If you are an enthusiast of excursions and camping, especially in summer, there is something you must do without fail (if you have not done it already): buy a portable refrigerator. And there is nothing like enjoying a day in front of the sea while we taste a very cool drink, under our blessed large beach umbrellas.
But these items have evolved a lot in recent years, and are no longer just simple chests capable of keeping our food fresh, but many models are motorized portable refrigerators, capable of generating cold if we connect them to a power source. And as their level of sophistication has increased, buying travel refrigerators has also become more complex, as more factors are already involved in their choice.
GUIDE TO BUYING PORTABLE COOLERS
To know which portable cooler to buy, it is necessary that we know these types of products well, as well as those aspects or characteristics that will determine whether we are dealing with good camping refrigerators or not.
Therefore, in this section of the guide, we will address all those questions that we must assess at the time of purchase and that will help us decide which portable refrigerator is best for what we, as users, need:
Type: the first thing to decide is what kind of travel fridge we want. The most common options are folding portable refrigerators (bag or backpack type), electric portable refrigerators (capable not only of conserving temperature but also generating cold), and rigid portable refrigerators (chest or trunk type, but within the category of portable refrigerators without electricity ).
Power source: if we have opted to buy an electric travel fridge, it will be necessary to take into account if it is plugged into the power outlet, if it is connected to the car cigarette lighter or if it includes a rechargeable battery.
Size: it is an issue that must be assessed for 2 fundamental reasons. The first one is that the size will determine the capacity of our new camping fridge, and the second because its dimensions will determine how easy or difficult it will be to carry it from one place to another, either carrying it or in the trunk of the car.
Temperature: travel refrigerators without electricity, that is, those of a lifetime, are limited to maintaining the temperature of our food and beverages, and require the use of ice or cold accumulators to cool them for a limited period of time. However, electric travel refrigerators are capable of generating cold by themselves, so it is advisable to find out what range of temperatures they can reach (it is usually between 15 and 25 degrees below room temperature).
Portability: although it is a characteristic that is assumed in any portable refrigerator (hence its name), the truth is that some models are more “portable” than others. In this section, we must choose what is most comfortable for us, either taking advantage of the different variables that size and weight offer us or simply opting for portable refrigerators with wheels that facilitate their transport.
Design: although the most important thing in this type of article is its functionality, the design must also be taken into consideration, as it can affect the usability of the product (for example, backpack-type portable coolers are very easy to transport but have little capacity). Front doors such as those of a refrigerator or higher ones such as a chest, compartments, and dividers to organize food and drinks … The different designs that we can find in the market are the most varied, but we must try to choose the one that best suits our needs or that can provide us with simpler and more comfortable use of the refrigerator.
Price: if you have taken a look at the product gallery that appears a little higher, you have surely noticed that the variety of prices is remarkable. That makes it possible for us to buy a camping cooler, regardless of our budget, since, if we don’t get the money for one of those sophisticated thermoelectric coolers, at least we can buy cheap coolers, even if they are more modest.
TRAVEL REFRIGERATOR COMPARISON 2021
As a complement to the previous section, we have prepared an interesting comparison of camping refrigerators that will help us to see, in a more graphic and intuitive way, the main differences between the different types that we can find in stores.
We have selected several models covering several product segments (the coolers cheap, the refrigerators electric travel, the refrigerators folding camping, the coolers with compressor, etc.) and have faced checking their differences in performance, quality, and price. Do we see the results of our comparison of portable refrigerators 2021?
THE BEST PORTABLE COOLERS OF 2021
Do you want to know some of the best travel refrigerators of 2021? Well, you should not miss this section of the guide, because here we will outline some of the most popular models among Spanish consumers, covering both modern refrigerators’ portable thermal power as conventional coolers. Let’s go with it:
MOBICOOL V30 AC / DC PORTABLE THERMOELECTRIC COOLER
We started our reviews, how could it be otherwise, with the Mobicool V30 AC / DC Portable Thermoelectric Refrigerator, the model that everyone talks about and that, today, is one of the best-selling portable refrigerators in Amazon Spain.
It is a thermoelectric portable fridge (which not only preserves the temperature but can also generate cold if we connect it to a power source) that offers a not inconsiderable 29-liter capacity, and a size generous enough to house without problems the food and drinks that we need for our excursions (2-liter bottles can stand upright).
In addition to being in the field, in the home garden, or in the pool, this model can perfectly serve as a portable fridge for vehicles, as it includes a practical connector that will allow us to plug it into the car cigarette lighter.
This electric travel cooler that can be plugged into a power outlet or a car cigarette lighter (it incorporates two cables) operates at 12V / 230V and offers class A ++ energy efficiency.
Its cooling capacity is also worth mentioning, as it will manage to refrigerate our food and drinks up to 18 degrees below room temperature.
And if all those virtues weren’t enough, its irresistible price will finally convince us completely, since it is one of the cheapest thermoelectric portable coolers on the market:
PORTABLE COOLER WITH COMPRESSOR – WAECO COOLFREEZE CDF 18
Another of the most popular models among users is this Portable Compressor Refrigerator – WAECO CoolFreeze CDF 18, a travel refrigerator that, thanks to the presence of a compressor, not only cools food but can also freeze it.
Yes, yes, you read that right, this electric compressor travel cooler offers a temperature range beyond the reach of traditional portable coolers, as it can cool down to 10 degrees and with deep freeze mode it can reach 18 degrees below zero.
And all this, with minimal energy consumption. This portable electric refrigerator is designed to operate at 12V / 24V, but it can also be used at 230V, thanks to its practical EPS 100 adapter, being able to plug it into both the cigarette lighter of our vehicle (it is one of the best portable refrigerators for cars ) and to a conventional power outlet.
Its 18-liter capacity, its compact design, its folding lid, its practical handle for more comfortable transport, its interior separator to better organize food, its temperature regulator, or its size that allows carrying 2-liter bottles without problems, are other of the great attractions of this model. As a negative point, we must say that its price is somewhat higher than that of other competitive models, although it should be remembered that this, thanks to the fact that it is a portable refrigerator with a compressor, allows us to freeze food and others do not.
Do you want ice cream and ice cream coolers? So you need a model with a compressor like this:
CAMPING COOLER AZUL CAMPOS 42 L
And we do not want to leave aside those users who like traditional things and who prefer the classic rigid portable refrigerators, those of a lifetime and that, unlike previous models, are portable refrigerators without electricity, so their function It is not cooling, but keeping the food cold. The model chosen to review is none other than the Azul Campos 42 L Camping Cooler.
Made of polypropylene and with internal insulation based on expanded polystyrene, this portable cooler for camping or beach manages to combine robustness, lightness, and an excellent ability to keep food cold.
The model we are considering here offers 42 liters of capacity and is large enough to easily house food tapers, soda cans, or even 2-liter bottles. It is also available in different capacity levels (10 liters, 16 liters, 24 liters, 25 liters, and 29 liters).
With the exception of its elegant design and its convenient transport thanks to the folding handle, it incorporates, little more can be said about this model since simplicity is one of the great values of this rigid travel fridge. It is that same simplicity, by dispensing with an electrical system, which makes it possible for us to include this model within the segment of inexpensive portable refrigerators.
THE BEST CAMPING REFRIGERATOR BRANDS
What are the best brands of portable coolers? Many users stick to the products of those manufacturers that enjoy the best reputation and prestige, to ensure that we invest our money in quality products and that they have the endorsement of a great company behind them.
If you also want to know the best brands of travel refrigerators, do not miss this section of the guide:
BUY DOMENIC WAECO PORTABLE COOLERS
We started with one of the great references when it comes to the commercialization of electric portable refrigerators. And it is that Domenic Waeco travel refrigerators, and especially its well-known line of Mobicool portable refrigerators (which are used for outdoor excursions but also as portable refrigerators for cars ) enjoy great popularity among Spanish consumers.
The main reasons for its great success must be attributed to the excellent quality-price ratio enjoyed by all its products since they allow us to enjoy sophisticated thermoelectric refrigerators at quite affordable prices if we compare them with other competing firms.
BUY EZETIL PORTABLE COOLERS
Now we are going with a brand that covers all the typologies and categories that have been and have yet to be found. And, if we take a look at the catalog of EZetil coolers, we see that includes coolers thermoelectric, the fridges travel drive, the fridges camping rigid or coolers cloth (also known as flexible coolers ).
This great variety is the best claim to buy an EZetil portable fridge, since we can enjoy great freedom of choice and, thus, make sure to acquire a model with the specific characteristics that we need.
BUY CAMPINGAZ PORTABLE COOLERS
It is time to talk about Campingaz portable refrigerators, a brand that is mainly committed to the most classic concept of the portable refrigerator, that is, offering a wide assortment of traditional portable refrigerators for beach or camping, which do not cool by themselves but preserve the cold food and beverages, isolating the inside temperature from the outside.
Therefore, its main market is that of rigid portable coolers and flexible portable coolers (made of cloth, in the form of a bag or backpack). Although that does not mean that it also wants to satisfy the tastes of its most demanding customers, with the odd model of portable thermoelectric refrigerator.
PORTABLE ELECTRIC COOLERS
Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, and the portable refrigerator industry is no stranger to it.
If before we had to settle for keeping our food and drinks cool (having to use ice inside our conventional refrigerators), now we can enjoy models that really cool by themselves if we connect them to a power outlet or to the car cigarette lighter. They are thermoelectric portable refrigerators.
RIGID PORTABLE COOLERS
The most nostalgic users will always prefer the classic portable refrigerators for camping, those rigid ones made of plastic, and that we must fill with ice bags so that our food stays cold.
In addition, these rigid camping refrigerators, since they do not have electric motors like the most modern and sophisticated models, tend to be cheap portable refrigerators, which, without a doubt, will be one more incentive to get one of them.
Below, you can see some examples, in case you finally decide to buy rigid portable coolers :
PORTABLE FABRIC COOLERS
Another variant that we are already used to is the one offered by the fabric camping coolers.
Its use is very similar to the rigid models that we have just mentioned, that is, they do not cool by themselves and they need us to use ice packs or cooling blocks so that drinks and food stay cold for longer.
The main advantage of flexible or fabric coolers is that their backpack or satchel design allows us to carry them in a very comfortable way. In addition, it is very easy to store them when we are not using them since they take up less space.
If you are going to buy fabric coolers, do not miss these interesting models:
PORTABLE COOLERS ON WHEELS
When the fridge is full of food tapers, soda cans, and water bottles, its weight can be considerable, which is a hassle to take into account when transporting it from the car to the camping point. Luckily, manufacturers are in everything, and they offer us a wide assortment of portable refrigerators with wheels that will greatly facilitate us to carry them from one place to another.
If you are also tired of always having to carry so much weight on your excursions to the countryside or the beach, do not think twice, and choose to buy portable refrigerators with wheels like these:
PORTABLE REFRIGERATORS WITH COMPRESSOR
If you are looking for a model with a higher cooling power or even a portable ice cream cooler, compressor portable coolers will be your best option.
The reason? A compressor cooler not only cools, but it is also capable of freezing, reaching temperatures of around 15-20 degrees below zero.
Of course, these portable compressor coolers are considerably more expensive than conventional models. But, if our budget allows it, why not pay a little more and buy portable refrigerators with a compressor to enjoy a product that will provide us with a better service?
PORTABLE CAR COOLERS
How many times were we in the middle of a very long car trip and we were dying for a very cold soda to fight the thirst and the heat? Thanks to the travel coolers for cars, we can enjoy cold drinks and food on our trips.
And it is that these portable refrigerators for vehicles are connected to the cigarette lighter of our car to activate its electric motor and cool our food and drinks.
If you are used to traveling frequently, buying portable car coolers can be a great idea:
HOW DO PORTABLE COOLERS COOL?
Have you ever wondered how portable refrigerators work or, rather, how they manage to cool our food and drinks? With the video that we attach to you below, we can get rid of doubts, as they explain, in detail, the different components of a thermoelectric refrigerator and their function:
BUY CHEAP PORTABLE COOLERS
What do we do if we need a new fridge for our excursions and camping trips, but our budget is limited and it does not reach us? We can rest easy because we always have the option of buying cheap portable coolers.
To begin with, if we want to find cheap portable refrigerators, we will have to forget about thermoelectric and compressor models, since their price is quite high. Instead, we have to focus on fabric camping coolers or conventional rigid coolers, which cost much less.
Capacity is one of the factors that most influence the price, so, to find portable coolers at a good price, we will have to look at the smaller and more compact models.
Finally, we have the option of buying second-hand portable refrigerators, which will always be cheaper than the new ones.