Best Camping Fridges In Australia
Planning an outdoor camping trip takes thoughtful preparation if you want to fully enjoy time away from civilisation. Arguably, nothing is more important than having the right gear. And when it comes to essential camping gear, few items are as crucial as your portable fridge.
Having an efficient and reliable camping fridge allows you to keep food and drinks fresh and cool while spending days or even weeks off-grid and away from grocery stores. With a quality fridge, you’ll never have to worry about losing perishable food or dealing with frequent ice runs. This allows you to better focus on making memories with family and friends rather than worrying about logistics.
In this article, we will provide detailed advice on buying considerations, top product recommendations, and tips for choosing a model suited to your needs and budget. Let’s get started!
Types of Camping Fridges
One of the first decisions is what type of fridge you need. Here are some of the most common options:
Chest Fridge – The simplest and most budget-friendly type of camping fridge is the chest style. It’s like a cooler with a lid on top but uses electricity to actively keep contents chilled. Great for short trips if you just need basic cooling.
Dual Zone Fridge Freezer – Want a unit that can simultaneously operate as both a fridge and freezer? Look for a dual-zone model. These have separate compartments to maintain different temperatures. Really handy for longer trips with a mix of frozen and fresh foods.
Drawer Fridge – Drawer-style camping fridges open like a drawer instead of lifting the lid up. This saves space since you can store items on top without blocking access. It also makes finding stuff easier without having to rummage around!
3-Way Fridge – 3-way fridges can run on electricity or gas, giving you maximum flexibility. If you want the option of gas power while off-grid camping, check out these versatile models.
Size and Capacity
One of the most important factors is choosing a size that fits your needs. Smaller 20-30L mini fridges are great for solo campers or short trips. Larger 45-80L+ models can hold enough food for families or extended trips. Consider how much chilled storage you’ll require.
Pay attention to the power source, too. Most standard camping fridges run on 12V DC from your car or leisure battery or 230V AC from a powered campsite. 3-way fridges add the option of gas fuel. Make sure to choose an option that works with the power access you’ll have while camping.
Materials and Durability
The exterior material affects durability and price. Plastic is inexpensive but less rugged. Heavy-duty steel can withstand more abuse but adds weight. Fibreglass offers good insulation yet is prone to cracking. Also, check the insulation quality as this impacts cooling efficiency.
While not must-haves, certain features make using and living with your camping fridge easier:
- Storage baskets help keep things organized.
- Removable lids offer flexible access and easier cleaning.
- Extension collars give you extra capacity when needed.
- Wheels or slide systems allow moving heavy models.
- Insulated covers improve efficiency.
- Digital displays are easier to see than buttons in the dark.
- Connectivity lets you monitor the fridge remotely.
- Interior lights help find stuff at night!
The Best Brands
Sticking with reputable brands helps ensure you get a quality camping fridge built to last. Some top manufacturers include Dometic, Engel, EvaKool, Kolner, OzTrail, and many more.
Check out customer reviews, and don’t just go for the cheapest model. A good fridge is a worthwhile investment that will serve you for years.
Consider Your Needs
Think about your typical camping scenarios. Do you need a rugged off-road fridge or just a simple model for weekend car camping? What size and features will suit your trips best? How many people do you need to provide food and drinks for? This will help narrow your search to fridges that meet your requirements.
Since most camping fridges run on battery or gas, energy efficiency is important to avoid draining resources. Newer compressor designs allow fridges to use surprisingly little power once cooled down.
Compare power draw specs when shopping. Some models even have “eco” modes to conserve battery life.
Look for models with seamless plastic or fiberglass interiors that won’t trap grime or odors. Removable baskets and lids also make cleaning the fridge hassle-free after trips. Drain plugs are useful too.
- Allow several hours of “pre-cooling” time before each trip.
- Try to keep the fridge out of direct sun when powered on.
- An insulated cover helps maintain temperatures while driving.
- Organize contents for optimal cold airflow and food safety.
- Monitor temps and don’t overload the fridge.
Best Fridges For Camping
Dometic Waeco TCX Camping Fridge Freezer
The Dometic Waeco TCX series should be on your radar if you want a high-quality camping fridge that will last for years. This range offers multiple sizes from 28L up to 75L, so you’re sure to find one with the right capacity for your needs.
These fridges use a powerful VMS03 compressor and can run on either 12V or 240V power. Testing shows they keep items consistently chilled or frozen, even down to -21 degrees C – perfect for handling Australia’s hot weather!
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are handy, allowing you to directly control the CFX fridge from your phone. The aluminium framing makes it lightweight yet durable, and the aluminium handles add extra strength.
Overall, the Dometic Waeco CFX models score points for their robust construction, convenient digital controls, and impressive cooling abilities. They really do keep your food and drinks at ideal temperatures.
For a quality camping fridge built to last, the CFX series is highly recommended. The excellent performance and handy extras like phone connectivity make this one of the top 12V fridge freezers available in Australia right now.
- Convenient mobile app for controlling temperature
- High build quality and durable finish
- 12-month warranty
- Sleek, modern aesthetics
- Powerful cooling, even in hot Aussie conditions
- On the heavy side at 31kg when fully loaded
Dometic Waeco CDF Camping Fridge Freezer Series Review
The Dometic Waeco CF camping fridge freezer series are reliable, functional, and affordable options for keeping food chilled or frozen while camping or on road trips. These fridges come in 40L or 50L sizes, run on either 12V DC or 240V AC power, and can keep contents as cold as -18°C.
Some useful features of these camping fridges include a strong compressor that enables quick cooling and consistent maintenance of set temperatures. This allows you to chill food and drinks in a short period of time after starting up the fridge.
There is also an LCD display panel and controls that make it easy to set your desired temperature and monitor the current temperature. The fridges have sturdy carrying handles and a removable lid for convenience in transporting them and accessing the contents.
They also have a battery monitoring system that prevents the fridge from fully draining a connected car or leisure battery.
The Dometic Waeco CF fridges provide the core functionality for convenient short-term refrigeration on camping trips without lots of fancy extras. The reasonable price point makes them accessible for most travelers and campers.
- Fast cooling with variable motor speed optimization
- Three-stage battery protection to prevent draining car/leisure battery
- Locking mechanism for secure transport
- Most reviews of these fridges are positive, with no major drawbacks reported
Engel MT-V Camping Fridge Freezer Series Review
The Engel MT-V series includes high-quality portable camping fridges and freezers ranging from 32L up to 80L capacity. These fridges can run on either 12V DC from your car or leisure battery or 230V AC power when connected to mains electricity.
Key features of this series include sturdy steel construction with tough corners and strong handles for durability, even in rough conditions. They use energy-efficient Sawafuji swing motors to minimise power consumption.
There are digital temperature controls and displays for accurately setting and monitoring the fridge temperature. Interior LED lights automatically turn off when the door is closed to conserve power. The fridges also have integrated baskets and compartments for organization.
While not the cheapest camping fridges, Engel products are built to last and keep your food properly chilled for years of camping trips. The 5-year warranty provides peace of mind as well. If you want a quality fridge without paying top dollar, start with one of the smaller MT-V models.
- Lightweight and compact for easy transport
- Includes transit bag for safer transport and insulation
- 5-year warranty on Engel products
- No digital temperature display on some models
Adventure Kings Camping Fridge Freezer Review
The Adventure Kings brand offers a wide range of camping fridge freezers, from small 45L models up to large 90L dual-zone fridges. These fridges are designed to be durable, efficient, and functional for keeping food chilled on camping trips.
Key features include tough steel casing, heavy-duty handles, hinges, latches, and plugs that can withstand frequent use and transport. The compressors are powerful SECOP models that cool quickly and maintain consistent temperatures.
Thick rubber seals ensure good insulation and energy efficiency. The easy-to-use digital controls allow you to precisely set and monitor temperatures. Larger models have separate temperature zones and baskets for organisation.
With sizes ranging from 45L up to 90L, Adventure Kings fridges are great options for single campers or large groups. They can run on either 12V DC from a car or leisure battery or 240V AC when connected to mains power. Overall, these are quality and affordable camping fridges worth considering.
- Durable steel construction
- Removable drain plug for easy cleaning
- Dual temperature zones on larger models
- No notable drawbacks were reported
EvaKool TMX TravelMate Camping Fridge Review
The EvaKool TravelMate TMX series offers reliable, user-friendly camping fridges in sizes ranging from 38L up to 80L capacity. These single-zone fridge freezers utilize efficient Danfoss compressors that can freeze contents down to 55°C below ambient temperature, even in hot conditions.
Useful features include drainage bungs for easy cleaning, durable plastic interiors that won’t absorb odors, and USB charging ports for phones and devices.
The fridges have digital controls, interior lights, and removable baskets. Lid and handle styles vary, so you can choose a side-opening or top-opening model.
While not the most heavy-duty options, EvaKool TMX fridges are reasonably priced and can handle regular camping use. They run on either 12V DC or 240V AC power. Just take care not to overload the handles. The 5-year warranty provides peace of mind as well.
- Drainage bung for easy cleaning
- Won’t absorb food odors
- USB charging port
- Handles may fail if the fridge is overloaded
Kolner 40L Fridge Freezer Review
The Kolner 40L camping fridge freezer provides a versatile all-in-one unit that can operate as either a fridge or a freezer. With a 40L capacity, it’s a good size for individual campers or couples.
This single-zone portable fridge has useful features like digital LCD temperature controls and polyurethane insulation to maintain cool temperatures in hot weather. The unit stands 47cm tall, so you can store taller drink bottles upright. It has a sturdy lift-up lid, although the lid lacks a latch or lock.
Temperature range goes from -18°C on freezer setting up to 10°C in fridge mode. It can run off 12V DC from your car or leisure battery, 24V systems, or 240V AC mains power. A handy built-in trolley makes transporting the 33kg unit easier.
If you want the flexibility of both a fridge and freezer in one portable unit, the Kolner 40L is a good option to consider. Just be aware the lid doesn’t lock for secure transport.
This versatile portable camping unit provides both fridge and freezer functions. The 40L capacity, digital controls, polyurethane insulation, and DC/AC power options make it convenient for keeping food and drinks chilled while camping or road-tripping.
The tall design can accommodate upright drink bottles. Just note the lid does not latch for secure transport. The Kolner 40L gives you flexibility in a compact camping fridge.
- Fridge and freezer capability in one unit
- Good insulation with polyurethane
- The tall design fits upright drink bottles
- Built-in trolley
- The lid lacks a latch or lock
Advwin Portable Car Fridge Fridge Freezer Review
The Advwin portable fridge freezer is a compact and affordable camping unit. Available in 17L up to 49L sizes, a key benefit is the fast cool-down time – it can freeze contents in around an hour. The digital LED display and controls make it easy to set the temperature anywhere from -20°C to 20°C.
At 27L capacity, it provides ample space for individual campers without being overly large or heavy. The partition is handy for separating items. Once cooled to the set temp, it switches to an energy-efficient eco mode.
While not the most heavy-duty, the Advwin portable fridge is one of the more budget-friendly options. The scratch-prone exterior could benefit from a protective cover. Overall, this fridge freezer delivers good cooling performance and versatility at a wallet-friendly price point.
- Quick 1 hour freeze time
- Digital LED temperature controls
- Partition for separating items
- Energy efficient eco mode
- No lid latch to secure closed
- Exterior scratches fairly easily
Oztrail Dual Zone Camping Fridge Freezer Review
The Oztrail dual zone camping fridge freezer comes in 80L or massive 125L sizes. With separate fridge and freezer compartments, this model is ideal for large groups or extended camping trips.
The premium LG compressor and electronics ensure excellent cooling performance. Useful features include an illuminated LCD panel for monitoring temps, soft-close hinges to contain the cold air and an interior light for nighttime.
Reviews consistently praise the energy efficiency and cooling power of Oztrail fridges. The dual-zone design lets you simultaneously keep both frozen and chilled foods at ideal temps.
While heavy at 30kg for the 80L model, the rugged handles make moving it manageable. And the 2-year warranty provides peace of mind on your investment. Overall, the Oztrail dual zone delivers exceptional performance and storage capacity for car camping and RVing.
- Dual temp zones in one unit
- Illuminated LCD display
- Energy efficient
- 2-year warranty
- Large unit, so it is heavy (30kg)
Following this camping fridge buying guide will help you find the perfect model. Do some research, compare options, and choose a size, features, and brand that best fits your camping and budget needs. A good quality fridge helps ensure your food stays fresh and cold trip after the trip.