The Best Portable Ice Maker on the Market Today
When you run out of ice on the go, things can go south quickly. Nobody likes a party where the drinks are served warm. Well, with the help of a quality portable ice maker there is no longer any need to worry. Premium ice makers can create ice within minutes, which means there will always be enough ice to go around.
For the best value, you need to look out for several key qualities every time you shop for an ice maker. These qualities are aesthetic, functional, and financial in nature. Ideally, you will need to find a portable ice maker that satisfies all three of these preferences—one within your budget, while also having the right look and production capacity that you need.
Do you want to find out which portable ice makers are the best on the market today? In this guide, our experts break down the top models available, so you don’t have to bend over backwards doing research. Read on to find out which portable ice makers make the list, and which ones were left off.
Portable ice makers are a modern necessity if you want to satisfy guests, party-goers, or friends while on the move. If you are lounging in the sun at a campground, or even kicking back on the patio at an after-work social, you will need a trusty ice maker if you want to get your drinks pouring throughout the day’s festivities.
However, not all portable ice machines are created equally. In fact, there are many kinds of portable ice machines that are out there on the market. Typically, they produce various shapes of ice, from your standard ice cube to crescent ice to flake ice. Your preferred style of ice will ultimately depend on what you intend to use the ice for.
For summertime treats, you will want a machine that makes slushy ice like the ice used in sno-cones. For sodas, your regular old full-sized ice cubes will do. But for cocktails, you can’t go wrong with gourmet or nugget ice. There are up to seven different kinds of ice cube shapes in total, and your choice of ice maker will determine which one you can make.
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s get right into it. The following is our list of the very best portable ice makers available on the market today. Our experts considered cost, value, aesthetics, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and, of course, portability. With these factors in mind, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible.
Opal Nugget Ice Maker
The Whynter IMC 270MS tops our list of the best portable ice makers available. It is the ultimate in terms of portability since it is ultra-compact. It has a slim, low-sitting profile that makes it inconspicuous to unwitting observers. This makes it ideal for use at a home bar, a small cafe or restaurant, or possibly a pop-up dessert shop that sells sno-cones and slushies.
The IMC 270MS provides no shortage of options regarding ice types. You can choose between bullet, nugget or full-sized ice with every batch. However, we do not recommend selecting full-sized ice cubes with the IMC 270MS as there is simply not enough space to accommodate many large pieces of ice.
When used at maximum capacity, this little machine is capable of pumping out 27 lbs. of bullet ice every day. For use at the home and the office, that is more than enough to satisfy all of your guests, even on the hottest days. We love the IMC 270MS for the simple reason that it is small and compact, and because it is speedy. Like most Whynter models, it can convert over two liters of water into solid ice in less than 15 minutes!
Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S BL
The Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S BL is a favorite for its sleek, modern appearance that can blend in on any countertop or bar. Once you purchase an Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S, you will never have to run out to the store to buy ice ever again. Although it retails at a slightly higher price point than some of its rivals, it has all the specs to back it.
For example, it can produce 26 lbs. of ice per day, all while being significantly lighter and less bulky than most other models. It is perfect for use on a boat or yacht, as well as your typical outdoor office parties. Plus, it is simple to use and features intuitive, bright LED controls on the front panel. If you like your drinks served cold, this is the ice maker for you.
Unlike other models, the Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S was able to let us know when the water reservoir was running low and when the bottom drain was ready for disposal. And to top it all off, when you are really in a pinch for ice, the Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S can make nine full-sized ice cubes in under six minutes if set on “high” settings. This makes it the fastest portable ice maker around.
NewAir AI 100BK
The NewAir AI-100BK is a real party starter. At a competitive price, it packs a whole lot of high-quality features. In as little as six minutes, the NewAir AI 100BK can produce a full batch of crisp ice cubes. This makes it the perfect solution for high-volume events where extra ice may be needed on a moment’s notice.
Whereas most other portable ice makers feature a drainage basin on the bottom, the NewAir AI 100BK is conveniently located on the side. Consequently, clean up and refilling is a breeze compared to similarly-priced models. Also, we find that its jet black aesthetic with white trim details make it a great selection if you want it to blend right in on your countertop.
The NewAir AI 100BK markets itself as being an environmentally-friendly portable ice machine solution. This is because it requires less time, water, and energy to produce a batch of ice compared to other units. Plus, LED indicators let you choose the size of ice you need—that means no more having to worry about whether your giant ice chunks will fit in your drink.
If there were such a thing as a designer ice maker, the NutriChef PICEM75 would be it. It is a fully digital portable ice machine that works quietly and efficiently to create batches of ice in as little as nine minutes. Although it comes at a high price point than its sub-$200 rivals, it easily justifies the increase in cost.
The NutriChef PICEM75 is simply a beast of an ice maker. It can produce 33 lbs. of ice within a one-day period. This is an improvement of roughly 20 percent over most ice makers in the same price range. And although some may consider it a trivial point, we also feel inclined to mention that this NutriChef system comes with a 4.6 ft. power cord, which is far more convenient than the industry standard of 3 ft.
With the NutriChef PICEM75, you get an all-in-one ice solution capable of producing either large or small ice cubes depending on your preference. It boasts an elegant stainless-steel design, which makes it stand proudly on just about any countertop out there. Whether you need your drink filled, or your ice bucket topped off, the professionals at NutriChef have you covered.
As one of the most trusted names in household consumer electronics, we figured that RCA would come through with a great debut ice maker. And we were not wrong. The RCA ICE102 is possibly the greatest portable ice maker in terms of overall value. It is the budget-friendly ice solution that is intuitive to use and a breeze to clean. Plus, the ice is always crisp and ready to go as soon as the LED light flicks on.
The RCA ICE102 is a great choice for home users in need of something fully portable and affordable. We do not recommend this model for restaurant use, as it simply cannot provide enough ice to satisfy large numbers of guests. However, for casual purposes it gets the job done handily. And, with three lively colors to choose from, it can make the perfect addition to any countertop or patio table.
With our expert knowledge in hand, you can now shop with confidence when you purchase a portable ice maker. Just remember to always consider the size and shape of the ice it produces, as well as its aesthetic appearance and production capacity. The last thing you want is to buy a low-volume ice maker that is unable to provide for everyone at the party or office.