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Swan Retro mini fridge review


If you need a space to chill drinks and snacks outside of the kitchen, a mini fridge might be a good option. Read our review of this vintage-style small refrigerator from Swan.

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Swan Retro mini fridge – unavailable

Pros: portable, works with a 12v DC power cable as well as a mains supply
Cons: needs a stable ambient temperature

Star rating: 3.5/5

This product is no longer available. For more like this, see our review of mini fridges.

The Swan Retro mini fridge comes in eight vintage-look colours, all of which will work well in any setting. It was the smallest of the mini fridges we tested, but even with a 17-litre capacity it comfortably stored drinks, snacks and fruit.

The one shelf is movable if taller carton or bottles are stored. It's worth noting the racks in the door are a little narrow, so they're only suitable for butter, small juice cartons and snacks.

Cooling is by thermoelectric exchange technology, which means there is no need for the usual compressor-style cooling. The main advantage of thermoelectric is that there's no noise except upon first switching on.

On the other hand, without the gentle humming noise we are used to in a refrigerator, it's hard to know if it's working. Plus, the fridge's indicator light is on the back, so it means moving it each time you want to ensure it's on.

For thermoelectric cooling to work efficiently, it is dependent on the ambient temperature of where the fridge is kept. The Swan will always be 16C below the ambient temperature, so if the fridge is used in a hot room or office, it will not reach a safe temperature and will be unsuitable for storing perishable food.

One appealing feature of this stylish and sturdy retro-style fridge is that while it works on the mains supply, it also works with a 12v power cable at the flick of a switch. The fridge can then plug into a car cigarette lighter.

This nifty switchover makes it portable – also helped by its lightweight size – so it can be quickly transferred to the car for chilling food on the go. There's even a smart carrying handle nestled into the top. If the fridge is not moved much and is kept at a steady temperature, there's a useful energy-saving eco-switch on the back too.

We liked this little fridge a lot, mainly for its portability. It's also attractive enough to use in the home, office or dorm without taking up too much room. This fridge will never become a secondary fridge for the family, but is extremely useful for those on the go.

Style: freestanding and portable
Litreage: 17 litre
Dimensions: H46cm x W26.5cm x D33cm
Cooling: thermolectric
Defrosting: manual
Noise: none
Energy rating: N/A

Read our full review of the best mini fridges

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This review was last updated in May 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at 

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