Best Camping Fridges In Australia

Whenever you go camping, you want to have an amazing adventure with your friends. That’s why we have listed the best camping fridges you can buy in Australia. First, the main benefits are you don’t want to worry about filling your eski with ice every few hours. Plus, you avoid everything soaking in water, and making extra trips to your local store just for more ice.

One of the biggest advantages is that food can remain cool indefinitely. As a result, travelling is made more accessible. Choices are available and drastically reduce food spoilage. What’s the main drawback? Camping fridges and freezers require electricity. 

Today, with the advancements in the solar cell industry, a person can effectively power indefinitely and entirely off the grid. There are also powered campsites with 240V AC electricity at the new campgrounds. Plus, the options below are very energy efficient. 

Right without any further ado, let’s jump into the picks!

Preview
Waeco Coolfreeze CDF-26 Portable Camping Coolbox 12V/24V Fridge Freezer 21.5L
Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) Vehicle, Car, Truck, RV, Boat, Mini Fridge Freezer for Driving, Travel, Fishing, Outdoor -12/24V DC
Koolatron Fun Kool P25 Thermoelectric Iceless 12V Electric Cooler, 24L / 26 Quart Capacity, For Camping, Travel, Truck, SUV, Car, Boat, RV, Trailer, Tailgating, Made in North America
Title
DOMETIC CoolFreeze
Alpicool C15
Koolatron Fun Kool
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$219.99
$94.43
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Waeco Coolfreeze CDF-26 Portable Camping Coolbox 12V/24V Fridge Freezer 21.5L
Title
DOMETIC CoolFreeze
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Preview
Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) Vehicle, Car, Truck, RV, Boat, Mini Fridge Freezer for Driving, Travel, Fishing, Outdoor -12/24V DC
Title
Alpicool C15
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Price
$219.99
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Koolatron Fun Kool P25 Thermoelectric Iceless 12V Electric Cooler, 24L / 26 Quart Capacity, For Camping, Travel, Truck, SUV, Car, Boat, RV, Trailer, Tailgating, Made in North America
Title
Koolatron Fun Kool
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Price
$94.43
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Camping Fridge Reviews

Let’s go over the best fridge for camping options; we have compared different types of 12 v fridges, going over the specifications, including size, function, temperature range and warranty, to see which is the best outdoor camping fridges in Australia. Take a closer look.

  1. DOMETIC CoolFreeze
  2. lpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator
  3. Koolatron Fun Kool
  4. Brass Monkey Portable Fridge or Freezer
  5. Dometic BordBar

DOMETIC CoolFreeze

You’ll find this CDF 16 compressor coolbox vastly superior to a lot of other portable fridges, and especially any eski. In real-world use, it uses 8-12Ah per 24 hours to maintain an internal temperature of 1-2°C at an ambient daytime temperature of 18°C. During the night, when the temperature falls below 12°C, it only kicks in once or twice and runs quietly for 7-10 minutes. Even in a car-conversion micro-campervan, putting it on a rubber mat or even sheets of kitchen paper reduces any vibration from the already-low running noise.

A major plus point is that It cools rapidly. During a hot summer day with an internal temperature of 28°C, it can reach -4°C in 30 minutes, which most 3-way fridges would normally take overnight to reach the freezing point.

Pros

  • It can run for 3+ days as a fridge without charge
  • Has deep-freezing down to -18 degrees Celsius
  • Approximately 21.5 Liter capacity
  • Slim design

Cons

  • LED temperature readout isn’t fully accurate

Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator

This is the perfect size to fit in the trunk, and it also comes with a long DC cord to be plugged in while driving. On a multi-day cross-country pandemic road trip, you’ll find no issues with it. It works really well and maintains a constant temperature whether plugged into DC or AC. It maintains a temp of 4 or 5 degrees C with no problem, even during summer heatwaves. The only drawback is If left unplugged, it returns toward ambient temp really quickly. 

It holds around 15 cans, making it great for two people, but it would be of limited use for a larger group. However, it is very light and portable, plus the lids clips tight together with a good seal when closed. 

Pros

  • Freezes without ice -4F(-20C) deep chilling performance
  • 3 different levels for battery protection
  • Reliable sealing

Cons

  • Not the best for large groups

Koolatron Fun Kool

This thermoelectric iceless 12V electric cooler has a tight locking lid and has been tested to keep ice frozen for 3.3 days unpowered! So you know it’s well insulated, which also means it is energy efficient. With a 24L capacity, it can hold 31 standard 12 oz/355 mL cans and upright 2L pop bottles.

The perfect portable cooler to safely transport perishable items like yoghurt, cheese, milk, and meats, and with the optional AC adaptor (sold separately), you can seamlessly transition indoors. It’s built like an eski with a sturdy carry handle, detachable lid, removable sliding shelf, and cord storage compartment. It doesn’t go as cold (freeze) as the other options, but it keeps everything cold.

Pros

  • Freezes without ice -4F(-20C) deep chilling performance
  • 3 different levels for battery protection
  • Reliable sealing

Cons

  • Doesn’t have freezer capability
  • AC adaptor sold separately

Brass Monkey Portable Fridge or Freezer

This option is an alternative to the similar 15L pick. It’s more affordable, however, the drawback is that it doesn’t have many reviews and the reviews aren’t all positive. So the great points are this can act as a fridge and freezer so that it can reach an impressive -20 degrees Celsius.

With just enough space to keep your food and drinks cool on day trips and light weekend trips, the Brass Monkey is a great compact fridge and or freezer. A three-stage low-battery cutout prevents your battery from over-discharging. It is suitable for 12V systems. The device also features digital temperature controls, a reliable compressor, and low energy consumption.

Pros

  • It’s energy-efficient
  • Can get to -20°c which is impressive
  • Eco or High mode

Cons

  • Maintains an inconsistent temperature (when set to -3, it frequently hovers at 0 and won’t change until even lowered).

Dometic BordBar

Choose this cooler, if you need something small and compact for a work van, or for short trips. It will keep your items very cold and even stay cold even when unplugged. There is also a heat function if you want to keep food hot. As you can tell from the image, it’s only small with an 8L capacity, which could be what you need, but if you’re planning a weekend away or going camping, this might be too small to fit everything in. 

Pros

  • Compact
  • Cooling and heating function
  • Serves as an armrest for extra comfort when fitted on the rear seat.

Cons

  • It’s only going to fit small items inside, and not too many of them

Why get a camping fridge

An electric portable fridge freezer is a great modern alternative to a 3-way fridge fitted in a campervan that normally runs on butane or propane. Some sites don’t even allow propane anymore, and luging around 4kg+ bottles is very uneconomical and can be hard to source in some areas.

The main reason to get a camping fridge freezer in Australia, is the ability to keep your food cold no matter where you are, or even if it’s in the blistering hot Aussie summer.

Powering your fridge

It depends if it’s 12-volts, 24-volts, and 240-volts. They all have insulated protection, but some models even have an automatic power shutdown feature that protects their components from dramatic fluctuations in the power supply (great if you’re using AC – 240 volts). 

If you don’t have access to mains power while on your trip because you’re not camping or staying at a caravan park, you can still use a 12V fridge freezer. You can use deep cycle batteries, portable solar panels, or a generator. 

Each product is unique, but you’ll commonly find USB ports and other modern ways to power it.

Deep cycle batteries

A dual battery system means you use your vehicle’s battery for the primary battery and your fridge’s battery for the secondary battery of your battery-powered portable fridge. You can park your car/camper at your destination and charge your portable fridge using the cigarette lighter cable.

Solar Panels

If you are powering your fridge by your car, this can help or, in most cases, completely stop the need for it. They can be used to power your compressor fridge during the day, but will switch off at night – so they cannot be relied on as a sole power source for your portable fridge. Plus portable solar panels have become very cheap and accessible; they are a worthwhile investment if you want to charge any electrical items during the day.

A few quick tips: keep them out of direct sunlight. Even though this won’t really matter for the high quality fridges, it’s always best to keep them in the shade when possible.

Dual zone fridge freezers

These are the cream of the crop, and tend to cost more than a cooler or esky, but you don’t have to worry about ice again. Dual zone portable fridges can use more power in freezer mode (around 2 to 4 amps per hour) but they can reach -20 and keep your food frozen or ice cold. 

Size

What size portable fridge do you need? There is a wide range of sizes available for camping fridges. The size of your camping fridge will heavily depend on your camping needs. If you purchase a large camping fridge, it may be tough to transport and use more energy. 

Alternatively, if you purchase a smaller fridge, you may not be able to transport and refrigerate all the necessary items. Portable camping fridges are measured in litres. To give you some perspective about these sizes, we also list how many cans they hold (roughly).

Whether you’re after a large or small camping fridge freezer, also make sure it’s perfect for the number of people and what you need to carry on your adventure. 

Battery power

Is it 12v or 24v, AC or DC? Most fridge freezers come with both, making them very convenient. However, if it’s just AC you need to know where you can plug it in when camping. Alternatively, if it’s just a 12v fridge, you need to make sure you can charge it with a car or solar power. 

Power consumption

You will usually find most portable fridges to be great on power since they are compact and well insulated. On the other hand, if you are just using 12v and must keep a cold temperature range constant, you will need something with a low power consumption.

If you plan to use it as a portable freezer, this will use more power, usually an average of 1 to 2 amps per hour in fridge mode and 2 to 4 amps per hour in freezer mode.

Battery protection

Most AC portable fridges come with some kind of 3-stage battery protection. This is so power surges don’t destroy the battery, it’s definitely something to consider when buying portable camping fridge freezers. 

How much do portable fridges cost?

This varies massively depending on the size and specs. However, expect to pay around $400 to $1000 for a decent model that will be reliable.

Verdict

We have covered various factors to consider and looked at some of the best value camping fridges in Australia. Each one is a quality fridge in its own right, and suitable for different people. However, our overall pick is the DOMETIC CoolFreeze, it ticks a lot of the boxes and has thousands of reviews.

We hoped this article helped. Happy camping!

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