Roadtripping with the BODEGAcooler Mini 12V Portable Fridge/Freezer - A Review

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I've always packed meals for my roadtrips. I like the flexibility of being able to stop anywhere for lunch. I eat healthier. And now that I'm exploring the world in an EV, I can fuel up my body while I charge the car.

What I wasn't as crazy about was dealing with melting ice sloshing around in the cooler. Anyone who camps or roadtrips knows exactly what I'm talking about. Draining the cooler, keeping food separated from the melting ice, and constantly drying things off took a lot of the fun out of the project.

All of that changed with the BODEGAcooler Mini 12V Portable Freezer. I have the 9-quart model that fits easily in the boot of my VW and is easy to carry around to a picnic table or campsite.

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The unit is cooled by a compressor positioned in the bottom that's powered by one of three ways: 1) 12V car outlet, 2) portable power station such as a Jackery 300 Plus, or 3) an AC adapter that you plug into a wall outlet. In normal cooling mode (Eco) it draws only 35 watts.

The temperature can be set on the unit itself or via the Bluetooth Smart Car Fridge app that enables you to monitor all cooler functions. The ideal temperature via my testing is 38 degrees F. Drinks are icy-cold and food stays fresh.

The BODEGAcooler Mini also includes a custom ice pack that fits in the lid. This helps reduce energy draw. The handle is sturdy making the unit easy to carry. And overall it's quite durable. I keep it in the back of the VW ID.4 and it's always ready to go when I plug it into the 12V car outlet in the boot area.

Note to ID.4 Owners: By default, the 12V outlet in the boot is only energized when the car is turned on. This isn't ideal for refrigerators that like constant flow of juice. VW engineers did design the option to send continuous power to the 12V outlet. You just have to reposition the fuse for that circuit from the top position to the bottom position. Here's a video that shows you how.

The capacity of the 9 quart is surprisingly big enough for two people for a day, or for a solo weekend trip. I keep drinks, sandwich fixin's, and other items that require refrigeration in the cooler, and then the bread and related staples in a separate food bag. If you need more storage, there are bigger coolers available. But they do become more cumbersome to lug around.

Bottom Line

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The BODEGAcooler Mini 12V Portable Freezer is amazingly powerful for the little electricity it draws. I'm very impressed. And the fact that I no longer have to mess with ice for my roadtrips is a bonus. And if I do want to make ice, I can in the Bodega. It gets that cold! Highly recommended.

Use Coupon Code: DERRICKSTORY for a 10 percent discount.

Other Articles in This Series

The Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Review - Power Your Roadtrips.

Hot Coffee, Soup, on the Road with This 12V Car Kettle.

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