3 Best Portable Fridge Freezers for Camping

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Hey there campers, and welcome to my post where I share my 3 best portable fridge freezers for camping in 2021. Portable fridge freezers are a great addition to any camping trip and are perfect for cooling drinks and preserving our foods. Although gas-powered RV fridges and camping coolers may work well, the most effective option these days is the 12V variety allowing them be powered by both general AC power sockets and 12V batteries alike.

So with that in mind, let’s check out some good portable fridge freezer options below…

My three Recommended portable fridge freezers for camping

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my three are listed here for your convenience:

 Portable Fridge FreezerPriceGet it
best portable fridge freezers - F40C4TMP Portable RefrigeratorF40C4TMP Portable Refrigerator Freezer$CURRENT PRICE
best portable fridge freezers - ICECO 3 in 1 RefrigeratorICECO 3 in 1 Fridge Freezer$$CURRENT PRICE
best portable fridge freezers - ICECO Dual Zone Portable RefrigeratorICECO Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are portable fridge freezers?

In simple terms, portable fridge freezers are effectively powered camping coolers that operate efficiently using a 12-V battery or AC power. That said, many can can also be run connected to a solar panel, a portable power station, generator or even directly to your car’s battery (via clips or the ‘cigarette’ port). They are designed to function well in different conditions and terrains with many containing compressors on par with the home fridge to cool more consistently and chill down to lower temperature ratings.

best portable fridge freezers - 12v fridge

Other advantages here include:

  1. Safety – 12v fridge freezers are fully contained and unlike the old gas powered models, they operate without flammable substances making them safer for camping.
  2. Efficiency – Although camping coolers can keep our food and drink cold, their limitations are based on the amount of ice you put. When the ice has melted, the cooling capacity of the camping cooler goes with it. On the other hand, Fridge freezers are like residential refrigerators that operate their freezer well below zero degrees meaning you have peace of mind that your perishable foods and meats remain frozen until needed.
  3. Storage – Many 12V fridges have more interior space than their gas-powered counterparts. This is because the cooling unit takes up less space, allowing more area to place your cold beverage food.
  4. Interchangeability – and finally – as the name suggests most fridge freezers contain the ability to run as a fridge, freezer or both in a dual zone capacity.

Although 12 V fridges may be more costly than a typical cooler, they are much more efficient and built to last, making them an excellent camping investment.

What Should You Be Looking For?

Below are some of the main factors you should take into account as you shop for portable fridge freezers:

  1. Type of freezer
  2. Type of door
  3. Size
  4. Compressor
  5. Portability
  6. Durability
  7. Temperature range
  8. Other additions

Type of freezer

Chest type freezers open upward while the upright ones open like a home fridge. In general, chest-type freezers tend perform better compared with their upright counterparts and are also more portable having handles on both sides.

Type of door

This may seem trivial, but how you open up the freezer contributes to its efficiency. Just as it is with a cooler – any warm air that is able to infiltrate the unit will severely reduce its efficiency. Check for doors that shut with a magnet, decent clip or latch meaning it cannot come loose if moved or bumped. Sadly however this will not stop the kids from leaving it unlatched…

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Size

As can be expected, fridge freezers come in various shapes and sizes. As you plan your purchase, be sure to note the space you can allot inside of your vehicle for transportation and how much stuff you plan to put inside of it. These products are usually measured in liters (40 – 80L for example).

Compressor

As with the home fridge, this is the heart of your fridge freezer. It is critical to look for a compressor that uses top-tier technology in cooling your products, can transition to low degree cooling within minutes, and can handle multiple power options.

Portability

Fridge freezers are designed in such a way that they meet the demands of the great outdoors. Accessories such as fridge stands and slides are helpful in this situation and most are also equipped with comfortable handles for less effort in movement. The exterior should made of a strong material that can withstand any type of movement however obviously the larger it is, the harder it will be to move around.

Durability

As I mention in most of my camping posts, this is a pastime that is hard of gear and equipment. A good camping fridge freezer should be able to withstand all the rigors that it may undergo during your trips, so look for resilient casings, reliable hinges, and durable construction. Because your fridge is likely to be knocked around and battered in the back of your car or truck, it is best to avoid materials and finishes that will highlight dents and scratches.

best portable fridge freezers - fridge in car

Temperature range

This is the capability that usually distinguishes whether the unit is a fridge, freezer, both or either. Look for a temperature range of 0 ~ 20C (32 ~ 68F) for a fridge or -20 ~ 0C (-4 ~ 32F) for a freezer. Common settings for a dual option unit are -20 ~ +20C (-4 ~ 68F).

Note that 0C (-4F) is not sufficient to work as a freezer.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Amp use – Although you may need to hunt through the manual for this, check the amp usage of the unit. In simple terms this determines how long it will run on a 12V battery if that is your power source of choice. For example, if your battery is 100aH and the fridge runs 10 amps on max freeze mode, then your battery will last 10 hours. Most will run on eco mode at around 4amps.
  2. Low noise – This extra feature is almost a must-have, especially if you have to keep the freezer inside your tent.
  3. LED display – This serves as an indicator and controller of the temperature inside the unit.
  4. Tilt degree of operation – Although most portable fridge freezers today can operate at a 3-degree tilt, some latest products can keep running even under a 40-degree slope.
  5. Ventilation – Through this feature heat dissipation is adequately addressed.
  6. Insulated cover – Some freezers come with insulated covers upon purchasing. The cover helps trap the cold within the equipment, increased water resistance and to protect the outside form bumps and scratches.
  7. Inputs and Ports – You can use the inbuilt USB ports installed for your smartphone or camera battery needs.
  8. Warranty – camping refrigerators with a more extended warranty typically last longer. This is a consideration you should note. Furthermore, when making such a significant buy, you want to ensure that you are protected in the unlikely event that you receive a defective unit or something goes wrong along the way.

What do I use?

I have a Brass Monkey (Australian brand) 60L dual zone fridge freezer. It contains an internal panel that allows the unit run as a fridge, freezer or dual zone unit. It is the perfect size for a family of four and I find the following of advantage with it:

  • It will run on both AC and 12V (I use a spare 12V battery charged via a solar panel)
  • Temperature range -20 ~ +20c
  • LED controls
  • USB connection to charge phones etc.
  • Remote control via smart phone app

I have an insulated cover on it which I got mainly for water resistance as it is kept outside when we camp.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. F40C4TMP Portable Refrigerator Freezer

This first product definitely meets the essential criteria of a good portable 12V fridge freezer. It has reliability and efficiency, making it suitable camping equipment to preserve your food and chill your drinks. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: F40C4TMP
  • Dimensions: 22.68 x 12.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Temperature range: -7.6~50F (-13 ~ 10C)
  • Lock type: Magnetic
  • Type: Chest
  • Capacity: 20 quarts (19 L)
  • Weight: 26.2 pounds
  • Number of shelves: 1

Other inclusions:

  • AC adapter and DC power cord
  • H/M/L three-level battery protection
  • LED display
  • Low noise
  • Temperature controller

Why have I chosen it?

If you are looking for a 12V fridge freezer without the high price, this product is definitely for you. Able to withstand a 30-degree tilt and contains battery use control allowing to run off the car battery while you set up. The freezer perfectly fits inside a car and will not also bother your snoozing child due of its 34 dB low noise level. It can also transition from 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 32 degrees within 15 minutes.


2. ICECO 3 in 1 Fridge Freezer

This next fridge freezer provides multifunctional design to work as a fridge, a freezer, or a cooler depending on your preferences. The compressor is one of the best however its rotomoulded design will keep frozen goods frozen for longer should the power go out. See its specifications below:

  1. Brand: ICECO
  2. Dimensions: 28.4 x 15.9 x 17.5 inches
  3. Temperature range: -0~32F (-17 ~ 0C)
  4. Lock type: Latch
  5. Type: Chest
  6. Capacity: Not stated
  7. Weight: 49.9 pounds
  8. Number of shelves: 3

Other inclusions:

  • Max and Eco modes for battery protection
  • Drainage plugs for cooler use
  • Storage basket
  • Cup holders in lid
  • LED display
  • Temperature controller
  • Five years warranty for compressor and one year for other parts

Why have I chosen this?

The compressor alone on this freezer make it a highly recommendable option however the extremely durable build that doubles as a cooler make it almost the perfect option for camping. It has storage baskets inside and cup holders on the outside for every camping need plus is a dry goods tray where you can put fruits and sandwiches so that these will not become wet and soggy. You also have the option of maximizing the fridge’s powerful freezing feature (Max mode) or just save energy when you are in a location where there is limited access to electricity (Eco mode). This 12V fridge freezer is an incredible companion for your upcoming overland trips.


3. ICECO Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator

For those looking for quality over price, this last item is an excellent investment for anyone who loves exploring the wild. This hinges on the fact that this final product offers a superb combination of top-quality components, durable construction, and performance that parallels higher-end fridges. See its specifications below:

  1. Brand: ICECO
  2. Dimensions: 31.2 x 19.4 x 18.8 inches
  3. Temperature range: 0°F to 50°F(-18℃~10℃)
  4. Lock type: Metal latches locking down refrigerator quality seals
  5. Type: Chest
  6. Capacity: 60 liters
  7. Weight: 65.7 pounds
  8. Number of shelves: Basket in each compartment

Other inclusions:

  • 40° tilt operation capabilities
  • Insulated cover included
  • LED light
  • Impact-resistant caps
  • Control panel
  • Max and eco modes with 3 level battery protection
  • Five years warranty for compressor and one year for other parts
  • 12V and AC cables included

Why have I chosen this?

This final product is built for tough conditions and terrain and with the ability to operate on a 40-degree slope, perfect for 4WD expeditions as well. The two compartments have independent operations, which means you can cool foods using one room while the other freezes. The cooling range suits all your cooling and freezing requirements and is the perfect option for wherever you choose to set up camp.

Conclusion

There you have it, my 3 best portable fridge freezers for camping in 2021 that you can bring with you every time you are off-grid. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them. Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun

3 Best Portable Fridge Freezers for Camping

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing hobbyists who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to fishing.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome fishing gear that will give you the best chance of catching a fish for the best price.

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Paul

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