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The Best Camping Fridge, Australia 2020 – Your Complete Guide

Best Camping Fridge Australia 2020

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We’re all spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the best camping fridge Australia has on offer. There are so many to choose from.  Not only different models and sizes, but the different types of camping fridges. 

However, it can be a bit confusing at first glance.  Technology is changing all the time; compressors are getting more efficient and camping fridges now come with a separate camping freezer compartment.

If you’re not completely sure what is the best camping fridge, or even the best camping fridge freezer for you, then you’re in the right place.

In the guide, I’ll take you through what to consider when purchasing, and I’ll also share with you some of the best camping fridges currently on the Australian market.  My detailed camping fridge reviews will help you to get exactly what you want at a glance.

Our Pick of the Best Camping Fridges, Australia for 2020

If you just want to cut to the chase and don’t feel like reading this entire guide on camping fridges, here are a couple you can’t really go wrong with.

Bushman 35-52 Litre Portable Camping Fridge Freezer – It’s hard to go past this camping fridge freezer .  They are designed and built for Australian conditions, and come with a rugged powder coated steel outer, digital thermostat, energy efficient compressor and totally configurable by different basket and lid combinations to maximise cooling space. You also get a cover and tie-down straps in the price, so you’re good to go.  They are extremely well built, and will serve you for many years.  Click here to check out the Bushman.

Glacio 45 Litre Portable Camping Fridge Freezer – If you’re looking for a cheap camping fridge that will give reasonable performance under Australian conditions this one is for you.  We own the small camping fridge model in this brand, and it performed well, and without issues, during a recent 8,000 km Western Australia road trip. Click here to check out the Glacio.

Here’s a comparison table that brings it all together.  If you want to check prices, buyer ratings and specs, just click on the product name.

The Best Camping Fridge Australia 2020 – Comparison Table

Here is a camping fridge comparison to help you choose a camping fridge that works for you. With this table you can quickly check out the features of the top-rated camping fridges and camping freezers in Australia.

ProductImageFeaturesLatest Price
Bushman 35-52L Portable Fridge Freezer[OUR PICK] Configurable from 35 litre to 52 litre by interchangeable lids/extender. Tough,
high quality unit.
Check
Glacio 45L Fridge Freezer[BEST $ VALUE] Reasonable quality overall, best for those on a tighter budget.Check
Dometic CFX3 55 Fridge FreezerUses an 'Exo-Frame' to reduce weight to 20kgs. Bluetooth enabled.Check
Evakool TMDZ 60 Dual Zone Fridge FreezerCan configure two compartments as fridge, fridge+freezer, freezer. Value for money.Check
Engel MT-V45F 40L Combi Fridge FreezerTwo compartments can be configured as fridge + freezer, fridge only.Check
National Luna 60L Fridge Full Dual Zone Fridge[TOP SHELF] Highest quality build. The best there is. True Dual Zone with 2 thermostats.Check

Next Steps

If you’re new to the world of modern camping fridges and the latest technology they use, then keep reading to get all the good information on how to decide what will work best for you.

Otherwise, head to the full detailed reviews below by clicking here.

If the products in the table aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, go for a browse through our Online Catalogue; where you’ll find a range of popular Camping Fridges – just click here.

If you need a cover for your fridge, or a slide for the inside of your 4WD, then click here.

Or maybe you’re looking for a drawer fridge or an upright for your caravan. We’ve got a few here for you to look at by clicking here.

Benefits of Owning the Best Camping Fridge Australia?

Do you recall years ago when we went out camping and we took an icebox filled with ice?  By the end of the third day, all we had left was sagging wet plastic bags with the icebox contents swimming in water. That’s not a problem anymore!

The biggest benefit by far is the ability to keep food cold for an unlimited amount of time.  This gives more freedom of where you can stay, the variety of food you can carry, and drastically reduces food spoilage.

The counter argument to this is that a camping fridge or camping freezer requires power.  These days with the advances in solar cell technology, it’s possible to pretty much power one indefinitely and be completely off-grid.

More and more camping grounds now offer powered campsites, with a supply of 240V AC power.  The cost of a powered site isn’t that much more than an unpowered site in the majority of cases.  And all modern camping fridges can run off the 12V/24V DC power outlet in vehicles.

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Camping Fridge

Before hopping onto your favourite online camping store and placing an order, there are few things you need to know to make sure your purchase suits your needs. 

You will potentially spend quite a bit of money on a portable camping fridge freezer, so it’s worthwhile taking the time to get some knowledge under your belt.

Here are a few different factors to consider as well as some personal preferences.

Types of Camping Fridge Freezers

Here is a rundown of the different types of camping fridge/freezers.

Chest Fridges

The most common style of portable compressor fridge. They are specifically designed for camping and travel; and come in a wide range of sizes, from less than 20 litres up to 100 litres plus. They can be operated as a fridge, or a freezer, depending on the temperature setting; but not both at the same time.

Dual Zone Fridge Freezers

Also known as combi fridge/freezers, they can carry both chilled and frozen food at the same time by utilising two separate compartments. Exactly the same as your fridge/freezer at home.  

However, this means each compartment will be smaller for the overall size of the fridge/freezer. They are great, but you may need to go up a size or two to cater for both cooling and freezing.

Drawer Fridges

Smaller in volume than Chest Fridges, they are exactly as their name suggests.  A drawer that pulls out, with the compressor being separate from the actual fridge itself.  Best use is for a permanent installation in the back of a 4WD, RV or van.

Console Fridges

Popular with long distance truck drivers. Small in volume, designed to keep food and drink cool on long haul trips.

3-Way Fridges

The 3 way camping fridge freezer is an older style of technology.  They operate off either 12Volts or gas.  They operate well on gas, but really struggle when running off 12V DC.  With the efficiency, flexibility and robustness of modern compressor camping fridges and freezers, you wouldn’t really bother.

Operating Voltages

The vast majority of modern, energy efficient camping fridges and freezers operate of 12 Volts DC, 24 Volts DC (car battery voltages, solar system voltages) and 240 Volts AC (mains power).

On 12V/24V they plug into the DC power source via the ‘cigarette lighter’ style of connection.  A three pin 240V AC plug/cable and the DC cable are provided with the fridge.  Some camping fridges require a 240V -> 12V external adaptor to run off mains power.  Check before you order, as this is one more thing that you have to carry with you on the trip.

Storage Capacity

Storage capacity varies widely.  You can get the little 11 litre fridges, which are good to put your lunch in for a day trip, right up to 90 litres plus.

  • Typically, 40 litre is the most common size for a camping fridge/freezer. This will keep enough food cool for two to three people over a long weekend getaway.
  • 50 litre is the best for a whole week’s worth of camping for a couple, or a long weekend for a family of four.
  • 60 litre and above if you’re travelling for longer periods between shopping, or have a larger group.

As the storage capacity goes up, obviously so does the size of the fridge.  It is also heavier to move around, particularly if it’s full!

As a general rule, think carefully about how long you’re going to be between shops, the power requirements of the fridge (bigger = more power) and the physical size.

Power Requirements

Power consumption for camping fridges and freezers is stated in Amps DC per hour, or Ampere-hour (Ah/h).

Depending on size, a modern camping fridge will use somewhere between 1 to 4 Amps per hour from the power source.

If it’s being operated as a fridge only, then you’re looking at somewhere between 1 to 3 Amps per hour.  As a freezer, it will draw 2 to 4 Amps per hour.

Factors that impact power consumption are:

  • Compressor efficiency – a small compressor running a large fridge will be very inefficient.
  • Insulation used in the manufacture – check the material
  • Size of the fridge – bigger = slightly more power
  • How often it’s opened – loss of cold air has to be replaced.
  • Outside temperature – keeping the fridge in a cool place away from direct sunlight helps a lot.
  • How full the fridge is – a full fridge actually uses less power than a half full one, once at operating temperature.

Become familiar with the power requirements of your chosen camping fridge, as it will have a big impact on the battery capacity needed to power it.

For example, if you have a deep cycle battery rated at 100 Ahr, and your camping fridge draws 3 Ahr/hr.  Batteries are typically considered ‘flat’ at 50% of their rating; so, 50/3 = 16 hours is all you will get out of your battery before needing to charge it up.  If it draws 1 Ahr/hr, then you will get 50 hours (2 days+) before recharging.

If you have a solar system, you need to ensure that your system has the capacity to charge the battery during daylight hours and continuously run your fridge and other appliances in your camp.

Setting up a solar system for off-grid camping and RVs requires some basic knowledge.  If you’re looking for a good reference book on all things solar, then get yourself a copy of “Solar That Really Works” by Collyn Rivers on Amazon.

Temperature Range Settings

Typically, the settable temperature range should be at least from 10oC to -18oC.  If you’re operating your camping fridge simply as a refrigerator, then somewhere between 2oC and 4oC will keep food in good condition.

If it’s in freezer mode, then somewhere around -15oC is optimal; as it will keep food frozen while conserving battery power at the same time.

Construction

The more expensive camping fridges and freezers tend to be made with better insulation and components, particularly compressors.  Better insulation and efficient compressors mean less power and better food storage for longer.

Camping Fridge Reviews, Australia 2020

By now you will know exactly what you’re looking for, so read our camping fridge reviews to find which brand and model works best for you.

Bushman 35 – 52 Litre Portable Fridge Freezer

Almost everybody who buys one of these loves it.  They come with a powder-coated steel cabinet, a top quality Danfoss variable speed compressor controlled by a digital thermostat.  They are tough, and designed specifically for Australian conditions.

The design allows for efficient removal of heat; meaning it requires less power to do its job.

The big plus with this brand is you get three (3) interchangeable lids and an extension collar making it adjustable between 35, 45 and 52 litre storage capacity.  It also includes, stock standard, three (3) separate storage baskets.  In 52 litre setup, you can configure it as a combi fridge/freezer. 

It is one of the most versatile products in this category; and comes complete with cover and tie-down straps, 12 Volt battery protection at 10.4 Volts and includes both 12 V DC and 240 V AC cables.

  • External dimensions: 69cm X 38.5cm X 54.5cm when configured with 52 litre storage capacity.
  • Input power: 12V/24V DC | 240 Volt AC
  • Temperature range: 10oC to -22oC
  • Power consumption: ~0.67 Ah/h at 12 Volts
  • Weight: 14.5 kg
  • Warranty: 5 year compressor/3 year fridge

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Glacio 45L Car Fridge/Camping Portable Fridge Freezer

This is reasonable product for those who are looking for a basic fridge freezer that will work well in Australian conditions; yet don’t want to pay out too many dollars.
Glacio 45 Litre Camping Fridge Freezer
It comes in three sizes; 35 litre, 45 litre and 55 litre storage capacity.  This review covers the 45 litre capacity unit, as it is the most popular size for outdoor use.

It has a simple LED display, and has 3-stage battery protection. It comes with an insulated carry bag/cover.

The components are good, the compressor isn’t too noisy and is generally well made.

We own a Glacio small camping fridge, and had it in the back of the 4WD for an extended Western Australia road trip.  It worked well during the entire trip, particularly as the temperature got up in the 30’s between Kununurra and Darwin.

  • External dimensions: 58cm X 32.5cm X 46cm for the 45 litre model
  • Input power: 12V/24V DC | 240 Volt AC
  • Temperature range: 10oC to -18oC
  • Power consumption: ~0.6 Ah/h at 12 Volts
  • Weight: 16.2 kg
  • Warranty: 1 Year

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Dometic CFX3 55 Portable Fridge/Freezer

One of the issues with camping fridges and freezers is weight.   Dometic have gone a long way to addressing this issue with the use of their proprietary ‘Exo-Frame’, reducing the dry weight of this unit to 20 kgs.  This is good for a unit with a capacity of 55 litres.

It’s an excellent fridge/freezer in terms of components and construction; and you get all the bells and whistles as well.  The ability to run from DC/AC and solar, monitor it with WiFi/Bluetooth via their app, 3 stage battery protection, USB port for charging phones etc.

  • External dimensions: 72cm X 45.5cm X 48cm
  • Input power: 12V/24V DC | 240 Volt AC
  • Temperature range: 10oC to -22oC
  • Power consumption: ~1.1 Ah/h – (8.7A max) at 12 Volts
  • Weight: 20.4 kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year Compressor/2 Year all other components.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Evakool TMDZ 60 Travelmate Dual Zone Fridge Freezer

One of the downsides of Dometic-Waeco and Engel dual zone fridge freezer camping gear is the price.  They are great, don’t get me wrong.

However, if you’re looking for a dual zone/combi fridge freezer that’s really good, but doesn’t demand the same price, take a look at the Evakool range.  They’re around 10% – 30% cheaper than the equivalent Engel models, depending on where you shop.

This unit is well made, and also has the flexibility of configuring either of the two compartments as a fridge/freezer combi or have both operating in fridge or freezer mode.

Has all the good features; 51 litre capacity, 3 stage battery protection, internal LED light, Danfoss compressor, hard wearing polypropylene and stainless-steel components.

  • External dimensions: 79.5cm X 44.8cm X 43.5cm
  • Input power: 12V/24V DC | 240 Volt AC
  • Temperature range: 10oC to -22oC
  • Power consumption: ~1.0 Ah/h – 2.0Ah/h (Fridge) | 2.0 Ah/h – 3.0 Ah/h (Combi) at 12 Volts
  • Weight: 30 kg
  • Warranty: 5 Year

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Engel MT-V45FC 40 Litre Fridge Dual/Combi Fridge Freezer

Engel have been making camping fridges and freezers for a while, and their products have stood the test of time.

One of the most important aspects of any camping fridge is flexibility on how you can use the cooling space.  Sometimes it’s nice to be able to store frozen goods as well as normal chilled food; other times you just need some space to keep drinks cool.

By being able to do both, you get the best value out of your investment.

This particular model offers that; where it can be configured as a combi or dual zone fridge freezer with the use of a removable divider. 

It has three configurations

  1. 17 litre freezer/23 litre fridge
  2. 22 litre freezer/16 litre fridge
  3. 40 litre fridge only

The unit is well made, with steel exterior and high-density polyurethane insulation.  It uses a Sawafuji compressor motor which is energy efficient.  It has generous ventilation to make sure the whole unit operates at peak efficiency at all time.

It has all the features you’d expect of a dual fridge freezer, three stage battery protection, interior LED light, lockable door latch and 12 Volt DC | 240 Volt AC cables.

  • External dimensions: 73.4cm X 37cm X 50.5cm
  • Input power: 12V/24V DC | 240 Volt AC
  • Temperature range: 10oC to -18oC
  • Power consumption: ~0.5 Ah/h – 2.7Ah/h at 12 Volts (depending on configuration)
  • Weight: 24 kg
  • Warranty: 5 Year Compressor/3 Year all other components

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

National Luna 60L Fridge Dual Thermostat Stainless Steel

This fridge is designed and manufactured in South Africa.  The fridges were originally designed to meet World Health Organisation regulations for the safe transportation of medicines and vaccines across sub-Sahara Africa.

It is of the highest quality build to commercial specifications, with unbreakable stainless-steel construction on the outside/aluminium on the inside, Danfoss heavy duty compressor for maximum power efficiency and has unparalleled versatility.

This camping fridge freezer has two compartments; with the left-hand bin rated to a 25-litre freezer and the right-hand bin to a 35-litre standard fridge (60 litre total).  This is a true dual zone/combi fridge freezer, with the ability to set separate temperatures for both bins via dual thermostats; and it’s rated up to 43oC ambient!  No other camping fridge/freezer is rated like this.

It comes with five (5) unique baskets to allow you to store whatever you want.

In addition to its rigid specifications, the fridge is designed for simplicity.  It is not the cheapest fridge out there for sure, but if you’re a tour operator or spend extended time in remote/hot locations this is the only choice really.

  • External dimensions: 75cm X 53.5cm X 42.5cm
  • Input power: 12V DC | 240 Volt AC
  • Temperature range: Left Bin down to -18oC | Right Bin down to -12oC
  • Power consumption: ~1.45 Ah/h at 12 Volts
  • Weight: 28 kg
  • Warranty: 3 Years on all components.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

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2 Comments

  1. Andy

    Great review guys and I couldn’t agree more about the Bushman fridge. We’ve got it too and just love how we can have a small fridge for day trips with the family or add the expansion for our camping trips. A great invention.

    • Keith

      Thanks Andy. Appreciate your feedback. They’re good kit, for sure. Cheers. Keith.


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