Combi Noord Dual Zone fridge/freezer review
The Combi Noord TW-75 is a fridge/freezer combination for overland travel and boatlife. With 75L to fill with your favourite products it is a really good size to take with you on any major expedition. The possibility to have both a fridge and a freezer can be a gamechanger for overland travel in remote regions. If you are looking for an affordable fridge/freezer for overland travel this could be the one.
In comparison to Rafiki’s previous fridge – which was only 51L – this has been quite the difference. Alongside the fact that more fresh produce can be stored now, Rafiki has gotten a whole new interior build, based around this fridge/freezer. So, it better be good!
The past few months we have put the Combi Noord TW-75 to the test. We drove through Europe and through Northern Africa, where outdoor temperatures rose to roughly 45 degrees Celsius. All while we still needed the fridge at a temperature of 5 degrees Celsius and the freezer at a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius. Here you can find our findings, the pros and cons while we used it and whether we would recommend it to you. Let’s dive in!
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What is the Combi Noord TW-75?
The Combi Noord TW-75 is one of the best priced fridge/freezer combinations for your overland vehicle. Equipped with some very handy features such as the dual-zone compartments and an app, this fridge/freezer combination is a true asset to your vehicle. It is easy to install, is bigger than your usual overlanding fridge/freezer combination and is very reasonably priced.
The Combi-Noord TW-75 is a dual zone fridge which means that you have two separate compartments. We will come back to that as a definite ‘pro’, as we love the fact that we can switch between fridge or freezer function whenever needed. Especially with African temperatures this has proven to be useful.
Besides that, the combi Noord is a compressor fridge, which can cool far below the outdoor temperature. In comparison to an absorption fridge – which can only cool 20 degrees Celsius below the outdoor temperature – this is once again a fantastic feature which is useful in hot areas.
Details about the TW-75 are as follows:
- Volume: 75L
- Voltage: 12/24 Volt DC or 230 Volt AC
- Weight: 22.0 Kg
- Size (LxDxH): 492 x 826 x 465 mm
- Max power usage: 90W
- Current price: € 565,-
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- Ability to change from a double fridge to double freezer or a fridge-freezer combination.
- Easy to use and to check with the Alpicool App.
- Large volume so that you have enough space for at least a weeks worth of food.
- A drain plug to drain the water from your fridge easily.
- There’s a basket inside the fridge and the freezer.
- The hingeside of the lids can be switched, so regardless of how you install the fridge in your overland vehicle, you will be able to open it properly.
- Powerful enough to cool 50 degrees Celsius below the outdoor temperature. We tested it thoroughly throughout the desert in both Morocco and Mauritania where the outside temperature was 45 degrees Celsius and we wanted the freezer to be at least minus 10 degrees Celsius. (I mean, who doesn’t want to make ice cream or iced coffee in the heat of Africa?).
- The price is extremely good in comparison to more high-end options.
- The fridge/freezer is relatively silent. Even when sleeping in our inside-bed (which is right on top of the fridge/freezer), we don’t hear it.
- In comparison to the more high-end models, we assume it is slightly less insulated. We haven’t tested it thoroughly, but we have seen condensation forming on top of the freezer lid.
- While it is amazing that it can cool more than 50 degrees Celsius, it does come with a cost. As soon as your fridge/freezer combination has to work so hard, your energy usage goes up enormously.
- The baskets in the fridge and freezer are extremely useful, yet their shape is not ideal. As they aren’t completely square cornered, you loose a lot of space and stacking bottles or produce becomes difficult.
- No automatic switch for 12V and 230V, so when you plug in at a camping you have to do this manually. We did however solve this with a relay that takes care of this.
Would we buy it again?
For us, the Combi Noord TW-75 was the perfect solution. We didn’t chose it for it’s price though. For us the major highlight was the low profile that it has. Compared to some of the high-end models it’s a few centimeters lower, which can make a big difference if your bed sits on top of it. For Rafiki it meant that we were able to build both a drawer for the fridge/freezer combination as well as make a bed to sleep inside when needed.
Besides that the TW-75 offers all you need in an overland fridge. It has a large storage capacity, an app and the dual-zone feature.
If you have the money and space isn’t an issue in your future build, it is worth checking out the higher-end models for better insulation. Although in many cases the Combi Noord has surprised us with its abilities. So, depending on your budget this fridge-freezer is well worth the consideration. Perfect for overland travel and extended holiday trips.
One thing we have experienced while being on the road is that it helps to go grocery shopping in the morning so that you give your Combi Noord a full day of recharging possibilities, whether this is through driving or through your solar panel. Filling your fridge/freezer up as full as possible is a very important thing to consider as well. As you fill it up completely, the mass volume increases and your Combi Noord needs less energy to sustain its temperature.
Lastly we made one adjustment while installing the fridge, which might be useful to you too. Delivered with a separate 12V and 230V connection, it takes some work to get the fridge installed. However, once you do so, the fridge does not switch automatically between those two connections. That means you have to manually adjust the source when plugging in at a campsite. Our pro-tip for this would be: add a relay when installing everything so the process is done automatically. It definitely saves you some worrying! And although we rarely stay at campsites, we are happy to have done this ourselves.