Quick Answer: Best Cooler for Camping

BEST OVERALL
BEST VALUE
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
BEST OVERALL
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
BEST VALUE
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue


Your camping cooler is one of the most important camping accessories at your disposal. It can keep your food and ice in the best condition for a long time. 

There are a ton of different brands that offer camping coolers, so it is a daunting task to choose the best cooler for camping on your own. 

Fear not! We have compiled a list of the best camping coolers for you. We will talk about the good, the bad, and even what other previous buyers are saying about these coolers so that it helps you make your decision effortlessly.

Best Cooler for Camping

Igloo BMX Family with Cool Riser Technology

Coleman Rolling Cooler

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

OlarHike 40/24 Can Cooler Bag Lunch Bag

CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

GARDRIT 60 Can Large Cooler Bag

TOURIT Cooler Backpack

Best Coolers for Camping – Reviews

Review of Igloo BMX Family with Cool Riser Technology

Igloo is known for manufacturing its coolers in the USA. As a result, they are one of the most popular brands in the world for camping coolers. 

Now, this Igloo BMX family cooler is available in 3 different sizes and 5 different colors. The different sizes are 25 Qt, 52 Qt, and 72 Qt. In this review, we will be reviewing the 52 Qt model.

These coolers are available in various colors like carbon, white, sandstone/red, green/orange, aquamarine, and so on. The 52 Qt model measures 26.57 x 16.93 x 16.93 inches externally. 

Thus, it can accommodate 83 12 oz. cans with ease. It weighs only 16.33 pounds. This is famous for its up to 5 days of ice retention capability.

Thanks to its ‘MaxCold’ body which comes with 20% thicker insulation foam and insulated lid. Plus, the ‘Cool Riser’ technology helps to keep the cooler away from hot surfaces.

The body of the ice chest cooler is constructed with blow-molded technology. Because of its reinforced base, it offers additional protection and sturdiness.

It comes with stainless steel hinge rods and rubberized T-grip rubber latches. This one also has a threaded drain plug which is compatible with the garden hose. 

You will love the ‘Swing-Up’ dual grip handles at both sides of the cooler. In addition, there are also built-in tie-down loops to secure the cooler while you are traveling.

The build quality of this cooler is top-notch. It can withstand extreme heat, UV-ray, and harsh weather. It is also rust-resistant. Interestingly, they have integrated a ruler on the lid for estimating your catch easily. 

Overall, this is a very budget-friendly, durably, yet lightweight camping cooler from Igloo.

What Previous Buyers Said?

According to previous owners, this is one of the best camping coolers out there. They love it due to its compact size, yet large capacity. They have also mentioned that the build quality of these coolers is robust.

Many users also claimed that they can retain ice for up to 5 days without any issue. Moreover, the buyers liked the budget-friendly pricing of this camping cooler. So, we can say that almost all buyers were satisfied with this purchase.

Pros:

  • Sturdy build quality yet lightweight
  • UV-ray and rust-resistant
  • Has stainless steel hinge rods
  • Comes with an integrated ruler
  • Available in multiple colors and sizes
  • The drain plug is garden hose compatible

Cons:

  • Nothing major to mention

Review of Coleman Rolling Cooler

Coleman is another well-reputed brand in the camping cooler industry. They have a variety of coolers that you can choose from. 

Among them is this particular rolling cooler, which comes with a very budget-friendly price tag. But don’t that let you think that it is a low-quality cooler. Rather, it has some of the best features on coolers at this price range.

For instance, Coleman has used the ‘Xtreme Technology’, which offers extra thick insulation in the lid and the wall. As a result, it has the capability of up to 4-5 days of ice retention at a temperature up to 90-degree F.

There are 2 big heavy-duty wheels attached at the bottom of the cooler. In addition, there is a telescoping handle in it. So, carrying the cooler is pretty simple.

The lid of the ice chest cooler comes with a few unique functionalities. For instance, it has 4 cup holders and it can hold up to 250 lbs., so you can even sit in the cooler without any hitch. 

Thanks to the EZ-Clean technology, the lid can be easily wiped clean. It also features a drain plug.

The external dimension of the ice chest style cooler is 23 x 18 x 18 inches. Thus, it can accommodate up to 84 cans. 

This is made with high-grade plastic. So, you can rely on the build quality of this cooler. For the price, it could be one of the best coolers for camping.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Past buyers of this camping cooler are overly satisfied with it. Albeit, a few of them complained about the telescoping handle. 

They said the quality of the handles could be better. Other than this, most buyers had only praise for this cooler. 

According to them, it can retain ice for a longer period of time and is very easy to clean up. Some customers even admired the capability of the lid as it can hold up to 250 lbs. 

The inclusion of the cup holders also received praise from customers. They have also enjoyed the reasonable price for this cooler.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly cooler
  • The lid can hold up to 250 lbs.
  • The lid also has cup holders
  • Great ice retention capability

Cons:

  • The telescoping handle is very flimsy

Review of Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

This is a bit of a different cooler for camping on our list. It looks like a soft cooler, however, in reality, it is a hard cooler.  This is available in various colors like moss, blue, process blue, and white. 

You can get it in different sizes such as 16 can, 30 can, 48 can, and 9 can. Here we will be talking about the 30 can version, as this will be the most suitable option for most campers out there. 

The external dimension of this cooler is 16.5 x 11 x 12.75 inches. According to Arctic Zone, it can store up to 30 cans. The interior liner dimension of this cooler is 12.7 x 7.6 x 10.2 inches. 

This ice chest type cooler comes with a patented technology named ‘Flip Open Zipperless Lid’, meaning the lid of this hard body cooler can simply flip open. 

As a result, you can quickly access your food and drinks. On top of that, the cooler can keep ice and food cold for up to 3 days.

The hard body is FDA compliant and has a removable SmartShelf inside. You can separate soft foods from hard foods using this SmartShelf. Whenever you will need more space, you can remove the SmartShelf entirely. 

It also features a ‘Triple Layer ColdBlock’ base, which keeps the base of the cooler away from cold surfaces. In addition, it comes with side carry handles, adjustable padded shoulder straps, and a detachable bottle opener. All in all, this could be one of the best camping coolers for your camping trip.

What Previous Buyers Said?

To be honest, previous buyers have left mixed feedback about this camping cooler. Some of them said that the ice retention capability of the cooler is not that high as advertised. A few other customers complained about the build quality. 

However, the majority of the customers actually liked this cooler, because of the reasonable price. 

Along with that, they also liked its unique design. Thus, they are saying if you want to get a portable camping cooler for a good price, this could be the best camping cooler in that sense.

Pros:

  • It is water, stain, puncture, and abrasion-resistant
  • Comes with a padded adjustable shoulder pad
  • Easy to carry
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Great price to performance ratio

Cons:

  • The build quality could be better

Review of OlarHike 40/24 Can Cooler Bag Lunch Bag

OlarHike is offering this soft cooler for a very affordable price. It comes in sizes such as 24-can and 40-can. Plus, it is available in 2 colors that are black and grey. Here we are reviewing the 24-can version. 

They have used very high-grade construction materials like aluminum, 600D Nylon, Peva, EPE Foam, etc. in this cooler. The external dimension of the soft-sided cooler is 11.8 x 9.4 x 8.6 inches.

By volume, it can hold up to 15 liters. When it comes to cans, then you can store up to 8 cans of 500 ml and 24 cans of 330 ml. The exterior of the cooler is made with 600D Oxford fabric, which is very easy to clean and dry. 

The supplied aluminum foil is food-grade and water-resistant. You can carry it in multiple ways. 

For instance, you can use the padded top handles, or you can also use the side rope handles to carry it. Additionally, you may use shoulder straps for carrying heavier loads.

This cooler can keep ice and food cold for up to 12 hours and can be folded flat when not in use. So, if you want to you can pack it in your luggage everywhere you go. On top of that, this OlarHike cooler can accommodate up to 6 lunch boxes. It is also waterproof and leak-proof. 

The OlarHike weighs about 1.16 lbs. The cooler bag also features zippered and mesh pockets to store additional accessories while you are on your camping trips. 

It has a very low price tag, so if you are on a budget constraint or want to get a portable soft cooler without breaking the bank, this could be a great option.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The majority of previous buyers have liked this product. They have stated that it can actually keep your food and ice stored in the best condition for a long time. 

Besides, they have also added that it is very easy to carry as it can be folded flat. Overall, they have been recommending this cooler.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to carry and clean
  • Sturdy build quality 
  • Multipurpose soft cooler

Cons:

  • The ice retention duration could be higher

Review of CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag

This is another soft cooler from CleverMade. Even though this is a soft cooler, it uses a structured metal frame inside so that it stays upright whenever you are using it. 

Thanks to CleverMade’s patented ‘SnapHinge’ technology, you can also fold the cooler to just 3-inch thickness. Thus, you can take it with you whenever you want without wasting much space.

The bag is made with high-end polyester and a solid board base. It comes with a bottle opener on the handle straps. You will also like the inclusion of a front zippered pocket. 

The net dimensions of the cooler bag are 18.25 x 12.25 x 12 inches and it weighs about 2 lbs.  It is made of 2% ABS, 3% MDF, 10% Polypropylene, 35% Polyethylene Vinyl Acetate, and 50% Polyester.

The CleverMade can hold up to 50 cans plus ice. In total, it has a load capacity of up to 50 lbs. and by volume, it can accommodate up to 30 liters. So you can see that it is a spacious cooler bag yet it is very lightweight

You can get this cooler in a number of colors like black/heathered charcoal, heather olive/navy, light grey/denim, steel blue/cream, etc. This has an insulated and leak-proof interior. It comes with both side rope handles and top padded straps to carry it in multiple ways.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The former buyers of this soft cooler are admiring the ease of use of this unit. They have mentioned that it offers a lot of space to store your food and drinks for camping. In addition, they have enjoyed its collapsing feature. 

As per them, the build quality of the cooler bag is also of premium quality. Most buyers are saying that if you want to get a soft cooler for a quick camping trip, then this could be the best option.

Pros:

  • Easy to carry
  • Robust build quality
  • Leak-proof
  • Collapsible when not in use
  • Comes with an integrated bottle opener

Cons:

  • The ice retention capability could be better

Review of YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

At Overlandsite, we have talked about YETI coolers a lot. For instance, you might have already read our comparison post between Orca vs. Yeti. Nevertheless, chances are you are very much familiar with these top-of-the-line coolers. 

YETI is well-recognized for manufacturing sturdy, durable, and featureful coolers. That is why the YETI Tundra 45 has earned its spot in this review.

This cooler is available in numerous colors such as white, desert tan, coral, navy, high country, and more. They have used high-grade ABS plastic to construct this cooler. The outside dimensions of this cooler are 16 ⅛ x 15 ⅜ x 25 ¾ inches. 

Whereas the internal dimensions are 9 ⅜ x 10 ⅝ x 18 ⅜ inches. In addition, the empty weight of the YETI Tundra 45 is about 23 lbs.

You can store up to 28 beer cans (2:1 ice to can ratio) or 34 pounds of ice only. The YETI Tundra 45 comes with rotomolded construction and PermaFrost insulation. 

Due to this construction, the YETI has a rugged build quality and up to 3 inches of insulation. It also uses the ‘FatWall’ design, and as a result, it will be able to keep food and ice fresh for a longer period of time.

If everything is right, it can even retain ice for up to 10 days. The cooler comes with T-Rex lid rubber latches, non-slip, fit, drain plug, and tie-down slots, military-grade polyester double haul handles. 

Thanks to the Bear-resistant certification, you can enjoy your camping trip without any worries.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Frankly, this is undoubtedly one of the most popular coolers on our list. Almost all the buyers have spoken positively about the YETI. 

A handful of customers said that the price could be a bit lower, but they still have said that it is worth it if you want to get a long-lasting and durable hard cooler. 

They liked that it comes with all the premium features and it has a very reliable ice retention capability. As per them, this is the best YETI cooler for camping out there.

Pros:

  • Rugged build quality
  • It is Bear-resistant certified
  • Comes with a free dry goods basket
  • Longer ice retention capability

Cons:

  • Expensive

Review of GARDRIT 60 Can Large Cooler Bag

Do you need an affordable soft cooler bag with lots of features? Then this one from GARDRIT could be the best choice. The outside dimension of the cooler bag is 16.1×11.8 x 12.6 inches and it weighs about 1.88 pounds. 

It has a capacity of up to 39 liters/10 gallons by volume. The maximum loading capacity of the cooler bag is up to 70 lbs.

Inside this cooler, you can store about 60 330 mL cans. So, you can see that it is a very spacious soft cooler, yet very lightweight. The exterior of this bag is made with premium nylon fabric.

This makes it durable and easy to store and wash. They have used environment-friendly PEVA liner in the interior lining. There is also an aluminum foil layer that is food-grade and water-resistant. Thus, you can use this cooler to keep your food both cold and warm.

For portability, the cooler is integrated with both side handles and shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are adjustable and padded. It also has a bottle opener. 

You will find the mesh and zippered pockets on both the front and back of this soft cooler, and there are built-in pouches inside. This soft cooler can keep food items cool for up to 12 hours. 

Another benefit of this unit is that you can fold it down effortlessly when not in use, so you can take it with you wherever you are going. All in all, this could be a great deal.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Most previous buyers have said that it comes with a lot of great features. The build quality of the cooler bag is great. 

Moreover, because of its innovative design, buyers have said it can be carried with you very easily. Many of them even used it for their grocery runs and have stated that the price of the cooler bag is reasonable.

Pros:

  • Water and leak-proof
  • Can be folded down
  • Great price to performance
  • Easy to carry

Cons:

  • The ice retention capability could be better

Review of TOURIT Cooler Backpack

The last cooler on our review list is a unique backpack cooler. So, if you are looking for a cooler for backpacking or simply want a cooler that comes in a backpack style, then this is for you. 

This backpack cooler is available in 4 different colors, such as black, blue, grey, and dark gray. The net dimensions of the backpack are 13 x 7.5 x 15.8 inches. Plus, it has a weight of only 1.1 lbs., making it a great option for backpacking. 

The TOURIT is made with 600D oxford fabric for long-lasting durability. The internal insulation is water and leak-proof. Additionally, it can keep your food cool or warm for up to 16 hours. 

The backpack cooler can accommodate up to 30 330 mL cans. There are many sizes available, but the prices will vary.

Now, in this backpack cooler, you are getting multiple pockets. For instance, there is 1 main large compartment, 2 large zipper pockets at the front, 2 mesh pockets at the sides, another mesh pocket at the side, and 1 zipper pocket in the lid. In addition, it also has a bottle opener on the shoulder strap.

The backpack cooler comes with padded shoulder straps that are adjustable, and a tiny carry handle. The back of the bag is also padded for comfort. For the price, this is one of the best backpack coolers out there.

If you want to get a stylish backpack that can work as a cooler at the same time, then this is it.

What Previous Buyers Said?

To be honest, the previous customers loved this cooler backpack. Most of them have said that this is truly a leak-proof backpack cooler. They also liked the lightweight yet durable build. 

In addition, the users admired the sleek backpack design. Some previous buyers also said it can keep food and ice fresh and cold for a long time. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and backpack style
  • Cold ice retention capability
  • Leak-proof and waterproof
  • Comes with a bottle opener

Cons:

  • Nothing major to mention

wild camping in kazalhstan

Buying Guide – Best Cooler for Camping

In this section, we will be pointing out some very important things you should consider before buying the best coolers for camping. So, let’s go…

Your Camping Style

Initially, you will have to determine your style of camping. For instance, if you are going family camping, then you will need a bigger cooler. On the flip side, if you are on a solo mission, you might go with a soft cooler or a backpack cooler.

Duration of the Trip

Another very important factor to consider is the duration of the trip. If you are going on a longer trip where it will not be possible to restock ice, then you will need a larger cooler. 

Also, in this case, the ice retention capability of the cooler should be the best, and a high priority.

Number of Users

If your group is large, you need to bring a large cooler. Or, you can also bring several smaller ones. But if you are going solo or if your group is small, then a big cooler might become a bottleneck for you. 

So, before you are deciding on the cooler, you should determine the number of would-be users of the cooler.

Weather Condition (Expected)

The ice retention capability of any cooler greatly depends on weather conditions. If the weather is extremely hot, then the ice will melt faster. In that case, you should get the cooler with the thickest insulation.

Wildlife Encounters

If you think you might encounter wild animals during your camping trips, then you should get a sturdy cooler. Better yet, if you can get one with a bear-resistant certification.

Ice Retention

As always, the longer a cooler can retain ice the better. However, the coolers with good ice retention will be expensive as well.

Drain Plug

For hard coolers, it should be a must to have a drain plug. That way, you will be able to drain out the water from the cooler effortlessly. It will also come in handy while cleaning/washing the inside of the cooler.

Size

Camping coolers come in many shapes and sizes. So, which size should you go with? Guess what? 

It totally depends on your preference: the number of users, the amount of food and drinks, and even the duration of the trip. So, make sure you are keeping all these factors in mind while choosing your next cooler.

Build Quality and Portability

Of course, the cooler you are buying should be robustly built. It should be resistant to extreme weather conditions, and it ought to be lightweight and portable. The top-quality coolers come with multiple handles and shoulder straps for convenient carrying purposes.

Types of Camping Cooler

Typically, there are 2 types of camping coolers: soft coolers and hard coolers. The hard coolers have better ice retention, more features, larger space, etc. when compared to soft coolers. 

However, they tend to be pricey as well. On the other hand, soft coolers tend to be more portable, compact, and budget-friendly. Depending on your needs, you have to decide on the type of cooler you are going to buy.

FAQ

Which Cooler Keeps Ice The Longest?

The ice retention capacity of a cooler depends on various external and internal factors. So, it is very hard to judge the ice retention capability of a cooler. 

However, according to many camping cooler users worldwide, the YETI Tundra series is known for its excellent ice retention capacity. Also, the Grizzly 40 Qt Cooler can come as a close second in terms of keeping ice cool for the longest time.

What Is The Best Cooler For The Money?

There are tons of coolers available, so it is very difficult to find the best camping cooler for the money. However, from this review post, we think the Igloo BMX Family cooler would be the best bang for your buck.

What Size Do I Need For Camping?

It will depend on a few factors. For example, you should know how long your camping trip would be. Also, how many of you are on the trip? Based on these realities, you can determine the size of your camping cooler. 

As per many campers, a 45 Qt cooler would be the sweet spot when you have a couple of members in your group and will be enjoying the trip for up to 4-5 days.

Which Cooler Has The Best Ice Retention?

Once again, arguably, the YETI coolers have the best ice retention capacity. However, as per many campers, both the Ozark Trail Cooler and the Grizzly coolers are close seconds.

primus stove for camping

Wrap Up – Best Coolers for Camping

We have written this post to assist you in choosing the best cooler for camping. In the process, we have reviewed 8 of the top camping coolers. 

You should have already noticed that we have included numerous types of coolers in terms of the price range, types, and colors in this review. So that all of our readers can find the perfect option as per their requirements. 

Now, if you are still hesitating, then we would recommend the YETI Tundra 45 cooler as the best one from our review. This one has a sturdy build quality, excellent ice retention capacity, and tons of great features.

But if the price of the YETI Tundra 45 is a bit high for you, then you can go with the Igloo BMX Family Cooler. Of course, if you want to get soft coolers, you can go with them as well. All of the products mentioned here are of top quality.

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