generation model. In addition to the components already listed, the unit also comes with LED lighting to illuminate its interior after dark and smart app control for remotely activating any of its functionality, including the icemaker. The battery pack comes with a 100W USC-C port for recharging smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and the cooler has built-in protection to prevent it from draining a car battery when plugged into a 12V DC port.
All of those features are packed into an attractive, well-designed form factor rugged enough for use in the outdoors. The GLACIER’s large grab handles make it surprisingly easy to move around, even without the telescoping handle and oversized wheels installed.
And despite having an array of delicate electronics housed inside its shell, it never once felt like the cooler wasn’t up to the task of serving up fresh foods and cold beverages while camping or tailgating.
The downside of all these features and capabilities is that the GLACIER doesn’t come cheap. EcoFlow sells the device starting at $1,099, which makes it more expensive than most other powered coolers on the market.
EcoFlow GLACIER Cooler: The Final Word
Despite its jarring price, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is in full effect with the EcoFlow GLACIER cooler. When you consider everything this model brings to the table — including battery life, capacity, build quality, and high-tech features — there isn’t another portable refrigerator that can match it. That makes it worth every penny for those who want or need the performance that it offers.
For more information on the GLACIER portable refrigerator, visit the EcoFlow website.