Keeping perishable foods fresh while you’re camping is key to a great camping trip. Poorly stored meats and vegetables spoil quickly in the Aussie heat, and if consumed, can make you pretty crook or worse.
Avoiding the inconvenience and dangers of camping food spoilage is easy with a quality camping fridge.
I’ve researched the latest camping fridges and compiled a list of the 10 best camping fridges in Australia. You’ll find the perfect camping fridge for your style of camping adventures reviewed below.
My Review Process
My camping fridge is easily my favourite bit of camping equipment. I’ve had it for 15 years and I’ll rarely camp without it. Recently, I decided it was time to upsize.
My Engle camping fridge is so good that I’ve become a bit biased towards the brand. Knowing this, I put extra emphasis on objectivity and scoured all available camping fridge brands in forensic detail.
When choosing a camping fridge, I seek coldness, good sealing, and superior insulation above all else. As a 4Wdriver, robust construction is also a must. I need freezing and cooling, so I like to consider dual zone fridge options.
In addition, a low power draw is important as it saves my batteries. With these essential criteria covered, I also look for accessories and innovations such as dividing baskets and USB ports.
The Engel 60L Portable Camping Fridge is a single zone fridge/freezer ideal for a large family of 5 or more. It’s suited for quick getaways or extended touring to remote locations. For the latter, I’d couple it with a 32L Engle which I’d use as a freezer.
The Engle is as robust as camping fridges come and is well suited for serious off-roading and remote adventuring. Power consumption varies from 0.5 - 4.2Ah, and the built-in battery monitor ensures you’re always aware of charge levels.
4cm of premium insulation keeps temperatures consistent. The digital thermostat ensures temperature maintenance is super easy. Operation is further enhanced with a new automatic voltage selection.
Camping fridges for remote camping and advanced camping setups don’t get any better than this.
With 107.5L of storage, this is an excellent upright camping fridge for caravans, annexes, camper trailers, and campervans. With dual door locks and robust construction, it’s capable of handling pretty serious off-road exploring.
Dometic offers a flush mounting system that will appeal to many trying to maximise space in their vans and trailers. You can mount the door for left or right opening, offering further flexibility.
The compressor has Variable Speed Optimisation for power savings and noise reduction. It also features low-voltage protection and electronic fuse/automatic reverse pole protection. This is a must when using multiple variable power sources like solar panels.
The Dometic 70L is a dual-zone fridge/freezer with 40L of fridge space and 30L of freezer space.
Ideal for families with larger vehicles and a dual battery setup, this is a great camping kit for both short adventures and extended touring.
The fridge controls are conveniently placed and easy to read. There are no protruding parts, buttons, or knobs, which is ideal for the rigours of camping.
The internal baskets ensure fridge management is easy. So, there’s no need to rummage with the lid open and lose your fridge’s cool.
The supplied protective insulation cover enhances thermal qualities and protects the outer case. It also has convenient pockets for storing critical leads and plugs.
The Bushman Roadie 15L portable car fridge is perfect for family road trips and overnighters. It plugs directly into your cigarette lighter and sits conveniently between seats or behind the front seats.
This is great for the tradie to keep a big lunch cool. It’s also ideal as a freezer, keeping meats frozen at -18 degrees. So, it’s great for BBQs.
With an average amp draw of 0.58Ah, it could stay permanently in a car fitted with a deep cycle 12V battery and battery management system.
The Engle is a premium high-performance 75L combi fridge. This is an optimal unit for a duo or small family looking to be self-sufficient during remote 4WD camping adventures.
Every component is first class, and there’s a 5-year warranty to back it. The Engle is all about reliability – and that’s what you need when you’re miles from civilisation. It’s built to handle the toughest off-road tracks, and it’ll never let you down.
Keep in mind that this combi fridge requires a dual/multi-battery setup for remote excursions.
The National Luna 50L Dual Zone Fridge Freezer is a great all-rounder. Ideal for a week or weekend camping, the 38.3L fridge and 11.0L freezer is perfect for a couple plus one. It also comes with three baskets for easy fridge management.
This fridge is built with a National Luna Off-road Compressor, making it a great choice for those tackling tough 4WD tracks. It also features 4.2cm of high-density polyurethane insulation and built-in battery protection.
These features make it a brilliant off-roader fridge for rough terrain.
This is my camping fridge, and I’ve put it through hell for over 15 years. It hasn’t missed a beat in that time and continues to operate as if it were new.
40L is a great size for solo and duo campers making either short trips or heading out on extended remote camping adventures. It’s best operated with a dedicated battery and solar panel for charging.
In my opinion, camping fridges hardly get better than this.
The Companion Rechargeable has a removable/integrated lithium battery. It also sports a very impressive accessory list. This is the perfect camping fridge for family campers who place a premium on easy, carefree camping.
A powerful fridge or freezer, it sports a 3-stage battery monitor, dual USB charging ports, and direct solar connections for solar power. There’s even a couple of built-in bottle openers.
With an average power usage of 1.1A per hour, the fridge will run for 16 hours on a single charge.
This is one of the most innovative 60L fridges available.
This is more a combo kit than a true solar fridge. You get a 50L single zone fridge/freezer and a solar blanket plus MPPT solar regulator.
Ideal for general family camping, the monocrystalline solar blanket is high efficiency and delivers 120W of battery replenishment. This ensures you can maintain battery charge and fridge operation via sun power.
This 50L fridge is robust and reliable. Food management is easy thanks to a wire basket and temperature controls that are super easy to operate.
Ideal for those new to solar and camping fridges, this is entry-level camping gear at its best.
The Kings 70L Portable dual zone Fridge & Freezer is a sturdy unit ideal for camping families on a tight budget. A brilliant weekender, it can also make a great touring fridge if you add a dedicated battery and battery management devices.
The digital control panel makes for easy operation. I also like the three-stage adjustable battery protection, which provides reassurance for the less technically-minded camper.
The Secop BD-50 compressor is reliable and consistent, handling tough 4WDriving well. This is also an excellent backup fridge and freezer for the home.
How To Choose The Best Camping Fridge
There are a few things to learn about selecting camping fridges, so I’ve listed the key basics to help you with your research. The information below will have you well on the way to shortlisting the best camp fridge options for your style of camping.
Size and Capacity
15 to 25L is great for the car, day trips and overnighters, carrying drinks and a meal for two. 30L is a brilliant dedicated freezer for touring camping. It’s also great for a couple who do lots of weekend trips.
40 to 50L is ideal for 2-3 people for weekend trips, week-long trips, and even extended touring, depending on your power source. I like to use a 40L when my wife and I go camping for a week.
50 to 65L+ fridges are ideal for groups and large families. While very bulky, they hold a lot of supplies and are well-suited for extended remote adventures.
Camping Fridge Types
There are three main types of camping fridges, compressor fridges, absorption fridges, and thermoelectric fridges. The latter two have no moving parts but are the least power efficient.
I strongly recommend a compressor fridge for camping due to their excellent power efficiency.
Single Zone vs. Dual Zone
A single zone fridge/freezer can be used as a fridge or a freezer. The downside is that while it’s one, it can be the other.
A dual zone model offers freezing and refrigeration in one unit. While convenient, they draw more power and are very bulky.
My perfect setup for extended remote camping is a 60-litre single zone fridge, with a 30-litre single zone freezer. This gives me packing flexibility, ample food storage for extended periods, and redundancy.
Material, Insulation And Durability
Nothing beats a metal exterior and lid for strength and durability. However, these units are heavier and more expensive. Plastic exteriors are lighter but don’t have the same durability.
I look for insulation of 4cm or more. Most insulation is polyethylene or a similar synthetic.
Camping Fridge Brands
Engle is a premium and leading camping fridge brand. Their Japanese compressors are the best, in my opinion.
Other popular brands include Dometic, XTM, Bushman, Companion, National Luna, ARB, and Kings, which are popular for budget and entry-level camping fridges.
Camping fridge covers are very popular. They offer thermal benefits and protection against dings and scratches.
USB ports are becoming more common and are a great accessory as they provide a central charge location for your devices.
Internal wire baskets are a must for storage efficiency. They reduce rummaging while the fridge is open and associated cooling loss.
Fridge slides for vehicle mounting are very popular with off-roaders. They provide a dedicated fridge location and easy fridge access.
Some camp fridges now offer wireless controls via a mobile app. So, you can manage your energy consumption from your phone.
Dual Battery Systems
When running a camping fridge, having a dual battery system in your vehicle is not necessary. I would, however, strongly recommend one. For remote camping, I’d suggest that a dual battery system or dedicated fridge battery is essential.
A spare 12V lithium-ion or standard deep cycle battery provides power security. You don’t want to drain your cranking battery. Add a solar panel to your system, and it is possible to run your camping fridge indefinitely.
Each Engle MT-V camping fridge on this list is a standout. The 60-litre Engle Fridge/Freezer takes the trophy. It’s brilliant for large groups and big families going rugged and remote.
The Companion 60L gets a big thumbs up for innovation. The Kings Dual Zone 70L gets an honourable mention for excellent value.
The best fridge for camping is reliable and has a quality compressor that delivers consistent temperatures at all levels. The best fridge is also the one that suits your power source and catering demands.
A compressor camping fridge is generally the most efficient. This question is very difficult to answer, however, as camping fridge efficiency, in practice, is impacted by many variables. An efficient single-zone camping fridge should use less than 3A per hour. An efficient freezer should use less than 4A per hour.
In my opinion, good quality camping fridge setups are worth every penny. Add one to your camping gear, and you’ll never look back.
The majority of camping fridges are powered by 12V vehicle batteries. It’s best to use a dual battery system or a dedicated deep cycle battery charged via solar panels.
No, you don’t. But “need” is subjective. Do we need a tent? We certainly need to eat, and eating fresh food is best.
A quality camping fridge is the best piece of camping kit you’ll ever invest in. I strongly recommend them to all campers as they enhance every camping experience – especially catering!
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.