Last updated: February 1, 2024
Reviews of five of the best camping fridges in Australia, based on type, capacity, weight, portability, features, manufacturer, price, and more.
Camping fridges are a great alternative to traditional coolers and eskies. They don’t require any ice, they don’t leave your food soaking wet, and they can effectively keep your food cold for weeks on end.
But they certainly aren’t cheap. For this reason, it is essential that you do your research before you purchase one of these premier camping items so that you aren’t wasting your money.
To help you find the best camping fridge for your needs, we have tested and reviewed five of the highest-rated and best camping fridges in the Australian market.
|Best Dual Zone:
Dometic CFX3 75DZ
Brass Monkey 25L
Top 5 Camping Fridges:
Top 5 Camping Fridges
Let’s take a closer look at our top picks, so you can find exactly what you need and feel confident that you pick the best camping fridge.
1. Dometic CFX3 75DZ Portable Dual Zone
If your goal for a camping fridge is a product that can do it all, the Dometic CFX3 75DZ Portable Dual Zone is precisely what you want. The Dometic can be powered by AC, DC, or solar, making it the perfect fridge to take with you wherever your adventures might lead.
This large 75L dual-zone camping fridge can fit 113 beverage cans between two independently controlled compartments. The highly efficient VMSO3 compressor can bring this cooler down to -22 degrees Celsius, no matter the weather outside.
With a heavy-duty exoframe and a thick 5 cm of insulation, this fridge minimises power consumption while maximising performance. Despite all that hefty shell, the Dometic is easy enough to carry with two people using the spring-loaded aluminium alloy handles. Without food, it weighs 27.8 kg.
The internal temperature is easily controlled by the sleek control panel and digital display on the front of the lid. But you don’t have to be next to this cooler to program it. The Dometic is Bluetooth compatible and comes with a free phone app that allows you to check the power settings, change the temperature, and much more using your smartphone.
The Dometic Portable Dual Zone fridge is one of the pricier models we found, but well worth the investment for a highly functional, reliable product. It comes with a standard 3-year warranty plus a 2-year extended warranty for peace of mind.
|Dometic CFX3 75DZ Portable Dual Zone
|10 to −22 degrees
2. Brass Monkey 25L Portable Fridge/Freezer
If you’re on a budget but still interested in getting a quality camping fridge, the Brass Monkey 25L Portable Fridge/Freezer is a great option. It’s an affordable camping fridge that sells for less than a third of what your typical camping fridge goes for.
The Brass Monkey isn’t as large as others, but at 25L, it can still hold more than enough food and drink for a weekend trip. It has a single compartment that can be programmed to temperatures down to -20 degrees Celsius. The top features an easy-read digital control panel. The cooler can also be controlled via the free app.
This fridge/freezer is compatible with 12V outlets. It is great for car and RV camping, but you will need to use the 240V power adapter included with the kit to plug it in indoors. While it boasts low energy consumption, it isn’t as well insulated as other products, with only 3.5 cm of foam.
On the plus side, it is very lightweight at only 12.1 kg. With the inset handles, it is easy enough to move around the campsite and in and out of the car. And while the Brass Monkey lacks the space and power needed for long camping excursions, it is the perfect price for those in need of a camping fridge for shorter adventures. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
|Brass Monkey 25L Portable Fridge/Freezer
|20 to −20 degrees
3. Adventure Kings 15L Centre Console Fridge/Freezer
Whether you’re looking for a pint-sized camping fridge for day trips to the beach or a reliable cooler to store temperature-sensitive medications while camping, the Adventure Kings 15L Centre Console Fridge/Freezer has you covered.
This compact 15L camping fridge is about the size of your car’s centre console, hence the name. It is the perfect size for keeping 18 cans of your favourite beverage cold or for storing any food items that need protection from that summer heat.
That small size makes it super easy to pack and haul around. With the simple front display, you can program the temperature to fridge or freezer settings down to -18 degrees Celsius.
The Adventure Kings is compatible with 12V and 24V outlets and runs on a reliable Danfoss compressor. It is perfect for keeping in the car during long road trips and can be secured using an extra seat belt thanks to the underside seat belt bracket. You can even use it to replace your vehicle’s factory centre console!
|Adventure Kings 15L Centre Console Fridge/Freezer
|10 to −18 degrees
4. Companion 45L Transit Camping Fridge
For a lightweight, affordable option that still has room for all your stuff, the Companion 45L Transit Camping Fridge is worth a look. The cooler-style lid features a large hinge and tether chain to give you a full view of the contents each time you open it up.
This fridge/freezer features a large, basket-lined compartment as well as a smaller, shallow compartment for things you need to keep close at hand. It is not a true dual-zone refrigerator, though, and only has one temperature setting. But it can be used as a fridge or freezer, with a low temp setting of -22 degrees Celsius.
In total, the Companion has a capacity of 45L. It can run off AC or DC power with the included adaptor. It weighs only 15 Kg and is compact enough for easy packing and lugging around the campsite. What’s more, the Companion 45L Transit Camping Fridge is made entirely of durable plastic and has 3.5 cm of insulation.
The Companion’s energy-efficient motor uses only 1 amp per hour and runs with less noise than your typical camper fridge. If you’re out to enjoy some peace and quiet in nature, this unit won’t ruin it with groaning white noise.
Considering the size and many features, the Companion is exceptionally well-priced. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
|Companion 45L Transit Camping Fridge
|20 to −20 degrees
5. Engel MT-V45F 40L Fridge/Freezer
Like to rough it in the Outback? The Engel MT-V45F 40L Fridge/Freezer is the perfect travel companion for those adventures where durability is a must.
This hefty fridge/freezer is rugged and built to take whatever you throw at it. The lid features a single-hinged door with a lock, and the entire cooler is encased in thick metal. The Engel is known for surviving unscathed, even after falling out of the back of vehicles.
Thanks to a deep, upright design, this 40L cooler can fit an impressive 60 beverage cans. The interior compartment is lined with a removable basket to make finding what you need easy while minimising energy use.
The Engel comes with both 12V and 240V cables, allowing you to cool the fridge indoors before your trip begins. The exterior features wide metal carrying handles that double as tie-down points. Best of all, the Sawafuji Swing Motor uses only one moving part, reducing the risk of motor failure.
The control panel on this unit is much less modernised than what you’ll find on other products. Much like the rest of the cooler, it is built for lasting durability. Despite the smaller 40L capacity, this thing weighs a hefty 24 kg, which should give you a good idea of how sturdy it really is.
The Engel is well-priced for what you get and comes with an impressive 5-year warranty.
|Engel MT-V45F 40L Fridge/Freezer
For a comfortable chair, check out our list of top rated camping chairs for some great products. And for those desirable outdoor dinner and lunch sessions, have a look at our list of top rated camping tables.
Camping Fridge Buying Guide
Camper fridges are the best way to keep your food and drinks cool when ice is hard to come by. But they do require a bit of an investment, making it important to find the best camper fridge for your needs before you commit to any one product.
They come in various sizes and types, and with multiple features. This can make it difficult to know exactly which product will best fit your needs. To get a better idea of which fridge will work for your adventures, we’ve put together this handy buying guide.
Here is a breakdown of all the different features and buying factors you need to consider before you can find the best option for you:
- Fridge/freezer vs dual zone
- Two-way vs three-way
- Size and capacity
- Power consumption
- Weight and portability
1. Fridge/Freezer vs Dual Zone
There are two main types of camping fridges: fridge/freezer units and dual-zone units.
Fridge/freezer products only allow you to program one temperature for the entire unit. No matter how many different compartments or baskets the fridge has, they will all be kept at the same temperature. This temperature can be set to cold and used as a refrigerator or to freezing and used as a freezer.
Dual-zone units feature two separate compartments, each with its own temperature setting. These units can be set such that one compartment acts as a freezer while the other acts as the fridge.
Fridge/freezer products are fine if all your food and drinks can be safely stored at the same temperature. These units tend to be less expensive and more compact than dual-zone options.
Dual-zone fridges are a must if you have items that need to be frozen as well as cold items that you want to keep fresh. They are also nice for keeping drinks colder than food items. They do tend to be more expensive and bulkier.
2. Two-Way vs Three-Way
In terms of power, there are two main varieties of camping fridges: 2-way electric and 3-way gas-powered.
2-way electric units use electricity and compressors to cool the fridge compartments. All are compatible with 12V DC power, while many also work with 24V DC and 240V AC.
3-way units can switch between electricity and gas power. These rely on heat exchange to remove hot air from the fridge compartments to cool them down.
Electric camping fridges are becoming more and more common, especially for tent camping. These are easy to use so long as you have a consistent power source, such as a car outlet or camping battery.
Gas-powered 3-way units are nice because they can still run when electricity isn’t an option. They are also much quieter than 2-ways and less likely to disturb your tranquil camping experience. They are more common in RV camping and tend to be less portable than 2-way options.
3. Size and Capacity
Camping coolers come in a variety of sizes, from 15L to over 60L capacities.
Smaller sizes are great for use in the car or for keeping essentials cool, like medication, dairy, or freshly caught fish. Medium-sized products are perfect for replacing the esky on long trips when ice is not easy to come by. Larger units are great for fitting lots of supplies but tend to be heavy.
You will want to consider how much food and drink your fridge will need to accommodate. You’ll also want to think about how portable the unit needs to be and how much space you have available when packing the car.
4. Power Consumption
All the camping fridges we featured above run off electricity. They are all 12V compatible, and many more are 24V and 240V compatible.
What type of electrical outlet your fridge will work with is an important factor to consider. If you only plan to use it in the car, then a 12V fridge will work fine. If you have an RV or want to pre-cool the unit in your home before you leave, you’ll want more versatility in the power type.
You should also consider the power consumption of any potential fridge. Most units will use an average of 1 to 2 amps per hour in fridge mode and 2 to 4 amps per hour in freezer mode. Dual-zone units tend to use more power than fridge/freezer types.
Some units, like the Companion 45L Transit Camping Fridge, are made to be highly energy-efficient. Units like these are a good choice if you are going to be relying on a camping battery to power the fridge.
5. Weight and Portability
While many of the above camping fridges look like your typical esky, they are much heavier. This has a profound impact on their portability.
Units under 30L are generally light enough to maneuver around the campsite, even when full. But get one much larger than that, and you’ll likely need a fridge slide to get the unit out of the car and plenty of help moving it around camp.
Some large units are meant to be installed in the boot and never moved. If you need something highly portable, you’ll have to settle for a smaller-capacity fridge.
Your average camper fridge is going to run just over a grand. Dual-zone types and large-capacity units can easily be more than this.
There are a few decently sized affordable options available, like the Brass Monkey 25L Portable Fridge/Freezer. But, in general, if you want a budget camper fridge, you’ll need to settle for a small-capacity model.