Engel Freezer Fridge

Part of everyone's camping equipment inventory is the cooler.   While we can get most food items these days that do not require refrigeration, its one of those little luxury's that can make meal time at camp great.

The Engel Freezer Fridge is not an ice chest, but rather a powered cooler with an adjustable thermostat.   From cool to below 0° the Engel is ready to tackle all your 4x4, hunting, fishing or camping needs.

The unit that we have is the MT-45, a 43 quart unit.
The outside dimensions are 25.5" x 14.3" x 20".   The unit weighs in at 53lbs empty.   

This is not a plastic cooler, but one made of metal that will hold up to the harsh environment of bumps and bounces that we find during our off-road adventures.

The temperature controls are simple and easy to use.   Turn the knob on and adjust the dial until its at the temperature you want.

Inside is quite roomy.  Seen here with a gallon jug of milk, there is quite a bit of room for all your mealtime treats.

The inside dimensions are approximately 15.5" x 10.75 " x 16.5".   

During our Rubicon trip, we had no problem fitting a box of Snickers Ice Cream Bars, a Box (8ct) of Drumsticks, 50 Otter Pops, a pack of bacon, a block of butter, 2 packs of hot dogs, and 4 medium sized Papa Murphy's Take & Bake pizzas.  There was still actually room left over, and I used it to drop water bottles in to really put a chill into them!


One of the things that I wanted to do with the Engel was to give it a bit of a torture test.   My idea was to not only see how it held the inside temperature in high heat conditions, but to see if it could overcome the high heat in the first place when trying to get cold initially.   The best way I could come up with to complete such a test?   To lock it in a hot car in the direct sun.

My daily driver is an old beat up Escort. It is a hatch back and the windows are not tinted.   I folded the rear seats so that the cooler could be positioned under the large rear window fully in the direct sunlight.   I used an indoor / outdoor thermometer so that I could measure the temperatures both inside and outside the cooler.  

I parked the car so that as soon as the sun was high enough in the sky it would hit the car, this was at about 8:30am.   I rolled all the windows up and let things heat up!   

At 12:37 the temperature inside the cooler was 93°F, inside the closed up car was 145°F, and the surface temperature of the cooler was 173°F.   It was time to start the test, so I plugged the cooler in, closed the car back up and let the cooler run.

I came back at 4:40pm.   The temperature in the car was now 132°F, but the temperature in the cooler had dropped to 23°F!   In just about 4 hours it dropped from 93°F to 23°F, a drop of 70°F!!!   All of this while sitting in a very hot car in the direct sunlight.   This was very, very impressive.

As of the time I am writing this article, I have had the Engel Freezer Fridge on a number of runs.   We have used it as both a freezer and a refrigerator, and it has served us flawlessly.  Being able to pull things out of the freezer in the middle of nowhere has enabled up to have meals that we never though possible, such as deserts of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies hot out of the Coleman Oven with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! 

 I was able to spot a few of these during the Marlin Crawler Roundup in September 2006 at Rubicon Springs, and I could not find anyone that had a single negative thing to say.   From the looks of some of the dented and scratched up units I saw, they can take a beating and keep on going.   We will continue to use the Engel, and report back at a later date with an update on its performance.


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