How to choose a portable refrigerator

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Erin L

Erin L

Whether you’re planning an epic road trip, a soccer parent gearing up for Saturday morning matches, or a survivalist looking for ways to grid-proof food storage, portable fridges have nearly endless use cases. And before you say it, we know what’s on your mind: “But aren’t coolers the same thing?” Sure, if you enjoy soggy sandwiches and hunting for ice every day. Portable fridges offer a hassle-free experience, sans the puddle of disappointment.

What should I look for in a portable refrigerator?

Unfortunately, finding the perfect portable fridge can sometimes feel like solving a complex equation with the number of factors you’d have to consider. To make it easier for you, here are a some of the most common ones:

Power source: Each source has its own merits; DC is great for on-the-go cooling, AC if you’re near a fixed power supply, and solar if you’re out in the middle of the forest, harnessing the power of the sun to chill your drinks (how cool is that?!). Yet, while they all play the same tune – keeping your food and drinks frosty and fresh – the choice impacts how and where you can use your fridge.

Cooling capacity: The cooling capacity isn’t just about cramming as much food and drink in as possible; it’s about efficient chilling. It’s more about whether you just need to keep things cool or do you need to get things from cool to frozen. Of course, portable freezers will be more power-hungry and a bit more expensive than fridges that can’t cool down enough to freeze.

Build quality: From riding through potholes to getting hauled over rocky terrain to a campsite, portable fridges take more of a beating than your fridge at home, of course. You’ll want a rugged design, wheels that can handle typically dirty or gravelly terrain, and at the same time, something that doesn’t weigh as much as your car.

Ease of transport: Speaking of hauling, robust, well-placed handles can make the difference between an easy relocate and a comedy routine worthy of Charlie Chaplin. When it comes to larger fridges, wheels are your ticket to easy maneuvering. Make sure they’re rubber because plastic wheels are just as bad as having none at all.

Additional features: While features such as digital controls, USB ports for charging devices, or dual-zone cooling areas for separate temperatures are considered add-ons, they can often spell the difference between a good fridge from an exceptional one. The ability to check the temps from your phone is especially nice to have.

What is the best size portable fridge? How many cubic feet refrigerator do I need?

Size and capacity: Your portable fridge is as much a camping companion as your tent. A 35-45 liter fridge typically serves a family for a weekend in the wild. Remember, bigger isn’t always better. You have to lug it around, and it also needs more power. For a solo or duo traveling light, a neat 15-25 liters should suffice.

However, if you could only choose one portable fridge, the Goldilocks zone would be between 35L-55L. These don’t take up a lot of trunk space yet large enough to store a couple of days’ worth of food and drinks.

So, if you’re in the market for a new portable fridge, check out BODEGAcooler’s Spring Saver sale that puts a lot of the bestsellers at a huge discount. All models have a cooling capacity of up to -4℉ when in Max Mode so you can keep your drinks cool and, if you need to, freeze your perishable items like meats.

BODEGAcooler Portable Dual Door Freezer (TWW75)

Meat needs to stay at a stable, low temp to keep from spoiling. Also, raw meat has a knack for leaking juices, and no one wants to take a swig of their favorite soda or snacks only to find it’s had an unwanted marinade.

So, if you’re going on a long off-grid camping trip, this BODEGAcooler TWW75 Dual Door can be just what you need. Want to grab a beer without disturbing the tower of burger patties and veggies for tonight’s BBQ? No problem! You can access your cans of liquid chill from one door while your food tucks in undisturbed behind another. It’s all about minimal food-shifting. Less rummaging, less landslide risk, more good vibes around the campfire.

But let’s not forget about temperature control. With some dual door models, you can adjust the temperatures separately. That means your frozen meats stay frozen, while your drinks lounge at their perfect drinkable temperature.

BODEGAcooler Dual Zone Fridge with Wheels (T60)

Dual-zone portable fridges like the T60 provide the ultimate flexibility in your cooling choices, with each one offering two separate compartments with individually controlled temperature settings. The larger zone typically acts as a refrigerator, storing a multitude of items at their ideal temperatures, while the smaller zone can be your freezer.

And if you’re worried about having to carry it around, don’t. The sturdy handles and two large wheels ensures easy hauling from your car to the campsite.

BODEGAcooler Car Fridge (K25)

If you’re not looking to haul large quantities of food for long distances, especially in a smaller 25L chest, then you may not even need wheels on your portable fridge. In this case, the small K25 can already check all the boxes for you. It’s a lightweight but powerful car fridge and cooler that doesn’t take up a lot of space, lightweight, and comes with a carrying case that you can easily bring chilled drinks and cold cuts on a long hike or a romantic stroll on the beach.

BODEGAcooler Single Zone Portable Fridge-Freezer

A single-zone portable fridge can offer a multitude of advantages that campers, road trippers, and outdoor enthusiasts would definitely appreciate. One primary benefit lies in the uncomplicated operation of a single-zone fridge. The temperature remains uniform throughout, making an excellent solution for optimized refrigeration.

 

 

BODEGAcooler Drawer Refrigerator

Ever spent time diving into a chest type portable fridge and realizing you’ve already emptied it out before finding what you’re looking for? With the BODEGAcooler Drawer Refrigerator, you can bid farewell to these wilderness woes. They slide open to offer organized and easily accessible food storage, no diving necessary. It’s a freestanding, space-saving fridge that fits neatly into an RV, camper van, boat, or even your souped-up, beach-ready SUV.

BODEGAcooler Portable Car Refrigerator

While wheels might seem like a great idea in terms of increasing portability and ease of movement, there are some drawbacks such as its inability to navigate sand and rugged terrain. So, for people who don’t need wheels on their portable fridges, the BODEGAcooler Portable Car Refrigerator may just be what you need. However, it does more than make up for it by giving us a portable cutting board and a built-in bottle opener.

It’s perfect for keeping a lot of items of the same category chilled or frozen. So, need to bring two cases of beer cans to a beach party? No problem with the BODEGAcooler Single Zone Portable Freezer.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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