We are always looking to find a more convenient way to keep our tents cool during summer camping trips. The company behind Zero Breeze promised to deliver a compact and efficient portable cooling system but has yet to impress experts.
When choosing a portable air conditioning unit for your tent, do not buy the overpriced Zero Breeze. The product is not capable of cooling an area for a prolonged period of time. It is quite heavy, and the specifications advertised by the manufacturers are entirely misleading.
About the Company
Zero Breeze is a self-funded company that started in 2014. The founder, Kelvin Ma and his team developed the prototype of the Zero Breeze with the vision of creating the “world’s coolest portable AC” in December of 2015. They finally launched their product on Kickstarter to get more funding and was finally able to fully push through with production in 2017 with over half a million dollars in their pockets. But due to the high volume of orders within a short period, the company transferred the manufacturing to China to cut on production costs. Ever since the production has moved, the quality control of the product has been quite questionable.
The company invested a ton in marketing. They were able to penetrate the market through social media. This proves to show, not everything endorsed by influencers is indeed of excellent quality.
UPDATE Summer 2019 – where to buy from
The Zero Breeze can now be bought from Amazon, you can check the price here! This is a bold move, as we all know that Amazon is somehow customer focused when it comes to refunds. But that’s good news for all those who want to purchase it: you don’t need to waste hours if you want a refund. It will be no surprise if we see a low product rating on this platform.
Specifications as Advertised
As advertised, Zero Breeze is said to be “the world’s coolest portable AC unit”. The patented compact compressor can generate 1,100 BTU cooling power per hour. Given that it is in an enclosed space, the unit is said to be able to cool an area of 50 square feet down to 44.6 Degrees Fahrenheit.
The company focuses on the “portability” of their product since it can run on batteries – this would have been the edge their product had over other portable AC units in the market. Theoretically, the idea seems solid, but the execution was not as effective since you would have to purchase a lot of batteries to keep the unit running.
Why You Should Not Buy This Product For Your Tent
Zero Breeze specifically says that their product is an excellent fit for campers who want to keep their tents cool during the heat. But here are some reasons why this product is in fact not advisable for tent use.
- Low Cooling Power: Zero Breeze runs on a 1,100 BTU cooling power. The company claims that their product can cool a 50 square feet area, but based on actual user reviews the Zero Breeze is unable to deliver on this promise. More efficient portable AC units run on at least 5,000 BTU covering around 150 square feet. Therefore, claiming that Zero Breeze is the “coolest portable AC unit” is incredibly misleading. Should the ambient air surrounding the unit be on extremes, the unit will basically become a really expensive fan, merely blowing air rather than cooling.
- Draining Issues: Due to condensation, especially during humid days, most portable AC units will have to be emptied manually or through an attachment hose leading outside your tent. Dozens of users have complained about the drain port of the Zero Breeze; there is an evident factory defect that causes the water to leak through the port and completely miss the water tube. Unless you are looking to have a little pool of water inside your tent, you shouldn’t risk buying this product. Users have asked for help through the company’s customer support regarding this issue but were left with a band-aid solution rather than a permanent one.
- Battery Life: The selling point of the Zero Breeze is the availability of battery packs that supposedly allows you to run your AC with no issues. However, the battery pack from the company lasts only up to a maximum of 2 hours. These battery packs are not included in the $499 package. You would have to buy quite a few separately just to be able to get through an entire night with the unit running. The whole point in buying a portable AC unit for your tent is to be able to use it for a prolonged period without having to worry about switching batteries now and then. The product is highly inconvenient and expensive to maintain in the long run, using a window type or other portable AC units would be a better idea.
- Weight: When you’re out camping, you would want to keep everything compact and light. One concern about having an AC unit in the tent is the hassle of bringing the unit and the generator. Zero Breeze’s design makes it seem like it is lightweight and easy-to-carry, but it is actually heavier than other portable AC units with a higher BTU.
- Price: For 1,100 BTU, the Zero Breeze is quite expensive. The unit alone costs $499 when you start purchasing add-on accessories like the battery packs you would be spending more than what it is definitely worth. For just $149 you can already buy a good 5,000 BTU window type unit that is sure to cool your tent in no time. Be reminded that not everything expensive is efficient.
User Reviews and Complaints
The marketing team of Zero Breeze has done an incredible job with their Social Media strategy. They got YouTube Vloggers and a dozen other so-called “experts” to talk about the product and the pros of having it. Watching and reading these reviews, was basically watching someone read off the manual and pretend to be amazed by the product they have been offered. The hype created by the team is what scammed thousands of people into buying this product.
Testimonies from real people who have tried the product were absolutely horrific. A lot of them were left disappointed with the false claims and defective units they have received. Hundreds of disgruntled users have taken their issues onto various forums, and personal sites explaining the terrible service Zero Breeze has provided. This incredibly expensive portable AC unit is not worth it. Refunds and product replacements were requested, but the customer service of Zero Breeze is close to non-existent.
Formal complaints have also been filed directly the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with a very few resolved issues. The owner of the company has remained mum about the issue at hand. Until today, Zero Breeze receives and ships out orders to unsuspecting clients who order directly from their website. Kickstarter no longer promotes them for funding on their website.
Window and Portable AC Units
If your goal is cool down your tent during a hot day, you don’t need to spend hundreds for it. For a fraction of the cost, you will be able to cool your tent efficiently with a regular window-type or an ordinary portable air conditioner (amazon link); they can easily be attached to a tent that has an ac port. It may not come in an easy-to-carry design like the Zero Breeze, but you’re sure to get what you paid for.
UPDATE on Zero Breeze 2.0
Although the web is full of bad reviews, it seems that the number of sales for the first edition was quite high, as we recently stumbled upon an Indiegogo page that announces the arrival of Zero Breeze 2.0. Suprised why Indiegogo and not Kickstarter?
Anyway, I was curious to see what changes they’ve made to the device, and here’s what I found out:
- The BTU went up from 1100 to 2300, which is more than double, but not sure if sufficient for a large tent, as they advertise.
- I admire the design change. If the first edition looked and felt like cheap Chinese plastic, the 2.0 version definitely does have a nice touch to it.
- It’s going to be 1.2 pounds heavier than Zero Breeze 1, but it’s not sure if the 14lbs weight will include the battery as well.
That’s pretty much all we have for now about the new zero breeze. Still, a great idea that most likely will fail on cooling power. But, let’s not judge until it’s on the market.
Ideally, the concept of the Zero Breeze portable AC unit is innovative, but due to the poor quality control and faulty functional execution of the product, makes the Zero Breeze the worst portable AC unit you can find in the market.