The reality is, our 4x4 rigs spend more time than we’d like taking the kids to soccer practice. And, weekend trips away are more about ensuring that the family gets a chance to put their toes in the water, rather than ensuring the driver gets a chance to engage low gear.
That’s why we reckon WAECO has hit a winner with its CoolFreeze CDF-11. The CDF-11 has 10.5-litre capacity, inside there’s a dairy section which you can also use for fruit storage and, in the lid, there’s a circular recess to give extra stability and clearance to fit a 1.25-litre bottle standing upright. Pack your lunch, or any perishable snacks, and you’re ready to go.
The slim design of the CDF-11 means it can fit almost anywhere. For many of us, it will spend its time on the middle of the backseat, between the kids. The twin cup/can holders on the outside of the unit are particularly handy for backseat travellers. Single drivers might prefer to have the fridge closer at hand on the front passenger seat.
Wherever you choose to put it, the CDF-11 has the innovative feature of a seat-belt-securing mechanism, so you can strap the fridge into place to prevent it from becoming a projectile when you have to slam on the brakes. The unit also has a shoulder strap when you need to move it from the vehicle.
A lot of other small coolers are thermo-electric and can drain a vehicle’s battery in the blink of an eye. By contrast, the WAECO CDF-11 has a compressor. This means it utilises a lot less power and has comparatively more cooling (grunt) effect than a thermo-electric type. This makes it one of the smallest fridge/freezers on the market with a range from 10°C to -18°C.
That said, the CDF-11 still draws 1-1.2 Amps over 24 hours and, as a freezer, it averages 3-3.2 Amps over the same time. This means that it’s still a little hungry for its size.
When we tested it from a hot start in a hot car on a hot day, it cooled down to 1°C in 20 minutes. This performance would obviously improve if you put cold items in it from the get-go (rather than room temperature, as we did).
A useful aftermarket purchase would be a 12/240V adapter. Or, you could combine it with a battery pack which would allow you to take the fridge out of the vehicle if you needed to keep food cool in it overnight.
Whether you’re out for the day, or are on a long haul trip and simply don’t want to stop the vehicle every time someone gets the munchies, then the WAECO CDF-11 has got the goods.
We say: Efficient and effective for everyday use.
Where: Available everywhere.