laundry

This portable washer also dries clothes, and even comes in pink! But is it worth it?

If you've got a sink, you've got a laundry room

Credit: Jeremy Stamas
February 10, 2017

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It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the Equator Super Combo EZ 4400 CV (MSRP $1,499 in white or $1,699 in pink, black, red, or silver), the only appliance that can wash and dry clothes in a single cycle, switch from vented to ventless, hook up to a sink for portable use, and plug into a regular 120V outlet.

That unique combination of features make this 23-inch-wide appliance one of the only choices for small homes and RVs. The fact you can wheel it into a closet when it's not in use and attach it to a sink when you need to do a wash is an attractive proposition for anyone without a washer/dryer hookup at home.

Equator Super Combo
Credit: Equator Appliances
The Equator Super Combo sells under a bunch of different brand names, including Pinnacle and Deco. It's only 23.5 inches wide, 33.5 inches tall, and 22 inches deep.

But how well does it work? After all, it's not cheap. It sells under a bunch of different brand names, including Deco and Pinnacle, but the lowest price we could find was for $949.00 at Home Depot, where it wears a Deco badge.

Deco Super Combo
Credit: Equator Appliances
At Home Depot, you can buy the Deco Super Combo in pink.

We don't care what brand name it's sold under. We just wanted to find out how well it got clothes clean, so we put the Equator/Deco/Pinnacle through almost the same tests we give both compact and full-size machines, only changing things up when we couldn't fit loads into the Equator's small drum.

If you're used to a standard washer and dryer, any combination washer/dryer will be a disappointment. Unfortunately, the Equator Super Combo has so many foibles that anyone who buys one may still end up going to the laundromat.

Capacity
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
The Super Combo 4400 with one towel inside.

The first problem we encountered while testing the Equator was its size. Most full-size washers are twice the size of the Equator's 1.57 cu. ft. drum, which couldn't even fit a single basket of laundry. And what you can squeeze in there won't even get washed properly: Even when compared to other compact washers we've tested, it left behind 20% more stains.

The Super Combo is unique in that it can use either ventless condenser drying or traditional vented drying, and it switches at the push of a button. However, neither gets the job done. A condenser dry left our test laundry 27 percent still wet, while a vented dry did even worse, leaving 31 percent of moisture behind.

You can forget about sheets and towels, too. We tried washing a duvet cover and two towels—not an uncommon load for a typical American household—but they just rolled up into a ball that was dry on the outside and still soaked in the middle.

Vent
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
The fan in the back vents out moisture. Be sure to get plenty of metal duct tape, since normal-sized vents won't fit properly. (And, yes, the fan was installed upside-down when we got it.)

No condenser dryer gets clothes 100 percent dry as quickly as a standard, vented dryer—but the Equator still lagged far behind other condenser units we've tested. Even after running an extra dry-only cycle, clothes were still all wet.

There are likely two reasons for this. First, the best condenser dryers use a standard 220V dryer plug. The Equator Super Combo's 120V setup might make it more convenient, but it just doesn't have enough power to get the job done.

If you're going to line dry anyway, you might as well get a better washer Tweet It

Second, the cycles aren't long enough. That might sound absurd, as the total wash-dry cycle takes a total of three hours—but a good condenser dryer can take that long just for drying alone. Because there's a low risk of fire and there's no need to transfer clothes between a washer and dryer mid-cycle, a long cycle time isn't as much of a burden on a washer-dryer combo. Just run it overnight!

Instead, the Super Combo forces you to line dry. And if you're going to line dry anyway, you might as well get a better washer.

Sink Kit
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
This kit lets you hook the Super Combo to a sink.

I should also note that the Super Combo smelled like burning plastic whenever it started to dry clothes. A lot of appliances smell funny when you first use them, as they're burning off the dust and grease that accumulates during the manufacturing process. But this odor continued after more than a week of continuous use, and the clean laundry ended up infused with the same smell at the end of a load. There was no evidence of fire, so we just kept testing.

Who should buy this?

Despite all its faults, the Super Combo does have its place. Because it can run with nothing more than a 120V outlet and a sink, the Super Combo is still worth considering if you live in a RV or tiny home that's far away from a laundromat. It cleans better than hand washing, and line drying will finish the job.

Dispenser
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan
Like the rest of the machine, the dispenser felt very cramped.

Even owners seem to have accepted that this machine is a compromise, offering reserved praise simply because it's the only laundry unit that will fit in their home. "Used four times, leaking under washer. They did respond on the repairs, give them a 4 on that," says one user review. Another talks about how much they like it even though it shakes their whole RV on a spin cycle, and a third mentions that it does a good job drying—for its size.

But if you have the space or hookups for a compact washer and separate dryer, we suggest you look elsewhere. LG, Electrolux, and Blomberg, all make better laundry sets. LG even sells a 120V, 24-inch washer-dryer combo, although it can't be vented and costs about $300 more than the Equator.

Still, the Equator lacks any true competitors. While those other machines may be better at cleaning and drying clothes, none are as portable and save as much space as the Super Combo.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Compare Prices

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Compare Prices

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Compare Prices

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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