Anyone who doesn't want to miss out on cooled food and drinks when camping in the wilderness or at a festival will find the ideal solution in the QOOL box. Without a power supply, it should be able to keep contents fresh for days. But does the quite expensive cooler actually deliver what it promises?
Summer vacation away from hotel strongholds and vacation apartments: camping is in vogue. This is evidenced not least by the overcrowded campsites, where everything from city hipsters to elderly long-term campers can be found. This usually has little to do with adventure and nature. However, those looking for seclusion usually have to do without amenities such as a fixed toilet, WLAN or refrigerated food. For the latter problem, the company Qool now promises an innovative solution: a cool box without any electricity at all, which cools the contents for up to ten days. But does the Qool box live up to its promise? ntv.de has tested it.
With its intense blue color, the box is a real eye-catcher. If you like it more discreet, you can also buy it for a few euros more in black, then made of recycled material. Otherwise, the box is rather simple in its design language, but robust and resistant. It can easily withstand a careless knock against the door frame or a rough ride in the car. There is no trace of dents or broken pieces. Especially practical: You can even use the box as a seat. The manufacturer offers matching seat cushions for this purpose. However, it's up to you to decide whether you want to spend 45 euros on this. A standard piece of upholstery will do just as well.
The box also offers enough space. The breakfast shopping, a bit of fruit and vegetables, a carton of milk, a Tetrapak of juice and two soda cans can be easily stowed away. For the party trip fit easily ten bottles of beer purely and even many wine bottles can be put upright in it. Thanks to the large handles, the box can also be easily carried into the car or to the beach - although at ten kilograms it's not exactly lightweight, especially compared to cooler bags.
From space travel to the cooler
But now to the actual function of the Qool-Box. After all, it's supposed to cool things for a long time without electricity. And this much can already be revealed: It works. Vacuum insulation panels, which are also used in space travel, make it possible. In combination with the large cold packs, you can start your self-sufficient camping trip or festival without hesitation. However, you should consider a few things beforehand. It is advisable to pack only pre-cooled food and drinks in the Qool box. Although the box can cool down lukewarm cola bottles to refrigerator temperature, this reduces the overall cooling capacity considerably. You should also try to open the box as rarely and as briefly as possible. And the cold packs must be in the freezer for at least twelve hours before use. According to the manufacturer, the cooling elements contain so-called phase change material "and can absorb or release energy at a certain temperature," as it says on the Qool website. What sounds fancy is actually the same technology on which all cold packs are based. Nevertheless, the cooling elements from Qool stay cold for a particularly long time, especially compared to the mostly blue standard rechargeable batteries. This may be mainly due to their size. At the same time, however, this is also a small disadvantage.
The box also creates ice
This is because the manufacturer recommends using all four included cooling elements and placing them on the sides and on top of the goods, since cold always goes down. In fact, the box also kept cool the longest in our test this way. However, it's not really practical. The four large batteries take up a relatively large amount of space. Thus, you lose valuable storage space, especially for 1-liter bottles it gets tight when the batteries are placed on top. Of the 27-liter capacity of the M version, 5 liters are lost. However, if you only want to use the box for barbecue food or chilled food, the method works excellently. Even after five days, the temperature inside rose from zero to just five degrees in our test. The curd was still sting-proof, and the cheese didn't even sweat. Even meat could still have been put on the grill without hesitation. Only the ice cubes were - unsurprisingly - more water than ice at this point. For frozen products, the manufacturer offers the "Standard Frozen" cooling elements anyway, which are supposed to keep frozen food frozen for up to ten days. We could not test this variant. However, if you don't want to do without ice cubes or ice cream when camping independently, you can simply order the batteries later. However, at 80 euros for four pieces, this is not a cheap option.
Expensive, but great
This brings us to the biggest drawback of the passive cooler: the price. Qool offers a lot and keeps its promises when handled properly, but it also costs a lot. In the basic configuration, the medium variant with four cooling elements costs a whopping 400 Euros. Even for branded compressor coolers, customers usually have to pay less. In return, the manufacturer of the Qool box is so convinced of its product that it gives a 10-year quality guarantee. And we were also convinced by the blue cooling wonder (apart from the price). Whether on a day trip to the beach, during the festival or on a week-long vacation at the Baltic Sea - the Qool box kept food fresh and drinks cold. Only on longer trips does it not stand up to its electricity-powered colleagues. After eight days, we were done with fridge-cold drinks. Nevertheless, those who are willing to invest the money will certainly not regret it. Because apart from the currentless function the Qool box is unbeatable in a further point opposite compressor cool boxes: It is absolutely quiet. No annoying hum that disturbs sleep, especially at night in the camper. So you can enjoy nature away from crowded campsites.
- Source: ntv.de
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