First Look – Indel B 51 Fridge/Freezer
Recently I decided to upgrade my ARB 37 Quart fridge to an Indel B 51. The fridge was purchased through Equipt Expedition Outfitters. The goal was to get a bit more storage capacity while trying to not break the bank. Paul at Equipt Expedition Outfitters has done a thorough review. Here are my quick thoughts after taking the fridge on a 4 day trip.
ARB 37 - wider and slightly longer - Indel B 51 taller and skinnier.
The size difference allows me to carry more beverages (beer!) with the same amount of food. I upgraded so I could eliminate carrying a separate cooler for beverages.
I like to use storage tubs to keep things organized and the fridge clean. However if items need to be kept frozen I recommend only keeping them in a ziploc bag. At 28 degrees bottles of water were frozen but my "keep frozen" items thawed inside of a food container. The good thing about using a container is it can keep things like sandwich meat and cheese from freezing with the fridge set at 32 degrees or colder. I stack with frozen items on the bottom, beverages in the middle and deli items on top. Keeping items in tubs and baskets makes it easy to remove as required to get to the food on the bottom of the fridge. I took the wire basket with me to the Container Store so I could find containers which would fit as most efficiently as possible.
- Price point: $300+ less than the ARB 50qt.
- Deep dairy shelf can hold milk and juice containers. Neither the ARB 37 or 50 can do this. But a carton of a dozen eggs will not fit. I was typically freezing juice because it had to be in the main compartment to fit.
- Budget cover available for $40.00 from SmittyBilt. It requires a minor DIY modification to see the controls.
- Controls on back
- Latch handle and hinge less rugged. Lid is not removable like the ARB line
- Battery saving mode is not conservative enough. If you are running of off your vehicle battery be sure to carry a cheap volt meter to check the status of your battery of the engine has not run in the past 12-24 hours. High setting on the ARB cuts the fridge off at 11.8 volts. High on the Indel B cuts off at 11.1. Good luck starting your battery if it is at 11.1 volts.
- Power chord connectors are too close to each other. It makes having the 12 volt plug and AC plug connected at the same time difficult.
- No drain plug like the ARB models
Indel B 51 - Exterior Dimensions: 13 ¾"W x 20 ½"H x 23"L
ARB 37 - Exterior Dimensions: 14.96"Wx16.85"Hx27.75"L
In summary I think the Indel B fridge is an excellent value. As long as you handle it with care, as you should with any fridge, it should have years of reliable use. Be sure to pre-cool the fridge before putting food items in. Both manufacturers use the same compressor. I can now easily hold extra beverages without the need for an additional cooler.