How many times have you been on a long road trip and wished that the drinks and snacks you packed were nice and cold? Would you like to cut down on the gas station snack runs along the way and get to where you were going a lot quicker while keeping the family happy with their drinks and snacks along the way?
What you need is a portable car mini fridge, one that you can take with you on the go, light weight portable, actively cooled and roomy enough to hold a good amount of drinks and snacks.
I’m sure you are thinking to yourself, nice I know what I want but which one is the best portable car mini fridge? There are so many options now on the market, coming in different sizes, different capacities, weight and power requirements its all so confusing. We put together a nice guide to help you find the right portable mini fridge for you and your needs.
What is the best size for a portable car mini fridge?
Depending on your needs, car and RV mini fridges come in different sizes. From a super large deep freezer sized multi cubic foot fridge to a smaller and more compact 4 Liter size. Depending on how much space you are willing to sacrifice in your vehicle and how many drinks and snacks you plan on taking with you is the determining factor for the size of mini fridge you need.
Our research finds that most people looking for a camping or road trip friendly portable car mini fridge are pretty happy with the 9 Liter size which equates to roughly 0.31 cubic feet of space. The 9 Liter capacity can hold up to 12 standard cans (12oz cans) of your favorite beverages. While this is a pretty decent amount of storage, what people don’t realize is that is only the actively cooled amount of beverages or snacks, you can bring more and as you consume the cold ones replace them with warm ones and the fridge will cool it by the time you are ready for the next beverage or snack.
Most people don’t want a huge multi cubic foot fridge for size reasons, it eats up a lot of active storage space in your car, SUV, Truck or RV all the time and is not really practical. The weight of such large car fridge does not make it convenient to remove when not in use, some require two or more people to remove or insert in a vehicle. On top of that you will need space to store this monstrosity when not in use, if you place it in your garage you may take up so much space that you would not have room to park your car, how inconvenient…
The nice thing about the 9 Liter size fridge is its super light weight coming in at less than 5lbs (dry weight) its light weight enough to carry in and out of the vehicle when needed and you don’t have to keep it in there all the time. On top of that the compact size of the 9 Liter fridge makes it a breeze to store anywhere at home, or you could even use it in the home when not using in your car with its included standard 110v power plug.
Why a portable car mini fridge is better than a cooler?
Most coolers are not actively cooled, they rely on ice or ice packs to stay cold, once the ice melts the coolers do their best to insulate the contents from the outside heat but eventually everything warms up and you are out of “passive cooling” power to keep things nice and cold.
The other problem with coolers is once the ice melts it leaves a whole mess of water that you are now carrying around. This extra weight doesn’t help your gas mileage any, and is annoying because you have to keep finding places to drain the melted ice water followed by more stops at the gas station to pick up new ice. Quite honestly its pretty time consuming and detracts from the quality of your road trip or vacation having to constantly worry about the ice status in your cooler. Its no fun and we don’t like that.
The active cooling of a portable fridge eliminates all these issues with coolers because with an actively cooled car mini fridge all you need to do is plug it to a source of power, be it a 12v car plug or a 110v standard electric plug. Once the RV mini fridge is plugged in, fill it with your favorite drinks and snacks and that’s it, it stays cold without needing ice or any other cooling aid.
Power Consumption of a car mini fridge?
Speaking to the consumption of an actively cooled car mini fridge, most large multi cubic foot car fridges require a large amount of electricity to keep them running. The reason behind the need for a lot of power is a lot of these fridges are compressor powered, a fridge compressor pumping Freon (a nasty environmentally unfriendly gas by the way) to keep things cool. These compressors can require several hundred or even thousand watts of power which requires the use of a power inverter. Power inverters are expensive and usually not easy to install, especially for a high power inverter that puts out 1000+ Watts
Smaller portable car mini fridges like the ones available here at Uber Appliance, take our 9 Liter Uber Chill XL Portable car mini fridge for example, only need 60 Watts of power. The reason behind our ability to be so efficient with our cooling power is that the Uber Appliance Uber Chill XL Portable Car mini Fridge uses an environmentally friendly high efficiency Peltier thermo electric cooling chip that does not require any nasty Freon gases. The high efficiency thermo electric chip can cool the fridge down to 32F and can reverse and act as a heating element to heat up the contents of your fridge up to 135F. The Uber Appliance Uber Chill XL portable car mini fridge is powered by a 12v car plug (like the one for your car’s cigarette lighter) and does not need any expensive external power inverter since the power use is so low (and efficient)
Why is the Uber Appliance Uber Chill XL 9 Liter Portable Car Mini Fridge the best Car or RV Mini fridge on the market?
The Uber Chill XL 9 Liter Portable Car Mini Fridge has loads of storage capacity, at 9 Liters or 0.31 cubic feet you can store up to 12 standard cans of your favorite beverage. With the Uber Chill’s removable shelf you can store larger items and maximize your space.
Size and weight:
The Uber Chill is pretty compact yet roomy, it measures at the following dimensions:
Outside: 12" x 9" x 11" - Inside 8-1/2" x 6" x 9-1/2" (HxWxD)
It is pretty light weight as well, coming in at less than 5 lbs (when empty), even my kids can help carry that around with no trouble.
Power consumption and cooling/heating temperatures:
The Uber Chill only uses about 60 Watts of power, thanks to its environmentally friendly high efficiency peltier cooling chip. The nice thing about the Uber Chill is being able to plug it into any car with no modifications required, simply use the 12v plug and plug it into your car, that’s it no need to mess with expensive hard to install power inverters.
The Uber Chill Portable car fridge is capable of cooling all the way down to 32F and has the benefit of being able to switch to heating mode with the touch of a button. In the heating mode it can heat up the contents of the fridge up to 135F which is great for keeping soups, chili, hot lunch’s nice and warm on your ride to where ever you plan on going.
Last but not least the Uber Chill XL 9 Liter portable car fridge is much much more affordable than large multi cubic feet car fridges which can cost $500, $700 or even $1000 or more
Overall we believe the Uber Chill XL 9 Liter Portable car mini fridge is your best bang for the money. With the right size, light weight, high capacity, ease of use with its 12v car plug and bonus of being able to cool as well as heat your foods it’s a no brainer in our opinion. Get yours today here