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SetPower vs BougeRV Affordable Portable Fridge Comparison

Who Makes the Best Portable Fridge For the Money?

If you’re an avid camper or into emergency preparedness, you’ve probably seen your fair share of portable refrigerators.

Portable fridge freezers are a new way to keep food cold or even frozen using either 12 volt or 120 volt AC power.

They don’t require any ice, and they don’t use much electricity. Which means they can be powered using solar charged batteries or even a car.

Basically, 12 volt fridges are awesome.

Related Product: Power your portable fridge anywhere using the Jackery 1000 Pro Solar Panel Kit (click to view on Amazon)

In this review, I’m going to be comparing two fantastic budget friendly portable fridge options.

The SetPower RV45D Pro (click to view on Amazon) and the BougeRV CR45 (click to view on Amazon).

I’ve owned the BougeRV longer than the SetPower, but I’ve used both enough to get a good handle on the pros and cons of each one.

They are very similar and made with portability and low power usage in mind. Basically, two companies versions of the same type of 12 volt fridge.

Both have worked great for me when RV and tent camping, but there are things I like and dislike about each one.

Hopefully, this comparison will help you pick the one that fits your needs best.

See Also: Best 12 Volt Refrigerator Freezer For Camping & Travel

SetPower RV45D Pro VS BougeRV CR45

Shared Features

  • Dual Cooling Zones – Can have a fridge and freezer zone, or make both zones the same temperature.
  • LCD Screen
  • ECO & MAX Modes
  • 3 Levels of Battery Protection
  • 12 Volt Power
  • AC Power
  • Extendable Metal Handle
  • Wheels (Removable)
  • Small Folding Handle
  • Removable Lid – Lid can be rotated to change opening side.
  • Compressor
  • Sound Levels 40-50 db
  • Heavy Duty Design
  • Weight (SetPower 41 lbs / BougeRV 42.5 lbs)
  • Inner LED Lighting
  • 40° Working Angle
  • Drain Plug

BougeRV Portable Fridge

BougeRV 12 Volt Car Refrigerator Dual Zone, Portable Freezer Fridge...

Check Price at Amazon

See our full review of the BougeRV portable fridge here.

Special Features

  • Battery compartment for optional detachable battery.
  • Solar port for charging optional battery.
  • Cutting board in the lid.
  • App Controlled via Bluetooth
  • Touch Screen
  • Uses less power than SetPower (read more in power usage section).
  • 2 Separate Compartments
  • 2 Compartment Baskets
  • 48 Quart (45 Liter) Capacity
  • Temperature Range -4 to 68°F
  • No feet, sits directly on the ground.
  • Built-in Bottle Opener

SetPower Portable Fridge

Setpower RV45D PRO 12V Refrigerator, Electric Cooler, 45 Quart (43L)...

Check Price at Amazon

See our full review of the SetPower portable fridge here.

Special Features

  • Removable Compartment Divider – Can have a giant single compartment or two small separate ones.
  • Metal basket for small compartment.
  • Feet & Metal Wheel Base – Keeps the fridge unit off the ground.
  • Wide Wheel Base
  • 45 Quart (43 Liter) Capacity
  • Temperature Range 0 to 50°F
  • Buttons on LCD Screen
  • 2 Small Metal Handles

Differences

Although these portable fridges share a lot of features, some materials used are different.

handle comparison between the setpower portable fridge and bougerv 12 volt refridgerator
Setpower metal handle on the left. BougeRV plastic handle on the right.

Handles

While they both use the same type of metal extendable handle, the SetPower uses robust metal handles for the small ones as well.

One major complaint about the BougeRV is the flimsy plastic handle on the wheel side.

Since you often pick up the fridge using two handles, the plastic one seems more like an afterthought compared to the metal extendable one.

SetPower also includes a second small handle you can install under the large extendable handle. This is just in case you want to remove the big handle and have two small ones instead.

The two small handles can be used to strap and secure the fridge during travel.

See Also: Best Portable Power Station/Solar Generator For Camping

setpower portable fridge bougerv portable fridge comparison of hinge parts
Metal vs plastic hinges on the SetPower & BougeRV portable refrigerators.

Hinges

I can forgive the plastic handle on the BougeRV 12 volt fridge, but one thing that’s a real deal breaker for me is the flimsy plastic hinge it has.

SetPower uses metal hinges and metal tabs that stick out of the lid. It’s more durable than plastic and won’t wear out as fast, if at all.

Fridge doors are opened a lot. I can’t see the plastic hinges and tabs on the BougeRV fridge holding up with regular use.

wheels on the setpower 12 volt fridge and bougerv portable fridge freezer
SetPower rubber wheel on the left. BougeRV plastic wheel on the right.

Wheels

BougeRV went with plastic for the wheels as well. A lot of portable fridges use plastic wheels, but SetPower went for a stronger designed plastic wheel with a rubber coating.

The rubber will hold up better over time, and it rolls smoother on every kind of surface.

The wheel base on the SetPower is wider than the BougeRV, which makes it more stable and stronger.

But, the SetPower’s wide wheels make it harder to pack with other camping gear.

The BougeRV wheels are slightly inset and don’t stick out much. It makes it a little better for packing in a trunk or storage compartment.

See Also: Best Folding Camping Tables (All Types Reviewed)

lcd screens on bougerv portable fridge and setpower 12 volt fridge
SetPower display and buttons on top. BougeRV touch screen display on bottom.

Controls & Display

Both 12 volt fridges have LCD screens that tell you the current temperatures of each compartment and if it’s set to ECO or MAX mode. It’s also where you set the battery protection levels.

The way you change the settings on each portable fridge is very different.

SetPower uses simple buttons that are on the LCD display. It’s very easy to understand and works well.

BougeRV has touch screen buttons and there’s a little USB port built into the display. The touch screen is complicated and honestly a pain to figure out.

See Also: 50 Must-Have RV Kitchen Accessories For Full Time RV Living

There’s an app you can download on a smartphone you can use to control the BougeRV after connecting it via Bluetooth.

The BougeRV app is a lot easier to understand than the display touch screen and it makes it so you can monitor the fridge without going to it.

Wireless monitoring comes in handy when the fridge is in a storage compartment or in the trunk of a car.

You can make sure it’s still on and at the right temperatures simply by looking at your phone.

The app isn’t everything, but it’s a nice addition.

Cooling Capabilities

The BougeRV portable fridge has a better temperature range than the SetPower.

BougeRV can go from -4°F to 68°F. SetPower can only do 0°F to 50°F.

The SetPower is still powerful enough to be used as a freezer and fridge, but for keeping food warm, the BougeRV fridge is a better option.

They also don’t use the same method to cool the air inside, even though they both use compressors.

SetPower has two vents that pump in cold air. You have to watch the way you pack food because the inside won’t cool as well if the vents are blocked.

BougeRV doesn’t have any vents inside. The inner compartment walls get cold to chill or freeze the food inside.

Overall, I like the way the BougeRV portable fridge cools food over the SetPower because I like being able to pack food without having to think about vents and air movement.

inside the bougerv and setpower 12 volt fridge freezers
The BougeRV with the two separate compartments is on the left. The SetPower with the removable divider is on the right.

Inner Dimensions (LxWxH)

The BougeRV portable fridge has two separate compartments. The smallest is 12 x 7 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches., and largest is 12 x 10 1/2 x 15 1/2.

The SetPower portable fridge has a divider so you can have two compartments, or you can remove it and have one large compartment.

With the divider in the smallest compartment is 12 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. It’s deep, but narrow.

The large compartment is wider, but it’s where the compressor is located.

The compressor creates a shelf inside the compartment, and some storage space is lost.

It measures 12 3/4 x 12 inches (LxW). For the depth, 6 inches of that width is 13 1/2 inches deep, and the rest of the 6 inches is only 6 1/2 inches deep.

See Also: Is Your RV Fridge Not Cooling? Try This One Simple Trick

One major downside to the SetPower is when the divider is in, you can’t fit a gallon of milk in either compartment.

When the divider is taken out, you get a huge space that’s 12 3/4 x 24 1/2 inches (LxW). The shelf is still there, so only 12 1/4 inches of that width is 13 1/2 inches deep and 6 inches is 6 1/2 inches deep.

With the divider out, there’s a ton of space, but you can only have one cooling zone.

bougerv and setpower portable 12 volt fridges
The shorter SetPower portable fridge on top of the taller BougeRV portable fridge.

Outer Dimensions (LxWxH)

The BougeRV has 3 more quarts of storage capacity, so it’s slightly taller than the SetPower, but they’re pretty close in size if you don’t count the wheels.

Without wheels or handles, the BougeRV is 15 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 20 inches. The SetPower measures 16 x 24 1/2 x 17 inches.

The length and width is almost the same, but the BougeRV is 3 inches taller when the wheels aren’t installed on the SetPower.

With the wheels and large handle installed, the BougeRV is 18 x 28 x 20 inches. It’s not taller and just slightly longer but the handle increases the length a lot.

The SetPower is 23 x 29 x 19 inches. The wheels stick out so the overall width is increased a lot.

If you have limited space and you aren’t worried about moving the portable fridge around, you can remove the handles and wheels on the BougeRV and the SetPower to make them smaller.

bougerv and setpower portable fridges being tested using 12 volt power and portable power stations
Testing the power usage of each portable fridge using 12 volt outlets on portable power stations.

Power Usage

Now, for the most important part for campers, power usage.

Many of us use solar panels and batteries, or portable power stations to get electricity while we’re out in the wild.

Because power is limited when camping, we need to make sure the appliances we depend on won’t drain our batteries right away.

I tested both portable fridges on both AC and DC power and got some interesting results.

Both 12 volt fridges were set to fridge and freezer mode. The smallest compartments were 0°F and the larger ones 41°F.

Both were completely empty inside. I also got them down to the correct temperatures before I started tracking the watt hours used.

See Also: BougeRV 1100Wh/1200W Portable Solar Generator Review

On AC power, the SetPower used 140Wh after 5 hours of runtime; the BougeRV used only 80Wh.

After 5 hours of run time on DC power, the SetPower had used 110Wh; the BougeRV used 81Wh.

I don’t know why the SetPower uses more power when being powered using a 120 volt AC power source, but the conditions were the same for both tests.

I then let both of the portable fridges stay on for 24 hours using the 12 volt outlets on portable power stations.

The SetPower used 516Wh; the BougeRV used only 349Wh.

The portable fridges were set to the same temperatures and sitting next to each other for the entire test.

The SetPower used 167 more watt hours than the BougeRV in 24 hours.

I think the biggest reason is the removable divider system in the SetPower isn’t as good at insulating as two separate compartments.

If you are a boondocker who relies completely on solar power and batteries, the BougeRV is going to be the better option.

The SetPower doesn’t use a lot more power, but it can take a 100 watt solar panel almost 2 hours to generate the extra watts used. In cloudy or winter conditions, that’s a big deal.

Like & Don’t Like

BougeRV What I like

  • Wireless Control Via the App – It’s is easy to use, and it’s nice to monitor everything from a distance.
  • Optional Battery for Extra Portability
  • Very Well Insulated
  • Lid includes a cutting board, cup holder indents, and a bottle opener (new version).
  • Inset wheels create a thinner profile that’s easier to fit in small spaces.
  • Lowest power usage between the two, very important for boondockers and tent campers.
  • The largest compartment can easily fit a gallon of milk.
  • Bigger Temperature Range (-4° to 68°F)
  • Better Cooling System

BougeRV What I Don’t Like

  • Cheap Parts – Plastic Handle, Wheels, & Hinges
  • Small handle is tiny.
  • No feet, it sits directly on the ground and gets dirty pretty fast. It also increases the risk of getting dirt in the fans and compressor.
  • Touch screen is pretty hard to use. I usually resort to using the app to change the temperatures in the compartments.

SetPower What I Like

  • LCD screen with buttons is very easy to use and understand.
  • Rubber Wheels
  • Metal Handles
  • Additional Small Handle Included
  • Small handles are still pretty large and durable, great for strapping down the fridge.
  • Metal Hinge Parts
  • Feet & Wheel Base – Keeps the SetPower off the ground and dirt out of the fans and compressor.
  • Removable divider means you can have a large fridge or freezer. Great for grocery shopping.

SetPower What I Don’t Like

  • Vent Cooling System – Food must be packed carefully to allow airflow.
  • Uses more power than the BougeRV fridge.
  • Gallon of milk won’t fit in either compartment.
  • Wheels stick out a lot. Makes it harder to put in a trunk or RV storage compartment.
  • Insulation between fridge and freezer isn’t very good.
  • Can’t monitor the fridge from a distance, must look at the LCD screen to make sure it’s working correctly.

SetPower vs BougeRV Portable Fridge Summary

I’m actually having a really hard time picking a favorite between these two fridges.

On the one hand, I like the durable parts SetPower uses. BougeRV could have done better and added a nicer handle and some metal hinges.

The parts for the BougeRV portable fridge might be updated, eventually. But for now, they aren’t at the same level as SetPower.

When it comes to power usage, the BougeRV wins by a lot. It’s better insulated, but you lose the ability to have a large single compartment.

I like how the BougeRV refrigerates and freezes.

They both use compressors, but the BougeRV walls are chilled instead of cold air being pumped in, which is more efficient and it helps keep all the food cold no matter how you pack it.

See Also: Best 12 Volt RV Lithium Battery Reviews + How To Charge

I think when choosing the best between the two; it comes down to how you want to use your portable fridge.

If it’s for road trips or grocery shopping and power usage isn’t a big deal, the SetPower RV45D Pro (click to view on Amazon) is going to be the best choice.

For camping without power, the BougeRV CR45 (click to view on Amazon) is definitely the best option.

A 12 volt battery can run it for a long time, especially if it’s hooked up to a solar panel.

I wish I could choose a best overall, but they have equal amounts of pros and cons. Either option works great.

BougeRV and SetPower have done an excellent job making affordable portable fridges that can work for anyone.

Have questions about the BougeRV or SetPower portable fridge? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

2 thoughts on “SetPower vs BougeRV Affordable Portable Fridge Comparison”

  1. Is there a fridge with The BougeRV specs that is one compartment? If I had to choose, I choose just the refrigerator. Set our uses too much power for me, and that we will basis to live in the backseat of my car.

    Reply
    • Hi Chris,

      The SetPower in this article is very similar to the BougeRV. You can take out the removable divider to make it just one compartment.

      One downside to one big compartment vs two smaller ones is the compressor has to work a little harder to cool the bigger space. So those types of portable fridges tend to use more power.

      Reply

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