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ARB Fridge Freezer - An Ice Chest Just Won't Do

Side Angle
Phil Howell | Writer
Posted May 1, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Inside!

Keeping food and drinks cold on extended backcountry outings has been a challenge since people started exploring the backcountry. Ice melts, food goes bad, people get sick. Not good.

In Australia, where exploring trips into the outback can last for weeks or even months, an ice chest just won't do. Years ago, ARB started offering a line of freezer/fridges that kept food and drinks cold, or frozen, for as long as there was power available. These ARB fridges proved to be durable, reliable, and continue to keep food and drinks cold all over the planet.

While ARB's freezer/fridges were a hard act to follow, after three years of hard work ARB engineers topped themselves. The new ARB Fridge Freezer is a reliable and efficient unit that's aimed directly at those who like to explore the backcountry. The Fridge Freezer features tough powder-coated zinc-steel cabinet sides, a recessed digital control panel with temperature display in either Fahrenheit or Celsius readings, a drain plug, an internal LED light, recessed handles that double as tie-down points, and a German-built Danfoss compressor with a smart electronic control system that enables rapid cool down to target temperature.

If there was one negative that could be mentioned about the old ARB Freezer Fridge, it was the lid with a hinge that allowed it to fall off the fridge while opening or closing, and a latch that was small and hard to manipulate one-handed. The new reinforced and internally-ribbed injection-molded lid has an innovative, stainless-steel detent hinge that makes removal easy, yet is secure when you don't want it removed. The large, over-center cam lock latch is easy to use, yet provides a positive lock between the lid and cabinet. With a 50-quart capacity, there's plenty of room to carry drinks and food, with a separate compartment for fruit and dairy storage. Fifty quarts means the ARB Fridge Freezer will hold 72 (!) 12-ounce cans.

The benefits of using the ARB Freezer Fridge are obvious to the seasoned backcountry explorer. A negative could be that the fridge uses battery power in the field and could run down a battery if left to run in camp for an extended period. ARB thought of this, too. The fridge features three selectable minimum operating voltages to prevent excessive 12/24V DC battery discharge. If the battery drops to the selected voltage level, the fridge shuts down. Current draw is quite low when compared to earlier or competitive fridges.

The fridge also works with 110-240V AC power, so it can be used in the shop or home for additional refrigeration, anywhere on the planet.


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