Portable fridge: which is the best of 2021?

Portable fridge: which is the best of 2021?

In summer, camping, on the beach, or on vacation. The challenge is always the same: how to preserve food and drink. It doesn’t matter having a few cans of beers reheated by the sun than having them at a temperature of eight degrees, ready to enjoy lying on a lounger. And how is it possible to achieve this? More than anything, using a good cooler.

If you’ve never used one or if you don’t know what we’re talking about, don’t worry. You have come to the right place. Coolers have become a mandatory requirement for the summer and for trips or getaways to places where it is not easy to store food. If you do not believe it, keep reading this specialized article and you will know all its great advantages.

The most important
A cool box is a box (usually made of plastic) that is thermally insulated, making it perfect for keeping food and drinks at an ideal temperature. It is a typical accessory to take to the beach, the mountains, or any long trip where it is important to bring cold food.
Most coolers are made of plastic and foam material that is used as insulation. But there are also electric or thermoelectric portable refrigerators that are plugged into the car and can be more effective in keeping the cold for a longer amount of time. Among these types of refrigerators, there are some that also keep food warm.
If you are thinking of acquiring a cooler, you probably have to consider the following purchase criteria: the capacity, the material of the box, if it is electric, the dimensions and weight, and its portability (for example, if they have wheels).

The best portable refrigerators on the market: our recommendations

We pack our bags, look at the weather forecast, load the car with everything and realize that the trip will be long and we will need to eat on the way. How to keep beers or sodas cold? Fortunately, portable refrigerators adapt to many circumstances, but you have to know how to choose in the market. This selection brings together the best available.

The best rigid cooler
Best Thermoelectric Cooler
The best portable cooler on wheels
The best cooler bag in the form of a bag

The best rigid cooler

The Campos portable fridge is one of Amazon’s best sellers. It has a capacity of 42 liters, a modern and simple design, and is lightweight and easy to transport. It is perfect for going camping or to the beach.

It has an ergonomic handle that facilitates portability and the materials, made of polypropylene, are ideal for keeping the cold and resistant to UV rays.

Best Thermoelectric Cooler

Severin presents its 20 liter green and white electric cooler as the right company to keep food and beverages cold or hot. They work with a connection to 220-240 volts and 12 volts for the car.

It has a removable lid with a handle, a lock, and an integrated compartment to store the cable safely. The noise it makes is very low: only 35 decibels.

The best portable cooler on wheels

If you want a portable cooler that is very easy to transport, take advantage of this Coleman model. It has a 56-liter capacity, offers optimal insulation, and has a lid that is easy to clean after use.

This cooler can keep food and drink cold for four days. It has a folding handle that makes it even easier to transport and weighs only 5 kg.

The best cooler bag in the form of a bag

Some coolers come in the form of insulated bags. This is the case of this Decocasa model, made of a 100% moisture-resistant EVA lining. It has 2 handles and a removable, adjustable size shoulder strap.

This bag has a zippered compartment and can be comfortably carried in the hand or over the shoulder. It has a capacity of 19 liters.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Coolers

Portable refrigerators are not exactly a new phenomenon, but they have evolved a lot in recent years in terms of their materials, which conserve food better, and in terms of their design, weight, and portability. Electric models have also appeared, gaining much popularity. In this section, we will solve all your doubts on the subject.

What exactly are portable coolers?
Coolers are thermally insulated boxes used to keep food or drinks cool. The most common is to place ice cubes inside to help keep the contents always fresh. Even without adding ice, these coolers can preserve food for quite a long time, depending on the model and capacity.

Why are portable coolers useful?
Especially when the heat arrives and we have to move to different places, be it a vacation trip or a long transfer, keeping drinks and food at a cool temperature becomes a challenge. Portable refrigerators emerged as a possibility to stop worrying about this issue. The most common uses are as follows:
On car trips
On the beach
On a campsite
At a picnic or picnic
In motorhomes and trucks
At parties or outdoor celebrations

What materials are portable refrigerators usually made of?
Most coolers are made of plastic, as they are less heavy and easy to transport. The important thing is that they have a good layer or lining of insulating material inside, with a hermetic seal, so that they better maintain the temperature and the food is preserved in good condition. Some electric refrigerators are made of the aluminum inside.

What types of portable refrigerators are there?
Today you can get all kinds of portable refrigerators since they adapt to different situations depending on the needs of each user. Although they all aim to preserve the temperature of food and beverages, they do not do so in the same way or with the same efficiency. We show you the most typical portable refrigerators below:

Are all electric coolers the same?
The introduction of electric coolers has been revolutionary in the industry. Being able to preserve food and beverages at an ideal temperature indefinitely was unthinkable a few decades ago. However, not all of these types of refrigerators are the same. Among the electrical ones, we can find different operating systems:
Portable compressor refrigerator: Very practical model, since its performance is similar to that of household refrigerators. It can maintain temperatures between 10 and -22 degrees. The compressor takes up very little space within the frame of the refrigerator and is usually very quiet. It is ideal for trucks and caravans.
Thermoelectric portable refrigerator: In this case, the refrigerator is based on a system that regulates the temperature to cool or heat depending on the case. The temperature can range from -20 to 65 degrees. The capacity of these refrigerators ranges from 12 liters and can reach 40 liters. They are usually compact. Connections are 12/24 volts and 230 volts.
Hybrid portable refrigerator: This type of refrigerator combines the technology of compressor and thermoelectric refrigerators. It works as a compressor when it is connected to alternating current and as a thermoelectric when it is connected to direct current. This type of refrigerator is ideal if you need a model with a lot of versatility.

How long do portable refrigerators keep cold?
There is no single answer to this question. The shelf life of a portable refrigerator depends on the brand, the capacity, and the type of food and drink we have. Generally, a cooler (with ice) can last up to four days, except with fish, which does not last that long. It is also important to keep the refrigerator always closed.
With regard to electric portable refrigerators, in all their variants, the times are very different. As long as they are plugged in, either to the car or to an electrical outlet, they can keep food and drink warm and cold indefinitely. Gas-absorbing ones are probably the best since they work almost like household refrigerators.

How can you do to keep the cold in the cooler?
Although coolers are designed to keep the cold inside, there are some tips or tricks you can follow to increase their efficiency. Electric models do not present many obstacles, since it is enough to have them plugged in. For standard coolers, however, consider the following recommendations:
It is advisable to cool drinks and food before putting them in the fridge. If they have previously been in the home refrigerator, we will make sure that they will not undergo a radical change in temperature.
Cooling the cooler by placing plates or ice cubes inside is always an essential help to better preserve the contents.
Regarding drinks, the colder they are before placing them in the cooler, the better. You must check that the bottles are plastic and that the drink is not carbonated. Glass bottles and soda with bubbles can explode if left for a long time at freezing temperatures.
You can cover the outside of the cooler with extra insulation, which is sold in some specialty stores.
Wherever you are, always try to find a shady place to store the cooler, so that the sun gives it as little as possible.
Try to keep the cooler closed whenever possible.
It is not advisable to fill the cooler to the top, so it is advisable to buy a model a little larger than you need.

What maintenance do portable refrigerators require?
The maintenance and care of any type of portable cooler are essential to increase its useful life. In traditional thermal refrigerators that use plates or ice cubes to cool, one of the most common tips is to clean it once we have returned home in order to avoid bad odors.
Regarding electric refrigerators, the main recommendation that should be followed to enjoy food and beverages in good condition for a longer time is to avoid blocking the air outlet or inlet, as well as trying not to continuously open and close the lid so that the refrigerator does not overheat.

Purchase criteria
Portable refrigerators are essential every time we go on a trip, especially in summer, when it is more difficult to keep drinks cold. Today there is a very varied offer on the market that is adjusted according to the needs of each one. In the section that follows we have prepared a list of purchase criteria that we consider essential before choosing a model.

Capacity
Materials and shelf life
Power supply and versatility
Dimensions, weight, and portability
Capacity
A portable refrigerator should be considered an accessory that solves the problem of the temperature of food and beverages. To do this, it must be large enough to store a day’s food, but not so large that it cannot be moved comfortably. If we include liquids, the fridge must be high. The ideal is models between 15 and 45 liters.

Materials and shelf life
The effectiveness of a cooler will ultimately depend on the insulating material that holds the contents. Plastic is ideal for the outdoors, as it is a lightweight and easy-to-clean material. For the interior, EVA rubber linings are very effective in thermally insulating food. Make sure the shelf life is at least 2 days.

Power supply and versatility
One of the most crucial decisions to make is whether to purchase a conventional thermal cooler or an electric one, in its different variants. To do this, you must be clear in what context you will use your refrigerator, for how many days you need to keep food and drinks, and if you will be traveling a lot in a car or caravan. If you have doubts, hybrid models adapt to everything.

Dimensions, weight, and portability
Being portable, it is essential that the refrigerators offer maximum comfort when being moved. Check, for example, that they have wheels and an ergonomic handle to hold it firmly when carrying it from one place to another. The weight is also important since it will increase a lot with the contents that you put inside. The best thing is that it does not exceed 3 kilos empty.

Summary
Portable refrigerators are small boxes that help to preserve the temperature of food and beverages thanks to the fact that they function as thermal insulators. They are especially popular to take on trips, on vacations, as well as on campsites, on long transfers in cars and in caravans. These refrigerators are characterized by being light and comfortable to transport.

There are different types of portable refrigerators. The conventional ones are thermal plastic ones, covered with an insulating lining inside. In recent years, however, electrics have become very popular, which can maintain the temperature indefinitely. The latter uses different preservation mechanisms and can be used in cars.