8 Best Off-Grid Solar Refrigerators In 2024

Living off the grid and looking for a solar refrigerator option to keep your precious food cold and fresh?

You came to the right spot!

While living off the grid can be a wonderful adventure, ensuring your food doesn’t spoil can be a problem. 

Thankfully, there is an easy solution: the off-grid solar refrigerator!

Below you’ll find in-depth reviews on each solar refrigerator, put together by yours truly.

From personal experience, I know how important it is to have a great refrigerator when living off the grid. As a result, I spent a lot of hours researching and putting this review together to help make your decision easier, so hope you find it helpful. 

For those who want a quick overview, below is our comparison table:

Solar Refrigerator
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator
Dometic CFX 100L
BougeRV E55
Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator​
Unique UGP290L1B 
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator and Deep Freezer Chest, AC 110V/ DC 12V, Real Chest Freezer for Car, Home, Camping, and RV with -8°F to 50°F Temperature Range, Gray
Dometic CFX 100W 12v Electric Powered Portable Cooler, Fridge Freezer
BougeRV 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Dual Zone, Portable Freezer Fridge APP Control E55(59QT)-no wheels,12/24V DC,110~240VAC, -4℉-68℉(No Wheels&Without Baskets)
ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator with SECOP Compressor, 60 Liters Platinum Compact Refrigerator, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, 0℉ to 50℉, Home & Car Use (with Insulated Cover)
Our Rating
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
Temperature Range
-8°F to 50°F
-8°F to 50°F
-4°F to 68°F
0°F to 50°F
28.4°F to 50 °F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
1.5 Cu Ft
3.1 Cu Ft
1.97 Cu Ft
7.5 Cu Ft
10.3 Cu Ft
Efficiency
1.15 KW/Day
.58 KW/Day
.62 KW/Day
1.56 KW/Day
.87 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Overall Best Option
Excellent design, portable, & built to last
Beautiful Chest Style Design
Brand Is Known For Quality
Excellent Storage Capacity
Solar Refrigerator
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator and Deep Freezer Chest, AC 110V/ DC 12V, Real Chest Freezer for Car, Home, Camping, and RV with -8°F to 50°F Temperature Range, Gray
Our Rating
#1
Temperature Range
-8°F to 50°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
1.5 Cu Ft
Efficiency
1.15 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Overall Best Option
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
Dometic CFX 100L
Dometic CFX 100W 12v Electric Powered Portable Cooler, Fridge Freezer
Our Rating
#2
Temperature Range
-8°F to 50°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
3.1 Cu Ft
Efficiency
.58 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Excellent design, portable, & built to last
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
BougeRV E55
BougeRV 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Dual Zone, Portable Freezer Fridge APP Control E55(59QT)-no wheels,12/24V DC,110~240VAC, -4℉-68℉(No Wheels&Without Baskets)
Our Rating
#3
Temperature Range
-4°F to 68°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
1.97 Cu Ft
Efficiency
.62 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Beautiful Chest Style Design
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator​
ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator with SECOP Compressor, 60 Liters Platinum Compact Refrigerator, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, 0℉ to 50℉, Home & Car Use (with Insulated Cover)
Our Rating
#4
Temperature Range
0°F to 50°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
7.5 Cu Ft
Efficiency
1.56 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Brand Is Known For Quality
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
Unique UGP290L1B 
Our Rating
#5
Temperature Range
28.4°F to 50 °F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
10.3 Cu Ft
Efficiency
.87 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Excellent Storage Capacity
More Information

Our #1 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator (Best Overall Option)

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator
product-image
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator
Features
  • Great option for 1-2 people
  • Works as either a freezer or a fridge
  • Includes convenient removable wire baskets
  • Best Budget Option
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
5 out of 5

If you’re looking for an unbelievable solar refrigerator at an excellent price, this is the one you want (and it’s got the reviews to back it up).

whynter solar refrigerator

The Whynter FM-45G is a 45-quart solar portable refrigerator. It’s designed to give you a durable and easy to use DC or AC powered fridge wherever you wander.

It runs on either AC or DC power and is capable of cooling down to -8 °F when in freezer mode. That gives you enough space for multiple days of a single person’s groceries or a few days for a couple/family.

The FM-45G offers several really cool features for the off-grid user. To start with, it’s designed with thick insulation to resist temperature changes. It’s easy to set up and adjust the temperature and even set it into low power mode.

Whynter Fm-45G solar refrigerator

This allows you to maintain the internal temperature without opening the lid for greatly reduced energy. It can reduce the overall drain by as much as 50%.

All in all, I absolutely love this refrigerator, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for a bigger option, they have 65 Quart and 85 Quart Options. 

Specifications:

  • Power Draw: 1.56 KW/Day
  • Storage Capacity: 42.5 liters or 1.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 18” x 28” x 20.8”
  • Fridge/Freezer Range:  -8 °F to 50 °F

Pros 

  • Good for one to two people
  • Durable and attractively designed
  • Works as either a freezer or a fridge
  • Includes convenient removable wire baskets
  • Best Budget Option

Cons

  • Smallest option on our list

Our #2 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Dometic CFX3 100L (Most Versatile – Great For 1-2 People)

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Dometic CFX3 100L
product-image
Dometic CFX3 100L
Features
  • Extremely durable and well insulated
  • Highly efficient
  • Good option for one, possibly two people 
  • Functions as both a fridge or a freezer
Our Rating
Our #2 Rated
4.8 out of 5

The Dometic CFX3 100L is a beast of an off-grid refrigerator. It’s built into a heavy-duty chest style body with added toughness from things like reinforced edges, stainless steel hinges, and very heavy insulation.

It offers 99L of capacity or about 3.49 cubic feet. This is just about enough space for a week’s worth of groceries for a single person. It’s designed to run off either 110 V AC or 12 V DC power.

This allows you considerable flexibility in how you choose to power it from your solar system. It can be run as either a fridge or a freezer depending on your needs. Just set the desired temperature using the digital display or by pairing it with your smartphone.

Dometic CFX 100W Mobile Paired

You read that right, you can connect your smartphone to the CFX 100W via Bluetooth to monitor and control it. This is a useful feature if you have anything that’s temperature sensitive inside and want to make sure it’s right where it should be.

It has very thick insulation that helps maintain a stable temperature even with changing room temps. It also lowers the overall cost to operate the Dometic substantially.

This video shows an unboxing so you can see what exactly what it looks like shipped (skip to 6:15 in the video to get to the actual unboxing).

The Dometic CFX3 100L is built to last and at a great price point, for this size, you’ll be hard pressed to find one better. 

Dometic CFX3 100W Amazon Review

Specifications:

  • Power Draw: .45 KW/Day
  • Storage Capacity: 99L / 3.49 Cubic Feet
  • Dimensions: 18.6″ H x 37.9″ W x 20.9″ D
  • Temperature Range:  -7 °F to 50 °F

Pros 

  • Extremely durable and well insulated
  • Highly efficient
  • Good size for one, maybe two people 
  • Functions as both a fridge or a freezer

Cons

  • Not great for families

Our #3 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: BougeRV E55 Solar Refrigerator (Best Value)

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
BougeRV E55 Solar Refrigerator
product-image
BougeRV E55 Solar Refrigerator
Features
  • Incredible value
  • Dual zones allow use as a fridge and freezer
  • Easy-to-use app allows you to remotely control temperature settings
  • Great yellow and black color scheme
  • BougeRV offers full ecosystem of solar gear including solar panels, solar generators, and all connecting equipment, making building out a matching system easy
Our Rating
Our #3 Rated
4.4 out of 5

The BougeRV E55 Solar Refrigerator is a 59-quart dual-zone refrigerator from an up-and-coming brand in the outdoor and RV space. It offers a durable, reliable, and shockingly affordable take on solar refrigerators.

The E55 offers comparable performance to industry leaders such as Whynter and Dometic at a significantly lower price. It offers cooling abilities down to -4°F in just a few hours and has adequate insulation to do it without being a massive power hog.

The E55 is powered by a 60W compressor motor capable of dropping the zones from room temp down to 32°F in just over an hour. It accepts multiple power types, including car outlet plugs, solar battery banks, and standard shore power. 

Extra features are one place where BougeRV really shines. The E55 includes a pair of LED lights, one for each zone, that kick on automatically when opened. It also comes with a neat little cutting board that snaps into place under the lid when not in use.

The BougeRV app allows you to control each zone independently as well as do valuable things like lock the touchscreen to prevent accidental temperature changes.

BougeRV E55

The two zones are significantly different in size. The larger on is more than twice as large as the smaller one, but considering the difference in freezer vs. fridge food most people keep off-grid we thought that was a reasonable choice.

At its price point, we expected the BougeRV to feel cheap, but we were pleasantly surprised by the overall build quality and feel. It doesn’t have the same level of tank-like durability that something like Whynter or Dometic can offer, but given it costs less than half the price of those brands we still think it’s a great value.

In our testing, the refrigeration worked just as described. It got to temp in a reasonable time frame and held temperature reliably even while the ambient temperature around it changed frequently. 

All in all, the BougeRV E55 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator is a phenomenal value. It isn’t quite as nice as our top-ranked picks, but it’s a lot less expensive and reliable enough to stand up under frequent use.

If you’re looking for a solar refrigerator that’s more portable, the BougeRV CR55 offers the same capacity and value as the E55 but with integrated wheels.

BougeRV CR55

Specifications 

  • Power Draw: 0.62 kW/Day
  • Storage Capacity: 59 Quart | 55.8 Liters
  • Dimensions: 25.47″D x 15.75″W x 22.48″H
  • Fridge/Freezer Range: -4°F to 68°F

Pros 

  • Incredible value
  • Dual zones allow use as a fridge and freezer
  • Easy-to-use app allows you to remotely control temperature settings
  • Great yellow and black color scheme
  • BougeRV offers full ecosystem of solar gear including solar panels, solar generators, and all connecting equipment, making building out a matching system easy

Cons

  • Overall durability is lower than the best options

Our #4 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator (Best Portable Option)

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator
product-image
Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator
Features
  • Robustly designed for long-term use
  • Runs on both AC and DC power
  • Energy-efficient design to save you money
  • The perfect size for one to two people
Our Rating
Our #4 Rated
4.3 out of 5

The Iceco VL60 is a dual-zone solar refrigerator. It provides 60 liters of capacity and is designed to run off either 110 V AC or 12 V DC power.

It’s large enough to hold nearly a week’s worth of food for one or several days for a couple. It has two equally sized fridge and freezer compartments that can be adjusted independently.

You can choose between having a fridge and freezer or setting both to refrigerator temperatures.

If you’re not one for ice cream and frozen pizzas this can be a really useful feature to have.

Everything about the Iceco VL60 is designed to reassure you as to its strength and durability. It has reinforced edges, impact-resistant corner caps, and several different organizational features.

You can adjust the temperature of either side with the LED control panel, which makes it easy to switch out compartment settings when you need to.

ICECO VL60 Amazon Review

Specifications:

  • Power Draw: 1.15 KW/Day
  • Storage Capacity: 2.11 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 31.1” x 18.3” x 18.7”
  • Fridge/Freezer Range:  0 °F to 50 °F

Pros 

  • The perfect size for one to two people
  • Robustly designed for long-term use
  • Runs on both AC and DC power
  • Energy-efficient design to save you money

Cons

  • Not the best option for more than 2 people

Our #5 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Unique UGP290L1B 

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Unique UGP290L1B
product-image
Unique UGP290L1B
Features
  • Provides the same experience as a traditional refrigerator
  • Downright roomy compared to many other DC refrigerators
  • Plenty of space for a week’s groceries for a family of four living off-grid
  • Free shipping can be a serious savings over some other refrigerators
  • Available in three attractive colors to better match your existing aesthetic
  • Best for couples and families 
Our Rating
Our #5 Rated
4.2 out of 5

When it comes to solar refrigerators, the Unique UGP290L1B is in a league of its own. 

Seriously, I can’t get over how much I love this refrigerator. 

To start, it’s an upright fridge/freezer combo designed to run off of 24V DC power and provides a total of 10.3 cubic feet of storage space with adjustable temperature levels.

That’s downright roomy for solar fridges and plenty of space for a week’s groceries for your average couple or family.

It can easily store all the fruit, vegetables, meats, beverages, and even ice cream for all you sweet tooths out there (myself included).

It uses a compact DC cooling system designed to provide excellent performance without blowing through too much power and works great on a reasonably sized solar system. 

It provides the same fridge and freezer experience you’d get from a traditional AC-powered unit in an off-grid setting. Even better, it ships free of charge within the continental U.S.

That’s a major saving over some other solar fridges.

Honestly, if I could list this as my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best choice for solar refrigerators, I would.

From all my research and experience living off-grid, there simply isn’t a solar refrigerator that compares when you consider the value you are getting for the price.

And when you factor in how much you’re saving in comparison to similar propane refrigerators, it’s really a no-brainer. 

Check out this sweet unboxing to see what all comes with it. Toni loves it so much, she actually started crying when talking about it haha 

I wanted to include one last video review from Nick. The video was made with an Iphone so not the easiest to follow but provides some really great insight into owning the Unique UGP290L1B.

To finish the video, Nick says “I’m very happy with mine. I’ll never go propane again, especially with their twice as much new.” That’s saying something…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXRd3Jy2xZk

Specifications:

  • Power Draw: .865 KW/Day depending on ambient temperature
  • Storage Capacity: 10.3 Cu Feet 
  • Dimensions: 24” x 61” x 27”
  • Fridge Range: 28.4 °F to 50 °F
  • Freezer Range: Down to 28.4 °F

Pros 

  • Provides the same experience as a traditional refrigerator
  • Downright roomy compared to many other DC refrigerators
  • Plenty of space for a week’s groceries for a family of four living off-grid
  • Free shipping can be a serious savings over some other refrigerators
  • Available in three attractive colors to better match your existing aesthetic

Cons

  • Don’t have any

Our #6 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Dometic CFX3 55L AC/DC Refrigerator

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Dometic CFX3 55L AC/DC Refrigerator
product-image
Dometic CFX3 55L AC/DC Refrigerator
Features
  • Exceptionally rugged and well insulated
  • Highly efficient for its size
  • Well-sized for one to two people
  • Offers dual fridge and freezer zones
Our Rating
Our #6 Rated
4.6 out of 5

The Dometic CFX3 55L is a smaller-capacity cousin of our number two ranked CFX3 100L. It offers the same heavy-duty chest body with excellent insulation, exceptionally durable construction, and rock-solid reliability.

The CFX3 55L gives you, unsurprisingly, 55 liters of capacity or about 1.94 cubic feet. Depending on your needs, that’s adequate cold storage for 4-7 days for a single person or about 3-4 days for a couple. 

You can use it as either a refrigerator, a freezer, or as both. It has two zones each capable of running at a different temperature.

It offers a hybrid power system that can run equally as well off 12V DC or 120V AC power. That gives you a lot of options as far as keeping your fridge running goes. You can run it directly off your battery bank while still being able to hook up to shore power when available easily.

One thing we absolutely love about the CFX3 line is the intuitive app Dometic offers to control it. You can pair your phone with the fridge and easily monitor and adjust temperature levels. It even has a temperature alarm feature that lets you know when temperatures are rising unexpectedly.

Dometic CFX 55L

Dometic has been in the RV refrigerator game for a long time, and the CFX3 builds on that expertise. It’s extremely well insulated for its size, perfect for reducing power draw and maintaining a consistent temperature.

The Dometic CFX3 55L is a dependable refrigerator with ample support behind it. It’s pricey, but it won’t let you down when it counts.

Specifications 

  • Power Draw: 0.288 kW/Day
  • Storage Capacity: 55L | 1.94 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 31” W x 20” H x 21” D
  • Fridge/Freezer Range: -7 °F to 50 °F

Pros 

  • Exceptionally rugged and well insulated
  • Highly efficient for its size
  • Well-sized for one to two people
  • Offers dual fridge and freezer zones

Cons

  • Too small for most families

Our #7 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Change Moore ED50W

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Change Moore ED50W
product-image
Change Moore ED50W
Features
  • Exceptionally affordable for its capacity
  • Reversible lids make it easier to use in a recreational capacity where it’s moving around more
  • Runs relatively quietly
Our Rating
Our #7 Rated
4.3 out of 5

The Change Moore ED50W offers an affordable alternative to the more established brands and refrigerators on our list. It has a 54 quart/51L capacity spread between two independently programmable temperature zones.

The ED50W includes features and functionality we usually expect to see on solar refrigerators at twice or more its price. It has a dedicated app that allows you to control things like power mode, locking the main screen, and setting the temperature in each zone.

The zones have independent access doors, both of which are also reversible. That allows you to open them from the front or back of the ED50W, depending on how you have it configured. In an RV or van setting, added flexibility is valuable.

Change Moore ED50W

There are some noticeable downsides to the ED50W. As you’d expect, the materials used in its construction can’t match those of something like a Whynter or Dometic fridge. It’s not fragile by any means, but it’s also not built to the same level of durability and strength.

Considering it’s less than half the price of those fridges, we’re okay with that.

If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck while outfitting your off-grid home, the Change Moore ED50W is an excellent option. For the price you pay, it’s a solid choice.

Specifications 

  • Power Draw: 0.48 kW/Day
  • Storage Capacity: 54 Quart / 51 L
  • Dimensions: 26.74” L x 16.1” W x 20.3” H
  • Fridge/Freezer Range: -4 °F to 68 °F

Pros 

  • Exceptionally affordable for its capacity
  • Reversible lids make it easier to use in a recreational capacity where it’s moving around more
  • Runs relatively quietly

Cons

  • Not as durable or reliable as our top ranked solar refrigerators
  • Doesn’t get quite as cold as other refrigerators on our list

Our #8 Rated Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator: Bodega 100 Quart Solar Refrigerator

Solar Refrigerator
Features
Our rating
Bodega 100 Quart Solar Refrigerator
product-image
Bodega 100 Quart Solar Refrigerator
Features
  • Large capacity offers ample food storage
  • Integrated wheels makes it easy to move around if desired
  • Reasonably affordable for its size
  • Dual zones allows you to have both a fridge and freezer
Our Rating
Our #8 Rated
4.3 out of 5

The Bodega 100 Quart Solar Refrigerator is a large-capacity off-grid refrigerator that offers solid performance at a reasonable price. It’s large enough for the whole family yet offers good enough efficiency that it won’t drain your batteries. 

The Bodega runs off 12V DC or 120V AC power and has a built-in voltmeter that shuts off the compressor if battery levels drop too low. It’s reasonably well insulated and doesn’t gulp down energy the way some low-quality solar refrigerators do.

The Bodega has two temperature zones and can drop temperatures as low as -4°F if desired. You can control temps on the refrigerator itself or using the handy app.

Bodega offers a 5-year warranty on the compressor. That’s a pretty great guarantee as far as brands in the solar refrigerator space go.

It includes drop-in organization baskets for each side. They allow you to more easily keep your fridge in good order more easily and limit the time you have to leave the lids open.

Bodega Solar Refrigerator

We really love that Bodega went with independent lids for each temperature zone. That allows you to get into your fridge without raising the temperature of your freezer.

It’s a pretty solid solar refrigerator. Our testing showed that it got temps down to where they needed to be rapidly and held them there even as conditions changed.

It drew more power as outside temperatures rose, but it was still not a massive draw on our batteries.

If you’re looking for a large-capacity solar refrigerator and don’t want to break the bank, the Bodega 100 Quart Dual-Zone Solar Refrigerator is an excellent way to go.

Specifications 

  • Storage Capacity: 100 Quarts | 85 Liters
  • Dimensions: 22.48” H x 39.5” L x 18.3” W
  • Fridge/Freezer Range: -4°F to 68°F

Pros 

  • Large capacity offers ample food storage
  • Integrated wheels makes it easy to move around if desired
  • Reasonably affordable for its size
  • Dual zones allows you to have both a fridge and freezer

Cons

  • Body less durable than higher-end solar refrigerators

How Solar Refrigerators Work 

The vast majority of solar refrigerators work on the same principles as traditional home fridges. They have an electric compressor that increases the pressure on a refrigerant and forces it into coils outside the refrigerator.

This causes it to radiate off heat and convert from a gas to a liquid and flow back into the refrigerator. It absorbs the heat inside the refrigerator and flows back to the compressor.

In solar refrigerators, this process is just done more efficiently and with greater insulation on the exterior of the refrigerator.

Is a Solar Fridge Right For You? 

A solar refrigerator is designed to operate on 12-volt power such as that collected with a solar system. They are highly efficient, most are better insulated to reduce the need to kick on as often, and they are designed in a way that reduces cold air loss. 

You’ll note that the chest design is standard. Warm air rises and cold air falls. Most of us learned this in elementary science class. When you open the door of a traditional standing refrigerator, cold air literally falls out of it. By designing solar refrigerators as a chest, opening the door doesn’t result in the loss of cold air, it stays in the bottom of the chest. 

This increases efficiency and lowers the need for the compressor to kick on. It results in a refrigeration unit that uses far less power to work, while delivering the function that you’re used to. These refrigeration units tend to be small, highly adjustable, and well-insulated. These points all lend to increased function with reduced power usage. For those who live with small solar kits, such as those in tiny homes, these refrigerators are the most efficient choice.

Benefits of a Solar Refrigerator

Energy Efficiency 

The key benefit of a solar refrigerator is how energy efficient they are. The whole point of choosing a solar refrigerator over a traditional home fridge is to lower the amount of solar power you need to generate.

Solar refrigerators accomplish this through several different methods, including highly efficient compressor systems and thicker/denser insulation.

Greater Insulation 

Most solar refrigerators incorporate substantially thicker and more efficient insulation into their design. This makes it much easier to cool them down and keep them at temperature.

This is most commonly seen in chest-style solar refrigerators. They’re designed to run on extremely small amounts of power for efficient use with solar power banks.

Depending on the model you choose they may also include a locking door that helps prevent temperature loss. 

Dual Power Modes

Many off-grid solar refrigerators are wired to run off either 110 V AC power or 12 V DC power. This allows you to either connect them through an inverter or hook them straight up to your solar battery bank.

Off-Grid Solar Refrigerator Buying Guide

Price

There’s no getting around it: Solar refrigerators are expensive. Most models approaching standard home size will cost over $1,000 and smaller units can still cost multiple hundreds of dollars.

It’s best to look at buying a solar refrigerator as a long term investment. They use less power than traditional fridges and will save you money on the overall size of your solar power system.

They’re also pretty durable when compared to a traditional home fridge. They still require periodic maintenance but are built from tougher stuff than most.

Choosing the Right Size Solar Refrigerator

When discussing the size of a solar refrigerator we’re referring to two different metrics. The actual exterior size for installation purposes and the storage capacity.

Start by finding the area of your cabin, RV, or tiny home you want to place your refrigerator in. Break out a measuring tape and find the dimensions available. Knowing just how much space you have to work with can help you narrow down the best off-grid solar refrigerator for your needs.

The best way to determine how much storage capacity you need is to put together your refrigerated groceries. This will let you know exactly how big a refrigerator you and your family will need on average.

Power Consumption & Start-Up Draw

Figuring out how much power you need for a solar refrigerator is one of the most important steps to take. You need to factor in how much it draws per hour and how many hours of sunlight you get.

For the most part, a 100 W solar panel won’t effectively power any of the fridges on this list. During peak sun, while it may produce enough power, it wouldn’t have enough left over to charge a battery for the hours when the sun’s down.

Figure out how many watts you need to power your refrigerator for a year. Once you have that figure find a solar insolation map and find out what your average daily hours of sunlight are over the year.

This tells you how many solar panels and batteries you’ll need to consistently generate and store enough power for your fridge.

One last thing to keep in mind is the start-up draw of a solar fridge. When compressors are first spooling up they pull in substantially more power than they do when operating.

In some cases, this can be as much as 6X regular operational draw. Double check and make sure your power system can handle surges of that magnitude without tripping a breaker or blowing fuses.

Single Zone or Multi-Zone Solar Refrigerators

Another important factor to consider with a solar refrigerator is if you also want a freezer. Single zone solar refrigerators are often more efficient than dual zone fridges.

If you decide to go with a dual-zone solar refrigerator I recommend you choose an upright model. Apartment-style solar refrigerators have a small freezer section on top with a refrigerator section below. 

This is the most efficient arrangement for multi-zone refrigerators.

Solar Refrigerator
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator
Dometic CFX 100L
BougeRV E55
Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator​
Unique UGP290L1B 
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator and Deep Freezer Chest, AC 110V/ DC 12V, Real Chest Freezer for Car, Home, Camping, and RV with -8°F to 50°F Temperature Range, Gray
Dometic CFX 100W 12v Electric Powered Portable Cooler, Fridge Freezer
BougeRV 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Dual Zone, Portable Freezer Fridge APP Control E55(59QT)-no wheels,12/24V DC,110~240VAC, -4℉-68℉(No Wheels&Without Baskets)
ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator with SECOP Compressor, 60 Liters Platinum Compact Refrigerator, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, 0℉ to 50℉, Home & Car Use (with Insulated Cover)
Our Rating
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
Temperature Range
-8°F to 50°F
-8°F to 50°F
-4°F to 68°F
0°F to 50°F
28.4°F to 50 °F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
1.5 Cu Ft
3.1 Cu Ft
1.97 Cu Ft
7.5 Cu Ft
10.3 Cu Ft
Efficiency
1.15 KW/Day
.58 KW/Day
.62 KW/Day
1.56 KW/Day
.87 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Overall Best Option
Excellent design, portable, & built to last
Beautiful Chest Style Design
Brand Is Known For Quality
Excellent Storage Capacity
Solar Refrigerator
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator and Deep Freezer Chest, AC 110V/ DC 12V, Real Chest Freezer for Car, Home, Camping, and RV with -8°F to 50°F Temperature Range, Gray
Our Rating
#1
Temperature Range
-8°F to 50°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
1.5 Cu Ft
Efficiency
1.15 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Overall Best Option
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
Dometic CFX 100L
Dometic CFX 100W 12v Electric Powered Portable Cooler, Fridge Freezer
Our Rating
#2
Temperature Range
-8°F to 50°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
3.1 Cu Ft
Efficiency
.58 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Excellent design, portable, & built to last
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
BougeRV E55
BougeRV 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Dual Zone, Portable Freezer Fridge APP Control E55(59QT)-no wheels,12/24V DC,110~240VAC, -4℉-68℉(No Wheels&Without Baskets)
Our Rating
#3
Temperature Range
-4°F to 68°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
1.97 Cu Ft
Efficiency
.62 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Beautiful Chest Style Design
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
Iceco VL60 Dual Zone Solar Refrigerator​
ICECO VL60 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator with SECOP Compressor, 60 Liters Platinum Compact Refrigerator, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, 0℉ to 50℉, Home & Car Use (with Insulated Cover)
Our Rating
#4
Temperature Range
0°F to 50°F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
7.5 Cu Ft
Efficiency
1.56 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Brand Is Known For Quality
More Information
Solar Refrigerator
Unique UGP290L1B 
Our Rating
#5
Temperature Range
28.4°F to 50 °F
Size (in Cubic Feet)
10.3 Cu Ft
Efficiency
.87 KW/Day
Why We Love This One
Excellent Storage Capacity
More Information

Final Thoughts

When picking out a solar refrigerator, it comes down to how much capacity you need and how much power you have to work with. 

For those who’re okay with something a little smaller, the Whynter FM-45G or Iceco VL60 may be more your speed. They’re less expensive than the full-size refrigerators and still provide enough food storage space for one to two people.

If you want a more traditional refrigerator experience the Unique UGP290L1DCB is a good option. It offers great performance and efficiency for your money.

Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson

Josh is a freelance writer and avid outdoorsman. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Political Science and has done his best since to live location-independent. He's been a firm supporter of the tiny movement, new homesteaders, and sustainable alternative living and used his knowledge of these topics to convert a 1999 Dodge Ram van to explore as much of Wild America as he could reach.
What Is the Best Way to Store Solar Energy in a Tiny Home?

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Whether you’re living off-grid or on-grid, generating your own power is crucial for the environment, your wallet and of course energy-supply for your home and life. In this blog we’ll go over the ways to store solar energy for tiny homes. If you’re looking for ways to...

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