Camping fridges make longer trips easy. However, even your best coolers struggle to keep things cold after five days. Plus, there is the melting ice to grapple with and food doing the backstroke, and the dead man’s float. Thus, we’ve rounded up the best camping fridges in various sizes and features.
The best camping fridges are:
- AstroAI 12 Volt Car Refrigerator – Best Overall
- Setpower AJ50 Portable Fridge – Best Affordable Large Model
- DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Fridge – Best High-End Fridge/Freezer
- ARB 10802692 ZERO Portable Fridge Freezer – Excellent Bluetooth
- ICECO GO20 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator – Excellent Lights
- Mobicool MCF40 Electric Cooler – Best Scratch Resistance
- Coleman Rolling Cooler – 50 Quart Xtreme Cooler – Best Value For Money
- Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler – Best Small Cooler
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Best Affordable Large Model
Best High-End Fridge/Freezer
Best Scratch Resistance
Best Value For Money
Best Small Cooler
|Value for money
The AstroAI 12 Volt Car Refrigerator is a dual product, capable of working as a freezer at a max -4 F (-20 C).
The Setpower AJ50 Portable Refrigerator is the best affordable option for those that need large capacity.
The DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator is the best fridge on this list.
The ARB 10802692 ZERO Portable Fridge Freezer is another Jaguar of camping fridges.
The ICECO GO20 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator is a more reasonable high-end option for folks that don’t want to deal with the sheer size of the other two.
The Mobicool MCF40 Electric Cooler is a decent, affordable model for people that need to haul a decent amount.
The Coleman Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme Cooler is not a fridge or freezer.
The Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler is a durable and quality cooler. It is a nice option for those that find the Coleman too big.
Best Camping Fridges Compared
- Quiet: only 24 dB
- Only consumes 1 KW.H per day in ECO Mode
- 12V, with adaptors
- Condensation can get heavy
The AstroAI 12 Volt Car Refrigerator is a dual product, capable of working as a freezer at a max -4 F (-20 C). When empty, it can drop to that temp within 15 minutes, thanks to its compressor. It’s designed for use in a car, tiny homes, or camping. It has 3 power-saving modes to help extend the chill through energy droughts.
The AstroAI is only 16 quarts. But it is much more affordable than most high-end compressor fridges and freezers. Bigger ones in this price bracket simply do not perform as well. It doesn’t fancy add-ons like the high-end models. But it works incredibly well as a fridge or freezer.
Thus, buying this with a decent cooler, such as Coleman’s 50 quarts, would be an effective system if money is tight. In addition, you’d still save loads more than shelling out for larger, high-end fridge and freezer systems that chat to your phone.
Besides, lifting one of these and a cooler is much nicer for your back (not all campers are 20-year-old American football players).
- 54 quarts
- Energy saving modes
- Works while traversing on bumpy terrain
- AC, DC, and solar powering options
- Struggles to work if left in the sun or high temperatures
- One lid means you open both zones every time
The Setpower AJ50 Portable Refrigerator is the best affordable option for those that need large capacity. It holds 54 quarts and operates dual zones, so you can have a fridge and freezer. It’s also insulated enough that you don’t need to panic if it isn’t running the entire time.
However, this is not a high-end model. While it is built pretty well, and its lid is robust enough to act as a spare table, it can’t power through being left in the sun or long heat waves. You’re going to need to find some shade or a coolish spot for it to be able to perform at its best. Nor is this model going to talk to your phone.
But for its price point, it is an excellent build. You could buy three of these for one of the high-end models. So yes, its lid opens the whole thing up. Its plugs and cables might require some finesse. But it works and doesn’t require driving only on paved surfaces.
- Built-in battery powers on AC, DC, or solar
- Dual Zone
- Split lid for each zone
- WiFi and Bluetooth
- Can reach -7 F (-21.6)
- 79+ quart capacity
- Easy to program
- Excellent seal
- Its protective cover is difficult to fit
The DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator is the best fridge on this list. If you spend more time out on the road or in the wilds than you do at “home,” then it is worth the hectic price and weight. It is the luxury Jaguar, rather than your Hondas, further up the list.
Thus, if you only camp a few weeks a year, a product like this probably isn’t worth the dent, it will make in your bank account. Also, its sheer size makes it impossible to haul for car campers. You need a rig. But while it is heavy, it’s pretty light for something that holds nearly 80 quarts.
Its compressor is powerful, making this a workhorse even in less-than-ideal conditions. It can work through direct sunlight and hot streaks, although more energy will be consumed. Yet, despite the power, the noise level is only 50 dB, which is considered pretty decent for even a full-size fridge.
- 73 quarts
- AC or DC
- Dual Zone
- Split lid for each zone
- Can reach -7 F (-21.6)
- Easy to program
- Excellent seal
- No solar option
- No split lid
The ARB 10802692 ZERO Portable Fridge Freezer is another Jaguar of camping fridges. It’s slightly quieter and lighter but also has a touch less capacity. The Bluetooth app to run the fridge from your phone is also better for those that love their gadgets.
However, you will pay even more for this fancy appliance. So like the DOMETIC, while it is an amazing product, it isn’t worth it for people who only camp here and there for a few nights. Nor do many casual campers have room for such a large piece of equipment.
That said, if somebody gave us one, we wouldn’t say no. Be a great appliance in a tiny home or cabin, too.
- More than the other two high-end fridge freezers
- Dual Zones
- Can keep temperatures steady even in hot weather
- Has an app so you can control it with your phone
- Single lid
- Connecting cables can be fiddly
The ICECO GO20 Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator is a more reasonable high-end option for folks that don’t want to deal with the sheer size of the other two. It holds 21 quarts and weighs about 25 lbs. In addition, it has a phone app, for those that find that easier than using the digital screen.
The price drops with the weight and capacity, making it much more attainable for folks. It is versatile, able to be a fridge, freezer, or both. It would also pair nicely with a quality cooler, such as the Igloo, for those taking longer trips. Thus, you can devise an effective system to handle a full camping food list.
- 40 quarts
- Scratch resistant exterior
- It can operate as a fridge or freezer
- The handles are a bit flimsy
- It isn’t going to perform in the sun or hot climates
- Does not have the dual capacity, so you must choose between a fridge or a freezer
The Mobicool MCF40 Electric Cooler is a decent, affordable model for people that need to haul a decent amount. For many folks, it does exactly what they need and is pretty durable, handles aside.
However, it does not have all the bells and whistles. Nor can it handle direct sunlight or hot climates. Also, you have to choose if it will behave as a fridge or freezer; there are no dual zones. But if you are taking a road trip and don’t want to deal with sourcing ice, this is worth a look.
- No electricity
- Stays cold for up to 5-days
- The pull and wheel system saves your back
- The curved lid ruins it as a decent work or eating surface
- You need ice
- The pull handle is not as robust as we’d like
The Coleman Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme Cooler is not a fridge or freezer. But it’s the closest thing you can get to one without plugging something in. Thus, if you need an electricity option or are looking for affordable ways to beef up a smaller electric, this option is excellent.
It has a large capacity, a pull system, and, best of all, the cooler can withstand 5-days of use. A quality product.
- Electricity free
- Stays cold for up to 4 days
- Not a camping fridge
The Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler is a durable and quality cooler. It is a nice option for those that find the Coleman too big. It will pair well with a smaller electric freezer to help extend your trip without breaking the bank on a high-end camping fridge and freezer system.
Also, this is a much safer option if you are getting on the paddle ski or boat. You can retrieve it without kissing the electrics goodbye if it takes a dunk.
Camping Fridge Rating Criteria
Dometic is our favorite when it comes to features. It has many of the fancy add-ons other high-end fridge freezers have, such as dual-zone cooling and internal lights for night use, and can connect via WiFi or Bluetooth. But one of the most freeing is the solar-powered internal battery that allows you to disconnect this from your car or RV when needed.
Coolers always win over fridges when it comes to noise. So if you can’t stand the slightest hum, you’ll have to get the Coleman or Igloo. However, AstroAI is the quietest when it comes to a working fridge. Admittedly, its size might have something to do with it, as it only holds 16 quarts.
The quietest of the big fridge freezers is the running at 45 dB, beating the Dometic, which runs at 50 dB.
Dometic has the largest capacity, holding 79 quarts. It has independent temperature control for each compartment, so you could exclusively use it only as a fridge or a freezer rather than a combo. Thus, none of the space is going to go to waste
Weight & Portability
The Igloo is the lightest and easiest to carry around as its 25-quart capacity only weighs slightly over 10 lbs. In addition, there are no motor, batteries, or electrics to add pounds.
But at 22 lbs, the AstroAI is the lightest fridge. So, it will keep food cooler longer than the Igloo’s 4-day max. However, it does only hold 16 quarts.
But when it comes to electrical cooling, the Dometic and are your more robust builds with reliable electrics. In addition, they are the toughest workers in full sunlight.
Obviously, it is best to keep any fridge or cooler in the shade. But sometimes there isn’t any. Your cheaper models will flounder when the sun’s rays are beating down. The food won’t cook, but it won’t be fridge temperature anymore.
Value For Money
The Coleman offers excellent value for money but isn’t a true fridge. But the AstroAI does a great job for a very reasonable price, so long as you don’t need much space.
Mocicool is good value for money for larger sizes. It works pretty well, provided you never set it out in the sun. But if you need even bigger, the Setpower is excellent, and the handles are less likely to break.
Using a fridge while fishing on a boat, we’d go with the Setpower. It will perform better in sunny conditions than the Mocicool, but you could dunk three of them into the lank and still not spend as much as a Dometic or ARB.
Not going to lie; if space and money were not an issue, the Dometic and are fabulous to take camping. But the AstroAI is an excellent allrounder that will meet the needs of people who camp alone or as couples.
But if we thought there was a risk of getting wet, we’d just bring Coleman. Water can’t hurt it, and with 5-days of cooling power, it can withstand day-trip fishing. Less hassle and no worries, that’s what any fishing trip should aspire to be.