Disclaimer: We may receive a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Top 5 Coolers For Camping Reviewed
Over the course of the past few years the popularity of camping has increased significantly and increasing numbers of people who have never tried it before are now looking into testing its waters.
Camping is a great venture that we thoroughly enjoy to see people get into it and ultimately fall in love with it like we have.
When you camp, you can stay wherever you please (as long as it isn’t on private land). You’re not confined to one space, meaning if you don’t like where you originally pitched your tent, you can simply up and move to another location.
It’s also important to bear in mind that camping doesn’t necessarily have to mean roughing it, being uncomfortable or having to go without home comforts.
Nowadays, there are countless campsites you can choose from, offering as many or as few facilities as you personally enjoy.
This can range from working, hot showers to electric hook-ups, wifi and on-site facilities such as shops, bars, restaurants and more.
On top of this, camping gear and equipment has been significantly developed, becoming advanced and catering to all your needs without a fuss.
One piece of kit that our team has found to be used on every camping trip is a good old cooler. In today’s article, our team has ranked and reviewed our top 5 best camping coolers for your next outdoor getaway.
Without further hesitation, let’s take a moment to look at some of the best camping coolers for your next trip!
Top Cooler For Camping Comparison Chart
Best Cooler For Camping
When you go camping, you’ll quickly notice that you need your gear to be tough, standing up against the elements, drops, falls and more.
If you have a cooler, you are going to need it to be sturdy and strong. The RTIC 45 QT cooler is built with extremes in mind.
It is impact resistant and durable, ticking any camper’s boxes.
It is a midsize cooler, meaning that it is multipurpose and can fit what you need inside, without being too large or bulky for one person to carry.
Its flat surfaces also means that it can double up as a bench, non-slip step stool, tabletop or an extra cutting board at the same time as serving its main purpose of keeping ice, perishables and other vital supplies cold.
The RTIC 45 QT has extremely impressive ice retention thanks to 3 inch thick walls filled with commercial grade insulating foam. Keeping ice frozen for up to ten days, you can rest assured that it will do its job, no matter how cold you need its contents to be.
Your goods will be kept in great condition for the duration of your trip. It also has an integrated locking system, which keeps its contents safe. Even if you drop the cooler, or if it tips over, its contents will be kept safely inside.
If you’re camping out in the wilderness, it’s recommended to leave any food and drinks away from where you are sleeping. Many worry that this could result in their coolers being broken into and emptied during the nights, but this option is bear resistant, meaning that even the biggest of animals that may come across it won’t be able to get inside.
Carrying the cooler is easy. As we noted above, it can easily be carried by one person. This is because the cooler has the choice of moulded-in side handles or heavy duty rope handles with textured grips. It also has full length interlocking hinges, ensuring that it doesn’t spring open when picking it up or putting it down.
When it comes to emptying the cooler, there’s an easy-flow drain spout, making the process simple and mess-free.
As you can see, this is a great cooler for anyone looking to store cool to frozen goods, no matter where you may be choosing to camp. Whether you’re heading to a secure campsite or out in the wilderness, it will do its job to a high standard.
The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is a great, personal sized cooler that will become your go-to whether you’re camping or simply heading to the park for a few drinks on a hot day.
Its small size makes it extremely easy to carry around, but this doesn’t create compromise on its insulation.
For such a relatively small cooler, it provides impressive insulation.
It hits a great balance between being able to hold just a few items and being able to hold up to 12 cans of drinks with ice, making it ideal for the majority of casual occasions.
When it comes to carrying the cooler, you’ll find that the cooler itself is lightweight and comes with an over-the-shoulder carry strap, plus handles just about everywhere. This makes it one of the most portable options on the market.
It is extremely durable and has a leak proof zipper, ensuring that whatever you place in it, including ice, will stay inside and there won’t be any spills or wetness. It packs a respectable level of insulation, maintaining USDA food-safe temperatures of 40°F or below for an incredible 37 hours.
The Otterbox Venture Hudson Camping Cooler is everything you expect from this well known brand.
If you’re looking for longevity in your cooler, the Venture will keep your goods cool for much longer than other boxes available on the market.
In fact, say you’re storing ice, this cooler will easily keep your ice frozen for up to 16 days.
Even if you’re going on a two week trip, this cooler will stand the test of time and keep your goods cool from start to finish – whether that’s food, drinks, other perishables or just plain ice.
When the ice does eventually melt, the cooler has a convenient drainage system that allows you to let the water out without having to tip the cooler up. This creates a simple, straightforward and mess free cleaning option.
When carrying the OtterBox Venture, you don’t have to worry about it springing open and your items falling out. It has been made with extremely sturdy latches that will keep it closed as and when you want, as well as keeping bears and other animals out if you happen to be camping in the wilderness.
A key element of the Venture cooler is that it comes with a truly unique mounting system, which helps to stand and store any extra accessories you may have. The cooler comes with a bottle opener and dry storage tray and there are other options available.
In terms of storage capacity, it’s good to know that the inside of the cooler is 31.39 inches long by 18.76 inches wide by 18.83 inches high. It can hold roughly a 26.37 lb bag of ice, 25 cans and 48 juice boxes. As you can imagine, this means being able to take plenty of food and drinks away with you, wherever you may be going.
An extra benefit that many enjoy is its rubber feet. These ensure that no matter where you place it, it won’t slip or slide around, keeping it in place as and where you want it.
Having looked at a portable bag style cooler from Yeti above, let’s take a moment to take a look at a harder, box cooler from the same brand.
Yeti coolers are well known for their serious toughness and great performance.
Their high price tag has also made them a status symbol amongst regular and avid campers.
So, what does the Yeti Tundra Camping Cooler 35 Quart have to offer? Let’s start with size. The 35-quart Yeti cooler can carry about 35 quarts, as the name suggests.
This means that it’s ideal if you’re heading out for a day hiking, or taking a one to two day trip. For longer trips, this cooler may not have sufficient capacity, but for the aforementioned activities, it should do pretty well.
The Tundra 35’s insulation is great. Its insulating technology ensures that the cooler keeps its internal temperature freezing-cold for several days. You can keep the cooler cold with water ice packs, but it’s also worth noting that this Tundra cooler is also compatible with dry ice.
Once the ice has eventually melted down, the Tundra 35 also has a simple drain system to empty it out cleanly and efficiently.
The TOURIT 15 Quart Soft Camping Cooler is ideal for shorter camping trips, trips to the park for drinks, picnics and other ventures that only require a small capacity.
While small, it does pack a punch when it comes to insulation. High quality insulation in 3 unique layers work together to keep your food and drinks cool for up to 3 days, which tends to be more than sufficient for shorter trips or days out.
Its outer layer has a water-proof surface which ensured no sweat, middle layer is high density foam and the interior is fully lined with leak-proof material.
On top of this, it is also crafted from BPA free materials!
Top Cooler For Camping Features To Consider
Of course, when choosing a cooler, you need to make sure that regardless of reviews, you’re choosing the right cooler to suit your individual needs and preferences.
The ideal cooler for one person may be useless to another. So, what should you look for when choosing your cooler?
Your first choice is a soft cooler. These are generally a stiff, insulated bag that is lightweight and extremely portable. They are best for those who need to keep drinks or other lightweight goods chilled for shorter periods of time, such as picnics or one to two day trips.
Hard coolers are the typical form of camping cooler. They look like an ice chest and are still, generally, the most popular option amongst coolers for those who are heading away on longer trips. They tend to be heavy, but once you reach your destination, they are much more durable, can resist wildlife and tend to keep goods cooler for longer.
A third, lesser used, form of cooler is a powered cooler. These require a power source to work, so are generally better when staying at campsites with power sources. They function as a sort of portable, electric fridge. Some can be powered through a solar panel.
Arguable the most important aspect to a cooler’s value is it’s storage capacity. Store for coolers is ofter measured in quarts. Most people are familiar with the stand 45 quart sized cooler, however as demonstrated in this article there are many different sizes to meet you specific needs.
Determining the weight of a cooler is immensely important, especially for the poo fellow who is going to be carrying the bloody thing! We always recommend giving a quick glance to the number of pounds a cooler weighs prior to purchase, because the last thing you want is to be surprised of it’s unsolicited mass when it arrives in the mail.
Wheels and Handles come in handy when transporting the cooler from car to camp. Although it isn’t true for all coolers with this feature, but typically we’ve found that coolers with wheels tend to be a bit cheaper in their materials and therefore won’t keep your ice as long. If you absolutely need wheels to transport your cooler, we recommend buying or building a third party kit to attach to your rig.
Watch This Before You Buy A Cooler For Camping
If you’re heading away on a camping trip, a cooler will make the perfect addition to your time away. As you can see, there are numerous types of coolers available, each with their individual pros and cons.
On top of this, the type of trip you’re taking can greatly impact the type of cooler that will serve you best. But hopefully, some of the above information will help you to pick out the best cooler to suit your needs!