Arctic Air Ultra Review

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Mar 1, 2019

The Arctic Air Ultra is a portable evaporating air cooler that can cool a space for up to 10 hours a day via a water tank that turns hot air into cold air.

The device uses a well-known method of cooling in which it sucks in hot air on one side, runs that air through moisture and thereby cools the air as the water evaporates.

The company who sells Arctic Air Ultra is OnTel Products, whose line-up of brands includes the Huggle Hoodie, Magic Pad, Handy Heater and Slap Chop.

“We work hard every day to make quality products and services that improve people’s lives, now and for generations to come,” their website says.

In this review, we’ll discuss how the Arctic Air Ultra works, provide expert insight into how effective evaporative coolers are and then discuss the device’s pricing and return policy. We’ll also give you a section where we talk about how this cooler compares to other ones like it that we found on Amazon.

How the Arctic Air Ultra Works

This device is what’s known as an evaporating air cooler. Another name for it is a swamp cooler. Basically, it sucks in hot air through the back and then passes that hot air through a moisture chamber. As the air comes out the other side, it evaporates and thereby dissipates the heat, leaving cool air to blow about the room.

This type of cooling system is seen as an affordable alternative to air conditioning, which tends to consume a lot of power and cost you a significant amount of money.

“It’s the personal space cooler that transforms hot spaces into cool refreshing places for just pennies a day,” the device’s commercial says.

In fact, the commercial shows someone shooting a hair dryer’s 96-degree air into the back of an Arctic Air and 72-degree air blowing out of the front of the device. It also shows someone laying poolside with the Arctic Air blowing on them.

Using the Arctic Air Ultra requires filling its water tank, then plugging it into either a wall outlet or a USB charger. According to the product’s website, it can run for up to 10 hours on one tank of water.

What the Experts Say About Evaporative Coolers

To get an idea of how effective an evaporative cooler can be, we reached out to experts and gained some excellent advice from Dave Miller, an HVAC technician with Heat Talk.

Miller told us that evaporators like the Arctic Air Ultra are good in small spaces but shouldn’t be expected to cool a bigger space.

“Desk evaporative coolers are good for personal cooling and travel but are not as effective at cooling a whole room,” Miller said.

He also noted that these devices work best in “arid/dry” climates, although that can still provide relief in more humid place.

“Given that evaporative coolers work so well in arid-dry climates, they still work fine in humid environments such as Florida but may not be as effective due to the ambient humidity already present in the air,” he said.

One important tip he gave us is that you need to clean out your evaporator often.

“It’s also important to ensure that the water reservoir is cleaned frequently to prevent pathogenic build up, in a similar way you would for a humidifier, as you don’t want nasty microorganisms to propagate in the water tank and be released into the room air,” he said.

Arctic Air Ultra Pricing and Return Policy

The company directly sells these evaporative coolers for $59.99 with free shipping, or you could buy two for $79.98 with free shipping.

You have 60 days to test out your cooler and, if you decide you don’t like it and want to return it, you’ll have to contact OneTel’s customer service department at (800) 205-3001 to start your return. You cannot make a return any other way.

Something to keep in mind is that your refund won’t cover the money you paid to ship the item back to OneTel, nor will it cover any fees you pay. In this case, “frees” would include the $19.99 fee you pay for a second Arctic Air.

So, if you buy the second device, realize that you’re keeping it because it won’t be eligible for a refund.

Additionally, this cooler is available on Amazon for $39.88 and Walmart for $39.88.

Comparing the Arctic Air Ultra to Other Desktop Evaporators

We wanted to see how the Arctic Air compared to other similar products, so we headed to Amazon to check out some of the higher-rated desktop evaporators.

There weren’t many choices and the evaporators we did find had average to below-average reviews. Two examples are the HoMedics MyChill space cooler and the Evapolar.

The HoMedics device had 127 reviews at the time of publishing with an average rating of 3.3 stars. Its description indicates it can lower a four-foot radius up to 12 degrees. The cost of this device was $59.99 at the time of writing.

The Evapolar has an average rating of 4 stars from 373 reviews. The product description doesn’t indicate how the area it can cool, nor how low it can drop the temperature around it. The Evapolar cost $107.99.

Information about all three devices was limited but the HoMedics evaporator was the only one that talked about how much area it could cool. That being said, both of the Amazon evaporators were more expensive than the Arctic Air.

Our observations are that it may be worth the extra $20 to buy the HoMedics because you know what you’re getting: a device that can cool a four-cubic-foot area around the device. The Arctic Air and Evapolar evaporators give no indication of how much space they can cool.

The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the Arctic Air Ultra

We believe this device’s greatest strength is its price, as it was cheaper than the other evaporators we found on Amazon. When you add in the second evaporator for an extra $19.99, then the Arctic Air is by far the best value.

Now, you have to remember that this device, even if you have two of them going at once, isn’t designed to cool an entire room. As our HVAC expert pointed out, it’s good for a small space. Therefore, we don’t see the Arctic Air Ultra being a solution for your entire office, for example, but a good choice if you want to keep the area around your desk cool while you’re gaming or doing work.

The downside to the Arctic Air, in our opinion, is that there’s limited information about the cubic feet it can cool and, if you live in humid areas, the device’s effectiveness will drop. Therefore, we’d recommend this product for someone who spends a lot of time in one spot in their house and lives in a dry area like California or Arizona.

Remember, too, that it’s important to clean out your device on a regular basis.

» See Also: Best Budget-Friendly Ways to Keep Your House Cool


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Arctic Air Ultra:
  • 13 Customer Reviews
  • 23% Recommend This Company
1.8 out of 5
5 star: 15% 4 star: 7% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 0% 1 star: 76%

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  • I like it?‍

    • By Mark S.,
    • Oklahoma City, OK,
    • May 9, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I bought it when walking by it at Home Depot. My office has no AC duct and a sole ceiling fan. I put the filter in the freezer before I leave every night and fill it in the morning. It lasts all day (on medium) and really makes work in my office much more enjoyable. It gets to 115+ in Oklahoma and I couldn't live without this.

    Y'all gotta remember this thing needs a dry climate to be effective. Maybe stop using them in coastal cities thinking it's gonna do jack? Some angry reviews here but I'm pretty happy with how this works. Sure it's not the most quality build but I paid $25 for it. I'm not expecting some sleek hand-bent aircraft-grade aluminum. It's a simple design that doesn't need to cost $100 to do what it does.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • More TV hype

    • By Maurice A.,
    • Melbourne, Australia,
    • Mar 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Arctic Air Ultra is yet another product I have been misled into buying because of grandiose TV advertising. In practice, this product gives out very little cool air. It runs out of water sooner than expected and, when the water reservoir has been refilled, the slightest movement of the device can spill water all over the carpet. The latest problem I have found with it is the fact that the louvers drop out easily and are very hard to put back. A close examination of its construction shows that it is of very poor quality and badly designed. It is really not worth buying and would be better taken off the market.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Extremely dissatisfied

    • By Susan F.,
    • Rochester, NY,
    • Oct 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Ordered Arctic Air Ultra from BestGadgets.co, based on their internet description. Paid $89. First unit did not work. At all. Plugged it in. Pressed the buttons. Nothing. Also, it was very cheap plastic; no instructions. Returned it, $9.25 postage. Second unit arrived with the instruction guide, but no wall plug. I have nothing to plug in the USB cord, so this was of no use. Customer Service said she'd send a plug. Two weeks, nothing. A rep from the distribution center in New Jersey said they tell people to buy their own plug. But, the warning section of the instruction guide says to ONLY use the plug provided! Plus, it states on the box that the wall plug is included. I am returning this tomorrow. I sent a message yesterday to customer service requesting a return number. No response. I'm returning it with or without the number. I will go through my credit card company to issue a complaint and get a refund if BestGadgets refuses. Do NOT buy this product!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Works as expected!

    • By Brad C.,
    • North Carolina,
    • Sep 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This isn't a whole room air conditioner, it needs to be felt directly. I have the Ultra and it sits on my desk about two feet away from me. Even with just normal temperature water and the device on low, it definitely cools me more than the fan it replaced.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • A scam

    • By Hilma B.,
    • Girard, PA,
    • Aug 29, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    These do not work at all. They said I could return them and pay $50 shipping to AZ. Or keep them and they would credit me $25. They are not even a good fan. I want people to know NOT TO BUY THEM. This is deliberate FRAUD.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • The unit is complete garbage

    • By Constance M.,
    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Aug 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    False advertising...says you pay $19.99 for a unit, second one free. Well, I was charged 70 bucks, and not only that, it's trash, doesn't cool or work like advertised. SIMPLY full of crap!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Absolute rubbish

    • By Valerie H.,
    • East Sussex, United Kingdom,
    • Aug 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Bought this item from Trendy Gadgets. Took ages to arrive. Very cheap, flimsy plastic, not at all like it looked in the advert. Supposed to be able to decrease the temperature by 12 degrees, but it hardly made any difference whatsoever. A small fan would be more effective. It was sold as "half price" at £59.99. We have since found them for less than £20 on Amazon. Feel really conned. Please don't waste your money folks!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Waste of money

    • By Rod Y.,
    • Liverpool, NY,
    • Jul 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    So, I got the Arctic Air thinking it would work great, boy was I wrong! The instructions tell you the water in it will last 8 hours, no it does not, 3 at the most. Also, it doesn't blow cold air, unless their definition of cold is lukewarm. Completely disappointed!

    I had previously purchased two Artic Air units - one from Artic Air and the other online - after the first had DIED beyond the warranty. The second started leaking within two months after purchase - called the company who sold it to me - ONLY A 30-DAY WARRANTY. I called Arctic Air about the problem - POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM THE REP. Tried the following day and spoke to a different CONCERNED REP and decided to purchase the new ARCTIC AIR ULTRA - she gave me a deal - two for $29.99. They just arrived five days ago. Had the first one operating and had a paper towel underneath it and shut it off overnight. Woke up the following day and the paper towels were SOAKED - it did a number on the wood finish on my cherry desk! I moved the unit to a laminate counter-top and ran it yesterday - IT LEAKED AGAIN.

    I put the unit back in its box for return to Artic Air and pulled out the second new one and GUESS WHAT - it started to leak, from the back, just like the other new one! I am going to call them today to see what can be done. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Junk

    • By Glen G.,
    • Mildmay, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jul 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Hi, it's junk, will not cool, all it is an overpriced fan, how can you say it cools? No way. It's junk, how can you sleep at night selling something that does not work...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Works pretty good.

    • By Robert S.,
    • Southern Nevada,
    • Jul 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Just got the unit from CVS at 25 percent off with coupon. Took out of the box and added ice water to it and plugged into my wall outlet. Right away I did notice a cooling coming from the unit. Don't forget everyone, this will not cool off a room. It will cool off what it is aimed at. I have it sitting on a desktop and blowing either right at me or just to one side and it works. Temp today, 7/12, is over 115 here in Southern Nevada and this makes me feel a lot better than without it. I need to put the filter in my freezer the night before using and it should even be cooler (wish they gave you a couple of extra filters to use). There are three speeds and the top one you notice but get used to it quickly. For right now I like it (now let's see how long it will work lucky at CVS you have a 90-day return policy).

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Garbage

    • By Austin D.,
    • Arizona,
    • Jun 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The directions say 8 hours on high - lasted 2 hours on high, 10 hours on medium, half that. I'm in Arizona, my AC went out looking for an alternative to keep cool. Went to this, doesn't do a darn thing, it's loud and does not last for the time they say. Cost of this is ridiculous. Wasted money on this piece of crap, now stuck with it (store won't return As Seen on TV items). Do not get it, it's a waste of time and your money! Wish I could give this a no star rating.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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