BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable freezer review

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REVIEW – It is definitely pool party time here in South Texas!  We hit triple digits already a couple of times in the month of May.  Who doesn’t want a cold refreshing beverage when sitting outside at the pool?  Who doesn’t want a bunch of wet dripping people traipsing back and forth from your back door to your refrigerator to get a drink?  That would be me.  I had toyed with the idea of adding a small refrigerator to my back porch for such occasions but knew how horribly inefficient it would be.  Plus, they are really not designed to sit outside for extended periods of time.  When the BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable freezer came up for review, I decided to see how it would handle this backyard chore.  Let’s see how it worked out.

What is it?

The BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable freezer/ car fridge is a 53 quart dual-zone electric-powered cooler/freezer.  It can run off both your car adapter plug and your wall socket.  It has two temperature zones and can also work as a single zone cooler.

What’s in the box?

  • BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable freezer/car fridge
  • 12 volt power cord
  • 100 volt – 240 volt power cord
  • user manual
  • a basket for the left side of the cooler and a basket for the right side of the cooler
  • a removable divider

Hardware specs

  • Operation: 100-240V / 12V / 24V
  • Dimension: 28.5 x 14.1 x 18 inches
  • Fridge Capacity: 53 Quart(50L)
  • Left Zone / Right Zone: 30 Quart / 23 Quart
  • Item Weight: 30.1 pounds
  • Refrigeration Range: -4ºF~68ºF
  • Noise Level: <42dB
  • Rated Power Input: 60W
  • Rated Current: AC 1.5A-2.7A , DC 6.0A(12V) / 3.0A (24V)
  • Door removable: Yes

Design and features

I want to start off by saying that this cooler actually has an app!  You can monitor the cooler and make temperature changes as long as you are within Bluetooth range.  I personally never saw any real need for the app being as we were going to use it around our pool at home.  I can see how this could be handy to have if you had the cooler in the back of your car, SUV, or truck and wanted to keep tabs on it while driving.

The BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable car fridge is not a lightweight object.  Those of you familiar with Yeti coolers know how heavy they can be.  This portable freezer is along those same weight lines and possibly a bit heavier.  I am glad it has wheels!  It has two handles.  The handle on the side with the wheels is a short standard handle.

The handle on the opposite side of the wheels has an extension flap that you can see below.  That makes it easier to tilt the cooler back on the wheels for moving it around.   Even empty, this sucker has some serious weight to it.  You can also see in the pictures that there is a ventilation vent for the motor on this side, along with the port for the power plug.  There will be a close-up picture later in the review.

Opening the BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable car fridge, you can see that it is set up for two separate zones.  The right side is the side that you would set as a freezer.   It can be set to go all the way down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit.  The right side is the refrigerator side.  It can not be set to be any lower than what you set the freezer side to be.  The right side has that ledge because that is where the motor for the unit resides.

I took a picture of the cooler with the divider and baskets removed.  This cooler can hold a lot of stuff!

Here is the closeup of the plug-in port.

The backside of the BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable car fridge also has a ventilation port for the motor.  I also want to mention that the lid for the unit is removable and reversible if it works better for you to have the cooler open on the backside of the unit.

At the bottom of the display/control is a USB port.  I guess one can never have enough USB ports and I did find it handy for a friend that needed to top off their phone by the pool.

The BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable car fridge has a removable lid, but it cannot be reversed.  The latch is very sturdy and there is no mistaking if you have closed the cooler or not.

Just on the inside of the cooler behind where the latch closes is a nice LED light strip.  It does a good job of lighting up the cooler in low-light conditions.

The BODEGAcooler T50 cooler has two power levels.  Max and ECO.  The display is showing Max and that it is using 14.3 volts of power.  The cooler also has three levels of battery protection so that you don’t drain the battery you are using.  Right now, it is set on High protection because you see an H to the right of the voltage reading.  When running the cooler in your car, the recommend that you set it to high in order to protect your car’s battery.

I switched the cooler over to show you how the display indicates the mode.  I found that you set it to Max when you want to fast cool the cooler.  Once it has reached your desired temp, switching to Eco lets the cooler save some battery.

Performance

The first thing I tried was the dual-zone settings to see if I could actually freeze water with this cooler.  I set the left zone to 36 and the right zone to 18, as you can see below.  I then took a couple of silicone cups and filled them halfway with water.   I placed one on the left side and one on the right and went to bed.  In the morning, the cup on the freezer side was frozen solid.  The cup on the fridge side did have some ice in it even though the temp was set to 36.

The main way we are going to use the BODEGAcooler T50 portable freezer is as a cooler for our pool area.  I did a quick test to see how long the cooler took to cool down empty.   I took the divider out and set the temperature to 36 degrees.  It was starting at 78 degrees.  This took place inside our home.   Within 16 min, the display was saying the cooler was at 36 degrees.   I had a meat thermometer I placed in the cooler, and the lowest it would show was 44 degrees.  I then placed a couple of different thermometers I use to read room temps inside the unit, and those only dropped to about 50 degrees. I decided to give the cooler more time to cool down.  After letting it sit for just over an hour, the temp was the same on the display, but now my thermometers read within a degree or two of the display.  I think the display is optimistic about the temp, but maybe since this is a larger cooler, it needs more time to truly reach that temperature.

The big test was for our pool party.  We loaded the BODEGAcooler T50 up with 21 bottles of water and ten bottles of beer.  Initially, I set the cooler to 36 degrees.  I precooled the unit.  The water was not chilled ahead of time.  I put the water in a few hours before the party with the cooler inside.   We wheeled it out onto our porch in the shade and plugged it in.  We added the beer that was already cold then.   After about an hour, we realized the cooler was not keeping the beverages as cold as we would like.  I ended up setting the temperature to 20, and it then had the drinks to a good cold temperature.

What I like

  • Two zones or one zone.  Your choice!
  • You can power it in your car or an outlet at home.
  • Nice light inside.
  • Good solid latch.
  • Comes with an app if you wish to monitor the cooler remotely within Bluetooth range.
  • Comes with removable baskets, and the drain plug is well placed.

What needs to be improved

  • This cooler is heavy!  You need a friend to pick up a fully-loaded cooler into your car or risk hurting your back.
  • Make the display a bit more accurate when showing the temperature.  It is optimistic.

Final thoughts

We will continue to use the BODEGAcooler T50 Dual Zone 53 Quart/50L 12V portable freezer around our pool area.  I will be careful to make sure it is always in shade.  I will also have to set the temperature to be below freezing if we want ice-cold drinks.   If you were to use this as a dual-zone cooler, I think it will do really well.  I also think it will do well for car trips to places like Costco that are 15 miles away, and the outside temperature is in triple digits.

Price: $449.99
Where to buy: BODEGAcooler and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by BODEGAcooler.

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