The 5 Best Camping Fridges – 2019 Reviews

Taking along a small camping fridge is a good way to make your outdoor vacation an enjoyable one. It keeps food fresh and safe. But there’s several questions you need to ask yourself before buying your first camping fridge:

  • Which type of camping fridge is best for an outdoor trip? 
  • Do you want to carry around gas canisters for a gas-powered fridge? 
  • What if there’s no access to the mains electricity on your trip? 

The 5 Best Camping Fridges:

We’ve reviewed some of the best camping fridges and camping fridge freezers, to overcome all these questions and help you make an informed buying decision.

1. Dometic CFX 40W Portable Camping Fridge Freezer for On or Off-Grid

Dometic CFX 40W Portable Fridge Freezer for on or off-grid

Dometic CFX 40W Portable Fridge-Freezer Specs

Dimensions:W2.2 x H1.5  x D1.3-feet
Weight:40.08 pounds
Capacity:38 liters
Power:AC mains / DC battery

Control your cooling temperatures by wifi, with an app on your phone. Use this cooler for refrigeration or for freezing as the temperature will go down to -7F (-22c). Works efficiently even when ambient temperatures are extreme.

Power up using a car battery of 12/24V DC. Or, plug into the mains electrics at 120V AC, which means no need to put lots of ice in the box to keep it cool. Included in the package are all the relevant power cords. This cooler even has a USB port so you can charge electrical gadgets through it. 

If you’re looking for something in your cooler box in the dark, no problem, it has a small LED internal light. In this 40 quarts cooler box, you can potentially get up to 60 cans. 

Other extras include:

  • Removable wire basket.
  • Reinforced corners for heavy-duty wear.
  • Stainless steel hinges.
  • Drain hole.
  • Extra lining in lid.
  • Power cut memory that turns back on at previous settings. 

2. ARB Portable Weatherproof Camping Fridge Freezer 

ARB Portable Weatherproof Camping Fridge/Freezer

ARB Weatherproof Fridge/Freezer Specs

Dimensions:W1.6 x H1.4  x D2.7 feet
Weight:70.1 pounds
Capacity:60 liters
Power:AC mains / DC battery

The body is made from 403-grade stainless steel hinges are made with anodized This is a tough and durable fridge freezer unit. The body’s made from 403-grade stainless steel.

The hinges are made from anodized aluminum. It’s also a weatherproofed fridge-freezer, so you can leave it outside or in the back of an open truck. It can also withstand UV rays from the sun.

All electrical housing units are sealed and protected. Lock your cooler with a 4-digit code, inputted into the electronic display pad. Although this will cancel out if power gets switched off. Or, keep your unit secure by using the fittings for a padlock. The unit comes in various sizes, ranging from 37-82 quarts.

This portable camping fridge freezer unit has a few other unique features:

  • Mount it permanently with the tamper-proof bolts, in your SUV, RV or boat. 

The lid stays open on its own, with a gas-spring.

  • The open recessed electronic control panel is weatherproofed.
  • The LED display has a dimming backlight.

Other features include:

  • Non-removable lid.
  • Built-in battery. 
  • Inner basket.
  • The LED display is wireless compatible.

3. CIGREEN Compressor Portable Camping Fridge/Freezer

CIGREEN Compressor Portable Camping Fridge

Cigreen Portable Fridge-Freezer Specs

Dimensions:W2.7 x H1.6  x D1.5-feet
Weight:62 pounds
Capacity:60 liters
Power:AC mains / DC battery

This portable camping cooler is divided into two parts, with a fridge and a freezer. It uses compressor cooling technology, reaching precision temperatures between:-

  • Refrigerator: 23 to 50F (-5 to -10C)
  • Freezer: -4 to 23F (-18 to 45C)

Use the TURBO fast cooling mode when you first switch on to speed up the cooling air. Then turn to ECO mode for energy saving once it reaches the right temperatures.

You can leave it running overnight as it is whisper silent at only 40dB. With provided cables for 110-240V AC and 12-24 DC power, you can choose how to run the cooling box. Don’t worry about depleting your car battery. The cooler has an auto cut-off point that protects the battery.

Here’s an idea of how much you can store in 60 liters (63.4 quartz):

  • 85 x 330ml cola cans in the fridge. 
  • A further 25 in the freezer.

Other features include:

  • Digital panel for temperature readings
  • Tow side metal handles for carrying around.
  • Durable hinges on lid.
  • Memory function in power failure. When the power’s restored, it re-sets at the last temperature used.
  • Uses thick density foam insulation inside, with a 30° tipping protection.
  • Materials used are; metal, Plastic, P.P and plastic. 

4. Cooluli Mini Camping Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer

Cooluli Mini Portable Fridge-Freezer Specs

Cooluli Mini Portable Fridge-Freezer Specs

Dimensions:W7.25 x H10.75  x D10.23-inches
Weight:4.1 pounds
Capacity:4 liters
Power:AC mains / DC battery / USB port

The Cooluli mini cooler comes with the option of four different colored doors to choose from and other designs. 

The most obvious difference about the Cooluli small camping fridge is that it is a “mini” cooling system, holding up to 6 x 12oz cans. 

The second difference is that it’s also a food warmer. With the flick of a switch, you can have a fridge running at 40° below ambient temperatures. Or, keep hot food warm, at up 149F.

Cooluli’s EcoMax™ cooler is a thermoelectric energy-efficient unit. It runs at an ultra-silent 28dB. It’s ideal for use as a camping fridge and it has a grip handle to carry it around. Run it on the mains AC 110V, a car battery DC 12V, or a 5V USB port. All cables are provided.

Extra features include:

  • Middle shelf inside.
  • Inner fans and vents, which should be kept clear.
  • Easy to use opening handle.
  • Small feet to keep it off the surface.
  • Matte finish for easy cleaning.
  • 100% environmentally-friendly to run. 
  • Madi with aluminum and plastic.

5. Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Camping Fridge/Cooler

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

Igloo Thermoelectric Cooler Specs

Dimensions:W1 x H1.5  x D1.2 feet
Weight:10 pounds
Capacity:26.5 liters
Power:DC battery

This 28 quarts cooler will hold up to 40 x 12oz cans. Keeping them cool at 36F below the ambient temperature around you. No need to fill this cooler with ice for it to work.

Simply attach the 8-foot cord to your car battery and keep your food and drinks fresh and cold. You can even keep it running while your car is traveling by plugging it into the 12V car socket.

When you arrive at your camping destination, you can be confident that your fresh food is safe to eat. With a convection cooling system circulating the cold air, the brushless motor is ultra-quiet. Make sure you keep those outside vents clear. 

Other features include:

  • Ergonomic shape, making it easier to carry.
  • Swing up grip handle, placed on top of the cooling box.
  • Or, carry it around using the molded side handles for a better grip.
  • It comes in two sizes: 26 or 28 Quartz.
  • Grey-Silver and white.

Camping Fridge FAQs

How does a camping fridge work?

A compressor system is more efficient than a thermoelectric unit. The compression system pressurizes a refrigerant so it expands in a valve. The pressure then reduces and the resulting liquid cools the system, using a fan to spread the cool air. 

A thermoelectric unit uses a heating conductor known as the Peltier effect. As the electrical current passes through the conductor, it results in the production of cool air. 

Both systems need vents to stop condensation and work best with inner fans to distribute the cool air.

How much gas does a camping fridge use?

Based on 200g of used gas per 24-hours, a gas fridge will use a 4.5kg gas bottle over approx. 22 days. 

You will get 133 hours for a 60W electrical fridge running on a car battery. The fridge will not run non-stop, it will turn off at set temperatures.

Whereas, if you connect to the site’s mains electric, you will only pay a small extra charge daily, not a charge on how much you use. 

How to Pack a Camping Fridge?

Time needed: 5 minutes.

How to pack a camping fridge quickly and efficiently.

  1. Step 1 – Stack Your Food

    It’s best not to open the door for too long. Stack food in the order you’re going to eat it, for quicker access.

  2. Step 2 – Keep Vents Clear

    Ensure all outside vents are kept clear so the air ventilation works effectively.

  3. Step 3 – Defrost in The Fridge

    When defrosting food, place the item in the fridge section. It makes sense to utilize the coldness of frozen goods.

  4. Step 4 – Keep The Fridge Full

    Keep the fridge freezer full, as it works more efficiently without empty air pockets. Using inner baskets also helps to keep everything compact.

  5. Step 5 – Keep The Latches Closed

    Never leave the latches open, they seal in the all-important cold air.

Have a look at the Dometic video showing how easy it is to use and pack camping fridge freezer:

You can also have a look at this useful blog article, by National Luna, where you’ll find many more packing tips.

Conclusion

Outdoor camping does not have to be without its luxuries. You can still be with nature and enjoy fresh food and cold drinks. If you’re in hot climes, you can even enjoy air conditioning in your tent. I kid you not! Have a look at our Best Tent Air Conditioners and see for yourself.

Make your camping trip last longer with added comforts. Such as making sure your water is 100% safe to drink, free from all waterborne bacteria and viruses. Simply use a SteriPEN water purifier.

There is so much fun to be had on an outdoor vacation. SmarterTravel shows us how it’s not only fun, but it’s good for our health too.

What is the best camping fridge?

Having a camping fridge that can run off your car battery is ideal if you’re off-grid for a few days. That’s why we recommend the Dometic CFX 40W Portable Camping Fridge Freezer as the best camping fridge. They don’t run all the time so strain on your battery is reduced. No gas canisters to lug around everywhere, just a compact high-quality camping fridge with a bonus freezer.

Now that’s luxury on a camping trip! 

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