If you're on the hunt for the best portable fridge for when you're on the move, then you've come to the right place as we've selected our top picks right here.
Compared to the best coolboxes for camping, a portable fridge has a lot to offer as it can keep your food fresh for longer, making it the ideal companion for long road trips or camping excursions.
This is because it uses electricity to maintain a consistently cool temperature, meaning it acts in much the same way as a normal fridge, with many also doubling up as freezers too.
Moreover, most can be powered via a DC or AC power supply, meaning they can be plugged into almost any power outlet and work, whether that's at home or your vehicle whilst on a road trip. Just be wary that you'll want to keep your vehicle running to avoid draining its battery.
The majority of the appliances on our list come with a capacity of over 35 litres, giving you plenty of room if you're camping outdoors and don't have immediate access to a store.
Build quality is another factor we've taken into consideration, as you'll potentially need something that can withstand the outdoor elements as well as any accidental drops or shaking from off-road journeys.
So, with all of this in mind, we've chosen what we think are some of the best portable fridges available based on their price, reviews, and any unique features that make them stand out from the crowd.
Now, let's take a closer look...
Best portable fridge
- Dometic CFX3
- BODEGA 12-Volt Car Refrigerator
- ENGEL MR040F-U1
- ARB Element Fridge/Freezer
- FRIGIDAIRE Portable Mini Fridge
Best portable fridge - Dometic CFX3
This Dometic fridge comes with a range of features that make it a great option to consider.
Don't let its sleek design fool you, it's designed to be incredibly rugged thanks to its heavy-duty ExoFrame construction and aluminum alloy handles. This can make it a great choice for road trips as it should be able to withstand the wear and tear of travelling.
Its durable exterior and thick seal should also provide a good level of insulation, maintaining its temperature setting and keeping your food and drinks as fresh as possible.
Read more: Best ice packs for coolers
Speaking of temperature settings, it has powerful VMSO3 compressor cooling technology, which is designed to efficiently maintain temperatures between +20°C and -22°C.
It also has a 45-litre capacity and comes with organiser baskets so you can separate different snacks into dedicated compartments for ease of access.
With the CFX3 app as well, you can conveniently control its temperature from your phone via WiFi or Bluetooth. It also has a digital display to help you keep on top of its temperature.
Another great advantage of buying this fridge is how energy-efficient it is. It can be powered using solar energy if needed, but even when powered via AC or DC, it has a three-stage battery protection system to prevent the fridge from taking all the power from its battery source - a handy feature if you're on the road.
Best 36-litre portable fridge - BODEGA 12-Volt Car Refrigerator
This portable BODEGA fridge looks to be a great pick thanks to its impressive 36-litre capacity plus its remote control phone app.
This means that if you're sitting outside your RV, for instance, and want to lower the temperature so your drinks are ice cold before you get them out, you can sit back and relax while you quickly and easily adjust the temperature from your phone.
The temperature of the fridge ranges from -20°C and 20°C, allowing you to either freeze or refrigerate your items.
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Also, it has a connection plate in the middle of it so there are two different storage areas inside. This can come in handy if you want to separate your food and drink, for example. However, the plate also detaches if you want more space.
Another useful feature of this fridge is that it comes with a USB connection - which you can find by the touch-screen control panel - meaning you can use it to charge your phone as well.
And, if you were planning to drive off-road to find somewhere to camp, it comes with anti-shaking compressor technology so the items inside shouldn't tip over whilst on the move.
Best portable fridge for camping - ENGEL MR040F-U1
This ENGEL portable fridge was designed specifically with the outdoors and wet weather in mind, which is what makes it a great option for camping in our opinion.
It's made with a corrosion-resistant ABS case and has heavy-duty removable handles. The ABS plastic should protect it from it if dropped, for example, as well as stop it from corroding.
It's also vibration-resistant, so your items should stay in place if it does fall or if you end up off-road on the way to your campsite.
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In terms of functionality, it features an ENGEL Swing Motor Compressor. This should make it energy-efficient as it only draws around one or two amps per hour, which is 40% less than a traditional compressor.
Moreover, it's AC, DC, and solar compatible, meaning it can be charged from almost any power outlet. This will give you plenty of options so you can choose whichever method is best for you.
A 40-quart capacity makes it a pretty good size for a fairly long camping trip, and it comes with an interior wire basket to put your items in as well. Plenty of storage then for your adventures.
Best premium portable fridge - ARB Element Fridge/Freezer
Engineered to withstand the harshest conditions possible, this premium stainless steel ARB Element Fridge/Freezer is a great choice for regular campers.
It has a weatherproof exterior, meaning it should be able to endure extreme weather conditions, whether it's snowing or raining heavily. This means you don't have to worry about leaving it outside or taking it on a hike with you if needed.
With a 63-quarts capacity, it has plenty of room for food and drink. It also has a basket with a removable divider, so you can either use it to separate your items or take it out if you want more space to store bigger products.
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The lid also stays open on its own thanks to its gas strut-assisted mechanism. This means you’re free to use both your hands if you want to take multiple items out at once.
ARB has also considered security as this fridge even comes with safety precautions. These include tamperproof bolts to mount it to your vehicle, a space to put a padlock, and a programmable 4-digit pin lock to keep your food secure.
When it comes to powering the fridge, you can choose between hooking it up to your vehicle via DC or using a power outlet via the AC supply - a few different options to suit your needs.
Best budget portable fridge - FRIGIDAIRE Portable Mini Fridge
Let's face it, portable fridges can be expensive, so if you're shopping on a budget, it might be worth considering FRIGIDAIRE bit of kit.
With a 10-litre capacity, it's slightly smaller than some of the other options on this list, but with two shelves, you should find there's enough room for all your items as it separates the capacity to maximise the space.
It's also made from stainless steel, which should make it durable despite its size. And it comes with a carrier handle to make it easily portable.
As with the other products on this list, it comes with both an AC and DC power supply, meaning you can use most power outlets or your vehicle to run it.
In terms of the temperature, it will cool to around -6°C below the ambient room temperature. This means it's suitable for refrigerating food and drink whilst on the move. Overall, plenty to like about this FRIGIDAIRE mini fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about portable fridges so you can learn more about them.
Is it worth getting a portable fridge?
It's definitely worth getting a portable fridge to keep your food and drinks fresh if you're going on a long camping or road trip, particularly when you're out in the middle of nowhere and won't have access to shops or restaurants.
A portable fridge can keep perishable food fresh for an extended period of time; longer than coolers can. Plus, they're more convenient because you don't need to buy ice pack replacements for them, nor worry about your food becoming soggy from the ice melting.
Another advantage of a portable fridge is that you probably won't need to dine out on your trip, which can potentially save quite a bit of money in the long run if you take all your food with you with a portable refrigerator.
How long do portable fridges last?
The lifespan of a portable fridge comes down to how well you maintain it.
It's important to ensure you get into a good maintenance route to keep it in good condition. This includes regularly cleaning the coils and seals to ensure all the cool air remains trapped inside.
You should also check the door seals are still working properly before using your fridge as any leaks may cause your food to expire.
These practices should ensure the fridge continues to run smoothly and keeps its insulating qualities for years to come.
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