The Best Marine Refrigerators for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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The marine industry has seen great changes and innovations in the storage and transportation of products in refrigerated containers. Now, marine refrigerators are almost as important as the boat itself.

The are many of refrigeration devices on the market for marine applications but not all of them will actually fit the needs of a sailor.

Below you will find a review of what I believe are the top marine fridges currently available. If you are looking for a marine refrigerator, this is a must-read for you. I’ve picked out three of the best marine fridges for sale right now.

In addition to the reviews of the best marine refrigeration devices, I will give you tips on how to buy the right refrigerator for you.

NameCategoryProduct
Dometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered CoolerBest OverallDometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered Cooler
Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) VehicleBudget PickAlpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle
ENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer w/ABS Plastic ShellUpgrade PickENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer w/ABS Plastic Shell

1. Dometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

Dometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered Cooler

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof and compact design
  • Works well at any temperature
  • Transforms quickly depending on what you need
  • 3 different sections
  • Odors do not escape
  • Can be used both on land and water

Cons:

  • Can be used for three days at a time without the need for refills
  • Smaller items may not be fit in the refrigerator or freezer
  • A bit heavy to carry

If you’ll be away from the main house or camper for more than a day, it’s crucial to bring supplies like drinks. This cooler is made to withstand outdoor conditions and keep things cool.

Your drinks or food can stay cold for up to three days or frozen for up to seven days with the ice packs that come in the cooler.

There are three different coolers and one freezer and each one can be used independently of the other as well. One is a refrigerator, one a freezer and the other a cooler for food.

2. Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle

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Pros:

  • Requires no installation
  • High-quality waterproof material
  • Both fresh and freezing temperatures are available
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Works with 12V batteries
  • Clever replaceable spill proof lid

Cons:

  • Not so efficient at keeping the cold
  • Noisy at work

This is a solid, portable refrigerator that measures 16.4 x 14.4 x 10.9 inch. It weighs only 27 pounds, so it does not require much effort to move it. The material of the fridge is solid and waterproof to prevent it from possible leakages.

The Alpicool portable refrigerator is made of high-quality components that won’t wear out easily. Since it can work at any voltage, it’s convenient for you to use it when you’re off the grid. You can run it on a plug or off the batteries in your terminal or boat, whichever way to choose. It is also powered by your car cigarette lighter.

With the replaceable spillproof lid, it’s capable of keeping this device from spilling. And it’s lockable so it’s child-proof.

3. 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

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Pros:

  • Designed for fishing
  • Very quiet
  • Sturdy construction
  • Attractive color
  • There are nice slots for beverages

Cons:

  • Doesn't cool below freezing
  • No side storage for food

Transform your vehicle into an ice cold mobile kitchen with the Whynter FM-45G Portable Refrigerator. This fridge is designed specifically for anglers and boaters, but will work wonders at home, the cabin or anywhere else you'd like it to go.

It comes with a two-year warranty so you have plenty of time to test it out and leave your mark in the fishing world. This rod-and-reel cooler can hold up to forty-five quarts of your favorite beverages.

The Whynter FM-45G Portable Refrigerator features low voltage starting which keeps it from losing power during the colder months. It doesn't require a lot of maintenance, and it has solid handles so you can easily move it from place to place.

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

Our rating: 8 / 10

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

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Modern design with anodized aluminum finish
  • Very power saving technology
  • Can run off AC, DC or 120V with three power plugs
  • Rolls on smooth caster wheels
  • Very convenient for short term freezing
  • Includes interior LED light

Cons:

  • No built-in battery
  • Many units we have tested malfunction more often
  • The cover material seems to chip off easily

Please note that I did not receive a single positive response about this Engel fridge/freezer. Unlike most of our other reviews, this piece of equipment comes out with the weakest link in virtually all aspects. The freezing abilities are underwhelming, and many of our testers do not even suggest freezing anything in it. I do intend to purchase this item for testing, and I’ll make sure to update this review once I run my own tests.

5. COSTWAY Car Refrigerator

Our rating: 8 / 10

COSTWAY Car Refrigerator

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Pros:

  • Low price
  • Takes up a minimum amount of space
  • Ideal for a weekend trip
  • Compact design
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Stores ice without problems

Our Review:

The 55-quart marine cooler is ideal as an extra refrigerator in your boat or RV.

This is a great way to get ice-cold drinks while out on the water. It’s a nice way to keep your food fresh as well as your beverages.

6. Portable Refrigerator 42 Quart

Our rating: 6 / 10

Portable Refrigerator 42 Quart

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Pros:

  • Amazingly designed mini fridge
  • Very easy to use
  • Very lightweight
  • Very compact
  • Powerfull cooling system
  • Sturdy design
  • The thermostat temperature control system
  • Very durable
  • Useful LED display
  • The low energy usage

Cons:

  • The control panel is a bit small
  • The wheels are not very sturdy
  • PEAKTRANS AC/DC Portable Car Fridge Caravan Boat Boat Fridge

|Rechargeable Backup Power for Office Travel, Outdoor and Emergency Survival.

If you need a fully functional fridge with a powerful cooling system, then the PeakTrans is one of the best choices for you.

It’s a mini fridge, measuring only 8.66 x 15.35 x 17.11 inches, which means that it fits comfortably in the backseat area of most cars.

7. Norcold NR751BB Nr751Bb Dc Refer 2.7 Cu Ft

Our rating: 6 / 10

Norcold NR751BB Nr751Bb Dc Refer 2.7 Cu Ft

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Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Lightweight

If you’re looking for a versatile refrigerator for your camper or RV, the Norcold NR751BB Nr751Bb could be just what you need. It’s a sleek refer cabinet that can be used for storing food and beverages.

The fridge features a 2.7 cu ft capacity which is enough to hold up to 20 12-oz cans. The interior has a LED light, so it’s well-lit as well.

There is a fresh food shelf and an adjustable door-mount shelf as well. It can hold up to 44lbs of weight.

8. EdgeStar 1.1 Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer w/Lock

Our rating: 6 / 10

EdgeStar 1.1 Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer w/Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Engineered to perform in harsh environments
  • Boasts an efficient energy saving design for lower utility costs
  • High impact polymer construction for durability

The EdgeStar 1.1 cu. ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer can be used as a refrigerator or a freezer depending on your needs. It uses cutting edge fast cooling technology to rapidly freeze or chill items to save you a lot of time and energy.

Designed to increase your safety at home or on the go, the combination refrigerator and freezer comes with lock, and the power cord storage is located at the top of the appliance for easy and convenient storage.

It is the best marine refrigerator on the market that fits tidily in an RV, boat, or camper. You can lock it up when not in use to keep your food safe and secure during your travels. It will keep food in a safe environment such as a boat, RV, or camper.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which refrigerator brand has the best compressor?

I’ve learned that when it comes to marine refrigerators, most marine and refrigeration enthusiasts will immediately tell you that you don’t want a compressor fridge. They point out that the design used in most refrigerator compressor models is not simple enough for the marine environment.

Instead, they recommend that you opt for a thermoelectric refrigerator.

A thermoelectric fridge is an external cold plate that utilizes a cooling system built into the head of the fridge. The plates are mounted to the outside of the boat and are cooled by a remote power source, whether it be from solar, shore power, or a generator.

There are some pros to having a compressor fridge, though.

The size is one. Most compressors, especially the higher-end models, can reach more volume than a thermoelectric fridge. A bigger fridge means you can stock up for those long trips.

What is the best refrigerator to buy in 2021?

The best marine refrigerator is the compartmentalized marine refrigerator by Dometic because it works great not only in marine applications, but also on a camping trip or in a trailer or RV. Two of these will fit in one of those dual-compartment marine toilets, for example, and they can be stacked, for when you need more refrigeration. They are amazing.

One of my favorite features is that I can open the door, grab a drink, and close the door and the smart sensor will turn the cooling back on. I also love the drain spigot on the bottom of the refrigerator, so I can use my water filter on it and dispense cooled water out of it.

Who makes the most reliable side by side refrigerator?

There is no clear winner between these refrigerators. However, they are all highly rated and should provide you with many years of reliable service. Every one of these refrigerators has thousands of positive reviews online and a 4 star rating or better.

If you need to pick out one of these refrigerators over another, choosing where you keep the refrigerator will ultimately help you decide. If you are mostly going to use the refrigerator in the main cabin, then you should choose one that is relatively narrow. Likewise, if you plan on using the refrigerator more in the galley, then you should choose one that is on casters.

The bottom line is that all of these refrigerators will provide you with years of top quality performance.

If you are searching for information regarding the best central A/C systems for your home, check out our central air conditioner reviews and recommendations.

Moving on to the topic of the best portable air conditioners,….

Which style of refrigerator is most efficient?

Side-by-side refrigerators are the most efficient because they actually lose less cooled air from the refrigerator compartment than top-freezer refrigerators.

Because the doors of side-by-side models only have one seal, less air is lost when compared with models that have a top and a bottom seal. The seals in the doors of top-freezer refrigerators will often leak a ton more warm air through the gaps of the hinges.

Conclusion

If you want to be prepared for the new year and know what’s about to hit market, here are some of the models that could provide you the best 2019 marine refrigerator options.

These refrigerators are available in various sizes and types. They are perfect for large yachts, and they fit well in boats. Needless to say, they can also be used in the garages.

Included below are five of the best marine refrigerators that are likely to hit the market this year.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Dometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered CoolerBest OverallDometic CFX28 12v Electric Powered Cooler
Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) VehicleBudget PickAlpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle
ENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer w/ABS Plastic ShellUpgrade PickENGEL MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer w/ABS Plastic Shell