What 12 Volt Fridges Are Best For Stationary Use?
We’ve reviewed a few large 12 volt fridges that come with large handles and wheels to make them easy to move around.
But what if you need something simple and small to keep in the trunk of your car or use inside a camper or van?
Related Product: Power your Aaobosi fridge on a weekend camping trip with the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro Portable Power Station (click to view on Amazon).
Small car refrigerators that look almost exactly like regular coolers are a great way to save space while still getting the benefits of a portable fridge/freezer.
In this review, I’ll be showing and testing the Aaobosi CL30 car refrigerator.
This is the smallest cooler style option they have available.
- 30Liter (32 Quart) Size
- Dual Power – 120/240V AC or 12/24V DC
- -4° to 68° Fahrenheit Temperature Range
- MAX & ECO Modes
- 3 Level Battery Voltage Protection
- Connects to App
- Bright LED Screen
- Simple Button Controls
- USB Charging Port
- Can run up to a 30° tilt.
- 1 Year Warranty
- 2 Way Removable Door
- Built-In 15 Amp Fuse
- Inner Wire Basket
- 60W Power Rating
- Outer – 23 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches
- Large Inner Compartment – 12 x 11 x 10.5 inches
- Space Above Compressor – 4.75 x 11 x 4 inches
- Empty Weight – 26 lbs
What’s in the Box?
- Aaobosi CL30 Car Refrigerator
- 12 Volt Power Cable
- AC Power Cable
- Owners Manual
- Wire Basket
I want to highlight a few things about the Aaobosi 12 volt fridge that make it better than some of the other options out there.
First, the lid is removable and you can change the hinge side for easier access.
The lid also has a flat area on top that can be used for food prep and cups
The inner wire basket is large, and it makes packing and unpacking the portable fridge a lot easier.
There are small rubber feet on the bottom to help with grip and to reduce noise when the compressor is running.
You can connect your smartphone to the Aaobosi fridge using an app called QZsmart.
It’s a simple app you can use to control the temperature, modes, and battery protection levels.
I mostly use the app to check on the fridge to make sure it’s still at the set temperature.
It’s a nice feature that I really appreciate for a portable fridge.
Aaobosi Car Fridge Testing
Summary – 24 hour power usage on MAX mode set to 0°F: 380Wh when empty / 400Wh with frozen food inside.
Being a smaller 30 liter fridge, the Aa0bosi used about 100 watt hours less in 24 hours than some of the larger 45 to 50 liter fridges I’ve tested.
100 watt hours doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can really add up, especially if you rely on batteries and solar panels.
Testing the Aaobosi confirmed that a smaller portable fridge uses less power than a larger one.
Since the Aaobosi CL30 is a car fridge, it can be powered using 120/240 volt or 12/24 volt power.
Both options work really well.
I’ve tested the Aa0bosi using the AC wall plug and the 12 volt plug in the car and on a portable power station.
It doesn’t use a lot of power to cool down to 41°F, which is fridge temperature, and it only takes about 20 minutes.
It took about an hour to get down to 0°F, freezer temperature, but it only used 37 watt hours, which is pretty good.
Max power draw is rated for 60 watts. My max measurement was 50 watts.
Which means you can use this portable fridge with 12 volt outlets that are as low as 5 amps (most cars and power stations have 10 amp 12 volt outlets installed).
Portable refrigerators can be a little loud when the compressor starts, but the Aaobosi is the quietest portable fridge I’ve reviewed.
The compressor starting and running noise is possible to sleep through, especially when it’s set to ECO mode.
The 30 liter size is large enough to fit all the basics. A gallon of milk, a carton of eggs, and more.
The only thing that won’t fit easily is a 1 or 2 liter soda bottle.
You can make one fit if you lay it down diagonally, but that really limits space for other foods and drinks.
For a few days’ worth of basic camping food or holding frozen foods on your way home from the grocery store, the 30 liter size is perfect.
Many larger 12 volt fridges have wheels and extendable handles to help with transport.
Aaobosi has a few larger portable fridges with wheels (click to view on Amazon), but this kind doesn’t come with that option.
No wheels actually makes it a lot smaller and easier to fit in the trunk of a car or camper.
It looks just like a standard cooler and it’s easy to carry when there’s nothing inside.
Aaobosi 30 Liter Fridge Review
Because of the smaller size, I’ve actually been using the Aaobosi more than my larger wheeled portable fridge.
It fits perfectly in the trunk of a car and it makes a fantastic mini fridge in the house and as an extra fridge in the RV.
I’ve been taking out the basket of food before moving it, and so far that’s made it easier for me to carry.
It’s quiet, has an easy-to-use display and buttons, the app works great, and it’s very versatile because of the small size.
The build is durable and it can be used as a seat or food prep space because of the smooth lid.
The main complaint I have, if I’m being picky, is the insulation. It seems to lose cold air fairly fast, especially in a hot car.
This is true for many portable fridges, and fantastically insulated car fridges aren’t really a thing yet.
I appreciate that the lid latches shut, which helps keep the cold air in. But it would be nice if it was a little thicker with a better seal.
Overall, I think this 12 volt fridge works like it should and has certain features that make it a good option for the price.
If you’re looking for a medium sized portable fridge to put somewhere permanently, take camping, use in a car, or to have for emergency use, the Aaobosi 30L Car Refrigerator is a fantastic choice.
What I Like
- Large Inner Wire Basket
- Low Power Usage
- Reaches Fridge Temps Fast
- Long 12 Volt Cable
- Reversible Lid
- Lid Latches
- Connects to App
- Very Versatile Size
What I Don’t Like
- Hard to Transport When Full
- Small Handles
- Could Have Better Insulation
Have questions about the Aaobosi portable car fridge? Leave a comment below.