ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 Review: Battery-Powered Portable Air Conditioner

ZERO BREEZE Mark 2

8.5

Overall Design

9.0/10

Cooling Effectiveness

8.5/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Coverage Area

8.0/10

Pros

  • Relatively lightweight and portable design.
  • Multiple operating modes.
  • Can install and use just about anywhere.
  • Battery doubles as a power bank for charging devices.
  • Uses very little energy considering its effectiveness.

Cons

  • Not suitable for large areas.
  • Quite expensive.
  • Must run ducting outside and condensation tube into separate container.

As human beings, we spend a lot of time and effort just on being comfortable. Think of your energy bill, for example. If you’re like most people, the lion’s share of that money is going to your heating and air conditioning. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We all want to be at a comfortable temperature, and good heating and cooling makes for a cozy home. But there’s only so much you can do to control your environment. Unless you want to spend your entire life indoors, you’ll encounter all kinds of temperatures. So how do you stay as comfortable as possible when you’re on the move?

People have come up with all kinds of solutions. Air conditioner units have been standard in cars for decades, for example. You can take advantage of natural features in the environment. For instance, when you’re having a picnic, you can set up under a shady tree. Similarly, you can set up your tent under a tree when you’re camping. Some people even bring swamp coolers to keep tents and other enclosed spaces cool. But swamp coolers have to be periodically loaded with ice, which isn’t always practical. If you want to stay as cool as possible, a compact, portable air conditioner is the way to go.

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Today, we’re going to review the ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner. This is a personal air conditioner that’s designed to be as compact as possible. It can be installed on a car, boat, or camper, or even used in a tent. It can be plugged into the wall or run on its own battery power.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

But how well does it perform, and how much area can it cool? More to the point, how does it vent heat and drain condensation? To get a complete picture of this portable A/C unit, we’ll need to take a much closer look at its features. We’ll start with the physical design, and how it’s put together. We’ll talk about installation, and where it can be used. Additionally, we’ll go over the cooling efficiency, as well as the battery life. At that point, we’ll have enough information to render our final verdict. Let’s begin!

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Overall Design

The ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner has a modular, two-part design. It consists of the main A/C housing, along with an optional battery base. The A/C unit itself is 20 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 11 inches high, and weighs 16.5 pounds. That’s not terribly big or heavy, and there’s a handle built into the top of the housing. As a result, it’s easy enough to carry around, as long as you’re not trekking for miles into the woods.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The battery module measures 20 inches long, 8.6 inches wide, and only 2.3 inches thick. At 12 pounds, however, it weighs as much as the main unit. Even so, it can often be worth taking with you. We’ll talk more about the battery module later on.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The main unit is mostly grey, with black front and back panels. It has a sloped design, with intake and outflow vents at the shorter, back end. On the taller, front end, the blower vent points up at an angle. The vent is an attractive silver color, with an oblong shape and plenty of room for air flow. Right in the center, there’s a little LCD temperature readout. This can be set to Fahrenheit or Centigrade, so it can be used anywhere in the world.

The handle is broad and comfortable to hold. On the top, towards the front, there’s a vertical row of four indicator lights, which display the current battery level. In front of the handle, there’s a set of control buttons, which are designed to be operated with your thumb.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The three primary buttons are larger, and consist of a power button and temperature up and down controls. In front of those is a row of additional buttons for performing secondary functions. You can turn the A/C compressor off altogether and use the Mark 2 as a fan. You can change the fan speed, or put the unit into its quieter sleep mode.

This air conditioner has a weather-resistance rating of IPX4. This makes it splash-proof, but not waterproof. You can walk through the rain, or wipe it down with a damp rag without damaging it. But you wouldn’t want to leave it out in a downpour, or permanently mount it anywhere outdoors.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The battery module is almost all black, and is designed to act as a base. When you’re using it, the Mark 2 will sit on top, and it will look like it’s all one piece. On the front of the battery, to the left, there’s a barrel-style port for charging via the AC charger. There’s also a USB Type-C output, a pair of USB Type-A ports, and a black power button.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The kit includes everything you need to get started. There are collars, hoses, and a drainage tube for assembly. There’s an AC power adapter to plugging into a wall outlet or inverter. There’s even a little infrared remote that can do anything you can do on the control panel.

ZERO-BREEZE-Mark-2-holding-in-hand

How Does it Work?

When an air conditioner operates, it actually produces heat. The motor and compressor heat up, which causes a basic design problem. You can’t just set an air conditioner in the middle of the room and let it run. It will actually create more heat than it removes from the air, and make things hotter.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Instead, air conditioners are designed to vent heat to the outside. In a central air conditioner, this all happens outdoors. Air from your house gets pumped to the A/C unit, where it blows over the cooling coils. These coils suck heat out of the air, which is blown into your house. Meanwhile, the refrigerant is kept cool by fans, which blow air over it.

For a portable A/C to work, you somehow need to replicate this process. The ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 is designed with a set of three vent tubes, which are adjustable and flexible. These attach by screwing into black collars, which themselves get screwed on over the air vents.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The two back vents are designed to exchange air with the outside. One brings air in and draws it over the coils. The other expels the hot air, along with the motor heat, to the outside. The front tube can be used to direct the stream of cold air from the vent. Or, it can be left off, if you’re happy with where the vent itself is pointed.

Run the two back tubes through a window or tent flap, and you’re ready to go. As long as they’re exchanging air with the outside, the A/C will work just fine. The dual-vent design won’t create any negative or positive pressure in your tent, car or other enclosure. You also get a foam adapter with the battery pack, which can be used to fit the tubes to your window.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

In addition, all air conditioners produce condensation, which needs to be drained somehow. Central air conditioners and window units just let this water drip outside. The Mark 2 uses a little hose, which you can run outside along with the air tubes.

This design makes the air conditioner exceptionally versatile. It can be used for cooling a car or truck cab when your motor isn’t running. It can be installed in a boat, to keep you cool while you’re cruising. You can use it in a tent or a small lean-to, or even as an outdoor personal cooler. Just point the vent at yourself and enjoy the flow of cool air. Then again, if that’s all you need, you can save a lot of money by opting for a battery-powered outdoor fan.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Cooling Effectiveness

The ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 uses the latest compressor technology to provide a ton of power in a small package. Instead of a big, beefy A/C compressor, this one is tiny, about the size of a Coke can. This is how ZERO BREEZE was able to make such a small, lightweight air conditioner.

ZERO-BREEZE-Mark-2-compressor

Then again, this cutting edge technology comes at a steep price. If you want to save money, you can opt for a swamp cooler. They’re typically easy to use, and come at an affordable price. However, they’re nowhere near as powerful as the Mark 2 or a real air conditioner.

So, how much power are we talking about? This air conditioner has a power rating of 2,300 BTU. By comparison, the smallest home window A/C units are around 5,000 BTU, and the largest around 12,000. As a result, the Mark 2’s capabilities are more modest than anything you’d use at home.

In general, it’s most effective in spaces of 40 square feet or less. Again, we’re talking about tents, cars, and other small spaces. Within these confines, it’s very effective, and it’s also reasonably quiet. On its loudest setting, it produces only 52dB of sound, which is quieter than ordinary speech. In other words, you won’t have to raise your voice to have a conversation around it.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 can be set to anywhere from 32 to 140℉ (0-60℃). In all honesty, that’s way more range than you’re ever going to need, but it’s good to have options. Not only that, but you can choose between four different fan speeds. Higher settings are a bit louder, but spread the air around more efficiently. On the highest setting, you can feel a distinct rush of air from around six feet away. This isn’t normally necessary, and it will drain your battery faster. Normally, using the second or third setting will give you plenty of air circulation.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Battery, Power, and Extras

Even the best air conditioner is no good if you don’t have any way to power it. Thankfully, the Mark 2 has no shortage of power. For one thing, you can run it directly from a wall outlet or inverter.

While the Mark 2 has limited applications around the house, you might want to run it in your truck or camper. In that case, inverter power makes a lot of sense. The compressor runs on only 240 watts, which is exceptionally low for any air conditioner. As a result, you don’t need a full-powered 15-amp circuit. However, if the air conditioner is powered directly by the inverter, the current required is 25A (240W/12V=20A).

Zero Breeze Mark 2

The Mark 2 is available as a standalone machine, or with one or two batteries. If you decide later on that you want a battery, you can also order individual battery modules. Each module provides around 3-6 hours of use. The exact performance can vary widely, depending on how hard you’re working the compressor.

If it’s very hot outside, your compressor will kick in more often and the battery won’t last as long. If it’s relatively cool out, the compressor will kick in less often, and the battery will last longer. A dead battery can be fully charged in only six hours from any wall outlet.

In addition to powering the air conditioner, the Mark 2’s battery pack can also double as a power bank. With an 840Wh capacity, it can charge the average smartphone dozens of times. The USB Type-A ports are ever so slightly under-powered, delivering 10 watts instead of a standard 12. On the other hand, the Type-C port is a PD port, and can deliver up to 45 watts.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Final Verdict

The ZERO BREEZE Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner is an innovative device with a lot to recommend it. Whereas most air conditioners are heavy, this one is lightweight and portable. It’s great for cooling tents, parked cars, and other small spaces, even in extreme heat conditions. And with the optional battery modules, you can use it off-grid without any issues.

All in all, this is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that’s incredibly useful. Sure, it comes at a steep price, but it’s entirely justified, being that there’s literally nothing else like it available.

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