couple camping near river setting up campsite with Dometic electric cooler full of food and beverages

The Best Electric Coolers for Your Car, Truck, Van, or SUV

Our Favorite Electric Coolers Every Outdoor Enthusiast Needs in their Overland Vehicle

Whether you’re planning a fun day trip, a weekend camping trip, or a cross-country adventure, one thing every thrill-seeker knows to bring plenty of is food and water. So a reliable cooler is always a must-have on any packing checklist. 

There are plenty of amazing coolers out there, with insulation and seals so advanced your perishable goods can stay cold for hours. However, keeping your cooler cold enough to efficiently function requires a lot of ice, and with ice, it’s always a race against time, money, and space. The majority of your storage space is devoted entirely to the ice itself, leaving you little room to really stock up. 

Electric coolers allow you to go further, stay longer, and explore more while wasting so much less! With an eclectic cooler, you can ditch the ice and stop wasting money on spoiled food, and save valuable space in your overland vehicle!

What is an Electric Cooler?

women looking in back seat of SUV pulling frozen ice tray out of her Dometic cfx3 electric cooler

An electric cooler is the ultimate overlanding accessory for every outdoor enthusiast. Electric coolers are portable refrigerators and/or freezers that plug directly into your vehicle. They usually feature AC and DC power capabilities so you can use a 12V socket, portable battery, or generator, to keep all your food and drinks cold and dry for days at a time. 

These coolers are extremely efficient at storing perishable items at the perfect temperature without the need for any ice at all. Nearly all of your storage space in an electric cooler can be used for your food, beverages, and anything else that requires temperature controls.

You can find portable freezers and refrigerators popping up for sale just about anywhere these days, but like any newly popularized overland tool, not all electric coolers are created equal. That’s why our specialists at Campway’s have put them to the test and found the best electric coolers available on the market! 

Which electric cooler is right for your overland adventure? Read on to find out!

The Best Electric Coolers Overall

Dometic CFX Seriers Electic Coolers

Dometic CFX3 Series

The Dometic CFX3 series was just released in 2020, and this selection of electric coolers is already proving to be the ultimate off-roading accessory. The Dometic CFX3 series comes in six various sizes ranging from a more compact 36 liters perfect for day trips, to an impressive 100 liters for travelers living off the grid.

The CFX3 series runs on AC, DC, or DC solar power and provides both refrigeration and deep-freezing capabilities. You can plug it right into your vehicle’s power supply and as long as you’re driving, or your vehicle is running, it won’t drain your car battery at all. You can also power a CFX3 cooler with a portable battery, generator, or even at home from a wall outlet.

Dometic designed the CFX3 series with a 3-stage dynamic battery protection system to prevent your electric cooler from ever draining your vehicle battery. The series is also designed to provide pass-through charging, so the cooler can be plugged into a portable battery, and the battery plugged into your vehicle. This allows the battery to remain fully charged while you drive, and then power your electric cooler when your stop to set up camp. 

The Dometic CFX3 series also comes with a convent mobile app that connects to your phone via Bluetooth or wifi putting the control of your electric cooler right at your fingertips.

The Best Electric Coolers for Camping in Your Car

dometic cfx355 electric cooler for camping

Dometic CFX3 55L

The CFX3 55L electric cooler has a compact footprint so it fits perfectly in a car or SUV and has enough room for perishables even for long camping trips. It is lightweight so hauling in and out of campsites is easy but it is extremely durable and designed specifically for rugged outdoor use.

CFXL 55L Specifications:

  • Weight: 46.97lbs
  • Dimensions: 17.91” depth x 18.90 height x 28.35 width
  • Volume: 55 Liters
  • Temperature Range: -7°F to +50°F
  • Interior Light: Yes, LED
  • Bluetooth / Wifi Connection: Yes

The Best Electric Coolers for Van Life

dometic cfx3 100 electric cooler for van life/road trips/camping/off grid living

Dometic CFX3 100L

If you are truly looking to maximize your van for off-grid adventures, a Dometic CFX3 100L electric cooler should be on the top of your list. Living on the road in a van doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, but your gear needs to be durable and dependable. The CFX3 100L will give you peace of mind as you travel off-grid, and allow you to enjoy fresh, healthy meals every day.

CFXL 100L Specifications:

  • Weight: 65.27lbs
  • Dimensions: 20.87” depth x 18.58” height x 37.87” width
  • Volume: 100 Liters
  • Temperature Range: -7°F to +50°F
  • Interior Light: Yes, LED
  • Bluetooth / Wifi Connection: Yes

The Best Electric Coolers on a Budget

Rough Country electric cooler for camping

Rouch County 45L

Compared to the money you can waste on spoiled food, or endless bags of ice, there are a number of amazing portable electronic coolers available at extremely affordable prices. Rough Country’s electric cooler is the ultimate accessory for travelers on a budget. The Rough Country electric cooler boasts a lower price point, starting at only $400, but don’t let the price fool you! This thing is reliable and great for any outdoor adventure. 

This 45-quart cooler is the perfect travel size and doubles as both a portable fridge and a freezer. Its split compartments allow you to utilize both the chill and freezer functions at the same time. 

Rouch County 45L Specifications: 

  • Weight: 30lbs
  • Dimensions: 13” wide X 22.5” long X 17.5″ tall
  • Volume: 45 Liters
  • Temperature Range: -4°F to 68° F
  • Interior Light: Yes, LED
  • Bluetooth / Wifi Connection: No

Find the Best Electric Coolers for your Car, Van, Truck, or SUV at Campway’s

At Campway’s, we understand the importance of trusting the equipment you invest in, especially when you’re off-grid. That’s why we are here to help you get the most out of the overland equipment you outfit your vehicle with. When it comes to choosing an electric cooler, we want to help you find the best brand and style for your unique needs. 

Connect with one of our specialists online to learn about outfitting your overland vehicle with an electric cooler or visit one of our five locations throughout the Bay Area today!


Sign up to receive news and special offers from Campway's

California Residents:  Prop 65 WARNING