ICECO VL45ProS (47.5 Quart Capacity) Review & Overview – User-Friendly & Energy-Efficient Single-Zone Fridge Freezer With Protective Cover
I never thought that I would be one to want a fridge in the back of my 4Runner but after about a year and a half of adventuring, I found myself fantasizing about the luxuries of having an on-board fridge. Not only could I use it for any of the trips that I go on but also it could come in handy in my everyday life like going to the grocery store, having it to bring to park picnics, and even keeping leftovers fresh on the drive home.
But as I started to search for the right fridge for me, I found myself incredibly overwhelmed with the options that were available. Did I want to spend the extra money to purchase a brand-name fridge? Did I want to purchase a dual-zone fridge? What size would best fit my needs? What did the warranty and customer service look like? After doing a ton of research and figuring out what needs needed to be met I came across ICECO.
ICECO is an excellent choice for everyone due to its wide range of fridge options tailored to meet your specific needs and preferences. They offer fridges in various sizes and price ranges, and with diverse features. My choice was the VL45 model since I didn’t want a huge fridge, but I wanted the flexibility of switching between a freezer and a fridge. After exploring their different fridge series, I opted for the VL series due to its design and user-friendliness. I ended up settling on the VL45 because of its compact size, ensuring it wouldn’t occupy too much space in my 4Runner while still providing ample room for all my essentials.
But there is so much more to the VL45 Pro S that should definitely be reviewed before you decide to move forward with purchasing it. Check out some more information below!
Find It Online:
- ICECO VL45ProS Portable Fridge (with cover): Check Price
- ICECO VL45Pro Single Zone Slide Mount (optional mount): Check Price
ICECO also provided us with a discount code for extra savings!
- Use code – TrailCo – for 12% off your purchase
Features & Specs
- Capacity: 47.5QT | 45L
- Weight: 50.5lbs
- Exterior Dimensions: 28.1 x 15.7 x 18.1 inches
- Compressor: SECOP (5-year warranty + 1-year on other components)
- Cooling Range 0°F – 50°F
- Power Source: 12/24 V DC or 110 – 240V AC
- Can hold up to 68 soda cans
- Can operate up to a 40° tilt
There are a few things that stood out about this fridge when I was looking through the ICECO website, trying to figure out which fridge would be the best option for me. If you’re looking for something that is super easy to use and very versatile, this is the option for you, and here’s why.
The VL45 Pro S has a capacity of 47.5 QT or 45L. This equates to about 68 soda cans, 45 bottles of water, or 18 bottles of wine. Of course, it does depend on how you pack the fridge to make everything fit but it can fit a lot. On the handful of trips I have taken it on, I have been able to pack enough to feed myself and my family for a few days.
3-Way Removable Lid
The first thing that caught my eye was the lid. The VL Pro series has a 3-way removable lid. This means that you can open it either from the left or the right as well as take the lid off completely.
This immediately was a huge selling point for me for a few reasons. I currently do not have a fridge slide for my fridge (currently in the process of making a custom one). This means my fridge gets thrown in the back where I can make it fit. Sometimes it’ll be on one of the sides, other times it’ll be put against the back hatch door, and sometimes, I take it out and use it at camp. But no matter what position it is in, I can open it and easily access anything I want to.
I also have a young son, who loves to be part of the experience whenever he can be. This means opening the fridge to grab food and drinks. With the dual opening sides, he’s able to easily open the fridge and reach in to grab whatever we need. I will say though, the way that you open the lid is a bit challenging for him and it is much different than a lot of other fridges I have had the chance to use.
The convenience of being able to open the fridge on either side is just amazing. I honestly wish that was more of a standard for many other brands because it definitely swayed me to pick this fridge over others.
When I say this refrigerator is user-friendly, I truly mean it. During my initial setup, I didn’t even need to consult the manual because it’s that straightforward. And believe me, I’m typically the kind of person who meticulously reads instructions before tackling anything.
ICECO has made the controls extremely easy to understand. You’ll have 3 sets of controls and a power-off button. In the upper right-hand corner is the temperature regulation. It’s pretty self-explanatory, “+” for increase in temperature and “-” for decrease. Then you have the battery monitor buttons. This is a 3-level battery protection feature that prevents your fridge from draining your battery. Finally, you can choose from Eco mode or Max mode by clicking a button.
Cleaning the fridge is a breeze. It features a conveniently removable drain hole that makes the process extremely simple. Depending on the level of grime, you can opt for a microfiber towel and water, or use non-toxic dish soap and water for a deeper clean. Afterward, just drain the fridge through the accessible drain hole and give it a thorough rinse. The exterior of the fridge can be cleaned in the same manner.
When you’re looking to invest in a portable fridge setup you’ll see that the biggest debate you’ll have is dual-zone vs. single-zone. Coming from someone who has a single-zone fridge, it’s really not necessary to purchase a dual-zone unless you’re living off the grid for an extended period of time.
The VL45Pro S is a multi-purpose portable fridge that can work as a portable fridge or freezer. The temperature can be set from 0°F – 50°F depending on what you want to use it as. I personally stay on the fridge side of things because I never bring anything frozen with me to camp.
The fridge isn’t just your typical cooling companion; it’s a versatile multitasker that can double as a table or even an impromptu seat when the need arises. Personally, I’ve used my fridge as a tabletop more times than I can remember, especially when it’s down low and surrounded by chairs. Now, I can’t vouch for an official weight capacity rating, but it does feel remarkably sturdy when you are sitting on it.
The fridge will also come with two power sources, 12/24V DC or 110-240V AC. This means you can use it both in your truck and inside your home.
And finally, you’ll even be able to charge your phone and other USB-connected devices with the fridge. While I haven’t had the chance to test this out, this is a really convenient feature that is built into all the fridges in the VL-Pro series.
One of the most important considerations when selecting a portable fridge is its energy efficiency. The last situation you’d want to find yourself in, especially while out in the mountains, is a fridge that draws excessive power from your power bank, potentially leading to a critical power depletion scenario.
This fridge offers two distinct modes to suit your cooling needs: Max Mode for speedy chilling and Eco Mode for energy-conscious cooling. The choice is yours whether you’re in a hurry or taking a more leisurely approach. Keep in mind that energy consumption may vary depending on your power source, with AC outlets naturally drawing more power.
Like all the other VL Pro fridges, this one comes equipped with the 3-Level Battery Protection feature, which intelligently manages power usage to preserve your car battery’s health. With three gear options, you can customize energy consumption. And the fridge will know when to shut off before it depletes your battery’s energy.
The fridge features the dependable ICECO SECOP compressor that is known for its durability, energy efficiency (approx. 0.983kw.h/24h), and minimal noise. Another convenient feature is the interior LED lights that only activate when you open the lid, enhancing visibility while conserving power. In essence, the VL45Pro S delivers efficient cooling while being mindful of energy use, making it an eco-friendly choice for your refrigeration needs.
I’ve had the opportunity to take the VL45Pro S fridge with me on numerous adventures, and it has consistently impressed me in several key aspects. One of the standout features is its remarkable stability. Since I don’t currently have a fridge slide, my fridge stands freely in the cargo area. Surprisingly, even without the added security of a slide, the VL45 remains firmly in place, no matter what terrain I’m driving on. Whether it’s uneven off-road trails or winding mountain roads, this fridge’s ability to stay put has been a game-changer for hassle-free travel.
Another noteworthy quality is its noise level—or rather, the lack of it. When traversing rough and bumpy roads, there’s no irritating rumbling or vibrating sounds emanating from the fridge. This silent operation not only ensures a peaceful journey but also underscores the overall quality and design of the VL45Pro S.
ICECO has thoughtfully prioritized durability when designing this fridge. Constructed from robust steel, it’s engineered to withstand the rigors of various terrains, and it certainly lives up to that promise. We’ve put this fridge through its paces on dirt paths, rocky terrain, sandy shores, grassy fields, and paved roads, and it has consistently proven its resilience without any hiccups. For added peace of mind, consider investing in the fridge cover, which not only enhances protection but also safeguards the exterior from surface-level scratches.
For some, the warranty may not be a point of consideration however I always like to factor warranty into all my purchases. ICECO does offer a 5-year warranty on the SECOP compressor and then a 1-year warranty on all other parts.
VL vs. VL Pro
ICECO presents a variety of portable fridge lines, but the VL and VL Pro lines stand out as their most popular choices. While the design of these fridges immediately sets them apart, there are other noteworthy differences between the two that deserve your attention when you’re in the decision-making process. Here are a few differences:
When comparing the VL and VL Pro fridge series, one of the key distinctions lies in their aesthetics. The VL series is known for its darker teal, almost Lunar Rock color, while the VL Pro series comes in a sleek cool black style. Beyond color, the overall appearance has significantly changed between the two. You’ll see that the VL line is much more modern while the VL Pro line has a more rugged look.
Another important difference is the lids. In terms of the opening mechanism, the VL Pro offers more flexibility compared to the VL series. The VL series features a single long-side opening while the VL Pro provides multiple options. You can open it from both the left and right sides or even lift the entire lid, making it convenient to access your food from various angles, especially in situations with limited space.
Finally, in contrast to the VL series fridge, the VL Pro comes equipped with an external USB interface that allows you to charge your mobile phones, tablets, and other devices conveniently.
When it comes to sizing options, in the VL Pro series, you have a choice between 47QT, 63QT, 78QT, and 95QT models, with the 78QT and 95QT options offering dual zones. On the other hand, the VL series provides options for 47QT, 63QT, 68QT, and 76QT, with the 63QT and 68QT models offering dual zones.
What Do I Think?
One of the standout features of this fridge is its ideal size. It’s just right for my family’s needs, offering ample space to keep all our food cool during our trips. Usually, we’ll have it hooked up to the Jackery when we’re parked somewhere but if we’re driving all day it’ll stay charged using the outlet in the cargo space.
Whether we’re heading into the mountains, enjoying a beach day, or taking long trips, this fridge has been able to hold everything we need. I’ve been able to pack multiple meals in the fridge without any issues, even having space for both of my dogs’ food.
What truly caught my eye, though, is the fridge’s design. Of course, a notable highlight is the 3-way removable lid. You can open it from the left side or the right side and even take the lid off completely. The actual design of the fridge is perfect for any avid camper. The exterior is made from black a durable material and has the option to install plastic guards at each of the bottom corners to avoid any damage to the underside. The lid itself is of exceptional quality. We’ve found it to be incredibly versatile, using it as a convenient surface to hold everything from our meals and beverages to essential gear when the need arose. It even doubles as a comfortable spot to sit!
Ease of use is another highlight. Unlike other fridges with complex controls, ICECO simplified everything with its straightforward controls. To change your temperature it’s as easy as pushing the plus and minus buttons. You can even fine-tune the battery level and the modes with just the click of a button. It’s so easy to use that I didn’t even need to reference the guide for setting it up.
Overall we have found this fridge to be a perfect fit for the family. It holds everything we need it to, it’s extremely durable, especially with having a young child and two dogs, and it’s super easy to use.
The addition of this fridge has truly been a game-changer. I’m not only delighted with its quality and performance but also how it has significantly simplified my adventures.
ICECO’s commitment to user-friendly controls and thoughtful features is commendable, and when you factor in the reasonable price point, it’s hard to ask for more.
If you’re considering investing in a fridge, I wholeheartedly recommend exploring this model and the wider VL Pro series. It’s an excellent choice, especially for newcomers looking to get into the overlanding community and seeking a more complete outdoor kitchen solution. ICECO does offer a dedicated fridge slide for this model, ensuring secure transportation in your vehicle. With this fridge by your side, your outdoor experiences are bound to be more comfortable and enjoyable.