Gear Spotlight, Dometic CFX 35W —  You don’t need ice to make this cooler work

Gear Spotlight, Dometic CFX 35W —  You don’t need ice to make this cooler work

Welcome to another installment of Gear Spotlight, from FREESKIER. Here, we provide a close-up look at the gear and accessories that everyone should know about. The goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains (or in this case, the desert, or wherever) as possible. Read up on Dometic’s CFX 35W, below, then visit us again tomorrow for more awesome gear coverage.


The portable, decidedly badass Dometic CFX 35W can refrigerate or deep-freeze down to -7°F without the need for ice; it stores up to 47 cans of your favorite beer; boasts WiFi capabilities and is reinforced to withstand all of your road-trippin’ abuse. How’s that for a dream cooler?

First things first, though: It’s not a “cooler.” It’s a full on refridgerator. And I say “dream” because frankly, this thing ain’t cheap: The MSRP is listed at $799.99, though it’s available online for sub $600. A price tag like that makes this a practical option for only the most dedicated road warriors. Alas, we know that there are plenty of you out there, so, read on!

For all of your road-trippin’ needs…

For folks who spend considerable time car camping, RV-trekking, etc., it’s no secret that constantly draining melt water from a cooler and searching for ice machines via the nearest gas station or supermarket can be a day-breaking experience, or just flat-out impossible when you’re deep in the backcountry. Dometic’s products alleviate these stresses while providing some mighty impressive features, to boot.

The low-down

The Dometic CFX 35W, in particular, boasts a Waco compressor that is powered by either 120 AC or 12-volt DC inputs. Regardless of the exterior temperature, the CFX 35W serves up quiet, quick cooling, all the way down to -7°F, as aforementioned. Its amperage pull (read: power draw) is quite low, especially once it’s cooled down; the draw fluctuates depending on how hot or cold it is. Be warned, the CFX 35W could potentially deplete your car battery if used extensively and irresponsibly. Your car’s battery should power the CFX 35W for up to 24 hours and if/when you push the limits, the unit is equipped with a low-voltage safety shutoff to prevent you from getting stranded way out in the boondocks. We have yet to test the CFX 35W using stored solar power, though word on the street is that the product excels in this scenario, as well. Together, the CFX 35W and solar-powered rigs have been referred to as the “pinnacle of car-camping progression.”

This bad boy is far superior to the standard 12 volt refrigerators you might find at Wal-Mart; those ol’ things only cool to 40 degrees below the ambient temperature, which is hardly enough to keep meat, dairy, etc. at safe temperatures when you’re driving around places like Moab, UT in the heart of the summer. The CFX 35W cools down from room temperature to approximately 20°F in less than half an hour and maintains its set temperature very well while powered by AC.

The CFX 35W is just 16.2 (H) x 27.2 (W) x 15.7 (D) inches in size, it weighs under 40 pounds and features folding handles for simple carrying and tie-down, making the package easily portable. Moreover, its internal capacity of 1.1 cu. ft. seems gargantuan when compared to coolers of similar size (mostly ‘cause with those other coolers, the ice needed to chill your food and bevies will suck up half the space in an instant). The CFX 35W accommodates two-liter soda bottles in the upright position, and more importantly, bottles of wine, too. An included, removable wire basket with a divider helps to keep your belongings tidy.

More to love

Thanks to a free iOS and Android app, you can control and monitor the CFX 35W’s internal temperature remotely. It’s even possible to receive alerts if the lid is not properly closed, or if the temp strays from your desired target. Of course, the digital, easy-to-use touch display is equally nifty.

Construction elements including reinforced corners, stainless steel hinges and a robust lid lining ensure a long-term return on your investment. Additionally, finer details like interior lighting (which functions even when the fridge is not powered) provide some flair and convenience to round out the package.

The Dometic CFX 35W: Best friend to road warriors the world over.

All told

For those who frequently camp out of their vehicles, the CFX 35W provides serious convenience in a sleek package. Heck, it might even pay for itself in the cost of ice over the course of a year: A 20-pound bag can run you $6.99, easy. There’s no more blood-stained water to contend with when the steak package leaks, and there’s no more hunting for ice when you’d rather be hunting for worthy mountain biking trails. If you’re anything like us, you’ll likely start using the product for many of your closer-to-home adventures, too, from keeping drinks and snacks chilled while you’re crushing a day hike to simply keeping a six-pack nice n’ frosty while driving to a dinner party. Inevitably, you’ll be the talk of the dinner party, too, when you show off your new toy. As Dometic says, this thing is “beyond cool.”

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