Best Car Refrigerators

Everyone wants convenience, and we want it everywhere, even in our cars. There is no ultimate convenience that could be greater than having a refrigerator in your car. This great utility, however, does not exist in the car, but with a couple of plugins by your car technician, you can always get it done.

Car refrigerators or Car freezer are innovated with the simple aim of affording a lower temperature for products while you travel or move around with your car. The principle behind the working is the same, only with a few changes in design and body structure. The car refrigerator is a refrigerator with a smaller size.

So now that you have already decided to buy one for you, you would be looking for the best one in the market which is undeniably a lot tedious job. So to trim your time and help you in making the right choice, here in this guide we have included some of the most useful information.

This includes working of car refrigerators, advantages, seasonal fridges, how to install, buying guide, frequently asked questions, and top 6 best picks of portable car refrigerator in the market.

Top 9 Car Refrigerator

ProductAverage User RatingPrice RangeBest Price
Our Pick
4.3/5
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Durable
3.3/5
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Large compartment
4.2/5
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Full-Day Functioning Ability
3.8/5
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Huge Space and Portable
3.7/5
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Longlife and Noiseless
3/5
Check-Price

How Do Portable Car Refrigerators Work?

As said, a portable car refrigerator is small-sized (portable) and are used to keep drinks, food and other consumables at a shallow temperature, to avoid them getting worse under the ambient temperature in the car.

The complexity of these devices ranges from simple ice chests to more complex thermoelectric refrigerators and those powered by compressors. These are three types of fridges, which would be discussed in detail.

The working of the car refrigerator depends on what type it is. However, all these three types of refrigerators depend on insulation. The fridge is a closed section which has its sides insulated, thereby reducing the rate at which heat radiates. When the fridge is closed, the temperature is exposed to a very sluggish movement, with this, consumable products in the refrigerator are kept cool, with the exhaustion of little energy.

Ice chests:

In this type of refrigerator, when heat leaks in, it melts the ice. The fridge would remain in its freezing temperature until there is enough heat leaked in to melt the ice. This hour can be a very long process, taking hours or even days in some cases.

For the compressor powered refrigerators the same cooling process applied by the conventional household refrigerators and air-conditioners are utilized. It is the most efficient portable refrigerator out there.

Compressor powered refrigerators:

This form of refrigerator features a pump which is called a compressor pump, and its sole purpose is to pump a fluid called the refrigerant into a high-pressure chamber called the condenser, via a fragile valve, and into a low-pressure chamber called the evaporator in a continuous circuit. This condenser, however, is located outside the refrigerator.

When the refrigerant is pressurized in it, there is an increase in the temperature. The excess heat leaks out of the compressor into the atmosphere. When there is a flow of the refrigerant into the low-pressure evaporator, there is a reduction in the temperature of the refrigerant.

The evaporator is located inside the refrigerator, and there is a continuous flow of heat into it, this results in the cooling of the fridge. This circuit results in heat being pumped out of the fridge and into the atmosphere; hence, the consumable in the refrigerator is left in its cool condition.

Thermoelectric refrigerators : 

This form of refrigerators makes use of the Peltier effect in the supply of cooling to the contents of the fridge.

When there is the movement of electric current between two different types of conductors, there is a differential in the heat. One of the Peltier coolers is heated up, while the other is a relatively lower temperature. The cooler end is placed in the refrigerator, which therefore cools the contents of the refrigerator. The hot end is then placed outside, harmlessly radiating heat into the air.

Due to the fact, bulky pumping units are absent in this form of the refrigerator; they have a relatively lower weight and more compact than compressor-powered units. However, this system of cooling requires more energy.

Advantages of Car Refrigerators

There has been a recent boom in the number of persons making use of the portable fridge, and this is mainly with urban dwellers and those that travel extensively. Several advantages come with the mini-fridge, other than the contemporary fridge used in the house.

These mini-refrigerators can be used in various places, in which the regular fridge can never be used. These fridges, when used in your car, have a whole lot of benefits to offer you, amongst which are;

  • Convenience: Just as every consumer wants it, satisfaction is one thing the car refrigerator would provide you with. You can move it in your car, place it anywhere, and just enjoy your consumables cool and sweet. The 12 volts charger makes it possible for you to make use of it, with any car. You can switch it between cars, or even make use of it in your home. It’s just so cool like that.
  • Designed to save space: This is no regular refrigerator; you can make use of it in your car because it is designed to keep you more space. You can simply have it in the trunk of your car, and if your car is a big one, you can just have it somewhere close to you, where it would surely not interfere with your sitting convenience.
  • Very handy: Oh, you can just carry this refrigerator with you, anywhere. Imagine going on a picnic, and you need to take something cold, your car refrigerator can come handy. It can be taken to the park and disconnected from the car, as it will still retain its coldness. You can also store your lunch, and can also serve as your mini-bar.
  • Refrigerator back-up: In the case, your main refrigerator breaks down, you don’t have to be left stranded, your mini-refrigerator can serve as additional storage for drinks, fresh meat, and other frozen food. If you always want to defrost your regular refrigerator, you can store some consumables in the car refrigerator, though, this would only be great if the car is not moving out of the house any time soon.
  • Energy-saving feature: Most of the car refrigerators are designed to save energy. They help store your food without expending excess energy.

Seasonal Fridges

Yes, there are different seasons, and you can have fridges installed for the respective seasons. There are different fridges modified for these seasons. However, there is a change in the reason behind its need.

Summer car refrigerator

There is no hard thing about installing a refrigerator in your car; there are manuals which can help with that as you do it yourself. Getting to add a refrigerator to the car in summer is a cool idea, especially if you are going to be having extended road trips.

In this fridge, you can store several things, ranging from drinks to sandwiches, desserts. With these, you can save yourself cost in buying as you travel. Also, with the presence of the fridge, there would be next to no need to branch to shop. Hence, you get to the destination faster. With good food stored in the fridge, your body is well nourished despite being on a trip.

Winter car refrigerator

You can also make use of the car fridge in the time of winter. In this season, the car’s heater would most likely be turned on, while you still want to enjoy cold drinks. Here is where the refrigerator comes in handy.

To get the cold drink you want, you don’t need to stop at a shop to do that; you only need to reach to your refrigerator. You can go for winter recreation trips like skiing, sledding, and tobogganing. Your trip can also involve you visiting family and friends for the holidays.

Having a fridge in your car is really a smart move, as it offers you a great deal of convenience, and you get to enjoy your consumables in perfect conditions.

Simple Steps to Installing Your Car Refrigerator Yourself

Here are some steps you can follow to get your car refrigerator fixed in no time;

Positioning and Measuring:

First, of, you need to decide on where you want to place your car fridge. Irrespective of where you are going to place the fridge, you should ensure that there is enough room around the vents, which would allow enough air to circulate. There should also be two points that would make the fridge stay in place.

With this, you can determine the wire length you would need, but the cable should be about 6 mm in diameter, this is to ensure efficiency in the performance of the fridge. The wires can either be twin-core, which allows earth run to the battery or single core with the earth run at the rear of the car.

Wiring:

First, at the battery, you need to solder an inline fuse holder to the tip of the wire you are holding, fold an appropriate ring terminal to this, then you can apply heat shrink on the joints.

You can always connect this to the battery when you are done, but ensure that the fuse holder is disconnected, until after installation. To ensure that your wires would not be destroyed by sharp objects and chafing, you should check that all your wires are run via a conduit, and secured with cable ties.

Pass the wire to where your fridge would be located, and in, via the grommet in the firewall. Under the carpet, you should kick the panels and interior trim.

Auxiliary Socket:

Next, you need to install your auxiliary socket in a panel near the socket.

A flush mount plug would make the finishing look really nice; however, before drilling a hole, you should ensure that there are sufficient clearances behind the panel for both the plug and the wiring.

You should pull the wirings through the holes that you bored. Next, apply a spade terminal to both the positive and the earth. However, if you feel the need to run an earth lead, you can simply select a factory bolt with a solid bare-metal connection, and run the length of black wire the same gauge as your earth from this to your socket.

Installation of Fuse and Test:

When you are done mounting your power socket, you can then install a fuse. A current of about ten amps would be sufficient for the fridge.

Once this is done, you are good to go. It’s time to have a good life.

Buying Guide for Cheap Car Refrigerator

When you want to buy your car refrigerator, there are some essential features you should examine. Here is a quick list;

Total Capacity

If you are going to use an electric cooler in the car, it should be able to fit enough content for use by one person. This is the minimum; there are various others that can serve different capacities. Hence, if you are going to get your car refrigerator, you should go for one that would suffice your need. How many persons would need it depends on how large your family is.

Controllable Options

One of the very first things you should do when you are getting a car refrigerator, check out the controls. The controls that allow you to switch from cold to hot, and vice versa. This is so that you ensure the ease with which you can control the fridge.

Indoor Use

Before you pick one off the shelf, don’t just consider its aesthetics, you should also find if it can be used with an indoor 12V Dc adapter. You would enjoy your car refrigerator more if it is one you can always use outside the car. It is better you ensure that the one you are getting can serve you both ways.

Cooling Performance

Before lifting the fridge off, you should check for how cold it can make your drinks and consumables get. You should not bank on the values that are being written on the manual or any other information provided by the manufacturer.

The information might just be to create a selling point that is not real. Stay for as long as possible at the shop to ensure how cold it can get. You shouldn’t be disappointed when you get home.

Space Required

Before you go shopping for your car refrigerator, you should have space in the car if you want the fridge in. Measure this space and use it as a guide on what you would be shopping for. You should not also get a fridge that would take up all the available space in your car; you still want some room for movement.

Temperature Range

You should pay attention to the temperature range of your car refrigerator, and check for the how cold the fridge can get. I hope you know there is a difference between being cold and been chilled.

Installation

The ease of installation should also be considered. If the installation of the fridge is probably too tedious, you shouldn’t get it, except if you have the technical know-how, or have someone who would help you install it. The easier to install, the better. This way, you would be able to use it in different conditions and events.

Reliability

You should also check for the material used in making the fridge, check for its sturdy nature, and if it can be destroyed easily by shaking and another movement that might occur. You don’t want to get a fridge that would break open, or dented after a few days of use.

Noise

Car refrigerators with the electric cooling system are mostly silent, as said by the labels on them. So, you would do yourself good if you test out for this before you pay for the product. And if you are ordering online, you would want to read reviews about this factor.

Warranty

You should always have a warranty on an electrical appliance, and this is no exception.

With all these, you should be good to go on getting that car refrigerator. It’s time for a chilled life.

1. Cooluli 6 Can AC/Dc Mini Fridge – Our Pick

Cooluli 6 Can AC/Dc Portable Thermoelectric System Mini Fridge
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If you are looking for a portable fridge for your office, home and car, this is your best shot. This fridge has the capacity of holding six cans that are 12 ounces each. One very cool function that you can enjoy with this is the cooling of beverages.

It also comes with a warming section that serves just well. It comes with a USB 2A power bank, which is very convenient and easy to use. There is no need for you to buy extra wires. Also, you shouldn’t worry about switching from the cooling function to the warming section.

It features an easy to read display which tells what setting the fridge is on. This fridge is compact and very easy to use; this is all you need to complement your sleek interior.

Main Features
  • It features a button that makes it easy to switch from heating to cooling and vice versa
  • It comes with an AC/DC ad USB adapter
  • It runs on a thermoelectric cooling system
PROS (What we liked)
  • It can offer you a great deal of coldness
  • The fridge is very portable and easy to carry around
  • Perfect for storing skincare products
  • Users have appreciated its efficiency
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It makes some noise
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2. Roadpro 7 Liters 12v – Durable

Roadpro 7 Liters 12v Cooler/Warmer with Cup Holders
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The Roadpro is the one you should get if you are looking for the best car refrigerator in Amazon to accompany you with your long on-road adventures. It is a professional fridge built mainly for the road.

It is constructed with durable material that ensures longevity; hence, you would be able to use for as long as possible. It features a cooling and warming section that makes it just the right one for your various needs. This cooler and warmer facilitates an easy and quick installation.

This fridge comes with a car adapter and can work perfectly with a home socket. The fan is designed to perform its functions silently; hence, you are not threatened with much noise when the fridge is on. This might not be the best product out there, but it’s sure to value for the money.

Main Features
  • Manufactured for holding beverage cans and cups
  • Constructed from sturdy material Ensures durability and longevity
  • Ergonomically designed to fit inside the Easy vehicle installation
PROS (What we liked)
  • You can store as much nine regular cans
  • The fan is not too noisy
  • The lid seals very well
  • It features a button which can switch if off, on, or from cold to warm.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The plastic is not so durable
  • Its compartment is too small
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3. YAPASPT YAPA Car Cooler Bag – Large compartment

YAPASPT YAPA Electric Car Cooler Bag
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Have you been looking to travel with comfort? Here is your catch. This car cooler is designed in the form of a travel bag and designed to contain quite an amount of content. This is designed to be comfortable and easy to carry.

It has a large compartment to contain all you would want to place in it. It comes with a plug located at the bottom. The cooler is designed with high tech and so versatile.

Main Features
  • It features a hardliner car cable
  • It is designed to be leakproof
  • It is designed to imitate the feel of a travel bag
PROS (What we liked)
  • It is actually larger than it looks in the picture
  • It gets cold easily and for a longer time
  • Has a versatile use
CONS (What we didn’t like)

It is not easy to locate its wire as it located awkwardly at the bottom.

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4. Dealcrox 12L Refrigerator – Full Day Functioning Ability

Dealcrox 12L Portable Car Thermoelectric Travel Refrigerator
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This thermoelectric mini portable car home dual-use offers you the best result you can get from any cooling and warming refrigerator. If you are a truck driver, it can also be used for truck 24 hours a day. It takes a unique and sleek design to give you a calm atmosphere.

You don’t need to worry about it making noise as you drive. With the Dealcrox fridge, you can be sure that your power problems would be handled effectively, irrespective of how long you stay in the car. When you are on a travel with your friends or family, you don’t need to stop intermittently to get food and beverages; this cooler is all you need.

Main Features
  • It is designed to be noiseless
  • The design is sleek
  • It has a capacity of 12 liters
PROS (What we liked)
  • It can cool as long as you travel
  • It is good for keeping pre-chilled drinks
  • It can be operated on both the 12V and 220V
  • It can maintain your cooling up to 6 hours
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The chilling process is very slow
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5. Coleman 30000001842 Polypropylene Ice Box – Huge Space and Portable

Coleman 30000001842 Polypropylene Ice Box
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It’s time to get you ready for the party, the Coleman 30 quartz cooler is all you need to get it going. It can also serve you well on the campsite, market, or any other event that would require you to come with cold drinks. You don’t need to bother about the design, whichever person you are, this fridge is sure to match your style.

This cooler is able to house about 38 cans, and it is also tall enough to hold about 2-liter bottles in their upright position. You can always make use of this cooler either you are going to work; you are chilling out with friends and family on a picnic. It features a large grip with which you can easily handle, and get the cooler easily to your destination. You don’t need to search anymore; this is all you need for that next event.

Main Features
  • It is made of the outer case and an inner liner material
  • It has a retextured EZ-Clean top for quick and easy washing
  • It comes with a bail handle that allows you to hold it with just one hand
  • It has a hinged lid with two molded cup holders prevents spills and keep drinks close
PROS (What we liked)
  • Easy to carry with one hand
  • It has a huge capacity of 28 liters
  • When properly closed, the ice cubes can last very long
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It is prone to be easily damaged
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6. Zorbes 6L Car Mini Refrigerator – Longlife and Noiseless

Zorbes 6L Car Cool and Hot Dual Use Mini Refrigerator
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Are you searching for something that is good, efficient and can be easily accessed in the car? Then this is your guy. It has a cover that opens upward; hence, it enjoys the ease of access.

It can cool your drink rapidly at its rate and is very efficient for use. It is bound to keep your food and drinks cool just as you need it. Whether you are going on a summer trip, or winter, it is your catch in any of these seasons. During summer, you get to enjoy cold drinks and food, and it can also get your food and drink warm during winter.

It is also optimized to give off very little noise, it has a long life, low power consumption, portable and it has a very lightweight. Either you are going out for fishing or cycling; it is very easy to take out.

Main Features
  • Non-pollution, low noise, long life, low power consumption, portable and lightweight, easy to take when going out for fishing and cycling travel.
  • Up to 65 centigrade degree heating temperature.
  • Fits all 12V vehicles.
  • Built-in heat dissipation fans.
PROS (What we liked)
  • It makes low noise
  • It is easy to move around
  • It lasts very long
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No negative points about the product were observed
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I put ice in an Electric cooler?

Well, in most cases, No. if it was a conventional mini-fridge, you still can. But once you are making use of a thermoelectric cooler, you shouldn’t. It would surely ruin the fridge.

Since your thermoelectric cooler contains the Peltier plate, you don’t need to worry about the cooling of the fridge; it can sort itself out. You just concentrate on chilling. If you go on to put ice inside this fridge, and the Peltier plate gets wet, it can easily get damaged.

2. How should I package the content of my car fridge?

You should ensure that the contents you would transport in your fridge are well packaged. You should make sure to use a quality package for items like soup. Make use of quality containers, so that the content of the fridge does not get on the plate.

3. How cold can the car fridge get?

This differs from products to products. This is due to the difference in the refrigeration unit of the fridge. This would mainly depend on the ambient condition of the cooler as well as the quality of the cooler in question.

When the outside environment is warm, a device for warming function will do better. But when the ambient condition is cold, the colder function will do better. Also, if the cooler is built with a larger thermoelectric motor, the fridge would be able to attain very low temperatures, rapidly. The result, however, depends on the strength of the unit

4. How effective is the warming function?

Some refrigerators are designed to have a button for warming; however, the insulated interior is just enough to get the warming done. Since the main function of the refrigerator is to keep things cold, the heating function is not as useful. This feature is not the main feature, but a technical compulsion as a result of the Peltier plate used. The heating feature takes time to start up, unlike a dedicated heating system.

Conclusion

The world has gotten very busy, and everyone is on the move. There had been the advent of even mobile accommodation for some folks. We are all mobile. That’s the truth. But that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying cold drinks, and getting to eat good meals while on the move. Car refrigerators come in handy for those that are always on the move with their cars. You can keep your drinks cold and warm whenever you want it.

As these are a necessity these days, finding the right one is mandatory. As the market is full of options, hopefully, our top 9 car refrigerators will suffice your needs. From these, our top three picks include Cooluli 6 Can AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric System Mini Fridge, Roadpro 7 Liter 12V Cooler and YAPASPT YAPA Electric Car Cooler Bag.

Getting a car refrigerator from Amazon is a smart option.

Preksha
 

Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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