Having written tech reviews for over 5 years, I can honestly say not much blows me away anymore. Some of the things I get the chance to assess tend to be more of the same, or just slight improvements over the same product, made by different brands.
That all changed the very moment I took delivery of the EcoFlow Glacier; I was floored by how cool (pun intended) and how good this portable fridge-freezer is.
I’ve reviewed a couple of different coolers / fridges on the blog and they all have great individual use-cases. But frankly, the EcoFlow Glacier blows them all out of the water.
So, without further ado, let’s get into my EcoFlow Glacier review and find out just how good this thing is.
EcoFlow Glacier Review
First up, my first impressions.
I was initially expecting something similar in size to the Aplicool G22. I think I’d assumed they’d be similar, because EcoFlow had reached out to me on the back of publishing the G22 Review and asked if I’d be interested in writing about the Glacier.
I was really surprised then, at just how big this thing is! It’s huge and this is in part thanks to the large compressor, battery compartment and ice machine components that make up the EcoFlow Glacier.
Opening up the brown cardboard box I was greeted with a stunning looking fridge / freezer. The dark grey, almost black main body of the unit, paired with the subtle silvery grey accents make this not only functional, it looks good too.
Removing it from the box was a bit of a chore; it’s very heavy and really well packaged, so do keep that in mind. Bend those knees when lifting, you don’t want to hurt your back!
Speaking of packaging, thankfully there isn’t much in the way of excess single use plastic. What is used is needed and I’m not sure any improvements or reduction in overall plastic mass could be achieved. The Glacier features a compressor which contains gas, so it needs to be well protected.
The included cables are really good quality too, this should help with plastic waste reduction, as by my reckoning, they should last the lifetime of the Glacier it’s self, so you won’t have to purchase replacements and chuck the old ones away.
Everything companies can do to keep plastic out of landfill is a step in the right direction to becoming more planet friendly.
EcoFlow also kindly sent me the wheel kit and battery. I’ll review it as a single unit, but these are sold separately I believe.
EcoFlow Glacier Review: Build Quality
I’ve been reviewing EcoFlow products for a while now, one thing that always stands out is their exceptional build quality. The Glacier is no different. The unit I received was likely one of the first off of the production line and it’s simply sublime.
Looking at it ‘head’ on, you’ve got carrying handles either side of the unit; which I guess, is EcoFlow’s way of making it portable. But, to be completely honest, it’s only just portable, it’s really rather heavy and that’s when it’s bereft of food and drink.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to weigh it. I’ll update the review when I’ve had the chance to either ask an EcoFlow rep or when they update their website with the info.
For British and European sized cars it’s probably slightly too big to take with you for a weekend of camping. It measures 78cm x 36.5xm x 43cm. It’ll take up a bit too much room in the boot / trunk.
But, there isn’t any vents on the top of it, so if space in your boot / trunk is an issue, you can pile stuff on top of it, without causing any problems to the performance or functionality of the Glacier.
For extended trips with lots of people (in those same British or European cars) it’s perfect because you can share the load between a couple of cars.
It’s an ideal size for a bunch of people because it can fit quite a lot of food and drink inside. You’ll also be the most popular person in the group, once they realise you’ve got an ice maker! It’ll make those evening drinks taste all the better.
The handles are strong and are anchored to the body of the Glacier with precision and super strong fixings. I tried to bend and flex the handles, to no avail.
Speaking of strength, I wanted to see how tough the plastic is on the rest of the unit. So, I grabbed my camping knife and ran the sharp edge down the side of the fridge.
It didn’t leave a deep scratch, only a feint line is visible, but only if you know it’s there. I’ve performed this test countless times and it’s a good display of quality, in my opinion.
At the front face of the unit on the right hand side you’ll find the recessed EcoFlow logo. I like the subtlety of it. It doesn’t distract from the simplicity and beauty of the design.
There’s also a high polished chrome looking EcoFlow initials logo on the top which looks stunning and is in no way subtle.
At the top edge of the front you’ve got the function buttons. They offer a lovely audible sound on button press, aswell as great tactile feedback. The buttons allow you to cycle through eco or max modes and also adjust the temperature in both zones of the Glacier.
Through these controls, you’re also able to adjust which system of measurement you use, for me I selected Celsius, but you can opt for Fahrenheit, which is more suited to people in the US.
There’s also the buttons to control the ice maker, more on that further down.
Just slightly further up from that, you’ve got the display screen, which is brilliant. It’s wonderfully bright, even in direct sunlight, and contains all the information about your Fridge-Freezer you’ll ever need to know. Current temperature, available battery power, charging method, charging indicator etc.
The screen doesn’t have a layer of protection though, so avoid touching it or you may end up damaging the LCD.
I would prefer to know what the current solar input is on the LCD screen. But, perhaps that could be a future addition to the smart phone app instead?
Above the screen you’ve got the ICE maker. It’s something I’ve not seen in this form before. The G22 by Alpicool has an ice cube tray, but the Glacier features an actual ICE maker. It’s simple, but really efficient and will make ice in the claimed 12 minute time frame- I timed it!
I would be careful about leaving water in the ICE machine when it’s not in use though, the metal pointy bits that make the ice don’t look like they’re made of stainless steel.
I’d be worried about corrosion in the long term. To aid this, EcoFlow have added a drain plug on the left hand side, behind a plastic door. It’s a silicon tube that you just un-clip and the water will drain away.
The only thing about the ice maker I dislike is the lid; it feels a bit weaker in terms of quality than the rest of the plastic used throughout the unit. But, that’s probably because it’s see through, it allows you to see in real time the ice being made.
And because it’s see-through, there isn’t the same re-enforced plastic as there is in use on the rest of the Glacier.
To help you retrieve the ice from the machine, there’s a an included tray which is also built to the extremely high quality standard as the rest of the Glacier; you can remove it and use the included scoop to push it into a bag or direct into your drinks.
I’ve added a section below that details how to use the ice maker on the EcoFlow Glacier, there’s also a short demo video.
How To Use The EcoFlow Glacier Ice Maker
Despite looking quite complicated, the integrated ice maker is really simple to use. Follow these steps:
- Open the ice maker lid using the silver push button.
- Pour clean, cold water to above the minimum fill line.
- Push power button to ‘wake’ the Glacier screen.
- Push ice button once for small or twice for large.
- Wait until the timer completes.
- Push ice release button.
- Wait 30 seconds.
- Remove ice basket.
- Once you have finished, drain water using the silicon tube.
The main compartment is accessed via a hinged lid at the top. The top it’s self, has a wonderful non slip surface, which is strong enough for an adult to sit on. It’s probably strong enough to stand on, should you need to reach somewhere and don’t have a step with you. But, please do so at your own risk!
It’s got a strong hinge, to prevent damage from over extending it. The main lid isn’t the best in terms of insulation, but that’s a trade off for having the underside of the lid as a storage compartment for the zone separator panel.
The main compartment can be used as single or dual zone. To activate dual zone, you simply need to remove the panel in the middle and the unit automatically adjusts the settings to activate single zone cooling or freezing, depending on your desired temperature.
You can stow the separator panel on the underside of the lid, which is a nice touch. But, it does reduce overall insulation levels as mentioned above.
I also feel that the rubber seal around the lid is a bit too thin, I’d have liked to see that be thicker and a bit more robust. This would help offer greater levels of insulation as I feel the compressor kicks in more often than it should, when the Glacier is in a warmer than ambient temperature position, a conservatory for example.
This shouldn’t be too much of a worry when camping though, set it up under a tarp to keep it out of direct sunlight and it should remain at a steady temperature throughout the day.
Inside the main compartment is a basket to separate your food, which is removable. There’s also two LED lights which’ll help you find your way to your favourite snacks on your midnight feast missions. The LED lights are bright enough to help you see, but are not excessively so.
At the bottom there’s a drainage plug, which’ll help you defrost the Glacier and empty any spillages. It also makes cleaning it a breeze, simply spray with a natural based cleaner, wipe and then rinse away.
Power & Re-Charging
You can charge the fridge in a number of different ways; via mains power, EcoFlow Solar Panel or 12v DC charging. I made use of the DC port to charge it using the River 2. My specific charging set-up was as follows:
- EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel to EcoFlow River 2.
- EcoFlow River 2 to EcoFlow Glacier via 12v DC.
When it’s charging it draws around 100w from the River 2, but I have seen it fluctuate between 70w and 106w, depending on if the compressor has kicked in. It should re-charge the fridge battery in a little over 2 hours, I haven’t timed it though, I forgot!
The charging port is covered by rubber, which helps prevent sand, dust and dirt ingress. The port does offer a little bit of inward flex when inserting your power connector of choice. I’m not sure if this will be a failure point at some stage in the future, only time will tell. It doesn’t creak or make any concerning noises, but it’s worth noting.
Feet, Wheels & Handles
The feet at the bottom of the Glacier are super grippy and because of the unit’s heft, it’s not going to budge regardless of the surface you choose to position it on.
The wheels are great, as is the telescopic handle. The position of the handle is a little awkward to use, but it has to be that way by design. It folds back and is stowed sort of flush, to keep out of the way.
I’d happily trade a bit of awkwardness of position to keep the handle out of the way when you’re not using it.
It is quite easy to attach the telescopic handle upside down, so do keep this in mind when you’re putting it together, or the handle will be in an even more awkward position!
The extendable handle feels extremely solid. I’d be comfortable dragging it across a bunch of different terrains, such as; grass, gravel or tarmac / asphalt without worrying about it damaging the wheels or handle.
To call the Glacier a “cooler” might be a bit disrespectful. It’s so much more than your bog standard cooler. Don’t get me wrong, coolers are awesome, something like the YETI Roadie 24 is outstanding. But this- this is in a league all of it’s own.
I kept the Glacier in my conservatory, which gets up to around 30 Degrees Celsius when the sun is shining. It was able to maintain the internal temperature of -25 Degrees Celsius, which is quite frankly, amazing.
Now, before I get into a more detailed overview of the performance. I just want to go out there and tell you, this thing performs remarkably.
It comes with a 298wh battery that keeps the contents at your desired temperature without the need for ice packs or being plugged into external or shore power.
Not only does it not need ice, but, as I mentioned above it makes it, too! EcoFlow’s claim of 12 minutes for the integrated ice maker to work it’s magic is accurate. It really is amazing to have ice available within minutes, rather than hours. You can even select what size ice cubes you’d like!
EcoFlow asked me to review this at the perfect time for me. I’ve been working on my overall health and fitness, which has led me to purchase some pre-made, high protein, low calorie meals from a company called Musclefood.
I didn’t have any extra space in my home freezer to store the Musclefood food, so I’ve been using the Glacier as a secondary freezer. And it’s performance is exceptional.
Before I took delivery of the frozen food I powered on the EcoFlow Glacier and set the temperature to -18 degrees Celsius.
I didn’t actually time this next stage of my testing, so it’s a bit of a guess. But, I recon it went from ambient temperature down to the desired -18 in less than 30 minutes.
I wanted to test how quickly I’d burn through the battery whilst being sort of trickle charged by the solar input. It was an over cast day, so I wasn’t expecting miracles. I went ahead and plugged in the EcoFlow 110w Solar Panel and it began re-charging.
The app suggested that whilst the compressor wasn’t engaged, it’d last 4 days! And that was with a fairly low solar input of just 35 watts, which is really really impressive.
Once the compressor kicked in, it’d run out of juice in as little as 5 hours. The benefit of a compressor fridge/freezer, is that it isn’t ‘always on’. This means you’ll get between 2 and 5 days use out of the battery and solar. Depending on solar input etc.
Plug it in to mains power and it works just like a household appliance you’d have in your kitchen. It does have quite a poor energy performance certificate rating of ‘F’ though. In my opinion, it’s best paired with an EcoFlow solar panel to get the most efficient energy use out of it.
And, with enough solar input you can essentially charge it for free.
How Much & Where To Buy
For the quality of the unit I think it’s a fairly modest price, but it is what I would describe as a luxury purchase. At just over £1000 / $1000 for the base model (without battery), it’s fairly expensive, but then again you are paying for quality. You know how the old saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice.
Here’s how the different pricing structures stack up:
|Glacier + battery||£1,249|
EcoFlow Glacier will be available for purchase from April 26. Once it’s available you can check it out using one of the buttons, below.
EcoFlow Glacier Review Summary
Wow, what a fantastic portable fridge freezer the EcoFlow Glacier is! It’s a complete luxury item. I don’t think I can ever go back to the Alpicool, unless I’m trying to pack light and space in my trunk is at a minimum. It delivers such amazing performance in terms of functionality that there is really very little I dislike about it.
It performs it’s primary function so well, that you could pretty much replace your home appliance with it.
It simply has to be a 10/10. I do think it’s better suited to US and Canadian markets. Vehicles tend to be bigger than European ones. Don’t let that put you off though, it’s well worth getting if you can squeeze it and your camping gear in the boot / trunk. It’ll make those extended camping trips much much better!
You can also use it for summer garden parties, it’s perfect for putting it in the garden and allowing your guests to help themselves to ice cold drinks or ice creams!
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