Best Camping Fridge UK [2023]

Best Camping Fridge UK [2023]

If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors during the great British summer, then you need the best camping fridge you can find! Not only for camping, the best 12V fridge or other kind of portable cooler is ideal for barbecues and parties too.

For us, we had the best campervan fridge in our old VW, but as that’s been rehomed, we now need to track down a good small camping fridge for trips away in the family Ford. The one in our van was great, but it didn’t seem right to part it from the vehicle. Especially as it fitted into the gap perfectly. And doubled up as a stool.

Click here to view my overall best portable fridge for a car or camper

I’ve picked the Mobicool as best 12V camping fridge because it’s compact, portable and efficient – without draining your battery, With superior insulation it also works well with ice packs.

Anyway. Now we’ve kitted ourselves out with outdoor gear like a travel kettle, double stove, new plates & bowls, a portable radio and even a generator, it’s time to turn to a coolbox or maybe even the best car fridge freezer.

If you also want to track down the best portable fridge for camping, join me while I go through all the top rated options. From the best 12 volt cooler or the best 3 way camping fridge to a cheap camping fridge or extra large camping fridge.

Read on to discover the best portable refrigerator for camping – for you.

Best camping fridge contents

Best car fridge comparison chart

This camping fridge comparison table allows you to see the key benefits of the best options at a glance.

NameCapacityPower sourceKey featuresCustomer score*Price
Alpicool G2222L12VCompact & portable, efficient, use as freezer4.7Click here
Coleman Xtreme66LIce packsNo power needed, use as seat or table, made in USA4.7Click here
Dometic CFX348L12VUltra sleek, LED lights, battery protection, luxury model5Click here
Mobicool MB4038L12VGreat insulation, recessed handles, efficient4.7Click here
Igloo MaxCold Latitude56LIce packsPortable rolling design, no power required, chills for 5 days5Click here
Lifewit30LIceSoft cooler bag, lightweight & portable, 3 sizes4.7Click here
Smad41L12V, AC, gasUpright model, 3 power options, reversible door4.7Click here
*Average Amazon score at time of writing

Best camper refrigerator – top options

  • Alpicool 22L 12V cooler – Best compact chiller
  • Coleman Xtreme 66L – Best for use as seat or table
  • Dometic CFX3 48L – Best for glamorous campers
  • Mobicool MB40 – Best overall
  • Igloo MaxCold – Best for rolling around
  • Lifewit cooler bag – Best for 1 night trips
  • Smad upright 3-way – Best for campers & RVs

Best camping refrigerator – What to look for

Cooler, fridge or fridge freezer

First off – what do you need from your camping cooler? This very much depends on how long your trips tend to be. If you go away for a week or more, then you need a larger and more powerful fridge. Perhaps the best camping freezer, too.

Those who take short trips may well get away with a cool box that doesn’t require power. Modern chillers like this can keep food and drinks cold for up to 5 days, and all you need is some frozen ice packs. I’ve even included a cooler bag for quick trips or days out.

Power source

How will you power your chiller? The main options are to buy the best 12V car fridge around that fits within your budget, or you could go for the best 3 way fridge for a campervan or RV, which can run on mains, 12V or even gas. Many of these are designed not to drain your battery, and if you have a leisure battery, even better.

A few of the products listed require no power at all – just frozen ice packs. Once filled in this way they can run for up to 5 days. It really depends how much fresh food you want to store or how many cold drinks you’re likely to consume.

Size & capacity

Again which is the best refrigerator for a camper van or tent is down to how much you want to store. Also important, though, is how much space you want it to take up. If you’re taking a family trip in the car, how much space do you really have to spare?


Several of the best value car fridge products have handles so you can carry them around easily, and these may be attached to the side or recessed. One even has wheels plus a telescopic handle so it can be rolled around like a spinner suitcase.

Other uses

We always used our camper cool box as an additional seat, and one product in this guide has even been designed for that purpose, with cup holders built into the lid. In fact the manufacturer, Coleman, even states it can be used for this purpose.

Best value camping fridge – reviews & recommendations

Alpicool 12V car fridge

Best compact chiller

  • Capacity: 22 litres
  • Power type: 12V

A budget buy fridge with 3 temperature settings that can hold up to 32 x 330ml cans. Carry handles make it easy to move.

If you want the best budget 12V fridge, you may just have found it. This Alpicool 22 litre top loading camper fridge is a compact size, easy to carry thanks to handles on either side, and can hold up to 32 cans with a 330ml capacity.

There are 3 different temperature settings, so you can run it on low or medium to preserve your car battery. If you have a leisure battery, so much the better – in that case you should be able to use it as a freezer whenever you like.

In terms of owner ratings, this is one of the best camping fridge freezer options and it can cool food or drinks in just 15 minutes. It’s efficient, stable even when driving along bumpy roads and available at a very affordable price.

High points:

  • Energy efficient
  • Compact & portable
  • Can be used as a freezer

Low points:

  • Budget looks

Click here to view the Alpicool 22L camping fridge

Check eBay price

Coleman Xtreme camping cooler

Best for use as seat or table

  • Capacity: 66 litres
  • Power Type: Ice packs

This camping cooler box doesn’t need power as ice packs keep it chilly for days. It has cup holders and doubles up as a seat.

I have a confession to make. While we sought out the best 12v fridge for our VW camper, I don’t think we actually used the power adaptor at all. We filled it with ice packs, you see, and found that food kept fresh for days on end. As we never went away in it for more than 3 or 4 nights, that sufficed, without using the 12V socket at all.

So you don’t necessarily need to buy the best 12V electric cooler you can find – it really depends on how long you go away for, and where. For long weekends here in Blighty, the most efficient 12V fridge could well be one without a power socket at all.

This cool blue model is possibly the best budget car fridge around, and like our old VW one you can use it as a seat (you really can, even Coleman themselves say so). It also has cup holders built into the lid and a pair of carry handles. As long as your food is chilled – or even frozen – before you set off and you add enough ice packs, this should easily keep you going for several days.

High points:

  • Made in the USA
  • No power required
  • Doubles up as seat or table

Low points:

  • Not ideal for longer trips

Click here to view the Coleman Xtreme cooler

Check eBay price

Dometic CFX3 camper fridge

Best for glamorous campers

  • Capacity: 48 litres
  • Power Type: 12V

This top-of-the-range camping fridge has LED lighting, Bluetooth control, a display panel and a car battery protection system.

I’m not going to lie – I personally wouldn’t pay this much for a camping fridge. Mister, however, would, without a doubt. The technology, the LEDs – yep, he’d be sold. As would I be if I earned pots of money or had inherited a heap, or perhaps if I was spending tens of thousands on a brand new VW camper, my dream vehicle. One day…

But customer ratings don’t lie either and 5 stars all round is impressive. As well as the LED lighting, it has aluminium spring-loaded handles and a neat little display panel. In short, it looks the business, and the sleek appearance would certainly enhance any home, let alone an RV, caravan or camper.

Other clever features include the removable baskets that are made from wire so even they look smart, the fact that it has a 3-stage car battery protection system and control via Bluetooth or WiFi. It’s the kind of cool box James Bond would have, in the event that he went all outdoorsy. The best 12V fridge freezer around, if you don’t mind the price tag.

High points:

  • Stylish looks & LED lights
  • Integral battery protection
  • Top-of-the-range features

Low points:

  • High price tag

Click here to view the Dometic CFX3 fridge freezer

Check eBay price

Mobicool MB40 camp fridge

Best overall

  • Capacity: 38 litres
  • Power Type: 12V

A freezer compartment, good insulation, a magnetic lock and recessed handles make this Mobicool camp fridge stand out.

When you want the best compressor fridge for a campervan, car, caravan or RV, this one from Mobicool is a good all-rounder. What I love is the fact that there’s a freezer compartment inside – ideal for those who must have ice in their drinks. Well why not, if we actually have hot weather?

It’s an intelligent little machine, with a thermoelectric cooler unit as well as the actual compressor. Due to this it can cool while on the move and when stationery, keeping everything nicely chilled. The reinforced insulation, magnetic lock and rubber seal also improves efficiency.

The handles on this one are recessed, as with the one we had in out VW, and believe me this can make a difference when you’re trying to wedge it into a small gap. It also gives this contender as best dual zone camping fridge a neat appearance.

High points:

  • Recessed handles
  • Very well insulated
  • Highly efficient

Low points:

  • Not the biggest capacity

Click here to view the Mobicool MB40 camper fridge

Check eBay price

Igloo MaxCold Latitude cooler

Best for rolling around

  • Capacity: 56 litres
  • Power Type: Ice packs

This solid choice looks the outdoor part, chills for longer and can be rolled around, with big wheels to suit uneven surfaces.

If you’d like to find an Igloo portable electric car fridge for travel, this almost ticks your boxes. Igloo and portable – yes; electric – no. But this contender as best cheap camping fridge does have a telescopic handle so you can roll it around the campsite or garden, which is pretty cool.

Ice packs rather than power are used here, so it costs nothing to run and there’s no risk of car or leisure battery drain. I can really see this one being rolled out on the patio during a summer barbecue, when more chilled cider, beer or even wine is called for.

It’s a good alternative to a portable mini fridge for camping, and the wheels are extra large for smoother movement over uneven ground. The US-based manufacturer also claims that the chill provided by the ice packs lasts for up to 5 days, so unless you take trips that are a week or longer in duration you should be covered.

High points:

  • Telescopic handle & rolling wheels
  • Contents stay chilled for 5 days
  • Ultra portable

Low points:

  • Uninspiring design

Click here to view the Igloo rolling cooler

Check eBay price

Lifewit soft cooler bag

Best for 1 night trips

  • Capacity: 30 litres
  • Power type: Ice packs

Ideal for short overnight camping trips, this Lifewit cooler bag is also great for picnics. It requires no power, only ice packs.

Well if you want a low power camping fridge this might suit your needs, for easy camping meals with no refrigeration required. Yes, it’s mainly one to take on a picnic, but if you take day trips or short 1 to 2 night camping trips it may suffice.

While it’s not quite the best campervan refrigerator, if you like to take off at a moment’s notice this cool bag might work very well for carrying a few basics and preventing them from going off. Especially if, like me, you take your tea and coffee black. Or simply take items like eggs, butter, sausages and bacon that keep pretty well.

In terms of prep it’s the most efficient camping fridge around, as all you need is to throw in some ice and job done.

High points:

  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to take anywhere
  • Available in 20, 30 or 40L sizes

Low points:

  • Only good for shorter trips

Click here to view the Lifewit cooler bag

Check eBay price

Smad upright camping fridge

Best for campers & RVs

  • Capacity: 41 litres
  • Power Type: 3 way

This upright Smad camping fridge is ideal for campervans. It can run on gas, or be plugged into the mains or a 12V socket.

For some, such as camper or RV owners, only the best upright camping fridge will do. If that describes you, this Smad model could be the right choice. With a 41 litre capacity, it should also please anyone seeking the best 40L camping fridge around.

As it runs almost silently it’s also ideal for those who sleep in their vehicles overnight. For situations like glamping, it can also run on mains or gas power as well as the usual 12V source. It’s highly efficient, and you can even use the door on either side to suit the space.

Is this the best upright 12V fridge around? For the money and with these ratings, it certainly looks that way.

High points:

  • 3 power options
  • Reversible door
  • Upright model

Low points:

  • Ammonia odour when first used

Click here to view the Smad camping fridge

Check eBay price

Best camping fridge cooler – FAQs

What type of fridge is best for camping?

The top compact camping fridge for you will depend on your budget, access to power, the length of your trips and how much catering you’re doing. Most run on ice packs or 12V, while some are 3-way and can also run on mains or generator power or even gas.

How big should my camping fridge be?

The size of the best refrigerated cooler for you varies according to the size of your camping party, what you want to eat and drink and how long your trips tend to be. But also consider the space available – it’s no good buying the best 12V campervan fridge if it’s too big for your old vehicle, trust me!

Are camping fridges any good?

Camping fridges are, quite frankly, fabulous. With ice packs you can enjoy chilled food and beverages for days, and by using 12V power you can keep things cold for much longer. Add a leisure battery or opt for one that can be mains powered and you can stay away for weeks if you want to.

What is the best 12V fridge?

The best 12V fridge is one that will chill what you need it to for as long as you’re camping. There are sizes and types to suit all budgets, so take a look around. You might just be pleasantly surprised by how many great contenders there are as best cooler fridge.

Which is the best camping fridge for you?

Whether you want the top loading fridge for a campervan or the best 12V cooler for camping, I hope this guide will help you find it! Investing in a good product can make camping trips so much more palatable. To compare camping fridges quickly, check out the table at the top of this guide to see scores, key features and prices, or to find out more click the links.

Polly x

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