Is Dometic the Best Brand of Portable Refrigerator to Buy?


dometic portable fridge lg

Whether camping, boating, or road-tripping, having a reliable portable refrigerator to store food is a great asset. With so many brands of portable refrigerators to buy, it can be hard to figure out which one is best for you. So, is Dometic the best brand of portable refrigerator to buy?

Dometic is one of the leading brands when it comes to portable refrigerators, and their products are known to be reliable, energy-efficient, a good size for portability, aesthetically pleasing to look at, and most importantly, they are good at keeping your food fresh.

Dometic refrigerators are great, but they are kind of like the Ferrari of the refrigerator world. You get what you pay for, but for some people, they are just overkill!

Let’s compare Dometic with 5 other popular brands of portable refrigerators.

Dometic vs. ARB

Dometic makes a wide variety of refrigerators and has a nationwide network of dealers and service centers. ARB is a company that focuses on making products for 4x4 vehicles. ARB products are more suitable for people who go on road trips in normal cars and are excellent for hiking and camping trips. 

Both Dometic and ARB have outstanding reviews on Amazon for all of their products.

Dometic ARB
Price Range $579-$5,952 $1,087-$1,936
Number of Models Available 76 (including full-size) 7
Warranty Info Limited 2-year warranty Limited 3-year warranty
Smallest Size Offered 21 quarts 37 quarts
Largest Size Offered 13 cubic feet 101 quarts

Dometic refrigerators are used by all kinds of people, from business owners, hospitality workers, food delivery services, and even healthcare services!

Dometic is an excellent business that is trusted by all kinds of people.

Dometic focuses on making refrigerators and other products for outdoor, home, and commercial use. Dometic has excellent customer service, and the company has almost 40,000 retailers and repair workshops worldwide.

Dometic refrigerators focus on both design and function, and the brand overall puts emphasis on professional use. That’s not to say a regular RV traveler can’t use a Dometic product. It’s just that the brand may not be necessary for new RV travelers or people who only go camping every once in a while.

As with most brands, Dometic has started to focus a little more on sustainability over the last few years. The great thing about Dometic is that they have refrigerators that can be used in your home, RVs, on a motorhome, on boats, and in regular cars.

If you want to learn more about the difference between an RV and a motorhome, check out this recent article on my site. I’ll guide you through the key differences between the two to make sure you don’t waste massive amounts of time and money buying something that’s not right for you!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Where ARB stands out is in its quality control and manufacturing. ARB sells products that are complex and require to be manufactured using CNC machinery. Their products are made with the highest level of precision.

ARB only sells 3 models of refrigerators, and they are all portable. They are not large enough to be used in a class A RV, but the compact size makes them great for class B RVs and other smaller vehicles.

If you want to learn more about whether a class B RV is worth the cost, check out this recent article on my site. I’ll explain the pros and cons of class B RVs and what type of users they are most appropriate for.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Dometic vs. Norcold

Norcold has a greater range of refrigerators compared to Dometic, from small RV refrigerators to large, 4-door refrigerators, compact refrigerators, AC/DC refrigerators, and portable refrigerators and freezers. Dometic focuses more on high-end outdoor accessories in general.

Norcold also has a number of models on Amazon with 1-star ratings. Dometic, by comparison, has only 4 and 5 stars on Amazon for their refrigerators at the time of this review.

Dometic Norcold
Price Range $579-$5,952 $486-$5,434
Number of Models Available 76 (including full-size) 6 (incl compact and portable)
Warranty Info Limited 2-year warranty Limited 2-year warranty
Smallest Size Offered 21 quarts 1.1 cubic feet
Largest Size Offered 13 cubic feet 5.5 cubic feet

Dometic doesn’t only make refrigerators, but they also make products for almost every aspect of RV living, from appliances to awnings and a lot more.

Norcold is an American company based in Sidney, Ohio, and it has been the leading manufacturer of RV refrigerators since 1959. Norcold products have been tried and tested for over 6 decades, and outdoor enthusiasts all over the world love them!

The great thing about Norcold refrigerators is how reliable they are.

They are high-end, made of great quality materials, and are super quiet. There is nothing more annoying than trying to sleep in my RV when all I can hear is my refrigerator whirring away! That’s not an issue with Norcold.

Norcold has a huge range of refrigerators, and on their website, you can easily find a great product to use on your RV, motorhome, truck, or car. Norcold also has refrigerators that can be used on boats if you partake in marine activities.

Dometic vs. Engel

Engel portable refrigerators are good if you partake in outdoor activities like camping and fishing. However, they are not suitable for use on RVs. This is because Engel portable refrigerators are made with portability in mind, and they are too small for long RV journeys.

Both Dometic and Engel have outstanding reviews on Amazon for all of their products.

Dometic Engel
Price Range $579-$5,952 $749-$1,889
Number of Models Available 76 (including full-size) 13
Warranty Info Limited 2-year warranty Limited 3-year warranty
Smallest Size Offered 21 quarts 15 quarts
Largest Size Offered 13 cubic feet 84 quarts

Engel refrigerators are awesome. They only offer 13 models, however, there is something for everyone. Engel portable refrigerators don’t require any ice, as they are powered by the 12-v battery in your car. Also, these portable refrigerators can keep your food and drinks between 0- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit (-17 – 32 Celsius)!If you are looking to get a refrigerator for your RV, I recommend Dometic. If you want a refrigerator for your car, campervan, or 4x4, then I recommend you get an Engel.

This phenomenal performance capability is due to the use of the Sawafuji wing compressor – which is one of the best on the market.

If you are looking for a portable refrigerator, Engel is a great company to go with. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of using a residential refrigerator on an RV, check out this recent article on my site.

Dometic vs. Iceco

Iceco makes a vast range of portable refrigerators that are great for use in your RV. They are quite small, smaller than Dometic refrigerators, so they are better suited for people that want a portable refrigerator for camping and fishing.

Both Dometic and Iceco have outstanding reviews on Amazon for all of their products.

Dometic Iceco
Price Range $579-$5,952 $349-$1,299
Number of Models Available 76 (including full-size) 57
Warranty Info Limited 2-year warranty 5-year on compressor/1-year other
Smallest Size Offered 21 quarts 12.8 quarts
Largest Size Offered 13 cubic feet 95 quarts

Iceco refrigerators can be used in RVs, but they are quite small, so you won’t be able to store much food in them for long journeys.

Iceco is a relatively new company, and they have been in business for about 17 years. In that time they have sold over 2 million refrigerators to happy customers in 66 countries. They have 5 warehouses in the USA.

What makes Iceco stand out is the fact they have over 100 technology patents, so their coolers have technology that makes them stand out from competitors. Iceco is a company that invests heavily in research and development so is great if you want a state-of-the-art, small refrigerator.

If you are looking to use the refrigerator on an RV, I recommend you get a Dometic. This is simply because they have a larger range of refrigerators you can choose from, and you can get a bigger one for your RV.

If you want to learn about the pros and cons of buying a used RV, check out this recent article on my site. Buying an RV is a huge investment, and in this article, I teach you what to look out for, so you don’t screw up.

Dometic vs. SnoMaster

SnoMaster refrigerators are better than Dometic refrigerators if you want something that is portable. SnoMaster has a range of refrigerators that can be used in both cars, and on boats. Dometic is better than SnoMaster if you want a more permanent fridge, such as one to install in your RV.

Dometic has outstanding reviews on Amazon for all of its products, but at this time, SnoMaster does not have any products listed there.

Dometic SnoMaster
Price Range $579-$5,952 $669-$1,821
Number of Models Available 76 (including full-size) 22
Warranty Info Limited 2-year warranty 5-year on compressor/1-year other
Smallest Size Offered 21 quarts 12.68 quarts
Largest Size Offered 13 cubic feet 97.74 quarts

If you have an RV that has an in-built refrigerator, it would be a good idea to get a smaller, portable refrigerator to save your food if that one stops working.

There are a whole host of reasons why a refrigerator would stop working on an RV.

Check out my recent article on why RV refrigerators stop working. I talk about how you can resolve issues with your RV refrigerators quickly and easily before your food and drink go rotten.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Our Most Trusted Portable Fridge/Freezer - Dometic CFX3

Conclusion

Dometic, ARB, Norcold, Engel, Iceco, and SnoMaster are a handful of the most popular portable refrigerator brands. They offer the best balance of value for money, performance, quality, and longevity.

Buy a Dometic refrigerator if you want a large refrigerator that can be used in your RV. Dometic refrigerators are a little too large to be used on boats and in normal cars.

ARB and Engel make the most efficient, high-performance portable refrigerators that are good for camping and water activities. They are a little pricey, however.

Norcold is good if you want a large refrigerator at a lower cost than Dometic. Iceco and Engel are great if you want portability at a low cost, and if you are willing to settle for a slightly lower performance than Engel.

The table below sums up my recommendations.

High end Mid-range
Large refrigerator (Good for RV owners) Dometic Norcold
Small, portable refrigerator (Good for camping, water activities, and everyone else) ARB Iceco, Engel

Photo which requires attribution:

AFAC17 Exhibitors – Dometic – 1 by AFAC is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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