When it comes to camping, eating fresh food can be severely limited by how well a cooler can keep ice from melting. Nobody wants to eat raw meat that has been sitting in room temperature water all day. With a new Dometic CFX portable fridge, car campers won’t have to buy ice ever again.
As an update to their older CF series, there are a number of improvements. Most notable is the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity. Using a free iOS and Android mobile companion app, users can control and monitor the internal temperature without digging through the trunk of the car. Other features include alerts for when the lid is left open or if the temperature falls out of the selected range.
Using a new compact compressor, this portable fridge weighs in at just 34 pounds. While this sounds heavy, this is lighter than other high-end coolers filled with 20 pounds of ice. Without all that ice, there is plenty more storage space too. This also keeps food dry. No more fishing soggy sandwiches out of cold water.
Speaking of cold, there is a big distinction between a portable fridge like the CFX and an inexpensive 12-volt cooler. Those coolers typically chill up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below the surrounding temperature. In the summer heat, there is no way it will keep meat at a safe temperature. As a true working refrigerator, the CFX can cool down to minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold enough to turn a pint of ice cream into a rock. For anyone who needs a little bit of both, one CFX model features dual zone cooling, allowing two separate temperatures.
One would think that Dometic’s CFX would suck a car battery dry, but it has been designed to sip power slowly. This portable fridge has a draw of 0.66 kilowatt-hours. In most cases, that’s little enough for a car to keep it going up to 24 hours. To keep it from draining the car’s battery, Dometic equipped the unit with a three-level, low-voltage safety shutoff.
The full CFX lineup contains nine different models that range from the compact 28 for $400, all the way to the gigantic 100W for $960. The model featured above is the 35W, a good midrange for $534.