5 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Portable Refrigerator

Have you been considering purchasing a portable refrigerator? A compact fridge can be a game-changer, especially if you travel, camp, or live off the grid. 

Imagine having fresh meat and vegetables readily available at your fingertips on a camping trip or tasty cheeses and chilled champagne on a boat miles away from shore. Off-grid life becomes much more lux when you have a portable fridge! 

Whatever your reason for wanting a portable refrigerator, here are some things you should consider before purchasing one. Weigh your options to ensure you end up with a model you love! 

What Factors Should You Consider Before Purchasing a Portable Fridge? 

Portable refrigerators come in various forms and are suitable for many use cases. You might want a portable fridge for van life or RV living. Or you might like one for recreational activities like boating or tailgate parties. 

Depending on what you hope to achieve with the appliance, different features will make some models better suited than others. 

Many factors go into making the right choice — and it’s not easy to know where to begin. 

Here are the essential questions to ask yourself to guide your decision.

1. What Access to Power Will You Have? 

If you can’t power your portable refrigerator, then it won’t do you much good. When searching for the right option, consider what power sources you’ll have available and whether or not they’re compatible with the fridge you are considering. 

Different types and models of portable refrigerators might use various charging options. Most will run on AC or DC power. If you can access these types of energy through a vehicle or a campsite with shore power, that’s excellent! 

If electrical hookups will be few and far between, the EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator offers direct solar charging in addition to charging with AC. 

You can pair the Glacier directly with a 220W Bifacial Portable Solar Panel to access clean, renewable energy, no matter where you are. Solar power is a sustainable energy source that you can use in remote locations without access to grid electricity. 

2. What Are You Using the Fridge For? 

The purpose of your portable refrigerator will have a lot of bearing on which is the best option for you. For example, are you trying to store perishable foods — like meat and vegetables — for extended periods at a safe temperature? You’ll need to ensure your fridge is up to the task.

Portable refrigerators, as their name suggests, are easy to bring wherever you’re going and carry delicious meals along for the ride! If you’re toting one to a tailgate party, you’ll want something easy to load into a vehicle and wheel around the parking lot. For this purpose, portability matters. 

On the other hand, portability might not be a priority if your fridge will stay put. For example, many people use portable fridges for RVs or tiny homes because small refrigerators use less power — and take up less space — than full-size.

Besides size, the purpose also affects what type of cooling you need. For example, some refrigerators are more susceptible to ambient temperature. Storing raw meats or dairy without sufficient refrigeration could put you at risk of illnesses due to food safety concerns

Unless you’re just using your fridge to cool down some beers, you must purchase a model that stays at 40°F or below (4.5°C), and the freezer should be at 0°F (-17.78°C).

3. Where Is the Fridge Going? 

Will your fridge accompany you on your travels, carried across campgrounds, or out to sea with you on your boat? The destination and mode of transport may impact how you prioritize size and portability in your decision-making.  

If you plan to take your small fridge on the go, look for options like the EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator, which has an optional detachable lever and wheels. Additional portable functionality makes longer treks a breeze for those who intend to cover some distance with their portable refrigerator. 

If your fridge will be stationary and used to store food and drinks off-grid in your van, RV, or tiny home, you might want to opt for a larger unit. You’ll be trading ease of movement for larger capacity, but you can store all the items you need daily without being as concerned about available space. 

4. Which Features Do You Need? 

Are both freezing and cooling vital to you? Is it essential to have them simultaneously? Some units may offer a freezer, while others may not. 

The EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator features a dual-zone fridge-freezer. Not only that — for an even more unique feature, it also includes an ice maker! 

Figure out which features are your priorities, and be on the lookout for those in the model you choose. 

5. How Long Will You Go Between Charges?

Battery-powered portable refrigerators have finite electricity storage before they need to be recharged. You’ll need to consider how often you’ll be able to charge the unit and look for one that supports your refrigeration needs for sufficient time between charges. 

Check out the battery capacity on any models you consider. The EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator can run up to 24 hours with its built-in battery, but the optional plug-in battery extends it up to 40 hours of runtime! 

You can also recharge the Glacier with the EcoFlow DELTA 2 Portable Power Station w/220W solar panel for even longer run times off-grid. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Important Factor To Consider When Choosing a Portable Fridge? 

The most crucial factor to consider depends on your specific needs. To make your decision, weigh up your priorities in terms of portability, size, storage capacity, power options, battery life, use cases, and additional features.   

Final Thoughts

Considering the factors we’ve covered above, you should be well-equipped to decide what portable refrigerator is best for you! These factors can help guide your decision and allow you to prioritize what matters most. 

The EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator offers exceptional portability, versatility, and functionality. 

Enjoy the ultimate convenience with a portable solar-powered fridge that’s ready to bring the chill wherever you go.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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