Best Camping Fridges / Freezers for 4WD and Camping
If you’re getting fired up about that big off-road camping trip you’ve got coming up, it might be time to cool down – or at least make sure your provisions can. In fact, choosing the best camping fridges and freezers has never been so chill, because when it comes to 4x4 accessories we know all the cold hard facts about the coolest items, so you - and your food - can stay frosty.
Why Do I Need a Camping Fridge and Freezer?
Now - don’t get us wrong. We all love an esky, and if you’re on a short trip with some mates and a designated driver, just throwing a cooler in the back so you can crack open a cold one on a hot afternoon is great.
But for those of us whose off-road adventures are broad enough that buying that next bag of ice could be a challenge, boundless enough that even ice bricks aren’t going to last, or bracing enough that having to stop to throw out thawed food or pour out melted ice is not an option – selecting the best camping fridge and freezer as the coolest new addition to your 4WD accessories is a must.
Different Types of Portable Fridges and Freezers
Fridge/Freezer or Dual Zone
Most modern camping fridges can be divided into two main categories, which are all about how you want to divide up your food. A fridge/freezer unit can switch between either being a cooler or a freezer, depending on the temperature you choose and your provision needs. So, your barbeque meat can stay frozen on the way, then you can change the setting, and the leftovers can stay safely refrigerated on the way home.
On the other hand, a dual-zone unit has separate compartments for chilling and freezing simultaneously, so you can keep your cans nicely cold in one section while your icecream stays frozen solid in the other. The added convenience does mean dual-zone camping fridges are both more expensive and larger, which brings us to the next difference.
Size / Capacity
Portable fridges and freezers come in a staggering array of sizes, and so sizing up how much room you’ll need to pack a trips’ worth of food can be a weighty matter. Their capacity is normally measured in cans (which is helpful for planning your beer and soft-drink stash), or litres, but knowing how these numbers translate into real-world food amounts can be tricky. Check out this handy guide below.
So, your 30l+ portable fridge would be great for a romantic weekend away or a hangout with you and a mate. If you’re going on a longer trip where you and your buddy can restock as you go, or if the weekend is going to be family-sized instead, you’ll need your camping fridge to be 40l+. If you can’t restock as you go, or if the family is a bit larger or the trip a bit longer, check out a 50l+ unit. Then 60l+ will have food space for a week away for the whole family or the entire friendship crew, while 70l+ is for the long trips, the large groups, or the seriously remote off-road routes.
Off-road refrigeration means making powerful choices. Most experienced 4wders run their 12v camping fridge and freezer from their second battery, rather than connecting to the starter battery – no good stopping to enjoy your cold drinks on a road trip if you then can’t start your vehicle. Plus, the best camping fridges are made of durable materials and have high-quality insulation that works together to reduce power consumption, and wise off-road travellers will choose the right size fridge for their needs (as a full fridge stays cooler than an empty one) or invest in power-saving fridge accessories like thermal covers.
Upgrades / Accessories for 4wd Fridges and Freezers
The better the insulation, the more efficient your portable fridge and freezer will be in keeping food cold and your power consumption low. Plus, protecting your new favourite 4x4 accessory from wear and tear when conditions are tough or the elements are rough is always a sound investment. No matter what size your portable fridge/freezer or dual-zone unit, there are high-quality thermal fridge covers to offer insulating protection and fit all budgets.
So you’ve bought the best camping fridge for your needs and filled it with fab food, and you’re off on your latest 4x4 trek, and you stop to set up camp and have a meal – but lugging a full fridge out of your 4wd, leaving it in the vehicle and reaching into it easily, or even shifting it aside to unpack the other camping gear and vital 4wd accessories is no picnic. A drop slide that gives you smooth, easy and convenient access to your camping fridge and freezer can be worth every penny while being compact enough to not take up storage space and tough enough to keep your unit extra-secure when off-roading.
If you’re looking for even more fridge accessories, there are also quick-release mounting brackets, fridge stands, tie-down kits and cable savers that will ensure you can get the most out of your camping fridge and freezer wherever you go, however you pack, or whatever your situation. The only question is which 4wd fridge are you going with?
Our Camping Fridge Freezer Recommendations
You know you like to cover all your bases when it comes to prepping for your next off-road camping trek, so choosing to head down the middle of the road is a great move. The Dometic CFX3 55 balances spacious storage capacity for the whole family or the long solo trek, with the versatility of switching between cooler and freezer options at the touch of a button or a tap on the CFX3 phone app, and all at a satisfyingly affordable price.
When space and budget are at a premium, you can’t go past Dometic’s CFX3 35. This compact little fridge/freezer is going to fit snugly in your vehicle and go easy on your wallet, while still offering all the things we love about the Dometic range. Its dynamic cooling technology makes it versatile and energy-efficient, its advanced design is both lightweight and durable, and its 35-litre capacity is roomy enough for all the essentials for your weekend away (that’s 50 thirst-quenching cans of space).
Go big or go home, right? Because the upcoming 4WD trip you’re planning is going to be epic, so your portable fridge and freezer definitely needs to be too. We’ve got you covered – the Dometic CFX3 94 is the king of coolers when it comes to both capacity and capability. No need to decide between fridge and freezer settings here, because this dual zone unit has it all with an impressively spacious and efficient refrigeration compartment coupled with a seriously deep deep-freezer. Forget packing the kitchen sink – this is like being able to take your whole home refrigerator with you on holiday. Enjoy your adventure, and we guess we’ll see you in maybe a month or two – or maybe more?
Choosing a Portable Fridge For My Car or 4WD
With options like these on offer, which is ultimately the best 4x4 camping fridge for you? Let’s recap. Consider the size of and space available in your 4WD, the size and space needed for the provisions you’ll be taking on your next trip, whether those provisions need to be kept chilled or frozen, how accessible and insulated you want your cooler to be, how long you’ll be away and whether you’ll be restocking, and – perhaps most crucially – how hungry a really awesome and adventurous 4WDing trek is going to make you.
We can answer that last one. Really hungry! And as for all your other red-hot questions about choosing a 4WD fridge, or finding the best camping gear and 4x4 accessories, you can just chill out – because we’re always ready to help. Contact us via email, call us on 1800 4WD AUSWIDE, or message us on Facebook for more advice and information about all the coolest 4WD and camping products.