CleanTechnica Tested: GoSun Chillest Review

GoSun has been tapping into the power of the sun to sustainably power our lives for years, starting with their solar thermal-powered oven. They have expanded their lineup significantly in recent years, building a complementary kit of gear to enable a whole host of off-grid adventures.

Disclaimer: GoSun sent us the Chillest free of charge for the purposes of this review.

They sent us the GoSun Chillest – a full-sized 45 liter electric cooler that comes with an integrated battery. Imagine rolling out to a day at the beach or park with your family and food and not having to stop at the store for ice. You whip out your cooler full of food and drinks and plug it into a solar panel and just like that, your food will stay cold or essentially frozen forever.

The temperature is adjustable from -4F to 68F (-20C to 20C) so you can choose whether you want your drinks cold or completely frozen, depending on what you’re doing. It has a little LCD display to tell you what’s going on and a few buttons to change things around. In my experience, it’s just enough to let you do what you need to do without overcomplicating things.

A clean LCD interface is easy to read and includes a USB port for charging devices. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

In addition to the solar, you can also plug it in at home to a standard AC outlet or even a 12 volt automotive outlet using the included adapters. For folks in an RV or similar off-grid setup, the Chillest can also run on 24 volt power or directly off of a portable power station.

To enable even greater freedom, GoSun built an 87 Wh battery right into the cooler. That enables you to charge the cooler up when the sun is shining and keep everything cold overnight, running off the onboard battery. The Chillest can run off of the internal battery for 40 hours without charging, making it idea for day trips. Its ability to recharge off the sun or from a vehicle lets you get creative and keep adventuring for even longer without having to sacrifice the comforts of home.

The integrated battery on the GoSun Chillest is removable. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

This family-sized cooler looks a lot like a typical cooler, but it’s a bit on the hefty side when it comes time to lift it thanks to the onboard refrigeration gear. It tips the scales at 42 pounds and comes equipped with a pair of chunky wheels built to handle it. You’ll definitely notice the extra weight when it’s full, but the wheels take the brunt of the weight when moving it around on firm surfaces.

The included, padded handle makes it super comfortable and easy to move it around, while the integrated gear pocket is the perfect place to store charging cables, clips, and the included bungie cords. The Chillest clearly wants to be the life of the party, with an integrated bottle opener and gear tie down points that let you quickly and easily strap on a beach blanket, bag of chips, or a small child.

Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

I took the Chillest on a handful of adventures and found that with the included extendable handle, it takes up quite a bit of room in the car, at 28″ x 17″ x 20.5″. For ease of packing, I found that it was also helpful that the handle can be removed with just a few screws. Don’t get me wrong, it adds a ton of functionality, but it is nice to have the option to remove it if needed.

As my first portable refrigerator, I played with a few different use cases. I loved being able to plug it in at home and load it up over the course of a day without having to worry about whether or not I had ice in it. In fact, you can actually make ice in it if needed. After getting it loaded, it was really handy to run it off of the integrated, removable battery while in the car. You can also plug it in with the 12v adapter which is great for longer road trips.

The GoSun Chillest retails for $899 but as of this writing, it’s on sale on GoSun’s site for $699. GoSun also makes a smaller, lighter 40 liter electric cooler, dubbed the Chill, which retails for $699 (currently on sale for $499). Head on over to their site to check these new offerings out and see what type of new adventures they might enable in your life.


 

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