Evapolar evaChill EV-500 Review

Personal cooling made easy

Verdict

Designed for use on a desk or bedside table, the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is a personal cooler for a single person. Using its tank of water, this model can reduce the air temperature effectively, blowing cooler air at you than a standalone fan can do. It's easy to fill and has a single button for control – but watch out for the expensive water cartridges that need to be replaced every three to six months. Even so, if you want a small cooler for your own use, the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 fits in well and does a good job.

Pros

  • Small
  • Power efficient
  • Cools air quickly

Cons

  • Expensive replacement cartridges
  • No indicator to show you need a new cartridge

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £123
  • Evaporative desktop cooler
  • 172 x 170 x 170mm
  • 4 speeds
  • 800ml (three to five hours cooling)

When it gets really hot, your main priority is to keep yourself cool, particularly when sleeping or working. While a fan can help, they only blow air at the current ambient temperature. An evaporative cooler, such as the Evapolar evaChill EV-500, is different, as it uses a tank of water and the power of evaporation to cool that air that’s blown at you.

Designed for a single person to use, the evaChill is a small and compact way to maintain your cool when things start to heat up.

Evapolar evaChill EV-500 – What you need to know

  • Fan performance: Excellent performance at close range for a single person, effectively reducing the air temperature with its water tank, but the minimum speed is a bit pointless
  • Sound performance: Loud enough to hear but not too in your face, you can concentrate while working at a desk
  • Use and features: Very simple operation with one button, this fan lacks some of the more advanced features of its more expensive rivals but gets the basics right – just watch out for the cost of replacement water cartridges

Related: Best fan

The Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is tiny but flexible

The Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is really small box (172 x 170 x 170mm), which takes up barely any space on a desk or bedside table. New to this version, compared to the older Evapolar Personal Air Cooler, are controllable flaps on the front grill that let you direct the air flow. That’s handy, as you can get air exactly where you need it.

Evapolar evaChill EV-500 hero

You can use the flaps in the grill to point air where you want it to go

There’s no oscillation on this model, although you can just turn the EV-500 to point where you want it. Just make sure that you don’t tilt the fan, as you can end up spilling water from the internal 800ml water tank.

This tank’s not removable on the evaChill. Instead, you have to lift up the entire unit, using the flip-up handle and fill it under the tap. There’s even a handy spout that you can attach to stop spillages. I actually prefer this method. With the Personal Air Cooler, the tank was removable but it was fiddly to carry and get back in place without spilling the water.

Evapolar evaChill EV-500 filling up

This model is easier to fill than its predecessor and it’s harder to spill water, too

Once you’ve lifted the handle up, you can get to the water cartridge. Rather than using a pump to move water, the evaChill uses a cartridge that sucks up water using a capillary action. Each cartridge will last three to six months, after which you have to replace it with a new one for chunky £35. Annoyingly, there’s nothing to tell you when the cartridge has expired, bar noticing that the air blowing at you is no longer cool.

Evapolar evaChill EV-500 cartridge

The cartridge sucks up water to be evaporated for cooling

Once in place, the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is controlled by the single button on top. One press puts the fan in into minimum mode, then you can keep pressing to move up through medium, high and turbo fan modes. You can also press and hold the button to turn on the LED lighting.

If you want to control the fan using a smart plug, you’ll be pleased to know that it remembers the last power setting used before the power was cut.

This evaChill doesn’t have the customisable lighting, night modes or temperature readings (ambient and output) that the bigger Personal Air Cooler have. Bar the temperature readings, I don’t miss these settings and prefer the evaChill’s smaller body and carry handle to prevent spills.

Cooling performance from the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is excellent

The Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is purely a personal cooling, designed to be used at close range, so it won’t work across a room particularly well. Starting with fan speed, I measured it at 3.8m/s from 15cm and 1.3m/s at 1m, showing how quickly air flow drops off. From 15cm the fan is 65.8dB, which isn’t too bad.

On minimum speed, there’s barely any fan movement and my anemometer didn’t detect any air flow. On medium, air flow increases to 1.4m/s, which is a very gentle breeze for those days when it’s not too hot.

Evapolar evaChill EV-500 controls

You need to use at least medium fan speed to feel anything

Cooling performance is very good, with the cartridge sucking up water and the fan blowing through it. Performance varies based on conditions, with hot and dry being the best, and high humidity environments the worst. Measuring at 53.7% relative humidity with an ambient temperature of 28C, the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 managed an air output of 23.5C – a 4.5C reduction. Measuring at 43.7% humidity with a temperature of 32C, the fan’s output was 25.2C, a reduction of 6.8C.

The water tank will last three to five hours, depending on conditions, although you can extend run time by an hour or so by giving the cartridge 20 minutes to soak, then refilling the water tank.

Impressively, I measured the fan as using just 6.2W on full power, which means that you could run it from a USB power bank, using the provided USB-A to USB-C cable in the box.

Should I buy the Evapolar evaChill EV-500?

I was impressed when I reviewed the Evapolar Personal Air Cooler, but the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is in many ways a better product. It loses out on its big brother’s LCD screen and customisable lights, but makes up for it by being cheaper, smaller and having fins that let you direct where you want the air to go. This model is also easier to carry and reposition thanks to its handle.

With excellent cooling performance, the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 makes a brilliant desk or bedside table companion. Watch out for the replacement cartridge costs, as these can add up if you use the air cooler a lot.

If you’re after a personal fan and want purification, the Dyson Pure Cool Me is a great choice; if you want something that can lower the air temperature, the Evapolar evaChill EV-500 is an effective and cheap way of doing so.

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