Zero Breeze burst into the camping space with the promise of an air conditioner that was lightweight and effective. The innovative and unique product gained quick popularity and has found many takers. However, things haven’t exactly been as rosy as would be expected from a ground-breaking product.
In this Zero Breeze review, we’ll discuss what this innovative camping air conditioner has going for it. Also, what it lacks. Should you buy this self-proclaimed “world’s coolest portable AC”? Well, let’s find out!
This review is about the Zero Breeze Mark 2. Though considering the scope, several facets of the Zero Breeze Mark I are covered as well.
Zero Breeze Portable Air Conditioner Pros And Cons
- Acceptable cooling in a small, confined area
- Can work with batteries
- Includes heat exhausts
- Can function via remote control
- Battery can be used to power other devices
- Very expensive (even as compared to traditional AC units)
- Heavy enough to call its portability into question
- Large compared to its competitors
- Cumbersome to set up and operate
Features And Usability Of The Zero Breeze Portable AC
Aesthetics And Design
Most people are sold on the looks and overall design of the Zero Breeze. Mark 1 looked cool, Mark 2 looks better. It looks like a small powerhouse that will cool things down and look awesome doing it. Going by the images and promotional videos, this is the compact, portable AC that every camp-goer wants.
Good things aren’t so easy to come by, and so let’s head to reality. The AC does look good, but it’s not all that portable or sleek. Zero Breeze Mark 2 measures about 20 x 13 x 8 inches, which isn’t in the neighborhood of a small AC. It also has a substantial weight, clocking 17 pounds on the scale.
That’s not including the large battery and adaptor you have to carry along for this “portable” AC. Count those in, and the package bulks up to a substantial 23+ pounds.
It has a very supercar-like look at the back, while the front shows off a powerful fan that should get right into the cooling action. But more on that later.
Zero Breeze Mark 2 has good aesthetics. The design is okay-ish. However, the most impressive are the actors/models in the promotional video who can manage to pull off walking with this heavy AC and make it look effortless!
Zero Breeze Mark 2 Cooling Power And Function
How does it perform on cooling? Zero Breeze Mark 2 lays claim to 2,300 BTU for cooling. In comparison, Mark 1 had 1,100 BTU on offer. The higher cooling power bodes well for this device, though a lot still depends on ambient power.
Also, note that the capacity is much lower than regular run-off-the-mill air conditioners. You could probably use a window AC or a portable AC and get higher output. For comparison, several conventional ACs offer 5000 BTUs, while many have 10,000 BTU available as well.
Though the Zero Breeze Mark 2 doesn’t offer the same cooling, it seems to do fairly well in its avowed purpose. The air output temperature stays in the range of 50s, maybe 60s (Fahrenheit), and keeps cool air flowing.
For a small tent, like a 4 or 5-person tent and lower, this can work just fine. To be honest, even five person tents might be pushing it. On the other hand, large tents won’t see much use for this AC. You certainly can’t use it in the open (as shown in some promotional material). Well, you can, but the Zero Breeze is pretty much a small fan in that setting.
A small, enclosed space is where it works best. So yeah, your small tent can benefit from this cooling.
There are two vents on the rear of the AC. One pulls in ambient air, the other pushes out hot air. It won’t make much sense to continue circulating the same hot air. To that end, you can (and should) use the included extendable exhaust hoses to push the exhaust out.
Collected Water, Dehumidifier, And Battery Power
AC units often collect water. Most portable ACs require the user to manually clear the water container or run a hose to move water out. The original Zero Breeze did a terrible job at this and things often ended in spills. Zero Breeze air conditioner reviews made it clear that the device does a terrible job at managing water.
To be fair to this AC, you can also find plenty of reviews where people are gushing over this device. I don’t agree with them, but it won’t do to ignore them either.
Zero Breeze Mark 2 is slightly better in this regard. At the very least, you won’t have a puddle inside your tent. This one includes a dehumidifier mode as well, and makes it easier to remove the collected water.
One of the major buying points of this device is that it is battery powered. It has also been the source of several Zero Breeze complaints. The original model barely lasted a couple of hours on the battery. For practical use, this is a terrible timeline. You’d be out of power before your tent even got anywhere near feeling comfortable.
Zero Breeze Mark 2 does slightly better. The battery can last around three hours, often more than that. It’s still not enough, but using two batteries is a viable solution in this scenario. The battery is expensive. It has a list price of $800 (discount price $650) at the time of writing.
It’s slightly cheaper if you buy the air conditioner and batteries as a combo, but still insanely expensive. Price tag for AC and 2 batteries is listed at $2099!
However, if you’re prepared to buy the white elephant that is Zero Breeze, you’re prepared to feed it too!
Portable AC Zero Breeze Mark 2 In Use – Salient Points
Charging And Direct Use Of Your AC
When running, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is placed over its battery. As you can guess, the battery is large and pretty much covers the entire base of the AC. It’s fairly thick too and adds to the bulkiness of the whole setup. A wire runs from the AC to the battery and should be properly secured before using the AC.
You cannot charge the battery while it’s powering the Zero Breeze Mark 2. Instead, it needs to be attached to its own adapter. Quite like the battery, the adapter is something of a giant too.
You can run Zero Breeze portable air conditioner from direct power, without using batteries. But that too needs another, as large an adapter for use. Yup, the battery adapter and the direct power adapter are entirely different, humongous beasts.
Noise And General Use
The company claims Zero Breeze Mark 2 is quiet in its operation. That’s simply not true.
It’s a noisy AC that leaves no room for doubt. It whirrs, and sputters, and does all those noisy things you can expect from ACs. I’d say it’s noisier than most conventional portable air conditioners.
It goes relatively quiet if you move to the low power mode. This mode will also allow the battery to run longer. The tradeoff is that the unit is pretty much a fan at this point.
Another feature the Mark 2 offers, is that it allows the battery to be used as a power source for your gadgets – smartphones, tablets, etc. The 12V DC outlet can come in handy for several occasions. But remember, the battery backup here isn’t all that great. If you intend to use it for your AC, I’ll suggest against using this battery as a power bank.
Where To Buy Zero Breeze
The best place to buy Zero Breeze is the company website. Mark 1 is available for sale as well. The company made the portable AC available on Amazon for a while and got (predictably) hit by low ratings. It isn’t available on Amazon anymore, and I doubt it will show up there any time soon. But hey, things can happen, so maybe it will show up there someday!
What’s The Bottom Line — Our Recommendation
When it was first introduced, Zero Breeze made a big splash with a very successful crowdfunding campaign. However, the product doesn’t quite seem to have lived up to expectations. While Zero Breeze Mark 2 is decidedly better than the previous model, it isn’t superior to conventional portable ACs.
Our Zero Breeze review sees it as expensive, heavy, loud, and cumbersome. There isn’t much by way of value for money, and its usability remains limited. I don’t recommend buying this.