Tired of dealing with coolers and looking for the best camping fridge? Coolers are great, don’t get me wrong, but there is an intense amount of admin required when packing a cooler for a long camping trip. You need to pre-cool, get your ice supplies, plan, cook, and freeze your meals before you go, and pack your cooler wisely so that it all lasts. It’s a headache. So why not get a portable camping fridge?
Camping fridges run on propane or 12 volts or both, and there is no pre-planning needed. Just put your portable fridge in the car, hook it up to 12 volts and you have all your cooling needs met. You can freeze meals at the base and keep things like cheese, milk, and beer in the top, so you can have gourmet meals, on the road.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Camping Fridges
Not all portable refrigerators are made the same though and finding the best camping fridge for you can be a chore. In this article, we take a look at some of the best camping fridges on the market, diving into the dirty details of each one so you buy the best camping fridge for you.
Best of The Best
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Best Budget Camping Fridge
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The ARB 10802692 ZERO Camping Fridge Freezer is one of the most sophisticated and expensive options on the market.
This electric camping fridge is made with top-quality materials for durability and comes with a nonslip base and tie-downs to ensure it’s secure when you’re on the road.
The fridge runs on either your car’s 12v dc supply or via the mains/AC power. This means you can pre-cool and get it cold before putting it in the car for your camping trip.
The fridge comes with two compartments, a freezer at the bottom and a fridge on top. You can manually control the temperature from the LCD display or connect it via Bluetooth to your smartphone for wireless control.
You can set the temperature you’d like, monitor it, and change modes all from your phone. It even has a USB charger so you can keep your devices topped up on the road.
It has high energy efficiency and uses minimal power to stay cold. Overall it’s an awesome 12v camping fridge but it’s pretty expensive and the app is a bit outdated.
The AstroAI Camping Fridge is perfect if you’re looking for a good camping fridge on a budget as is almost half the cost of most others on the market.
The fridge is durably made with an anti-shake build that ensures it survives on the road, and it’s super quick at cooling too. The fridge has both Max and Eco modes and can get down to minus 4 Fahrenheit in an hour.
It also has an intelligent battery system that lets you know how your car battery is down indicating high, medium, or low draw so you know when to start your car and charge it up again.
This 12 volt refrigerator doesn’t just run on your car’s battery but can be used at home in a wall socket, which is perfect for pre-cooling it before you head out on a camping trip.
As well as having an adjustable temperature and multiple modes, there is also a USB charging port so you can still charge things like your phone while the fridge uses the car’s 12-volt port.
Overall it’s an excellent camping fridge that’s affordable and great at cooling, the instructions are not so clear though. But with a bit of time, you can work them out fine.
The Euhomy Camping Fridge is another Bluetooth remote-controlled portable fridge freezer for any camping adventure.
The portable refrigerator has a tough outer shell that is well insulated to ensure energy efficiency. There are two compartments, one lower freezer compartment, and one upper fridge section. Perfect for keeping those steaks fresh and the beers above it cold.
The dual zone fridge freezer has a temperature range -4℉-68℉, and you can set the exact temperature you’d like on the control panel or via your smartphone and a Bluetooth connection.
From your phone, you can set the temperature, monitor it, and choose between Max and Eco mode. Max mode is ideal for quick cooling while Eco maintains coolness without chewing up the battery.
This 12 volt fridge runs on mains as well, so you can use it at home and pre-cool it before any camping trips. The only flaw to this camping fridge is that the LCD display is a little small, otherwise, it’s perfect for long trips into the outdoors.
The Setpower RV45 Camping Fridge is another great fridge for a life on the road.
The non-slip base and tie-downs ensure you can secure it when traveling on bumpy roads, and it’s made to work with 30 degrees so even on a tilt its cooling-ness won’t be affected.
It’s also a durable fridge with a tough design and features full metal sides with excellent latches and internal insulation. This tough build does make it a little heavy to move around though.
The fridge can run temperatures between 0℉-50℉, and the temperature is adjustable you can select the exact temperature you want and need.
It has a Max and Eco mode for quick cooling or long-term efficient cooling and it’s all easily controlled from the handy control panel.
Overall this portable refrigerator is very energy efficient and runs on both 12 volts and a moans socket for use at home or in your car.
The F40C4TMP Camping Fridge Freezer is made from aluminum along with quality insulation. Aluminum gets colder quickly and stays colder more easily.
This fridge will drop from 77 Fahrenheit to 32 in just15 minutes, without using a huge amount of electricity. And it can get down to minus 7 Fahrenheit for use as a freezer.
The dual zone camping fridge freezer runs on both 12 volt and home sockets, so you can use it at home and on the road. The temperature is fully adjustable via the control panel so you can set it to your preferred coldness depending on what you need to keep cool.
This electric camping fridge also features a magnetic lid which makes opening it quick and easy, plus it also ensures it stays shut even when driving down bumpy roads.
It’s also an energy efficient portable fridge freezer with low power consumption so you don’t drain your car battery and it’ll even keep things frozen for 3 hours when switched off.
With a capacity of 20 Qts and small dimensions, it’ll fit in your car with ease, and has enough food storage for a weekend away. The price is a little high for the size though in our eyes.
Overall this is a great portable fridge, and it even comes with a USB port for charging your phones and other devices.
The Setpower AJ50 Camping Fridge is a portable fridge and freezer all rolled into one that’s perfect for off-grid adventures.
This electric camping fridge has a 53 Qt capacity which is more than enough to hold food and drinks for 3-5 days. It works on both 12 volt and house sockets, so you can pre-cool it at home ready for your adventure.
It’s solidly built and comes with good handles for moving it around that also act as tie-downs for keeping it safe off-road.
The portable refrigerator has a temperature range of 0℉-50℉ which is fully adjustable. You can set it to the exact temperature you like and it’ll let you know what temperature it’s at on the digital display.
It has two cooling modes, Max and Eco. Max cools it down quickly and Eco is perfect for use once it’s cold enough as it’ll ensure efficient use of power.
The only downside to this 12v camping fridge is that the lid is tall and it opens long ways. This makes it tricky to fully open in a car as the lid usually hits the ceiling.
Overall it’s an excellent camping fridge freezer for a life on the road and in the outdoors.
The Dometic CFX3 fridge is one of the most professional and high-quality in this review.
This is actually one of the small-mid range fridges in this collection, so if you want bigger, there are options available. It is a dual-zone portable fridge freezer fridge, going down to -7F if you need it. The two compartments are separated in this model, left and right.
Dometic has made this portable 12v refrigerator easy to use and durable. The plastic foam shell is strong yet still light. And the handles are all top-notch.
In terms of power, you have the choice of 12V DC or even AC if you have an outlet handy where you are camped or parked.
There is also a control panel that tells you the temperature and allows you to set it with ease. It can also be connected to the Dometic App so you can control things remotely, which is super handy if you are away from it.
Overall it’s a pretty good camping fridge but the lack of modes and full temperature adjustability make it a bit second class, but it is super affordable.
The Ansten Camping Fridge is labeled as a mini-fridge and is perfect if you’re looking for a portable fridge to drop in behind the seat.
This camping fridge uses only 45W, which is very energy efficient if you ask me. It can get down to temperatures of minus 4 Fahrenheit and you can select the temperature you desire using the control panel.
The 12v fridge cools down relatively quickly, taking just 30 minutes to get down to 32 °F. It is missing modes though, so you can’t pick between quick cooling or an Eco mode.
The camping fridge runs on both 12 volts or home sockets for use in your car or at home, and of course, you can pre-cool it before setting off on your camping trip.
It’s made of plastic to keep it light and has excellent insulation and the lid seals well to ensure once it’s cold it stays cold without much energy draw.
Overall this camping fridge is a great choice if you’re looking for a small and compact fridge that’ll fit behind the front seat.
There are quite a few types of portable refrigerators from ones that run on propane to others that are pretty much coolers with sealed lids. Since we’re discussing the best camping fridges, there is only one type you need to know about, the compressor camping fridge.
All the fridges in the review are compressor camping fridges and they are the bee’s knees when it comes to portable fridges. They allow you to set your desired temperature, you can use them as freezers if you like, and they only come on when needed, which is very energy efficient. Some can even be used with a 12v dc solar system, they are that efficient.
There are two things you need to think about when it comes to picking the right sized camping fridge for your needs; how much food/drink you want to fit in there and how much space it’ll take up in your car.
The more food/drink you want to carry, the large the fridge needs to be, but the harder it’s going to be to fit and lift into your car.
We highly recommend packing all your camping food and drink suppliers into a cardboard box so you can work out the volume and then know exactly what size camping fridge you’re going to need.
Every camping fridge comes with a range of temperatures it can get to. Some can reach minus 7 Fahrenheit while others can only get down to 50 Fahrenheit below the outside ambient temperature. Think about your camping trips and the fresh food you take, or if you need to keep a specific food cold.
Do you want a freezer or need one? Will you freeze things before your road trip and only need a fridge to keep them cool?
Whatever you decide, make sure to pick a camping fridge that suits your temperature needs.
All the portable refrigerators in the review run on either the 12 volts from your car and home sockets. This is an ideal configuration as you can use the fridge camping or at home, and you can pre-cool it before a trip, saving your car battery some work.
When it comes to consumption, look for a camping fridge that is well insulated and efficient so it doesn’t drain your car battery too fast. 45 watts is a low rate for a camping fridge and look out for eco modes that work to preserve energy.
Going for a camping fridge with an adjustable temperature is highly recommended. This means you will always have the desired temperature you want for your fridge contents, whether it’s a beer or burgers, and you can reduce power consumption by setting a higher temperature.
Another useful extra camping fridges come with is a USB charging port so you can charge your phone from it. Some even come with Bluetooth so you can control and monitor them remotely.
The best camping fridge in the review is the ARB 10802692 ZERO Camping Fridge Freezer. It has a large capacity, is super efficient, has USB charging, and is excellent at keeping things cold. It’s a little expensive but worth it for the durable and long-lasting design.
The all-around best camping fridge is the Euhomy Camping Fridge. This fridge is also a freezer and the temperature is fully adjustable and controllable via Bluetooth on your smartphone. It’s highly efficient, durably made, and has a great amount of space for any camping trip.
The best camping fridge, if you’re on a budget, is the AstroAI Camping Fridge. This fridge is durable, efficient, cools quickly, has numerous modes and it’s half or a third of the price of most of the others.
The best size camping fridge for most situations is around 40 Litres or Quarts. This should cover most couples for a weekend away camping. If you need more space for extra people or drinks, consider a larger size such as 50L or 60L. Just remember you need to be able to fit it in the car and carry it.
The most efficient 12V fridge freezers on the market right now are either the ARB 10802692 ZERO or the Dometic CFX3. Both have world-class energy efficiency, cooling, insulation and a robust build quality.