Top 5 Best Portable Refrigerators Review $50 – 500 – Vital Pros and cons

Best Portable Refrigerator For Cars, Camping and Truck – The portable car refrigerators are wonderful accessories if you camp frequently or for extended periods. If you’re tired of buying ice for your fridge, or melting ice at the bottom of the cooler, consider cheap portable coolers!

There are a number of options. Make sure you choose the perfect one for your family!

Look for a unit that works not only with 12 volts or 24 volts DC, but also with 120 volts AC so you can plug it in at home and cool it down before moving it to your vehicle.

What is a portable refrigerator with wheels?

When you are camping or on the road, it is considered as a cooling system invented to be used to store food and cold drinks. This device can have a variety of design components: battery source; Compressor unit; Compartment Small, lightweight, totally portable and economical: these are the main qualities you are looking for in a car12v fridge. But there is more to come when it comes to buying a portable car cooler for your camping vacation. The following guide will help you make the right decision without spending money in vain.

Who can benefit from the use of small portable refrigerators?

All the world. As literally, to all who like to go camping or picnic outdoors. The portable mini fridge can be used at home during a hot summer season as an additional cooling source to keep your drinks/food cold. So, literally, who likes to drink cold soda/beer may need a portable solar cooler.

What are the situations in which you need a car cooler ?:

  • Camping/hiking/picnicking with friends and family
  • Off-road trips, where electric power is generally not available at all
  • Student parties may have a cool refrigerator such as a portable refrigerator
  • Commercial vehicles can not do without such devices
  • Fishing trips can be much better with a portable cooler in the back of your truck
  • Young moms often use portable refrigerators to keep their breast milk fresh without the need to leave the crib room
  • At home during TV nights, you will always have a cold beer on hand without visiting the kitchen

Benefits of a mini-fridge for your car and camping needs

A better portable cooler offers multiple benefits for daily or occasional use:

  • The food remains cold, fresh and safe for children. Forget about melted chocolate or ice cream
  • Frozen foods require slower defrosting in those portable refrigerators so you can safely transport frozen meats and fish with you
  • Unlike passive coolers, freezers do not require the use of blocks that become melted in a few hours
  • 12V refrigerators can charge very fast without instantly killing your car’s battery
  • In addition to portable refrigeration/freezing units, it not only produces cold foods or cold drinks. And it has a complete set of advanced configurations
  • Simple connection Most portable car refrigerators come with their own chargers and cables that you can charge with a 12V car light or plug them into a 110v outlet in your house
  • The refrigerators do not weigh much. Even a teenager can move around looking for appliances from a car or around a house

Disadvantages of portable refrigerators

Surely, like any other appliance or device, a better portable cooler for cars can have certain drawbacks that must be taken into account before buying. So, what are the most common problems related to any type of portable refrigerators/freezers:

Small battery capacity

Even the best portable refrigerators have this problem. Meanwhile, the device will recharge every six to seven hours 3-4 hours). But there is a solution to this problem. Some expensive auto freezers are based on solar energy.

You need to buy gas for 3 way freezers

Yes, if you are not satisfied with the idea of charging a device in your car. Gas-based refrigerators will simply not work without this fuel.

The brief history of portable refrigerators

The history of the portable cooler began in 1000 BC, when the Chinese invented to collect ice in boxes to freeze their food and drinks for the future and avoid hunting during the winter seasons. Later on at 1800 US Maryland engineer Thomas Moore offered a term “refrigerator” for his new cooling device, in effect, there was a simple wooden tub covered with rabbit fur for insulation and filled with melting ice. Moore invented this device for transporting butter that was a request of his friend farmer.

After a few more decades of multiple experiments, Carl von Linde has tested his first portable refrigeration unit with compressor. In 1878, Lindes Eismaschinen AG was founded, which is now known as Linde AG. Many companies started selling portable refrigerators and homes since the 1900s and in 1920 consumers could choose from over 200 different models in the market. As for small portable refrigerators, the first built-in freezer for Electrolux sales was launched. In 1955, approximately 80% of all Americans had household refrigerators. In 1959, Norcold founded the first generations of freezers for cars and recreational vehicles.

Until the late 1970s, the first automobile refrigerator model was launched in 1979. Since the portable refrigerator models have been improved according to customer needs and have been developed in multiple alignments with basic and advanced features.

Types of portable refrigerators in the market

If you think your family will only benefit from investing in a new refrigerator, then you’re right. With a 2 or 3 year warranty, a high-end cooler can run for at least 6 years. So, yes, it is a very profitable investment that will save you from any nutritional problems during camping trips. But, what is the best portable cooler there is? With so many options in the market, it could be difficult to make the best decision.

First of all, you must understand that there is no “perfect portable refrigerator”. There are some types of refrigerators that you can choose from. Each of them has the pros and cons to consider, so choose according to your needs and those of your family. So all portable refrigerators for cars and recreational vehicles differ:

By design

Bidirectional portable refrigerator compressor

It works just like a domestic refrigerator. The only difference is that it works with a 12 V car battery or a 240 V AC adapter. The noise level is medium. An excellent economic solution for each family.


  • It works better than other types (thermoelectric or absorption models)
  • It has a wide range of sizes, from 13L to 110L
  • Maintains the chosen temperature mode under different ambient temperatures
  • It will not drain your car’s battery, especially in a safe energy mode


  • some older models require configuration every time the room temperature changes
  • Most models come with adapters, but sometimes you need to buy one separately

Portable 3-way absorption refrigerator

If you prefer to use a gas refrigerator, this is your choice. These models do not have an engine, tend to be a car battery (through an adapter), electricity but mainly LP gas. The noise level is generally low.


  • These refrigerators use the heat source that works with 12/240 volts with adapters and gas
  • It can cool the temperature up to 33 ° below room temperature
  • Some expensive models have a freezer compartment


  • Its capacity starts from 39L to 50L and can be good only for large families. However, to the advantage of someone else

Thermoelectric portable refrigerator

This product is designed for short-term cooling or to keep food warm. They are limited with cooling capabilities and cause drainage of automobile batteries. Then, the noise level is high. But the size can be a real benefit, since it is basically a small isolated refrigerator. The capacity varies from 7L to 32L.


  • consume the same amount of power as a domestic hair dryer
  • They can be as good as with an adapter
  • Small and light: the only option for lonely campers


  • If the ambient temperature is more than 25 ° C the search models can drain the battery of a car quite quickly
  • Cheap models are noisy and poorly insulated

By specification

Refrigerator for automobile

As you may have noticed, most models are suitable for charging with 12V car batteries. The choice should depend on the size of the refrigerator according to your needs.

RV refrigerator.

Basically, you only need a bigger fridge for your car. And the best option here is a 3-way refrigerator that runs on gas or electricity. In addition, such models are usually large and can easily replace a standard oven. In addition, the larger models are best for long trips and bumpy roads.

Camping refrigerator

Any other 12V electric or car refrigerator belongs to this category. You are a camper, so you know better what you need. Virtually any portable cooler will not be used for camping since they were invented for this.

Where to buy a portable refrigerator?

Buying a portable cooler online is the easiest thing to do if you have an eBay account or use Amazon shipping services. You can search for specific models, compare, chat and read user reviews. An official website is always the best way to choose between the newest facilities of a certain brand. Local stores can increase the price by at least 10%, but they are so it is up to you to decide where the best place to buy is. The average prices have already been mentioned.

Nowadays it has never been easier to buy a 12v portable cooler online and it literally stops for 5 to 10 years. Stay cool and make your food great and portable coolers!


1. Dometic 9600000460 Review

About the product itself

  • Capacity: approx. 18 liters
  • Power supply: 12 / 24V DC;
  • Potentiometer for temperature adjustment
  • Temperature range: from + 10 ° C to -18 ° C;
  • Consumption: Approx. 35W
  • Color: pale gray / dark gray
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 465 x 414 x 300 mm
  • Weight: approx. 11.5 kg

Dometic 9600000460 Review

Main characteristics that differentiate the product from similar ones

The lightweight compressor technology and super slim design of this portable electric refrigerator will facilitate the cooling and freezing of food and beverages. Performance is another positive factor: regardless of the outside temperature, that electric mini cooler is cooled and frozen with minimal energy consumption.


  • Compact design
  • Deep freeze
  • Light
  • Easy to use


  • It’s a bit noisy

2. Mobicool 9103501273 G30 Review

About the product itself

  • Thermoelectric cooler with 12/230 volt connection, energy class A ++
  • Cooling: up to 18 ° C below the ambient temperature
  • Standing height for bottles up to 6 x 2 liters
  • Secondary function of the carrying handle as lid support or blocking
  • Cable compartment in the lid

Mobicool 9103501273 G30 Review

Main characteristics that differentiate the product from similar ones

The G30 AC / DC receives the required operating current either through a normal household outlet or through the 12 volt cigarette lighter in a motor vehicle. To make sure you do not have to do it without charging mobile devices while driving, the refrigerator is equipped with a USB port. For transport, a handle is integrated and the power cables can be stored in two compartments in the lid. At an indoor temperature of up to 18 degrees below the outside temperature, beverages and food are cooled sufficiently to Central European temperatures. Frozen food, however, can not be stored in the box for a long time. Thanks to the height, it is possible to store even larger bottles in vertical position. To avoid the formation of excessive condensation,


  • Double fan system for rapid cooling distribution
  • Cable compartment on the lid
  • It comes with a USB port


  • Condensation builds up inside the lid

3. Mobicool V30 Review

About the product itself

  • Mobicool V30 DC Cooler / Warmer is cooled to 17 ° C below room temperature and heated to 65 ° C
  • Store up to six bottles of 2L upright
  • The handle of the conveyor serves to repair or hold the lid
  • Cable compartment on the lid
  • 12V DC

Mobicool V30 Review

Main characteristics that differentiate the product from similar ones

The internal temperature of the V30 AC / DC can be adjusted with an adjusting wheel when the small portable refrigeratorIt is connected to the electrical network. Depending on the configuration, the fan noise is expected to be more or less noisy, which should be noted when operating in a vehicle, but hardly. The lowest temperature that must be reached according to the manufacturer is 18 degrees below the outside temperature. This means that they can reach around 10 degrees at a summer temperature of 28 degrees. This complies with the recommendations for storage of most foods in the refrigerator. To keep the cold even after disconnecting from the mains for some time, the box is insulated from foam core. For transportation, a sturdy carrying handle is attached, which otherwise serves to lock the lid.


  • Easy to transport
  • Deep freeze
  • Easy to use


  • It produces a lot of noise

4. Coleman 3000001276 Review

About the product itself

  • 48l capacity
  • Keep ice for 5 days at 32.22 degrees Celsius
  • Incorporates up to 82 doses of beer or juice plus ice
  • Integrated drainage system that works even with the box on a flat surface
  • Handles with bidirectional adjustment for easy transport and storage
  • 5 cm insulating layer around the shelf to keep the contents fresh for a longer time
  • Hinged cover with deep grooves for juice or beer
  • Dimensions: 70.61 x 43.68 x 38.10cm
  • Weight: 5.8kg

Coleman Cooler Review

Main characteristics that differentiate the product from similar ones

As the name implies, the extreme cooling performance of the box is due to a new technique: the floor and the lid are particularly resistant with insulated polyurethane, a plastic that is used, among other things, for winter clothes and for the thermal insulation of houses. The rounded feet provide optimal air circulation and the integrated UV protection prevents damage by excessive sunlight (as in a boat or on the beach). With a capacity of 91 l, it can accommodate up to 20 foot bottles of 1.5 l (even 35). The extended family must be well cared for. The positive image is completed with a snap closure with high sealing performance and a corrosion resistant spout. For customers, the product is very well received and receives the highest ratings.


  • It comes with UV protection
  • It is a large portable refrigerator
  • High sealing performance


  • grip handles do not have excellent quality

5. Mobicool 9105302940 Review

About the product itself

  • A ++ energy efficiency class
  • Net total useful content 48 liters
  • Net utility refrigerator 48 liters
  • Color Metallic Blue
  • Doors: 2
  • Voltage 12/220 – 240 V / 50 Hz
  • Dimensions (width x depth x height) 40 cm x 53.2 cm x 45.2 cm
  • Weight 7.6 kg

Mobicool 9105302940 Review

Main characteristics that differentiate the product from similar ones

The refrigerator works with 4 Peltier elements (electrothermal converters) and automatically switches from AC to DC (AC / DC). This is useful when you connect the device, for example, to the car cigarette lighter and ensures constant cooling. On the lid, a device is integrated to extract a single bottle. This saves energy and prevents too rapid heating of the interior. The dividing grids facilitate the general view during finishing. But they can also be eliminated when space is scarce. For the great box there are hardly any revisions, but it is reported that it fulfills its purpose even with continuous use. A useful little extra is also the battery monitor, which automatically shuts off the box with little residual current in the car. If the box is placed horizontally,


  • Constant cooling
  • It has a battery monitor
  • Easy to use


  • It makes a lot of noise

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