An overland refrigerator wasn’t on our priority list when we first got into Overlanding. However, after a few trips, melted ice, and ruined groceries, we knew that it was on the top of our “to buy” for our Overlanding rig. In this article, we will go over the 3 best overland refrigerators and how to choose an overland refrigerator the will best suit your needs. Understandably, these items are expensive and when you start on your rig build, an overland refrigerator is not usually at the top of the list. Eventually, however, it does become somewhat of a necessity depending on the climate you’re in and how long you’re off-grid for.
After countless hours of research on deciding which overland refrigerator would work best for our rig build, we came up with the best 3 Overlanding refrigerator options that will help you make your decision a whole lot easier. Before we dive in, ask yourself these 4 questions.
- What’s my budget for and overland refrigerator?
- How often will I be using my overland refrigerator?
- How many people will be using my overland refrigerator?
- How many days will I be off-grid for at a given time?
After you answer these 4 questions you’re ready to start digging into the different options available to you. Again, these items are expensive and for the beginner overlander, I would probably caution against getting one right away if you have a specific budget. There are so many other items that take priority over an overland refrigerator, for example, an Overlanding first aid kit. If you have the basics of your rig figured out and have established that this is something you’re going to do on a regular basis then this article will help you make that decision. These 3 overland refrigerators are, in our opinion, the best 3 options you can decide between. Let’s dive in.
ARB Zero 47qt Fridge Freezer
The ARB has a tough steel outer casing and inside features a reversible basket with a divider to help keep drinks and food organized. There is a convenient drain plug that allows for simple cleaning. The new Zero Series comes Bluetooth equipped so that you can fully control and monitor this overland fridge right from your phone.
- Capacity – 65-375ML cans
- Wireless monitoring and control via a smartphone app
- Dual DC power inlet and front and rear
- Steal outer casing
- Recessed handles
- Front-facing USB port for easy charging of devices
- Easy to read LED display
- Fridge or Freeze option
- Boost button for a quicker cool down
- Low draw interior LED light
- 64.9 Pounds
- Dimension L29xH22xW19.5 (inches)
- Built-in 12/24V DC and 100-240 AC power
47QT Fridge Freezer With Smart Phone App Control!Buy Now on Amazon
The reasons we chose the ARB Zero Series overland refrigerator for our Jeep is price, and dependability. ARB has been in the off-road and Overlanding industry since its inception and has been producing products that can take a serious beating on the trail. ARB does not specifically specialize in overland refrigerators, but they understand how to build quality products from their multiple air compressors, awnings, recovery boards, and tire deflators. For us, ARB has the stamp of approval which made this purchase a no brainer based on the ARB products we currently use and depend on. Although this is not the cheapest item in our Top 3 Picks, its the most dependable in our opinion.
Dometic CFX3 100L Dual Zone Fridge Freezer
- Capacity – 153-375ml cans
- Weight – 65LB
- Dimensions – H21xW19xL38 (inches)
- Deep Freezes down to -7 degrees F
- Wireless monitoring and control via a smartphone app
- 12/24V and 120V AC power
- Ultra-low power consumption
- Easy to read hi-resolution color display
- 3 stage dynamic battery power consumption system
The CFX3 comes with a weatherproof user-friendly interface that displays the operating status. There is also an app available for you to control the temp from the comfort of your camping chair. This is the world’s first powered cooler that allows you to make your own ice due to the rapid freeze plate without compromising the temperature within the rest of the unit.
Dometic CFX3 100L Dual Zone Powered Cooler - Portable Refrigerator/FreezerBuy Now on Amazon
When it comes to the name “Dometic” the only thing that comes to mind is overland refrigerators. Dometic has been exclusively in the production of refrigerators and coolers from the day it started. The Dometic brand carries a lot of weight and it also carries a hefty price tag, we’re not saying the ARB overland refrigerator is cheap by any means, but Dometic takes the cake when it comes to cost. That being said, Dometic overland refrigerators are some of the most widely used and sought after on the market which means they can charge a bit more for their product. When we started digging into reviews and asking questions we found a common theme among the Dometic customer base and that was that the quality of their products has gone down over the years and their price has gone up. On the flip side of that, there are many new Dometic refrigerator customers that have been extremely happy with their set-up. For this reason, we placed the Dometic overland refrigerator number 2 on our list to purchase.
This particular overland refrigerator from Dometic has made the list because of its sheer size. If you have a large group or traveling with a large family then this may be the option for you. Having the fridge and freezer option is always a plus, but based on our experience, having a freezer is not absolutely necessary when traveling. We suggest everyone take a look at what you actually need and try to make the proper sacrifice between size and functionality. Deciding to go with an overland refrigerator of this size is going to take away space you may need for additional gear or people.
Costway Car Refrigerator 55QT
- Capacity – 55 quarts
- Weight – 36LB
- Dimensions – L27xW13.5xH21 inches
- 12/24V and 120V AC power
- Temperature range from 50F to -7F
- Dual Zones for fridge and freezer
- Three levels of battery protection (Low, Medium, and High)
- Full LCD Display
The Costway overland fridge is the budget pick because it is the cheapest option that we have found with a good consumer rating. It allows for 30-minute fast cooling from 90 degrees to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a clear LCD display for easy temperature adjustment.
Based on what we know of Costway and their pricetag, we decided to place this overland refrigerator #3 on our purchase list. If overlanding is not one of your main interests and something you don’t do often then I wouldn’t recommend spending north of one thousand dollars on an overland refrigerator. The Costway overland refrigerator is the perfect option for someone who wants to have the convenience of an iceless cooler but doesn’t want to spend the money to have a full refrigerator/freezer combo. The Costway overland refrigerator has exactly what someone would need to keep their drinks cold and their food at a safe temperature. What we can’t speak on is the ruggedness and dependability that it provides. For those reasons, we placed the Costway overland refrigerator number 3 on our list.
COSTWAY Car Refrigerator, 55-Quart Portable FreezerBuy Now on Amazon
Based on our research and what we have learned about the overland refrigerator market we have chosen these 3 options to represent the best of what we were able to find. There are more than just these 3 options, but we wanted to provide you a list of simple information that will help take the guess work out. Everyone has different needs and the size of their family can make a huge impact on what they purchase before they take off on an adventure. Remember to keep in my the answers to our questions at the top of this article when trying to decide what overland refrigerator is best for you and your rig so you make the best decision based on your needs.
What’s the Best 12v refrigerator?
Having had to ask ourselves this exact question before, we had to take a look from several different perspectives to come up with a suitable answer for the best 12v refrigerator. For us, it comes down to the dependability and ruggedness of an overland refrigerator. Our family goes off-grid for several days at a time and we have a very specific amount of food and drinks we take with us that needs to be kept in a proper refrigerator to ensure freshness and to avoid spoil. Almost all camping and overland refrigerators have the ability to run off 12v power so it really comes down to the size of your family or group that you’re traveling with. Every family has a different need and deciding what works best is going to take some research and understanding of how overland refrigerators work.
What is the best refrigerator for a camper van?
Much like an overland rig, a camper van has the same basic principles as a Jeep or a 4runner, it all comes down to space. Most overland vehicles whether it is a camper van or some other type of extended off-road traveling rig has a very limited amount of space that you have available to utilize for a refrigerator. When building out your camper van you need to decide what you’re willing to give up in order to have your food kept cold and drinks ready to serve. Having to constantly move items inside your camper van to get to the items you need can become a huge pain and that’s why knowing exactly how much space you have for your refrigerator is extremely important. Unlike an off-road intended vehicle, your camper van may have a predetermined forever location that the refrigerator will be, making sure that’s accessible to you at all times and conveniently tucked away will make your traveling experience that much better.