Arctos Portable Air Cooler Reviews

Arctos Portable Air Cooler
( 22 reviews )

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The Arctos Portable Air Cooler 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.

Cost and 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.

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.

Online 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.

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 Air Cooler Customer Reviews

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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.

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!

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...

***junk*** Stay Away From Arctos!
July 27, 2022

Ripoff! Stay away! Does not cool off room! They charge you twice on shipping if you return (I was a sucker for 4 units) you pay both shipping and return shipping. Thank god I used amex! Disputed charge the day they arrived! ***junk***

KrisBellmore August 02, 2022

i wish i would read reviews before i purchase items like this... thank you ... i bought 2 myself... and is total garbage

July 18, 2022

I purchased this in April and started using them in June (when it was hot) 2 of these have broken. The filters on 1 snapped and their black plastic pieces have fallen off. Two of the devices have broken white plastic pieces on the front where you are supposed to move air. These are definitely cheaply made and also don’t cool at ALL.

I have another cooling device I used for an entire year that is a large standup unit from Amazon and I have had 0 issues with it and it actually cools. I thought these would be easier but they are definitely not and they don’t even work as advertised even when following the recommendations exactly.

SteveGarner July 27, 2022

Agree 100% Arctos=junk!

Product does NOT work as advertised
July 16, 2022
Complete crap, don't waste your money. Please note, the glowing reviews are mostly on affiliate web sites, which are basically fronts for the product site, not unbiased review sites.

This Ac Is Very Loud And Noisy
July 12, 2022
This little plastic toy is advertised as QUIET AS A MOUSE and it is the exact opposite. It is VERY loud and I have to wear earplugs at night to sleep. The lighting is very annoying. I have tried to get a refund but ONTEL is not willing to admit that this is a defective unit. DON'T BUY IT.

Arctos air conditioner is a scam!
July 12, 2022

It's a complete scam. It absolutely does not refresh a room. ¨It just doesn't work, it's throwing more than $100 out of the window!

I'm so disappointed...

Do not buy. A good fan is a much better investment.
June 30, 2022
The unit does not cool a space at all. It functions as a fan, but no more. I couldn't find anything about return policies or instructions on their website. I emailed and called but couldn't get through to anyone. With such extravagantly false claims like, "refrigerate a room in five minutes," I expect this company to be sued out of existence soon. Perhaps that's why I couldn't get through to anyone.

SteveGarner July 27, 2022

Agree 100% Arctos = Junk!

Product does not work as advertised
June 26, 2022

Terrible product. The lights are too bright to use at night and no way to turn off. Have to sit in front of it to get any cooling. Certainly will not cool a room.

Husband called, woman said she would set up a refund minus original ship charges- and just keep the product. He called back over. 10 days ago, guy claimed he could see refund was in process and should clear in a few days. Still nothing. Suspect we will get nothing back.

SteveGarner July 27, 2022

Agree Arctos=junk! Glad I used AMEX so I can dispute their fraudulent scam! Good luck with your refund.

June 25, 2022
Slightly better than nothing. What outrageous claims were made about its efficiency. It is basically just a fan and a rather noisy one.

Great advertising for a very poor product!
June 22, 2022
This unit will not cool a room regardless of how you use it per instructions. Tried to return but can only return if unused. Just how can keep it unused without trying it. They offered a $45 refund if you ask. I have accepted the refund offer but never received the refund. Follow ups are not answered

SteveGarner July 27, 2022

Scam! Same Here. I Used Amex So I Am Disputing This Fraud By Arctos!

KrisBellmore August 02, 2022

you are right... the advertisement was amazing... i just didnt know i would receive a toy with a computer fan in it... so garbage

Glorified swamp cooler
June 17, 2022

Garbage. DO NOT BUY!

SteveGarner July 27, 2022


Unhappy customer
June 14, 2022
I returned a unit due to not ordering it. The unit was received back the first week of June and I still have not received a refund. Nobody answers emails or phone calls. Usually after being on hold for 30 minutes I hang up.

SteveGarner July 27, 2022

Agree arctos is a fraud. I used amex so disputing charges. Good luck!

Don't be misled: Arctos doesn't cool you. It fools you
June 5, 2022

I was full of hopes when I ordered 3 Arctos personal cooler!! I should have investigate and be less impulsive but it was hot in my apartment and they looked so cute. I should have questioned the fact it appeared in my fb page... the only place where the adblocker doesn't work.

It was meant to be near my desk or near my favourite reading chair.

First the delivery took forever but I was able to track it after I complained to the Omtel help desk. I was exited to try the device.

Big disappointment. The thing looks nice indeed, but has to be plugged in the wall with a wire... a bit primitive.

Then the instructions are weird : plunge the filters in water, preferably cold, or better a few minutes in the freezer: it will work better! ( it is written in the leaflet)...

And be careful about mould if you font use it in continuity... ( written in the instructions too)... So is it a health hazard? Obviously yes...

Then you have to add water but the level is not indicated clearly. Is that a humidifier? ... Obviously not, because its too small...

Then finally, press the button, get a display of nice colors, 3 intensities that

are very similar, no cold air st all, barely a little fan...

Very very disappointed! I feel really abused...

Will try to send it back ( its written on the package NOT to send it back but call the helpline instead... I will keep you posted...

And I will try to see ehat I can do with Paypal since I paid with Paypal

Air "Cooler"
May 28, 2022

I received my Arctos air cooler 2 days ago, followed instructions; running water over the "filter" which is basically a plastic square with smaller squares in it. I froze it.

I plugged the machine in and 1. is not quieter than an AC, keeps the room "cooler" until mid-afternoon when temps outside reach the upper 90s, then it feels like room temp air blowing.

I had enough of this nonsense, unplugged it and plugged in my air conditioner. That is $100+ (including s&h) wasted. I probably will toss it in the trash.

I recall reading an ad saying it turns your room into a refrigerator....when my fridge ever gets that bad, it's time to replace it....

KrisBellmore August 02, 2022

why 2 stars? there should be an option for 0 stars because this product is garbage

I Got Scammed
May 26, 2022

Arctos Scammed me. I bought 4 coolers with filters and life warranty for $429.35. They said they shipped it to me with a tracking number. They charged me $659.84 and the tracking said it was delivered in Rancho Dominguez not to me.... I want a refund but they are ignoring me.

Jean-francoisTapp June 13, 2022

Still got scammed and didnt received it yet!!

Limited Cooling Effect
May 21, 2022

The Arctos cooling unit is functional, but very limited in its cooling ability. If the room to be cooled is 12'x15' or smaller, then the unit can make a noticeable difference at the cost of raising the humidity level. If you are in a particularly dry environment, this is a bonus.

Do not purchase this evaporative cooling unit if you are in an already-humid environment as it will raise the relative humidity several percentage points. On low and medium the fan is not objectionably loud, but on high the sound is quite noticeable.

The illumination function works as advertised and is not obnoxiously bright. It generates enough lumens to serve as a night light and you can leave it off while running the fan, if you wish.

Is the Arctos a complete waste of your money? No, but don't expect such small unit to make a noticeable difference in a room larger than 180 or so square feet.

Jean-francoisTapp May 26, 2022

Why did my 4 Arctos for $261 go up to $659.84 when they charged me?

Jean-francoisTapp May 26, 2022

Oh yeah and I never received them. Instead of shipping them to me, they shipped it to rancho dominguez....

KrisBellmore August 02, 2022

why are you people giving them 2 stars? i am upset that i have to give them 1 star because the is no option for 0 stars. arctos is such garbage

Shipping Canceled
May 17, 2022

I placed an order and it was finalized and ready to ship. Then found out shipment was canceled. Why? I don't know. UPS said supplier canceled and supplier said UPS canceled. Blame game? After finally finding this site with reviews I am glad I was refunded and do not plan to reorder.

Jean-francoisTapp May 26, 2022

How do you get refunded, because I want one too.

KrisBellmore August 02, 2022

you are lucky