There are many DC-powered portable fridge/freezers available and any one of them can be a solar freezer by virtue of the available solar kits to power them. A compact solar freezer is a great asset whether you’re camping, RVing, off the beaten path, or just trying to stay off the grid. This article takes a look at some of the more compact models that are highly portable and don’t require the huge solar investment that larger freezers would require.
What do we mean by compact? Our definition of a compact, portable solar freezer is one that comes in at about 2.0 to 3.0 cu. ft. and is designed with features that make it very portable and durable.
Want to see other great portable freezers and refrigerators? Be sure to read our in-depth articles before you buy!
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You don’t actually have to buy a purpose-built solar freezer to get solar capability. You can buy a DC-powered portable chest freezer and a separate solar kit and combine them to power the freezer. In some ways, this might even be more desirable because you can get the best of both devices by getting a high-quality portable freezer and a high-quality solar panel kit that you can tailor to your needs.
In fact, some of the portable freezers in our list are not actually built for solar operation. They are just great DC freezers that you can add a solar kit to for the ultimate in off-grid operation.
Portable solar freezers make a great addition to a motorhome, trailer, RV, camper, or tent while camping or on vacation. This is particularly true when visiting our National Parks, National Forests, and National Monuments where it can be difficult to find a source of electric power and you may be on your own to provide your own power.
Compact indoor refrigerators and freezers are very popular for taking the burden off your main refrigerator/freezer. See our complete posts to understand why!
- Vintage Refrigerator: Best Classic Compact Retro Refrigerators
- Small Refrigerator Freezer: Top 5 Compact Fridge Freezers
- Small Fridge: Best Compact Refrigerator
- Retro Refrigerator: Best Compact Retro Fridge
- Micro Fridge: Coldest Compact Mini Fridge
- Mini Fridge With Freezer: Top 5 Compact Refrigerator-Freezers
- Small Refrigerator: Top 5 Compact Refrigerators
Portable freezers have some features that make them ideal for powering via a solar array kit. They are typically very energy-efficient with thicker insulation, they are chest freezers which keeps the cold in while you open the top, and they have the ability to be AC or DC-powered.
Also, just a note that none of the portable freezers in our list come with the solar power panels or controllers making that an extra, not insignificant expense if you don’t already have them. We have added links to some portable power that you can use to keep the freezers charged. Also, it is likely that the solar array will need to be connected to a battery pack rather than to the freezer itself directly. Make sure you know if you need a battery pack before you buy.
Although most of these portable freezers can also function as refrigerators, they typically can’t do both at the same time, so you most likely will be using them for one or the other. One in our list includes a separate freezer and refrigerator compartments. Some comments online suggest buying two smaller units so that you can use one as a freezer and the other as a fridge.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these portable freezers is the perfect solar energy freezer for your needs!
The Alpicool C20 21-Quart Portable Compressor Fridge Freezer is a value-priced appliance that is perfect for solar and wind applications. Also suitable for car and home, it works on 12/24VDC or 110/240VAC. Don’t let its diminutive size and price fools you, it is capable of freezing down to -4 degrees F making it a true zero degrees freezer you can easily take with you where you need it. When using it in your vehicle, you will appreciate the 3-stage car battery protection system that prevents the unit from running down your vehicle’s battery. Designed for easy transport, it sports handles on both sides. Its vibration-resistant design makes it perfect for vehicles of all types including cars, truck, and boats. It can even be operated safely at a 45-degree angle from horizontal making it a good choice for offroading applications.
Solar Freezer: Features
- 21-quart, compressor-based, true zero degrees fridge freezer
- Can be operated from 12/24VDC from solar or wind power and 110/240VAC power
- Capable of freezing down to -4 degrees F making it a great choice for storing a variety of foodstuffs and drinks
- Its 21-quart interior can store approximately 25 standard 12-ounce cans
- Its dual handles and lightweight high-density foam construction make transporting easy
- Vibration-resistant design protects the fridge freezer while in a vehicle and it’s safe to run at angles up to 45 degrees making it a good choice for offroad applications
- A convenient digital control panel has an electronic temperature control
- High-efficiency compressor with adjustable ECO and HH modes makes this unit ideal for solar and wind power sources
- Dimensions are 22.4W x 12.6D x 12.6H inches
- 1 – 12/24VDC power cord
- 1 – AC adapter
- Low amperage perfect for solar or wind applications
- Value priced
- Quiet operation
- Fast time to frozen
- No internal air circulation fan
- Doesn’t work as well for both fridge and freezer items
The Engel MT80-US Dual-Voltage 84-Quart Fridge/Freezer 12V/24V/110V is Engel’s largest capacity portable fridge/freezer. Engel has a good name in the industry for fridge/freezers and this model is one of the reasons. It includes the highly efficient and reliable Engel Swing Motor Compressor that draws up to 40% less power (1 to 2 amps per hour) than a traditional compressor. Great for traveling as an RV refrigerator, camping, boats, or even for your home. Automatic switching changes power from 12/24 volts DC to 110 volts AC
- 84 Quart multi-voltage 12V/24V DC and 110V AC large capacity portable fridge/freezer
- Rugged, heavy-duty construction features a galvanized steel outer case with melamine coating, vibration resistance, heavy-duty removable handles (with screws) and a removable lid
- High-power, high-efficiency Engel Swing Motor Compressor draws up to 40% less power (1 to 2 amps per hour) than a traditional compressor
- Capable of include operation up to 30 degrees off level
- Automatically switches voltage power between 12/14 volts DC to 110V AC
- 1 – Interior wire organization basket
- Dimensions are 31.1L x 19.3W x 21.7H inches and it weighs in at 86 lbs.
- Includes standard AC cord with AC plug
- DC cord does not come with car adapter but will need to have a dedicated DC connection or be hard-wired to a DC power source
- 2-Year limited warranty
- Quality construction and materials
- Perfect for RVs and other vehicles
- A great camping companion
- Low amperage operation
- None noted
Another large 80 Quart plus portable fridge/freezer, the Edgestar FP861 86 Quart Portable Fridge/Freezer gets high marks for its easy-to-use controls, and dual fridge/freezer sections. This is one of the only fridge/freezers in our list that supports storing both refrigerator and freezer items at the same time and that’s more what users are looking for in a portable fridge/freezer. It has a Fast-Freezer mode that rapidly cools down the freezer to -8 degrees F and maintains it. The “Low” indicator lets you know when power is running low so you can switch to an alternate power source before the unit shuts down. Known for efficiency, this Edgestar model has solid, rugged strength and heavy-duty insulation. This outdoor refrigerator and freezer is perfect for campers, hunters, boaters, and many other outdoor or travel activities, this combination fridge/freezer will keep your food stored cold and ready to eat. Here’s what you need to know.
- 86-Quart rugged, portable refrigerator and freezer
- Separate freezer and refrigerator compartments and high-efficiency operation
- Fast Freeze mode rapidly cools the freezer down to -8 degrees F and then maintains it
- Rugged, solid strength construction and materials with heavy-duty insulation
- Easy-to-use controls including a full-range adjustable thermostat that can chill food items between -8 and 50 degrees F
- Side-grip comfort handles for easy transportability
- A built-in liquid drain is perfect for manual defrosting
- “Low” indicator warns when the primary power source is running out of power so that an alternative source can be connected
- Small and large wire storage and organization baskets
- Includes AC and DC portable adapters for household wall sockets or vehicle power ports
- Dimensions are 23-6/16H x 28-3/16W x 18-12/16D inches and it weighs in at 66 lbs.
- 90-days labor and 1-year parts warranties
- Quiet and efficient operation
- Digital temperature display improves accuracy
- Lightweight compared to similar units
- Great for camping using solar power
- Reports of a sticky lid
- Some customer service complaints
Dometic is one of the premier providers of portable fridge/freezers and their Dometic CF-080AC110 Portable Freezer/Refrigerator is a perfect example. With its polymer coated metal cabinet, three-stage battery monitor with low-voltage shutoff, and lightweight design, this model is very portable and perfect for any off-road adventure. Here’s what you need to know.
- 85 Quart portable freezer and refrigerator with 12/24V DC and 110V AC operation is suitable for operation with solar power sources and features a reliable and efficient Danfoss compressor
- Attractive, durable, rugged, polymer-coated metal cabinet is weather-resistant
- Electric thermostat is capable of cooling down to 0 degrees F (-17 degrees C)
- Quick Chill Turbo Function runs the compressor at maximum performance until the desired temperature has been reached
- Memory feature will maintain preset settings if the system is turned off
- Three-stage battery monitor has a low voltage shut-off to protect against a dead battery
- LED readout and soft-touch buttons
- Variable, removable lid mounts
- Includes a coated wire grid divider to keep foods from adhering to the interior walls
- Convenient, removable carrying handles aid in transport
- Built-in Interior light helps quickly find contents in the dark
- Features Dometic’s 2-Year Protection Plus Warranty
- Easy to use
- Real freezer
- Quiet operation
- Reversible, removable lid is a nice feature
- On the pricey side
- No built-in 120V connection, must by adapter separately
- Handles don’t collapse and take up extra space
- Heavy freezer, some buy hand trucks to maneuver it
This Whynter Portable Fridge/Freezer features an 85-quart capacity, premium quality construction and materials, and an innovative design that will easily support your off-grid frozen and refrigerated needs. This freezer is great for RVs, boats, campsites and fishing trips and truly portable so you can take your fridge or freezer anywhere. All you need is either a standard household 110 Volt outlet or a 12 Volt power source, like an automotive battery. Whether on a day trip or major expedition, you can easily keep your food and beverages chilled, or frozen with this benchtop freezer. The Whynter portable freezer fridge is a true freezer/refrigerator which cools between -8°F to 50°F. A cost-effective and mobile solution for your recreational and critical freezing requirements. Here’s what you need to know.
- 85-quart portable fridge/freezer with a compressor-based cooling system and multiple voltage support including 12/24V DC and 110V AC
- Tough and rugged outer casing is durable for long life
- Insulated walls and lid keep contents cool even after power is off
- Fast Freeze mode rapidly cools the freezer down to -6 degrees F
- Adjustable thermostat cools to a temperature range between -6 to 50 degrees F
- Accurate LED temperature display makes tracking temperature easy
- Built-in power-low indicator
- Side handles for easy transportability
- Able to operate at angles up to 30 degrees off level
- Two removable wire organization and storage baskets
- Includes both 8-foot AC and 5-foot DC power cords
- Dimensions are 28.1W x 18.25L x 23.5H inches and it weighs in at 71 lbs.
- 1-Year warranty
- Very efficient and reliable
- Perfect for solar power source
- Large and spacious
- Quiet operation
- Chest top opening door makes it difficult to store items on top
- Plastic handles and hinges are common failure points
- 2-year warranty has holes in it
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What do you like about these portable fridge/freezers? Which solar freezer/refrigerator is at the top of your list to buy? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.
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As always, thanks for reading our solar freezer post! We sincerely hope that it has provided you with valuable information that helps you find the best solar freezer for your needs!