Portable & Cool - The Ultimate Buying Guides for Portable Devices
 

15 Portable Refrigerators to Cool Down Your Trip


You are hiking on a hot day. Hiking is your hobby and no weather can alter your intention to breath fresh air and enjoy magnificent landscapes. You know it is hard but it is worth the efforts. Most likely you are sweating but it is not a big issue. You can bare any severities because you have something that fills you with energy. This same thing can enliven a tired truck driver after a long trip or a student after doing much study. This is what everyone longs for on a sweltering day. We are sure you know the answer.


 

 

When you need a little bit of boost-up, there is nothing as good as a sip of the cold drink, be it soda or beer. It doesn't matter where you are going and what you are doing, sometimes cold sweating can of beverage is the only thing that matters at that moment. This is an easy solution when you are at home with a fridge full of drinks or close to the supermarket but this can be complicated when you are camping, traveling, hiking, spending time on the beach, whatever. This is what inspired us for creating this list of highly-rated portable refrigerators that you can easily take with you. But there is one aspect you need to know about compact fridges.

  • Small Fridge Alternatives
  • Car Portable Refrigerators
  • Carry / Portable Fridges
  • Soft Car Cooler/Warmer
  • Small Portable Fridges for Cans
  • Portable Cooler Bags
  • Portable Cosmetics and Medicine Fridges

 

Two types, two options

Let's take a look at the type of small refrigerators. It is crucial to understand the difference between these two varieties:

  • Portable refrigerators – they are like usual fridges you used to have at home but small ones. They have a compressor and run freon gas to cool the drinks inside. Whatever the ambient temperature is, the temperature inside the fridge is stable. Portable fridges are efficient, reliable but normally more expensive than thermoelectric coolers.
  • Thermoelectric coolers – they have a compressor-less design, meaning they are cheaper and eco-friendly. Due to the Peltier effect, which creates the temperature difference between two plates, thermoelectric coolers can function like heaters. It makes them a multi-functional device, however thermoelectric cooler/heater temperature is not stable. It depends on the ambient temperature – the hotter the day, the higher the temperature inside the portable cooler is.

 

Also, compact fridges differ in their size and purpose of use. For example, you can find soft cooler bags for hiking or small insulin fridges for traveling, as well as extra-durable coolers for camping and cosmetic mini fridges. In this article, we've tried to cover different sorts of small fridges. We have picked up highly-rated quality products from Amazon with a number of customers' reviews to avail you with a rich assortment of compact fridges. Take a look and see if there is a portable freezer to satisfy your needs. Pay attention to the 'Type' column:

 

Small Fridge Alternatives

1. EdgeStar Convertible Refrigerator

  • Amazon rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars. Based on 157 customer reviews.
  • Price: $170.99
  • Pros: full range thermostatic temperature control, has a lock and two keys, reversible door, recessed handle, energy efficient, modern design, great for truckers, two modes fridge/freezer, quiet, practical, easy to use, nice quality, temperature seems steady.
  • Cons: no thermometer inside to see the exact temperature.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: portable refrigerator
  • size: 19.2 x 18.5 x 17.7in (48.7 x 47 x 45cm)
  • weight: 42 lbs (19kg)
  • color: stainless-steel
  • model: CRF150SS-1
  • capacity: not specified

 

Most common usage problems:

  •  it produces condensation inside at the top, means there is moisture inside
  • no light inside, inconvenient when using at night.

 

2. Black + Decker Compact Refrigerator

  • Amazon rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars. Based on 104 customer reviews.
  • Price: $119.97
  • Pros: 2 full-width glass shelves, 2 door shelves for bottles, adjustable thermostat control, freezer compartment, flat back design, energy-saving, leveling legs, small but roomy.
  • Cons: very noisy.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: portable refrigerator
  • size: 17.5 x 18.5 x 26.6in (44.5 x 47 x 26.6cm)
  • weight: 44.3lbs (21kg)
  • color: black, white, brushed metal finish
  • model: BCRK17
  • capacity: 12.7gal (48L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • since the compressor is noisy and produces some cracking sounds, it is not convenient to keep it in the room for the risk of awakening.

 

Car Portable Refrigerators

3. Dometic Portable Refrigerator (CFX-28US)

  • Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Based on 247 customer reviews.
  • Price: $549.99
  • Pros: roomy, any temperature can be set, 2 power options, temperature ranges from -8°F to +50°F (-22°C to +10°C), convenient display, durable, easy to carry.
  • Cons: high price, short cord, quite heavy.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: portable refrigerator
  • size: 24.4 x 13.5 x 16.7in (62 x 34.3 x 42.5cm)
  • weight: 29 lbs (13.1kg)
  • color: blue/gray
  • model: CFX-28US
  • capacity: 6.9gal (26L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • the temperature inside the fridge is inaccurate, about 10°C higher than displayed
  • fan runs loudly.

 

4. Dometic Portable Freezer (CF-025CD)

  • Amazon rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars. Based on 242 customer reviews.
  • Price: $500.00
  • Pros: slim and tall to fit in narrow spaces, durable body, interior light, upright storage of 2-liter bottles, battery monitor, detachable lid, convenient handle, secure lid lock, LED control display, electric thermostat, removable coated wire basket, fast to cool down.
  • Cons: expensive.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: portable refrigerator
  • size: 22 x 17 x 10in (56 x 43 x 25.5cm)
  • weight: 28lbs (12.7kg)
  • color: dark gray/gray
  • model: CF-025DC
  • capacity: 6gal (23L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • body and handles are made of steal but not aluminum, so they can get rust on the boat.

 

Carry / Portable Fridges

5. Wagan Cooler

  • Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars. Based on 456 customer reviews.
  • Price: $74.58
  • Pros: inexpensive, durable, functions as a cooler/warmer, good for four 2L bottles standing vertically, great for trips, 2 temperature settings, has indicator lights, plastic carrying handle, spacious, quiet fan in the lid, long cord, well designed, 32°F (0°C) is the lowest and 140°F (60°C) is the highest temperature.
  • Cons: uneven temperature distribution (cooler on the bottom, hotter on the top), the cord is not detachable.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric cooler/warmer
  • size: 11 x 16 x 16.5in (28 x 40.5 x 42cm)
  • weight: 9.75lbs (4.4kg)
  • color: blue
  • model: EL6224
  • capacity: 6.3gal (24L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • very light storage space for the cord so it just drags behind since it is not detachable
  • a poor locking mechanism, be careful not to break it off
  • to avoid a power surge, you need to unplug it when you stop the car and then plug in after starting the engine.

 

6. Kula 5 Cooler

  • Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars. Based on 14 customer reviews.
  • Price: $198.95
  • Pros: large, spacious, very stylish, extremely durable, a convenient handle, can be used as a seat, has a padded lid, has a bottle opener, easy to use, one-handed latch, rubber feet on the bottom.
  • Cons: condenses water, no spigot on the bottom.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: rotomolded cooler
  • size: 16.8 x 16.8 x 14.2in (42.6 x 42.6 x 36cm)
  • weight: 13lbs (33cm)
  • color: gray, seafoam, white
  • capacity: 5gal (19L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • inconvenient and heavy to carry when it is full of drinks
  • walls seem too thin with insulation
  • does not keep ice as long as similar priced portable fridges.

 

7. Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

  • Amazon rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars. Based on 1,004 customer reviews.
  • Price: $93.09
  • Pros: spacious, very durable, a convenient handle and 2 additional handles on the sides, a long power cord to use in a cigarette lighter or outlet, rigid, solid, operates quietly, easy to use.
  • Cons: poor quality of the cord.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric cooler
  • size: 18.2 x 13.1 x 15.5in (46 x 33 x 40cm)
  • weight: 1lb (453g)
  • color: silver gray
  • capacity: 6.3gal (24L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • a cord gets too hot when working, some customer got it melted

 

Soft Car Cooler/Warmer

8. Argus Le Causalyg Soft Electric Car Cooler/Warmer

  • Amazon rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars. Based on 99 customer reviews.
  • Price: $99.99
  • Pros: functions as a cooler or warmer, massive capacity, easy to transport, convenient to carry, takes little space when empty, interior aluminum foil lining, 1-year warranty, thermoelectric system, multi-functional use, insulated zipper, antiskid design, durable material, quiet, easy to clean.
  • Cons: no.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: soft electric cooler/warmer bag
  • size: 13.6 x 9.25 x 8.07in (34.5 x 23.5 x 20.5cm)
  • weight: 3.9lbs (1.7kg)
  • color: black/blue
  • capacity: 4.75gal (18L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • the stuff you put inside has to be cold because the cooler has no power to cool warm foods

 

Small Portable Fridges for Cans

9. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer

  • Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars. Based on 1,405 customer reviews.
  • Price: $44.99
  • Pros: inexpensive, a variety of color options, switch from heating to cooling, AC/DC and USB adapter included, can be charged from a power bank for more portability, durable and sleek design, lightweight, magnetic self-lock latching door, a carrying handle on the top, makes no noise.
  • Cons: may leak because of condensation.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric cooler/warmer
  • size: 11 x 7.25 x 10in (28 x 18.5 x 25.4cm)
  • weight: 5.8 lbs (2.6kg)
  • color: blue, cow, fuchsia, pink, white
  • model: CMF6W
  • capacity: 1.05gal (4L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • too short to accommodate many 12-oz bottles
  • works better when plugged into the outlet compared to the USB port
  • some customers consider it is not cold enough
  • screws at the bottom of the fridge stick out, make sure they don't scratch anything.

 

10. Chefman Portable Fridge Cool & Heats

  • Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars. Based on 68 customer reviews.
  • Price: $49.88
  • Pros: convenient for cans, portable, functions as a cooler/heater, compact, has a switch for mode changing, eco-friendly, freon free, 1-year warranty.
  • Cons: fan is loud.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric cooler/warmer
  • size: 9.6 x 7.3 x 10.6in (24.5 x 18.5 x 27cm)
  • weight: 4.35lbs (2kg)
  • color: black, white
  • model: RJ48-Black-AM
  • capacity: 1.05gal (4L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • the body is easy to get scratched, especially if you opt for a black fridge.

 

11. Uber Appliance Portable Mini Fridge

  • Amazon rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars. Based on 96 customer reviews.
  • Price: $79.99
  • Pros: functions as a cooler/warmer, no ice needed, a simple switch of modes, cooling capacity is 40°F (5°C), warming capacity is 150°F (65°C), plugs in a cigarette lighter or home outlet, durable design, perfect for travel needs, spacious, quiet.
  • Cons: no removable shelf.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric cooler/warmer
  • size: 14 x 14 x 14in (35.5 x 35.5 x 35.5cm)
  • weight: 8lbs (3.6kg)
  • color: matte black, red, silver
  • model: UB-XL1
  • capacity: 1.05gal (4L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • the temperature inside is not stable, it depends on the room temperature (if it is above 85°F/30°C the items inside are cool, not cold)
  • according to the instructions, the unit needs an hour break after running 48 hours – inconvenient.

 

Portable Cooler Bags

12. North Coyote Cooler Bag

  • Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars. Based on 118 customer reviews.
  • Price: $39.99
  • Pros: good size, spacious, great for hiking, collapsible, works as a usual backpack, multi-purpose, durable material (600D polyester), 90-days money back guarantee, insulated compartment, lots of small storage compartments.
  • Cons: tight snaps.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: insulated cooler bag
  • size: 20 x 7.3 x 30in (51 x 18.5 x 76.2cm)
  • weight: 2.4 lbs (1.1kg)
  • color: black
  • capacity: 6.6gal (25L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • the way the cooler attached to the top part is inconvenient because it does not come off completely

 

13. CleverMade Collapsible Cooler

  • Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars. Based on 427 customer reviews.
  • Price: $29.99
  • Pros: collapsible, easy to store, takes little space when folded, roomy when unfolded, 50 pounds load capacity, no leakage of melted ice for the whole day.
  • Cons: no shoulder strap, poor zipper pulls.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: insulated cooler bag
  • size: 18.25 x 12.25 x 12in (46.4 x 31 x 30.5cm)
  • weight: 2lbs (0.9kg)
  • color: 7 different options
  • capacity: 8gal (30L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • the sides tend to collapse unless the cooler is completely full
  • zipper may stick a bit.

 

Portable Cosmetics and Medicine Fridges

14. Housmile Mini Cosmetic and Medical Fridge

  • Amazon rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars. Based on 26 customer reviews.
  • Price: $72.99
  • Pros: advanced semiconductor refrigeration technology, refrigeration temperature ranges from 46°F (8°C) to 64°F (18°C), compact design, highly efficient, LED backlit display, digital temperature control screen, has a power plug, perfect size for small items.
  • Cons: only one of two bins is cool.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric refrigerator
  • size: 11.7 x 8.9 x 5.9in (30 x 22.5 x 15cm)
  • weight: 6.17lbs (2.8kg)
  • color: white
  • model: HO-LN-CX592WE
  • capacity: 0.8gal (3L)

 

Most common usage problems:

  • not as quiet as it is indicated.

 

15. AIJUN Portable Insulin Cooler

  • Amazon rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars. Based on 13 customer reviews.
  • Price: $114.99
  • Pros: durable and solid body, 8 hours maximum working time after a full charge, battery indicator, luggage compartments, perfect for travel needs.
  • Cons: no small screw to close the battery compartment.

 

Characteristics:

  • type: thermoelectric refrigerator
  • size: 9.7 x 9.2 x 4.3in (24.5 x 23 x 11cm)
  • weight: 2.69lbs (1.22kg)
  • color: white
  • model: B01LZUGTBA
  • capacity: not identified

 

Most common usage problems:

  • some customers had issues with the battery.
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