ARB fridge/freezer
  |  First Published: November 2009

One of the most important requirements for the holiday season camper is refrigeration. I can remember numerous camping trips to Iluka during the post-Christmas mackerel run when my biggest concern was keeping bait fresh – never mind about the food!

Luckily, ARB has developed a portable electrically powered fridge/freezer which is ideal for either short or extended camping trips.

The ARB unit is tough as it was originally engineered for outback conditions. It comes with a powder coated steel cabinet and an extra strong and durable injection moulded lid and base. There are even rubber stoppers (or legs) on the bottom to ensure it stays put in the car and won’t slide about.

This unit has a 47L capacity and comes complete with separate compartments for both fruit and dairy items. At the heart of the ARB fridge/freezer is the German-built Danfoss compressor which has a cooling capacity down to -18C yet maintains a very low ampere power requirement.

The overall size of the unit is 508mm high, 380mm wide and 705mm deep which makes it a pretty substantial unit, yet at only 22kg it’s quite manageable thanks to its large, recessed grab handles.

While the blue/grey unit certainly looks attractive there is a lot more to the design than meets the eye. The injection moulded lid, for instance, has a special stainless steel hinge that actually allows the lid to be slid right off the cabinet for easy access. Alternatively, you can open the lid past the 90º angle thus eliminating the need to hold it open to remove or place larger items.

Inside there is a reversible basket with divider to allow multiple storage options such as positioning longer items along the length of the basket.

There’s also a very powerful but simple front cam lock style closing latch to ensure the lid closes properly on to the recessed seal. The seal is designed to minimise wear yet keep cold from escaping.

Other smart design features include the rubber feet, an in-built LED light which turns on when the lid is opened and switches off on closure, plus a drain plug integrated into the base of the fridge to assist in cleaning after use. That, alone, is a very desirable feature in my view.

Most portable fridge/freezers don’t require a degree in rocket science to operate (although I did turn my brother’s off accidentally once on a camping trip, but that is another story!) The control panel on the ARB unit is even easier to use than most, thanks to a digital display that offers both current and target settings at a glance. It is also recessed to prevent damage in transit and the temperature is set via a touch pad.

The unit runs on 12/24V DC and 100 to 240V AC power. It has an integrated battery protection system that allows you to select the minimum operating voltage for battery longevity.

With a comprehensive 3-year warranty and a rugged yet sleek build quality that ensures ease of use in the toughest conditions, the ARB fridge/freezer should give users a long trouble-free run for their money. As the team at ARB say, it was designed by 4WDers for 4WDers.

The fridge/freezer also comes with its own insulated transit bag, tie-down system for the vehicle plus a custom-built rear of vehicle slide to allow ease of access and secure travelling in really tough going. The fridge/freezer is priced at $1199.


Go into any camping store and you will see camping chairs. Big ones, small ones, light ones, heavy ones. With such a plethora on offer, one might reckon that the ARB Sport Chair would need to be pretty special to make it worthy of mention. Which it is.

This is a very comfortable chair, with smart construction and eye pleasing finish. It’s also built for the big fellows as it comes with a 120kg rating. Achieving this rating involves utilization of a steel frame (not alloy as is the usual construction) and mated to that well finished powder-coated steel frame is a solid canvas seat and back rest.

Of note is the locking mechanism that either keeps the chair folded and locked or locked open. There’s no risk of accidents with this chair, that’s for sure.

Complete with a magazine, drink holder and carry bag, the ARB Sport Chair retails for $69.95. Given the quality of the item and assured long life I consider it quite good value for money.

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