Arctos Portable AC Reviews

Arctos Portable AC
( 38 reviews )

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The Arctos Portable AC is a small, relatively inexpensive air conditioner that can easily be moved from room to room.

However, with a website thin on details and full of gimmicky sales tactics, customers are right to wonder if this product is legit or just another fly-by-night scam.  

Below we take a in depth look at Arctos and their air cooler to see if it’s worth the investment.

How Does It Work?

The idea behind Arctos air conditioner is not new and is known as an evaporative cooler - commonly referred to as a swamp cooler.

Evaporative coolers use a combination of air flow and moisture to provide a cooling effect, and have grown in popularity as alternatives to window units or large portable vented units in homes without central air.

Traditional air conditioner options are more expensive and use much more energy than the simple fan based evaporative coolers such as Arctos.  

With no necessary refrigerants, these fans recirculate the air in a room across a wet pad.  This humidified air is then blown back out to create a cooling effect.

Do Evaporative Coolers Actually Work?

The answer is yes and no.  The biggest factor to their effectiveness is their location.  If you live in a humid region, swamp coolers, as the name implies, will simply add moisture to an already muggy atmosphere.

One test estimated that for every 1 degree temperature decrease they add 2-3% to the room’s humidity.  Conversely, a traditional air conditioner actually removes moisture from the air.

The Department of Energy states that portable evaporative coolers installed in windows can reduce the temperature of a single room by 5-15 degrees in moderate climates.

It’s important to note however, that most of the testing on these types of coolers is done on larger units.
Experts recommend choosing an evaporative cooler based on its CFM (cubic feet per meter) rating, and most recommend a device capable of 750 CFM for a 250 sq. ft. room.  This rating gives a rough idea of how much air the unit will move.

You would also want one with a large water reservoir, in order to be able run the unit continuously without having to refill it.

When it comes to the Arctos Portable AC, there is no spec data listed on their website, which makes it hard to gauge its capabilities.

Arctos do state in their FAQ sections that they recommend one Arctos unit per person to be placed in their personal area.  This leads us to believe that they are not very powerful and most likely would not effectively cool an entire room.

Customer Reviews & Complaints

At this time it’s difficult to find genuine user feedback for the Arctos Air Cooler. 

Search results for customer reviews are saturated with affiliate websites promoting the company's products under the guise of impartial reviews.  However, they are simply there to redirect you back to the order page for the product and earn a commission.

Genuine unbiased customer reviews get crowded out by these affiliate marketing websites, making it difficult for potential customers who are searching for honest feedback.

However, you can find reviews for the parent company Ontel, which has been in business for many years as a wholesaler of “As Seen on TV" type products.

They have a B rating with the BBB, but are not accredited and currently have a customer rating of 1/5 from 37 reviews.


It's fair to note that Arctos is marketed as a personal cooler, so one shouldn’t expect it to cool down an entire room or larger space.


Google reviews for Ontel are nearly as poor, with a 2/5 rating from 92 reviews.  On both platforms the complaints follow a similar pattern.

Customers often complain of receiving inoperable or poorly functioning items from one of the company's various brands and detail the difficulties they then experienced in obtaining a refund through customer service.

Furthermore, it appears that Ontel was marketing a similar device in 2021 under the name of Arctic Air Pure Chill.  

That device was sold on Amazon and in some retailers.  It did not have very positive reviews, with most people complaining that it was no better than a regular fan.

It’s unknown how different this new version is from the past, or if it’s simply a rebranded version of the same product, but it’s undeniable that the two devices look very similar.

Customer Service

If you need assistance you can try to reach a representative via email at [email protected], or through their phone number at (866) 955-4574.

The parent company for Arctos is Ontel Products Corp, located at:

21 Law Drive, Fairfield, NJ 07004

The website advertising claims a 60 day money back guarantee, however in their terms and conditions Arctos states that it is actually a 30 day policy that takes effect from the time your purchase arrives.

Customers have to send the unit back in 'like new' condition and in its original packaging after receiving the return address from customer service.


Cost & Price Plans

The Arctos sells for $89.99.  The company has a tiered system of discounts where you can save when purchasing multiple units.

For instance, you can buy 4 units for $246.99, bringing the cost per unit down to $61.75.

Competitors and Alternatives

If you understand the limitations of an evaporative cooler and still feel like it's the best solution for your needs there are many options to consider.

Evapolar (full review) - is one company that makes well reviewed coolers.  

They have a variety of sizes and options with a technology that focuses on mitigating the bacterial spread that adding moisture to an environment can bring.

There are also tutorials available for DIY swamp coolers, since they can be put together from some basic materials.

If you live in a more humid part of the world you may have to settle for a traditional window AC unit.

The Midea Window AC can cool up 350 sq. ft., is energy efficient, smart home ready, and is an Amazon & NY Times 'Choice Pick'.

Is The Arctos Portable Air Conditioner Worth It?

Evaporative coolers can be used to provide some relief from the heat.  

However, they work best in temperate to dry climates and can significantly raise the humidity of your room.

Given those natural limitations, and the fact that the Arctos air cooler does not provide detailed specs of the device on their website, leads us to believe that this is likely not an effective cooling device.

The Arctos is also sold by a company specializing in gimmicky 'As Seen on TV' products and has amassed a sizeable amount of negative online customer reviews throughout its history.

If you have any experience with the Arctos Portable Air Cooler, please leave your reviews below.

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Arctos Portable AC Customer Reviews

  • Sort Reviews By:

Fire hazard?
August 23, 2023
It does cool well but after running for about 5-10 minutes the plug gets really warm to the touch. I have to unplug because I’m afraid of fire. I bought 2 and this happens with both.

Stay Away
July 29, 2023

Didn't work anywhere near as advertised, little help. AVOID!

this product does not do what they say
March 16, 2023

I was stupid enough to buy 2

worthless - do not waste your money

TomMantle July 29, 2023

Totally agree, not what i thought it was. Had problem even setting it up to work at all...

October 25, 2022

I thought it would be a good idea to purchase this as we get hurricanes during the summer months. I was wrong. Basically they messed up the billing. My intention was to pay for 1 unit. Due to a glitch on their website, I was charged for three units! So, I have been charged for three units despite my best efforts to correct the situation with them and my bank. I would not encourage people to buy from such a company that doesn't correct an error created by them. Stay clear of them. I still don't know if the darn thing even works!!!

Robert October 28, 2022

yes, it's true.

Robert October 28, 2022

it's a bad scam customer service and scam, shill products.

No Reply
October 10, 2022

I sent a message to you about smoke coming out of the front of my machine an didn't get a reply...

Don’t buy!!!
October 4, 2022

I bought three sets of Arctos coolers paying more than $200 and $40 extra for lifetime warranty. I received three units and I started to use those. I immediately found 2 were not working properly, one was started leaking water and second unit was just fan was working not mist. I sent mail to complain and they sent me replacements. That was good. Quick response. I then tested those replacements, and result was one unit started leaking again (another unit is working good). So I contacted their customer service again but no responses at all even I bought lifetime warranty. This product is junk and could be a scam.

Unit delivered DOA out of the box
September 18, 2022

Mine came DOA. Since it is Saturday, I will have to wait until Monday to contact the company. I emailed them today to make them aware...

Betty October 02, 2022

I would like to know if you ever received a refund. I returned a faulty unit in June and had to pay to have it shipped back. To date, a refund has not been credited to my account.

Buyer Beware!!
September 6, 2022

Extremely scammy company. It processed my order before I could review shipping costs and delivery estimate, attempts to contact have proven fruitless.

Amym September 08, 2022

My order was processed (somehow) even though incorrect billing name and address was entered. Called immediately to cancel order and the representative advised me she would send an urgent message to the warehouse to cancel. Called again a couple of days later as I was charged and received a tracking number and spoke to two different clueless individuals who flat out said there was no way to cancel since they were preparing to ship. Emailed them 4 times and NO RESPONSE!! Ignoring my requests , took my money, and I have to continued fighting with them just to get my money back!! Very shady company! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY!!! PRODUCT IS JUST AS WORTHLESS AS THE EMPLOYEES

danacitrowski September 18, 2022

100% exact same thing happened to me. Was told TWICE that my order was canceled. Nope. I canceled the order within an hour after seeing they had wrong billing and shipping addresses. Apparently not so wrong, somehow this must be part of their scam. Only scammers would know.

Received and was charged for 4 Arctos Coolers that I did not want. They are JUNK! If you live below 80 degrees for a high temperature, you might be satisfied. Be sure it's not more than that if you want any kind of relief. One didn't work at all--bad USB cord was sent. Another leaks water badly. The two cups of water it holds has to be replaced hourly.

A total theft of your hard earned money!

Robert October 28, 2022

yes, it's scam and shill.

Arctos Garbage
September 3, 2022
Cheap plastic. Leaks on high. Cools in a room under 79 degree's at most from 1 or 2 feet away. Blows hot air even with ice-cubes when room temp is above 80 degrees. Company gives lip-service to complaints. Don't expect any refunds from them. Do expect a garbage product. I've never seen such a blatant rip-off in my life!

RayGarafano January 12, 2023

Probably made in China from someone who doesn't care if u get ripped off?

Waste of money
September 2, 2022

Do not waste your money. I bought two and neither one worked. Requested refund on 9/2 will wait 10 business days before I will report to the BBB.

Units are crap - barely a cool breeze
August 26, 2022
I just received 3 units. I ordered them based on ads I saw for my RV. These units are complete garbage. They couldn't cool a large box, never mind an RV or a room. I followed all the instructions, including putting the filter in the freezer and ice cubes in the water. Still only a cool breeze at best. Barely better than room temperature. Do NOT waste your money. I sure wish I saw this website before buying them. I have emailed the company asking for a full refund. We will see.....

SCAM - They charge you and send nothing
August 24, 2022
Scam. I ordered mine 2 weeks ago and it has never been shipped even though I was charged the full amount. They ignored emails and the website was of no help. I finally have someone on the phone who is telling me the units are back ordered... why was I not made aware of that and why was I charged???? Complete scam and they had better give me my money back.

danacitrowski September 18, 2022

Good luck, you'll never get your $ back from these con-artists. I can't believe they're still in business, even with all their "alias" names. Ontel is the big bad guy, spawning sub-companies and products under different names with the exact same garbage product! Stay Away!

August 24, 2022


This is absolute junk and doesn't work as advertised at all. I have an incredibly small office, and it doesn't change the temperature at all. I called 5 times to return it and kept getting the run around. Long wait times, refund promised, call disconnected, etc. etc. etc. Don't waste your money!

Does not work
August 20, 2022
It's a complete piece of garbage. It does not work at all. Total scam. Can't even cool down a 200 square foot dorm room.

My delivery of Arctos cooling machines became a big disappointment.
August 20, 2022

My delivery of Arctos cooling machines became a big disappointment.

I ordered these machines since they had a battery in them so they can be recharged and be totally portable for camping and RV use. From your FAQ online site had these questions and answers for the reason I bought this.

1. Question: How is Arctos Portable AC powered?

Arctos Portable AC is rechargeable and should be charged with the included USB cable.

2. Question: How long will Arctos Portable AC run? Arctos Portable AC fully charged will run for 3.5 hours depending on speed setting,

3. Question: How do I know when Arctos Portable AC is fully charged? The charging light will begin blinking to indicate the unit is charging. When the light remains solid, Arctos Portable AC is fully charged.

Guess what, what you sent me was not what I ordered, what came in an Arctos box was Arctos by Arctic air, Pure chill 2.0. These machines do not have a rechargeable battery in them and are AC power only, therefore not portable. Since I could not send one back since I opened the box and tried it, it became a frustration and a waste of money to me.

When talking to your representative on the phone, it was obvious you were out of what I ordered and sent me something else. I asked for $90 credit after being offered only $50, for over $200 order. I will be posting this in other places so other buyers will be aware.

marty August 20, 2022

its starting stink already smells foul...

TheadoreFlipasnack August 20, 2022

It does not say it anywhere that it’s rechargeable or runs on batteries! You’re lying

danacitrowski September 03, 2022

Actually, their ad does say it runs on batteries! Read their lies closer. That's the only reason I bought it! Just another lie in the myriad of lies they tell about this product.

Can get a small temperature drop for a few minutes
August 12, 2022

Having the small Personal Space Cooler blow in your face does make you feel cooler. But it is more because of evaporative heat loss from your skin than any significant actual temperature drop.

With a wet, fairly cool filter and fairly cold water in the reservoir, you should see a 1-2 degree F drop in temperature from air going in and air coming out.

But if you thoroughly wet and then freeze the filter first, you can get a drop of 3-5 degrees F for about 10-14 minutes until the filter drops to ambient temperature. (My room was at 77 degrees F). So, if you have several filters and can cycle them through the freezer every 10-15 minutes or so (it takes about 40 minutes or so to freeze a filter), it will make you feel pleasantly cooler.

But there is no way this small unit could cool down a room, so manage your expectations.

Rick August 16, 2022

False marketing. This does not cool a room, maybe a face and not great cooling. You have to freeze the filter then use it but it doesn’t drop the temp very much. Finally when I tried to return it it was a real hassle not like they advertise. I had to call them twice after they said they would rebate but they did not. It was only when ai had PayPal did they send money back but I still had to pay shipping.. Don’t buy it, cheap and unreliable and bad customer service.

marty August 20, 2022

OMG! I've been hoodwinked im so gullible trusting in another decent persons word benefit of the doubt.

my mom seen the package and laughed at me she said she got same scam a year ago. i guess will never learn.

We put our trust in complete strangers then expect to be dealing with normal people. But its just a bunch of hustles running another routine day in the life of deplorable scum. All we wanted was to save a little money on our power bill and maybe stay cool. What a word we live in...

danacitrowski September 18, 2022

Actually, I buy online all the time. I have never seen a scam this huge. Ontel, Arctos, etc. seems to have bought out every web site there is to air their false advertising. It's difficult to even find the real complaints about this company and product because of that. I've filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but even that doesn't do much. People look for online reviews, you just don't realize that the pages of good reviews for this product are all company owned, bought and paid for! All lies! Stay Away!

August 2, 2022

this product is trash. total false advertisement. all this is, is a overpriced humidifier. i was so excited when i received mine because my apartment does not offer central air.

i knew it was going to be garbage when i opened the box and the first thing i saw was a card that read...STOP DO NOT RETURN TO STORE...Unless this thing sells for 20 bucks or less... DO NOT BUY.

marty August 20, 2022

$279.00 in a pandemic i feel so stupid.

danacitrowski September 18, 2022

You're not alone. Millions have been conned by this company! (While they've made billions from lies!)

Don't buy one you will be disappointed
August 1, 2022

This product is so small and so weak it couldn't cool a smart car in an ice storm. Don't waste your money Don't waste your time Don't buy one! Don't buy two don't buy three don't buy four all of them together won't cool a cardboard box. The only thing it does do is raise the humidity which makes the room feel hotter.

The pictures of the unit make it appear much larger than it is it fits literally in the palm of my hand. I ran it for 8 hours with ice and the temperature in my room increased. Don't be an idiot like I was, save your money. I bought a Frigidaire air conditioner from Amazon for about $150 that cools more than 100 of these tiny plastic boxes with a tiny fan in it. You would probably get cooler just throwing your money in the toilet and standing there watched it spin down the hole.

HELENSANTOS August 01, 2022

I was convinced and so excited to order this product "Arctos by artic air." Since day one it would not power on! After plug and un plug into outlet and usb on back. Finally came on by that point I was frustrated.

Once it did power on the air was cool just around me I guess that's why it's called a "Personal cooler" ok that was good as I work on my computer.

But then I moved into my tv room, same frustrating issue no Power! And never got it to work in that room on a tile floor or a tv stand or side table!

Earlier it was on the dinning room counter when I 1st plugged it in. So I'm not a happy satisfied fan of this product, back it goes!

Not worth the money other sites selling similar for 20 bucks this is a rip off!

P.S. customer service people hard to get ahold of!

danacitrowski September 03, 2022

Exactly! It's worth about $25 to sit next to you (1 or 2 feet away) on you desktop. However, if it's more than 80 degrees outside, it doesn't even pretend to cool your neck. Just a lot of hot air. I don't understand how a company can get away with such blatant lies about a product!

RayGarafano January 12, 2023

It is because they know ppl will buy it, not understanding the way air cooling works. ppl like this are very disgusting.

Also the so called miracle watt device to lower an electric bill from 200 to 15 or 20$ that too is a scam. as soon as ppl know and really YES REALLY think about do they or U think ur gonna get a lot o' cool air from a 2-3 pound box compared to a 40 lb window unit?

Bought two, one still works, the other stopped working
July 30, 2022
I purchased two Arctos coolers at the same time. The first one only worked for about two weeks. I don't know why, it just stopped working. I tried to find a way to repair it, but that's not an option with these little units as the materials used in these coolers are not high quality, lot's of thin plastic. The second unit is still working and is doing a fairly good job. Overall, I enjoy the one that's still working.

Don’t buy this product…Scam alert!
July 28, 2022

I bought this product and was very disappointed!!! I don’t know who those other people are because this product doesn’t cool ANYTHING. I followed the directions to a tee and all it did was blow Luke warm misted air. This is a scam...

danacitrowski September 18, 2022

This product is pure garbage. I also don't understand how fairly reputable websites can allow the ads for this bogus product to display on their sites. It's all about the money, honey. Guess that's the end of the line.