The Best Portable Refrigerator

Last Updated September 20, 2021 By Bella Zinti

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Always on the go? It's time to invest in a portable refrigerator that can keep your food and beverages at an ambient temperature anywhere, anytime.

These convenient portable refrigerators are ideal for camping, road trips, barbeques, beach days, sports tournaments, and other outdoor adventures. Most can be plugged into any standard outlet or 12-volt socket in your car, truck, boat, RV, or trailer. Alternatively, they can be used in a bedroom, bathroom, office, or dorm room to store snacks, drinks, vitamins, medications, and skincare products.

In this guide to portable refrigerators, we're breaking down everything you need to know about these convenient coolers and highlighting the best portable refrigerators on the market today.

What to Look for in a Portable Refrigerator

If you're going to shell out the money for a portable refrigerator freezer, you'll want to be sure it's worth the investment. It's worth spending a little more to get a high-quality model with a long product life and convenient features for easy use. Here are a few key things to consider when searching for the best portable refrigerator:

  • Size— Are you looking for something large enough to hold drinks for the whole family? Or do you just need something small to stash a few drinks and snacks in your dorm room? Portable refrigerators come in a variety of sizes, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding one that's just right for your space. Taking a few quick measurements of your car interior, camper kitchen, or location you plan to put it to ensure you get one with the right dimensions.
  • Internal Capacity— The internal capacity of portable fridges is typically measured in quarts. Most models range from 10 to 21 quarts.
  • Design— If you plan on displaying your mini-fridge in your office, dorm, bathroom, or bedroom, you'll want to find a product that's both stylish and functional. Many popular brands offer models in a range of colors, metals, and finishes.
  • Lid Style— Some products open from the front like a traditional fridge, while others open from the top like a cooler.
  • Cooler Type— There are two types of portable refrigerator-freezers: thermoelectric models and compressor-based models. While both types can efficiently cool your beverages, each offers its own advantages. A thermoelectric cooler requires less electricity, produces less noise and vibration, and often weighs less too. Compressor refrigerators can offer higher storage capacity and lower freezer temperatures.
  • Price vs. Quality— Don't waste your money on a low-cost product that won't last through more than a few uses. Read over a few customer reviews to ensure budget-friendly options are made with durable materials. If you plan on using your refrigerator often, it's worth spending a bit more to find one that can withstand frequent use.

The 8 Best Portable Refrigerators on the Market

Now that you know what to look for in a portable refrigerator, it's time to start shopping. Below, we've rounded up the best brands and products on the market today.

F40C4TMP Portable Car Refrigerator Freezer

Best Overall

F40C4TMP Portable Car Refrigerator Freezer

If you're new to the world of portable refrigerators, this F40C4TMP Portable Car Refrigerator Freezer is the perfect product to start with. The 20-Quart portable fridge tucks perfectly behind a car seat or into your trunk or truck bed. Its aluminum alloy chamber helps temperatures drop quickly and keeps beverages nice and cold. Users can adjust the temperature and switch between fast-cooling and energy-saving modes on the LED display. It even comes equipped with a USB port for charging phones and gadgets while your 12-Volt power outlet is occupied. There's also a 24-Quart option available should you need more storage space.

Internal Capacity— 20 Quart

Cooler Type— 12-Volt Compressor

Temperature Range— -7.6℉ to 50℉

Overall Dimensions— 22 3/4 x 12 3/4 x 11 1/4 in

ARB Weatherproof Portable Fridge Freezer

Need a portable freezer that can withstand weekend after weekend camping trips and outdoor adventures? This ARB Weatherproof Portable Fridge Freezer is up for the task! It's crafted from ultra-durable steel with a molded lid that locks in cold air to save energy and maintain a consistent internal temperature. The spacious 50-quart interior is large enough to hold a weekend's worth of food and beverages with ease. An electronic control panel allows users to easily adjust the temperature settings for optimal cooling. Plus, it comes equipped with an automatic battery protection system that won't zap your vehicle battery during use. And there's even a convenient drain plug for easy clean-up when you get back home.

Internal Capacity— 50 Quart

Cooler Type— 12-Volt Compressor

Temperature Range— 0℉ to 50℉

Overall Dimensions— 27 3/4 x 15 x 20 in

Cooluli Portable Mini Fridge

This Cooluli Portable Mini Fridge is designed to do it all! While the lightweight mini-fridge is the ideal size to keep in your dorm room, office, or bedroom, it can also be used on the go in your car, RV, boat, or trailer. Plus, it comes in an array of fun colors and patterns that add a stylish touch to your space.

A removable inner shelf and container basket make it easy to reconfigure the 4-liter interior to your liking. Use it to stash a few drinks and snacks or to keep your skincare products, breast milk, or medications at an ambient temperature. Unlike most other models, it can also be used to warm contents up to 149℉.

Internal Capacity— 4.25 Quart

Cooler Type— Thermoelectric cooler/ warmer

Temperature Range— 0℉ to 149℉

Overall Dimensions— 7 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 10 3/4 in

Costway 21-Quart Portable Refrigerator and Freezer

This Costway 21-Quart Portable Refrigerator and Freezer is roomy enough to hold drinks or snacks for an entire family or sports team. The versatile portable fridge can be plugged into a 12/24V car charger or a standard electric outlet for increased versatility when you're on the go. Its 3-level battery protection system offers peace of mind and protects your vehicle battery during use.

Users can adjust the temperature and choose between fast-cooling and energy-saving modes on the easy-to-operate control panel. Convenient side handles make it a breeze to transport to and from the car, camping site, or sidelines, even when full. Its roomy 21-Quart interior is large enough to store 32 standard bottles or nine full wine bottles.

Internal Capacity— 21 Quart

Cooler Type— 12-Volt Compressor

Temperature Range— -13℉ to 50℉

Overall Dimensions— 22 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 10 1/2 in

Cooluli Beauty 12-Liter Skincare Fridge

Searching for a mini-fridge made specifically for storing skincare products? This Cooluli Beauty 12-Liter Skincare Fridge is just what you're looking for! Its stylish appearance and functional design features make it the ideal choice for salons, spas, and skincare lovers' bathrooms or bedrooms. The countertop fridge is specially designed to maintain a steady temperature of 50℉ to prolong the shelf life of your favorite cream, serums, and beauty products. Its spacious 12-liter interior features removable shelves and containers to create multiple storage options that accommodate bottles and beauty tools of all shapes and sizes. Skincare addicts and salon owners can choose from three sleek color options: pearl white, mint green, and light pink.

Internal Capacity— 12.68 Quart

Cooler Type— Thermoelectric cooler

Temperature Range— 50℉

Overall Dimensions— 10 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 10 in

Koolatron Retro Countertop Mini Fridge

The Koolatron Retro Countertop Mini Fridge offers a stylish spot to stash up to six cans of your favorite beverage. While its compact size is perfect for a countertop in your bedroom, office, or dorm, the convenient top handle makes it easy to bring on the go. It can be plugged into any DC or AC power source in your vehicle, boat, RV, or home.

But what really sets this Koolatron Countertop Mini Fridge apart is its eye-catching retro design. The bubblegum pink exterior with rounded edges, metallic hinges, and a classic twist-to-open door handle adds a touch of electric, mid-century charm to any space.

Internal Capacity— 4.2 Quart

Cooler Type— Thermoelectric cooler

Temperature Range— 32℉ to 70℉

Overall Dimensions— 10 x 9 1/2 x 7 in

Dometic Electric Powered Cooler with Refrigerator and Freezer

While many models can switch between refrigerator and freezer modes, others are designed with two separate compartments for added convenience. This Dometic Electric Powered Cooler With Refrigerator and Freezer comes equipped with two spacious internal compartments that can be set at any temperature your heart desires. Toss ice cream in one half and root beer in the other for easy root beer floats at your next picnic, barbeque, or outdoor party. Or use it to store frozen meals during a long road trip or camping trip.

The convenient electronic control panel and removable wire baskets allow you to create the perfect set-up every time. Plus, a handy drain plug makes it easy to clean up sticky messes when you're done.

Internal Capacity— 27 Quart

Cooler Type— 12-Volt Compressor

Temperature Range— -7℉ to 50℉

Overall Dimensions— 35 x 19 1/2 x 18 1/2 in

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About the author

Bella has a Bachelors degree in interior design, is a master gardener. She designs nourishing outdoor & indoor spaces guided by the practice of Feng Shui.

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