Portable air conditioners are not very energy efficient or effective at adequately cooling a room. These are far more expensive than our window AC units and are often taller. They’re also, uh, not very portable. We haven’t tested many, but these two are solid options if you shall has a.
EcoFlow Wave at $1,499: The Wave (4,000 BTU) has done a pretty good job of cooling my partner’s 150 square foot office during the recent heat wave. Standing directly in front of the outlet is immensely cooler than the whole room, but it made the whole room much more comfortable. You definitely want to install the exhaust pipe and direct it to a window or the heat it generates will cancel out the cold air. You can plug it into any outlet, use it with EcoFlow’s extra battery pack when the power is out (or if you’re out glamping), or connect it to a solar charger. (At max settings, the battery pack offered about two to three hours of cooling.) There’s an app you can use to control it remotely, and at 39 pounds, it’s reasonably portable. It produces excess water when cooling, but the Wave sprays this onto its internal condenser to evaporate it. I’ve never had to drain any water, but if you’re in a high humidity environment, you may need to use the included drain pipe to direct it elsewhere.
Zero Breeze Mark II at $1,499: At 2,300 BTU, you won’t be able to get the same cooling effect as the EcoFlow Wave, but the Zero Breeze (7/10, WIRED Review) is much lighter at 17 pounds. This bundle includes a battery that makes the whole thing weigh about 30 pounds, but you get four hours of use without having to be near an outlet. Like the EcoFlow, you get a pair of vent pipes to direct the exhaust away and direct cool air to a specific area, but unlike the EcoFlow, you can’t charge the battery and use the AC at the same time.