When camping or touring other than the need to know how your are going to manage your camping toilet requirements the next question usually on peoples list is how do I keep food cold? Unless you are planning on dried noodles or tinned food ideally you need something that can keep fresh food fresh and food the is required to be kept cold like milk and meat you really need to have something with you if you are planning on being out more than 12 hours.
If you haven't already check out our Guide to camping fridges to have a look at what various options there are but today we want to take a deep dive into the Dometic CFX3 Compressor Cooler and Freezer.
The Dometic CFX3 Mobile Cooling System.
We are going to take a look at the 35L version of the CFX3. This camping fridge comes in a variety of sizes from a modest 25 litre to a huge 88 litre capacity.
When first getting the cooler out of the box you have to notice it is a pretty big piece of kit, and not the lightest. It has 2 decent handles either side which are really solid so pretty easy to carry but when full I would expect you to need 2 people to carry it when moving it. It does state to always keep the cooler upright which might be the reason they have not put wheels on one end which to me would have made sense to do. The 35 Litre (32 Litre internal capacity) version weighs 21kg and dimensions are 69.4 x 40.7 x 39.8cm.
Aside from the weight which is understandable to match it's performance we absolutely love the Dometic CFX3.
How Loud is the Dometic CFX3?
When we plugged in the CFX3 the first thing I noticed was how QUIET it was. Some coolers on the market it sounds like a rocket about to launch whenever it needs to switch on a get back to temp which is less than convenient when you have to sleep near the thing! I can't stress enough how quiet it is.
Dometic CFX3 App
I downloaded the CFX3 app and paired it with the cooler, very easy to do and from there I can control the temp, control the power usage and even have an alarm sound should it drop below minimum temp. Handy! I plugged it in timed how long it took to get up to temp for use and it took just 8 minutes to get to temp on a 22 degree day. Note - if you walk too far from the fridge it does not automatically re-pair the bluetooth you will have to reconnect to it each time.
How much can the Dometic CFX3 Hold?
It's hard to envisage exactly how much you can put into a fridge from simply looking at the stock images so I have done a few photos here so you can get an idea of the usable capacity of the camping fridge.
I will be honest I was very surprised how much it holds! I loved that it is tall enough to hold a bottle of wine upright and the shelf at the top can be utilised too for small cans.
So what you can see in the photo is what you can see in the photo above where you can see there is still allot of space available (I just did this on a shop day when there was not much in my fridge!) this was about half full with 4 burgers, 3 packs sausages, 2 chicken breast, 2 pies, pack beef kebabs, large bottle of wine and 8 cans of pop! and there was plenty of more space for a large bottle of milk or any other fruit and veg you want to keep cold.
What else can it do?
Well this handy cooler also has a USB charger at the front you can plug your phone into and it is a handy height and size to sit on, although it does not say anywhere an advised weight capacity it seems solid enough to do this but just be careful I would say if you are over 13 stone. You can use as a fridge at around 3/4 degrees or as a freezer, I put it to the test with an ice cube set at -1 degree and it happily kept the ice cube frozen no problems and was still super quiet!
You can plug in your Dometic CFX3 into mains plug and also comes with a 12v DC power plug with 3-stage dynamic battery protection system prevents dead car battery or allows deep draw on dual batteries.
All said and done we can't find any cons with the Dometic CFX3 Camping fringe, ok yes if you are planning on parking somewhere miles from where you plan to camp it wont be ideal to carry a long distance however if you are looking for something rugged that keeps food cold and doesn't make a racket all night on and off every time it lowers in temperature this might very well be the right cooler for you.
We have yet to test this in the car as ours is in the garage but I will update as soon as we have given it a go and also look into how well the 35 Litre version fits behind footwells etc too.