As you prepare for your off-grid camping adventures, a reliable and efficient camping refrigerator can be one of the most valuable tools you bring along. Unlike traditional coolers that use ice packs, these self-contained fridges offer thermoelectric or compression refrigeration, making them a big upgrade over standard iceboxes. They come in all shapes and sizes, so accurately assess your needs before purchasing to ensure you get the right appliance for your expedition.
Unless you have access to a regular electrical outlet at the campground, a camping fridge will run off a DC power source, like your car battery or solar-charging campervan electrical system. This means it’s important to buy a fridge with multiple adapters that match your DC electrical system, and consider accessories like mounting hardware, a cover and vehicle modification if needed.
A top-rated camping fridge is the ARB Elements, which has a weatherproof design that can be secured to the exterior of your vehicle. Its powerful compressor offers impressive energy savings, and its user-friendly controls let you manage temperature settings from a distance with an app. For an even more budget-focused option, check out the Alpicool CF45, which also boasts excellent customer ratings.
Buying a cheap camping fridge may save you some money, but it comes with the added risk of lower quality components and faulty or broken parts that could leave you stranded far from home. Stick with a trusted brand that has a national distribution network and a solid warranty.