The ESR HaloLock CryoBoost is a Magsafe Car Charger that Actually Works in Hot Climates.

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I keep trying to make fetch happen in regards to magsafe charging in the car. In theory, it’s perfect. I have a daily driver (2013 Chevrolet Volt) that’s from a weird period in cars. It’s not old enough to be able to just pull the stereo out and install an aftermarket car play head unit, but it’s also not new enough to have factory installed carplay, so a phone mount and charging solution is pretty important. If you can get Magsafe to work, you never have to worry about any cables or mounting arms or anything. You just stick it to the puck and it both holds the phone and charges it. Reality gets in the way by way of excessive heat if you happen to live in the south, though.

My first attempt at magsafe in the car used a basically 3D printed magsafe puck holder along with an actual Apple Magsafe Puck and a PD car charger.

It worked great! It held the phone great (At the time an iPhone 12 Pro Max) and charged the phone great. At least when I bought it in April. Then summer rolled around, and it basically never cooled off enough to charge. The combination of a hot car and a charging method that generates extra heat, while the phone is mounted in the sun, was just too much. On merely hot days it would maybe keep the battery from draining while I was driving. On really hot days, so basically May through October in Memphis, it wouldn’t even keep up with the power draw from using navigation apps and my battery level would slowly drift down even though it was technically “Charging”.

Memphis temps in late September. Also I should dust my car.

I reverted to just using an iOttie mount and a USB C to lightning cable. This works okay most of the time, but I still have some issues with it.

Number one, it required me to plug and unplug the phone constantly. I know this is a very first-world problem, but it still annoys me.

Number two, the iOttie doesn’t have bottom prongs, just the two side ones. The iPhone has gotten too slippery to hold it like that. It requires a grippy case to stay in the mount, and I don’t want to use a grippy case. I’m currently rocking an iPhone 14 Pro with an Apple clear magsafe case. It doesn’t stay in the mount very well.

Number three, even this setup isn’t really ideal for charging. The phone STILL gets hot and pops up a message that charging is on hold until it cools down.

I was looking around on Amazon the other day and noticed that ESR has a magsafe car charger with active cooling, the HaloLock Wireless Car Charger with CryoBoost which is totally not a dumb name at all. It purports to have “Phone cooling fan and heat dissipating tech”, which I think is marketing-speak for “This thing has a fan, yo”.

Anyway, I obviously ordered it.

First off, the ESR charger does come with a cable but does not come with the 12v charger adapter. I used the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2. Why? Because I already had it, and it had the correct ports. The CryoBoost wants a USB A port that puts out at least 18w. The Anker charger has a 19.5W USB A port which will properly power the CryoBoost, along with a 30W type C port, which is nice to have for a passenger or another device.

The ESR HaloLock CryoBoost (which I’m just gonna call “the ESR” from now on because jesus christ that is annoying to type and remember) arrived today. Packaging is pretty nice, comes with a vent mount and a ~3 foot USB A to USB C cable that’s fine for my car but might be too short for a lot of applications.

Also, this thing is BIG. I mean it makes sense, because it has to have a magsafe charger AND a fan, but I was surprised at just how big it is. It covers the palm of my hand easily.

My first issue is that my car doesn’t really accommodate a vent mount, but I knew this going in. The upside is, pretty much all car mounts now use a fairly universal ball style mount. I know from experience they’re basically all interchangeable, and this one was no exception.

I tossed the vent mount aside and just removed my iOttie cradle from the CD slot mount and replaced it with the ESR.

Gonna do some cable management, don’t worry.

Okay this dude DEFINITELY has a fan. I couldn’t tell how well it was going to cool yet, but I did know it was at least very good at making noise. If this was something I was going to use on my desk inside, it would drive me out of my mind. In a car, it’s not an issue for me. I’m going to have either music or a podcast going anyway, and the road noise alone should cover it up, but I could see this annoying the shit out of some people. Here’s a short video I shot on my GoPro.

So does it work? Yep! The magnet is very strong, the phone doesn’t move at all. I have a 14 Pro but I doubt you would have any problems with the Pro Max either. This magnet is not playing.

The first day I had the ESR, it was a very mild day for Memphis, so I just kinda tested the baseline charging capacity. It’s actually really good for a wireless charger! I left to go get food at 3:50pm with 83% battery. I arrived back home at 4:14, 24 minutes later, with 94% battery.

That means I picked up 11% in 24 minutes, or a little over 2 minutes to pick up a percent of battery. Considering that the battery is starting at over 80%, where it charges the slowest, and I was also running Overcast and Apple Maps Navigation, this is pretty impressive.

Overall, this is the best magsafe car charger I’ve found. If you live in a colder climate you might can get away with the regular ESR Magsafe Car Charger that isn’t actively cooled, but honestly for only $5 or $10 more (Depending on which one is currently on sale) I would definitely just get the CryoBoost version.

Unless, that is, you’re super sensitive to fan noise. I legitimately don’t even notice it at all after a couple of days. My AC is making more fan noise than the charger, I have music or a podcast going at all times, and once you’re rolling the road noise also covers up the fan noise, even at city street speeds in my electric car. It’s basically a non-issue in day to day use.

What you get for overlooking that fan noise is the convenience of wireless mounting and charging in your car in a way that actually charges even in hot climates. I’m sold.