$169 Portable Freezer Is the Best Road Trip Essential of the Year

Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Where was this when I was in college? I don't know about you, but I always took leftovers home during holidays. From venison, tamales, desserts, and more. I typically used styrofoam coolers for the trip (or sometimes just hoped food wouldn't spoil during a four-hour drive). However, things would've been much easier if I had a portable freezer!

If you take ground beef, venison, ice, or anything you need to stay frozen or cold on road trips, you need a portable freezer. Not only are they great for traveling, but they're also great for RVs and emergencies! Here are six portable freezers/refrigerators you'll think about investing in.

How to Make Refrigerator in 5 Minutes

If you're ever in a bind and lose electricity or need to save perishables before a new fridge is installed (or fixed), consider making a DIY fridge.

It's not an ideal situation, but this would've been very helpful to know during the 2021 Texas winter storm. Having food spoil is a terrible feeling, especially when there isn't an ETA when you'll have electricity back. Many YouTubers are commenting, saying the low-cost DIY method works. Have all the supplies ready, because you never know what could happen!

Visit Wide Open Spaces for emergency candles, emergency tools, gifts for campers, and more for more survival products. Many of the products are budget-friendly and offer peace of mind which is priceless.

Best Portable Freezers

Best Overall Pick

1. BODEGA 12 Volt Refrigerator, Portable Freezer

freezer
Amazon

BODEGA's 53-quart portable fridge freezer is perfect for those who are a little tech-savvy. There's a compatible app to use the temperature control. Don't worry, you can always use manual mode as well. The fridge can reach -4-degrees Fahrenheit.

Frances gave it five stars and wrote, "Nice product! It's cold enough to freeze liquid, can keep foods cool and it's also not that big, which is just the right size for my car. Also it's not noisy when driving my car and The commands are easy to use. Once again, nice product that costs a fairly good price."

Sounds like you can finally take ice cream on that camping trip. You'll receive one portable freezer, one cigarette lighter connector, one wall plug and adapter, one user manual, and one dual zone basket.

Best option for cars & RVs

2. Ausranvik 45 Quart (42L) Portable Fridge for Car

portable freezer
Amazon

Ausranvik's 45-quart freezer works on a 12/24V DC and 110V AC power source. The chest freezer has a temperature range of -4-degrees to 68-degrees Fahrenheit. It's the perfect portable freezer under $320 for frozen food! You're going to love the interior LED light. This is perfect for pulling a bedtime snack out of the fridge at the campsite.

Thanks to the intelligent battery protection, the freezer/refrigerator won't run your car battery down. The fact that this appliance comes with everything you need for car use is fantastic. If your power ever goes out, you can hurry and put all of your frozen food in this portable freezer.

portable freezer
Amazon

A customer gave this refrigerator/freezer a five-star rating and wrote, "Used it this weekend on our trip to Joshua Tree. Works awesome. Kept meat frozen. Must have for any camping or cross country trip. We love it."

For warranty information, check out this page.

Best option for small apartments & offices

3. Euhomy Mini Freezer Countertop, 1.1 Cubic Feet

portable freezer
Amazon

This compact freezer is a fantastic option for studios and small spaces. If your new home doesn't have a fridge and you're on a budget, consider this option. Plus, if you ever upgrade to a new refrigerator, you can easily store this in a small storage space.

This portable cooler definitely has the mini-fridge look, so it might remind you of your dorm days. Anything for refrigeration and fresh food, though! However, this is also a great alternative if you don't want to spend too much money on a deep freezer. My parents both had one (there were many kiddos growing up, so stocking up on meat and after-school frozen snacks was a must).

Best off-grid option 

4. ARB 10810602 Portable Fridge/Freezer Weatherproof Portable Fridge/Freezer

portable freezer
Amazon

Here's Amazon's Choice for ARB fridges. The best-seller is very pricey, so consider this a splurge. This is our best pick for survival. It's made of weatherproof materials.

Avid campers or off-grid enthusiasts will love it. It has a 4-digit pin code to protect your food and a weatherproof control panel! Hey, you never know. I'd say this is a great option for keeping food cool when camping at parks, too.

The appliance is equipped with rear AC and DC power sockets and has wire baskets to make separating food easy, adding convenience to its portability. Check out this review.

review portable fridge
Amazon

Best fast-freeze option

5. Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V

portable freezer
Amazon

Whynter's freezer comes in a camouflage option, making this the perfect pick for hunters. The 110-volt portable refrigerator freezer can be plugged in with both AC power and DC power at the same time. The fast-freeze mode rapidly cools to -8-degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for emergencies and travel. The thermostat is easily adjusted for the ultimate convenience.

Check out this awesome review from David.

review freezer
Amazon

Best option under $170

6. CHO Portable Freezer Cooler AC/DC Compressor Refrigerator

portable freezer
Amazon

Cho's heavy-duty freezer is a great pick if you're looking for something sweet and simple. It's under $170 and can reach -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer even has an LCD screen for digitized temperature display and adjustment. The freezer comes with one DC power cord (12/24V), one AC adapter (110V/240V), and one user manual, perfect as a car refrigerator for a road trip.

This post was originally published on March 24, 2021.

READ MORE: 6 Best Portable Dryers + Why They're Worth Buying

Related Videos