Considering picking up one of the OZtrail fridges but wondering whether it’s worth the price tag? Want to know whether it will hold up in Australian conditions?
Well, in this OZtrail fridge/freezer review, I will be looking at their main pros and cons, key features that set them apart from the competition and finally, whether I think that they are a good buy or not!
Let’s take a look.
OZtrail 45L Fridge
OZtrail 80L Fridge
OZtrail 125L Fridge
621 (L) x 469 (W) x 485 (H) mm
880 (L) x 570 (W) x 455 (H) mm
915 (L) x 560 (W) x 615 (H) mm
Pros + Cons
Now that we have a feel for what we like and what we don’t like about the fridge, let’s take a look at it in a little more detail!
The design of the OZtrail fridges bears a striking resemblance to a variant of the Brass Monkey fridges - they even use the same LG compressor (check out my full Brass Monkey fridge review for more info). In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were manufactured in the same overseas factory.
The 45L unit is a single zone fridge or freezer, whereas the 80L and 125L are both dual zone units that can be operated as both a fridge and freezer simultaneously if you desire.
You can of course operate both compartments as a fridge or freezer at the same time, if you prefer. If you don’t need so much space, you can also switch off one side to conserve power.
All 3 sizes come with a powder coated steel body that feels very sturdy. Both sides are fitted with tough, durable carry handles (these double as tie down points) which is just as well, because these are heavy units.
The 45L unit weighs 21kg, while the 80L units weighs 29kg. The 125L weighs a whopping 33kg. You’ll need a second person to help you move them, especially if they are full of food or drink.
While the heaviness is a pain, it’s for a good reason. The fridge is quite well insulated, thanks to the thick walls that run around the entire unit.
I noticed that quite a few people who purchased these fridges have complained that they are larger than they were expecting, possibly due to these thick walls. Check the external dimensions before you buy to make sure that it’ll fit comfortably in your car.
The lid (or lids, on the dual zone units) are fitted with steel latches to keep them securely shut and prevent them from opening while you are doing some 4WDing. The lids are also soft close, which means they won’t be slamming shut every time you pull out a drink.
The temperature readout and controls are located towards the bottom right of the front of the fridge, along with the 12/24V power connection which is located at the base of the right side of the fridge.
There is also a display which shows the voltage remaining in your battery. The table below shows the corresponding voltages for the various battery display indicators.
This area is also where the ventilation panels are located, so this is where most of the hot air is expelled from the fridge/freezer.
The OZtrail fridge/freezers are unfortunately lacking some of the features that are common on premium models, such as USB ports for charging mobile devices, and Bluetooth app control.
The lack of a water drain plug is also disappointing. I would have thought that that would be standard by now.
However, it is easy to overlook these missing features when you consider the excellent price (more on that later).
All up, the OZtrail portable fridges seem sturdy, robust and well designed. They are big, beefy units that seem to have been designed more for functionality than looks, but that is absolutely fine by me. A pretty fridge that doesn’t keep your food and drink cool isn’t much use!
These units can be set at temperatures ranging from -20°C to +20°C and it will continue to operate at ambient temperatures as low as -10°C and as high as 55°C. It will also handle humidities up to 90%, which is great to see.
Bear in mind that these fridges are set by default to automatically run when the internal temperature reaches 0.5-1.5°C above the set temperature, and switch off once it reaches 0.5 to 1.5°C below the set temperature.
This means that there will be a few degrees variation in operating temp, even when the unit is running properly. Be careful when setting your camping fridge to 1°C if it is full of beer - you may end up exploding a few cans!
Most users of the OZtrail fridges have said that their unit has no trouble reaching the temperatures they set.
As mentioned earlier, the temperature in the left and right compartments on the dual zone fridges can be set independently, or individual compartments can be turned off to conserve power.
All of the camping fridges in this range can be powered by either 220-240V AC power or a 12V/24V DC power source.
The fridge comes with a 12V DC power cable that includes a cigarette lighter and Merit connection. With this cable, you can run the fridge from your car battery or via a second battery if you have a dual battery setup.
It also comes with an AC adaptor, which will transform AC power down to 12V DC power. Accordingly, the end of this adaptor plugs into the same 12/24V socket on the fridge.
According to the OZtrail manuals, both the 45L and 80L units have a rated current draw of 3.75A at 12V. The rated power consumption is 45W for the 45L unit and 60W for the 80L unit.
I can’t find the equivalent information for the 125L unit unfortunately. I will get in touch with OZtrail to see if they can supply this. They also don’t provide any information on typical power consumption over a 24 hour period, so it’s difficult to compare it on this front with the competition.
Like almost all other 12V portable fridges, these OZtrail units also come with 3 stage battery protection. This is especially useful if you plan on running the fridge off your car battery.
By setting the battery protection to MEDIUM or HIGH, the fridge will automatically switch off before it drains your car battery to the point where it can no longer start. LOW is the recommended setting for a dual battery setup, as you will get maximum use out of your fridge before it automatically turns off.
The preset on/off voltages for each of the battery protection modes are listed in the table below. These are pulled from the OZtrail manual.
If you do pick up one of these fridges, you might want to consider adding some of these extras. They’re certainly not essential, but they will make life a lot easier while out camping.
Unfortunately, OZtrail doesn’t seem to sell any fridge slides to suit their fridges. If you want one, you’ll have to see if a competitor’s fridge slide will suit the OZtrail units, or make your own one.
OZtrail sells separate insulating covers for the 45L and 80L units. The 125L unit comes with a cover included.
The insulating covers are black and made from polyester. They have some extra external pockets which is great for storing cables and any other loose gear you might have on hand.
The covers help protect the portable fridge/freezer from getting damaged while in the back of your car or out at the campsite.
They also reduce how much heat leaks from the surroundings into the fridge. This means that the compressor doesn’t have to run so often, which extends its life and means that your batteries will last longer too.
Running your 12V fridge from your car battery is perfectly fine, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
If you run the fridge round the clock, you run the risk of flattening your battery and not being able to start your car. You’ll spend half your trip checking your battery with your multimeter and idling your car to keep the battery topped up.
If you decide to only run your fridge while your car is running, then your food is likely to warm up and you run the risk of food poisoning.
You can avoid these hassles by simply getting a second 12V battery that you can dedicate to powering your various 12V devices (such as your fridge). However, you need a 12V battery that can handle bouncing around in the back of the car and doesn’t mind getting caught in the weather occasionally.
There’s quite a few options out there, but I personally recommend the Dometic CoolPower RAPS battery. It has a 44Ah capacity and is very rugged and designed for the rough and tumble of an Australian camping trip.
If you decide to go with the dual battery setup I mentioned above and plan on being away from mains power for a while, consider investing in some solar panels.
This will allow you to charge your 12V battery during the day, which will then run your appliances like your fridge overnight.
OZtrail recommends using solar panels rated between 60W and 250W with their fridge. Again, Dometic sells 120W and 180W units that are good quality and will do the job for you. If you go camping regularly, they will be a worthwhile investment.
Build Quality & Warranty
On the whole, these fridges seem to be well built and robust. They can handle a fair bit of rough and tumble and will keep ticking away regardless.
I haven’t heard of too many issues with them so far, but I will keep an eye out and let you know if I hear anything.
All of these fridges use LG compressors to run their refrigeration cycle. These are generally considered to be quite decent, but there have been some reports of faulty LG compressors in recent years.
At the moment, these issues seem to just be affecting domestic, upright fridges using LG compressors so hopefully the ones used in the OZtrail fridge/freezers are fine.
The OZtrail fridge/freezers all come with 2 year warranties. This is definitely towards the lower end of typical portable fridge warranties.
Brass Monkey, which stock virtually identical fridges, offer a 3 year warranty on their models.
I haven’t spoken to anyone who has had to go through the OZtrail warranty claims process, so I can’t comment on how well they handle these.
Conclusion - OZtrail Fridge/Freezer Review
The OZtrail fridge/freezer range is a solid option for a portable 12V fridge. They are very sturdy, no-nonsense units with solid insulation and good performance.
They lack some of the more premium features like USB charging and remote Bluetooth control, but they make up for this with fast cooling at a low price. Being able to operate at temperatures up to 55°C, humidities up to 90% and a tilt of 30° shows how robust these units really are.
They are best for those who go camping occasionally, for a couple of nights at a time. If you are going away for extended periods (especially if you’ll be on the road for weeks at a time), I recommend that you upgrade to something more reliable, such as the Dometic CFF45, or the Dometic CFX3 range.
Alternatively, you can take a look at my list of the best portable fridge/freezers in Australia!
Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed this OZtrail fridge review! If you have any questions or comments, post them below and I’ll get back to you when I can!
Review Date: 2021-04-14
Reviewed Item: OZtrail Fridge Freezers
Author Rating: 4/5
Product Name: OZtrail Fridge Freezer
Price: AUD $699
Product Availability: Available in Stock
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