Zero Breeze Mark II Portable Air Conditioner (2022): Campsite Cooler

Back in 2019, as a part of my overview of the Zero Breeze Mark II transportable AC unit, I invoked the sacred identify of Tim Curry and one in all his most improbable roles, Herkermer Homolka, within the 1995 camp traditional Congo. (“It’s the lost city of Zinj. Which I have looked for all my life.”) Never thoughts the speaking gorilla and the fist-sized diamonds simply mendacity round on the bottom within the jungle, for me this was a film about the way to keep cool once you’re out within the boonies.

As I commented three years in the past, the Zero Breeze Mark II was a partial manifestation of the transportable air conditioners seen in that movie. But at 26 kilos with the battery hooked up, and at a value of $1,599, the cumbersome machine wasn’t sensible for informal or cell use. It was finest suited to extra stationary pursuits comparable to cooling enclosed truck beds or everlasting constructions like a scorching she-shed.

Recently the corporate reached out to me to say that issues had modified with the Mark II, that the Mark II unit I initially reviewed was really a prototype, and that the ultimate model is waaaaay higher now. “In the future, the new generation of off-grid air conditioners will be more efficient and used in more scenarios,” wrote a imprecise and anonymous rep on the firm. “Now, we’re very happy that Mark II is not only being used for RVs, truck stops, campers, etc., but we’re also getting feedback from very specific people.”

I don’t know what any of meaning, however I did say I’d have a look at the up to date product to see what has transpired with it over time.

In the grand scheme of issues, not lots. This isn’t a Zero Breeze Mark III however somewhat a Zero Breeze Mark II.1 launch, with some minor beauty upgrades and a smattering of latest options that enhance its utility. Otherwise, it’s just about the identical product as earlier than.

Let’s begin with what hasn’t modified a lot. The general design stays equivalent, a silvery tackle-box-meets-snowblower design that also measures roughly 20 by 13 by 8 inches. A large 35-Ah/840-Wh battery attaches to the underside of the machine for taking it on the go. As with the unique Mark II, the battery nonetheless needs to be wired to the blower with a small pigtail cable, a baffling and unnecessary complexity. When I weighed the system with its battery again in 2019, I received a complete weight of 26 kilos. Today’s weigh-in got here in at a stunning 30 kilos, which is even 1.5 kilos heavier than the unit’s said specs.

As for the adjustments, the largest is seen proper once you unbox it: The new Mark II can nonetheless function and not using a battery by its A/C adapter, however you not want a second energy adapter to cost the battery. The similar energy adapter can function each units. No, you continue to can’t cost the battery and function the air conditioner on the similar time, however eliminating the necessity for 2 separate adapters is a superb repair.

A pair of latest equipment come within the field, together with a drain tube so condensation doesn’t drip throughout your tent and a 3rd extendable air flow pipe along with the unique pair. Two of those pipes can be utilized to route scorching exhaust to the outside; the brand new third pipe attaches to the chilly air output and allows you to direct it elsewhere, so that you don’t have to take a seat proper subsequent to the (nonetheless loud however perhaps a bit quieter) Mark II with a view to be within the cool air blast zone. The battery pack additionally features a USB-C port for charging private units, along with two USB-A ports and a 12-volt DC socket.

But one of the best information is the Zero Breeze nonetheless works fairly properly, although I couldn’t discern any actual purposeful distinction from earlier than. If you don’t thoughts the noise, the system can blast chilly air at a fairly wholesome clip, and the smaller the house, the simpler the cooling is. A thermostat on the entrance shows the temperature of air popping out of the unit, and it dips under 60 levels Fahrenheit surprisingly rapidly. Battery life seems to have improved barely, based mostly on my testing with the brand new unit. I ran the unit off a completely charged cell and received over 4 hours of operating time at most energy earlier than the unit began to peter out, in comparison with about 3½ hours on the 2019 unit. Dial down the output stage and you may stretch the operating time fairly a bit, in fact.

All of which brings us to the massive query, and it’s the identical one as earlier than: Who’s going to make use of this factor? Glamping sounds way more tolerable when local weather management is on the desk, however a lot much less tolerable when your yurt is full of the equal noise of a few hair dryers. The $100 worth minimize since 2019, not less than, reduces a few of the sting attributable to all of the racket.

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