After evaluating refrigeration products of various sizes and types, one of the most common requirements that we’ve seen mentioned by consumers is the need for cold storage that’s lightweight and portable. Something that can fit into the space of automobiles and feature different methods for powering the device.
Whether it’s the best small chest freezer unit or something larger, portability at small dimensions isn’t the easiest thing to come by. This is why we’ve compiled a list of 10 high-quality chest freezers, made to hold up well during transport or for long-term storage.
Be sure to read the guidelines at the bottom as well, to narrow down your choices to the freezers that match your stipulations. Let’s get started!
Before deciding on your next chest freezer, you should think about the setting in which the product is going to be used the most. Will you place it in an RV, or use it for tailgating?
Maybe you just want extra cooling space for your meat, something to keep the food frozen when there’s no more space in your main refrigerator/freezer.
Larger foods typically require fewer shelves for cold storage. Knowing this, don’t choose a freezer with racks/drawers if meats such as whole chickens and turkeys must be placed inside.
When the chest is going outside or traveling with your somewhere, look closely at the products that have handles on the exterior, along with latches to prevent outside dust from seeping in.
Furthermore, check to see if there are ways other than AC power to turn on the chest. Many chest freezers sold online today have ports for DC and AC adapters.
Have you measured off the area where the freezer chest of going to be placed? It doesn’t matter if it’s in your vehicle’s trunk, the garage, or an RV. Be sure to have a proper gauge of the size around the areas of storage.
You can do this with a tape measure, comparing the result to the chest’s dimensions listed by the product. The smaller the area, the more emphasis to place on the amount of room needed for you to reach the inside. Don’t worry too much about clearance; most freezer chests are small in height.
Best Small Chest Freezers FAQ
How Are Small Chest Freezers Different from Mini-Refrigerators?The primary difference lies in their temperature. Most mini-refrigerators are just that-refrigerators. Some of them may contain smaller sections for freezing items but they won't be as large as what you'll find on a mini freezer chest. A majority of brands won't feature shelves either since their chest shape would make the placement of shelves on the inside a bit awkward to take out and store items during use.
How To Keep a Chest Freezer Cold in A Hot Room?Even the best small deep freezer can potentially fail at keeping your items frozen, particularly when they're placed in a hot environment. Get a digital thermometer if you're worried about this, and turn down the temperature controls (if they are featured on your unit) to the lowest setting possible. You'll find that your food stays cool this way when the outside temps get warm. If that doesn't work, it might be a good idea to let a little frost build up in the freezer, if there's enough room inside for you to do this.
Will Frost Be an Issue?More often than not, this depends on the user's preferences. Some people like to have a little frost in their mini freezer chest, especially if the box is taken outside. But you must remember to drain as you go, to avoid lots of water seeping into whatever you're using to store the freezer on.
Best Small Chest Freezers:
Midea MRC04M3AWW, White 3.5 cu. ft. Mini Freezer, Cubic Feet
The Midea WHS-129C1 is designed for people that need a freezer with good temperature controls. Superficially, the little dial might not seem like much but it helps a lot when the box is placed in a location with unpredictable temperature fluctuations.
Outdoor events come to mind. No matter how you set it, your food will remain cool, never unthawing to the point of borderline spoilage.
If you’ve looked at small chest freezer ratings recently, you may have noticed that noise pollution is commonly brought up as a primary flaw for freezers that are similar to the WHS-129C1. But that’s not a problem with this brand. Keep it in your room or RV and it won’t hinder your rest in any way. If this is important to you, then consider the Midea over all others on the list.
- Temperature is stable in both hot and cold environments
- Has a good range on the dials
- Low on noise pollution
- Weighted meats (such as whole turkeys and chickens) may dent the bottom of the freezer
COSTWAY Chest Freezer, 63-Quart Compressor Travel Refrigerator with 3 Levels, -0.4°F to 50°F, Adjustable Temperature, LCD Display and Lighting Bulbs, Single Door Vehicle Fridge for Car, Home, Camping
The Costway is another small chest freezer that’s specifically built for camping and extended road travel. Place it on concrete or dirt and the freezer won’t become scarred at the bottom, thanks to its durable rubber feet. The carrying handles are also padded to keep your hands and finger protected when picking it up under a heavy load.
You can set it up to where the unit doesn’t need excessive power to run with the “Minimum” and Maximum” settings. This takes away the worry of using car batteries to cool down your drinks and food.
You won’t be able to get a lock through the latches in the front but that shouldn’t stop you from trying out the Costway for future outdoor activities.
- The freezer’s door is supported by two chains when opened, no need for users to hold it themselves
- Rubber pads keep the freezer from getting dents and scratches on the bottom
- Handles have grips, preventing finger pain when lifting
- Has an energy-saving mode (MIN) and high power setting (MAX)
- Latches aren’t big enough for a lock to pass underneath
hOmeLabs 3.5 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer – Top Door Deep Freezer with Manual Defrost and Easy Access Defrost Drain – Home and Office Food Storage with Removable Shelf Basket and Adjustable Thermostat
The hOmeLabs is built for longevity. Every piece of the unit seems to be built with care, almost as if the freezer were built by hand. Even the tray that it comes with is strong. Don’t worry about overfilling anything. If you have any large meats, they’ll never cause buckles at the base. Frost doesn’t develop too fast either.
But if it does, cleaning things up is painless and shouldn’t take up too much of your time. the rubber feet at the bottom keep it glued evenly to the floor at all times, with no crooked legs. Try to avoid placing anything on top of the freezer whenever you can and it’s guaranteed that you’ll have it around years from the date of purchase.
- Good tray size that doesn’t bend on or rust over time
- Changes temperature quickly when the exterior dia is adjusted
- Stays level on the floor
- The magnetic seal may shorten, especially if weighted objects are placed on top of the freezer
Koolatron Compact Chest 5.0 Cubic Feet Capacity and Removeable Wire Basket-Mini Freezer Ideal for Home, Apartment, Condo, Cabin, Basement-White
Next up is the Koolatron KTCF155, a small chest freezer for garage or outdoor use. It can accurately be set to a designed coolness; You might not even need a thermometer to get your food chilled properly. And since it’s so small, cleanup is simple.
Feel free to place the rack wherever you want, or take it out if your food items reach above the lowest part of it. The freezer gets pretty loud, producing a sound that you’ll hear in a silent room. If that won’t pester you then the KTCF155 makes a perfect addition to anyone’s garage or entertainment room.
- Good food temperature on the lowest dial setting when it’s hot outside
- The compact design makes it easy to keep clean, inside and outside of the freezer
- The rack is adjustable, and able to fit in any of the freezer’s corners
- Loud cooling system
Northair Chest Freezer – 3.5 Cu Ft with 2 Removable Baskets – Reach-In Freezer Chest – Quiet Compact Freezer – 7 Temperature Settings
The Northair Chest is the best mini freezer for anyone that needs a refrigeration unit to be housed in a confined space. The dimensions are perfect, able to fit in the small spaces of RVs, garages, and even some smaller vehicles. Damage doesn’t occur easily, an important thing to consider if you’re going to use this in an outdoor setting.
That means dents and scratches won’t ugly the freezer. At room temperature (the temp of the unit when you unbox it), the Northair gets cold in about 30 minutes.
Although the rack is a little small in size, the extra space it makes such a “flaw” barely noticeable. Just as rugged as it is protective, this machine would become your new best friend during any sort of outdoor event that calls for food and drinks to be placed in cold storage.
- Will fit into confined spaces, such as under desks, closets, and small tables
- Doesn’t dent up when something hits it with moderate force
- Get cold in about 30 minutes after being turned on at room temperature
- Awkward sizing on the rack
Avanti CF24Q0W 2.4 Chest Freezer
The Avanti CF24Q0W is a good chest freezer for anyone that doesn’t want the strain themselves when moving such a product. Being that it’s so lightweight adds room for you to store heavy objects inside as well, without it resulting in something that needs to be emptied just for you to slide it to another location.
The clearance is ideal for kitchen and garage use too, which measures just below the 36-inch standard cutoff mark. If you or anyone that’s going to use the freezer is short, it might be a bit hard to reach heavy items when they’re at the bottom. While that isn’t to say that it’s impossible, be prepared to use both of your arms to get things out in this situation.
- Its dimension allows forces items to be stored with acceptable weight distribution
- Low enough in clearance to fit underneath most countertops
- When used in RVs, not space-heavy
- Could be difficult for short people to reach items that are placed at the bottom of the unit
BLACK+DECKER 1.2 Cu. Ft. Compact Upright Freezer, Mini Deep Freeze with Full-Width Wire Shelf
Did you know that Black and Decker produces freezer products? The power tools company also has a great lineup of cold storage devices, the BUFK12W being among them. Compact freezer reviews about the brand and company show that it has what it takes to be compared to more familiar names in the business.
It has no shelves in the door, which adds space for storing small items in the product’s two main sections.
This consists of shelves only. It would have been nice to see it with no shelves at all, something that adds even more space for storage. But regardless, you’ll get several boxes of frozen dinners and some small drinks inside without many products. If you want a small cooler for your car or office, the BUFK12W is a good item to consider first.
- No shelves are built into the door, giving extra space for food items on the shelves
- Not a fast drain on car batteries when used outside
- Stay silent when placed in a quiet room
- Quite heavy for its size (40 pounds)
- Not ideal for storing large soda bottles
SMETA Propane Chest Freezer 3 Way Refrigerator Freezer Electric LPG AC/DC Propane Gas Absorption Compact Silent Freezer Off Grid 2.4 Cu.Ft
The SMETA Propane is a tiny chest freezer with big huge benefits. Hauling it around is made simple with its strong handles that are situated on both sides of the box. It forms a complete seal when closed, so no frost should build up when it’s dialed to the lowest temperature setting.
The basket fits small quantities of ice cream and soda inside, whereby you can place their larger boxes within the lower part. Power options are numerous. Keep it turned on with your car’s battery, DC outlet, and AC adapter when indoors. It’s even compatible with propane, making it highly recommended for anyone living in a region that experiences lots of power outages.
- Closes with an excellent seal; no air seeps outside
- Although they have no grips, the handles are strong and won’t loosen when the unit is lifted (even with food inside)
- The basket is big enough for several small drinks inside
- Along with AC and car battery/DC, supports gas power
- Great for power outages
- The large vent on the freezer’s sides makes it a chore to clean when it gets dirty
Arctic King 1.1 cu ft White Dorm Room Freezer AUFM011AEW
The Arctic King Freezer has attributes that make it a perfect product for people on or off the road. It’s designed for users to quickly find and store their food, no matter where they are. Looking at the exterior shows a strong door, the kind that doesn’t need to be held when opened. Just pull it up and you can access whatever’s inside without two hands.
The tray above can be pulled out if you want but is designed for strong small items. a drain is fixed in front of the box, built for users to quickly clean the bottom when water melts.
This also eases up the mess when it’s time for you to wash the inside. Overall, the Arctic King is the best small frost-free chest freezer for outdoor porches and patios. You’ll be happy to have it around.
- The door stays open without the need to hold it with one hand (with a balancing hinge)
- A small tray that’s fixed inside the freezer doesn’t move; level enough to leave ice inside without it dripping
- Water drainage is located in the front
- Only one basket per unit, and nothing else
Did you find the product that you were looking for? Out of the ten mini freezer chests shown, the Midea WHS-129C1 comes out on top as the best. The advantage of being portable but functional in both short and long-term locations makes it an obvious pick. But don’t take this as a criticism of the other nine shown.
There’s something for everyone here; stick with the product that you think will benefit you the most. And once you have an idea of what you want, you’ll never look at cold storage the same again. Buy now and prepare to be amazed at what these products can do for you!