A Quick Review of the ARB Portable Refrigerator / Freezer

by M.D. Creekmore on December 21, 2012 · 3 comments

By MSgt

I’ve had the 50 quart ARB refrigerator/freezer for over a year now and use primarily for camping. Don’t confuse this with one of those boxes that cools stuff thirty degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. This is a real refrigerator/freezer. No more hauling ice. You can make ice if you want. You won’t worry if you will have enough ice. No more soggy food because it fell down into the bottom of the chest were the ice melted.

The ARB refrigerator/freezer 50 quart model weights only 53 pounds and can operate on 12/24 VDC or 120 VAC. It comes with two power cords, one for AC and one for DC. It has a built in battery protection circuit so you won’t run your vehicle battery too low.

Some of the other feature I like

  • Digital readout on the front to determine the current temperature and temperature setting.
  • LED light that comes on when you open the lid.
  • Drain plug in the bottom which makes cleaning fast and easy.
  • Lid locks closed to avoid accidental opening.
  • Carrying handles.
  • Quiet operation, I can’t even tell when it’s on.
  • Draws less than one amp which is critical when using battery/solar power.
  • At 53 pounds even an old dawg like me can carry it.

All of the features make it great for camping and during power outages. No, you won’t be able to put the entire contents of your home refrigerator in the 50 quart size (ARB does have a 82 qt size) but you will be able to put some food items inside and any medications that require refrigeration.

At approximately $800.00 they are not cheap but when compared to other brands such as Engel and National Luna which offer some of the same features and operate in a similar fashion they are a reasonable alternative.


JP in MT December 21, 2012 at 10:16 am


Thanks for the review. I am always looking for quality 12 VDC products. We run a quite camp when out and like to keep the generator use to a minimum. At $800 per unit this only gets expensive if it doesn’t work.

Tactical G-Ma December 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Thanks, MSgt. Worth looking in to.

MountainSurvivor December 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm

That is a great little fridge/freezer unit and the amount of interior space that it offers is decent for it’s overall size. I’ll be living in a small cabin one day and, boy, it would be my choice for a fridge/freezer after the solar setup is turned on and when I want to bring home some frozen desserts to eat on hot summer days.

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