Forget ice — this cooler harnesses the power of the sun to chill your food

A few years ago, the Coolest Cooler burst onto Kickstarter and quickly raked in more than $13 million to bring it to market. While lengthy delays turned into a controversial project, a new type of cooler just landed on a crowdfunding platform with its own goal of reinventing the humble food and drink chiller. And this one promises to be with customers in just a few months.

This time around, however, it’s taking a somewhat different approach. While the Coolest Cooler focused on party features like in-built Bluetooth speakers, the GoSun Chill’s innovation involves its method of keeping food chilled. Rather than relying on anything as boring as ice, it uses brushless compressor motors and lithium-ion batteries for cooling. You can charge it using a power cord, or — more impressively — using solar panel charging to keep your beverages icy. Where else could you use the sun’s rays to cool things down? Heck, you can even use the excess power from the detachable 144wh Powerbank to charge your devices multiple times.

“Portable fridges have demanded large power needs and must be plugged into a running vehicle — typically trucks — or a generator,” Patrick Sherwin, CEO of manufacturer GoSun, told Digital Trends. “GoSun’s engineers brought together an efficient brushless compressor with a compact, high output battery pack to create a cooler that never needs ice. With the flexible solar panel or solar table, you can continue to power the GoSun Chill, so you don’t need to resupply throughout the day.”

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GoSun isn’t known for its coolers. Its best-known products are the opposite of a cooler: Its solar ovens, which have shipped more than 30,000 units, including 1,500 to the American Red Cross. Pushing the fuel-free frontier, GoSun now wants to offer the next step in what it says as its dream of an outdoor kitchen. “The GoSun Chill provides both cooling and power for devices, plus it is compatible with our latest hybrid solar and electric oven, the GoSun Fusion,” Sherwin continued.

Although GoSun Chill is cool (no pun intended) from a technological point of view, there are other reasons to consider it, too. While it’s similar in size to a standard cooler, the 40-liter cooler can fit 40% more food and drink inside, since there’s no ice using up valuable internal space.

As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you’re happy to take the risk, head over to Indiegogo and pledge your cash. Prices start at $549 for the early bird model with solar panel, while a version without the solar tech comes in at $479. Shipping is set to take place in August.

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