|YETI Tundra 35|
|Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric 28 Quart|
|Arctic Zone Titan|
|Coleman Xtreme 70 Quart|
What is one of the essential things for a summer camping trip?
Luckily, coolers have developed quite a lot from the basic Igloo coolers in the 90s.
Nowadays, there are some great brands and models of coolers that can really improve your camping trip.
Check the list and find your top picks!
Our Top 2 Choices
YETI Tundra 35
Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric 28 Quart
YETI Tundra 35
YETI Tundra 35 is possibly the best cooler ever made.
It features tough PermaFrost insulation and has tough construction.
Solid lid latches prevent spills and keep the warm air outside the cooler.
It can keep goods chilled for up to three days.
YETI cooler is durable and you can expect it to last for years.
The price tag is a bit higher, but the performance is outstanding.
- Can store up to 20 cans
- Made in the USA
- Include dry goods basket
- Tough construction
- Heavy when empty
If you are looking for a tough cooler to accompany you on your camping trips, look no more.
Tundra 35 will ensure your food is fresh and beers are chilled!
Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric 28 Quart
Igloo cooler is practical because you can plug it in your car’s 12V DC unit and keep everything chilled no matter what outside temperatures are.
The cooler can be used without ice, so the storage capacity is up to 34 cans.
Because it features a smart design, a cooler can be used horizontally or vertically, so you can find a convenient place in the shade.
It takes three hours to get fully chilled and has slightly different insulation than some high-end models.
Therefore, it might not be good enough if you plan to use it completely as a portable device.
- Plugs into 12V DC receptacle
- Can store a lot of things
- Doesn’t have wheels
- Mediocre performance when not plugged in
Igloo makes some excellent budget-friendly camping devices.
This cooler is lightweight and perfect for car camping.
This Coleman cooler is the most practical one on the market.
It has a large, 70-liter capacity, a telescopic handle and wheels.
Therefore, you can load it up with plenty of goods and still don’t have issues when you have to transport it from your car to the camping site.
The lid includes cup holders and the cooler has a practical drainage gasket.
Even though the manufacturer states that a cooling capacity is five days, in reality, it is a bit lower.
Still, considering everything the Colemen Xtreme cooler offers, I am ready to forgive the false claims!
- Tough wheels
- Excellent capacity
- Easy to drain
- Doesn’t have clips to lock shut
- Two-day cooling capacity is more real
Coleman Xtreme cooler is manufactured for modern campers that value practicality and simple design.
The price tag is also reasonable.
Arctic Zone Titan
Arctic Zone Cooler is great for those who travel fast and pack lightly.
It is small, lightweight but also offers great insulation.
The cooler has a walled storage compartment with a removable and adjustable shelf and a shoulder strap for carrying.
Despite its small size, the cooler surprisingly performs quite well.
It has DeepFreeze insulation which is perfect for single-day adventures and overnighter trips.
The construction lacks robustness as seen in some other models, but it is easy to carry wherever you go and always have your goods chilled.
- Comes in different sizes
- Simple maintenance
- FDA-grade materials
- One-day chill time
If you aren’t looking for a hard-case model, the Arctic Zone cooler can be perfect for you.
It is easy to transport and has plenty of convenient features.
Coleman Xtreme 70 Quart
This Coleman cooler has an impressive capacity and a neat design.
It is also very affordable, compared to the competitor’s coolers of the same capacity.
You can store up to 100 cans which will stay chilled for up to two days.
The unit has moderate weight and heavy-duty construction.
Moreover, there is UV protection, which will keep the hard case safe from sun-caused cracks and issues.
- Impressive capacity
- Can work as a table
- Easy to drain
If you need something large to store goods for a whole family, Coleman has something for you.
You get excellent features and solid insulation for a fraction of the cost.
Learning more about camping coolers will help you to choose the best one for you.
There are a few factors that can help you choose.
Camping coolers are available in different sizes.
Here is a quick size guide:
- 25 quarts – better for small groups and day trips
- 30-50 quarts – can be good for the weekend, solo trips or day-trip for large groups
- 50-75 quarts – suitable for long, family camping trips
However, keep in mind that a cooler can become very heavy when you fill it with ice and goodies.
Also, consider the external size of the cooler, and get the one that can fit into your car, boat or RV.
Insulation of a cooler is the most important thing that determines how long a cooler holds your drinks chilled.
Budget-friendly options can maintain a full day of chilled drinks, while some high-end models can do that for up to ten days.
Remember, the longer the trip, the better cooling capabilities you need.
It means that you’ll have to give more money.
But, if you never go on multiple-day trips, you will be good to go with some cheaper options.
The next thing you need to consider is portability.
How easy to transport the cooler from your vehicle to the camping spot is?
Smaller coolers are easier to transport, but might not be insulated enough to keep your frozen goods chilled for as long as you need them.
Seal on the cooler is important because a poor-quality seal or latch can let warm air in the cooler and cause the ice to melt.
The internal seal on the coolers works similar to fridge doors and can be okay as long as the cooler is stationary.
But, if you are moving, the clip-over latches are a better choice.
External latches are sturdy and prevent the warm air from accessing your cooler.
Ease of Use
Check how drainage and compartmentalization are achieved with your chosen cooler.
Also, find out if the cooler comes with some useful attachments, such as shelves, partitions, dividers, etc.
The better the drainage system, the easier to clean the cooler is.
Inexpensive coolers don’t come with a built-in drainage system.
It means that you have to empty the cooler and drain excess meltwater by hand.
The best drainage systems allow you to drain water without losing ice.
The lanyards with a gasket plug and garden hose are simplest to work.
Camping Cooler Brands to Consider
There are so many coolers of different brands on the market.
But, choosing a trustworthy company is a safe bet.
If you are looking to invest more money into the cooler, you can choose high-end camping coolers by Yeti, Pelican Products, Elkton Outdoors.
Other brands worth considering in the high-end category are Grizzly, Orion and Engel.
For more affordable options, Coleman is the best.
But, Igloo, Arctic Zone, Ozark Trail and Rubbermaid also make affordable and quality coolers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Camping Coolers
I always recommend people to buy a slightly larger cooler in case the group expands or you decide to stay a day more.
Smaller coolers are great for transport but cannot hold enough goodies.
Here are a few questions and answers about camping coolers that might help you decide.
How to Pack a Cooler For Camping?
First, prepare the food and put it in carrying condiment bottles or leak-proof containers.
Freeze food or keep it in the fridge until you are ready to go on your trip.
Transfer the cooler and the content at the last minute before you go.
Packing from the bottom up and start with a layer of ice.
Put the food you will use last at the bottom and the drinks and water on the top.
How to Keep Food Cold When Camping?
Your cooler will perform better if you minimize the gaps in the cooler.
Fill in the cooler to the last inch when packing, and close the lid.
Minimize the opening to prevent the warm air from coming into the cooler.
How to Keep the Cooler Cold?
When camping, keep the cooler in the shade.
You can cover it with a soaked blanket to prevent the cooler from getting too hot.
What to Keep on a Camping Cooler?
You can store whatever you want in a camping cooler – drinks and food.
Just make sure that raw meat and fish are stored in leak-proof containers to remain fresh.
Can you Use Dry Ice in a Cooler for Camping?
You can, but you have to be very careful.
Basically, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide.
It is -109 Fahrenheit and it is more effective at cooling your good than regular ice.
It is safe to use, but you have to wear gloves when handling it to prevent freezer burns.
The cooler needs to be stored in a well-ventilated area when draining.
Don’t store bottled liquids too long in the cooler, because dry ice can make them explode.
Using a good cooler on a camping trip can improve your experience.
Your drinks will be chilled and the meat and other ingredients will remain fresh and ready for cooking.
There are some excellent models on the market, and you need to consider the capacity and your budget range.
Luckily, Coleman and Yeti have options for everyone.
What is your top pick cooler from my list?
Best Overall Choice
YETI Tundra 35
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