A Powered Portable 48qt Cooler for any Occasion with Solar, Battery, Vehicle Power Options – Newair Electric Cooler Review (Model #NPR048GA00)

Cooler, power cables, solar panel - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review
Review of the Newair Portable Electric Cooler and Solar Generator Battery Kit - a fantastic way to keep drinks & food cool without ice and off-the-grid.

Last summer, my wife and I kind of went on a cooler buying spree. It’s not that we had a ton of parties or places to go where we needed a cooler; we simply wanted to have some options. Large, small, portable, ones with wheels, ones that would keep beverages and food cool for extended periods – we came up with a lot of use cases. But one that we didn’t think about was getting a cooler that didn’t require ice to keep everything chilled. So when Newair asked me if I wanted to review the Newair 48qt Portable 12v Electric Cooler (which I will simply refer to as the Newair Electric Cooler but it is model #NPR048GA00), I thought, how cool! (*Disclosure below.)

In fact, what I received to review were two Newair products, the portable electric cooler and the Newair Solar Generator Kit that comes with a 100W solar panel and a 173W removable and rechargeable Lithium battery. It’s that combo that moves the Newair Electric Cooler away from the plug and out anywhere you need the cooler to be (within reason). This combination of an electric-powered cooler and battery with a solar panel means that you can be literally off the grid and keep your food and drinks cool over an extended period. But, what is even “cooler” is that the cooler has two compartments with different digitally controlled temperatures. 

Note: at the end of this review, I have a 10% discount code!

Cooler & Solar Panels - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

The possible use cases for the Newair Electric Cooler are many. In fact, I have the cooler in my office plugged into the wall and chilling a variety of beverages – this saves me the trip to the fridge (honestly, I’m not THAT lazy, I just thought it would be cool!). I’m even considering rolling it out to the living room for the Super Bowl so that beverages are close at hand so as not to miss a play (or an ad).

A Rundown of Cool Features in the Newair Electric Cooler

I will start listing the features with a bit of a warning. Some of the other coolers I have are portable; the Newair Electric Cooler is pretty heavy, fully loaded (or even empty), and not something you would want to lift for an extended time. I highly recommend that you have two people carrying it. Empty, it weighs about 41 pounds. With beverages and food, it would weigh quite a bit more.

Newair electric cooler side view - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

That being said, it does have two rugged wheels on one of the sides to allow you to easily roll it around. And, as a bonus, a retractable pull-out handle allows a single person to wheel a full cooler around easily. The pull handle itself is lightly padded. There are also handles for carrying it traditionally without the wheels.

Pull out handle and rugged wheels - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Because of the weight, this Newair Electric Cooler is not for backpacking. Instead, I see it used for glamping or car camping, around the house and backyard, tailgating, at kids’ sporting events, and basically places where you can easily either wheel it around or move it with your car. 

Let me touch on the name “cooler” for a second. Yes, it looks and feels like a traditional cooler. But, honestly, it is much more like a portable fridge. An LG compressor powers the dual compartments. The compressor is actually relatively quiet. When the Newair Electric Cooler is on and the compressor is active, the fan noise is relatively soft, so much so that you can barely tell it is on.

LG compressor inside - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Have you ever tried to maintain a constant temperature just by using ice? It’s either ice cold or everything is soaking wet because your ice has melted. And you can’t really get things cool again once they have warmed up once the ice melts (unless, of course, you add more ice – but who wants to run to the store or the freezer for that chore?). The Newair Electric Cooler, or better said, portable fridge eliminates that need for ice, AND you can easily adjust the temperatures of the two compartments independently.

I will go into the temperature control in the next section. But I did want to go into some of the other features of this Newair cooler. As mentioned, it has two compartments inside. One is quite deep and takes up much of the space (about 34 quarts), and the other is smaller (about 14 quarts) and not as deep (as the compressor is housed below it). In total, the capacity is 48 quarts of volume. Realistically, that translates to several bottles of wine or Champagne or many, many bottles or cans of beer or soda or water or any beverage. Each of the compartments also has wire baskets to make it easier to take things in and out. 

I would like to see separate lids or covers for each compartment, particularly the smaller one if it is to be primarily used for freezing. Opening the main lid will “release” all of the built-up cooling. It would be nice to either be able to take things only out of the large or small storage without opening the other one.

Cooler open with two compartments - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

The smaller compartment can be used as a freezer or a secondary refrigerated compartment. Or, if you want the entire cooler to be a portable freezer, you can do that as well. Just remember that keeping stuff frozen takes more energy than keeping it cool. But also remember that the Newair Electric Cooler is also insulated, so you won’t be running the compressor 100% of the time. Instead, it will automatically regulate the set temperatures—more about that in the section below.

There are a few other features that I must mention. Since this cooler is electric, it only makes sense that there are LED lights inside it. Open the lid, and the lights automatically come on. Close it, and they shut off. This is extremely convenient at night!

LED interior lights - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Also, built inside the lid of the Newair cooler is a detachable cutting board. I could see my wife and me storing an assortment of cheese in the smaller compartment and wine in the larger compartment (each at different temperatures) and then removing the cutting board to have a wine and cheese party with friends on the go! By the way, if you don’t like the direction the lid opens, you can reverse it if you feel inspired. There are also some cup holders built into the top.

Cutting board (from lid) - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Lastly, and quite important to me as ALL of the other coolers I have DON’T have this feature…there is a built-in bottle opener into the side of the Newair cooler. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten a bottle opener and had to improvise.

Bottle opener - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Understanding and Using the Temperature Control Panel

While the Temperature Control Panel isn’t the most intuitive at first, your muscle memory will kick in once you understand which buttons to push at what times. The LCD panel has a lot of different controls that I recommend you review carefully. When the cooler is powered up, you can see the current temperatures of both storage compartments. You can set the temperature measurement to Fahrenheit or Celsius (I have mine set to Fahrenheit) using the settings button (that looks like a gear). 

Temperature Control Panel - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

To turn the cooler on, you press the power button on the right. To turn it off, you do have to hold the power button for about three seconds. And it is important to note you need to have the cooler connected to a power source to turn it on—more about how to power the Newair cooler is in the section below. 

To the left of the temperature display are two soft-touch buttons to raise or lower the temperature, as well as for other functions. By default, the larger compartment is the one you control initially, and you can raise or lower the temperature by pressing the + or – buttons. If you want to control the smaller storage compartment, you have to be in the “change temperature” mode, meaning you have to have just adjusted the temperature – then quickly press the settings button, and the other storage temperature will blink, and you can use the + or – buttons to adjust it. You can toggle back and forth between the storage units’ temperature control as you see fit.

Fridge & freezer temps independent - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Either storage compartment can be set between 68 degrees and -4 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives you a great range to simply keep things cool or to freeze them completely or keep them frozen. And as I said, the two storage units have two different temperatures.

When the Newair Electric Cooler is on and actively cooling, it will do its best to maintain the temperature you set. So, the cooler may sit quietly if the temperature has been reached, but if the monitored temp rises, the LG compressor will automatically kick on for a few minutes to bring the temperature back down.

The temperature control panel also allows you to set the cooling mode – Max or Eco. As the name implies, Max enables you to quickly reach the pre-set cooling level while Eco conserves energy. The Eco mode is advantageous if you are running purely on battery power.

Side view of Control Panel - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Lastly, from the Control Panel, you can control the settings for the Battery Protection Mode. The “battery,” in this case, is NOT just the battery you install into the cooler but also your car battery, for example. There are three protection modes: Low, Medium, and High. You have to hold the settings (gear) button for three seconds to enter this mode.

Vehicles output different voltage levels. So when connected to car, truck, or RV power, Newair recommends setting the protection mode to High. But for the portable battery or a backup battery, they recommend either the Medium or Low setting.

You should check the Control Panel to see if an error code is shown. If the F1 error is displayed, you need to lower the protection by one level (from H to M or M to L). This prevents the battery from being drained too quickly or entirely. This happened to me once when I was testing out the installed battery, and I had to lower it a level. The chart below shows the different levels and settings.

Cooler voltage chart

The easiest way to think about this is you set the battery protection to High if you want to ensure your car battery isn’t dead after a few hours of running. This is especially true if the Newair cooler continues to be powered AFTER you turn off your vehicle (some cars shut off the outbound power supply when the car is turned off). 

Ways to power the Newair Cooler

The Newair Electric Cooler can be powered in multiple ways. If you only get the cooler, you can only use the included wall plug (100~240V AV) or car plug (12V/24V DC). You can plug into either of these power sources, and everything will run fine (just remember, if you are plugged into your car, to set the appropriate battery protection level).

Included power cords - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

Also, if you have a large external battery, you can use that as a source of power as well. But, again, be sure you start with the High battery protection for that.

These three potential power sources give you a good variety of options; however, with the wall plug and car plug, you are tethered to a home or a vehicle. At least with a portable battery, you can move a bit more freely.

If you are going to be a bit more “off the grid,” you may want to consider the Newair Solar Generator Kit described below.

Power from the Sun with the Newair Solar Generator Kit

With the cooler, I also received the Newair Solar Generator Kit for review. If you plan to go camping or be somewhere where you will have many hours of direct sun, this is an option to consider seriously!

Cooler, solar panels, cords, battery - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

This Kit comes with two important items, a 100W portable and foldable solar panel, and a 173W removable and rechargeable Lithium battery. An important thing to note (which I didn’t realize until I had actually read the manual – I tend to just “do” and not read directions) is that you cannot power the Newair Electric Cooler by simply connecting the solar panel to the battery. There is simply not enough power from the solar panel to do that.

Battery and battery slot - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

However, the 173W removable/rechargeable battery is designed to clip into the cooler. And once you have the battery firmly in place, you can attach the solar panels, which will slowly charge the battery. The best times to charge with solar are between 9 am and 5 pm and when you have direct sunlight on the panels. You can adjust the angle of the portable panels to ensure they are directly pointing to the sun.

Solar panel folded - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

The solar panels fold in half and are secured by a velcro flap. There is also a comfortable handle to allow you to carry them easily. When you open them up, there are some legs that unfold to allow you to prop them open for the best angle to the sun. There is also a small pocket that holds the 9.8-foot DC cable. This is the cable you connect to the solar panels and the cooler to charge the battery.

Plugged in from solar panel - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

If you have the battery appropriately secured inside the cooler, the cord between the panel and the cooler properly connected, and the solar panel with a clear, non-shaded view of the sun, you will see the battery indicator on the cooler show that it is charging.

My recommendation is, if you have the Solar Generator Kit, just leave the battery in its compartment in the cooler. That way, when the cooler is plugged into your wall, vehicle, or solar, it will continually be charged.

Newair recommends that your charging input power be higher than the refrigerator’s working power (about 40-45W). This is because the max wattage produced by the solar panels is 100W, but the actual wattage depends on the sun conditions on the solar panel.

But, if you do the math, you can charge the battery AND run the cooler (off the battery) simultaneously.

A “Cool” Combo!

Hopefully, this detailed review and walkthrough of the Newair Electric Cooler and Solar Generator Kit will get your brain thinking about different scenarios on how to keep your beverages and food cool (or even frozen). While the cooler itself is not very lightweight, if you plug it into your car with the rechargeable battery installed, the cooler will be powered by your vehicle until you reach your destination (minutes or hours away), and hopefully, the inserted portable battery will be fully charged as well.

Beverages in large compartment - Newair electric cooler - HighTechDad review

As a test, I ran the cooler at around 39 degrees F for both compartments using only the battery. I did leave the cooler indoors, so the temperature outside the cooler was not extremely hot or cold. The battery ran through the entire night without much issue. Eco mode is probably the best way to go when on battery power.

So, in the same scenario mentioned above, imagine driving to a camping spot, charging the battery, running the cooler the entire way, then arriving at the campsite and running the cooler on the battery only. Then, the next day, unfolding the solar panels and re-charging (and cooling) throughout the day. You will probably run out of food and drink before you don’t have a warm cooler (unless you don’t have sunlight).

The Newair 48qt Portable 12v Electric Cooler retails for $399.00 and is available on Amazon for $411.85. And the Newair Solar Generator Kit retails for $499.99 (currently on sale for $449.99). Unfortunately, as of the writing of this review, it is not available on Amazon. While these are a bit pricey, they should be considered long-term investments and a great addition to your outdoor entertainment capabilities.

Coupon Code: At checkout on the Newair site, you can get 10% off your order by entering “HTD” without the quotes!

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The product shown below (and related products that have been reviewed on HighTechDad) is available within the HighTechDad Shop. This review has all of the details about this particular product and you can order it directly by clicking on the Buy button or clicking on the image/title to view more. Be sure to review other products available in the HighTechDad Shop.

As I mentioned, this portable electric cooler has many fantastic potential use cases, many of which I’m still thinking up. Of course, the obvious ones of camping or using in the backyard are perfect. However, there are many others you may want to consider. For example, nursing mothers who are pumping milk away from home can keep something like this near their desks at work or in their cars to ensure the milk is preserved. Or, if you go grocery shopping, you can put all of the perishable food into this cooler as you go from store to store, either running on battery or plugged into your car (or both). Personally, I like the idea of simply having a cool beverage close at hand in my home office or while watching a game (and my wife won’t yell at me for taking up the entire kitchen fridge with beer!).

Disclosure: I have a material connection because I received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

HTD says: Newair has the perfect, “cool” combo here with the 48qt electric cooler and the 100W solar panel with 173W rechargeable battery. This combination will allow you to keep food frozen and beverages chilled in almost any environment – from the backyard to camping to being on-the-go in your vehicle. These Newair products are a win-win!

HighTechDad Rating
  • Ease-of-Use
  • Family-Friendly
  • Price Point
  • Features
4

Summary

Newair has the perfect, “cool” combo here with the 48qt electric cooler and the 100W solar panel with 173W rechargeable battery. This combination will allow you to keep food frozen and beverages chilled in almost any environment – from the backyard to camping to being on-the-go in your vehicle. These Newair products are a win-win! While I did have to read the manual to fully understand the control panel and the appropriate settings based on the type of power I would be using (plugged into the wall, using a car plug, or using battery + solar), once I figured out how to set the temperature, I realized how great this electric cooler was for around the home, the backyard, or away from home in general. While the cooler is a bit heavy to be fully portable, two people can move a full cooler easily, and the rugged wheels and extending handle make it easy to move around. The operation is fairly quiet and LG compressor only turns on when the dual-zone-monitored temperature rises above the set temp. Running just the battery last many hours (of course this depends on the outside environment) but in my tests, beverages have remained quite cool based on the set temperature. Overall, the combination of Newair electric cooler plus the solar panels and detachable battery make this a perfect combo (and, NO MORE ICE)!

Pros

  • Dual compartments with independent temperature controls
  • Can freeze or cool
  • Plug into wall plug or car (dual voltage)
  • Solar panel and rechargeable/removable battery a great off-the-grid option
  • Quiet operation
  • Lots of room
  • Built-in bottle opener
  • Removable cutting board

Cons

  • A bit heavy – two people needed to carry
  • Control panel is a bit confusing until you read the manual
  • No separate lids for each compartment
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Global Product Review Disclosure

Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on HighTechDad. It does not apply to Automobile reviews and there are other exceptions. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. I may have a material connection because I may have received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this or other content. I was/am not expected to return the item after my review period. All opinions within this and other articles are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

About HighTechDad

Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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