Thursday, December 7, 2023

Best Off-Grid Refrigerators


We’ve identified the eight finest off-grid refrigerator models to satisfy everyone’s needs, whether you want to raise your family on a totally off-grid homestead or embark on a weekend wilderness trip. You can even reheat your food in one refrigerator!

Best Off-Grid Fridge Models

There are so many options when looking for the finest refrigerator for off-grid living. There are thermoelectric coolers, DC refrigerators, conventional iceboxes, and even propane-powered refrigerators.

How do you know which one is suitable for your refrigeration needs? 

The greatest off-grid refrigerators are out there, and we’ve identified them for you, just like there are the best washing machines for living off the grid. 

Check out this handy chart to see all your options. 

ICECO VL60 Off-Grid Refrigerator

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  • Zone ​: Dual
  • Capacity: 60L
  • Type: Solar
  • Consumption: 60-65W
  • Temperature: -0.4℉-+50℉

After a long day of travel, the last thing you want is to come to your off-grid cabin and have to wait for the fridge to cool down. You don’t need to with the ICECO VL60 Off-Grid Refrigerator.

This compact solar fridge is an affordable option if you are looking for a battery-powered fridge. 

You can even bring it along on your upcoming outdoor excursion. As you set out into the woods, you may toss the ICECO into the back of your truck bed (it is specifically made to fit there).

Do not be concerned about spoiled food. A SECOPS compressor, created for mobile refrigeration, is equipped with the ICELO. Even with a 40-degree tilt, this refrigerator still works!

To unload it into your cabin, use the sturdy handles. It’s perfect for a quick trip into the woods. With two zones, you may keep the meat frozen separately while stocking the fridge side with beer and other beverages.

While this is ideal for an off-grid trip, you could discover that it is too small for year-round habitation.

Bouger Solar Refrigerator

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  • Zone: Single
  • Capacity: 50L
  • Type: Solar
  • Consumption: 45W (ECO Mode), 60W (Max Mode)
  • Temperature: -4℉-68℉

Off-grid excursions occasionally require portable cooling solutions. Who wants to bring a fridge on a fishing excursion down to the river, after all?

Check out the Bouger Solar Refrigerator if you want the portability of an ice chest and the cooling power of a battery-powered fridge.

Although it resembles an ice chest, this “cooler” has a compressor like other solar-powered refrigerators. You may plug it directly into AC power, hook it up to your solar panels, or connect it to your car’s batteries.

You can carry in enough food and drink to last for days of fishing if you have a fridge and a freezer zone. When you return home, fill it up with your catch.

Don’t blame the fridge if you have bad luck while fishing. The fish are not scared off by the extremely quiet compressor. Your food will stay cold thanks to three-stage battery protection, and your car will always start when you’re ready to head back home.

Coleman Rolling Cooler

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  • Zone: Single
  • Capacity: 50L
  • Type: Ice Box/Cooler
  • Consumption: N/A
  • Temperature: N/A

The cost of owning a portable refrigerator might be high. A traditional ice chest may work if you want to keep your food cold but cannot afford the high-tech alternatives. Not to worry. Modern ice chests contain some extremely sophisticated cooling equipment.

The Coleman Rolling Cooler won the prize for being the greatest cooler; this is not your grandfather’s ice chest! It has more insulation than coolers did when you were a child, including an insulated cover. In fact, your food can stay chilled in the Coleman Rolling Cooler for up to five days!

It also consumes no power. No connections need to be connected, and there is no hassle or worry. You only need to fill it with ice to get started.

With its telescoping handle and sturdy wheels, you can easily transport this cooler even if you’re going deep into the woods. Additionally, since this cooler also serves as a chair, you may cross that item off your packing list.

Smad ‎XCD275-B Propane Off-Grid Refrigerator

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  • Zone: Dual
  • Capacity: Refrigerator 7.3 cu ft, Freezer 2 cu ft
  • Type: Propane
  • Consumption: 0.35 Gallons LP/24h
  • Temperature: Fridge 32℉-50℉, Freezer 3.2℉

If you don’t want to invest a lot of money in solar, propane is a great option. However, huge propane refrigerators can also be pricey. Fortunately, you can begin using propane-powered refrigeration without breaking the bank with the Smad XCD275- Propane Off-Grid Refrigerator.

Despite having a compact footprint, it is nonetheless able to have a roomy fridge and freezer. Even tall bottles can fit inside of it. And even those aren’t the best features of this refrigerator!

This refrigerator can be powered by propane, but it can also be connected to solar DC power or regular AC power. If you’re thinking about acquiring solar panels in the future or you want a backup in case you forget to top off your propane tank, this power source flexibility is useful!

Koolatron Krusader P85 Thermoelectric Refrigerator

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  • Zone: Single
  • Capacity: 49L
  • Type: Thermoelectric
  • Consumption: 48W
  • Temperature: Cools up to 40℉, Warms up to 149℉

The Kooltron Krusader P85 Thermoelectric Refrigerator may initially be mistaken for a standard icebox. But don’t be fooled by its appearance. You can become a hero by using the greatest iceless cooler.

Though not the most energy-efficient cooling solution available, thermoelectric refrigerators are more versatile. It may be used to both heat and cool meals.

Consider how amazed your family will be when you arrive at the family picnic with a hot dish. They see the cooler in the car when you pull up. Once more, they anticipate a chilly potato salad.

But surprise! Out comes a hot potato casserole, and everyone stares in wonder!

Not only that. The temperature can be changed to cold after dinner is served. You can fill it up with refreshments and stay up late drinking cool Coke and beer. You can keep more drinks for everyone as it doesn’t need ice to stay cool.

Seems too good to be true? Check out this video to see how thermoelectric cooling works.

Your Buying Guide To The Best Refrigerator For Off-Grid Living 

Off-grid can apply to a variety of settings, such as a little weekend getaway lodge in the woods or a sustainable prefab house. Even RVs and tiny houses might require an off-grid refrigerator.

And each of these situations is going to have different refrigeration needs.

There is something for every occasion because we have tested DC solar fridges, propane fridges, Thermoelectric fridges, and even a cooler. We’ll look at the many refrigeration kinds and how factors like installation, pricing, upkeep, efficiency, and size may influence your choice.


Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Installation?” How much work is involved in installing a refrigerator? You simply open the package and plug it in, correct? Actually, not quite.

You must connect DC refrigerators, such as the Unique Solar Refrigerator, to your solar system rather than putting them via an AC inverter because they are powered by your solar batteries directly. On the other hand, propane refrigerators require a regulator and must be linked to a tank or propane line. If you’re utilizing a propane-powered refrigerator for the first time, professional installation could be necessary.

Fascinating how something flammable like propane can power a fridge to cool/freeze things, huh?

With coolers, you just unbox them, wipe them off, and they are ready to go. 


Off-grid refrigeration is expensive. Your most economical choice is going to be an ice chest, then a thermoelectric cooler.

But what about solar and propane?

Solar-powered refrigerators, like the Unique solar refrigerator, appear to be less expensive than a propane fridge of the same size at first appearance. That is only true, though, if you already have a solar array powerful enough to run a refrigerator. (And even refrigerators that use less energy are power hogs.) Additionally, it takes 5 to 15 years on average to replace your solar batteries (1).

To power a refrigerator, you might need to purchase more panels, batteries, or even a backup generator, even if you already have a solar system.

Some of the most expensive refrigerators available can be propane models like the EZ EZ-19W Propane Refrigerator. However, gas can end up being the more cheap option once you take additional solar costs into account.


Coolers are the easiest refrigerators to maintain because they are tiny and don’t have any moving parts. However, since hinges, handles, and wheels are the weak points, you should exercise caution when using them. The chest can still keep items cool even if they do break.

The same can be said about thermoelectric coolers (2).

“The Only Moving Parts In A Thermoelectric Cooling System Are The Fans That Move Air Over The Heat Sinks; There Aren’t Any Filters Or Oils, Thus It Requires Almost Minimal Maintenance.”

Just wipe it down with a cloth, paying attention to the fan area. That’s all.

You should routinely clean the condenser coils and ensure the gasket is kept clean in a solar-powered refrigerator (3). In a stationary solar refrigerator, condensation happens more frequently. So be ready to do more cleaning.

Propane refrigerators, on the other hand, need care around the flue. Additionally, it is always wise to check for leaks since it is fueled by a substance that is highly combustible. An alert for a propane detector is another option.

Energy Efficiency

Powering a solar fridge may seem like a significant upfront expense if you don’t already have a solar power system. However, after making the initial expenditure, there are no ongoing energy costs because the sun, a fully renewable resource, provides all of your power (5).

“The Amount Of Sunlight That Reaches The Surface Of The Earth In An Hour And A Half Is Sufficient To Meet All Of The World’s Energy Needs For A Complete Year.”

Even while we can’t use all of the sun’s energy, we can store a significant amount of it in DC batteries. Thermoelectric coolers can also be fueled by a DC power source, but they are less effective than true solar refrigerators.

If you don’t have the money to invest in a solar array, a propane refrigerator is a viable alternative. However, you will discover that it is less effective than using the sun when you account for the long-term expenditures of propane.

Since ice chests don’t have a power source, the only way to maintain the proper temperature range is to buy ice and replenish it. They are adequate in a pinch or for a short period of time, but they are not a long-term fix.


Choosing the right size for your off-grid refrigerator might be challenging. The first step is to honestly assess how much food and liquid you anticipate needing to store there.

A stand-up refrigerator with a freezer will hold a lot more than ice chests and thermoelectric coolers. If you intend to feed your family on your off-grid homestead, a cooler will probably not be sufficient. However, it is great for the weekend.

It can be confusing when comparing the capacity as some fridges are measured in liters and others in cubic feet.

You can compare apples to apples by using a little elementary math. 28.3 liters make up one cubic foot (4). So let’s use the Unique Solar Fridge as an example and convert it to liters. It is really simple to calculate because it has a 10 Cu. Ft. capacity.

10 cu ft X 28.3= 283 liters

Let’s now contrast it with a quantity that is expressed in liters. 60 liters are in the ICECO refrigerator. As a result, the Unique Refrigerator is substantially bigger than the ICECO.


What Is The Best Off Grid Refrigerator If I Don’t Have Power?

A propane-powered refrigerator is the greatest off-grid option if you don’t have access to electricity. There are also solar-powered refrigerators, but you have to buy solar panels, batteries, and a charging controller for them to work.

Does A Solar Powered Refrigerator Require An Inverter?

No, an inverter is not necessary for a refrigerator that runs on solar power. DC refrigerators don’t need AC power; instead, they run entirely on your batteries. As a result, they are more energy-efficient than AC refrigerators, which convert power using an inverter.

Can I Plug A Thermoelectric Cooler Into An AC Outlet?

No, a thermoelectric cooler cannot be plugged into an AC outlet. Only DC power sources that are linked to this form of refrigeration may make it operate. A thermoelectric cooler can be powered by either your solar or car batteries.

Are Solar Refrigerators Safe?

Solar refrigerators are secure, yes. The majority of solar freezers are equipped with safety features and solely use solar energy to keep temperatures low. Because you don’t have to mess with your home’s electrical system, they are also secure to install and operate in a residential setting. Just make sure you have a battery backup and solar panels connected to it.

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Jim Williams
Jim Williams
Jim Williams is an expert in electronics and software products, and he loves to review them. He is an experienced and highly-respected professional who is passionate about his work and helping others get the most out of their products. Jim has over 20 years of experience in the electronics and software industry, and has worked in various roles. He is currently working as a technology consultant, helping businesses and entrepreneurs develop new products and services.

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