Best Refrigerator for a Boat (June 2022)

Who will not love the idea of spending a vacation or a weekend in a boat, exploring the beauty of the ocean? But life on a boat, amidst the waters, is not easy, even if it is for a day or two. It is mandatory to equip the boat with a lot of accessories and equipment to ensure a comfortable stay. And the first appliance that comes to our mind is a refrigerator. With this refrigerator installed in the boat, it is possible to enjoy days of fresh food and cold beverages and explore the waters to the core. So, let’s check out the best refrigerators for boats.

Quick Summary: Refrigerator for a Boat

Best Overall
Ranking
1st
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RCA RFR322 Mini Refrigerator, Compact Freezer Compartment,...
Capacity
3.2 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
9/10
Rating Chart
Budget Choice
Ranking
2nd
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Midea WHS-65LB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator,...
Capacity
1.6 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
8.8/10
Rating Chart
Editor’s Choice
Ranking
3rd
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Danby Designer DAR044A4BDD-6 4.4 Cu.Ft. Mini Fridge, Compact...
Capacity
4.4 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
9/10
Rating Chart
Ranking
4th
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FRIGIDAIRE EFR176-RED 1.6 cu. ft. Retro Bar Fridge with Side...
Capacity
1.6 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
8.8/10
Rating Chart
Ranking
5th
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Midea WHS-160RB1 Single Reversible Compact Refrigerator, 4.4...
Capacity
4.4 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
8.9/10
Rating Chart
Value for Money
Ranking
6th
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Alpicool CF55 Portable Refrigerator 58 Quart(55 Liter)...
Capacity
1.9 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
9.1/10
Rating Chart
Ranking
7th
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Domende 54qt Car Refrigerator Portable Freezer 12 volt...
Capacity
1.8 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
9/10
Rating Chart
Best Portable Pick
Ranking
8th
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Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter)...
Capacity
0.52 Cubic Feet
Editor Rating
9.2/10
Rating Chart

Also check: Top 6 Best Refrigerators Under $500

Top 8 Best Refrigerators for Boat

The refrigerators for the boat can have either a built-in or a portable design. Built-in refrigerators could be costly, and the best option to equip your boat with optimal food storage is through portable refrigerators. Below are some of the top portable refrigerators for boats from the leading brands.

#1. RCA RFR322-B 3.2 Cu Ft Mini Fridge – Best Overall

RCA RFR322-B 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge
Editor Rating: 9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.5
Controls and functionality8.8
Build quality8.6
Energy efficiency8.8
Value for money9.3

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This can be a perfect addition to your boat, to help preserve your food items and store meals until you return from the boat trip. Though this is a compact and a mini-unit, it has both a refrigerator and a freezer and it works on exceptional refrigeration technology. This refrigerator is compact and convenient and is indeed a multi-purpose mini-fridge. It holds a reversible door, that makes it easy to fit in any spot in the boat. 

This exceptional refrigerator from RCA is capable of keeping drinks cool even in the hot weather, and this is an ideal appliance for the boat. Its adjustable thermostat and adjusting lever help in achieving superior temperature control. The capacity of this refrigerator is about 3.2 Cu.ft. which makes it an ideal addition for boat life, for at least a week. It works on an R134a refrigerant that is both energy-efficient and environment-friendly. 

The refrigerator features a low energy consumption compressor, that is capable of cooling food very quickly, by making use of low energy. You can adjust the temperature of this refrigerator by twisting the knob of the thermostat. And to defrost the appliance, it is required to simply push the defrost button at the center of the temperature control. There are two detachable shelves in this refrigerator that can be rearranged to keep taller items.

Pros

  • Sleek and beautiful refrigerator with a total capacity of 3.2 Cu.ft. 
  • The refrigerator is perfect for a small office, kitchen, dorm rooms, and playrooms apart from boats.
  • Helps in preserving food at a perfect temperature and its built-in freezer helps in storing ice cream and other frozen food items.
  • The slide-out shelves help to maintain the interiors of the fridge clean and organized.

Cons

  • There is no vegetable crisper or drawer in this refrigerator.

Check out: Top 5 Best Refrigerators Under $700

#2. Midea WHS-65 LB1 Compact Single Refrigerator – Best Budget Choice

Midea WHS-65 LB1 Compact Single Refrigerator
Editor Rating: 8.8/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.1
Controls and functionality8.3
Build quality8.3
Energy efficiency8.9
Value for money9.5

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This is a small, compact, and elegant mini-refrigerator that has a capacity of about 1.6 Cu.ft. capacity. The refrigerator looks elegant, sleek, and compact in its beautiful black finish. Its temperature range fluctuates from -2 to 2 degrees Celsius. The refrigerator has large storage areas and is highly efficient in chilling beverages and in storing healthy snacks at an appropriate temperature. There is a small freezer compartment in this refrigerator that is great for storing frozen food items and desserts.

The refrigerator features adjusting legs and it also has a reversible door that can open from both left and right sides. The temperature range in this refrigerator is between 32 and 50 degrees Celsius. The appliance comes with a complete one-year warranty and its internal walls in the main compartment are slightly tapered towards the back.

Though this is a small and elegant refrigerator that comes with a freestanding design. Its door hinges are reversible and it has a manual defrost technology as well. The shelves in this refrigerator are made of wire, and they are great for the efficient circulation of cool air inside the refrigerator. It works on 115 Volts and is thus great for ideal boat life.

Pros

  • This is a compact companion to store your favorite food items such as fruits, meats, seafood, vegetables.
  • This refrigerator is of a perfect size and holds adjustable legs and reversible hinge doors.
  • Its adjusting thermostat helps in adjusting the temperature to an optimum setting, for preserving foods for future use.

Cons

  • There is no light bulb inside the refrigerator.
  • The appliance is very loud.

Also check: Best Refrigerator for Small Kitchen: Top 6 Popular Options

#3. Danby DAR044A4BDD-6 4.4 Cubic Feet Mini Fridge – Editor’s Choice

Danby DAR044A4BDD-6 4.4 Cubic Feet Mini Fridge
Editor Rating: 9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.1
Controls and functionality9
Build quality9
Energy efficiency9.1
Value for money9.1

Check Prices on Online Stores:

This is an elegant and compact mini fridge that appeals to the bedroom, living room, kitchen, office and it is ideal for an interesting life in the boat. This is a compact mini fridge that has a space of 4.4 Cu.ft. to store all food items for a long boat life efficiently. The refrigerator has an integrated door shelving and it has space to store tall bottles, and it is great for storing large juice bottles, water bottles, and other drink bottles. There is a CanStor can dispensing system in the door of this refrigerator that can hold up to 20 cans in its mini door.

The interiors of this refrigerator are clean and modern and are illuminated with bright interior lighting. The interiors are separated by wire shelved and it also holds an integrated door handle and a scratch-resistant worktop. The refrigerator fits anywhere and it features a smooth back design with no bulky exposed components, making it ideal for boat life.

The refrigerator is extremely versatile and holds reversible door hinges. It also has two full-width adjustable wire shelves to help with uninterrupted air circulation. The refrigerator has an automatic defrost function and its mechanical thermostat ensures that there is no additional maintenance on the part of the user.

Pros

  • The refrigerator is energy-star compliant and environment friendly.
  • It makes use of an environmentally friendly R600a refrigerant.
  • The refrigerator is energy-star compliant and it features an automatic defrost function as well.
  • It also has a vegetable crisper and is covered with a mechanical thermostat.

Cons

  • The can holder is not removable.
  • It doesn’t reach very low temperatures.

#4. Frigidaire EFR176-RED Retro Bar Fridge – Great Choice for Boats

Frigidaire EFR 176-RED Retro Bar Fridge
Editor Rating: 8.8/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.2
Controls and functionality8.8
Build quality8.6
Energy efficiency8.7
Value for money9.1

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This is an elegant retro bar fridge with a bottle opener and it has a compressor cooling technology for ultimate cooling performance. The refrigerator has an adjusting thermostat, along with a reversible door, slide-out shelves, and adjusting feet. The fridge also holds a space-saving design with a flush-back design. The door of this refrigerator has a reversible hinge and it has two wire shelves to circulate cold air within the unit. The unit is available in red color and works on 120 Voltage.

The refrigerator has a space-saving flush back design and it comes with a dedicated ice chamber and an interior freezer. Its adjustable thermostat helps in maintaining appropriate temperatures for frozen food items and other beverages and snacks. It works on an environmentally friendly refrigerant that is CFC-free.

Pros

  • The capacity of this refrigerator is about 1.6 Cu.ft.
  • The refrigerator has a cabinet-mounted bottle opener.
  • It has a 2L storage in the door with a dedicated interior ice chamber
  • There is a small freezer compartment with an ice cube tray.

Cons

  • The appliance is very loud.
  • Very small storage space.

#5. Midea WHS-160RB1 Compact Refrigerator – Alternative Choice for Boats

Midea WHS-160RB1 Compact Refrigerator
Editor Rating: 8.9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.2
Controls and functionality8.7
Build quality8.7
Energy efficiency8.8
Value for money9.1

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This is a mini compact refrigerator that comes with a single reversible door. The total capacity of this refrigerator is about 4.4 Cu.ft. and it is available in a sleek design with back exteriors. It comes with a separate freezer compartment for food items that require additional chilling. But it cannot be used for storing food items that are frozen or making ice cubes. This appliance maintains a temperature between 32 and 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit. And it also operates very quietly with a noise rating of 42 dB.

The refrigerator has adjusted legs and a reversible door that can open from both left and right sides. It has large storage areas that are great for chilling beverages and healthy snacks for a long stay on the boat. The appliance is energy star rated and the internal walls of its main compartment are slightly tapered towards the back. This refrigerator is rated for indoor use only.

The refrigerator has a freestanding installation and reversible doors with a manual defrost function. The door material is made of stainless steel material and its wire shelves help in the ambient circulation of cool air. There are three shelves in its interior compartments to help organize food items efficiently. 

Pros

  • This is a compact mini refrigerator that has a reversible door and freezer.
  • Its manual defrosting setting allows the users to clean the unit as required.
  • It is possible to set the internal temperature according to our needs.
  • Possible to adjust the leg height of this refrigerator to fit perfectly.

Cons

  • There is no separate control for the freezer.
  • There is no interior light in this refrigerator.

Must check: What Is the Best Single Door Refrigerator?

#6. Alpicool CF55 Portable Refrigerator – Value for Money

Alpicool CF55 Portable Refrigerator
Editor Rating: 9.1/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.2
Controls and functionality9.2
Build quality8.9
Energy efficiency9.2
Value for money9.4

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This is one of the best refrigerators for boats, trucks, and recreational vehicles. It has a total capacity of 55 liters and can get easily powered in a boat. It is an exceptional freezer unit for travel and is capable of maintaining an optimal cooling temperature between -4 degrees F to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This freezer unit holds a powerful chilling down performance and is thus capable of modifying itself to be a fridge or a freezer. It runs great with the small solar system units as well. The freezer unit for boats features a temperature memory function along with three levels of battery protection. These levels help in drawing power from the boat without affecting its battery power.

This refrigerator freezer for boats features an elegant LCD display along with digitalized temperature adjustment controls. The unit also features a built-in LED light and an internal basket. Its reliable sealing system and elegant construction with high-density foam insulation help in maintaining the food items fresh for a long time. This freezer elongates and maintains high cooling performance throughout the journey, keeping the food fresh for a long time and concurrently saving energy as well. 

This portable fridge for boats has the most outstanding features for outdoor use. It maintains a compressor refrigeration system and renders a fast freezing option. It operates absolutely quietly and protects the battery of the boat efficiently while drawing power from it. The refrigerator works efficiently by using 12/24 V DC power and on 110 to 240 V. The unit features portable handles on both sides for easy moving and transportation. The refrigerator also has a vibration protection design to enhance its safety while driving on road. 

Pros

  • Features a highly efficient compressor with HH and Eco modes.
  • Features an elegant and easy to use LCD display panel with built-in LED lights
  • Great for chilling and freezing frozen desserts, seafood, fruits, meat, and beverages.
  • This mini refrigerator is durable and has expert shockproofing.

Cons

  • The plastic latch on this refrigerator freezer unit is not very sturdy.

#7. Domende HC-50 Portable Refrigerator – For All Outdoor Uses

Domende HC-50 Portable Refrigerator
Editor Rating: 9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.2
Controls and functionality9.1
Build quality8.7
Energy efficiency8.9
Value for money9.3

Check Price on Online Stores:

This is an excellent portable refrigerator and portable freezer unit for cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, and boats. This is an exceptional cooling unit for both indoor and outdoor use. It is capable of cooling down to a temperature of -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The best features of this portable freezer are that it has an efficient control panel with an LCD display, a portable handgrip, a drain valve, and a waterproof metal cooling system. The Control panel has efficient controls to on and off the refrigerator, fix the setting between refrigerator and freezer, temperature display, USB interface, temperature up and down feature, etc.

The precision temperature control of this portable freezer for boats helps in setting up the different temperatures for cooling fruits and vegetables, beers, ice creams, cosmetics, etc. The refrigerator unit features a high-quality fast compressor cooling system and comes with a power cable to connect with the 12 and 24 V DC inputs. There is also a power cable to connect with the 90V and the 240V AC inputs. There are three levels of temperature setup in this refrigerator to protect the unit and the battery of the boat. It is important to set the batter protection at the H2 or the medium level, while it is in use in the car. 

The refrigerator for portable handles on either side to make it easy for moving on both sides. Its vibration-resistant design helps in enhancing its design and safety while rowing amidst the waters. The unit is also absolutely safe for running on angles up to 45 degrees from horizontal and is thus great for use in boats. The total capacity of the refrigerator unit is about 50 liters, which is great to carry a decent quantity of food items.

Pros

  • The refrigerator comes with a one-year warranty for the period of original purchase.
  •  Its high-quality compressor renders fast and deep cooling.
  • Its built-in LED helps the users to see in the dark.
  • There is also a drain plug that makes it easy to clean the interiors of the refrigerator.

Cons

  • The refrigerator should have enough clearance and should be kept protected from the sun.

#8. Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator – Best Portable Pick

Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator
Editor Rating: 9.2/10
FeaturesRating
Performance9.3
Controls and functionality9.2
Build quality9.2
Energy efficiency9.4
Value for money9.4

Check Price on Online Stores:

If you are an outdoor enthusiast and wish to taste some great drinks while you are traveling, driving, or fishing outdoors, then this is an ideal refrigerator unit for you. Apart from being used in boats, it also finds extensive use in cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, etc. It also behaves like a mini freezer and fridge combo for travel, fishing, and driving. This is a perfect unit to freeze food without ice. It can reach the lowest temperature of -4 degrees Fahrenheit for deep chilling performance. It can run down both as a fridge and a freezer and is absolutely compatible with small solar panels as well.

The total capacity of this refrigerator unit is about 15 liters, which is good enough to cool about 20 cans of cola. This refrigerator unit renders expert car battery protection features with low, mid, and high-level controls. All these controls are efficient to protect the vehicle battery, without having to run down its power. The refrigerator is made of a strong plastic material and it is thus extremely durable and lightweight. It is thus easy to transport anywhere, thanks to its reliable sealing construction.

The freezer unit features thick and high-density foam insulation to keep the food items preserved in these interiors. It renders tremendous cooling performance for all the food items stored inside it, throughout the journey. Though it works highly efficiently in preserving the freshness of the food items, it doesn’t draw much power and holds an exceptional energy-saving design. 

Pros

  • Perfect choice of fridge and freezer to keep drinks and food items fresh and cold.
  • We can adjust the temperature in the unit, to behave as both fridge and freezer.
  • Its simple LCD control panel is simple and extremely convenient to operate.
  • Its reliable sealing and high-density foam insulation lock the temperature effectively without leaking the cool air. 

Cons

  • The capacity of this refrigeration unit is low and is only 15 liters.

Important Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Refrigerator for the Boat

There are a lot of things to keep in mind before choosing to buy a refrigerator for the boat. It is mandatory to determine if it has an opening drawer or door if the door of the refrigerator is reversible if there is a light inside if it has a freezer compartment etc. The most vital aspects to focus on, in the refrigerator are as follows. 

1. Power compatibility

This is one of the first things to consider before choosing a boat refrigerator. If the boats run on DC power, and your refrigerator works on only AC power, then you would require an inverter or AC generator to drive the required power.

2. Size of the unit

You have to choose your refrigerator for the boat, depending on the space available in the boat, after measuring the width, height, and depth appropriately. Also consider the capacity of the refrigerator, if it can adapt to the boat.

3. Storage

Choose a refrigerator that has many compartments and divisions to store the different food items according to your requirement. Make sure that the freezer compartment of the refrigerator is good enough to meet the purpose. 

Bottom Line

The demands of refrigeration depend on the type of boating you do and the quantum of time you spend on the boat. The size of the boat also plays a major role in choosing the type of refrigerator. We hope our product recommendations help you in picking up the best refrigerator for your boat and help you to enjoy long hours of sailing.

I'm Sara Wilson, the founder, and author of HomeyCart. I'm also the head of the expert team that tests various ice makers and brings the best advice.

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