The 9 Best Portable Freezers

Updated October 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

9 Best Portable Freezers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. One of these portable freezers can keep your meat frozen solid and your ice cream from melting whether you are sailing around the globe, cruising the highways in your RV, or just taking a weekend camping trip. They are available in a wide range of sizes to suit individual and group needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best portable freezer on Amazon.

9. EdgeStar FP861

The EdgeStar FP861 has a wide temperature range from -8 to 50 degrees, along with small and large removable baskets for versatile storage options. Unfortunately, the controls are awkwardly placed at the bottom of the unit, which can be problematic if mounted in a cabinet.
  • stays cold after being unplugged
  • whisper quiet operation
  • carrying handles are small
Brand EdgeStar
Model FP861
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Whynter FM-62DZ

The Whynter FM-62DZ allows you to customize two temperature zones separately, so you can store items that must be frozen and refrigerated at the same time. Its LCD screen shows you when your battery is low, and what sort of power is being used.
  • internal lights for night visibility
  • each zone has a lid
  • too heavy for one person to lift
Brand Whynter
Model FM-62DZ
Weight 80.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Engel MD-14F

The Engel MD-14F features a top-opening design that makes it easy to grab your beverages, as well as a small lid built into the large one to limit the cold air you let out. Plus it has a large, comfortable carrying strap, and protects the contents from a car's vibrations.
  • plugs into a car's cigarette lighter
  • compact and packable design
  • limited temperature options
Brand Engel
Model MD-14F
Weight 30.5 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Dometic CF-080AC110

The Dometic CF-080AC110 has a durable lid with an airtight seal to keep the cold in, and secure locks to prevent it from opening during transport. Its carrying handles can be detached to save space when you're packing plenty of gear.
  • impact and weather resistant
  • can be used with a solar panel
  • backed by a two-year warranty
Brand Dometic
Model CF-080AC110
Weight 70.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Whynter FM-85G

The Whynter FM-85G is a cost-effective alternative to a full size model. With an 85-quart capacity and ability to be used as a refrigerator or a freezer, the unit will get you through a long camping trip or a big outdoor party. It comes with both an AC and DC power cord.
  • reaches -8 degrees quickly
  • has two removable baskets
  • can sit at a 30 degree tilt
Brand Whynter
Model FM-85G
Weight 77.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Engel MR040F-U1

The Engel MR040F-U1 is designed primarily for marine use, though it can certainly be placed in your car or SUV if needed. With the needs of liveaboards in mind, it has been designed to be extremely efficient and can run entirely on solar power.
  • draws just one or two amps per hour
  • fridge and freezer settings
  • sturdy lifting handles
Brand Engel
Model MR040F-U1
Weight 63 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Dometic CFX-40US

The Dometic CFX-40US can accommodate up to 60 12-ounce cans and has multiple power options, including AC and DC. Plus, its control panel lets you set the thermostat with the soft touch buttons, and shows the temperature on the LCD.
  • available in multiple sizes
  • usb charging port
  • lid is reversible
Brand Dometic
Model CFX-40US
Weight 51.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Norcold NRF30

While it's not the biggest model on our list, the Norcold NRF30 does an exceptional job of keeping items frozen solid, and it is extremely durable to boot, so you can take it on a long sailing trip without the worry of it failing on you.
  • also has a refrigerated section
  • won't completely drain a battery
  • corrosion-proof plastic exterior
Brand Norcold
Model NRF30
Weight 46 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. ARB 10800472

With a 50 quart capacity, the ARB 10800472 is suitable for a multi-day camping trip or large picnic parties at the park. It can even accommodate 2-liter soda bottles standing completely upright, so you don't have to worry about them leaking.
  • electronic temperature control
  • ac and dc power compatible
  • internal led for nighttime use
Brand ARB
Model 10800472
Weight 63 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Freezers

With refrigerators and freezers being so commonplace nowadays, it can be easy to forget that keeping food fresh for an extended period of time was a problem that absolutely bedeviled our ancestors for millennia.

Humans in frigid climates initially used Mother Nature as a freezer, with many cultures storing meat and other perishables in naturally-occurring ice formations. This was quite useful — until the ice melted or a scavenger came along and made a meal out of your leftovers, that is.

The ability to hoard sustenance played a big role in our ability to transition from a nomadic lifestyle to a centralized civilization. If you didn't have to eat your food immediately to prevent it from spoiling, you could stay in one place for longer, instead of constantly following a herd of your preferred prey.

Despite this, there were precious few advancements made in food storage technology for much of our history. Pickling, brining, and salting were all commonplace, and these techniques allowed merchants and explorers to stock enough food to sustain a long journey. However, spoilage was still a big problem.

The first form of artificial refrigeration was created in 1755, when Scottish chemist William Cullen used a pump and diethyl ether to lower the temperature inside of a tube. While not suitable for cooling anything on a large scale, Cullen's experiments proved that it was possible, and in the 19th century several advances were made in vapor-compression technology.

Meanwhile, ice boxes were used in many homes to keep food cool. These were wooden boxes lined with a material like tin or zinc, and they housed large blocks of ice in a partitioned area. These were extremely useful at the time, and may have even helped lower infant mortality during the summer months. However, the ice required frequent refilling, and icemen would deliver new blocks regularly, just like milkmen.

In 1913, home refrigerators hit the market, but they relied on toxic chemicals that limited their use. The introduction of Freon in the 1920s, however, presented an option with lower toxicity levels, allowing the market to expand greatly in both home and commercial use. Separate freezer compartments were developed in 1940, and for the first time, frozen foods became commonly available.

Today, most people would find it unthinkable to live without a refrigerator or freezer in the home. It seems like, the more advanced we become, the harder it is to understand how our ancestors ever survived in the first place.

I mean, I can understand not having refrigerators, but how did ever they live without fidget spinners?

Benefits Of A Portable Freezer

You may think that portable freezers are only for people who spend most of their lives outdoors, like campers and adventurers. And while it's true that these people will definitely benefit from having a quality freezer, these appliances are valuable for almost anyone.

If you live in a rural area, getting a freezer to store your groceries during transport can prevent your ice cream from melting or your fish sticks from thawing. Even if the grocery store is just down the block, though, a freezer can give you more flexibility when planning your day, allowing you to go shopping first thing in the morning and then stay out all day without worrying about your food going bad.

Likewise, if you have something volatile that you need to keep fresh all day, like breast milk or medicine, you can keep it nearby without risking spoilage. This can come in extremely handy for parents, as they can attend to their children's needs without having it interfere with their daily errands.

Ultimately, however, a portable freezer is all about convenience. Yes, it may seem like cheating while you're on a camping trip, and no one will give you any points for roughing it, but it's much easier to feed your family when you can pack a few meals ahead of time. Having something that everyone can eat besides jerky and s'mores will ensure you have happy campers — and that's the only real measure of a trip's success.

Choosing A Portable Freezer

Whether you're trying to make your camping trip a bit more civilized or you just like having more food options on your road trips, investing in a portable freezer is definitely a smart choice.

The first consideration when shopping is the capacity. Do you need to feed an entire brood, or are you just fending for yourself? While a larger freezer will give you more options, it will also eat up precious space in your vehicle, as well as suck down more electricity. Try to be economical when packing, but if you have to leave too many items behind, it can defeat the purpose.

Many models require some installation if you're putting them in a car, including some electrical work, so be sure you can handle this or are willing to pay to have it done before you buy. There are solar-powered options available, as well, but those can come with their own host of problems, such as using them in inclement weather.

Also, modern freezers are designed to be extremely energy-efficient, so there's little risk of it draining your battery, but that's something to check on before you buy. You may need to upgrade to a newer battery, or invest in a portable jump-starter, just in case.

There are options that have chargeable batteries, as well, if you're just looking to plug it in at home. This is certainly the easiest option, but not suitable for longer trips where you won't have access to power.

Ultimately, your decision should hinge on how much you'll need to store and how much power you'll need to have. Campers will likely want a model that can be powered by their car battery, while suburbanites may be happy with a shorter-range unit. Either way, these freezers will provide you with more flexibility when planning a trip of any length.

Statistics and Editorial Log

Paid Placements

Recent Update Frequency

help support our research

patreon logoezvid wiki logo small

Last updated on October 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.