As a seasoned off roader, I can attest to the fact that one of the most crucial components of a successful overlanding trip is having a reliable and efficient fridge. After all, there’s nothing better than enjoying a cold beverage and fresh food after a long day of tackling challenging terrains and exploring remote locations. However, with the myriad of options available in the market today, choosing the perfect overlanding fridge can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, I will share my insights and experiences to help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the best fridge for your off road adventures.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Overlanding Fridge
1. Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of your overlanding fridge should be determined by the number of people in your travel party and the duration of your trip. A larger fridge will obviously hold more food and beverages, but it will also take up more space in your vehicle and consume more power. As a rule of thumb, a 40-50 liter fridge is suitable for a couple on a weekend trip, while a 60-80 liter fridge would be more appropriate for a family or a group of friends on a week-long adventure.
2. Power Consumption
Efficient power consumption is crucial when you’re off the grid, as you’ll need to rely on your vehicle’s battery or an auxiliary power source to keep your fridge running. Look for a fridge with a low power draw, ideally between 1-3 amps per hour. Additionally, consider investing in a dual battery system or a solar panel setup to ensure that your fridge doesn’t drain your vehicle’s main battery.
3. Temperature Control
A good overlanding fridge should be able to maintain a consistent temperature, regardless of the external conditions. Look for a fridge with a digital thermostat, as this will allow you to set and monitor the temperature more accurately. Some high-end fridges also come with a mobile app that enables you to control the temperature remotely, which can be a handy feature when you’re out exploring.
Proper insulation is essential for maintaining the efficiency of your fridge, especially in extreme temperatures. A well-insulated fridge will keep your food and beverages cold without overworking the compressor, which in turn will save you power. Look for a fridge with thick insulation (at least 2 inches) and a tight-sealing lid to ensure optimal performance.
5. Durability and Construction
Off roading can be rough on your gear, so it’s important to choose a fridge that’s built to withstand the rigors of the trail. Look for a fridge with a robust construction, featuring a sturdy metal or reinforced plastic casing, heavy-duty handles, and secure latches. Additionally, a fridge with a removable lid can be beneficial, as it allows for easier access and cleaning.
6. Compressor Quality
The compressor is the heart of your fridge, and its quality will directly impact the performance and longevity of your appliance. Look for a fridge with a reputable compressor brand, such as Danfoss, Secop, or Engel, as these are known for their efficiency, reliability, and durability.
7. Price and Warranty
As with any major purchase, price is always a consideration when choosing an overlanding fridge. While it’s tempting to go for a cheaper option, remember that you often get what you pay for. Investing in a high-quality fridge from a reputable brand may cost more upfront, but it will likely save you money in the long run due to its durability, efficiency, and lower maintenance costs. Additionally, look for a fridge with a solid warranty, as this will give you peace of mind and protect your investment.
Top Overlanding Fridge Recommendations
Based on my personal experiences and extensive research, here are my top three overlanding fridge recommendations:
1. ARB 50QT Fridge Freezer
The ARB 50QT Fridge Freezer is a popular choice among off roaders due to its rugged construction, efficient power consumption, and reliable performance. With a 50-liter capacity, it’s suitable for most weekend trips and can be easily powered by a standard 12V vehicle outlet.
2. Dometic CFX3 55IM
The Dometic CFX3 55IM is a versatile and high-quality fridge with a 53-liter capacity, making it perfect for longer trips or larger groups. Its standout feature is the built-in ice maker, which allows you to enjoy cold drinks without taking up valuable fridge space. Additionally, the CFX3 55IM boasts a low power draw and a durable construction, ensuring that it will stand up to the rigors of off road adventures.
3. Engel MT45F
The Engel MT45F is a tried-and-tested favorite among overlanders, thanks to its rugged build, efficient power consumption, and reliable performance. With a 40-liter capacity, it’s suitable for couples or small groups on shorter trips. The MT45F features a durable steel casing and a high-quality Engel swing motor compressor, ensuring that it will last for many adventures to come.
Choosing the perfect overlanding fridge for your off road adventures is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your overall experience. By considering factors such as size, power consumption, temperature control, insulation, durability, compressor quality, and price, you can make an informed choice that will keep your food and beverages cold and fresh, no matter where your adventures take you. Happy trails!
Supreme T lives for the thrill of off roading. An expert in the wild, he shares his passion for rugged vehicles, innovative equipment, epic trails, and overlanding adventures on his blog.
For over 20 years Supreme T has been heavily involved in the off road industry in a variety of ways from being a casual fan to a hardcore off roader with multiple off road vehicles.
Supreme T is Addicted To The Adventure.