What is the Best Dual Zone Chest Fridge?

 

If you’re in the market for a dual zone chest fridge this post may be of some help. It is a pain to be looking back and forth across different websites and tabs to try and compare all of the data, dimensions, costs etc.

This dual zone chest fridge comparison can help by having all of the information on the one screen for comparison. Using a dual zone chest fridge comparison table that is sortable by the header column, you can quickly check which chest fridge/freezer is the best for you by organising the data as you see fit.

Further down the dual zone chest fridge comparison you will find the dual zone chest fridge comparison scatter plot, not the be all and end all but just a little visual tool that could help you decide between your two favourite chest fridges if you’re having trouble splitting them.

Note that this post is only covering chest fridge freezer combinations, aka “dual zone”, there are also chest fridges available that work entirely as a fridge/freezer, but they’re not mentioned here.

Dual Zone Fridges & Other Comparison Posts

 

I did not purchase a dual zone chest fridge as part of my 4WD build, opting in the end for an upright fridge instead. However, all of this research was already done and hence I am sharing it here.

I do get sick and tired of flicking through different web pages and marketing bullshit when loooking into fridges, or anything else for that matter, so I tend to make a MSword document and get all the information for future reference.

I have done similar posts to this dual zone chest fridge comparison which can be found below:

Hopefully these comparison posts can be of use to someone other than myself.

*Affiliates Disclosure

Affiliate links are present on this page. Through partnerships with, but not limited to: Amazon, eBay and Commission Factory, I will make a small commission through qualifying purchases. This comes at no extra cost to you and is just a way for me to try and support myself and the blog.  Thank you.

What makes a dual zone chest fridge the best?

 

The best dual zone chest fridge is very situationally dependant.

People do have brand loyalty when they’ve had good experiences with a previous model from the same brand, in which case all you need to do is pick the size that suits you and maybe wait for the fridge to go on special.

For others who don’t have an idea in mind, the following factors are the key things to consider.

Cost

A big one for a lot of people is cost, hence the relative success of brands like Kings. They get people started and are great at doing it, with some bargains to be had.

The dual zone chest fridges tend to sit at a slightly higher than an upright fridge, but they have the benefit of much larger freezer spaces and the flexibility to have either freezer or fridge compartments.

If you’re not in a hurry though some of these fridges will be heavily discounted at various times throughout the year.

 

Weight

If you’re looking for weight savings, then I’d suggest looking at an upright fridge. If you want a dual zone chest fridge though then just keep in mind that you’ll probably need a drop down slide to access the contents.

This can double the weight of the fridge with the Clearview ES220+ weighing in at 47kg, which is required for most chest fridges >55L or thereabouts.

 

Power draw

Power draw comes down to how efficient the compressor is, as well as how well insulated the fridge is. Everyone wants the best performance with the least power draw, but unfortunately this information is not standardised.

Most manufacturers won’t actually give you any information regarding power draw, so this becomes very hard to compare, a lot of the time you just need to rely on word of mouth from people who have tried multiple different fridges in real world scenarios.

Be careful with claimed power draw, as some of these will advertise the power draw when used as a fridge rather than the power draw of running half fridge half freezer.

 

Noise

Again, not something that is readily available with a standardised measuring practice. Some manufacturers do supply this information but most do not.

You don’t want an inefficient fridge that is cranking its compressor at night time when you’re trying to sleep, or cycling unnecessarily frequently.

 

Footprint

How much room do you have? How much of that can be taken up by the fridge and still leaving enough for storage? Would you rather a deeper fridge with less width? Or a taller fridge to fill useless space above?

How big will the cage that goes around the fridge be if you’re mounting it in a canopy?

 

Freezer capacity

The great thing about dual zone chest fridges is the amazing flexibility you have in selecting how much of the storage is freezer and how much is fridge.

A lot of the time it is roughly a split of 1/3 to 2/3 with compartment sizing but all sorts of different combos are available including 50/50 splits.

 

Quality

Again, this is hard to quantify and can’t be captured in a table. This comes down to brand reputation and word of mouth. Everyone has good things to say about Engel for example, reputations need to be built over time.

Quality could be visible such as the material the fridge is made out of or the brand of compressor. But the quality may not be visible such as the material of the cooling pipes used, the thermostat PCB soldering quality, the insulation used etc.

Dual zone chest fridge comparison

 

Firstly, let’s look at the dual zone chest fridge comparison table. Click the header of the column to sort the information. If you only have a certain depth or width that you can fit, this is an easy way to sort the table to show the dual zone chest fridges that will fit your space next to each other.

The prices are obviously subject to change, clicking on the fridge name will take you to see the most up to date pricing for that model of fridge, these are affiliate links but don’t cost you any extra money at all. The links lead to either mygenerator.com.au or eBay depending on where it is sold.

FRIDGEPRICE$ / LWEIGHTKG / LCLAIMED POWER DRAWTOTAL CAPACITYFREEZER CAPACITYFRIDGE CAPACITYWIDTH (mm)DEPTH (mm)HEIGHT (mm)
DOMETIC WAECO CFF 70DZ$1,34919.2726.40.377unknown703040914443500
DOMETIC WAECO CFX3 75DZ$2,04927.3228.60.381unknown753045892495472
DOMETIC WAECO CFX3 95DZ$2,14922.8630.60.326unknown943955962530472
ARB 69L ZERO DUAL ZONE$1,69924.62310.44969.6 (32°C)692445755469564
ARB 96L ZERO DUAL ZONE$1,89919.7836.60.38174.4 (32°°C)964155935548509
ENGEL 57L COMBI PORTABLE$1,93934.02340.596unknown572532910490441
ENGEL 75L COMBI PORTABLE$2,07927.72400.533unknown753342910490561
NATIONAL LUNA 60L LEGACY$1,99533.76280.474unknown59.124.234.9750425535
NATIONAL LUNA 72L LEGACY$2,59536.4533.50.471unknown71.23338.2835495535
NATIONAL LUNA 90L LEGACY$2,59530.4233.60.394unknown85.339.146.2835495535
NATIONAL LUNA 110L LEGACY$2,74925.4339.40.364unknown108.153.554.6838495706
MYCOOLMAN CCP 53 DUAL ZONE$1,49528.2127.80.525unknown531934732456460
MYCOOLMAN CCP 69 DUAL ZONE$1,69524.5729.40.426unknown692445732456455
MYCOOLMAN CCP 86 DUAL ZONE$1,79521.1233.60.395unknown8535.549.5912536470
MYCOOLMAN CCP 96 DUAL ZONE$1,89519.7434.90.363unknown964155912536500
EVAKOOL DOWNUNDER II 65L DZ$1,29919.98280.43143.2 (32°C)652540787448485
EVAKOOL DOWNUNDER II 80L DZ$1,49918.74350.43748 (32°C)803347967530415
EVAKOOL DOWNUNDER II 95L DZ$1,69917.88350.36852.8 (32°C)954055967530470
KINGS 75L STAYCOOLZ$79910.6530.40.40531.2 (32°C but with no freezer running)75not specifiednot specified928470461
KINGS 90L STAYCOOLZ$94910.5433.10.36831.2 (32°C but with no freezer running)90not specifiednot specified973525461

Dual zone chest fridge comparison table details

 

All details are provided either from the manufacturer’s website or their PDF owner’s manual where provided. Therefore, these are all just claims at the end of the day. The prices and dimensions will be accurate, but power draw and even fridge weight can change.

Also note that there are smaller fridges available, but I was only interested in fridges that were larger than the 50 litre mark, hence the table being between about 55 to 100 litre variants.

What each brand offers

I originally had this written in another column of the dual zone chest fridge comparison table but it got too cluttered, so I’ll just briefly touch on what some of the key things to note are for each manufacturer.

Click the brand name to be taken to their website for your own perusal, but try not to buy into the marketing too much, go have a look in person to get a better idea of build quality.

 

Engel

Engel built their name in chest fridges. We’ve all heard the stories about an Engel fridge that is 15-20 years old and still works, well this is where they specialise.

The prices reflect the high regard that they’re held in, with only the National Luna fridges carrying heftier price tags.

The Engels are the only fridges that use the patented Sawafuji swing motor, which is part of what makes it so reliable.

Both of the Combi fridges listed here will work on 12/24/240 volts

 

Dometic

The CFF range differs a bit fromt the CFX range, with the CFX range being more energy efficient but the CFF range supposedly cooling more quickly (at the expense of more power).

The CFX3 55 was not included here as it is not dual zone, it can be either fridge or freezer, but not both.

The CFX range comes with a Dometic app you can use to connect to the fridge, if you’re into that kind of thing.

I would consider this range to be somewhere in the middle in terms of quality, there are some bar reviews around from people who have owned them.

 

Evakool

The Downunder II series of fridges also comes with a bluetooth app like the Dometic fridges, they have reversible lids and you can choose from three different coloured lids which might be helpful if you forget which side you’ve set as a freezer maybe.

I do like that the 65 litre variant has a removable divider, making this either a dual zone fridge or just a large fridge, or large freezer in its own right. The larger models don’t have this feature though.

 

Kings

Buyer beware, the word of mouth here is not great.

Think excessive power use, short life and compressors kicking in at night time when other fridges will be quiet.

However, we’re talking about the entry level here and there are people who get good variants (within reason) and are happy with the purchases, so don’t look past them completely but just be wary.

I personally wouldn’t go cheap on something that is a big ticket item like a fridge, but not everyone has the luxury of spending more and they still want a fridge, that’s where Kings come in and do a great job at getting people out there for cheap.

 

ARB

ARB Zero range of fridges are their dual zone fridges. The 69 litre features a removable divider to operate as either a dual zone, or as one large fridge/freezer. I like this feature.

The ARB fridge also has its own app connectivity for those that like that stuff. Has a “boost” setting for quick cooling, a USB outlet for charging devices and DC inputs on both sides of the fridge.

The ARB fridge will charge off 12/24/240 volt.

 

MyCoolman

MyCoolman fridges will all work on 12/240 volt, inlets at both ends of the fridge to suit your layout. They also offer USB outlet to charge phones etc.

Relatively new company, not much information around about where and why they came to be. Helped along by sponsoring some of the larger 4WD Youtube channels no doubt, but the quality seems to be about the same as the Dometic.

 

National Luna

These fridges are expensive. Think Engel equivalent here, they operate on a good reputation and have the price point to boot.

Difficult to find people who have anything bad to say about them, but then there’s the price. However if you want something to compare the Engel with then have a look at these fridges.

Fridges will operate on 12/240 volt.

Dual zone chest fridge comparison scatter plot

 

Now if the dual zone chest fridge comparison table didn’t help you decide what is the best dual zone chest fridge, perhaps the dual zone chest fridge comparison scatter plot will assist.

The data offered here doesn’t mean too much, but it can show trends quite well.

Scatter plot thoughts

 

Not too much to unpack here, Engel and National Luna dominate the more expensive side of the chart and generally speaking the frdiges >80 litres offer better value for money than those <70 litres.

Dometic, Evakool and Mycoolman all seem to be competing for the same types of customers, whilst National Luna and Engel operate more to those who want that legendary reliability and a known brand name.

King’s stand on their own as the budget friendly offering here, a great option for those who aren’t going far from civilisation and don’t need to rely on it, you can save more than half your money.

Dual zone chest fridge comparison summary

 

So what’s the best dual zone chest fridge after all of that?

I actually find them hard to differentiate, I personally decided on buying an upright fridge instead, but I did like the sound of those fridges which offered removable dividers, so it operates as a dual zone as well as a larger single zone fridge.

This was both the ARB 69 litre and the Evakool 65 litre. Both of which would have been large enough for me as chest fridges tend to hold more than the equivalent upright fridge of the same capacity.

Conclusion

 

That’s all I really have to say on the dual zone chest fridge comparison, hopefully it has been of some use and helped you decide what is the best dual zone chest fridge for your particular setup.

I personally went for an upright fridge instead, so won’t comment any further as I have not tried any of the fridges mentioned here in my own car.

Any comments on real life power consumption, noise levels or anything else are more than welcome.

Have a good day!

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