5 Best Car Refrigerators of 2021

Jerry Wilson
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If you’re a road warrior, a weekend adventurer or just someone who likes to take long road trips, then you might have gone through numerous car refills without finding the best option for yourself.

Maybe you require something that can fit your brewer at the back with a lot of bottles and some snacks. Maybe something for your fishing gear would be best. Or possibly the one with the best user ratings that fits your requirements the best.

No matter your circumstances, you’re sure to find one that fits your requirements the best below.

Here are the 5 best car refrigerator/coolers for summer adventures.

Oh, and when you’re done with this list, don’t forget to check out the rest of my Best of Travel Products too.

NameCategoryProduct
ARB Portable Fridge Freezer 50 Quarts Electric Powered 12V/110VBest OverallARB Portable Fridge Freezer 50 Quarts Electric Powered 12V/110V
Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) VehicleBudget PickAlpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) Vehicle
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V True FreezerUpgrade PickWhynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V True Freezer

1. ARB Portable Fridge Freezer 50 Quarts Electric Powered 12V/110V

Our rating: 9 / 10

ARB Portable Fridge Freezer 50 Quarts Electric Powered 12V/110V

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Pros:

  • Insulation blankets and water rings are included
  • Very affordable

Searching for a portable refrigerator for home? The Arb Portable Fridge Freezer is a highly durable, portable, and versatile product perfect for both outdoor and indoor use. Whether you're in the middle of the city, in a hotel, or at a campsite, this refrigerator will keep your food fresh.

The Arb fridge features a 12V/110V plug with a 2-1/12-volt DC output with a USB charging port. This fridge also has a 2-gallon water tank, which is great for making coffee, ice, or cleaning the interior of the refrigerator. The temperature range of this refrigerator is 45-68 degrees, and it also comes with insulation blankets and a water ring.

You may also want to be aware of the fact that condensation may be present on the interior of the refrigerator due to the temperature variance.

2. Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V True Freezer

Our rating: 8 / 10

Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V True Freezer

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Multiple temperature settings
  • Separates freezer compartment
  • Sturdy carrying handles

Car refrigerators are extremely important to bikers who move from countryside to countryside and travel great lengths. It’s never pleasant to buy food at a gas station, and people need a reliable way to transport food from home to home.

With a 45 quart capacity, this unit offers plenty of space for a family trip. Thanks to the lock and seal lid, a built-in humidifier, auto-defrost function, and the eight total locking wheel casters, it’s easy to transport this unit.

The freezer compartment can reach -8 to -14 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can stock up on meats, fruits, and other frozen foods without worries. Thanks to the one year warranty and durable construction, this unit is sure to last for years.

3. Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) Vehicle

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) Vehicle

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Pros:

  • Ideal for vehicle rides
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Portable, especially for small vehicles
  • Fairly durable and secure
  • Keeps things cold for up to 12 hours

Cons:

  • Gets warm after several hours
  • Build quality is average

It took me a while to find a good car refrigerator, an area where there seem to be very identical products. There are dozens and dozens of car or truck refrigerators out there but either they have poor reviews OR don’t have enough reviews to make a solid recommendation.

This item was recommended to me by a fellow bike tourer, and I’m happy to make it one of our recommendations. The Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator works great for longer outdoor trips where you don’t have access to power.

It’s the best choice for cyclists or hikers who need to keep their food/drinks cool during outdoor trips but don’t necessarily want to buy a whole fridge. You’ll need to provide the cooler, but you can use the 12/24V power outlet to power the refrigeration, or you can use the car battery.

4. COSTWAY Car Refrigerator

Our rating: 8 / 10

COSTWAY Car Refrigerator

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Pros:

  • Dual Zone
  • RV Compatible
  • Shockproof Design
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Wiring Not As Durable As Expected
  • Prone to leaking gas

No matter the need, this fridge has you covered. In addition to the massive 55-quart capacity, the fridge can be set to two different temperature zones so you can store different items at different temperatures.

The fridge also comes with ramp and roast functions when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to manually override the built-in thermostat. This is great if you want the fridge to warm things up a bit or make your frozen food a little colder.

According to reviews, the fridge has a smart power function that communicates with the car’s electrical system to divert the engine’s smart cruise control. If the temperature goes above the desired limit, the fridge will automatically lower the voltage to prevent the engine from using more gas to keep cool than it needs to and save you on your car’s consumption.

5. Dometic CDF-11 Smallest Portable Freezer/Refrigerator

Our rating: 5 / 10

Dometic CDF-11 Smallest Portable Freezer/Refrigerator

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Reasonable capacity
  • Easy to clean
  • Low energy consumption

The Dometic CDF 11 is our top pick as it is one of the smallest car refrigerators on the market that also acts as a freezer. The Dometic is a small refrigerator and can fit into smaller spaces. The fridge can be plugged into a car, boat, RV or anywhere in-between to cool beverages and store food. The Dometic CDF 11 can fit nicely into small spaces. The fridge is one of the few models on the market that also acts as a freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best car fridge to buy?

You'll want to think about the different factors that make a great car refrigerator for your needs.

How many can I store in it?

Will it run off of 12 volts or 120 volts?

Will it need to stay plugged in for power?

Is it portable?

Will the color match my vehicle?

How many cans of soda can I store in it?

Can I use it on the floor or must it stay on the seat?

Can I use it in my truck?

Are there reviews that speak to the quality?

What is the best 12 volt refrigerator?

12 volt car refrigerator is a popular product for most auto enthusiasts. It's a portable cooling device powered only by a car battery. It offers generous storage capacity for bottled drinks and food. With this device, you can jumpstart a cold picnic on a hot day. You can enjoy cold foods in the comfort of your car, RV, boat, or camper.

Delivery time is a very important factor for potential buyers. If you plan to shop online, then buy a refrigerator with a fast shipping process.

This is also an important factor in choosing the best car refrigerator for the money. Shop to buy the product with a money-back guarantee. A company who offers a guarantee is confident in the product quality and is confident that you will be satisfied.

How many years should a new refrigerator last?

There are three core factors that determine if your refrigerator will last a long time:

Construction Quality. The pricier refrigerator models are typically constructed of more durable materials. Cheap models tend to get damaged a lot more quickly because of their poor quality.

Maintenance. If you neglect cleaning your fridge (especially the coils) then it won’t last very long. See our maintenance guide for details.

Use. Those who frequently open and close the door tend to experience more wear and tear than those who don’t.

It’s important to understand that it’s not easy to precisely estimate the lifespan of a refrigerator. However, we are able to say that the more expensive models tend to have a longer lifespan, and if you maintain and take care of it properly, then your fridge will definitely last for longer.

What is the best RV refrigerator?

The best RV refrigerator is one that is able to cool quickly, cool consistently, and that you can rely on to keep your food from spoiling. Some of the best RV refrigerators are even able to run of-the-grid, meaning you don't need to be near a power source to keep the fridge properly cooled.

If you have the money to invest in a solid RV refrigerator, then it's wise to find one that is able to be solar-powered, but it isn't required. While a solar refrigerator is important in hot and sunny climates, it's less important in moderate areas, depending on what your needs are.

When storing food in your RV refrigerator, you may want to seal or vacuum-seal your food items for better protection. This is especially recommended for meat products like hot dogs, sausages, chicken, and deli products. These are foods likely to spoil quickly in the regular temperature fluctuations of an RV refrigerator.

Conclusion

Whether you just want to keep your drinks cold or you plan to keep food and cold beverages handy for a day at the beach with the kids, this guide can help you find the right option. It will also help you narrow down your choices based on what's important to you, like how much room you need, whether you want side-by-side or stacked models, and whether you need a model with an in-door ice maker.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
ARB Portable Fridge Freezer 50 Quarts Electric Powered 12V/110VBest OverallARB Portable Fridge Freezer 50 Quarts Electric Powered 12V/110V
Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) VehicleBudget PickAlpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator 16 Quart(15 Liter) Vehicle
Whynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V True FreezerUpgrade PickWhynter FM-45G 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator AC 110V/ DC 12V True Freezer