Courtesy of Amazon
I usually spend summers visiting family in Georgia, where we often take day trips to the lake. If there's one thing I've learned from spending hours on a boat over the last 8 years, it's that it can get really, really hot in the middle of a body of water — after all, you're usually directly under the beaming sun with no shade in sight. But my family has a trump card for staying cool and hydrated: a portable refrigerator, which we keep well-stocked and on board with us. While we use ours on a boat, it's also a handy gadget for camping, road trips, or other experiences that involve traveling away from home for extended periods of time.
With any physical activity, staying hydrated is important. Before a portable fridge became a staple of our boating trips, I would begrudgingly sip warm water from my sun-baked water bottle — it was gross and the flavor still haunts me to this day. I would often start to feel lightheaded in the heat, and hot water didn't help to resolve that issue. Once my family started bringing along a portable fridge stocked with cold bottles of water, it became easier to stay both hydrated and cool.
We also stock our fridge with things like sandwiches, salads, fruit, and snacks so we can fuel ourselves with nutritious lunches that aren't spoiled, warmed, or soggy. The gadget has become like a battery power pack for our bodies — it lets us bring everything we need to stay energized and sustain our outdoor activities longer and more comfortably.
Courtesy of Amazon
To buy: amazon.com, $240 (originally $296)
Unlike coolers, which rely on ice to stay cool, portable refrigerators rely on a power source such as a vehicle or a solar panel. The overall cooling power and stamina of a portable refrigerator is greater than that of a cooler. And keep in mind: Unlike traditional refrigerators, portable fridges aren't plugged in around the clock outside of your travels. That means they need time to chill, and the quicker your model can do that, the better. The F40C4TMP portable refrigerator, which has a 20-quart capacity and can also be used as a freezer, only needs 15 minutes to chill. You'll be able to choose from a Max mode, which will cool the fridge as quickly as possible, or an Eco mode, which saves energy. As a bonus, it also has a USB port, so you can use it to charge your phone or other tech gadgets.
If you're looking for unbeatable convenience and a way to keep your food and drinks cool on all your adventures, check out some other portable refrigerators you can buy on Amazon below. Even though they're pricey, they're well worth the money.
Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator
To buy: amazon.com, $190
Bodega 12 Volt Car Refrigerator
To buy: amazon.com, $390
Iceco JP40 Portable Refrigerator
To buy: amazon.com, $450 (originally $530)
AstroAI Portable Refrigerator
To buy: amazon.com, $200 (originally $220)