Mobicool Portable Fridge for the 5th Gen 4Runner – Complete Overview on the MCF40 Portable Refrigerator
One of the most common pieces of gear that any respectable overlander “needs” to have nowadays is certainly a portable fridge/cooler.
So far, the majority of my trips were about 2-3 days long so I was able to take care of my food and drinks with a good old Yeti cooler and a bag of ice. But this year, I have already planned a week-long trip to California and hopefully many others down the road. As mentioned above, I have a Yeti Roadie 24 that has been great so far, but it has very limited space if you consider the company recommends a 2:1 ratio for the ice. For these reasons, my search for a fridge had begun.
I’m sure many of you reading this article are familiar with the brand Dometic. With forums, YouTube, Instagram, and blogs talking about them, this company seems to be the gold standard for portable refrigerators.
But, great quality and features come with a big price tag. Most of their best-selling models have an average price of $1000. I’m sure it’s a quality product, but for my casual usage, I couldn’t justify spending that much for a fridge, at least not for my first unit.
After a few days of researching for a more affordable fridge option, I came across a company called Mobicool on Amazon.
Because of the lack of reviews and information on the web, I assumed it was a relatively new company (at least to the American market). However, what really captured my attention was that one of their products closely resembled another fridge made by Dometic that I had just browsed a few days before.
After a bit more online research, I was able to confirm that the Mobicool brand is actually part of the Dometic group and the fridge model I was interested in seemed to be the same exact copy of another model sold by Dometic, the CC40.
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Side by side comparison.
As you can see, they are basically the same product with a different brand printed on the outside and a different color.
It’s worth noting that the Dometic CC40 is their entry-level model, but it seems to be a decent unit according to some of the reviews I was able to find online. So I decided to give it a shot based on the fact that Mobicool is much cheaper but retaining Dometic’s components.
Other than the form factor, the Mobicool MCF40 has the same exact technical specifications as its Dometic cousin.
- Depth 37″
- Height 56″
- Width 99″
- Weight 36 lbs
- Volume 00 l (~40 qt)
- Capacity 55 cans
- 120 V AC input
- 12/24 V DC input
- 1 A AC rated input current
- 5 A DC rated input current
- Cooling capacity 4F to 50F
The fridge arrived in 3 days and the packaging was good with some protection thanks to styrofoam placed all the way around the fridge. Other than the unit, itself, the box includes a manual and the AC/DC power cords.
This is my first portable fridge so I don’t really have anything else to compare it to. The construction seems ok for the price point. At a bit more than 20 lbs, it’s light and easy to move around thanks to the handles. Although, the handles don’t look very strong and I’m not sure they can handle the weight of the fridge when fully loaded.
The lid is sturdy enough and sitting on it is not a problem, but the plastic cover for the compressor and electronic components feels more flimsy and slightly bends it if exercising some pressure.
The lid is held in place by a string with two plastic hooks at each end which does the job, but again it doesn’t feel strong.
After removing the string, it is possible to remove the lid, but it can be hinged only on one side. Unfortunately, my unit shipped with the lid shut with some portion of the string pressed against the body, damaging the seal. A damaged seal is not something you want on your cooler/fridge and so I contacted the company asking for a replacement, but I haven’t received a reply yet.
On the front, you will see the control panel with the embedded display at the top and the two power input ports just below that. The control panel has 4 buttons to turn the unit on/off, change temperature, and save your settings. The display shows the temperature and there are two additional LEDs to show the operating status of the unit.
Both input ports are covered by a rubber cap to avoid water/moisture from coming in contact with the plugs. A fuse is also present to protect the electrical system in case of a power surge. As mentioned before this is a very basic portable fridge so don’t expect to have any fancy features like WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone temperature, or other high-end features. But it does provide an automatic switch-off feature which is really useful especially if you solely use your car battery to power the fridge. There are three different modes available:
- Low 1V
- Medium 4V
- High 8V
Downsides to Mobicool Fridge
Some other things that this fridge lacks when compared to more expensive ones are, for example, the absence of a protective/insulating cover, slide-out tray, and true tie-down points. Mobicool does not offer any cover options while Dometic usually has both a protective and insulated cover as an add-on.
I was hoping to buy these accessories sold for the Dometic CC40 and then use them with the Mobicool but unfortunately none of the above are available for that model. I’m planning to look for a generic insulated cover that fits the Mobicool in the future.
The same applies to the slide-out tray, but for me, it’s not a big deal at the moment. Lastly, tie-down points. Especially when driving on rough roads, I like to have all my cargo secured and I usually use bungee cords or ratchet straps to do that.
Maybe the Mobicool handles can be used for that, but they feel a bit flimsy and I’m afraid they could break if put under too much force. I think for the time being the best option for me is to ratchet strap the whole unit together with the other cargo, trying to keep the lid free so that can be opened freely.
The Mobicool MCF40 seems like a decent product considering its price point. What really sold me was the fact that this is a Dometic (I cannot be 100% sure, but all the information I could find seems to confirm that) sold under another brand that seems to be more targeted to a casual user rather than a hardcore overlander.
I guess time will tell. I am planning to post a full review in the upcoming weeks and after my trip to California, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or if you want more details about this fridge.