Now that summer is nearly upon us here in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to shift our thoughts to beaches, BBQs, picnics. It’s a tradition that as soon as the sun starts feeling like it’s a bit too close that we all congregate outside to enjoy the non-cold weather as much as possible before Old-Man Winter comes back.
But all this outdoor recreation poses a time-honored problem – how does one keep all of the snacks and drinks cold when we are among the great outdoors? Normally it means a stop at either a grocery or convenience store to purchase a multi-pound bag of ice, or telling someone else to bring the ice on their way. GoSun believes that there’s a better and drier way to keep picnic and BBQ items cool. Enter, the GoSun Chill.
Outdoor tech has seen quite a boom in the last few years. What was once just bringing out folding chairs, a small grill, and some coozies has turned into ruggedized and waterproof speakers, chairs that can automatically recline, and grilling experience that’s closer to stating at home in your fully stocked kitchen.
Now GoSun has launched, albeit on Indiegogo, their take on how to make outdoor recreation a bit easier. The Chill is a liquidless cooler that runs off either a 30w solar array, an included li-on battery, or AC wall outlet and DC in a vehicle. There’s also a 60w solar array built into a sold separately table.
It’s easier to think of the Chill less like a cooler used for picnics and more like a mini fridge on wheels. The idea of how the Chill works is much closer to a fridge with a condenser and evaporator coil wrapped around an insulated cavity.
Temps within the Chill can range quite a bit, from 50°F (10°C) down to a freezing 20F (-5C), which is cold enough to make ice. I was wondering if it can get to those kinds of low temps, how long does it take for water to freeze and where is the ice coming from? Ice trays? The temperature will directly affect how long the battery pack lasts as it takes more energy to keep temps lower. At best, GoSun is claiming the battery will keep the interior of the Chill at 50 for 14 hours and 3 hours at 20F in 80F ambient temps.
It wouldn’t be a proper tech gadget if the included battery didn’t power everything else. The power bank has three USB ports to charge phones and 15A DC to power other devices.
This is a crowdfunding product, so use your best judgment when it comes to backing the Chill or not. As of writing, there are 9 days left in the campaign and funding has reached over 3500% of the goal, so it seems like people really want to be able to take their beverages to the beach without having to lug around soggy bags of ice. The lowest backing option will net you the Chill and Powerbank battery and will set you back a quintet of Benjamins. Adding the smaller solar panel will add another $100 and the larger solar table is an extra $150.
If you’re interested, the campaign can be viewed here – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gosun-chill-a-solar-cooler-that-doesn-t-need-ice