Outdoors

GoSun's portable solar fridge/freezer packs serious off-grid cooling

GoSun's portable solar fridge/...
The GoSun Chillest fridge/freezer has launched on Indiegogo
The GoSun Chillest fridge/freezer has launched on Indiegogo
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The GoSun Chillest comes with a front storage pouch
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The GoSun Chillest comes with a front storage pouch
The Chillest splits its interior into dual zones
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The Chillest splits its interior into dual zones
The cutting board stores on the inner Chillest lid and can be used on the solar table or on top of the fridge
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The cutting board stores on the inner Chillest lid and can be used on the solar table or on top of the fridge
The available Bluetooth speaker attaches to the Chillest and brings the soundtrack
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The available Bluetooth speaker attaches to the Chillest and brings the soundtrack
With a retractable handle and all-terrain wheels, the Chillest transports more easily than the average cooler
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With a retractable handle and all-terrain wheels, the Chillest transports more easily than the average cooler
For days when you don't need solar power, the optional umbrella fits into the Chillest mount and keeps the sun at bay
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For days when you don't need solar power, the optional umbrella fits into the Chillest mount and keeps the sun at bay
The attachable 20-W solar panel doubles as a handy table
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The attachable 20-W solar panel doubles as a handy table
The Chillest mount can also be a fishing rod holder
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The Chillest mount can also be a fishing rod holder
GoSun says the solar table can keep the Chillest running indefinitely, but that's a claim that demands some third-party testing
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GoSun says the solar table can keep the Chillest running indefinitely, but that's a claim that demands some third-party testing
The GoSun Chillest fridge/freezer has launched on Indiegogo
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The GoSun Chillest fridge/freezer has launched on Indiegogo
The hooks on the side of the Chillest provide convenient points for secure tie-down
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The hooks on the side of the Chillest provide convenient points for secure tie-down
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GoSun has long relied on the Sun as the power source for its off-grid cooking systems, and two years ago it directed the Sun's radiant energy toward cooling, adding the Chill portable fridge to its solar-powered lineup. Now it expands with the all-new Chillest, a larger dual-zone fridge/freezer that can serve ice cream in the middle of the desert and operate indefinitely on an off-grid power combo of integrated lithium battery and mountable solar table.

If the name "Chillest cooler" sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the "Coolest Cooler," the notorious Kickstarter party cooler/multitool that nosedived from raging crowdfunding success to dumpster fire business failure. The similarity in name isn't a coincidence, as GoSun references the Coolest as an inspiration ... in the harshest possible way.

"Chillest is inspired by Coolest Cooler (a veritable piece of junk), but it is designed by a reputable company that has over 13 products on the market," GoSun says within the first two paragraphs of its Chillest press release.

Given just how toxic a name "Coolest Cooler" is, we're not sure it's a great idea to reference it, even satirically, within the same breath as the similar product you're attempting to launch via a crowdfunding campaign, but GoSun seems pretty confident its Chillest is light years beyond the unsuccessful wonder-cooler that wasn't. And it's correct in stating that, unlike the Coolest team, it brings years of experience launching successful crowdfunding campaigns and actual products, everything from solar ovens to wallet-sized flatware.

With a retractable handle and all-terrain wheels, the Chillest transports more easily than the average cooler
With a retractable handle and all-terrain wheels, the Chillest transports more easily than the average cooler

GoSun calls the Chillest an "iceless cooler," but it's better identified as a 12V compressor fridge/freezer, much like the models hardwired to all sizes and styles of RVs. Like Furrion did with its eRove, GoSun cuts the power cord, creating a portable fridge/freezer that keeps humming even when transported far away from a vehicle or electrical outlet. It includes wheels and a retractable handle for just that purpose.

The attachable 20-W solar panel doubles as a handy table
The attachable 20-W solar panel doubles as a handy table

To support off-grid operation, GoSun equips the Chillest with a 100-Wh lithium battery good for roughly 10 hours of cooling. That's enough for a beach day, but if you want to keep food chilled on a multi-day camping trip, you can plug in the accompanying multi-position 20-W solar table, which secures to the cooler with a single leg. GoSun says the solar table can fully charge the Chillest in five hours and/or keep it running indefinitely so long as it's used continuously. The fridge also comes with a DC cord and AC adapter and can run for about 30 hours on GoSun's available 266-Wh external portable power bank.

Unlike the small, single-compartment Chill, the 45-L Chillest features two separate compartments and temperature zones so you can refrigerate food on one side, freeze it on the other. Individual temperatures can be adjusted between -4 and 68 °F (-20 and 20 °C) using the physical buttons or accompanying mobile app.

The Chillest splits its interior into dual zones
The Chillest splits its interior into dual zones

The Chillest comes loaded with handy standard features such as interior lighting, tie-down hooks for securing it in a trunk or pickup bed, a front storage pouch, a cutting board that stores in the lid and a built-in bottle opener. Buyers can further the Chillest's utility with available add-ons like the portable power bank, Bluetooth speaker that attaches to the side and umbrella that fits in the same mount as the solar table.

GoSun has kicked off an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the Chillest's launch. It is offering the basic Chillest for pledge levels starting at US$579 – quite affordable for a portable fridge/freezer with built-in battery. Those who want the solar table will find it packaged with the Chillest at the $679 pledge level. Both offers represent a $320 savings from planned retail pricing.

Source: GoSun

View gallery - 11 images
7 comments
7 comments
TpPa
Seems like a nice cooler, and being able to freeze on one side is a nice bonus. Run time isn't bad, but now to the solar panel tray - OK nice gimmick to say the panel can be used as a tray, and that I guess is OK for a trip to the beach, but absolutely a foolish Idea if you actually want to charge your battery, and the tray mount should have a swivel and elbow built in for you can point it at the sun to actually get a charge
Bob Flint
Further to what TpPa said, why would you put your cold drink on a hot solar panel? Less sun on the panel, & warm beer...
Aross
On thing that has me curious is the statement that the temperature can be adjusted between -4 and 68 °F (-20 and 20 °C). My question is at what ambient outside temperature was this taken. Most existing fridge/freezers have their temperature ratings based on degrees below ambient temperature. If it is +30°C outside what would be the lowest temperature attainable?
jerryd
That isn't that bad a price and should be good performance. Though if putting in things to cool a lot from warm on solar is not going to go well.
Stocked and cooled down on other power and just used over 3 days, very good.
HoppyHopkins
When you live off grid like I do you keep up with these developments. Keeping things cold in the Winter is easy, but during the Summer its the pits
Daishi
I think most people comparison shop these against cheap $20 coolers from Walmart and Target that keep ice for about half a day. I went camping with a friend that brought a better Yeti cooler and I was surprised to see it keep ice during the hot summer for more than 3 days but they also cost $3000 - $400 rather than $15 or $20. A solar cooler makes sense for those living off grid or people that will be off grid over a week without access to new ice but many people just camping on long weekends could be well served to scrap the cheap $15 cooler for something higher performance.
ljaques
Aross, the 12v compressor makes relative temp irrelevant. They really work well, but at something like 45W power drain. That 100Wh battery will get some use. This is an impressive price/performance point, so they should sell quite a lot of these.