Which/Why: 3-Way Gas / Electric Portable Camping Fridge Freezer

3-way gas electric portable camping fridge freezer

Are you looking for a 3-way gas / electric portable camping fridge freezer as a travel companion to keep your food and drink at the perfect temperature?

3-way fridges are great for camping. They have some advantages over 2-way fridges and are in a different league to all those small camping fridges you may have tried or passed over.

This is why I thought I’d put together this article with 2 of the best 3-way camping fridges on the market, as well as filling you in on the benefits, pros, and reasons to use a 3-way fridge.

How Does a 3 Way Fridge Work?

3-way fridges are also known as absorption fridges and have 3 ways of being powered to keep your stuff chilled inside. These methods of powering the fridges are typically:

  • 12 volts using a small heating element
  • 240 volts using a heating element
  • Gas using a flame

On the gas models, you’ll find a flow heat exchange system which is situated in the back of the fridge. This means they remove heat as opposed to creating the cold, but that doesn’t change the end result for you.

The voltage points mean you can hook up with either AC or DC. You can find an electric point almost anywhere if gas isn’t an option.

Benefits of a 3 Way Gas Electric Portable Camping Fridge Freezer

There are some benefits specific to camping and outdoors activities to using a 3-way fridge. The most notable benefits include:

Power Efficiency

They take very little power to operate and combined with the flexibility of the way you power it makes 3-way fridges popular choices for camping.

For example, a 9kg gas canister will typically last 3-4 weeks when running an average sized 3-way fridge. That’s going to be enough for most camping trips.


While 3-way fridges typically aren’t as powerful when it comes to how cold they can get compared to 2-way fridges or some other models, they are more than sufficient.

I probably wouldn’t recommend them if you’re camping in extremely hot climates however. If you’re willing to go the extra mile on cost you’ll get better performance.

Life Expectancy

3-way fridges last for a long, long time. If you browse the classified pages you’ll see plenty of 3-way fridges 10-15+ years old that are still working as good as new.

This is obviously something worth keeping in mind if you like good value (who doesn’t?). All the more reason to do your research and make the right choice when purchasing one.

Noise (Or lack of)

Absorption fridges run silent, or at least almost silent when compared to other fridges like 2-way fridges and other small electric fridges.

This means you can sleep near one in a tent, camper, or anywhere else and not be annoyed by the humming noise other fridges make.

2 of the Best 3 Way Gas / Electric Portable Camping Fridges

Here are two examples of 3-way camping fridges that should be perfect for your camping and outdoor needs.

SMAD Noiseless 3 Way Refrigerator with 2.1 Cu.Ft

SMAD Noiseless 3 Way Refrigerator with 2.1 Cu.Ft

This is one of the best of the affordable 3-way fridges in my opinion. True to being 3 way, it can be powered by DC 12V, AC 110V, or LPG.

It’s the just the right size and weight to be a travel companion. As you can see from the images you can fit enough food and drink to last a few days with ease.

Making it perfect for the home, hotel and restaurant businesses, camping, road tripping in an RV, or just as a portable fridge.

It’s really simple to use, and as you can see on the front you have the different ports depending on which power source you’re using.

As I mentioned above, one of the pros of 3-way fridges is that they run silently. They are ideal for enclosed spaces and you can sleep sound next to one without a humming noise in your ears.

SMAD Noiseless 3 Way Refrigerator with 2.1 Cu.Ft 2


Measurements – 18.9” x 18.1” x 25.5”

Weight – 49 lbs

Capacity – 2.1 cubic feet

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SMAD 3 Way Propane Refrigerator with Gas and Electric

SMAD 3 Way Propane Refrigerator with Gas and Electric

This model from SMAD is on the higher end when it comes to the best 3-way fridges on the market.

You can hook it up to either propane, AC 110V, or DC 12V. This is the main pro of a 3-way fridge, it’s very versatile and can be used in a variety of situations.

This model is commonly used for camping, in an RV, garage/home, anywhere there is either of these sources of power.

The manufacturer says this is a, ‘Super quiet’ fridge. So, don’t second guess picking one up if it’s going to be in your tent or camper, it would keep you awake all night.

Just a note, while it comes equipped with a thermostat it doesn’t come with a regulator hose you need to pick one of these up separately.

SMAD 3 Way Propane Refrigerator with Gas and Electric 2


Measurements – 20.2” x 23.4” x 31.1”

Weight – 75.6 lbs

Capacity – 3.5 cubic feet

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