It looks very similar to its bigger capacity sibling, but how does the 22-litre Waeco Cool-Ice passive coolbox fare in the Practical Motorhome review?

Overview

There are times when a coolbox is a very handy accessory on campervan and motorhome holidays. Even though you probably have a fridge on board, the chances are that it's not big enough for all your food and drink.

We know lots of motorhome owners who like to cook up batches of their favourite meals and freeze them to take away. This saves loads of time and can be a life saver if your trip begins with lots of driving as you head out on the motorways of France and Germany. With a coolbox on board, you can pack these delicious home-made meals for the first leg of the journey.

Then once you arrive in a beautiful location, the chances are you'll want to head out on foot with a picnic. Whether you're exploring a riverbank, canal, mountain or the beach, a coolbox with an ice pack inside will keep your food and drink at a safe temperature until you're ready to spread out that picnic rug.

Coolboxes also come into their own when you visit festivals, or go off fishing for the day and want to keep your supplies cool and fresh for as long as you can.

The beauty of these coolboxes is also that the thermal insulation works both ways, of course. So on a winter's day it can be fantastic to pack a hot meal (and no ice packs) into a coolbox and take it on your country walk, or off to watch your youngsters play football or rugby, or follow motorsports and bike events. I suppose we should rename it a 'hot box' in that case!

Passive coolboxes, the simplest and cheapest kind of portable coolers, have been around for years. With the advent of powered thermoelectric coolboxes, their popularity waned. But recently they've grown in popularity again, thanks to improvements in the insulation. 

Here at Practical Motorhome, we reviewed a group of coolers to find the best coolbox in the UK. This item, the 22-litre Waeco Cool-Ice, gained just a two-star rating from our testers. This may look like a scaled-down version of our test winner, the five-star rated 42-litre Waeco Cool-Ice, but its performance was not as good.

The minimum temperature of 14.8˚C below ambient room temperature and the average temperature of 15.4˚C below the 27°C room temperature for this 22-litre Waeco coolbox trailed the Coleman Xtreme3, 26-litre coolbox, which is similarly priced but has four litres more capacity.

The roto-moulded shape of the 22-litre Waeco Cool-Ice chiller works well, but it’s a shame that this cooling product lacks firm handles, or a drain bung. The shoulder strap is durable enough but the almost square box is not the nicest thing to have pummelling your side when it's full and you're carrying it off to a quiet picnic spot. 

We also reviewed the Campingaz Icetime which scored three out of five, as did the Igloo Island Breeze and the Thermos Weekend, while the Igloo Sportsman received a four-star rating.

Verdict

Come the end of our Waeco Cool-Ice review, the expert test team at Practical Motorhome concluded that despite the aesthetic similarities to its larger sibling, this 22-litre product can't compete in terms of cooling, comfort or practicality.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Waeco is a reputable brand of camping accessories

Cons

  • It's a bit cumbersome to carry
  • Its capacity and cooling ability trail rivals
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