12V-camping refrigerator; 12v refrigerator

If you are an outdoor person then you must be aware that it is very much essential to carry the right kind of equipment to make any kind of activity successful. One among them is a portable fridge also known as a camping fridge. They have proven to be a lifesaver and the best 12V refrigerator is easily available and doesn't cut deep into your pockets.

How to Pick the Best Camping Refrigerator

A camping fridge will help you to beat the heat and also keep your perishable food fresh. It is an essential accessory for camping outdoors. Don't worry, we will answer all your questions in the next section and help you to pick the best 12V camping refrigerator.

Top 3 Best 12V Refrigerator 2018 Market

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What are the Different Kinds of Portable 12V Refrigerators available for Camping?

The main task done by a camping fridge is to transfer the heat from inside the confined space to outside by using different ways and means. There are different technologies available to complete this process. The kinds of portable 12V refrigerators are:

Coleman 40 Quart PowerChill Thermoelectric Cooler

Via: Amazon.com

Compressor Fridge

  • Compressor portable fridge for camping is a regular one, which we use at our homes and is most commonly used. They derive power from battery or from electricity, mainly by the use of an AC adaptor. They have proven to maintain a cold temperature inside even during the hottest of temperatures outside.
  • The best feature about this kind of fridge is that it has the least battery drainage, which means you can use it for a longer period of time without needing it to be recharged again and again. Thereby, if you have a dual battery setting in your car you can wire the camping fridge from the other battery, so that you won't have any car starting problems and your fridge will also run efficiently.
  • It also has some negative qualities such as:
  • Temperature setting is a bit of a hassle. You need to set the temperature of the fridge and if the outside temperature goes too high or low, you risk frozen or extra warm food.2.
  • Buying an AC adaptor is an expensive task. You need to buy the adaptor separately and also have a second battery installed in your car which will cost you hefty amount of money. Also, it occupies a lot of boot space, which will make you pack a little light.

Absorption Fridge

  • This is your traditional type of fridge which runs on 12V DC, AC or gas. It has proven to run more efficiently on gas. If you plan to travel a long period of time away from a source of power then this is the best option for you. It can derive power from the car battery too and are the best alternative if you plan to go to a remote location. You can easily switch from car battery to gas if you want to save power.
  • It does have some negative qualities too. They are:
  • It drains 10X battery than any other fridge which makes having a dual battery in your car a necessity. It also needs to be at a sitting level and flat which makes it difficult to install it in a less storage space.
  • They are less efficient when the outside temperature is too high.

Thermoelectric Fridge

These types of fridges are designed for a short term use. They derive their power from electricity and use a lot of car battery. The cooling capacity is also very limited and it cannot keep the contents of the fridge cold when the outside temperature is too high. This type of fridge is only recommended when you need to go for a very short trip and are facing a storage problem.

What are the Major Benefits of Buying a Portable 12V Refrigerator for Outdoor Camping?

A portable fridge is a practical choice as it can be easily used in numerous places and having chilled food and drinks on the go. If you are an ardent camper then a portable fridge is your best buddy. With the help of this you can refresh yourself easily anytime and anywhere. The major benefits are:

Wagan 2577 Personal Fridge/Warmer - 7L Capacity

Via: Amazon.com

  • Space friendly: Portable refrigerators are compact and small in size which will give you a lot of boot space for your other camping essentials. The space saving design of the refrigerator makes it simpler to transport and carry from place to place.
  • Efficiency: Portable refrigerators are generally energy efficient and can help you save a lot of energy. Even on a camping trip they utilize less energy in order to save more battery to help you go on a long journey without the need for recharging constantly.
  • Convenience: The most important benefit of a portable refrigerator is its convenience. It can be easily transported from place to place and you can simply take it with you for camping trips. You can store your perishable food and have chilled drinks midst enjoying in your tent. It comes with a charger so you can charge it at your own convenience.

What are the Essential Aspects for You to Know about Portable 12V Refrigerator?

All portable fridges have the basic and advanced features; the type of fridge which suits all your needs depends on your need. There are various important aspects or features about a portable 12V refrigerator which every buyer must be aware of. The awareness of these aspects is the most important part to find the best portable refrigerator.

Basic Features:

  • It includes a power battery.
  • Many refrigerators include battery charger.
  • It has a temperature setting to adjust the temperature according to your needs.
  • A thermometer to know the exact temperature inside of the fridge.
  • A removable lid.

Advanced Features:

  • Presence of dual zone for keeping the drinks chilled and freezing the warm foods.
  • A noise cancellation feature.
  • Emergency mode in case of power failure.
  • A dual thermostat to keep different kinds of food at different temperatures.
  • Presence of automatic fan cooling.

How to Choose the Best 12V Refrigerator for Yourself?

The best 12V refrigerator can be chosen according to your use and necessity. There are various factors you need to keep in mind before choosing a refrigerator. Firstly, look at the size of the fridge and the storage space you have in your car to fit all your camping equipment and the fridge. The sizes of the fridge vary a little and can cause a use hassle if you have storage problems.

Then you should look for the battery drain and the current the fridge requires for functioning. if you plan to go on a long trip and don't have a constant power source then go for the one which consumes the least power. You should check for the temperature controlling feature. Always go for the one which can keep the contents of the fridge cold even when the temperature outside is too high.

The compartments in the fridge are a necessary thing to take into consideration. There are different models available for a freezer and a fridge. You can select the model as per your need. Also, look out for the control setting. The controls should be easy to manage without any problems. To make your decision process easy we have reviewed some of the products to help you choose.

1. Coleman 40 Quart Powerchill Thermoelectric Cooler

This is the ultimate cooler, which doesn't need any ice and can keep the contents cold inside than the surrounding temperature for a long period of time. The size of this fridge is relatively high to hold 44 cans and the door opens to either side. You can plug it in your home or your car.

Major Features

  • 24 * 17.2 * 16 inches
  • Adjustable positioning
  • 1 year warranty
  • Movable plugs


  • Cools 40 degrees Fahrenheit below to the outside temperature
  • High storage capacity
  • No ice required
  • Handles are molded to transport easily


  • Need to purchase a separate adaptor
  • Major battery drain

2. Koolatron KCR40B AC/DC Hybrid Heat Pipe Refrigerator

It utilises only 6 AMP current and is the best fit for trucks, trailers and other vehicles. It has a heat pipe and a storage saving design which keeps the content of the fridge way below the outside temperature. It uses an advanced technology to absorb heat and keep the contents at the right temperature.

Main Features

  • Dimensions- 17 * 19.8 * 19.8 inches
  • Uses 12VDC or 110 VAC
  • Uses only 6 amp current


  • Fast temperature drop
  • Presence of thermoelectric module
  • Eco friendly


  • No freezer attached
  • High battery drainage

3. Wagan 2577 Personal Fridge

This product is ideal for road journeys as it can keep your food cool or warm as per your choice. There is a separate temperature setting for different kind of content according to their need. It can run for a long period of times so you don't require making any detours.

Important Features

  • Dimensions: 12.5 * 6.8 * 12 inches
  • It has a 7 Liter capacity
  • Presence of 2cup holders


  • Very high cooling capacity
  • Works even if unplugged
  • Easy controls


  • Produces high noise
  • Heating power is very low

According to our research and customer review the best 12V refrigerator is Wagan 2577 Personal fridge. It provides all the necessary qualities at a reasonable price. The best feature about this product is its capacity to run without power for a long period of time and the design is state of the art. We recommend you to go for this product for its efficient design.

​12 Refrigerator Accessories

12v Refrigerator Remote Monitor

Purchasing a Fridge Remote Monitor has the ability to make all the travels and excursions you go on a little more comfortable and manageable. With this accessory, you can see the current fridge temperature, the fridge's voltage, and the status of the compressor from an LCD display.

This display monitor has the ability to show the details of up to two portable fridges along with the second transmitter as well. There is a wide range of channels for you to select at various levels. And fridge monitors can be used without also monitoring other fridges.

Final Thoughts on a 12v Refrigerator

There are so many good-quality12v refrigerators available that it can hard for us to say which is the best for your way of life. Your decision will mainly have to do with size, price, and features. Things like if you want a display and an upgraded unit with all the gadgets and gizmos?

Do you need a two-zone unit with a refrigerator and a freezer? Do you care if you need a compressor? Whatever you choose, there is one thing that is always clear: you won’t need to deal with finding gas stations or having melted drinks and mushy food.


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