There’s a hell of a lot of portable fridge options these days and while some manufacturers persist with old-school designs and continue to trade on their reputations, newer entrants to the market are shaking things up with more innovative designs and clever features.
One of the newer brands around is myCOOLMAN, and its fridges certainly fall into the ‘innovative design and clever features’ category. There are nine fridges in the myCOOLMAN line-up, ranging in capacity from 30L to 105L, and it’s the compact 30L model that I’ve been running for the past couple of months.
Called The Transporter, this 30L fridge is ideally suited to use in smaller 4x4 wagons, or for shorter trips such as weekend escapes with just a couple of people. The fridge’s small footprint (610mm x 340mm) means it doesn’t take up too much room inside the back of a small 4x4, and it’s relatively low height (424mm) means the lid will open completely in the back of a vehicle, and you don’t have to reach up and over too far to access fridge contents.
It’s also light at just 17.5kg, making it easy to lift into and out of the back of a vehicle, even when loaded up with food and drinks. The fridge also has big, sturdy handles that double as tie-down points, and these fold flush when not in use.
The fridge has a sturdy plastic cabinet and removable lid, and a section on each side that magnets can stick to (for the optional Power Pack), as well as reinforced panels on each corner. With a flush-mount control panel, flush lid release, and handy recessed bottle openers at each end, there’s nothing ‘sticking out’ that could otherwise get caught on something such as vehicle trim or luggage.
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The 240V AC and 12V DC inputs at the front of the fridge are easy to access, and there’s an additional 12V DC input at the other end, which is very convenient depending on where your vehicle’s 12V power supply is. There’s also a handy USB power outlet for charging phones and other devices.
The flipside of having small external dimensions is the 30L fridge’s small interior cabinet. It has a split-level design, essentially to make space for the compressor, and in total it will hold up to 32 x 330ml cans.
The fridge is supplied with removable baskets that allow you to keep food and drinks separate, and a fold-up section on the top basket means you can stand a couple of larger soft-drink or wine bottles upright. Other features include an interior LED light and a drain plug to aid cabinet cleaning.
The fridge operation is straightforward. There’s an on/off button, a turbo button (for faster cooldown) and up and down buttons to set the temperature. The digital display can show set temperature or cabinet temperature, and the user can set the low-voltage cutout point that best suits their requirements.
On test the myCOOLMAN 30L had no problems keeping food and drinks cold even on hot days, it cooled down from room temperature quickly with the turbo function engaged, and it’s remarkably quiet in operation.
You can monitor and set cabinet temperature from a mobile device thanks to Bluetooth connectivity – just download the free myCOOLMAN app, scan the code on the side of the fridge and connect. The app is super convenient and easy to use, and extra fridges can be added for those with more than one myCOOLMAN device.
While a 30L fridge won’t be for everyone, it’s certainly well suited to those with small vehicles. Another benefit is just how portable a fridge like this myCOOLMAN is, not only thanks to its small size but also its light weight and sturdy carry handles; I have swapped it from vehicle to vehicle a number of times, and have also used it away from a vehicle with myCOOLMAN’s optional Power Pack.
At $995, The Transporter 30L is good value for money, and it’s covered by a three-year warranty, with five years coverage for the compressor.
Available from: www.mycoolman.com.au
RRP: $995 (30L The Transporter); $399 (Power Pack)
We Say: Good value, feature-packed compact fridge
myCOOLMAN power pack
Portable power packs are nothing new but in the past if you wanted one with enough grunt to power a fridge, you’d be looking at a big, heavy device. Thanks to lithium-ion battery tech, the myCOOLMAN Power Pack is not big and heavy, but it still has enough grunt to power The Transporter 30L fridge for up to 18 hours.
The 15amp/h Power Pack weighs 1.65kg and has a magnetic base so it can ‘stick’ to the side of the fridge. It is supplied with a charging cable and a myCOOLMAN fridge cable, and the latter can be plugged into either of the 30L fridge’s 12V DC inputs.
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With the Power Pack you can keep your fridge running when it’s not connected to your vehicle’s power supply, which is ideal when camping where there are bollards, or for when you’re drinking at the campfire and you can’t be bothered getting up to grab another beverage (yes, first world problems are real). It’s also ideal for those who don’t have a dual-battery system in their vehicle, and who want to keep their fridge running when the vehicle is turned off.
The Power Pack can be charged from 0 to 100 per cent in five to six hours and has short-circuit protection, over-current protection, over-charging protection, over-discharge protection and over-heat protection. On Christmas Day I ran The Transporter fridge off the power pack for eight hours in the back of a stinking hot wagon and the drinks inside were still icy cold for the shotgun-ride home.
The Power Pack is covered by a 12-month warranty, and it can be used on all myCOOLMAN fridges, with run times dependent on fridge size (105L fridge up to eight hours).