Best Marine Refrigerator

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Last Updated on December 31, 2020

The thing about my fridge is, it’s a family fridge, so there’s a little something that everybody likes in there – Martina McBride 

Life is all about living. It isn’t just about waking up, punching in and out of a time clock, and paying bills, it’s a glorious spectacle that’s meant to be enjoyed and savored.

The days we spend thinking about what we should be doing with our time should be spent enjoying that time with carefree abandon and happiness.

Our grandmother once told us that life is what happens to you when you’re busy making plans, and if you don’t put your diary down and look up once in a while, you’ll miss all the subtle, hidden pleasures that it offers.

She was right, and that’s why we’ve dedicated every spare moment that we have to getting away for weekends and vacations with our families and friends so that we can fill every spare minute we have with wonder and fun.

Best Marine Refrigerator

But even the most adventurous souls need to sit back and make sure that they have everything that they’re going to need to have the best time possible when they do get away.

And if you’re planning on taking food and drinks with you, you’re going to need somewhere to store both and a way to keep them fresh.

That’s why we’ve made a list of the best marine refrigerators that you take on your vacations and road trips so that you can kill two birds with one stone and store all the fresh food and drink you’ll need to make the most of your time away in one convenient, easy to use, and take with you storage solution. 

Are you ready to start living and making the most out of every day?

Then let’s take that first step on your awfully big adventure and find the perfect marine refrigerator that you can take with you on your travels…


1.  Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator

Alpicool is driven by a simple mission and that’s their desire to bring advanced technology to the forefront of mobile cooling everywhere.

Founded by outdoor enthusiasts who were fed up with having their good times spoiled by the limited ability of conventional coolers to keep up with what they wanted them to do, Alpicool set out to find a better way to keep things cold on the road.

And that’s exactly what they did, and continue to do. 

The C20 is the portable pinnacle of all of Alcipool’s innovation and combines state-of-the-art refrigeration technology with functionality and design. This twenty-one-liter combination fridge freezer is able to chill at temperatures of up to minus four Fahrenheit while remaining completely ice-free and uses high-density foam insulation to maintain and hold its temperature.

Utilizing a precise temperature memory function and three-stage vehicle battery protection, which means that no matter what setting it’s cooling at, while it’s connected to your car or RV battery, it’ll never run it down or completely drain it.

And when you get to where you’re going?  You can run the Alcipool C20 off, and from a bare-bones solar set-up and it’ll keep on freezing, chilling, and cooling anything and everything that you store inside it.

Its durable and robust design means that it can take whatever bumps the road throws at it and your vehicle, and even if you decide to go off-roading, the C20 will keep cooling even if you traverse slopes of anything up to forty-five degrees.

It’s as comfortable navigating backwoods and mountain trails as it is being driven down the concrete super-highways that we use every single day. 


It runs at forty-five decibels, which means that it’s quieter than driving down the open road, so even if you’re carrying the lightest of sleepers in your vehicle the C20 won’t disturb them and they’ll keep on dozing while it keeps on chilling. 

  • The C20 has a simple, straightforward digital control panel that allows it to maintain and monitor, and adjust and set its temperature. And, for those more technically minded souls, it even has USB connectivity.
  • The three-stage battery protection system keeps it in perfect symbiosis with your vehicle and ensures that both your car and the C20 will function perfectly when connected.
  • And we’re back to the noise it makes the fact that at forty-five decibels, it’s quieter than tire noise. It’s the silent running cooling chamber that every adventure obsessed family needs to keep their supplies fresh and ready at all times. And as it weighs in at just nineteen pounds, it won’t take up any discernible luggage weight or space. 
  • It won’t break your bank or leave freezer burns on your pocketbook. The C20 is an incredibly affordable, safe, and secure way to prepare for, and enjoy, life on the road.


  • While it has an impressive temperature differential, as it’s a one compartment refrigerator, it functions as either a fridge or a freezer. It can’t be both at the same time, which could be an issue if you’re going to spend an extended period of time on the road and are looking to take everything you’ll need for your trip with you.
  • Then there’s the storage capacity issue. It doesn’t offer a huge amount of cooling space and you’ll probably be surprised by how far twenty liters doesn’t stretch.

2. Dometic CFX28 Electric Powered Cooler

Dometic has a couple of unique claims to fame. Albert Einstein sang their praises and in nineteen twenty-three, this small Swedish company that was derided and mocked by its peers changed the world when they invented the modern refrigerator.

So it makes sense that if you’re going to invest in a marine refrigerator, there’s no better brand to give your money to than the company that started the refrigeration revolution.

This twenty-six-liter fridge freezer weighs in at just twenty-nine pounds and is made to be powered by both your car battery and the mains supply, and comes with connectors for both.

So when you get wherever it is you’re going, you can just unhook it from your car, plug it straight into a socket and it will carry on freezing without missing a beat.

Designed to be tougher than a tank and take the sort of beatings that life on the road will hand out to it on a regular basis, the CFX28 is energy-efficient, simple to operate, incredibly quiet and thanks to its drain plug straight forward and easy to clean.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to have you reaching for your pocketbook, the Dometic is also WiFi-enabled and has USB connectivity, so you’ll be able to control, monitor, and keep a close eye on it from the comfort of the passenger seat of your car while the world flashes past you.

They may have invented the refrigerator, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve ever been content to sit back on their laurels, and the CFX28 proves that Dometic is still a force to be reckoned with.


  • It chills, cools, and freezes quickly and quietly and thanks to its robust construction and insulation, will hold its temperature for an astonishing amount of time. 
  • WiFi and USB enabled, the CFX28 has embraced technology and is incredibly straightforward and simple to use and operate.
  • While we are on the subject of things that it’s easy to do with the CFX28, it’s also simple, thanks to its conveniently placed and easy to access drain plug, to clean.
  • And it comes with two wire baskets, which you use to separate and store whatever you want to take with you. The two basket idea might seem like a small thing, but it adds a sense of order to the way you’ll use, and pack the CFX28.


  • It isn’t exactly cheap, and the century of pioneering invention, precision, and continuous, uninterrupted development that has gone into the manufacture of the CFX28 means that it comes with a jaw-dropping price tag that’ll leave its mark on your bank balance.

3. Costway Car Refrigerator


While they’re not a brand that anyone would commonly associate with marine refrigerators, Costway has thrown its fridge freezer hat into the ring with this paradigm-altering fridge freezer. 

They haven’t just challenged the established order of the marine refrigeration world, they’ve completely subverted it and turned it on its head.

This fifty-five-quart refrigerator weighs thirty-six pounds and can be powered directly from your car’s battery (via the cigarette lighter) or the mains, and thanks to its rugged and robust construction will easily maintain its temperature while you switch between both.

With separate freezer and fridge compartments, Costways portable refrigerator is a versatile and adaptable way to bring your home fridge with you, and thanks to an uncomplicated and intuitive operating system that uses a digital control panel is easy to use, monitor and maintain.

Designed to run equally well in either Eco or Max mode, the Costway has three levels of battery protection that ensures your car always remains in running order while the fridge is plugged into it. 

It’s a left-field Hail Mary pass of a marine refrigerator that changed the rules of the game forever.



  • Built to last and simple to use, it’s a family-friendly marine refrigerator that anyone can get to grips with and master.
  • With three levels of battery protection, it’ll plug straight into the lighter socket and never drain your car’s battery no matter how hard it’s freezing.
  • And freeze it will, as it’ll hit minus four Fahrenheit and easily hold it, without putting an undue strain on your car battery or electricity bill when it’s running off the mains.
  • It’s a freezer and refrigerator and has two separate compartments that have been engineered to let it do both at once efficiently and quietly. 


  • Even though it has enough space for you to store nearly a week’s worth of supplies and can refrigerate and freeze at the same time, at thirty-six pounds, the Costway is incredibly heavy and more than a little cumbersome. It’ll take up a lot of luggage space, so when you do hit the road, you won’t be traveling light.


4. Whynter 45 Quart Portable Refrigerator

Whynter knows that every bit counts, and they design and engineer all of their products to help redefine your life by picking up and slack and bearing the everyday burden for you.

They want to shoulder your responsibilities for you so that you’ll have less to worry about and more time to enjoy the finer things in life.  

That ethos is built into every atom of this forty-five-quart portable fridge freezer combination, that’s capable, thanks to its fast freeze mode, of reaching minus six Fahrenheit in a record-breaking blink and you’ll miss it time.

As comfortable drawing its power from the twelve volt supply of your car or RV as it is from the mains, this load and go portable fridge has a full digital display panel and easy to use controls and thanks to it’s simple to access drain plug, is also incredibly easy to clean.

Tough, durable, and made to take the occasional trip off-road, Whynter’s answer to the age-old road-trip and vacation refrigerator conundrum can cope with whatever you, your family, and the road throw at it. 

With two removable baskets that can be easily filled and emptied, the Whynter has one function.  To help to simplify your life and free up more of the precious moments that you could, and should, be spending with your family and your nearest and dearest. 



  • The fast freeze, ice-free function transforms the Whynter from a fridge into a freezer at the touch of a button.  
  • Made from steel, it’s been built with the road and busy family life in mind. Whynter knows that sometimes things can get tough and their forty-five-quart portable fridge is made to help you weather any storm that heads its way.
  • It comes with Whynter’s limited one-year warranty that’ll cover any and all manufacturing errors and faults that it may suffer from. It won’t fall victim to any though, as it’s a Whynter product, but just knowing that it is covered provides an additional peace of mind that money can’t buy.
  • And thanks to its simple to pull and even easier to reinstall drain plug, the Whynter is also incredibly straightforward to clean. 


  • At forty-five pounds, it’s heavy and will take up a lot of luggage space when you hit the road with it. It may have been forged to stand a direct hit from an asteroid, but it’s big, bulky and despite the convenient carry handles that are part of its housing is difficult to carry with any degree of comfort.

5. Engel Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer

ENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer w/ABS Plastic Shell, Grey

Engel fridges are built and designed to do more than just keep things cold. They’re made for the adventurer who demands more from life and wants to push everything to its absolute limit and far beyond. When the heat cranks up, Engel is there to cool everything down.

This forty-quart portable fridge freezer is made to take life in the wild in its stride and uses a super quiet Engel compressor to refrigerate and freeze whatever you’ll need it to.

Controlled by a single dial, it’s made from shockproof, super-durable, reinforced ABS plastic that’s been fashioned to make sure that it provides a lifetime of hassle-free, cold service.

Solar compatible, Engel’s portable fridge will happily draw the power it needs to keep it below freezing point from the mains or your car. And if neither of them is available, and the sun has his hat on, it’ll bask in its glow to keep its contents cold. 

Wherever you go, the Engel will follow, come rain, sun, snow, or hail. Made for the foolhardy and those for whom fear is just another four-letter word, the Engel is the hardiest fridge that you’ll ever lay your eyes on.


  • It is literally the hardiest bit of camping, RVing, and outdoor equipment that we’ve crossed paths with.  We dread to imagine what you’d have to do to this fridge, or what kind of punishment you’d have to subject it to,  to even slightly damage it.  Tough doesn’t even begin to describe this marine refrigerator.
  • Engel is so sure that no harm will befall, or come to their portable fridge that they’re happy to guarantee it for three years. 


  • All the robust, hardy toughness that Engel has imbued this fridge with comes at a staggeringly high cost.  And when you decide to find out what that price is, we’d recommend that you do so sitting down, because it will knock you off your feet and make your pocketbook go running for cover.
ENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer w/ABS Plastic Shell, Grey
  • Portable top-opening AC/DC fridge-freezer. Cools from 45‚?∞F down to below 0‚?∞F with variable control.
  • Super quiet, highly efficient Engel compressor - Low Amp Draws (Even At Start-Up). Most vibration resistant compressor on the market. .
  • Automatic voltage velection Between AC and DC power - with AC priority.
  • Variable temperature control. Includes wire basket, AC & DC Cords, handles with mounting screws.
  • Plastic outer case. Heavy-Duty Removable Handles.Power Consumption: Variable from 0.7- 2.7 Amps (12V DC)

Best Marine Refrigerator Buyers Guide

Which Marine Refrigerator Is The Right One For Me? 

The two factors that should guide your choice of marine refrigerator are your budget and the size of the fridge that you need.

If the size isn’t an issue, but your budget is, we’d always recommend that you set your sights on the Alpicool C20, as it’s a portable, efficient, and easy to run and power fridge and freezer combination that should have all of the storage space that a modern family needs to enjoy a brief vacation.

However, if you’re looking for a little more storage space and are looking to head out on the road for a longer period of time, then we’d have to recommend the Costway.

While they may not have the brand name recognition of the other manufacturers on our list do, Costway’s portable fridge is affordable, reliable, and surprisingly versatile. 

Good luck, godspeed and hopefully, we’ll see you and your marine refrigerator somewhere down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions  

What Is A Marine Refrigerator? 

Marine refrigerators are portable refrigerators that were originally designed and manufactured to be used on boats and yachts.

Because of their smaller size, portability, and ability to draw their operating power from a twelve volt supply, they became increasingly popular among the camping and RV set and, more recently, have found favor with van and car owners looking for a portable refrigeration solution for road trips and vacations.

Designed to be light, portable, and efficient marine refrigerators are an economical way to store and take food and drink on extended weekend breaks and getaways and have become increasingly popular in the last decade.






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