What are The Best Coolers for Camping?

It’s summer! The time to party, picnic and camp among the trees and under the stars. It’s all done. The fun is about to begin. You’re looking forward to that well deserved cold drink and the fresh sandwiches you had packed in the cooler. You get the shock of your life when you open the cooler and see no ice- only water. Your drink is warm and the sandwiches soggy. Your cooler has let you down- so if you don’t want that to happen to you, get the best cooler for camping.

What to look for in a cooler?

A good cooler is a must when you’re camping so you can enjoy your long trip with no mishaps.

  • 1
    The cooler must be well insulated, so it keeps the ice and keeps food fresh for long spells
  • 2
    Your cooler should withstand the ardors of rough terrain, must be portable and be well protected from animals and nosy human beings
  • 3
    The cooler you choose should be the correct size for your outing
  • 4
    Do research when you are looking at cooler prices- the most expensive one is not always the best

Let’s look at a few coolers that are up to the mark to be the best cooler for camping

Coolest Cooler

With a name like that, it’s bound to be a great cooler, catering to all your needs. It has cool features that will go down well with campers. It has a Bluetooth outdoor speaker that’s good for hours and hours of music and song. Surprise, it’s fitted with a waterproof USB device charger, LED lighting built-in to the lid and even a built-in blender and a bottle opener with a magnetic cap catcher.

It includes a lithium battery and this powers the blender and the USB charger. We can then use the charger  to charge the Bluetooth speaker.It’s available in three colors- green, blue and classic orange and with 55 quarts of storage space, there’s lots of room for food and drink. It has a removable divider that can serve as a cutting board and also has a tie-down cord. With a full cooler, it’s bound to be a little heavy, but that’s countered with the wheels and the telescopic handle.

It may not be the best camping cooler to keep ice but it’s a smart one and the coolest cooler around. There are lots of optional add-ons that are exciting, but be careful that you don’t go overboard. Dragging the cooler along won’t be easy.


  •  smart technology
  • Easy to roll along even when heavy
  • Added accessories to making camping fun
  • Can listen to music


  • Ice-retention can be better

The Coleman Xtreme Cooler For Camping

Coleman lives up to its reputation for outdoor equipment and delivers on all the promises it makes. This 70-quart ice chest can hold almost 100 cans and keep ice for about 5 days in 90 degrees F. Also, it can double up as a seat and can support you provided you don’t weigh over 250 pounds! It’s a great cooler for camping and comes with 4 built-in drink holders. Insulation is free from CFC, HFC and HCFC and hence is environmentally friendly. This helps to reduce carbon emissions. The no-crush handle affords a comfortable grip. The lid has an EZ-clean top that makes for easy cleaning of the surface. It also has a leak-resistant drain that facilitates easy draining.


  • Doubles up as a seat
  • Good ice-retention
  • Environmentally friendly insulation
  • Easy to clean


  • There have been a few reports of sweating

Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler

Voted as the best camp cooler for transporting, this one is bound to cause a stir amongst campers. It features riser technology so the cooler will have little contact with the ground when it is rolling. The durable wheels are built solid coupled with the telescopic handle at the back of the cooler makes it easy to roll- very much like a suitcase with wheels and a handle. This is one great cooler for those that are always on the go.Maxcold foam insulation offers have 25 percent extra foam and that extra insulation ensures that contents remain as cold as possible. This cooler comes in three sizes- 40, 50 and 60-Quart. Campers found this to their liking because of its ice-retention and easy maneuverability. This fits the best cooler for camping tag.


  • Easy to move and roll- sturdy wheels
  • Extra insulation keeps contents cold


  • Long-term ice retention is suspect

Orca ORCW020 Cooler

This cooler is great when you want to camp for a few days and store food and drinks for that period. It has great insulation and can keep ice for a week and if it is packed with food, they can maintain refrigerator temperatures for even a longer period. This is great news for campers and anyone who wants to take extended trips. It is sturdy and durable and has comfortable handles. It is heavy when filled and will require two persons to carry it. Though it is easy to close and has rubber pull-tabs to lock the lid in place, the lid appears to close with a snap even before you know it. It’s stylish, available in several colors and also has some catchy exterior designs.


  • Good ice-retention
  • Great insulation
  • Durable and sturdy


  • Lid falls down and snaps close

Pelican Elite Cooler 70

It looks and is a rugged camping cooler and though on the heavy side, it’s one of the easiest coolers to carry because of the unique way in which the handle is designed. Made of molded plastic, the handles are built into the cooler frame and not attached to the exterior. It is easy to carry and is gentle on the hands. It is latched and locked by using a push-button. This ensures that it secures the contents. The tie downs are made from stainless steel hardware and the chances of rusting are nil. A sloped drain helps easy drainage of the water that collects in the chest if all the ice has melted.The cooler can keep ice frozen for over a week and food and drink remains cold and fresh for more than a week. It matches the Yeti Tundra when it comes to ice-retention. The lid gasket isn’t as tight as one would like and splashes water out when the cooler is full.


  • Cooler built for camping
  • Superior ice-retention
  • Easy latching and locking


  • Lid gasket is not tight

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler

Looking for a cooler you can take on your camping trip? Eschew the hard-sided coolers and opt for the Arctic Zone. The cooler is small and portable because of the comfortable shoulder straps. It comes with a few accessories too. It has a zipper pocket where you can store napkins and cutlery and an interior shelf that isolates your drinks and sandwiches. With a Velcro lid design, it’s easy to close and open. This can be good or bad because when it’s closed, it seals the cold in but if you stuff bottles that head towards the lid; it puts pressure on it and causes a small leak. On the whole, it’s a great cooler to have when you’re camping out for a few days.


  • Light and portable
  • Easy to carry
  • Zipper pocket for accessories


  • Leaks cold air if Velcro designed lid is under pressure

K2 Summit Cooler

K2 Summit is a quality cooler that uses K2’s patented “ICE vault” gasket design to keep the ice in the chest. The superior insulation and premium sealing ensure that the ice remains that way for over 6 days. Every K2 cooler uses 3 inches of K2’s premium grade high-density polyurethane foam in between the walls and the lid. Because of the pockets that are created, heat transfer is reduced and the coolers ice-retention capacity increases. The high-density foam adds to the strength and rigidity of the walls. An anti-delaminating grip adds to the life of the cooler.

UV resistant material keeps the heat out and the cooler damage free. A simple rotatable plug helps to drain out all the water. This roto-molded cooler is just made from one-piece with no seams at the sides or bottom. Hence they are durable. The insulating material used has high tensile strength, and this makes it puncture resistant.

What We Like About It

  • Roto molded, one-piece construction
  • High-grade insulation and premium ice-retention
  • Durable

Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler

All camping enthusiasts are familiar with this one- in fact, Yeti is a recognized brand and its Tundra series are rugged enough for camping and outdoor trips. This one has many features that campers will like. It has a dry goods rack, non-skid feet, rope handles for easy handling. It’s roto-molded, UV resistant and special T-Rex latches make it grizzly proof. Also it uses pressure injected Permafrost insulation, and that helps to resist outside temperatures no matter how hot it is.

 You can ensure that your food remains bacteria free and cool. Its ColdLock sealing maintains the cold within and prevents food from warming up. The commercial-grade polyurethane foam used in the walls and lid ensures that your ice stays ice. The freezer-quality gasket that fits along the entire lid prevents hot air entering the cooler and cool air moving out. It’s dry goods rack isolates your snacks and treats from the water in case all the ice should melt. That means campers are assured of fresh food all the time.


  • Sturdy and roto-molded
  • Dry goods rack
  • T-Rex heavy duty rubber latches


  • Pricey
  • heavy when filled to the brim

Orca 40-Quart

Orca is a good pick for camping outdoors and serious campers love it as it can hold ice for a long time. It comes with a lifetime warranty and is easy to carry. The padded and easy-to-grip handles can be extended, and this makes it easily portable. It has a cargo net attachment at the back and you can store all your miscellaneous items in it.

Storage is just not a problem. Non-Slip, heavy duty pads at the bottom prevent the cooler from slipping and sliding on wet surfaces or on vehicles. Its insulation is superior, and it holds ice well. The lid gasket also provides an extra layer of insulation and keeps the cold in. It’s strong and causes no  worries while being transported.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good insulation and a tight lid gasket
  • Lid gasket provides a reliable seal
  • Made in the united states


  • Mesh pocket at the back is sometimes not easily accessible

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler 28QT

Camping out for a couple of days? Well, this one keeps food fresh for two days in summer and qualifies to be in the list as a best cooler for camping. It uses Cool Riser Technology that contributes to improved cooling performance. It has an insulated lid also helps in ice retention and the infrared technology and UV inhibitors protect the cooler from being damaged by the sun. The triple-snap drain plug facilitates easy draining of melted ice. Also the cooler has a telescopic handle that makes it easier to pull your food-filled cooler. Gear hangers to hold miscellaneous items are a welcome feature. It has self-draining cup holders built into the lid to ensure that your drinks are at hand and secure against spilling. Lockable lid loops ensure maximum security. Most importantly, it is equipped with soft side rally wheels that augur for a smooth ride and easy transport.


  • Superior technology ensures ice retention
  • Gear hangers to hold bags and totes
  • Drain plug for easy drainage
  • Soft wheels for an easy ride


  • Not ideal for camping for a long time

RTIC 45 Qt Cooler

The latest brand of camping coolers in the market is the RTIC 45 Qt Cooler. It looks strong and sturdy and are built so well that’s a very durable cooler. The walls have 3” insulation that keeps the cold well. The roto-molded construction is of equal thickness throughout and it’s more of a portable freezer as it can keep ice in well. Its freezer gasket around the lid ensures that the ice chest remains cold, but in warm surroundings, this may not be so effective. However, the  interlocking hinges only make the cooler better. It v-drain system ensures an easy and complete drainage. Non-skid feet prevent sliding. This cooler can hold 36 cans at a time.


  • High-Performance cooler in normal surroundings
  • Roto-mold construction makes the cooler strong and sturdy
  • Better than many high-end coolers


  • Ideal for short trips only
  • Outside temperatures may affect performance

Grizzly 75 Quart Cooler

The grizzly 75-quart cooler suggests that it’s great for a family outing and camping. The ice chest has two-inch thick insulating foam and a rubber seal that prevents cold air escaping from the interior. An airtight gasket around the lid further enhances cold retention. It is sturdy and can take beatings in tough terrain. A 3-latch system locks the cooler firmly. A 2” drain and a cap make it easy to drain away water collected in the cooler if the ice melts. Non-skid feet keep it standing upright.


  • Good ice retention
  • has a lifetime warranty


  • No built-in cup holders on the lid

What to watch out for while buying a cooler for camping

So when you buy a camping cooler- you need to know there are three basic types- one that comes with wheels, ones that come with shoulder straps and others that have handles using which you can lift them

Watch the weight- you don’t want it to be too heavy

Size is important- 25 quarts will be enough for a single night for one person (food and drinks), 40 quarts for one person for a full weekend or for two persons for two nights. 70 quarts will be sufficient for a family for the whole weekend or a weeklong trip for a couple.

Aesthetic appeal matters to some- so choose the colors you like

Check out the modes if available- some have a cool mode that keeps drinks cool and a warm mode that keeps food warm.With the right sized cooler, your camping trip is sure to be fun. So do your homework before you plunge to get the best cooler for camping!

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