What is the difference between cooler and fridge?

Finding the difference between cooler and fridge? No worry, we are covering all the difference and which one right for you.

You might want to upgrade your cooler or buy a portable fridge. If you are a person who do a lot campaign. Answer is more than closer to analyze the cost between cooler and fridge. This both appliance have many upside and downside. You will able to take the final decision what you need to do by reading the full article.

Let’s have a look positive and negative side between cooler and portable fridge.


  • Cheaper more than a portable fridge
  • Cost is minimal ongoing price
  • You can’t control much temperature
  • Minimal weight
  • Supper easy to clean
  • Low maintains: only clean
  • Longer lifetime than a fridge

Portable fridge:

  • More expensive
  • Required electricity
  • You can control full temperature even freezer available on many models
  • Greater temperature range
  • Weight is so far
  • Not much easy to clean
  • Many maintains required
  • Shorter lifespan


Definitely price much different between them. The highest advanced cooler can be cost couple of dollars but besides a portable fridge start costing from thousand dollars and the price still not stop here it’s getting up with used latest technology at latest series.

Camping cooler used Ice and insulated to retaining cool. But Ice can be lasting max 3-4 days then Ice must be melting itself. So you have to constantly supply Ice to the cooler after they are completely melting. But obviously Ice less cost from an electrical system (Portable Fridge).

You need to powered your fridge from a solar panel, or from your vehicle even you can powered it directly from your home or destination’s AC electric board. But they all the way not so cheaper. If you find one portable fridge which is energy star and efficient and it can reduce your electricity bill. Unfortunately the most energy start fridge still draw 1.3Ah or more. Although 1.3Ah seems not much but it can easily consume one or two solar panel together.

Temperature Control:

Surely you can control temperature with comfort. Because it’s supper easy way. All you need to press a button to set perfect temperature. Some model came in latest technology temperature controlling system using touch pad even some of them came in controlling system from phone using WIFI connection.

There is some great way to retaining your cooler temperature longer. But end of the day you will find all the convenient to your portable fridge. So focus on how long you’re camping will be. A modern cooler came with foam box technology which can retain the cold more than a week.

You can retain the cold longer time at your cooler via applying some tips, we are include them.


  • Fill it up as much as possible it’s reduce the Ice melting time
  • Minimize the amount of time to close and open the lid
  • Keep the sealed tight when you lock the lid
  • Place it to shade instead of direct sunlight
  • Keep way from water
  • Fill the cooler with block Ice instead of Cubic
  • Use block Ice almost two time depending cooler’s contents

If you don’t follow this above cation, then surely your cooler’s Ice will melting too faster and you need to keep supply Ice an unexpected time.


If your camping time longer just make sure you have a way to get Ice and supply them to cooler constantly after few days. Is that sound like bit difficult? But this the only thing you need to do beside with a proper clean. Nothing else maintains are required.

At other hand, portable refrigerator required some maintains which bit difficult and you are not done all by just maintains the fridge, you have to look your power source as well.

It came a way to power your portable fridge using solar panel. When you use solar panel you have to care to the battery power, correct wiring. Most portable refrigerator have a setting to consume the battery’s last amount of charged. So if you are not carful then you are at risk to damaging your batteries quicker which one is another expense.

There is so many moving parts at refrigerator compare to cooler. Simply few more downside which you can’t even think about that.

Few more downside of your portable fridge

  • A ventilation system required
  • If you use it from step angel, there is a good chance to damage it quicker
  • Required to keep way from water, as its not waterproof
  • Touch or button control panel can break
  • Indoor LED light can go out sometimes
  • Dust will resistant the compressor


Obviously a portable refrigerator are much weight than a cooler even when it’s filled with block Ice. Yes you hear it right. Although it’s portable you should be able to take it anywhere. But most of people are not carry the fridge around very much. Generally this fridge stay at vehicle or sometimes put it bit outside of campsite.

On other hand, you can easily move the cooler through river without any heisted but you can’t move your fridge through river it will damage.

We find the cooler much more desirable as portable depending weight and efficient.


How you can clean your cooler? That is very simple and too much easy do that. There is nothing recommended or required thing during cleaning process. Just open the lid and spray water and wash.

On other hand, you need to be more careful during cleaning your portable fridge. Although some models came with a drain plugs but you can’t just spray to them like your cooler. You have to hand-wipe the fridge carefully neither it will damage fridge’s motors and other electronic. One more thing, during hand-wiping you need to care about shelves if that glass.


Meanwhile in this article we have cover all of “difference between cooler and fridge” but still some of extra features at your portable fridge that you can’t ever imaging to your coolers even at a modern cooler too.

Top key features (Portable refrigerator)

  • Consistent adjustable temperature
  • Internal LED lighting
  • Fridge and freezer dual modes available
  • Digital Display + Touch Pad
  • WIFI enable operation

One more facility mentionable that, you can use your portable fridge as a cooler too! When you don’t have a way to powered it then simply filled up with block Ice and keep your drinks. It has enough insulated to retaining the cold around two days.

Buying guide:

Deciding portable fridge and cooler it’s always your own choice. Everything should be going under your own opinion. But this is how we suggest you

Choose a cooler if:

  • If you don’t have a tight budget
  • It’s around 10 days tour or less
  • If you wish to take your foods anywhere
  • If you want appliance for lifetime

Choose portable fridge if:

  • You have a tight budget
  • Electricity available around your destination or campsite
  • It is okay for you to keep it at your vehicle or bit out of campsite
  • You are a van life or RV traveler
  • If you love to cooking and want to get an adjustable temperature
  • You need dual modes fridge and freezer



Can you use a freezer as a refrigerator?

Answer: If you really want to use your freezer as a refrigerator which mean the temperature should be 35-40 degree. Yes, you can. Just you need to remove old thermostat from your freezer and replace it or you can buy a thermostat which plug to your refrigerator power outlet.


What is freezer in fridge?

Answer: Fridge is an electronic device. Which keep our perishable foods safe. First time this device came as just fridge which can be dispatch 35-40 degree F. temperature. After that, it came with more modern and using latest technology with a section called freezer. It is able to dispatch 0 degree F. temperature. Then this fridge and freezer combination combine to latest name – refrigerator and still now that’s all. So that says if a device came with able to dispatch 35-40 degree F. then we should called it as just fridge and another one which came double option fridge and freezer( 0 degree F. ) dual modes we called it Refrigerator.

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