If you are going out either on a camping trip, a hiking expedition, a sporting event, for fishing or even to the beach, You may want to take food or drinks with you, and if you want to keep the drinks cold and the food fresh a good portable refrigerator is a must! One that actually preserve the cold temperatures and is reliable and doesn’t require frequent visits to the store to handle issues and malfunctioning…
WOW, that great – But the big question is – How do we find such a refrigerator ?
So we went to the internet, read about camping and traveling with a 12v refrigerators for a long time;
Read reviews on amazon and on other sites, and on top of that talked with distributors and suppliers to hear what they (and the clients) have to say
Here are the top 5 12v refrigerators for 2017:
1) ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer- 50 Quart
The ARB 10800472 is a great combination of a refrigerator and freezer and provides the perfect cooling solution – Whether you are on the road traveling or on a camping trip, the portable freezer will be exceptional. Buy one and you will never again complain about your lunch getting water-logged by ice.
The all-new 50qt ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer surpasses its predecessors. It is durable, high tech and stays at a temperature of OF-2F. It delivers exactly what it promises; cold and chilly whenever you need it!
- Powerful and reliable freezing power that maintains active and passive cooling without over-draining the battery, even when the vehicle is not running.
- Large compartments (13.27” deep, 11.22” wide and 15.79”) that can accommodate up to 72 12-ounce cans and a large bottle of soda.
- Heavy duty construction that makes the ARB 1080 0472 Fridge Freezer highly durable. The freezer models are also equipped with a reliable hinge system.
- A sleek design which makes the freezer compatible with ARB fridge slides.
- Flexible freezer that can be mounted up to 30 degrees without affecting reliability or operation.
- DC power cord that connects to your vehicle’s power outlet that powers the freezer when you are on the go.
- Retention system that maintains the neatness of the power cords at all times.
- Quality wiring power outlet that minimizes harm to the internal part of the fridge freezer.
- Fully removable lid and basket for easy access and cleaning.
- Cooling compartment that has a rear-facing internal LED light.
- Instruction booklet that makes it easy for a new user to familiarize with the ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer.
2) Dometic CoolFreeze CDF-11 Smallest Portable Freezer/Refrigerator
With a 10.5 liters capacity, it’s one of considered the smallest units on the market today and can accommodate up to 6 cans of your favorite drinks. Measuring 9 X 18 X 14 inches and weighing 9lbs, it’s easy to tuck inside small spaces in your truck or back seat of your car. The compact design is backed by a carrying strap making it easy to carry. This well insulated portable refrigerator’s body is made from tough waterproofed and impact resistant polyethylene. It also includes two integrated bottle holders.
Powering the Domestic CDF-11 Smallest Portable Freezer/Refrigerator requires either a 12v/24v DC source or a 110v AC power source making it an all round fridge for indoor and outdoor use. The integrated LED controls with soft touch buttons make it easy to customize operating settings. The backlit LED display allows you to have a quick temperature reading. This unit is also good at energy management through the integrated three stage battery monitor and control features such as dead battery protector and chill turbo function.
- Compressor type portable refrigerator with R134a refrigerant cools food and drinks without need for ice
- Plugs directly into 12v car power port or 110v AC socket
- Built in LED control panel with soft touch buttons to make custom settings and make temperature readings
- Lightweight 19lbs build with shoulder strap for easy portability
- Impact resistant polyethylene body is durable and waterproof ideal for outdoors use
- 23 liter capacity can hold up to 6 cans of your favorite drinks
- Compact 9 X 18 X 14 inches design easily fits in small spaces and is easy to carry
- Energy efficient with three stage battery monitor and dead battery protector
- Includes 2 year Domestic Protection Plus warranty
3) Koolatron 29 qt. Voyager Cooler
When your considering buying a cooler perhaps the most important factor to consider is what technology it uses, and from this prospective, Koolatron new cooler is one of the most advanced coolers in the market.
Appearance-wise the product has a pretty simple design. The company’s goal was to make a cooler that was functional and durable, and not over equipped with gadgets. Overall it weighs around thirteen pounds — not a horrible weight to having it haul it around and its electric. It can be charged using the cigarette lighter outlet in the car, and the energy used by the cooler is actually less than what is consumed by your car’s parking lights. When it comes to cooling, the product is designed to maintain a temperature of around forty degrees less than its surroundings (using the Fahrenheit scale).
Perhaps the most important advantage of the cooler is that it doesn’t require ice . Unlike similar products that may work as insulators to preserve the temperature, the Koolatron Voyager uses electricity instead – which makes the ice redundant. The item is made with polypropylene- a material that is both fibrous and plastic. Other than that the product is advertised as being able to hold up to 48 12 oz. sodas at once – which means a large space for storage. Compared to other products the Koolatron is reliable on one hand and while using cutting edge technologies on the other.
- 29-quart internal capacity which is more than enough storage to hold 48 cans of soda, great for a long trip
- A 10-foot, 12-volt cable is included ofr plugging into standard power out lets on cars, campers and boats.
- At 13 pounds the unit is easily lifted and moved
- Maintains cold up to 40 degrees than its surrounding temperature
- A cutting edge motor promises long, trouble free life
- Internal divider shelf help organize stored items
- Hard-sided plastic case for durability and ruggedness
- Draws 48 watts power at 4 amps
- 15.25 in. high, 16 in. wide, 17.5 in. deep
- One-year warranty on parts is included.
4) Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler
The Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to keep their beverages and food cool for extended periods of time. It cools down to 36 degrees Fahrenheit below the surrounding temperatures. Powered by thermoelectric technology, it can perform its cooling function without ice building up on the sides. It is beneficial as it means you will not have to deal with the inconveniences and mess that ice can bring to your car.
Features of the cooler
· Ergonomic design- this gives users a comfortable grip making it easier to transport if you decide to take it into the hotel room or a picnic site. It also comes with a curved back that will hug your side comfortably as you carry it.
· 8-foot long power cord- it can be plugged into any 12V DC receptacle like a cigarette lighter in your vehicle. It is also designed for portable use as it is an ideal universal fit for 12v outlets.
· Quiet brushless convection and motor cooling- this comes with a fan that is used to circulate cold air. It implies that everything in the cooler will stay cold and not just a few items.
. Portability- thanks to its highly portable nature, it is ideal for multiple uses such as going on road trips, vacations, RV’s, boats and a lot more.
. Iceless cooling- this not only gives you more space for your food and drinks but it also means that you do not have to worry about your car getting wet should the ice melt for one reason or the other.
. Efficient insulation- as long as the cooler is shaded from the sun, keeping the lid closed during long stops at highways ensures that your food remains cool for many hours.
. It is manufactured to last- the cooler is made in such a way that it can be used for numerous years without any complications. You will not have to keep running to the store to have it repaired or replaced.
Because it is one of the best thermoelectric coolers in the market, there is not much to say when it comes to the cons of the Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler. One thing that can be mentioned however is that you may be required to buy an AC adapter that is sold separately from the cooler if you plan on using the cooler in other places other than your car. Do not be alarmed as the price is reasonable and it allows you to enjoy all the benefits of the cooler in other locations.
5) Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator Review
Whynter Portable Fridge is known for its innovative design and premium quality to your refrigerated needs. Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator is not only a great example but a perfect companion for your fishing trip, campsite, boat, and RV. With this flexibility, you can use either normal household 110V power or a 12 Volt power source. Whether you are on a major expedition or on a day out trip, you can keep your beverages and food chilled with this bench top freezer. This is a true freezer which cools at between -6 degrees F to 50 degrees F. It’s, therefore, a cost effective and the best mobile solution for all your freezing and recreational needs.
· It works on a12V/24V- 4.5A/2.5A DC or 115V/60Hz-60W/0.75A AC power.
· It has an 8 foot AC power cord, two removable wire baskets, and a 5 foot DC power.
· It has a large capacity of 45 qts.
· Its internal measurements are 18.5W x 11L x 15H inches. This includes a compressor step of 7.5W x 11.25L x 8H inches. Its external measurements are 23.5W x 16.5L x 20.5H inches. This weighs in at 45 lbs.
· It operates as a freezer offering cooling and freezing capabilities of up to 50 degrees F
· It’s been approved by ETL.
· Power low indicators and LED temperatures keep you informed.
· It works properly at angles of even up to 30 degrees.
· It comes with fast freeze functions that can lower the temperature to as cold as -8 degrees F.
· It has side handles to provide you with comfortable portability.
· It’s suitable for long haul trips and short day trips.
· It comes with a hard solid outer casing to make it last long.
· It weighs 49 pounds and has a net weight is 45 LB
· It has insulated walls and lid.
· It comes with 1-year warranty.
Well, before we can answer this question, we need to know what types of a 12v refrigerators exists; and what of them is best for us, so let’s start.
The most popular one is Compressor / 2-way Fridge
The most popular type of a 12v refrigerator – very similar to the normal household refrigerator, And the only major difference is that it smaller than the home refrigerator(of course!) and that it works on 12V battery . A great solution; reliable and preserve the cold temperatures even on a hot day.
It has low noise level, energy efficient and is suitable for almost all types of vehicles (RV’s, minivans, cars). My favorite type of 12v refrigerator.
It comes fitted with a compressor whose main job is to compress the refrigerant and place it under high pressure. As such, the refrigerant is driven towards the condenser coils where it turns into liquid at high pressure and is driven into the evaporator coils inside the fridge. Here, the liquid absorbs heat inside the fridge cooling it. Next, the refrigerant moves to the compressor where the cycle starts again.
The price range for this type of refrigerator is between $600 to $1100.
Next comes the Absorption / 3-way Fridge
These are called 3 ways fridge, because they can be draw their cooling power from three sources: 12v, DC and gas. So when you are planning to travel on a long trip away from civilization, and will not have access to a power supply, than you may want to consider this type of portable fridge. The reason is that these fridges can run on gas in addition to electricity and when running on gas, they are very efficient and cheap to maintain.
Because these type of refrigerators are the oldest ones, in most case they have a longer life span than the 2 ways fridge. But they also have their drawbacks.
First, they’re not as efficient as the 2 way fridge when dealing with high ambient temperatures.
Second, if you decide you want to use the battery and not the gas, than it’s a huge power consumer, sometimes even 10 times than the 2 way fridge, and you should be very careful not to drain your battery. If you decide to use it, a dual battery is a must.
Third, because you are using gas, they need to stay level during their operation.
The Third type is the Eutectic Fridge
Very similar to compressor type mentioned above but with an energy saving trick – It contains eutectic pods and ice blocks inside it, and once they are frozen than it stops drawing power and let the pods cool your food. This is very energy efficient so they are great if you are short on power supply. Some of them also have solar panels that can help operate the fridge.
The Last one is the Thermoelectric Fridge
Thermoelectric refrigerators fitted with a Peltier unit. Thermoelectric refrigerators are fitted with a Peltier unit. This unit comprises two different conductors through which a 12 volt current is run. The Peltier unit is able to absorb or dissipate heat as current is run through it. Compared to the other three types, thermoelectric fridges are less efficient in cooling. They’re also usually smaller and consume more power to operate.
So We made an in-depth through inspection of all the 12v refrigerator type available for purchase, we based it on our own experience, hundreds of reviews and comments on Amazon and the testimonials of people we know who bough those refrigerators.