Finding a portable, tough and efficient cooler or fridge can be a tricky task. You’re often left with the choice between budget offerings that, due to their poor efficiency, provide very little in terms of chilling. This is where the Dometic CFX3 45 comes in: it’s a powerful compressor fridge that can run from your vehicle’s 12v socket and that’s more than capable of keeping all your food and drinks nice and cool over multi-day trips in your van or even from the boot of your car, if that’s your thing.
Also sporting the capability to drop down to an impressive minus 22 degrees, the cool box can keep food frozen, making it an extremely versatile cooler. We’ve been taking this powered cool box on van road trips around Ireland and also a few overnight trips down on the south coast of England. We’ve now got a pretty good idea of what it’s good at and – most importantly – if it’s worth a whopping £790. Let’s get into it.
What’s a Compressor Fridge?
Compressor fridges, as the name suggests, come with a little compressor unit that generates all the cooling power the fridge needs. The Dometic CFX3 range can be powered by either 110 – 240 volts (such as mains) or a more efficient 12 / 24v volt setup, so it’ll work pretty much anywhere.
Benefits of a Compressor System
The main benefit of compressor systems is that they aren’t affected by the outside temperature, so they can work efficiently in high temperatures. They are extremely efficient, so they can operate for a long time without flattening your battery and they have a freezing capability even on the 12/24v power. The Dometic CFX3 is also really quick to get down to temperature due to the excellent insulation that makes it a pretty efficient setup.
Dometic CFX3 45 Power
We’ve been using the Jackery Explorer 1,000 battery alongside the CFX3, which keeps the fridge comfortably powered over a week of travelling. When it’s plugged into the battery pack, the battery display reads that the fridge is pulling around 2 – 4 amps of power when the compressor is running, which is pretty damn impressive for a compressor style cool box. Once at the desired temperature, the compressor will turn on and off to maintain the temperature just like your fridge at home.
One final note on all the battery stuff is that you can set three different levels of battery protection, for when you’ve got the 12 volt charger plugged into your car. This battery protection ensures you won’t flatten your car battery when running it for long periods.