When you’re in the market for a camping fridge and freezer, it won’t be long before people start talking about “dual zone” models.
As the name suggests, a dual zone model has two compartments so it can work as a camping fridge and freezer at the same time. The alternative is a unit you can use as a fridge OR a freezer – but not both at the same time.
The convenience of dual zone units means they have become hugely popular in the Aussie camping world. So much so that many of the latest camping fridge models are dual zone.
But they aren’t all created equal. Let’s take a look at different types of dual zone models, before revealing the best camping fridge and freezers you can buy.
Types of dual zone units
The main type of dual zone has independent compartments and thermostats so you can control the temperature of the camping fridge and freezer separately.
But there’s another option which features an internal divider that can be removed to allow the whole unit to be a fridge or freezer. Sometimes, these models work on an ‘overflow’ method, where the freezer compartment overflow cools the fridge compartment. Either way, the downside is that you cannot control each compartment’s temperature independently. We’ve also heard that the divider can be annoyingly difficult to keep clean.
Best dual zone camping fridge and freezers
There’s a lot to like about this 75-litre camping fridge and freezer by Waeco. It has two temperature zones for simultaneous cooling and freezing down to –22°C. And thanks to the high-tech compressor, it’s extremely efficient and can also operate on solar power. At the same time, it’s very lightweight and compact. But our favourite feature is the app, which allows you to change temperature settings remotely on your smartphone or tablet. You can opt to make it a camping fridge and freezer, fridge and fridge, or even a freezer and freezer. Whatever you need! So if you’re looking for a dual zone unit with some seriously smart features, this is the one for you.
Want something bigger? Check out the humungous 95-litre Dometic Waeco dual zone model with all the same cool features.
This Evakool Glacier 74-litre dual zone a top choice for family camping trips for lots of reasons. As with the Waeco models above, you have the flexibility to go for a freezer in both compartments, a fridge in both, or a freezer on one side and a fridge in the other. There are dual lids too, so you don’t sacrifice the temperature of the freezer when you want to access the fridge.
It features a high-performance Danfoss compressor with easy to use digital controls (some of the easiest we’ve seen). There are internal LED lights so you can easily grab a snack at night.
As camping fridge and freezers go, this one is also super durable. It’s made from powder-coated metal, with fully insulated base, lid and walls. The smooth walls are also really easy to clean.
Want something bigger? Check out the 89-litre Evakool Glacier dual zone model.
What’s the alternative to dual zone?
While dual zones are popular with families, not everybody needs a camping fridge and freezer all the time. You might only want a freezer now and again. So why sacrifice valuable fridge space for something you’ll only use occasionally?
That’s where single tub models come in. These can be used either as a fridge or as a freezer. They’re handy if you want to keep your catch frozen after a big fishing trip, or for keeping drinks chilled at an event.
The Dometic Waeco CFX-100W provides a massive 100 litres, which is great if you’re heading out on a long trip. Thanks to the CFX electronics, it’s powerful enough to reach –18 °C in outside temperatures up to 32 °C. Like the dual zone models above, you can also use the CFX app to control the temperature remotely.
The Evakool model might not be as big nor have its own smart app, but at around $900-$1000, it’s an attractive value for money option. The design is sturdy, easy to clean and use, and lightweight – and sometimes that’s all you need in a camping fridge and freezer.
Planning for your next camping trip? Browse our full range of camping fridge and freezers.