If you have much experience with RVs or boats and more specifically their galley equipment, you have heard of Dometic, the company that makes freezers and refrigerators that meet the unique criteria of efficiency, portability and reliability needed on those platforms.
So apparently someone at Dometic heard the old adage "You can't take it with you!" and decided that was just ignorant of the capabilities of modern engineering. Hence, the Dometic CFX series of portable freezer/refrigerator units, within which you can indeed take it with you. We were lucky enough to get a CFX35 – as in 35 liter capacity – to test. Dometic also makes 40,50 and 65 liter sizes, and the 65 is even available in a dual zone (DZ) model that has a 42L fridge and a 19L freezer in one unit.
The CFX35 is big enough to stuff in 47 twelve-ounce cans. It comes with both three-prong and a cigarette lighter power cords, and runs on 120V AC, 12V DC, or 24V DC power. The control panel is simple and intuitive, including status lights and plus/minus buttons allowing you to set the desired temperature in the -8F to 50F range. The compressor gets it to temp quickly then throttles back to draw a mere one amp of power as it cycles on and off to cool the unit.
The CFX is built like the proverbial brick shithouse and tips the scale at just under 40 pounds. The spring-loaded handles are comfortably sized and rock steady, and the hinge action is smooth with a positive lock. The CFX is smart too: the interior basket is removable in its entirety as well as having a removable divider, there's a drain plug at the lowest point on the floor, there's even a USB pass through to recharge devices. Best of all, the CFX is smart enough to leave plugged in to your vehicle's 12/24V outlet because the built-in battery monitor will switch the unit off when the voltage falls to one of three user-set levels.
While running the CFX emits a low hum, not loud enough to bother us even if we're sleeping directly above it. The uses of the CFX are limited only by your imagination. Here in Alaska, we have salmon fishing areas where you can catch your limit, and if you have it processed – a definition that includes freezing your catch – you can go catch another limit of fish. Now that's payback. Other uses include storing medicine and food in field camps, freezing samples for scientific research, and of course just avoiding the muss and mess of turning perfectly good ice into water in a normal cooler. All in all the Dometic CFX series of portable freezer/refrigerators are the bomb.