Portable camping fridges: your buying guide to camping fridges

Learn how to find a portable fridge with all the features you need.

When you’re camping with family or road tripping with friends, rotten food and lukewarm drinks are the last things you’ll want to deal with. A camping fridge can be one of the most effective tools to keep food and drinks cold on long trips in a car or caravan. A camping fridge can set you back anywhere from $350 to $2,000 depending on the size and brand. Popular brands include Engel, EvaKool, Dometic Waeco and Bushman.

To compare camping fridges, you will need to think about how you plan to use the fridge. The following are some important questions to ask:

  • How many people will be using the fridge?
  • Do you usually take weekend trips or trips of a week or more?
  • How big is your vehicle?

Our guide will walk you through all the options and help you choose the right camping fridge for your next trip.

Compare popular camping fridges for 2018

Data obtained at time of publication. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Price (AUD) External Dimensions (HxWxD mm) Weight (kg) Type Storage Capacity (litres)
Dometic Waeco CFX65W
Dometic Waeco CFX65W
$1349
561 x 725 x 455
22.3
Compressor
65
Can be controlled and monitored via an app on your smart device.
Engel MT60FP
Engel MT60FP
$1849
441 x 790 x 490
32
Compressor
60
A built-in USB charger allows you to charge your devices on the go.
EvaKool Travelmate TMX65
EvaKool Travelmate TMX65
$929
558 x 455
22.3
Compressor
65
EvaKool is a family owned Australian business.
Adventure Kings 60L
Adventure Kings 60L
$669
520 x 400
22.5
Compressor
60
Adventure Kings' 60L is a low-cost camping fridge/freezer.
Bushman SC35-52
Bushman SC35-52
$1395
380 x 690 x 390
22.5
Compressor
35-52
An extendible kit allows you to transform the fridge from 35L to 52L.
Engel MT45FP
Engel MT45FP
$1399
508 x 648 x 364
24
Compressor
40
Durable steel casing makes the MT45FP ideal for rugged terrain.
EvaKool Travelmate TMX45
EvaKool Travelmate TMX45
$869
490 x 680 x 410
18
Compressor
45
EvaKool is a family owned Australian business.
Ironman 4x4 IFRIDGE65
Ironman 4x4 IFRIDGE65
Available by quote
495 x 490
33
Compressor
65
Can be used as a fridge, freezer or dual fridge-freezer.
Norcoast 50L STD Trailblaza
Norcoast 50L STD Trailblaza
$1529
470 x 475
Compressor
50
125mm insulation makes the Standard Trailblaza more efficient than other Norcoast models.
Dometic Waeco CFX50W
Dometic Waeco CFX50W
$1449
471 x 725 x 455
20.4
Compressor
50
Can be controlled and monitored via an app on your smart device.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a camping fridge?

A camping fridge is a portable version of a traditional household refrigerator. These fridges are made to be taken on the road so you can keep your food and drinks cold on your next camping trip.

While a portable fridge can keep items cold for long amounts of time without you having to refill it with ice, they aren’t cheap. If you are looking for a way to keep your food cool without spending much or only camp occasionally, consider buying an esky instead.

How long will my fridge last?

The lifespan of your fridge will depend on how regularly you use it and how well you take care of it. Many fridges come with one-year to three-year warranties but can last from five to ten years or more if well maintained.

What types are available?

There are two main types of camping fridges: compressor (two-way) fridges and absorption (three-way) fridges. The main difference between the two types is that compressor fridges require an electric power source such as a car battery, whereas absorption fridges can run on an electric power source or gas.

How to compare camping fridges

When choosing a camping fridge, consider your budget, the size of the fridge and any additional features you may need. You will also need to decide whether you want a fridge, a freezer or both.

Which camping fridge is best for me?

The best fridge for you depends on how you plan to use it. Someone taking a month-long trek into the desert will have different requirements than a family of four camping at a caravan park for a weekend.

To make it easier to help you find your ideal fridge, we’ve compared five popular models:

The goodThe bad
Dometic Waeco CFX50W
  • Low power consumption of 1.2a/h
  • Can be controlled and monitored via an app on your smart device
  • Costly
  • Becomes warm when in use
Engel MT45FP
  • Built-in USB charger
  • Made of durable metal casing
  • Costly
  • Variable power consumption up to 2.6a/h
Bushman SC35-52
  • An extendable kit allows you to transform the fridge from 35L to 52L
  • Includes 4 tie-down points
  • Costly
  • Can be noisy
EvaKool Travelmate TMX45
  • Affordable
  • Family-owned Aussie business
  • Does not include any tie-down points except for the handles
  • Plastic casing can dent with impact
Ironman 4x4 IFRIDGE65
  • Can be used as a fridge, freezer or dual fridge-freezer
  • Comes with a 5-year compressor warranty and a 3-year component warranty
  • Price is only available via a quote
  • Does not include an insulating cover

If you’re interested in buying a camping fridge, start browsing today.

Energy saving tips for your fridge and freezer

Sarah Brandon

Sarah Brandon is a writer for finder.com.au and loves the challenge of tackling a new comparison. When she’s not at the office, she can be found writing novels or searching for the perfect artichoke dip.

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