When you are an avid camper or love to travel for days in a single stretch it is imperative for you to have all supplies ready for the trips. One thing that all campers want is to have their drinks chilled and their food refrigerated along the journey. A cooler might seem like an option but it won’t hack it when you are out on a week long trip with your family or friends. Fortunately, a portable freezer is all you need to keep your drinks and food cold and fresh. A 12 volt portable freezer is designed to work with your car. There are regular coolers that are designed for day trippers and overlanders, but they are not truly portable as they have some kind of absorption or thermoelectric mechanism and often don’t run on a 12-v power source. The new age portable freezers have compressors and operate efficiently on a 12-v supply from your truck or SUV. You can truly enjoy the summer traveling far off with the comfort of a quality vehicle cooler.
In this guide, we are going to review some of the best portable freezer units that not only keep your beverages chilled but can also keep your foods like meat at refrigerator temperatures for days without any worry about power source as they run on your car battery. Furthermore, the portable refrigerator for camping can be temperature controlled just like the fridge at your home. So, if you don’t want your food to freeze and want it just cold, you can set the temperature according.
Without further due, let’s check the top six portable freezer brands available on Amazon that you can buy right now.
Top 6 Portable Freezers on Amazon
1 . Dometic CoolFreeze CDF-11 Smallest Portable Refrigerator
Claiming to be the smallest freezer on the market, the Dometic CoolFreeze CDF-11 makes it to the top of our list because of the amazing features it packs in its small size. It weighs only 19 lbs which makes it easy to carry around. Operating on a 12v power source it is a true refrigerator that comes in thermoelectric size, but is a lot more power efficient. It is capable of not only keeping stuff refrigerated but can also deep freeze them to 0 degree Fahrenheit.
With a clean two-tone design it looks nice and also comes with cup holders so that you can enjoy your chilled beer on the ride. Power efficiency is one of the key features of this fridge as it has an electronic thermostat to control the temperature. It comes with a 3-stage battery monitor to minimize the risk of a dead battery. For long term refrigeration it can operate at very low power even without a power source. You can easily fasten it into your vehicle using the safety belt.
Pros of Dometic CoolFreeze CDF-11:
Dual voltage design provides better power efficiency
3-stage battery monitor
Excellent passive cooling
Highly power efficient
Cons of Dometic CoolFreeze CDF-11:
No AC/DC adapter included
2. Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Freezer
For years, Whynter has provided consumers with innovative and premium quality refrigeration solutions. Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Freezer is another great product suitable for campsite, RV and fishing trips. We liked the capability to operate this portable refrigerator for ice cream both on 12V DC power source as well as standard 110V AC power source.
This portable cooler is large enough with 45 qts storage. It can maintain cooling and freezing temperature between -8 to 50 degrees F. It is a true compressor freezer that has the fast freeze function to instantly cool stuff you put in. LED indicators keep you informed of temperature and low power. Whether you are going on long haul expeditions or short day trips, this portable vehicle cooler will keep you accompanied for years because of its solid outer casing. You can invest your money in FM-45G without any worry as it come with a 1-Year limited warranty.
Pros of Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Freezer:
Fast freeze function
Very low power consumption
1-year limited warranty
Cons of Whynter FM-45G 45-Quart Portable Refrigerator:
Heavier than other mini freezers
3. Dometic CFX-95DZUS Dual Zone Portable Electric Refrigerator/Freezer
Another Dometic portable freezer in the list, the Dometic CFX-95DZUS is one of the most spacious refrigerators with 94.5L capacity. It is a powerful true refrigerator which comes with dual-zone capability. You get two compartments in the Dometic CFX-95DZUS portable freezer that you can set to use both as freezers or refrigerators or one compartment as a freezer and other as a fridge.
You can instantly cool stuff with its Quick-Chill turbo function or choose to main temperature between -8 degrees F to +50 degrees F (-22 to +10 degrees C). It is a Wi-Fi enabled unit which means you can control the temperature setting of this mini freezer from your Android or Apple device. It can operate on a 120VAC, 12VDC, or a 24VDC power source.
Pros of Dometic CFX-95DZUS:
True dual-zone capability
Quick-Chill Turbo Function
Cons of Dometic CFX-95DZUS:
It can be too large for some vehicles
4. ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer
A popular portable refrigerator, the ARB 10800472 is one of the most spacious true refrigerators with 50-quart capacity. It easily operates on 12V DC as well as 120VAC power source. It is powered by a power efficient Danfoss compressor and control system. You do not have to maintain the temperature separately as it comes with a built-in digital thermostat for automatic temperature control. For protecting battery it has an automatic cutoff system in place.
If you need a portable refrigerator with separate fruit or dairy compartment, the ARB 10800472 is for you. It comes with separate compartment and it is capable of maintaining 0 degrees F for long. The front mounted control panel makes it easy to use the ARB 10800472. LED display and large buttons make it easy for anyone to control the temperature.
Pros of ARB 10800472:
Rugged and durable
Large storage capacity
True portable vehicle cooler
Cons of ARB 10800472:
5. Engel MR040F-U1 Marine Fridge Freezer
Known for its rugged durability and high performance, the Engel MR040F-U1 Marine Fridge Freezer is another powerful contender in our list. You should buy this mini freezer if you are going on a trip in some harsh marine environments. It is designed to withstand such harsh conditions because of its features like corrosion-resistant ABS case, high-efficiency Engel Swing Motor Compressor and vibration-resistant body.
The Engel MR040F-U1 Marine Fridge Freezer is an excellent portable refrigerator for truck that can operate on a 12V/24V DC power port as well as on an 110V/120V AC outlet. With 40 qt capacity it is spacious enough to hold food for long haul trips into the wild. The Engel Swing Motor Compressor is highly efficient and uses 40% less power than traditional compressors.
Pros of Engel MR040F-U1:
Sturdy make to withstand harsh conditions
Highly efficient can operate on low power
100% CFC-Free Compressor
Cons of Engel MR040F-U1:
Latches are of low grade quality
6. BLACK+DECKER TC212B Portable Travel Cooler / Warmer
Less expensive but a quality portable freezer, the BLACK+DECKER TC212B is a perfect sized travel cooler or warmer that operates on 12V vehicle power outlet. It uses thermoelectric cooling/heating technology to cool the temperature down to 40 degrees F below normal or 120 degrees F above. It is a small vehicle cooler that sits nicely on your car seat. For more ease of use it comes with a built-in cup holder, so that you can enjoy your beverages on the ride.
Pros of BLACK+DECKER TC212B:
Good value for money
Quality cooling and quiet operation
Low voltage cutoff protection
Cons of BLACK+DECKER TC212B:
No automatic cutoff protection for battery
Requires you to pre-cool stuff
What To Consider Before Buying The Right Portable 12V Freezer
It can get overwhelming for almost anyone choosing a vehicle freezer without knowing what to look for. You may be an avid camper, but picking a 12 volt mini freezer is not same as choosing other gear. Power consumption should be your foremost priority to look for in a freezer as you will be using it for days only on your car battery power. Portable fridge kits are available that include batteries and solar panels, that you might want to consider if you are planning a weeks long trip.
Following the power consumption, you need to consider the size of the portable refrigerator for camping. Your choice of size must depend on two factors:
1.The space available in your ride to carry the freezer
2.Number of people who will be using the travel freezer
We have kept the price as a factor to consider at last because this is how your preferences while considering a small freezer should be like. There is a wide range of 12 volt freezer chest available differing in prices. From budget to premium, every 12v freezer suits a different purpose, and you should be willing to spend on a vehicle freezer that meets your needs the best.
In our list of top six portable freezers available on Amazon, we put the products that are suitable for almost everyone. You do not need to waste your time scraping the internet about camping fridge that land you with contradicting information at best. We made our choice for the top 6 list based on the following features, we deem as necessary in a portable refrigerator for camping:
Compartments: Considering what you will put in the freezer, compartments become necessary.
Portable Cooler Size: You will be wasting your money if you buy a portable refrigerator for car that does not fit well. We picked the portable refrigerators big enough to fit most camping vehicles while still leaving space for proper ventilation around them.
Battery Drain: The most important feature to look in a portable refrigerator is the current it will draw from the car battery. The 12 volt portable refrigerator we listed run without over-draining the batteries.
Design: Choose a freezer which is easy to control for setting temperatures. Also, a portable fridge for car with baskets is better than a deep chest as it makes easier to find things you store.
Off-road Use: Only choose a portable freezer that comes with off-road use eligibility guarantee from the manufacturer.
Why To Choose A Portable Freezer
If you have had enough of buying bagged ice to keep your food frozen when you are on trips, then you definitely need to buy a portable refrigerator as it will make your life much easier when you are camping with kids.
Choosing a portable refrigerator for car to accompany you when you are planning to spend a long trip in the far reaches of the woods is definitely advisable. You cannot rely on bagged ice for anything on long trips. You should choose a portable refrigerator because it does not kill your battery. Present day portable mini freezers are a lot better and power efficient than their counterparts were a few years ago. Not only they keep things cool while saving the battery power, they also keep food frozen without draining the battery. You should choose a portable refrigerator, well because it is portable. These fridges are not bound to your vehicle and you can take them out whenever you want. You should choose a portable freezer because you can use in everyday life. It is not an overkill to own a portable refrigerator, freezer when you own a standard refrigerator at home. You can keep stuff at refrigerator temperatures when you bring them home from the grocery store, but might want to go for a long ride in between.
You no longer have to worry about wasting food or keeping it fresh. Believe it or not, if you are a wanderer you need a portable freezer.