Portable Refrigerators

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Are you on the lookout for a nice compact refrigerator, for you to have full knowledge of which one to put your money on? Depending on how important you need it and the amount of cash you are willing to spend which will be a deciding factor if you want a portable refrigerator or a cooler gadget. In this article, my point of interest will be to get a list of top compact refrigerators and freezers, leaving the less critical thermoelectric coolers.

The fundamental distinction of a thermoelectric 12V cooler from a portable refrigerator is the absence of a compressor. Hence, it relies solely on the surrounding temperature to decide what degree it can maintain, an inferior feature you could rarely find with the portable refrigerator.

If you need a compact and portable drinks refrigerator that can preserve milk, whiskey, and other foodstuffs at your desired kitchen refrigerator temperature, you should not consider a thermoelectric cooler but an all in one 12V outdoor portable refrigerator.

This is not a write up that condemns the thermoelectric cooler, a better understanding that the cooler finds it hard at times to maintain 40 degrees F while an outdoor portable refrigerator will cool down up to about -7 degrees F in its freezing section and corresponding standard temperatures at the refrigeration section should be clear. You need a clear picture of what you are cashing on. One of the most common mistakes I see people make online is buying what they do not need. You cannot expect a cooler to be capable of performing the functions of a portable refrigerator.

Practically, I do not want to fall a victim just like other online customers getting the wrong choice of product, it turns out to be a waste of time and money for me, and I could end up leaving a bad review, so I took my time to iron out the apparent differences. If it is not a portable refrigerator, it cannot perform as expected.

What is a portable refrigerator

If you love to go camping almost all the time, going out for days into the woods or desert with your truck or you like living life on the road. You love having fun at the parking lot may be a picnic with your large family for the weekend, during the festive season, holidays. You could as well have a long distance to travel. You need food and drinks to stay out lively, a cooler can only do little or can’t hack it with the amount ice that will melt down over your eatables and beverages, a portable refrigerator is a perfect companion to keep you going and rest assured that your drinks are cold to your desired temperature. A great 12v compact fridge is the solution to the ice melting down on your drinks and foods. Guess what, you just found a new best friend.

Mostly, travelers and tourists have always and will always cherish having a portable 12v refrigerator in their trucks and vehicles. In some instances, a thermoelectric cooler might be useful for short trips; it depends on how far you want to satisfy your needs.

The true definition of a portable refrigerator is one with a compressor. In some cases you might be confused that there are thermoelectric coolers and absorption coolers that can perform the functions of a portable refrigerator because they are also connected to a power source; the truth behind this trick is that the cooler ambient can’t be controlled like a portable refrigerator that uses a compressor.

If you want a portable refrigerator choice that can preserve your food and drinks at your desired temperature, you need to go for a compressor unit compact refrigerator. The 12v appliance can serve you conveniently without you undergoing stress just like your home freezer. It works fine to keep your beverages cold or chilled whichever way you want it, and your foods are safe in the portable refrigerator to whether fresh or frozen as your choice would be.

Most of the 12v portable refrigerator brands are produced with only the DC plug that comes in a cigarette lighter fashion style. Plugging the 12v compact refrigerator will require that you have an AC cord to connect.

Some of the small refrigerator brands are quality and demands you to spend some more money. You can decide whichever size you want. Owning a portable refrigerator can add more fun and make your camping or trip interesting that you don’t have to panic over your foods getting sour or spoilt and tour drinks getting hot.

Why you need a portable refrigerator

There are some many reasons why you need a 12v portable fridge as a companion. One of the significant benefits of a compact refrigerator is that it can be used everywhere you find yourself.

At home you can use it as your AC/DC refrigerator if you are not storing much food or drinks, on road trips, it could be converted to your usual cooler if you want to save leftovers for later. As good as this sound, the different means by which you can use the 12v portable refrigerator is much that you can’t count.

Peradventure you need a truck size portable refrigerator to preserve your food and drinks while you drive cross-country. The 12v mini fridge can accommodate your beverages and foodstuffs including fruits and wines in a cold or warm state, whatever way you want it. You only need to focus on your smooth tour.

If you need a mini refrigerator to keep your food and beverages at your preferred temperature, maybe a car size or truck size. A 12v portable freezer or a mini fridge can be of great usefulness all through your camping period.

You could as well make use of the portable refrigerator that is powered by a battery. It can fit well in your cabin if you need to spend occasional weekends. It will be useful when you keep your leftover eatables or beverages while you enjoy the cool breeze coming from your lake.

A mini fridge or portable refrigerator can be the save your drinks, fruits, and foods, from having a sour taste or too hot drink whenever you need to have a break no matter how far you need to drive on your road trip.

A portable 12v refrigerator will keep your drinks cold and your snacks fresh whenever you have a small party or get together, whether it is an indoor or outdoor occasion. Family picnic, date night, mini camping with colleagues all just got better with the portable refrigerator.

The portable refrigerator serves as a substitute in the absence of your home refrigerator because they both as with a compressor unit to maintain the desired temperature. They are different from coolers.

Importance of 12 Volt Portable Refrigerators

Recently among folks who live in an urban settlement and those who live in the apartment, the portable refrigerator mini fridge has gained reputation and fame. Even among those who travel far distances and camp addicts, the 12v compact refrigerator has been compared to the home refrigerators. Its mobility and usefulness in various functions can render the home refrigerator less practical. They have also proved much important in offices and dorms, mini flats, hotel, and motel rooms and even in your car. Below are the full benefits you will enjoy when you buy a mini-fridge or a portable refrigerator.

One of the primary reasons why customers patronize a product is because of the convenience they derive when using it. You’re not getting less from a portable refrigerator. It can be transferred with ease from one place to another without stress. It is not too heavy to lift due to its compact design and can be easily carried by one person whenever and wherever. Majority of the portable refrigerators can work anywhere since it comes with a 12v charger and a compressor unit. If you own a mini fridge, you should not have to worry, and the 12v mini fridge can be shifted from the swimming pool to the garden, anywhere in your house.

Most of the home refrigerators and fridges occupy large space, the 12V compact and portable refrigerator is designed to save space. This makes it easy to place anywhere in the home and save you space to arrange other kitchen appliances that can fit in. They can even fit in a car. So amazing!

At the office, a portable refrigerator or mini fridge can serve as your lunch box where you keep drinks cold and foodstuffs from losing their sweet taste. By so doing you can have different kind of foods, you only need to worry about choosing what you want to eat. In a space-saving setting, you can choose to place it beside your work desk. This saves you some extra cost of getting the standard home refrigerator and also reduces the amour you spend on getting drinks from expensive beverage stores. When you’re at home too, you can place it at a beautiful corner in your mini bar area, so you don’t get up to pick drinks from the home refrigerator that is meters away from you.

Whenever you want to store food and drinks at home, a mini fridge can serve as an extra space for storing and preserving your eatables and beverage. Frozen foods, fresh foods or soups can be kept in the 12V portable refrigerator reduce the choked items in your home refrigerator or when you need to defrost it. That means your compact refrigerator can serve as a backup for the home refrigerator.

Almost all the mini refrigerator brands consume less power and are energy efficient. If you need to start minimizing food Wastage, a portable 12V is what you should go for as it is less expensive for your budget and reduces power consumption. There’s going to be a change in your monthly energy bills when you buy a mini-fridge or portable refrigerator. What a good deal!

The price of these modern era portable refrigerator differs. These differences are as a result of brands, quality, and size. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be compared to the home refrigerators and standard fridges when talking about price; you can minimize cost and still have a refrigerator with a compressor unit although a gradable mini refrigerator price can slightly surpass that of standard fridges. Hence, they possess many functions and may have ample storage space to be so expensive.

Notwithstanding, there are so many sophisticated mini refrigerators out there from different brands, they differ from old models in terms of designs and durability as well as temperature difference and space to accommodate much food and drinks. It is, however, advisable to buy a well-known product that is known for excellence and performance not always considering cheap and substandard brands. Every portable and mini refrigerator you find on the market will serve you well; it depends on how you choose to maintain it whenever or after you finish using it. They usually last for years before misbehaving, so you are guided.

Top brands of portable refrigerators for you

A common trait among the various brands of mini refrigerators is the range of price. A durable mini fridge could cost between a few hundreds of dollars and over a thousand dollars; the pricing should not be a significant factor when considering a choice of a 12V portable refrigerator to purchase that is if you need a compressor unit mini fridge and not just a cooler.

Your picnic or camping just got better if you carefully go through some of the top brands beneath. You need to decide what kind of size you’ll be reaching for your outings.

Review of the Top Portable Refrigerators

Engel MR040F-U1 Portable Refrigerator

For decades now, Engel products have been well known for reliability and efficiency amongst others, the reason shouldn’t be far-fetched as their portable refrigerators and mini fridges can be used anywhere you find yourself when you have to power it.

The MR040F model is one of the few 12V portable mini refrigerators; you have different options to do so, maybe through a cigarette lighter designed socket or through solar power. Camp addicts and tourists have always trusted the Engel over the years. This mini refrigerator is designed to keep food and drinks in perfect conditions. Anywhere you find yourself; you can choose what temperature you want to set. Frozen foods are safe in the 12v MR040F refrigerator. The 40-quart mini fridge is worth spending on.

A distinguishable feature of the mini fridge is that it can operate on a110V/120V AC power or a 12V/24V DC Power. This is an extra benefit for travelers on water; it can easily be switched. You don’t have a panic about your battery getting drained soon; this Engel mini refrigerator excels in consuming less power. It is therefore efficient and saves energy. Engel fridges and portable freezer draws about 1-3 amps every hour. This makes it serve you better when you’re considering this option, and the power usage does not have any effect on its steady performance, unlike some compressor unit.

Additionally, it works fine on solar power, and this would be a more significant advantage to solar users.

The MR040F model is quite portable and moveable. This makes fun excellent as take it with you anywhere. It does not consume much space.

If you need a break, Engel mini refrigerator still keeps your food and drinks cold in between power sources. If your truck or car is not running, Engel keeps your things cold; this feature depends on how frequent you open and close the lid and how tight is when closed. You should keep an eye on that. The mini fridge and portable refrigerator seal is however fast.

Apart from the stand, the features posted above. You should know how the Engel mini refrigerator looks. The handle is removable if you need one. It is covered with an insulating plastic. It possesses a variable temperature change option. Superb.

Engel portable refrigerator has Swing Motor Compressor that makes them highly efficient. Do you genuinely want an average size 12V mini fridge that is rugged and durable for years without corrosion just like Engel MR040F model? It is not too costly.

AutoLover 2144-HSX-US Portable Refrigerator

Many at times, you may have a date for two or just a small gathering for camping, or you don’t like a big sized mini fridge, and you prefer a 12V mini refrigerator instead of a thermoelectric cooler. The AutoLover portable electric 12V car refrigerator is your choice, it is a compact 6l 12V refrigerator, and if you won’t be considering its size, it is highly efficient and last longer.

Your foods and drinks are in the right place even when you have no power connected to it. It can sustain for a couple of hours. Too small a refrigerator, it doesn’t make much noise and can serve you as high as 65 degrees C heating temperature.

When it is summer time you can adjust the AutoLover portable electric 12V mini refrigerator so that you’ll have cold drinks, during winter too, you can make keep yourself warm with warm foods and beverages from your 6L compact car refrigerator. It is straightforward to use and serves you in any weather. It is not expensive if you want it and can perform the functions of your home refrigerator when you find yourself far away from home. The only difference is the size of the portable refrigerator. It is useful even more than a cooler if you doubt its quality and potentials of serving you.

When considering a fashionable and compact type of mini electric refrigerator for your trips and excursions, the 27cm high freezer will be a top choice for you. It does not consume power and can be carried about without stress. One significant advantage of this AutoLover portable electric car refrigerator is that that it serves you with maximum convenience; you may be planning to stay out late, with your AutoLover compact electric refrigerator with you it’s going to be an excellent time.

The only reason why you should lose interest in Autolover portable electric car refrigerator is the size. This is the same reason why it is widely accepted.

Dometic CDF-11 Portable Refrigerator

This is another brand of 12V portable refrigerator that comes in a compact and mini size fashion. The Dometic product has a dual capacity of working as a freezer or mini fridge as it can cool down to a temperature of about -18 degree C. It has been designed with a right compressor unit.

Dometic CDF-11 small portable refrigerators can easily be adapted to, in no time. That is why you will find a Dometic compact refrigerator amongst many tourists and campers; it is stress-free to get used to and has a quite big shape, having a capacity of about 10.5-liter size that can serve a family on picnic date or a nice weekend.

It is expected of a 12V portable refrigerator to keep your beverages and eatables from getting spoilt at any set temperature. Whether you are contemplating how big it is, it can contain a few bottles of drinks and little food, and it has an added cup attached to the hardware. It can fit between two car seats too if you want it to be positioned close to you while driving.

With Dometic CDF-11 compact refrigerator, you have your home refrigerator assistant right beside you. It can be powered with either a DC/AC source, less noise and easy to use. The temperature range of the portable CDF-11 mini refrigerator is about -18 to 10 degree C. With an electronic thermostat and a digital board to read your fridge temperature.

In addition to the numerous features you need to know about the Dometic CDF-11 portable mini refrigerator, it also possesses one of the thickest insulation plastic covers, with quality impact resistance. It has a battery monitoring meter that reads whenever your battery source is running down. You can easily adjust the point where the portable refrigerator shuts down from the battery. It also comes with a two-year warranty.

Dometic TC-14US Portable Refrigerator

If you’re looking for a real road companion that is price friendly and capable of working fine with little or no stress, Dometic TC-14US thermoelectric cooler and warmer is your perfect match; you don’t have to panic about melting ice from other substandard brands.

It is known for constant cooling, and low power consumption and its portable size is a plus to a lone ranger. Truck drivers on long trips won’t resist the urge to have this thermoelectric cooler/warmer as it can perform both functions to your stored drinks and foodstuffs. Boat cruisers can also make good use of the 12V cooler and warmer.

Dometic TC-14US compact 12V refrigerator can be carried just like your cross bag and emits heat through its built-in fan.

The thermoelectric cooler and warmer have a cooling capacity of about 40 degrees F and warming capacity of about 150 degrees F. With a switch button; you can change to whatever cool or warm temperature you need. Portable and moveable; a perfect traveling companion that comes with a DC Power cord and a trusted wear free thermoelectric system.

Dometic CC-40US Portable Refrigerator

As familiar as the brand sounds, Dometic CC-40US is a popular mini refrigerator model that will serve you to the fullest. It is a tested model that has gathered massive praise from overlanders and camp addicts. It comes with AC and DC power cords making it easy to use anywhere you may find yourself.

Designed with modern technology lightweight compressor unit, this feature does not add much weight to the overall size. It has a large interior of 40 quarts that can contain up to about 52 cans of 12oz. It can also be powered on a 24V DC power source and will keep your meat, fruits, drinks, and other preservable items as cold as -16 degrees this is a rare feature some other brands, they can only cool to 0 degrees C. Its temperature range is not dependent on the outside temperature.

With more than two years warranty, this Dometic mini refrigerator should sound like a good choice. It also comes with a rigid handle that can be folded to save little space — made with quality, to prevent battery drainage. Car and truck drivers would love it; it still works fine in between power supplies; this is a plus if you need to take a long break. It is quite voluminous; you can hide meat and some of your foodstuffs beneath the light compressor unit. It will be vital if I still remind you that Dometic refrigerators consume less power.

Perfect_Global 10L Portable Refrigerator

A dual use household appliance that can replace a home refrigerator with a much lesser size that is portable and compact to serve any purpose of cooling and warming. It cannot be compared to the likes of Dometic and other top brands but is a better option if you have to refrigerate your drinks and food items. Can keep them warm up to 65 degrees C, and fresh items to a temperature of at least 5 degrees C.

If you don’t want a large size portable refrigerator, that can be stressful to carry about with low power consumption and less noise. The only item you should worry about in your 10l mini fridge and car refrigerator is any frozen food, to avoid thawing.

A mini fridge like this is what you need in your office space or studio if you need a break from work or have visitors around. Looks more like a durable lunch box.

Edgestar FP430 Portable Refrigerator

If you’re planning a tour or camp programs, you need to make plans for foods and drinks too. Either frozen or chilled items, Edgestar FP430 portable compact refrigerator or mini fridge is one hell of a refrigerator that can keep food items and drinks chilled or frozen. It is small, portable and can serve as a backup for your home refrigerator if you need to defrost. With a cooling temperature of -8 degrees F to keep perishable foods safe and up to 50 degrees F if you want your foodstuffs warm.

Edgestar FP430 comes with a digital adjustable thermostat to help you choose the preferred state for your food items. Quite spacious and moveable if you have a party and can run off standard home voltage It can also be powered by both AC/DC source but comes with a cigarette lighter connectable end to fit into your car outlet.

Truck drivers are going to love this portable refrigerator; it is quite easy to use in quick time it can fast freeze your foods. It can also serve as a fridge if you don’t like freezing foods. Apart from truck drivers, campers and sea world explorers will have much fun and fall in love with the portable refrigerator. With 43 quarts capacity, medical practitioners can also make it a safety box for drugs and vaccines that needs to be stored in a cool and dry place. It can virtually be applied to all outdoor activities.

A significant setback for Edgestar FP430 portable refrigerator is that it comes with just 90 days labor warranty and 1year for the parts. However, it is a price friendly and compact refrigerator.

Edgestar FP630 Portable Refrigerator

A more critical option in terms of size and some features. The same quality applies and rugged friendly feel. It helps to create more fun at the party. Beers will never go hot again as you a have a big sized mini refrigerator that is durable for years. The Edgestar FP630 is a lot useful and has core benefits to your occasions and recreational vehicles.

Fortunately, it can be powered AC/DC source at the same time. Two power source will automatically be switched with more energy coming from the AC when the AC power source stops it keeps running on the DC source. These processes cause the technology improved model of portable refrigerator and mini fridge that makes it usage more fun and help it last long even in between power supplies. There are two removable wire baskets if you need extra space for your food items.

A great 12V mini refrigerator with 63 quarts space, it comfortably accommodates your perishable foods. It can freeze foods and beverages up to -8 degrees F, it refrigerates and cools effectively too if you need chilled drinks. The temperature can easily be adjusted up to 50 degrees F.

Edgestar FP630 portable refrigerator is built in a protective insulating cover; it is safe for use anywhere you find yourself. This mini refrigerator has been a popular model for recreational vehicles since its inception. No doubt, it is durable and efficient.

A good Mini-refrigerator to spend on, you’ll get the best out it. I have realized its recent usage by medical workers; the reason isn’t farfetched; it is, therefore, the same reason it has gained more popularity.

Costway 23499-CYPE Portable Refrigerator

Another brand of mini refrigerator making waves despite other top brands like Dometic, Engel and a few others. A 54 quart compact 12V mini refrigerator with a few more features; 110-240V DC, 12/24V AC power outlet adapter. Easy to use for campers and tourists. A more reason why you are going to like Costway mini fridge or compact mini refrigerator is that you can change to your preferred temperature with a little LCD screen.

A costway mini fridge can be changed between the ranges of 32-90 degrees F; you get your items chilled less than 30 minutes when you switch from a warm to cool state. It can be best described as compact, and multifunctional with its portable size and robust framework. Furthermore, despite its portable size; it still can house drinks and snack for any form of outdoor events. Users even get to choose a preferred temperature to satisfy their facial and medical needs.

The package from the manufacturer contains the fridge, a DC power cord, an AC adapter, and a user manual. The dual function of the fridge means it can also be used as a freezer and applies to a wide range of settings including outdoor picnics, fishing, truck parties, camping sessions, and additional settings where a fridge cooling unit is required.

The external rigid ABS shell enhances the durability of the product, which is useful in extreme weather conditions, complete with a 30-degree recline and additional anti-shock properties.

The signature white and grey Costway Portable Fridge measures exactly 27 x 13.5 x 21 inches and weighs an impressive 36 pounds.

In addition to a robust structure, there are impressive features such as the 50-watt power compressor that rapidly cools the content of the fridge down to 32 degrees in the space of thirty minutes. You can choose between the ECO and MAX modes depending on the priority (saving energy or quick cooling). All in all, this cooling unit consumes around 0.16KwH every day on average.

Editor's Choice

Engel MR040F-U1 Portable Refrigerator
Our Pick

In Conclusion

You should be getting more familiar to the 12V portable mini refrigerator if you are new to it. Of all the products reviewed in this article, you should consider a good choice that can serve you anytime you need a compressor unit refrigerator. You have also gained a clear understanding between a thermoelectric cooler and a mini fridge or compact portable freezer.

To make your final choice, you need to take note of the size and durability. Mini refrigerators that consume less power could be everyone’s favorite, but some others love mini fridges that can go cold or warm for hours and can preserve foods and drinks for when there is a power outage. Other customers want an insulating protective cover and rigid handles. There are many features you would want at a time in the mini refrigerator. A refrigerator away from home is actually what you need if you need your function or trip to be fun-filled.

Campers, off-road travelers, tourists, and sea world explorers would also consider how far it can keep drinks and foodstuffs cold or warm, no matter the weather.

Finally, top brands of mini refrigerators like Engel, Dometic, Edgesta and probably Costway should be on your list if you need a tremendous portable fridge. Although, other brands excel one way or the other. The primary reasons why you want a compact and portable 12V mini refrigerator is what you need to consider among the top brands.

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Aaron Black
Aaron Black
Hey there! My name's Aaron Black. I’m 34 and I've been repairing fridges for 15 years. As you know, some appliances may be too dangerous to fix on your own as you, and I’m here to save your time, money, and, maybe, even your life! Because I'm the man with Experience. If you have any questions, you may contact me via e-mail: [email protected]

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