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