Camping coolers have become a necessity. They help keep drinks, water, soda, and other beverages chilled so you can enjoy your day out.
The market is full of coolers for camping but they’re not made equal. In fact, some may not even be able to keep your drinks chilled for the required number of hours.
We studied the market and picked some of the best coolers for camping based on factors such as price, insulation, capacity, etc.
With much ado, let’s have a look at some of the best coolers for camping:
Top 8 Best Coolers for Camping 2020
Yeti 65 is one of the best coolers for camping for multiple reasons. It is lightweight, compact and can retain ice for almost a week.
This cooler is made up of top-notch materials that make it indestructible, leakproof, and long-lasting.
- Permafrost Insulation: Permafrost is a frozen layer that doesn’t melt easily. The interior of Yeti Tundra contains 3 inches of permafrost insulation. Very few coolers offer this feature and it’s the main reason why this beauty can keep your beverages/foods chilled for so long.
- Drain System: You will not have to worry about drainage as it has a vortex drain system. It ensures the cooler remains clean from the inside and wastage is taken care of. As a result, the cooler will eventually get lighter to carry.
- No Heat Penetration: Thanks to a superior interlocking lid system and a cold lock gasket, there is no risk of heat reaching the interior.
- Strong Latches: Yeti Tundra has T-Rex latches are manufactured using top-notch rubber and patented technology. They are reliable and do not break or get destroyed with time.
- 5-year warranty.
- Rotomolded construction makes it indestructible.
- Non-slip and strong feet don’t let the cooler trip or slide.
- Comes with a military-grade polyester rope to tie and carry the box.
- Side handles for solid grip.
- No cup holders on the box.
Thermik is our second pick due to the weight to volume ratio it provides. Plus, it also excels when it comes to the interior and exterior of the unit.
It is super light (30 pounds), offers 45 quarts of volume, and measures 26.1×17.4×17” in dimension.
- Urethane Insulation: This cooler has a urethane insulated interior which keeps the contents chilled for up to 5 days.
- Durable Body: It has a roto-molded and rugged exterior body for better durability. It won’t sustain dents easily when hit upon. It incorporates a textured lid and damage-proof latches as well.
- Ease Of Use: The latches on the cooler are easy to open and close. Moreover, there’s also a vacuum release button that force opens a lid if there’s vacuum in the box.
- Easy Draining: It has a water drain cap (chained) that makes it easy to drain liquid contents. You will find no difficulty in maintaining and cleaning the unit thanks to this feature.
- Equipped Bottle Openers: It has two stainless steel openers with 1.5” shank length to help open cold drinks and beer caps. As a result, you will not have to worry about carrying one or running around searching for one when you want to enjoy a chilled drink.
- Accessories: The cooler incorporates drink holders, dry basket, and a cutting board separator. It’s a great feature as you’d have to carry fewer items when you go camping.
- Comes with a 5-year warranty.
- T-latches are easy to open.
- Removes vacuum from the cooler with a press of a button.
- Extremely durable exterior and interior.
- Additional features make it very attractive.
- No wheels underneath.
This is the right option for people looking for a big cooler. You can easily fit a large number of bottles, ice, and food items in this one. Plus, it is quite attractive and also easy to handle despite its big size.
- Cooling: This cooler can keep drinks cold for up to 6 days. This is because of the thick paddings that don’t let the ice melt easily. The makers tested it in 90F and it passed the test, so put all your worries to rest.
- Size: With 75 quarts of space, you can easily accommodate ten dozen plus sized cans with some additional items. In most coolers, the cooling often gets affected with the cooler is full but such is not the case with this one. It will continue to keep your items chilled.
- Easier Maneuverability: It comes equipped with heavy-duty wheels underneath that allow you to move the box on the ground. Plus, it’s just 15 pounds in weight and will not require a lot of effort to carry.
- Hinged Lid: The lid is hinged and split into two. This is a great feature as it prevents cold air from escaping. You can take out items by opening a single lid.
- Antimicrobial Liner: The cooler’s liner is aseptic, meaning, that it prevents the growth of bacteria and similar organisms. Also, it is very easy to clean.
- 1-year limited warranty.
- 4 cup holders of different sizes on the lid.
- Rugged wheels do not wear and tear easily.
- Double walled construction makes it very durable and long lasting.
- Antimicrobial protection.
- No drain plug to drain water.
This is a lightweight and easy to handle 50-quart cooler. It comes in a variety of colors and features durable latches and additional accessories.
- Polyurethane Insulation: The interior of this cooler contains a 2-inch polyurethane layer that retains ice for up to 10 days. Besides that, it also has a 360-degree freeze grade gasket that doesn’t let cold air escape.
- Durable Parts: The cooler is durable as it is made polypropylene. The lock latches are also 3-inch in thickness, hence very durable. You do not have to worry about the bottle opener either. It is made of stainless steel and the handles are also solid.
- Drain Cap: It features a drain cap to get rid of excess water accumulated in the cooler. This makes it easy to maintain.
- Lifetime guarantee against defects in workmanship and breakage.
- Anti-slip feet.
- 4 self-draining cup holders.
- Available in multiple colors.
- No wheels underneath.
5. RTIC Cooler
This 45-quart cooler and is popular for the durability and versatility it brings to the table. Besides keeping the inside contents cool, it can also serve as a tabletop or sit/stand tool.
- Thick Insulation: The interior is padded with 2-inches of material that keeps ice good for up to 5 days.
- Extremely Durable: The exterior is almost impact-resistant and the lid has a strong gasket to prevent air from entering into the cooler.
- Latches: Its T-laches ensure you have no trouble in opening or closing the box.
- Multipurpose: Besides retaining ice, it can be used as a table top, sit/stand up top, and as a cutting board as well.
- 1-year warranty.
- Non-slip feet for additional safety.
- Top notch latch lock system.
- Multipurpose tool removes the need to carry other items.
- No wheels or cup holders.
It is an excellent camping cooler that can keep ice for up to 16 days. The overall body from the inside and outside is super durable which prevents light from penetrating inside.
- Strong Latches: This cooler has strong durable latches that do not budge despite of violent movement. It also closes well and keeps crickets and smaller beings away.
- Durable Handles And Rubber Feet: There are integrated handles and rubber feet that keep the cooler firm and steady in one place. It won’t slip away or trip easily.
- Easier Draining: The cooler has a slanting bottom that makes draining easier.
- Capacity: This 65 quart cooler can easily accommodate 75 pounds of bagged ice, thirty six 12 ounce cans, and around 70 juice boxes.
- 2-inch refrigeration grade insulation.
- Has a mounting system.
- Contains a bottle opener.
- A large glass tray to hold glasses.
- Certified bear resistant (IGBC).
- Large and bulky.
If you have a bigger family and a smaller camping cooler isn’t catering to your needs then bring home Coleman 70. It has superior insulation that can keep food, beverages chilled for many days.
- 2-inch Insulation: The cooler incorporates a 2-inch insulation that can store ice up to 5 days at 90 degrees.
- Huge Capacity: This 70 quart cooler can store 98 cans very easily. Plus, there will be space for some ice.
- EZ-Clean Up Lid: The texture on the lid is such that it cleans up when you move a cloth over it. You won’t be needing to wash it with soap.
- Use As A Seat: The lid is strong enough to support 250 pounds of weight. This means that you can use the cooler as a seat and sit on it.
- No crush handles make it easier to maneuver.
- Built-in cup holders.
- Lightweight (14 pounds only).
- Incorporates an easier draining system.
- No wheels underneath.
This waterproof camping cooler can hold up ice for more than 4 days easily. Its bag-like shape makes it easy to carry around. Plus, it has durable handles and straps for more safety and ease.
- Capacity: This might look like a compact cooler but it can store up to 48 cans.
- Durable: One of the best features of this cooler is its rugged TPU construction which makes it puncture and tear resistant. This makes it a viable option for trips.
- Waterproof: The cooler has waterproof zippers that prevent water from seeping in or coming out.
- Easier To Carry: You can carry the cooler in three ways:
- Use the straps to carry like a bag
- Carry from the side handles
- Carry from the top handle.
- 3-year warranty.
- The vacuum valve helps releases excess air to maximize ice retention.
- Fully welded construction makes it waterproof.
- Integrated bottle opener.
- Doesn’t have much space due to added insulation.
How to Choose the Best Coolers for Camping
Keep these things in mind when you are out to purchase a cooler:
The right size depends on the number of family members you have. Here’s a breakdown:
- 40 qt: 59 cans
- 50 qt: 71 cans
- 75 qt: 120 cans
You may also have some space left for small items.
Opting for a heavier cooler that has no wheels underneath can be troublesome. Make sure to buy one that is lightweight or at least has wheels to make transportation easy.
Coolers that have permafrost or urethane insulation can retain ice for about a week. This is an excellent way of making your camping trip worthwhile. You won’t have to buy ice after a few hours to keep eatables and drinks cool.
Also, pay attention to latches and how the lid closes to ensure there is no leakage.
4. Additional Features
Some coolers come with bottle openers and cup holders. Such features can make your camping trip more fun so do consider them.
5. Drain Cap
The cooler should have a drain cap so that you can get rid of the water that’s collected inside the box without any trouble. This will help reduce the cooler’s weight and will also keep it clean.
Coolers for Camping FAQs
1. How to make the most of a camping cooler?
Remember these tips:
- Use leak-proof containers.
- Pre-freeze as much food as you can.
- Put a layer of ice at the bottom and stack contents on it to make them remain cool for longer.
2. What should I do if I fake spills?
Assuming you have a cooler with a drainage system, slanting it a bit will take out the spills. However, cleaning it with water may help as well.
3. How to keep the food cooler for longer?
For a camping cooler, the air is the enemy. Empty spaces inside the cooler will accumulate air and melt the ice. Hence, leave no space for air and open the lid as little as possible.
These are some of the best coolers for camping that you can choose from. Our personal favorite is Thermik High Performance Roto-Molded Cooler as it is affordable but it may be too small for some users.
Consider YETI Tundra 65 if you want a bigger unit that can keep ice for about a week.
If that’s also not enough, get your hands on Rubbermaid DuraChill. It is the biggest unit on the list and comes with a warranty.