Summit CL68ROS Deluxe Compact Refrigerator Review: Good Enough for Outdoors?

Summit CL68ROS compact refrigerator
Summit CL68ROS

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Summit makes a popular line of compact refrigerators. The Summit CL68ROS is near or at the top of the list. Why is that?

Let’s take a look at the CL68ROS in this review to see 1) what makes it so popular, 2) if you can use it outdoors, and 3) if it’s the mini fridge you’ve been looking for.

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What Makes the Summit CL68ROS So Popular?

I think there are two main qualities of the CL68ROS that account for most of its popularity.

The first of these is its overall design and look. It’s cabinet – the door and all outer surfaces – are made of stainless steel. As you’ll see later, this is a look that can work well with virtually any existing decor.

The second factor is harder to see. It’s the high quality construction that just keeps working. I think the fact that the cabinet is completely sealed is a part of this. The elements, whether indoor or outdoor, can’t affect the inner workings of the refrigerator.

Can I Use the Summit CL68ROS Outdoors?

The sealed cabinet feature leads us to the answer to this next question.

Yes, you can use this mini fridge outside, either as part of a complete outdoor kitchen or just as a standalone unit.

In fact, this is a feature that Summit touts about the CL68ROS. It is made of 304 grade stainless steel which is resistant to corrosion. That said, it’s not the most resistant form of stainless steel available. There is type 316 which is called Marine Grade. I’m not sure if appliances such as coolers are ever made of type 316 though.

I wouldn’t hesitate to use my Summit fridge outdoors, unless I lived near salt water. If you keep this cooler outside for extended periods of time near the ocean, you may find that it starts to corrode.

Is the Summit CL68ROS the Best Mini Fridge for Me?

If the qualities mentioned above are ones you’re looking for but still aren’t quite sure if this is the model you want, check out the rest of these features and specifications. Your question should soon be answered.

As I hinted at above, you can either install this unit as a freestanding fridge or as an under counter appliance. Since the back is sealed and air circulates via the panel at the lower front, you don’t have to worry about how close or far away from a wall you set it.

If you want to install the unit under a counter, you’ll need to know these measurements.

  • Height – 34.5″ (88cm)
  • Width – 23.88″ (61cm)
  • Depth – 24.13″ (61cm)
  • Depth with Handle – 25.75″ (65cm)
  • Depth with door at 90° – 45.5″ (116cm)

If you decide to make it freestanding, you’ll find that the locking casters come in very handy. Roll it where you want it and then lock it in place. Again, since it is sealed all around, you can easily clean a freestanding unit on all sides. The cooler weighs 97 pounds, but with the casters, you should still be able to roll it around easily on a smooth surface.

The fridge comes as a right hand opener, but you can switch it to left hand if that works better with the surrounding decor. The 16 millimeter diameter handle goes across the top of the door, so you don’t need to move it if you change the direction the door opens.

The door comes with a lock and key. You can purchase extra keys separately, if needed.

If you leave the door open for more than 5 minutes, an alarm will sound. I haven’t been able to find what the alarm sounds like or how often it chimes.

Summit CL65ROS inside
Summit CL65ROS inside

Inside, you get either 5.5 or 5.6 cubic feet of space – depending on which part of the Summit specifications you read. In the end, 0.1 cubic feet either way probably isn’t going to make or break your decision to purchase or not.

You can store a maximum of 123 12-ounce cans and 2 one-gallon containers in the CL68ROS. Each of the two upper full-size glass shelves hold 35 cans. The lower, smaller shelf holds 28, and you can lay and stack 13 more on the bottom. The two upper racks in the door each hold 6 more cans.

In the lower part of the door, if you leave the “block” in place, you can store two 2 liter bottles. If you remove the block, you can put in 2 gallons of milk or other beverages.

Alternatively, you can store 21 bottles of wine in the main area of the fridge. There is still room for up to 60 cans elsewhere.

You can adjust the location of the 3 shelves to suit your food and beverage storage needs. There are 6 shelf holders from which you can choose.

Cooling is maintained by a digital thermostat and fan-forced air in this frost-free unit. Should the temperature ever move out of the suggested range – between 32 degrees and 73 degrees Fahrenheit – a buzzer alarm will sound continuously after 1 hour.

You can set the temperature scale to either Fahrenheit or Celsius. You can also enable a “conservation mode” that shuts off some of the electrical features, such as the LED lights and the control panel display. For the energy conscious, note that the Summit is CEE Tier I qualified and uses 20 percent less energy that Department of Energy standards currently require for a product in this category. It uses about 278 kilowatt-hours per year.

For the environment conscious, know that the CL68ROS is 100 percent CFC free. You don’t have to worry about damaging the ozone.

Using the control panel, you can set the desired temperature for the entire unit. Should you ever lose power to the fridge, this setting will be retained when power is restored.

You get a 1 year warranty on parts and labor and 5 years on the compressor.

What’s the Verdict on the Summit CL68ROS?

Online reviews from owners are a little hard to find, but they are all positive. Here’s what one user has to say about its durability.

“I own a half-dozen rental properties and installed this Summit in all of them. Five years later it’s the only appliance I haven’t had any complaints about in all units.”

If you’re concerned about how it will look compared to the rest of your kitchen, consider this comment from an owner.

“It also looks great with my other appliances even though they’re not the same brand.”

If you still aren’t sure that this is the model you want, check out this overview that includes the Summit and other luxury compact refrigerators.

Get your Summit CL68ROS Deluxe Compact Refrigerator at Amazon now.

Gary Sonnenberg
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