A portable fridge can be useful for camping, 4WD trips, construction and outdoor work sites, or even just big family gatherings in the backyard. If you're thinking of buying a portable fridge, take a moment to read through our recommendations and tips for choosing the right one.
Best overall portable fridge
Original Bushman Fridge SC35-52
- Adjustable capacity, with extension kit included
- Heavy duty, durable build
- 3 stacking baskets for easy storage
- 5 year warranty
The Original Bushman Fridge SC35-52 is loved by customers, with hundreds of satisfied reviews for this Australian-made fridge. This versatile adventure companion comes with an extension kit that allows the capacity to be adjusted to either 35L, 45L or 52L.
Heat is efficiently let out via a 360º ventilation system and the temperature can be set between +10°C and -18°C via a digital thermostat. The internal stacking baskets allow you to set up varying temperature zones, with the coldest items on the bottom level.
The Original Bushman's promise of durability is backed up by a 5 year warranty.
Best cheap portable fridge
Kings 35L Portable Fridge/Freezer
- Digital temperature control with a range of +10°C to -18°C
- Lightweight and compact design
- Reversible lid
- Carry handles are moulded into the side of the body
- Only 2 year warranty
The Adventure Kings 35L Fridge / Freezer is a reliable option that cools food or drinks quickly and efficiently. It uses minimal power and is easy to transport due to its compact and lightweight build. The build quality and longevity won't match the more premium models however.
Best large portable fridge
- Interior LED light
- Adjustable shelves
- Compact for it's storage size
- Some users found the shelves a bit flimsy
The Bushman DC85-X provides a larger refrigeration option suitable for trips on caravans, boats, and 4X4 canopies. It has a compact build for an 85L fridge and also packs in adjustable shelves, spacious door shelving, LED lighting and a freezer section.
Best mini portable fridge
Bushman Roadie SC15
- Fits wine, champagne and 1.25L soft drink bottles upright
- Insulated drink holders
- Shoulder strap included
Despite its small size the Bushman Roadie still has a fully adjustable temperature between +10°C to -18°C and is ideal for long road trips. It's precisely sized to accomodate wine bottles, champagne bottles, or standard large soft drink bottles.
Best portable fridge brand
Bushman's portable fridges attract rave reviews from customers and they offer several sizes and models to choose from. Bushman is an Australian business which has been operating since 1982 and their reputation for high-quality products is backed up by a warranty of 3-5 years depending on the item.
How to choose a portable fridge
What size portable fridge do you need?
If you want to use your portable fridge for camping, start by checking the size of your vehicle or trailer to understand the maximum size that you can transport.
Some of the factor's you'll want to consider next are:
- How many people will you need to store food or drinks for?
- Will you be strong enough or have enough people to lift or move the fridge when it's full?
- For larger fridges, will it put your vehicle over its recommended weight limit when full?
- If you choose a dual zone model, bear in mind that the separating barrier between the fridge and the freezer will take up some space.
The sizes available fall into roughly the following categories:
- Under 25L - suitable for keeping lunch or dinner cool for 1-2 people.
- 30-35L - suitable for a short camping trip for 1-2 people.
- 40L - suitable for a weekend away for 2-3 people.
- 50L - suitable for a weekend away for 4 people.
- 60L+ - suitable for a large family or group of friends, but double check whether your vehicle can handle the size and weight.
- 80L+ - where size and weight are not a major concern a large portable fridge can be useful for large groups. Another option to consider however is distributing cold items between multiple smaller fridges in different vehicles.
What type of portable fridge should I choose?
If you're looking for something simple, e.g. just for storing drinks, then a model with a single compartment could be sufficient. However, if you want to store food items at different temperatures then consider a dual zone model, with separate fridge and freezer sections, or a model with stacking baskets that create different temperature zones.
If your storage needs are regularly changing, then you can also look at models that come with a detachable extension, allowing you to add more storage space when needed.
How are portable fridges powered?
Portable fridges are usually able to use either your vehicle's battery via the cigarette socket, or mains electricity. They're designed to draw a minimal amount of current to avoid draining your car battery while in use.
Aside from using your car or a power point at your campsite or home, using a solar panel is also possible (although be aware that this will only work during daylight hours).