Engel MR40F Eclipse Review

engel mr40f eclipse 38L 40L portable fridgeEngel has been a household name when it comes to portable fridges for decades, and is one of the leading manufacturers in the portable fridge industry. And while Engel's products are renowned for their quality and reliability, they also often carry a price tag to match, which can make or break the decision for many on whether or not to take the plunge.

Luckily, Engel have come to the party with a cheaper alternative in the MR40F Eclipse that not only packs all the Engel goodness into a slick 40L package, but does so without breaking the bank.

To fit into the lower price point, Engel have made a few changes to their tried-and-true formula. The Eclipse's case and lid features a polypropylene construction; a durable, hardy plastic as opposed to the heavy, more solid steel cases of their Platinum series. There's some sacrifice in durability and longevity here, but it also means the Eclipse is quite light for it's size at 22kg.

Handles on the MR40F are plastic also, though they are arguably more comfortable than the steel handles on the Platinum series when it comes to moving the unit around, and feel nice and sturdy. Some corners have been cut when looking at the lid latches however, which are plastic also, and could be prone to snapping if rough-housed too much. Engel do sell replacement latches separately should the need arise.

In a handy little feature, the fridge features a removable and reversible lid, allowing you to hinge it from whichever side you prefer.

Inside, though, you won't find a cheaper no-name branded compressor, but Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor - the very same compressor used in their more expensive lines. With only a single moving part, which minimizes the chance of fault and increases the lifespan of the unit, the inclusion of the Sawafuji almost makes the MR40F Eclipse worth the price of entry alone.

The Eclipse also features the dual 12/24v and 240v sockets found in it's flashier cousins, and comes with both cables in the box. Remarkably, the fridge is also backed by Engel's 3 Year Warranty, giving you the same peace of mind that comes with buying a more expensive Engel product.

Controls on the MR40F still hold to the old-school dial based system with a digital display, rather than making the leap to the fully digital features of the more expensive MT Platinum fridges. It's a feature that is sorely missed after experiencing the ease of use the Digital Series' affords, though they are still perfectly functional, and for the price, you can understand the reason for the exclusion.

Whilst not being the flashiest unit at the party, and with some sacrifices being made to lower the price, the Engel MR40F Eclipse nonetheless impressively contains all the quality and reliability you've come to expect from Engel. And at under $800 for an Engel-made 40L unit, it makes the perfect entry point for those looking to get the Engel name and reliability at an affordable price.

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