The Best Man Cave Refrigerator and Beverage Cooler for your Man Cave!
May 23, 2018
You’re finally home from a tough day at work. You sit down in your recliner, a little worse for wear, but ready to relax. The man cave boasts a full-fledged entertainment system, state-of-the-art lighting and surround sound, a pool table, decor galore, a bookshelf of your favorite reads, and…yet…something is missing. As you ponder what it could be, you reach over to your side table for your drink…and grasp at air. That’s right, the thing missing in this scenario is a nice, cold drink. Close to icy, but not quite frosted. You could get up, wander to your kitchen fridge, grab a chilled drink, and come all the way back. However, after a long day of work, that’s not high on your list of things to do. You sit there, drinkless, miserable, and tune into whatever’s on television. Don’t let this be you. Get a man cave refrigerator.
Why You Need a Fridge in Your Man Cave?
Keeping a cooler in the man cave gives you instant access to any drinks you need. You can keep a variety on hand for yourself or guests. When you sit down in your chair, the drink will still be chilly to the touch. When you have guests hanging out, all they need to do is reach over and help themselves. A cooler also gives the room a finishing touch. With the fridge, your plance goes above and beyond a man cave. It becomes a mantuary. Of course, convenience aside, there are reasons to plan your room around a fridge.
For anyone hosting a bar in their man cave, the fridge holds utmost importance. You use it to hold your drinks at a certain temperature, ensuring you and your guests enjoy a refreshing beer when needed. On top of the whole comfort aspect of drink temperature, certain temperatures also improve the tastes of wines! Even for us sober folk, the fridge holds our most precious belongings: snacks. Lots of them. This post helps you learn to incorporate a fridge into your man cave with ease. It also gives you tips on which man cave refrigerators match your needs!
Works Best In: All Man Caves Can Capacity: 62 Size: Medium Cost: Average
Let’s start with the essentials—what you want out of your man cave refrigerator. The coldest beer fridge keeps your drinks nice and frosty, but a larger beer bottle fridge may better accommodate your needs. Something that fits all kinds of food also needs larger storage compartments. Furthermore, not every fridge design fits in with the theme of your man cave. These fridges represent some of the more basic man cave refrigerator ideas—feel free to branch out from these!
It’s only natural to put the best product on the list first! Whenever someone asks me about a reliable refrigerator or cooler, I point them this way. This cooler stands a little over three feet tall and fits 120 cans, which doesn’t quite top the list in that regard. It’s small, but not quite compact, so it ranks about ‘medium’ in that aspect as well (even if the Amazon description calls it large). What on earth causes it to stand out from the others, if not that? Well, there are far more features to a cooler than just size and capacity! Here are my favorite features to start with, but I’m sure there are plenty I’m forgetting.
First, it’s larger on the inside. And no, I’m not talking about some sort of Dr. Who portal—I’m talking about the proportion of usable space compared to overall size of the cooler. The cooler does its work so effectively that it allows for a higher concentration of cans in the same space. Efficiency is key whenever you want to build a man cave, but the benefits don’t stop there.
The temperature control is incredibly reliable. For me, this is the most important part of a cooler. I don’t care if it can hold 20 or 200 cans, if it can’t cool to the correct temperature, then what’s the point of having it? This chills it all the way down to 34*F—just cold enough to prevent the top from freezing into that uncomfortable ice cover. I like my beer cool, but liquid, thank you very much. In the event frost does get out of hand on the sides of the cooler, there’s an automatic defrosting function. All-in-all, this is the best cooler on the list. If you want a cooler that does everything you need at a small size, grab one of these. Anyone who needs a bunch of finely chilled beverages at once (read: every man on the planet) benefits from this beautiful contraption.
Advanced Temperature Controls
240W Heavy Duty Vertical Chiller
87” W x 33.25” H x 12” D (External Size)
Holds up to 120 Cans
For its size, fits a lot.
Keeps everything very cool.
Medium-sized, fits in many places.
Top shelf will sometimes be warmer than bottom shelf.
Think you have no space for a cooler? Think again. This is the best mini fridge on the market. If you’re limited on space (perhaps you have one of those small mancaves I wrote about), then a man cage refrigerator like this will fit in perfectly. You can put it underneath a side table, on top of a desk, close to your entertainment system, or hidden in a cabinet. As long as it has ventilation and a power supply, you’re set! It is less than two feet squared, so you’d be hard-pressed to find a place it doesn’t fit. It also only weighs 40 lbs. by itself, so shipping on it is actually free.
You might assume that it’s lacking in the capacity department, but don’t let its small size fool you. It can hold up to 62 regular cans, 51 slim cans, and 40 tall cans. You can decide which way your fridge swings open—an absolute must for any southpaws looking for a fridge. For the same reason, it’s simple to clean when the inevitable spill happens. It has a wide temperature range, going from the high 30s to mid 50s. The cooling system is also pressure-based, which makes cooling a quick and easy process. The door has double-paned glass, which keeps in the cool air while letting you keep a visual inventory from across the room. Hey, it’s important to keep stocked up! It takes about 115 Volts (85 Watts) to power, so keep that in mind when you make your setup.
Manual Temperature Control
Reversible glass door
115 Volt/60 Hertz/85 Watt/1.3 Amp Power Usage
20” H x 17” W x 18 ½” D (External Size)
Fits Tall Cans
Large Temperature Range
Fits 62 Cans (a lot for its size)
Does not go close to freezing (upper 30s instead of lower 30s)
Now that you know the best mini-fridge, perhaps you want to know the best large drink cooler. This fits the most cans out of everything on this list at a whopping 154 cans. This big beverage fridge fits in everything you need. Granted, you have to put some of them on their sides on the lower shelf, but it’s a necessary action to make sure your kitchen is well stocked. Along with its excellent capacity, the Kalamera cooler looks sleek and stylish. Granted, you don’t need the stuff in your man cave to look cutting-edge, but modern furniture can sneak into almost any theme. It has blue LED lighting to help you find it even when you’re watching movies, playing games, or hanging out while the lights are dim.
Perhaps one of the best features about this man cave refrigerator is its volume level. It barely whirs, only gives out slight vibrations, and overall has minimal impact on your man cave. Since your room will likely have all kinds of ‘noisy’ gadgets (mostly in the form of cooling fans or speakers), it’s good to cut down white noise by any amount. The advanced compressor keeps it so quiet while creating a low-temperature environment for your drinks.
Alongside its volume level, the cooler ‘remembers’ your last temperature setting. In the event of a power outage, it quickly cools back to the level you set. This keeps your wine from getting too cold and your beer from warming up at the worst times. The last function worth mentioning is its five shelves. You can adjust the shelves as needed to hold an assortment of drinks. A few even have a barrier to help prevent spills. Thanks to this, the amount of thought put into this is amazing and shows in the modern design.
In most situations, you need your man cave refrigerator to have lots of airflow. That’s where this Built-in Stainless Steel cooler shines. It’s lifted slightly above the ground to give it better ventilation. As the name implies, you can build it right into a cabinet without worrying about ventilation. To go along with its careful attention to air flow, the interior circulation is controlled by a fan. That means your top shelf won’t taste warm and your bottom shelf won’t freeze. It’s an excellent solution when you need a good cooler, but want to shut it away when it’s not in use.
You can also reverse the door to help it fit with the room. The whole purpose of this is to tailor the fridge to your man cave, rather than build the cave around your cooler. It’s fine to plan the fridge for rooms that focus on drinks, such as an at-home bar. However, the fridge should not determine your room layout in other situations. This particular fridge is meant to be hidden away. The door is solid stainless steel, as opposed to a window, to further insulate the drinks. It isn’t as aesthetic, but it’s a fridge that’s not meant to be seen.
As with all modern coolers, you control it via an electronic input panel. The interior even has a blue LED light. With these two aspects combined, the parts that someone does happen to see look neat and fit most room themes. With glass shelves and a capacity for a whopping 142 cans, the interior of this fridge makes a good first impression to all of your guests. If you want a built-in fridge, this is the one to grab!
The last one on this list is the budget option. I had something similar in college, and it served its purpose well. If you need something for a small room that’s affordable, then this is where you want to store your stuff. The top right section serves as a mini-freezer—or, at least, a place to stuff your hot pockets. The rest can cool whatever you need chilly. This is technically a fridge and not built to house drinks specifically. However, you won’t find a more affordable option than this one, so consider it carefully! It still has manual temperature control that cools it down between 30*F and 40*F. You can fit at least 50 cans into this little thing (even more, if you’re fine with freezing a couple).
So, in what situation would you grab this fridge? It’s not the smallest, nor did it leave the best overall impression on me compared to other coolers. The answer is pretty simple…budget. All man caves need a place to store snacks and drinks. Even if you don’t plan on having a bar, you need somewhere to grab a quick cold one or keep your emergency munchies. That means that, no matter your budget, a fridge needs to go on your list.
So, what’s a man with a tight budget to do? Go for this one, of course. Beggars can’t be choosers, but beggars can still spend smart. This fridge isn’t advertised as being good for cooling drinks. It doesn’t have specialized shelves or a precise electronic temperature control. Even so, the temperature hits the perfect range for cool drinks. You can store an assortment of cans—up to 50, if you really pack them in there. It’s also medium-sized, which means you can fit it into all sorts of man cave designs. This fridge serves as a well-rounded addition to any budget man cave!
Fits about 50 Cans
1 W x 18.6 D x 19.4 H (external dimensions)
115 Volt Power Usage
Reversible Door Hinges
Stainless Steel and Iron Construction
Can also hold food.
Shelves built into door
Sturdy and durable
Highly affordable (good for all budgets)
Meant as a general fridge, not a drink cooler
Now that you’ve read (or at least skimmed) through my reviews, are you having trouble picking which one works for you? Here’s a buyer’s guide to help you learn which features you need most. First, think about its affordability. Never purchase a cooler beyond your means. This is the number one priority when purchasing anything. Next, consider its size. This is even more important than capacity, since you need it to fit in your man cave in order to use it. Figure out your size range before you make your purchase.
After that, there’s capacity. You want that to be as high as possible given your size and budget limitations. The next three features are a matter of preference. Check how loud a fridge is. If you aren’t bothered by the normal noises of a fridge, then you don’t need to worry about a cooler’s noise. Next, check out its appearance. Since only a few coolers have customization options, pay close attention to the options. My favorite fridge on this list (the Edgestar Build-in one) has no glass window, which means I recommend other fridges more often. Lastly, see if it has an interior light. If I didn’t mention one in my review, it’s because it doesn’t have one. This one is easy to circumvent, though. Setting up a light in your own cooler only takes cheap materials and a little time watching Youtube tutorials.
Have any questions after that? Don’t worry, I have you covered.
Here is a quick list of common questions concerning coolers. If you don’t see your question on this list, feel free to drop a line in the comment section. I’m always ready to answer any question (as long as I know the answer, at least).
Can I keep food in my coolers?
Except for the last cooler I reviewed, none of these coolers can accommodate food. The temperatures are correct for storing stuff, but there is no proper airflow. These are built to chill sealed things with no reason for air exposure. With no ventilation, the food inside can mold or become stale faster than they would in a fridge. It’s better than open air if you’re in a pinch, but still not a good place to permanently store perishables.
Can these coolers be used outside?
None of these coolers are built to be used outside. If you cover up the man cave refrigerator with a tarp, unplug it when not in use, and keep the plugs wrapped up with the fridge, then your fridge should be safe from the elements. This is highly discouraged, since coolers need a constant supply of electricity to function. Their cooling ability will also be impaired by temperatures higher than room level. Leave it inside or in the garage.
Do these coolers work for restaurants?
In order to use these on the main floor of a restaurant, they need some sort of reinforcement and sealing mechanism to make sure you don’t end up with a broken or leaking cooler. For that reason, I don’t recommend using it in a place customers can reach. If you plan on using these coolers behind a counter at a restaurant or man cave bar, then go for it! They all keep sealed liquids at the perfect temperature. Just make sure not to put food in there.
Does it use Fahrenheit or Celsius temperature readings?
This is a commonly asked question for all coolers, so I’m going to answer it here instead of mentioning it for every cooler I reviewed. Everything with an electronic panel can switch between a Fahrenheit or Celsius readout with the press of a button—just make sure to read the instruction manual to figure out which button that is. Even those that use manual dials are marked with Fahrenheit temperatures to help you out.
Can I drill in the sides?
If you want to modify your man cave refrigerator, drilling in the sides is not the way to do it. Unless you know exactly what’s going on with that cooler’s components, do not drill into it. You can risk fire, electric shock, and ruined coolers. None of that is fun to deal with, so don’t do it.
How do I know if it’s safe to build-in a cooler?
To classify as a build-in cooler, a cooler needs good ventilation even when it’s enclosed in a small space. These are few and far between, but I did recommend the best one around (spoiler alert: it’s the EdgeStar CBR one). If you’re looking at brands and models from outside this article, check the features to see if it mentions build-in capabilities. If there are no such features (which is pretty normal for used products), then take a good look at the images. Build-in coolers will be raised off the ground with vented areas at the bottom. These vents help move the warm air to the front of the man cave refrigerator, rather than having it sit around in the back. The only reliable way to know for sure if a cooler can be built-in is to contact the manufacturer themselves.
Can I put this in a garage?
All of these coolers can withstand the normal elements of a garage. Unless you live in the south, where heat waves can do bad things to electronics, a little humidity or cold or warmth won’t hurt your stuff. If your man cave is in the garage and you followed my directions for building a safe garage man cave, then it will be fine for sure.
How loud are coolers?
This varies depending on the cooler. Compressors tend to be quieter than coolers that use fans, but it’s best to check individual reviews to figure out which one is loudest. The majority of the ones I reviewed do just fine in a bedroom or a room otherwise considered quiet. That means a man cave is an ideal environment for these precious drink bearers.
Choosing the Best Man Cave Refrigerators
In conclusion, a mancave fridge exists for one reason: convenience. While you obviously own a fridge in the kitchen or garage, those exist outside of your man space. Putting one straight into the cave saves you time, plus it gives you peace of mind. Whenever you want, you grab a drink, and if you run out, you visit the reserves (the regular kitchen) until restock time. When in the middle of a big game, it minimizes the time you spend away from the action. That’s more than enough reason for me to keep a man cave refrigerator in my own cave! What do you stock your fridge with? Let me know down in the comment section!
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