Evaporative coolers go by several different names including swamp coolers, desert coolers, swamp boxes, and even wet air coolers. No matter what you call them, however, one thing is certain. These devices help to make areas that have high temperatures combined with low humidity a whole lot easier to tolerate. And for that simple fact, they’ll have a spot in a lot of people’s hearts forever.

Although these coolers are effective at keeping people comfortable, some of the units that are currently being manufactured are kind of bulky and hard to move around a home. And that’s why we’ve decided to do some research and find some more portable models. What we found are the following best portable evaporative coolers.

Top List of Best Portable Evaporative Coolers

#1. Hessaire MC37M Portable Air Cooler

This might not be the most portable cooler available, but it is the most portable model among the full-size evaporative coolers are available. That means that it provides cooling for up to 750 square feet of space, but is still easily moved from room-to-room or even used outdoors. This unit is made with an injection-molded UV case that makes suitable for outdoor use, and it has a 10.3-gallon water reservoir capacity that allows it to operate for hours at a time. All of these features come together to allow this unit to move up to 2,200 cubic feet of air per minute and make it the best portable evaporative cooler available.

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#2. Peodelk 9.5-Inch Mini Desktop Personal Cooler

When people first see this portable evaporative cooler, they often wonder how a unit that’s lightweight and is only 9.5-inches tall is capable of providing such a wonderful cooling effect. And all we can say to that is because it’s equipped with features that allow it to do its job quite efficiently. This model is equipped with a 420-ml water tank that provides up to 6-hours of cooling at a time and has an adjustable 120-degree wind outlet blade that allows the cool air to be directed exactly where it’s needed. It also features easy-to-use controls and a water shortage light that alerts the user when the water tank is empty.

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#3. Greats Sly Portable Personal Air Cooler

This evaporative cooler is small enough to carry from room to room or to be placed on a table, but it’s also more than powerful enough to provide the cooling that homeowners expect out of one of these desert coolers. It features 3 different wind speeds, has a 400-ml water tank, and humidifies the air as it cools it off. It also features a warm LED light that enables it to be used as a bedtime light. Another great feature found on this cooler is that it’s extremely energy efficient, so it won’t drive up the homeowner’s energy bills when they use it.

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#4. Hessaire Products MC18M Mobile Cooler

This mobile evaporative cooler is not only one of the most portable models on the market but is also one of the most powerful ones available. This model is capable of cooling a space up to 500 square feet in size and has fan oscillation so that it can reach more areas than traditional coolers. This model is also equipped with a 4.8-gallon water tank that doesn’t need to be refilled too frequently and it has three fan speeds so that the consumer can control their comfort level. Probably the best thing about this unit, however, is that it’s extremely energy efficient and only uses approximately 82-watts of electricity.

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#5. Portable Personal Space Mini Air Cooler

When it comes to portability, usually smaller is better, and that’s why this mini-evaporative cooler is such a good model for people to consider. It’s only 8.3-inches high and 5.1-inches wide, so it’s small enough that it can be placed virtually anywhere in a home. And because it has a convenient carry handle, it can be easily moved from one room to another. Another great feature found on this model is its LED mood light, which allows the cooler to be used as a bed or night light and is customizable in one of seven different colors. And because it has three-speed settings, it’s easy for the homeowner to set this cooler in a way that’s more conducive to the homeowner’s comfort level.

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#6. Honeywell 1540 Outdoor Portable Cooler

Most people are familiar with how evaporative coolers work. They know that they use a water tank and a fan to provide cool air to the person sitting near it. However, what some people don’t realize is that not every one of these coolers is limited by a water tank. Take this one, for instance. It’s designed so that a garden hose can be hooked up to it so that it can provide cool air outdoors on an almost continuous basis. That makes it a great tool to use for outdoor family gatherings, BBQs and other activities. That makes it a great outdoor portable evaporative cooler that fits in well with anyone’s backyard space.

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#7. SPT SF-612R Desert Cooler

This portable evaporative air cooler is designed to provide the consumer with a powerful tool against hot, dry air. This system uses a 3D honeycomb cooling pad that helps to enhance cooling performance, all while consuming less power than conventional desert coolers. This system is also equipped with computer control and an LED panel that makes it easy to operate. It’s also worth noting that this system has 3 different fan speeds that allow the consumer to customize it to their needs and a 7.5-hour off-timer that allows for virtually hands-free operation. All of these features and many more come together to make this a great portable cooler.

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#8. Honeywell Portable Swamp Cooler & Fan

Anyone who has sat on a lake during the hot summer months of August knows that although the summer air might be hot, the air that comes off of the lake is usually cool. And that’s because the air is cooled off by evaporative cooling as it passes over the lake on its way to the person sitting by the lake. It’s a process that’s called the lake effect. This system works in much the same way, using a water tank and a fan to deliver cooler air to the consumer. This system has very low energy consumption requirements but is capable of providing up to 729 cubic feet per minute of air to cool a person off. Thanks to this system, anyone can enjoy the lake effect in their home.

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#9. Luma Comfort Portable Evaporative Cooler

This portable swamp cooler is capable of cooling off space up to 250 square feet in size, and it’s all thanks to its ability to move up to 500 cubic feet of air per minute. It’s a unit that looks like a tower fan but acts like a fan, air cooler, and humidifier all-in-one. This fan is equipped with 3 different speeds and wind modes, it oscillates for more complete coverage, and it is capable of lowering indoor temperatures by as much as 30-degrees Fahrenheit in some instances. It’s the perfect tool for providing the consumer with some much-needed comfort, especially in hot and dry climates.

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#10. Frigidaire Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

This 2-in-1 swamp cooler allows anyone to take control of the climate around their personal space. It features a 1.8-gallon water tank that’s easy to refill, has a wide oscillation cover that allows it to service a larger area, and it has 4 different speed settings that allow the consumer to set it according to their preferences. This model also features 3 different colling modes, easy-glide casters for moving it about the home, and a handle that allows it to be carried. it even comes with a remote that allows it to be operated from across the room. That makes this air cooler and fan perfect use by just about anyone.

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Unsure? Here are some suggestions directly from Amazon:

A Guide To Portable Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are great devices for providing a bit of cool air for people who live in hot and/or humid environments. Unfortunately, although most of the portable evaporative coolers available are great, there are a few models that we wouldn’t recommend to anyone. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide on buying the best portable evaporative coolers available. It’s a guide that we hope will help our readers avoid the “clunkers” and choose the ones that will best serve their home and their needs. 

Choose A Evaporative Cooler Type

The first thing that the consumer is going to want to consider is whether they need a residential model or a commercial model. Residential models are by their nature designed to be portable and to provide spot cooling where needed in the home. They usually have caster wheels and carrying handles that make moving it from one place to another a lot easier. Commercial models, on the other hand, are larger and are designed to cover large areas. These models are usually also equipped with a GFCI or ALCI plug that allows them to be used in wet or outdoor conditions. 

The Size Of The Cooler

The next thing that the consumer is going to want to think about is the size of the cooler needed. If the cooler has a rating that’s too small for the space being cooled, then it’s simply not going to do an adequate job of cooling. On the other hand, if the cooler is too large for the space used, then it’s just a waste of money and electricity. That’s why it’s important to choose the size that’s appropriate for the space. 

To determine the size of the cooler needed to cool a particular room, it’s important for the consumer to do some calculations and figure out the cooler’s CFM, or Cubic-Feet-Per-Minute. The CFM tells the consumer how much fresh air is cycled through the room every minute. 

To figure out the CFM needed for a particular room the consumer is going to need to take the square footage of the room, multiply it by the ceiling height and then divide it by the air changed recommended each hour—which is 30 air changes per hour. And then divide it again by the number of minutes in an hour to get the CFM. 

For example, if the consumer has a 500 square-foot room with 8-foot ceilings then they’re going to 500×8=4,000 cubic feet. Now take that 4,000 cubic-feet and multiply it by 30 (number of air exchanges). That equals 120,000. Now take that number and divide it by 60-minutes. What you end up with 2,000 CFM. 

Consider The Water Tank Capacity

It’s also important for the consumer to consider the size of the evaporative water tank as well. The consumer isn’t going to purchase a cooler with a small water tank if they’re cooling a large room or they’ll just end up having to add more water to it continuously. The consumer is also not going to want to get a model with a large water tank for a small room because the water will go stagnate before it has a chance of being used. Below are some typical evaporative water cooler tank sizes, so our readers can find out what might be suitable for their needs. 

1-3 Gallon Capacity

This size water tank is suitable for small areas such as small offices, kitchens, or smaller-size bedrooms. 

3-7 Gallon Capacity

This water tank size is best for the average-size living room, for dens, or for enclosed porches.

7-12 Gallon Capacity

This capacity water tank works well for large rooms. These include large living rooms and bedrooms, or for cooling several smaller rooms together. 

12-16 Gallon Capacity

These coolers are designed for very large spaces. This includes patios, pool areas, or large decks. This size cooler is mostly used less in indoor spaces and more in outdoor spaces. 

Above 16-Gallons

The final water tank capacity to think about are the ones over 16-gallons. These are far from being portable evaporative coolers, however, and fall more into the commercial-use category. These are the size coolers most likely to be found at manufacturing plants, sports fields, and aircraft hangars. 

Consider Additional Evaporative Cooler Features

Although we’ve covered quite a few things so far in this guide, it’s time to talk about some of the features that the consumer might want to consider when they’re searching for a new portable evaporative cooler. Not all of the following features are going to be needed or even wanted by consumers, but our readers should still give them some thought before deciding to accept them or dismiss them. After all, some people are going to find some of the features quite useful.

Ice Compartment

An ice compartment is a nice feature to have and allows the cooler to blow even colder air. 

Multiple Speed Settings

Most people want a cooler that allows them to have more control over it than simply having an on/off switch. Having multiple speed settings allows the consumer to choose the one that best suits the conditions and their needs. 

Louvre Oscillation

Another feature that some people might want to at least think about is oscillating louvers. This feature allows air to be distributed over a wider area than one that just blows cold air in one direction. 

Remote Control

Remote control is a feature that some people definitely want and other people can do without. If the consumer finds themselves wishing they could turn the cooler on or off from the comfort of their deck chair, then they’re probably going to want to choose a model that allows remote control operation.

Some Final Features:

Below are just a few more features that people might want to think about and most of them require little to no explanation.

  • Digital Controls
  • A Built-In Timer
  • Air Filtration System
  • Easy-To-Fill Reservoir