Choosing the Best Camping Fridge: Chest vs. Upright vs. Drawer

Choosing the Best Camping Fridge: Chest vs. Upright vs. Drawer

Posted by Heatso on 9th Oct 2023

When setting off on outdoor adventures, whether it's a weekend camping trip or an extended road journey, keeping your food and beverages cool and fresh is extremely important. Here's where camping fridges come in, offering the convenience of a portable fridge on the go.


When setting off on outdoor adventures, whether it's a weekend camping trip or an extended road journey, keeping your food and beverages cool and fresh is extremely important.

Here's where camping fridges come in, offering the convenience of a portable fridge on the go.

Camping fridges serve as the lifeline for keeping your food and drinks cold, ensuring that you stay well hydrated and fed while camping.

However, it is not so easy to choose between different types of camping fridges. How to decide whether a chest, upright or drawer fridge is a right option for you? Check out this article to find out an answer.

When it comes to camping fridges, you'll come across three primary types: chest fridges, upright fridges, and drawer fridges.

Every one of these options comes with its unique set of features and advantages.

For years, these fridges have been a leading type of camping fridge due to their energy efficiency and longevity. For long road trips where reliability matters, they're perfect for keeping things cool.

They are tough enough to handle bumpy roads and challenging terrain, so your stuff stays safe.

Like a standard plastic cooler, the chest style fridge opens from the top. A 12 volt set-up is all they require to operate, and they come in various sizes.

Chest fridges stand out as a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts due to their impressive energy efficiency. These fridges are powered by highly efficient compressors, so they'll keep your food cold without wasting power.

It means that you can keep your camping fridge running for extended periods without draining your power source, making chest fridges an ideal camping companion.

During your road adventures, you can store your food and drinks in a 30 liter or even 100 liter fridge depending on your needs.

Pros Of Chest Fridges

  • Highest Energy Efficiency
  • Portable
  • Reliable temperature maintenance

Cons Of Chest Fridges

  • Food is stacked
  • Accessing items on the bottom is challenging
  • May require slides for installation

OFF IndelB offers a variety of chest fridges for your van or RV. Indel B TB41 Black Portable Compressor Refrigerator should be on every traveler's or camper's list.

Due to its powerful cooling capabilities and compact design, it keeps your food and beverages fresh and ice-cold on the go. It has a generous 40 liters capacity making sure you have plenty of room for storage. 

For even bigger storage capacity, look no further than Indel B TB51 Black Portable Compressor Refrigerator that offers 47 liters of storage space.

One of the remarkable features of chest fridges is their ability to handle varying temperatures. Whether you're camping in the heat of summer or facing chilly nights in the great outdoors, these fridges are up to the task.

Upright fridges offer flexibility with both compressor and absorption technologies, making them adaptable to various power sources, including AC, DC, and 12-volt options.

With plenty of storage space and temperature control, they're great for road trips. Due to the front-opening door, upright refrigerators are similar to standard house refrigerators. They come in all kinds of sizes, and could range from 40 to 200 liters capacity.

Upright fridges naturally can not be stuffed as much as chest fridges, but the food and drinks can be accessed much easier.

Upright fridges excel in maintaining precise temperature control, regardless of the outdoor climate. When you're camping in extreme heat or cold, these fridges can reliably preserve your food and beverages at the desired temperature.

For van lifers embarking on road trips, upright fridges offer the best of both worlds. They combine the benefits of a spacious interior with efficient cooling technology.

This makes them an excellent choice for extended journeys, where consistent refrigeration is essential.

Pros Of Upright Fridges

  • The food is arranged on shelves
  • An easier way to access food and drinks
  • Perfect option for bigger motorhomes

Cons Of Upright Fridges

  • Cold air escapes when the door is opened
  • Higher energy consumption compared to chest fridges
  • Initial investment cost can be higher

Upright fridges could be an excellent option for bigger motorhomes, but could be mounted in the camper van as well.

49 Liter Indel B OFF Cruise Refrigerator will satisfy your needs in a smaller space, while 130 Liter Indel B OFF Cruise 130 Fridge will fit perfectly in larger spaces.

The Cruise 49 fridge has a spacious 49 liter capacity, so it's perfect for storing food and drinks for days. It can hold PET bottles vertically or horizontally, and has a generous 4 liter freezer space.

The Indel B OFF 130 Liter refrigerator has a sleek modern design that will fit in perfectly with the latest vehicle designs. It is also designed to maximize the limited space in a motorhome, with multiple heights for the fridge shelves so you can adjust them to fit your needs.

Drawer fridges are designed with practicality in mind. They're perfect for campers who value convenience and organization.

This unique setup allows campers to access their chilled goods without the need to dig through the entire fridge.

Similar to upright refrigerators, they have a front door that opens, but with a large drawer that slides out. The contents are easier to see and access compared with upright fridges. However, it is also the least energy-efficient of all the camping refrigerators.

The practicality of drawer fridges makes them a popular choice among campers. With separate compartments within the drawers, you can neatly arrange your food and beverages, keeping everything within easy reach.

It does have a vertical room that is convenient to fit some food and drinks, but it might not be ideal for a longer stay on the road.

Drawer fridges excel in distributing cold air efficiently throughout the unit. Their design minimizes temperature fluctuations, ensuring that your items stay consistently cold.

This not only improves food safety but also contributes to energy efficiency, as the fridge doesn't need to work as hard to maintain the desired temperature.

Pros Of Drawer Fridges

  • Hybrid of two other styles
  • Convenient and organized access to items
  • Suitable for various camping setups

Cons Of Drawer Fridges

  • Not portable
  • Limited storage capacity compared to chest and upright fridges
  • Drawer fridges may come at a slightly higher price

By far the most stylish drawer fridges in the market are new OFF Indel B Drawer refrigerators such as DR49 and DR65. They provide you with some amazing features like sturdy drawers, bottle holders, integrated adjustable bars and LED interior lights.

OFF Indel B DR49’s interior is carefully designed to accommodate a wide variety of food container shapes and sizes.

The DR65 drawer fridge has a smooth glide opening mechanism. Stainless steel guides and precision roller bearings make this fridge easy to open with one hand.

The key to selecting the perfect camping fridge lies in understanding your camping style and frequency. You should choose based on how often you go camping and how much refrigeration you need.

If you're an avid camper who frequently embarks on outdoor adventures, investing in a high-quality and durable fridge like a chest or upright model may be a wise choice.

These options are built to endure the strains of regular use and provide reliable refrigeration.

On the other hand, occasional campers or those with limited storage space might find drawer fridges or smaller units more suitable.

Budget plays a significant role in the decision-making process. Camping fridges come in a range of price points, influenced by factors such as size, features, and brand.

While premium fridges such as Indel B may require a higher initial investment, they often come with advanced technology, energy efficiency, and durability. That will save you money in the long run by minimizing food wastage and the need for frequent replacements.

Consider your budget wisely, weighing it against the features and reliability that matter most to you.

Matching your camping fridge to the climate and temperature requirements of your camping destinations is essential. Chest fridges, known for their reliable temperature control, can withstand extreme temperatures.

Compressor-equipped upright fridges work well in a variety of climates. Drawer fridges, with efficient cold air distribution, offer flexibility in moderate conditions.

Your chosen fridge needs to be able to handle the environmental challenges you'll encounter during your camping trips.


In this guide, we've explored the art of balancing budget with dream features. We've navigated through crucial elements such as insulation, power systems, temperature control, kitchen facilities, bathroom solutions, and luxurious add-ons.

Remember that the choices you make today will define your van life experience tomorrow.

You can make your dream camper last by prioritizing quality over quantity, investing in sustainability, and finding a balance between essential comforts and luxury features.


Choosing the right camping fridge is an important decision that depends on your camping style, budget, and climate considerations.

By evaluating these factors thoughtfully, you'll be able to find a fridge that fits your specific needs and improves your outdoor experiences.

With the right fridge with you, you can enjoy the comfort and reliability of keeping your food and beverages fresh, making your camping trips more enjoyable and worry-free.

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