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Dometic Cool – Ice CI 42 Review

Dometic Cool – Ice CI 42 Review

Why we chose the Dometic Cool-Ice 42

With plenty of refrigeration solutions out there for the overlander it can be a difficult choice. For our own budget solution we decided on a cooler instead of a fridge, not because of power issues but because of budget – our overlanding style simply does not warrant the prices being asked for full on refrigeration.

Having said that and opting for a cooler we needed something that would perform, a cheap cooler from Amazon wasn’t going to cut the mustard in the 40 degree Andalucian summer heat so we were on the hunt for something premium but without the electric price tag.

dometic cool-ice 42
Dometic Cool-Ice 42

After much research the Dometic Cool-Ice 42 was up against the Igloo BMX 52, two very good coolers that would most certainly do the job but with several comments on hinge problems with the Igloo we opted for the Dometic.

The buying process was the usual – 24 hour delivery all over the website and then an email to say the item was out of stock so had to come from Germany, overall a two week wait which was not ideal and no reply to subsequent emails…

Anyway, the cooler did eventually arrive and boy is it a piece of kit! We did consider the smaller Dometic Cool – Ice 22 which may have done at a squeeze but for an extra €70.00 euros the 42 gives you mountains more room for food, drinks and ice.

One of the things you first notice about the cooler is its strength, while you wouldn’t go parking your rear on a cheap cooler the Dometic is absolutely rock solid, in fact Dometic themselves sell a cushion so you can double up the cooler as a seat. It’s also lightweight considering its size and the walls are thick using refrigeration grade foam insulation. If you like your cool [no pun intended] names you’ll like the ‘labyrinth’ seal design which essentially means no cool escapes and no heat gets in.

dometic cool-ice 42 chiller
Dometic Cool-Ice 42 can also be used to sit on

Handles are strong and you also have two tie down points under each handle which makes it ideal to secure using bungee cords/straps.

Dometic say that the Cool-Ice 42 will hold ice for up to 10 days, this of course all depends on the amount of ice, outside temperature and method of use, the reality is much less – we found nearer 4 days for our style of use and that is in the heat of the Spanish summer. Out on a trip and you can be in the cooler several times a day so actual ice storage time, as with all coolers is very different.


  • Length – 64cm [25 inches]
  • Depth – 42cm [6.5 inches]
  • Height – 35.5cm [14 inches]
  • Weight – 8.7kg
  • Capacity – 43ltrs / 11.36 gallons

Over the summer of 2021 we’ve had this cooler out just about every weekend and it is performing brilliantly, it is robust enough for overlanding and we regularly pull ours out from the back of the Shogun to be used as a seat most trips. For a 5 day adventure we might be struggling to keep things cool after that but in general we are happy enough with the Dometic which also comes with a 5 year guarantee.

overland coolers
dometic coolers for overlanding

Spanish summers are hot, dry and long, the months of July and August can see temperatures into the 40’s [104 fahrenheit] so a cooler is pretty much essential. The Dometic is at the top end of the scale, a premium item for a passive cooler so if you’re not in the market for a fridge or don’t fancy the idea of a fan cooler plugged into your 12v connection then the Dometic Cool-Ice 42 CL might be the solution.

Is the Dometic too big? Check out the big size Defender Cool Bag instead

Defender cool Bag
1800 1197 Mac


K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.


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