On its face, an air conditioner you'd use in any outdoor space is a little absurd. Even setting aside environmental concerns, if you saw someone using one on the beach, you might have a lot of questions. Like, "Why?"
Any air conditioner salesman worth their salt would say a fan in your garage is just going to blow the hot air it's surrounded by. But a portable air conditioner! That, my friend, blows cold air. Here's my card.
Even after a great sales pitch from your neighborhood's traveling salesman, it'd be fair to wonder if anyone actually wants a portable air conditioner. For that, Coolala has an answer. Its new solar-powered portable air conditioner is blowing up on Kickstarter where it has more than doubled its $25,563 goal with 37 days remaining in its campaign.
It's not the first portable air conditioner on the market, but some don't actually include an air conditioning element and others aren't hitting Coolala's impressive 3,500 BTU mark. It might make you feel ridiculously lazy, but with record-breaking temperatures becoming the norm, it might also feel quite refreshing during a mid-August picnic.
The company is trying to mitigate the obvious environmental concerns about outdoor air conditioning by having a solar powered option. However, it's only solar powered if you purchase the solar panels separately. Coolala tells Thrillist the panels will be a $130 add-on once the product goes to retail. Otherwise, it's charging from an outlet and running on battery power.
The project's early success may additionally surprise skeptics because the basic model with no add-ons is retailing for $442. The early bird price for the version with solar panels and a five-hour charging pack is almost $500. That pricing is only available for another five days before the price shoots up to $579. It seems like a steep price, but if this is what you've been waiting for, Coolala's new A/C is powerful and comes at a significant discount if you buy during the crowdfunding phase.
Just be prepared to answer a few questions when you're using it in public.
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