Engel MT45FCP Combi Digital Series Review

Engel-MT45FCP-Popup6Engel has been a longstanding and reliable name when it comes to the portable fridge market, with their various models of durable, steel-cased fridges servicing several generations of happy campers and travellers over their 50 year run.

Soon after the massive success of their gold MT45FG 50th Anniversary Limited Edition fridge, which boasted all new digital features not seen before on Engel's range, Engel decided to bring those same digital features into their standard range, starting with the brand new MT45FCP Combi.

The MT45FCP Combi maintains many of the mainstays that have made Engel one of the leading names in the portable fridge industry. The new Digital Series continues tradition with a solid steel-case construction that will ensure the unit can withstand a good amount of punishment well beyond the lifespan of it's closest competitors. This makes the model slightly heavier overall than other polypropelene cased fridges, but with the added benefit of never cracking or splitting and a life expectancy that could easily reach into the decades, it's a small price to pay.

Inside is Engel's famed Sawafuji swing motor, a high quality compressor the company has been using across several generations of fridge, and for good reason. With only a single moving part, the Sawafuji has helped solidify Engel's reputation for quality and reliability, and ensures the fridge will run with a minimum drain on power.

The MT45FCP Combi boasts both 12/24v and 240v outlets, and includes the cables for both as part of the package - no cheap 240v adaptors here. On average, a fridge like this will run for about 2 - 2.5 days via a standard 120Ah Deep Cycle battery via 12v power.

One of the key new features of the MT45FCP Combi is in it's 'Combi' nature, as this unit is a Dual Zone model with a removable divider that allows the fridge to be used as both a fridge AND freezer simultaneously. The divider can be used in two different positions, allowing for either a larger fridge or freezer section, or removed altogether to act as a standard single-zone fridge or freezer. The addition of the divider means that Engel has gone with a pair of deep, fridge-height baskets as opposed to a single, larger basket, though the single baskets are sold separately and do fit the fridge if you'd prefer to go that way. It would have been nice to have the option as part of the package, but the single zone baskets are relatively inexpensive, and will afford you more usable room if looking to remove the divider to use as a single-zone model.

Carried over from the MT45FG Anniversary model are the new digital features. The MT45FCP Combi comes with a built-in Battery Monitor Cut-out system as standard, which will protect your vehicle battery from ever being drained to the last drop and leaving you high and dry, as well as a new digital thermostat that allows you to set the fridge to a specific temperature instead of playing the guessing game of the old dial-based models. Both are welcome features, and really help to set the unit apart from the competition.

Physically the fridge is the same size as it's MT45FP sibling, and so may fall prone to the same height issues that can raise their head with that unit. It's a minor gripe, though - just be sure to measure the space you want to store it carefully before purchasing, or make a little extra head room - you'll be glad you did.

The new digital features along, with the flexibility of a removable divider, cement the MT45FCP as arguably the best quality dual zone fridge on the market in the 40L size bracket, finally giving campers looking for a dual zone option at that size a unit worth putting their money towards.

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