Engel VS Dometic: Battle of the Portable Fridge Freezers

Engel VS Dometic: Battle of the Portable Fridge Freezers

Remember the 80’s and 90’s when there was always the debate of Ford Vs Holden. In the caravan world we have this same great debate with two brands of portable fridges, Dometic and Engel. They both lead the pack when it comes to reliability, quality and efficiency. 

Let’s put the gloves on and break down what the two brands offer and see who wins best portable fridge freezer!



Whether you are on a day trip or an extended camping trip to Cape York, capacity is always a deal breaker when it comes to choosing a portable fridge freezer. Dometic offers a range of portable fridges from 25L up to 94L. The 25L being the perfect choice for the day tripper or to have in the front of the car with cold drinks at an arm's reach on long trips. With dimensions coming in at 342 x 569 x 420mm the Dometic CFX3 25L Portable Fridge Freezer is a great choice for the space savvy camper. 

If you need to stock meals and drinks for days then the Dometic CFX3 95DZ Portable Dual Zone Fridge Freezer 94 Litre will provide more than enough space for your needs. With its Dual Zone design you have the flexibility of having 94L of all fridge, 94L of all freezer or a combination of the both. With 14 more litres than the Engel MT80F 80L Chest Fridge Freezer, Dometic takes out round 1 with a wider selection of sizes. 


Lets take a deeper look into these selection of sizes:



  • Single-zone and dual-zone models

  • Sizes range from 32L up to 80L

  • 3 front opening models (35, 45, 45Combi)

  • 4 side opening models (60, 60Combi, 80, 80Combi)

  • View the full range here



We all know how important it is to keep the weight of your car and camper down when traveling, nothing is more important than keeping your loved ones safe on the roads. Every little bit of weight saved on items such as fridges and other camping equipment means there is more room for food and drinks. In this round we compare the largest portable fridge freezer available from the two brands. The  Dometic CFX3 95DZ Portable Dual Zone Fridge Freezer 94L weighs 29.8kg whilst the Engel MT80F 80L Chest Fridge Freezer comes in at 39kg, a whopping 9.2kg heavier for 14 litres less capacity. Therefore, Dometic comes in with another win for round 2. DING! 


Let's compare more top features: 

Dometic CFX3:

  • ExoFrame construction protects the unit from damage

  • Optimised VMSO3 compressor cooling technology

  • Easy-to-read high-resolution colour display and soft touch buttons

  • CFX3 app allows temperature control via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and provides performance history

  • Gasket technology provides a superior seal to retain cool air and minimise power consumption

  • 3-stage battery protection system prevents dead car battery or allows deep draw on dual batteries

  • Built In 240 Volt AC / 12V DC / 24V DC

  • 3 year full warranty + additional 2 years (5 total) on the compressor parts.

Engel MTV:

  • New Gunmetal Metallic finish

  • Improved handles & corner protectors

  • Built In 240 Volt AC / 12V DC / 24V DC

  • Larger lockable door latch for ease of access

  • Stronger reinforced baskets

  •  Improved handles & corner protectors

  • On/off reed switch installed for the interior LED light

  • 5 Year Warranty – Compressor / Swing Motor

  • 3 Year Warranty – Power Supply, Temperature Control Assembly, Thermistor/s and Fan Motor

  • 12 Months Warranty – Basket, Door Latch Assembly, Carry Handles and Cabinet Assembly



Engel nailed the strength brief with their rugged steel design. The steel casing provides excellent protection for the fridge's internal components, making it more resistant to impacts, vibrations, and rough handling during outdoor adventures. They didn’t stop on the exterior though. The Engel portable fridge freezer range incorporates the Sawafuji Swing Motor, this motor contains only one single moving part, making it more resistant to impacts, vibrations, and rough handling during outdoor adventures. Dometic’s portable fridge range is made from heavy-duty yet lightweight ExoFrame construction with fender frame protected edges and aluminum alloy handles. Whilst still a great fridge for 4WD’s and adventures the Engel wins round 3 with its incredible tough exterior and internal design.


Energy Efficiency: 

Round 4 brings us to the all important feature of 'energy ffficiency', there is no point heading away off grid for the weekend if you can’t keep the drinks cold and the prawns chilled without draining your batteries by Saturday afternoon. For argument's sake let's compare the Dometic CFX3 45 Portable Fridge Freezer 46L and the Engel MT45FC 40L Combi Fridge Freezer, they both come in between 1-2Ah’s per hour. The Engel can drop to as low as 0.5Ah, this being in absolute perfect inside conditions which we know is never normally the case outdoors. With this in mind the ref has decided this round is an even tie when it comes to efficiency. Both brands provide the perfect solution to keeping your food cool without the need to carry banks of batteries off grid. 


Let's further compare the performance of the two brands:

Dometic CFX3: 

  • Cooling capacity: –22 °C to +10 °C

  • Powerful VMSO3 compressor cooling technology efficiently cools and deep-freezes to –21°C

  • The VMSO3 compressor has motor speed optimisation that can change speed to adapt to the environment. This allows you to save power especially in hot climates. The compressor also features a softer start up with a higher maximum power draw to increase the longevity of the fridge/freezer.

  • The upgraded USB port is now located in the display panel for a faster and more ergonomic way to charge your portable devices.

  • Power consumption (DC 12 V): Variable from 0.98 Ah/h to 3.57 A @12 V, 4˚C set, 32˚C (ambient, Bluetooth on, Wi-Fi off)


Engel MTV:

  • DC Power Consumption: Variable from 0.5 – 4.2Ah

  • A thermostatically controlled fan is built into the insulated wall that separates the fridge and freezer compartment.

  • The fan draws air from the freezer compartment and maintains the fridge compartment at +4 degrees by cutting in and out between +2 and +5 degrees

  • Tri‐Voltage – Automatic Voltage Selection (12 & 24 Volt DC and 240 Volt AC) 

  • Sawafuji swing motor – Specially designed for 4X4’s as it works efficiently at angles of up to 35 degrees & on the toughest corrugated roads without losing efficiency. 



The last round in the Dometic Vs Engel great debate is price. We all want the best bang for our buck and Dometic takes the lead when it comes to value for money. With Dometic consistently coming in a few hundred dollars cheaper than Engel across their ranges, it provides not only less stress on the back pocket, it gets the job done with a great design, efficiency and performance. If this price tag is still overwhelming we recommend looking at Dometic’s CFF range, which are still backed by Dometic’s national warranty at a much-reduced rate.

However, If history is anything to go by, an Engel fridge compressor can last decades, therefore the premium price tag can be considered value for money. Buy once, cry once as they say.  


That's A Wrap!

Dive deeper into our large range of portable fridge freezers from both these brands and more! What would you say the winner is out of the two? Let us know in the comments below. 


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

Comments (1)


We have bought both brands and the Engel being the more expensive came out the best fridge and lasted longer and was the tougher of the two.
By: S HURST on

www.caravanrvcamping.com.au Response
Great feedback! Thanks for reaching out

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