Thanks to its battery-powered air conditioner design, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is a truly portable air conditioner.
We've reviewed portable air conditioners on this site, but their portability is limited. You can only move them from one room to another.
In contrast, you can travel with the Zero Breeze portable AC wherever you want, whether in your camping tent, at the beach, in an RV, or at the office. It's designed to cool on the move.
The best part is that Zero Breeze is a real air conditioner. Which means it has a compressor, just like larger portable AC.
You are probably wondering how long a battery can power a compressor-driven air conditioner. The 630Wh capacity battery powers the AC for about 5 hours - but can last through the night if you select sleep mode.
It also comes with an AC adapter if you want continuous cooling.
In terms of cooling performance, the Zero Breeze battery powered portable air conditioner is as good as you can expect from a unit this compact. Zero made many efficiency and performance improvements from the Zero Breeze Mark 1. The Mark 2 definitely cools faster and can cover a larger area.
That said, Zero Breeze battery powered AC is not a large room cooler. It works best for small spaces measuring 20-40 sq. Ft. in size, such as a tent, where it can lower temperature by as much as 30 degrees.
But you can also use it as a personal area cooler beside your bed, on your desk or outdoors.
So how much do you have to pay for the convenience of a truly portable AC?
The current price for the Mark 2 is $800 – and that's without the battery (but the AC adapter is included).
Adding a battery will cost you $300. As such, the Mark 2 is quite a bit more expensive than portable ACs that can cool an entire room.
So - if you really need a truly portable tent, boat or RV air conditioner: is the Zero Breeze worth it?
That's what we'll find out in this in-depth Zero Breeze Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner review.
NOTE: If you need a portable AC for your home, see our reviews of the best portable air conditioners. If you need an air purifier, then check out our reviews of the best HEPA air purifiers and the best air purifiers for smoke.
1. Battery or AC Powered
What makes the Zero Breeze air conditioner truly portable is that it can run on battery power. This gives you the option to take it out into the wild, away from power outlets.
If you do a lot of camping or spend a lot of time outdoors, the Zero Breeze was designed for you.
The 630Wh battery delivers about 5 hours of cooling. If you switch to the less power-hungry sleep mode, you can get a full night of cooling.
If you are planning to be gone for a few days, you'll need to either buy several batteries or find a way to recharge the AC while on the go (you can use a solar generator or your car's cigarette lighter socket).
If you want continuous cooling without worrying about battery life, connect the included AC adapter to an outlet. It's handy if you are using Zero Breeze at home or in an office.
In fact, the basic Zero Breeze offers an AC adapter as the only power option. You'll have to spend more to get the version with a battery.
2. 2300 BTUs Cooling Power
Air conditioners are sized by BTUs. A 5,500 BTU portable AC can cool a small room under 150 square feet while a 14,000 BTU unit can cool a $500-$700 sq. Ft. Room.
In comparison, Zero Breeze's 2,300 BTUs are on the lower end. But that's not a problem since the Zero Breeze is not designed to be a room cooler.
It's meant for cooling small areas of about 20 to 40 square feet. Think a camping tent or the back of an RV. The manufacturer' recommended cooling space is a 3-person tent measuring 70.9" x 82.7" x 40.9".
It also works great as a personal area cooler. Set it on a desk or next to your bed and face the vents in your direction. The unit will blow a cool stream of air towards you.
You can even use it outdoors, but you have to be really close to the vents to feel the cool breeze.
Despite the limited cooling coverage, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 cooling performance is pretty good. Because it has a compressor just like large portable ACs, it cools effectively and quickly.
Within 10 minutes, you'll notice a difference. The manufacturer says it can drop the temperature by as much as 30F.
3. Dual Hose
One of the improvements in the Mark 2 was the introduction of a dual hose venting system. The Zero Breeze Mark 1 has a single hose.
In a dual hose system, one hose takes the hot air out of the room (or tent) while another takes air from outside for cooling.
This prevents the negative pressure problem common with single-hose portable AC. Negative pressure, which occurs when an AC pulls air for cooling from inside the room, can cause hot outdoor air to get back into the room.
A dual-hose system like Zero Breeze Mark 2 increases cooling efficiency and allows Zero Breeze to cool a larger area in less time using less power.
Don't worry, having two hoses doesn't make the setup more difficult. In fact, the Zero Breeze doesn't require any serious setup. Just clip the hose adapter to the unit then extended the hoses until they are poking out of the tent.
4. Built-in Dehumidifier
If your excuse for not going to camping is that the tent gets hot and humid, the Zero Breeze portable air conditioner will get you camping again.
It can cool and dehumidify at the same time, similar to large portable AC. Like the cooling function, the dehumidifier is limited in coverage and capacity. It'll only remove a few ounces of water a day.
Zero Breeze has a small internal tank that holds about an hour or two's worth of condensed humidity.
To drain the tank, simply tilt the AC backward. Alternatively, use the included drain pipe to set up continuous drainage, so you never have to think about manually draining the AC.
5. Lightweight and Compact
The Zero Breeze Mark 2 weighs only 14lbs. Unlike 50lb' portable' ACs, you can actually carry it by hand.
It is also small enough to fit in the trunk of a car or on the floor between the seats. With tent space already being limited, you'll be glad for the Zero Breeze's compact size.
6. Smartphone Charging+ LED Lamp
The Zero Breeze Mark 2 doubles up as a power bank. It has three USB ports: two USB-A and one USB-C. You can charge your smartphone and other small devices.
Keep in mind though that charging devices will reduce battery life (if you are running the AC on battery), reducing the amount of cooling time you'll get.
Another bonus feature we love is the bright LED lamp that's integrated into the AC. It's a useful addition to campers.
The biggest limitation of the Zero Breeze AC is performance. Compared to conventional portable ACs, it cools a very small area.
It doesn't work as a room cooler. Even a small room won't cool down properly if you are using Zero Breeze.
This limits the versatility of the unit. You can only use it in small spaces like a camping tent, RV, or car.
Another limitation is the battery. While it provides the convenience of easy portability, it limits you to just 5 hours of cooling. If you love camping for days and you have no way to recharge the AC, Zero Breeze won't work for you.
Zero Breeze is also loud. The noise can be especially distracting in the close confines of a tent. Thankfully, sleep mode is acceptably quiet though it does reduce cooling power.
There's also the matter of price.
The Zero Breeze Mark 2 is expensive, especially when you consider it costs more than large AC units that output four or five times the cooling power.
The likely reason for the high price tag is the intensive R & D that went into creating a compact compressor air conditioner. Hopefully, the price will come down for future versions as the company spends less on manufacturing.
Zero Breeze Mark 1 vs. Mark 2
The Mark 1 was the original Zero Breeze. The company crowdfunded its development and manufacturing.
Some of the improvements in Mark 2 include more BTUs (faster cooling and bigger coverage), a new dual hose vent system, an IR remote control, and a longer blowing distance.
The Zero Breeze Mark 2 is also bigger, heavier, and uses more power.
Zero Breeze Mark 2 vs. Mark 2 Plus vs. Mark 2 Plus Extra
If you head over to Zero Breeze's official website, you'll find three versions of the unit. The difference is in the accessories included with each unit.
The basic Mark 2 lacks a battery. Mark 2 Plus comes with a battery and a power cord to charge it. Mark 2 Plus Extra comes with two batteries and two power cords for those who need longer cooling time.
You can also buy a battery separately. It'll cost you $500.
The Zero Breeze has one huge advantage over larger ACs: you can carry it with you.
If you need the power of a compressor AC on the go, Zero Breeze is currently the best product in the market.
Granted, it's not perfect. Battery life could be better and the company needs to work on reducing noise level. Not to mention the high price tag.
But we still think it is the best portable AC choice for campers, boaters, truckers and road trip enthusiasts.