Dometic brings mobile living closer to home with backyard bar lineup
Known 'round the world for its RV and marine refrigerators and appliances, Swedish brand Dometic defines its mission as "making mobile living easier." But now it's encouraging customers to reign in that mobility and stay a little closer to home. At a time when people around the world find themselves skipping après-ski drinks and brewery tastings due to pandemic closures and capacity limits, Dometic's new MoBar lineup invites them to enjoy a beverage or few in their own swank indoor/outdoor lounge.
So as not to muddy its corporate mission of supporting mobile living, Dometic calls its new product lineup "mobile bars" (MoBars).
But given that a given MoBar's farthest journey will likely be through the patio door, or perhaps from one deck corner to the other, the new product line is more a way of leveraging company expertise and branding in robust, compact appliances toward branching out into a new market. Short of loading them into a catering truck or hacking one into a motorhome, these home appliances certainly won't be putting on the mobile mileage of, say, a pickup truck camper stove or electric dirt bike fridge.
The MoBar line strikes us as an attractive product at just the right moment. Dometic explains that the US outdoor residential living lifestyle product market was already growing by roughly 9 percent annually before Covid-19 struck. By cutting options for travel and dining while simultaneously emphasizing the benefits of being outdoors, the pandemic has certainly given homeowners more reasons to spend time in their own personal outdoor spaces. And if you can't go out for a night of drinks, why not enjoy them right on your own deck or balcony?
Dometic worked with professional bartenders and consumers to elevate its home bar design above the usual ice chest cart you might expect to find holding beverages at a summer grill-out or backyard gathering. The flagship MoBar 550 features a full-height dual-zone compressor refrigerator with glass door on one side and a combination of stainless steel drawer and cabinet dry storage on the other. The refrigerator holds up to 39 wine bottles or 155 beer cans.
The 550 top has a preparation area with an oak cutting board and steel serving tray on one side and a removable rotomolded ice bucket on the other. The bucket keeps an additional 22 bottles or 32 cans chilled and on display. An adjustable storage rack on the side provides space for more bottles, cups or other provisions.
The mid-level MoBar 300 looks something like half a 550, split into a stacked single-zone refrigerator and dry cabinet, topped with a removable rotomolded ice bucket. A removable extension worktop provides prep space. This unit holds up to 19 wine bottles or 70 beer cans in the refrigerator and another 22 bottles or 32 cans in the ice bucket.
The entry level MoBar 50 is more like that ice chest cart we mentioned earlier, albeit one that benefits from stylish powder-coated and stainless steel construction. It skips the under-counter refrigerator for a simpler pair of storage shelves topped with the 32-can (or 22-bottle) removable ice bucket. The worktop extension is optional, but the storage bin on the side comes standard. The MoBar 50 looks good for smaller spaces, more intimate gatherings and buyers who don't want to spend four figures.
All three MoBar units are equipped with large wheels and a handle designed for easy rolling, whether you're catering a party or simply rearranging the furniture on the deck. Once the bar is parked and serving drinks, the handle doubles as a towel holder. The 550 and 300 models have wheels at all four corners, while the 50 has a larger set of wheels on one side for tilt-back rolling.
The MoBars certainly look like a much easier way of grabbing a drink at home than installing a built-in deck bar, but they don't come cheap. The MoBar 550 has a US$4,399 retail price, the 300 a $2,969 price, and the 50 a $769 price. Dometic launched all three models for US ordering last month.