The 6 Best Coolers For Camping of 2021


Best Coolers For Camping

One best activity to engage kids and the entire family during vacation is to go camping. Camping offers a home away from home in the wild nature to explore its intricacies at the fullest. No doubt the moon watching, camping food, sleeping in a tight tent all adds to the holiday memories of children.

Mostly suburban locations are chosen for camping activities which are far away from the comforts of city life, thus adequate preparations are mandatory. Apart from sleeping bags, camping chairs, and other accessories, one important addition for a successful trip is a perfect camping cooler.

 Camping coolers are the primary storage zone for chilled drinks, food and to secure perishables such as fruits at the outdoors. Some of these coolers are able to secure food for a large group without spoiling it.

We have discussed here, what to look for in a cooler for a successful camping trip and also our top picks of leading brands. Hope our guide helps you in choosing the best cooler companion so as to tackle culinary challenges of the trip.


The 6 Best Coolers For Camping – [2021]

  1. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
  2. Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler
  3. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
  4. RTIC Cooler (RTIC 45 Tan)
  5. Coleman PowerChill Portable Thermoelectric Cooler
  6. Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest

Best Coolers for Camping

Best Coolers for Camping Reviews

#1. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler


  • Measurements: 26 x 17 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 19.7 pounds
  • Capacity: 54 quarts
  • Can accommodate up to 85 cans
  • Stainless steel body
  • Comfort grip handles

The Coleman Steel cooler helps in enjoying chilled drinks anytime anywhere. His heavy duty high capacity cooler has a retro design as its classic design dates back to 1954. It is pretty large and can hold up to 85 cans at a time. the c is 17 inches high and can hold a two-liter bottles upright.

It has excellent insulation to keep the ice for 4 days even at temperatures as high as 90 degrees. Its body is of rust-resistant stainless steel and is thus able to withstand load and render years of performance. Its steel handle allows for easy carrying and controlled lifting.

Coleman-Steel-Belted-Portable-Cooler 2There is ample space in the cooler to hold refreshments for a large group of people. It is thus ideal for tailgating, camping trips, and even kayaking endeavours. The cooler has a sturdy lid that turns quickly into a sitting seat, so as to enjoy the drinks anytime, anywhere.

Its channel drain makes it simple to empty the cooler of any excess water without having to tilt it. The cooler is thus all set to make the outdoor adventure the most memorable and enjoyable one.

Best Camping Cooler

#2. Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler


  • Measurements: 38 x 21 x 21 inches
  • Weight: 46.9 pounds
  • Ice retention for 10 days
  • Polyurethane insulation
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Dual handle system
  • Press and pull latches

The Pelican Progear Elite Cooler has the most remarkable insulation system and is thus able to keep the ice intact for 10 days. It is a perfect outdoor companion to store drinks and cans so as to serve them chilled even after hours or days. It is ideal for kayaking trips, outdoor camping trips, tailgating, beach trips, etc.

The cooler features a freezer grade gasket with polyurethane insulation for two inches on its inner lid. One best feature of the cooler is its dual handle system, the hard built handle, and the hinge handles that slide. It helps in easy transportation and careful handling.

The press and Pull latches are convenient to use and are each to handle with gloves too. This is one of the very few coolers that use the unique latch system which is way different from the traditional T-Latch system. The lower plates of the cooler are of non-skid material to protect the unit from scratches of rough handling.

It also prevents it from skidding on slippery floors and during rough wave movements, when kept inside the boat. When the ice melts, water doesn’t leak from drains through a sealed plug. There is no need to tilt the cooler to drain the excess water inside. There is a tethered plug that connects with a garden pipe for draining excess water.

Best Camping Cooler

#3. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

YETI Tundra 45 CoolerFeatures:

  • Measurements: 26 x 16 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 32.4 pounds
  • Load capacity: 26 cans.
  • Permafrost insulation
  • Roto-molded construction
  • T-Rex lid Latches

The yeti Tundra Cooler is the perfect combination of durability and versatility and has the capability to hold up to 26 cans at a time. The cooler has perma frost insulation to help maintain the ice intact for many days.

Its sturdy walls have been certified as extremely resistant even with rough handling conditions. Its Roto-molded construction makes the core of the cooler indestructible for many years and its sturdy construction adapts the cooler to multiple outdoor activities.

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

The cooler features the T-Rex Lid which is strong enough to use as a seat for leisure drink anywhere anytime. Its latches are of heavy duty rubber and its patented keeping secures drinks without any leaks. The cooler is also available in a number of color variants to choose from.

The military grade polyester ropes helps in securing the cooler on a kayak or boat. It features a non-slip feet to prevent the Yeti from sliding even at the most slippery surface.

Best Camping Cooler

#4. RTIC Cooler (RTIC 45 Tan)


  • Measurements: 5 x 16.5 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Retains up to 10 days
  • Integrated locking system
  • Heavy duty rope handles
  • Rubber T-latches

The RTIC cooler has the best resistance to impacts, is highly durable and has ice retention for extended hours. This is a mid-size multi-purpose cooler and is easy to carry for all outdoor activities. It quickly transforms into a bench, thanks to its toughness and its nonslip base.

Apart from keeping ice for drinks, it also secures other perishables for a perfect outdoor picnic. This portable freezer has an integrated locking system that doesn’t give way that easily. Excess water drains easily without tilting with its drain spouts, while maintaining remaining ice intact. The cooler secures safely in any surface with its heavy duty handles of rope.

RTIC-Cooler-45-TanThe freezer grade cooler gasket helps in preserving the contents for long time durations and also avoids leakage. It features an extraordinary handle, the edge of the RTIC lid extends a ½ inch past the edge of the cooler to render better grasp to open and close. Apart from the rope handle, the cooler also has a set of molded handles to carry when it is a bit lighter than usual.

Its complete hinge system ensures that the lid of the cooler doesn’t separate or extend from the rest of its body. Its specially designed feet, keeps the cooler off the ground and any hot surface so as to maintain the cooling effect for many hours.

Best Camping Cooler

#5. Coleman PowerChill Portable Thermoelectric Cooler

Coleman PowerChill Portable Thermoelectric CoolerFeatures:

  • Dimensions: 24 x 17.2 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 15.3 pounds
  • Thermoelectric cooler
  • 8 foot power cord for charging
  • Dual door open technology
  • Holds up to 44 cans
  • Lightweight design.

The Coleman portable thermoelectric cooler is the best companion for all outdoor camping activities, as it helps in keeping perishables at optimal temperatures. The cooler can be charged with a power cord anytime anywhere, in the car, in the boat etc., and thus serves cool drinks on the go for days.

Contents can be kept 40 degrees colder against the atmospheric temperature. Its door is highly flexible and opens from both  the right or the left side. The capacity of the cooler is up to 40 quarts and it can hold up to 44 cans. It is easy to carry with its lightweight travel design.

Coleman PowerChill Portable Thermoelectric Cooler 2

The cooler can be a perfect companion for long road trips as it had warming functionalities as well along with keeping the drinks cold. Its compact design helps it to fit easily in the trunk or cabin of all vehicles. The storage tray featured with the cooler helps in keeping the drinks and food organized. The 12 volt plug and the 8 foot power cord are shipped with the product to power it up from a boat or a car.

Best Camping Cooler

#6. Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest 


  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • 3 inches insulation
  • Rotomolded construction
  • Freezer style gasket
  • Non-slip feet
  • Cold seal latches
  • Dual cap drain plug
  • Compatible with dry ice
  • Built in bottle opener.

The Driftsun ice chest helps in keeping the drinks colder despite the heat in summer. This is the ultimate cooler with 3 inches commercial grade insulation that helps in retaining ice for days. Its cold seal latches and freezer style gasket makes it an ideal outdoor companion for chilled drinks and food.

The military grade rope handles of the cooler helps in securing it to any surface. The non-slip rubber feet help it to withstand rough tides as well without slipping from the surface. Excess water drains from the cooler with its no-leak drain plug and pressure release valves. The cooler features a built in bottle opener as well for ease of use.

Driftsun-Performance-Roto-Molded-Commercial-InsulatedThe cooler is said to be virtually indestructible with its roto-mold thermoplastic construction. UV protection at its exteriors and its cold seal rubber heavy duty latches adds to its toughness. The interior room of the cooler is phenomenal with a lot of room for extra cans and drinks. The ice chests have one year manufacturer warranty against defects in material, assembly and workmanship.

Best Camping Cooler

Tips in Choosing The Best Camping Cooler


Picking up the best camping cooler is a challenging task considering the fact that there are a number of excellent brands available for campers. Some important factors that are worth not a miss are listed here. Basically, we have to choose a product if it serves the purpose and is worth the money spent.

  • Insulation
  • Seal
  • Drains
  • Grips and Handles
  • Size of the Cooler
  • Purpose of the Cooler
  • Price



The type and level of Insulation decides the cooling capacity and ice retention capacity of the cooler. Most of the coolers constitute foam insulation and the thicker the insulation, longer is the food and drink kept chilled inside it. Some advanced ice chests and coolers use polyethylene foam on all the sides at a thickness of 1.5 inches.



Coolers should have a uniform and perfect seal as any exchange of air between its interiors and exteriors would ruin the value of insulation of the cooler. Coolers with weak seals and poor sealing mechanisms are a strict no for camping.

Modern day coolers feature lids with rubber sealing gaskets with excellent locking mechanisms to maintain a cool temperature for many days. Users also have to ensure that the cooler stays latched at all the time for an efficient cooling.



After a few hours, when some of the ice inside the cooler starts to melt, the need to drain it arises. It should be possible to drain the cooler from its outside without tilting it. We have to look for sealed drain plug receded at the inside of the cooler for getting rid of water and to enhance the durability of the cooler.


Grips and Handles

Handles are important factors of consideration as the cooler gets heavy after packing it with drinks and food. Comfortable and robust handles that won’t give way with even rough handling is a must. Some coolers have military grade rope handles to carry them seamlessly and to pack them tightly with a boat or in the wagon.

The base of some high end coolers are made of anti-slip grip so that they don’t slip off the boat or any slippery surface when taken for kayaking or canoeing trips.


Size of the Cooler

The size of the cooler depends on two important factors, the size of the camping group and the availability of space in the car to store the gear. The Coleman steel belted cooler is able to carry up to 85 cans at a time, for large groups. To save space only perishable food items and drinks that are to be kept necessarily cold should occupy the cooler cabin.


Purpose of the Cooler

Different coolers have specific purposes with different constructions. Some of them are made tough to adapt to rough handling, especially those to accompany in a hiking or canoeing trip. These coolers have more rigid handles of rope, have non-slip base feet to not slide away from the surface, have strong latches and added insulation layers. Some are meant for the general purpose and would not have much specialization, and are also comparatively cheap.



Cost of the cooler is an important consideration in choosing the best fit one. Investing in a product that is sturdy and is of durable materials costs a little more in comparison with its rivals. These extras are important for outdoor camping and the extra cost is worth the investment. The intended purpose is what is important in choosing the ideal cooler, irrespective of the extra bucks spent on it.


Camping Coolers Maintenance Guide

Prompt maintenance of the cooler ensures its durability and effective working in keeping food cold for long hours. The following guide would help in ensuring long working life of all coolers irrespective of its make and brand.

  • Packing in Layers
  • Do Not Over Load the Cooler
  • Proper Handling
  • Regular Cleaning
  • Conclusion


Packing in Layers:

It is important to pack the cooler in layers to avoid items getting crush in the cooler. Also, layering ensures that the cooling waves circulate throughout the cabin space. Heavier and bulkier items should occupy the bottom of the cooler. Lighter items such as bread and fruits can be lined on top to prevent the crushing and their destruction.


Do Not Over Load the Cooler

over packing in a cooler is a serious problem. Some variants may not be able to handle the over loading and render inefficient cooling. Sometimes over loading prevents the cooler from closing properly and thus render improper cooling and spoiling of food items.


Proper Handling

Coolers are sturdy and strong and are able to withstand even rough handling. Some of them are strong enough to behave as a seating arrangement while enjoying a drink. It is important to handle them with care, with a special focus on its handles to ensure their long life and cooling efficiency.


Regular Cleaning

one of the best ways to ensure the durability of the cooler is to make sure it is clean and dry when not being used. It is good to wash them with mild soap and water at least twice a year all the excess water are to be drained through its drain plug.

The excess water is to drain off and dried appropriately after every trip to prevent the development of molds in its interiors. The exteriors of the cooler are to be kept clean as well to avoid dirt and grime that the cooler picks up from the camping site.



Coolers are ideal camping gears that get the trip cooler and energetic even in the wild adventurous site. They keep food fresh for long and fuel the campers with food and energy as and when needed. Picking up a cooler with ample space and excellent insulation undoubtedly renders the luxuries of home even in the outdoors.

We hope our guide helps you in choosing the best cooler as your camping companion. Though this small addition costs a bit, it is an excellent option to take food handy while travelling far with children or in a large group.


For more of our top gear recommendations, check out these popular outdoor gear guide links : Best Night Vision Scopes For Hunting | Best Hunting Crossbows | Best Travel Cameras | Best Outdoor Watches |Best Pop Up CanopiesBest Camping Cots |Best Solar Backpacks | Best Backpacking Sleeping PadsBest Personal Locator Beacons (GPS Tracker )

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