Best Coolers for Camping
In this Guide
Camping can be a great adventure to embark on, whether it is with family or friends. With the weather getting cooler, camping can be a fun way to get away from a hectic busy schedule and relax for a couple of days. However, for a smooth, enjoyable trip, preparations must be made. You don’t want anything going wrong or remembering you left something behind right as you reach your destination!
One of the essentials of a successful camping trip includes having the best camping cooler.
Since this will typically be the primary storage area for your chilled food and drinks, it is essential to have a cooler that has acceptable ice life and can also hold up to the demands of an outdoor environment. To pick the best camping cooler, we need to understand what we’ll be using it for. Will it be for weekend trips to the campground? How many people are we taking food for? How much space is there in the car to keep the camping cooler?
To make browsing for the best camping cooler more comfortable for you, we have compiled a list of the best camping coolers for the money to make sure that you have a worry-free adventure. Let’s get started!!
How to Choose the Best Camping Cooler?
Great camping coolers are more than just a place to keep some ice frozen. They’re able to keep cold items chilled for days at a time and feature modern inclusions that tip the cooler above a food storage device and into a multi-function party saver. Furthermore, it may not be evident at first, but not all coolers are even suited for camping purposes. Sure, just about any ice chest will do for an afternoon picnic in the woods, but if you are planning on staying out in the wilderness for 2 or more days, then you need to be prepared with a proper cooler that is designed for camping.
Insulation: Ice/Food Retention
Camping coolers utilize different types of insulation, and while there are different types of foam insulation, one of the most significant factors in how long your ice will stay frozen is the sheer amount of insulation used. The thicker the outer insulation on any cooler, the longer it will keep your food cold. The most advanced coolers or ice chests are using polyethylene foam of 1.5” or more on all sides. You may also run into polyurethane insulation or extruded polystyrene insulation. All of these options are minutely different when it comes to making a camping cooler, and ultimately the most crucial factor is simply the thickness of foam included. However, most importantly, the longevity of your ice and food retention depends on the kind of construction your cooler has.
Some coolers are more at home sitting on a table in an air-conditioned building or comfortably nestled in the back of a pickup truck. A camping cooler isn’t one of them. The outdoors can bring a wide range of challenging conditions, which can range from anything like tough terrains such as rocks, tree branches, mud, to everything in between such as exposure to sitting water via creek beds, lakes, etc. You can also be forced to experience a wide range of weather conditions, including rain, snow, heat, and hail and, in some terrifying instances, even wildlife! Additionally, elevation changes occur that require it to rest at an angle or leaning on other objects.
Similar to long ice life, this is a particular shared characteristic that typically must always exist in extra sturdy coolers. While some may be overkill for the casual cooler enthusiast, for those needing a cooler for camping, all of these features are essential and things you should look for when shopping around. Rotomolded construction not only is excellent for ice life, but it can also double as a practical building approach for making coolers extra tough. This is because this type of manufacturing results in a single piece for the body rather than multiple sections that are then glued together. The connection points of the glued pieces can be prone to failure over time and can also be stress risers that can promote cracks forming. By taking these out of the equation, you don’t have to worry as much about the occasional drop or bump, causing catastrophic damage to your cooler.
It is of utmost importance for you to consider the size of your cooler for two main reasons. First, you’ll need room in the car or truck for all your other camping gear, so don’t get a cooler that takes up all your space. That being said. However, you’ll need enough space in the cooler to carry critical food items. To save space, make sure you only pack food in the cooler that absolutely must stay cold. That will help save space for other things. Pack all of your dry or room temperature food outside of the cooler so that you can carry the smallest possible cooler for your trip.
A decent cooler must seal correctly. Any exchange of air between the inside and outside of the cooler will instantly ruin the insulation value of the cooler. You should then avoid coolers with inadequate sealing mechanisms or weak seals. Also, always look for coolers with robust locking mechanisms and rubber sealing gaskets around the lid. Rubber gaskets are a must-have if you want to keep stuff cold for days. Making sure the cooler latches and stays latched every time is the key to efficient cooling.
Your cooler will get wet inside, that’s bound to happen. And when that inevitably happens, you will want to be able to have the option/ability to drain the cooler. For convenience, you’ll want to be able to drain the cooler from the outside to remove water as your ice melts. You’ll also want to be able to drain the cooler after washing and cleaning. When considering a drain option for your cooler, the most important factor is durability. Look for drain plugs that are receded inside the body of the case so they can’t be accidentally knocked loose or broken.
Coolers can get heavy with ice, food, and water. This means you’ll want comfortable, robust handles that can tolerate a lot of weight and use. Therefore, you should always make sure that your cooler handles tuck away seamlessly so that the cooler can be packed tight in the trunk or RV. Avoid cheap handles or handles that seem poorly made – they’ll leave you stranded if they break.
An additional significant factor that goes into how mobile an ice chest is related to its shape and size. Let’s face it: a premium cooler capable of storing enough items for a few days outdoors is probably going to be on the large side. However, the shape and implementation of this storage volume can vary quite a bit, and this can play a role in how convenient or inconvenient the trip is.
Some people prefer the convenience of having wheels on their camping cooler. Wheeled camping coolers can be the right choice for those who would prefer or need to have their hands free for other things or that struggle carrying heavy loads. It is also preferred for those camping trips that require traveling a long distance to get to the campsite.
If you decide to go with a wheeled camping cooler, be sure to shop for coolers that have heavy-duty wheels that are capable of going over rough terrain. These types of wheels will typically be made of heavy-duty rubber and also have grips on them similar to tires. Besides, the wheels will be on the larger side and elevate the cooler higher off of the ground so that it has more clearance from the various rocks and obstacles that you will come across in the great outdoors.
Top 10 Picks for the Best Coolers for Camping in 2020
1) Yeti Tundra 65
|Sophisticated insulation mechanism||Expensive|
|Simple to use||Smaller than advertised|
|Easy to store|
- Shelf Life of Food: 6.5 days
- Ice Retention: Up to 10 days
- Weight: 31.9 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 56 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 30.75″ x 17.5″ x 16″
- Material Construction: Rotomolded polyethylene
Easily the most popular and recognizable brand, Yeti has become the household name for premium coolers. This is a solid choice for those looking to carry a more moderate number of cold goodies. One of the best coolers for camping, but at a higher price point than its competitors. When you want the best cooler, there is, YETI has no substitute. The Tundra supports one of the most impressive all-around performances of any of the best camping coolers within this list. It boasts the ability to survive all your insulation needs to keep its contents both at safe temperatures for consumption and delicious temperatures for drinking. It’s a straight-forward, rotomolded design that just works.
The Tundra has sturdy latches that are both convenient and durable. All YETI Tundra model coolers come standard with one dry-goods basket to help separate the ice and water from any goodies you might want to keep crispy. It thus also comes with a removable basket inside the top to keep sensitive items dry and can be outfitted with loads more accessories for all kinds of activities. For its size, the Tundra is a reasonable weight, and its shape has a low profile that makes the last couple of bottles of water easy to find while still being narrow enough for a single person to load into the truck. Yeti also continues to diversify the colors this cooler is available in, providing more options to match your style better.
However, do take note that this 65-quart model, although marketed as such, is well at just 56 quarts. This isn’t a big issue as 56 quarts is a pretty useful and accommodating size making the Tundra the best size cooler for camping. The Tundra also has a little lip on the inside of the drain, which can make it a slight challenge to empty the cooler altogether without flipping the whole thing on its end. With these minor complaints out of the way, we think the Yeti Tundra is a super handy toolbox for just about any activity to which you’d drive your car.
The Yeti Tundra 65 is one of the best camping coolers out there, with great affordability and a promise to keep your food and drinks protected for your camping adventure.
2) Xspec 60qt
|Great insulation performance||Does not include a basket|
|Useful Features||Handles are a tad bit shallow|
- Shelf Life of Food: 4.7 days
- Ice Retention: Up to 8 days
- Weight: 30.5 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 61 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 28.5″ x 17.5″ x 18″
- Material Construction: Rotomolded with Polyurethane Insulation
Within the market of seriously competitive best ice chests for camping, the Xspec 60qt emerges as an impressive model with a price tag that champions excellent affordable value. It offers terrific insulation, thoughtful design features, and a stable structure. It has a 3″ thick rotomolded insulation body & lid, with a UV protection surface that provides both durability and performance for a fraction of the cost. The Xspec 60qt’s construction and an airtight seal lend adequate insulation power to get through most weekend camping trips. One of its key features is its extreme ice retention as a result of the thick 3″ of polyurethane insulation with a freezer-grade gasket that thoroughly delivers. It even has easy-to-use latches that blend plastic clasps with rubber security for a painless opening and closing experience that’s aided by a pressure release push-valve. These are accompanied by low-profile snap-tight latches for secure and damage prevention. This ice trunk is narrow enough for single carry, tall enough to fit an upright bottle of chilled white wine, while still shallow enough to find items that migrated to the bottom. It has a slew of useful features, including bottle openers, a fish ruler, easily removable handles, and even a small compass.
However, there are some things to be wary of when buying this camping cooler. Maintaining temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 4.7 days is probably sufficient for most people’s use. Still, it falls short of the best performers that stretch to 6+ days of keeping food below that USDA threshold. And while the Xspec does have several features we love, it’s missing the handy dry basket that so many others now come standard with. These minor shortcomings aside, though, we love what the Xspec has to offer for its price, and we think it’s a wholly high-value piece of gear.
The Xspec 60qt offers reliable performance with great shape, making it very easy to use. It also provides substantial value making it one of the best camping coolers for the money out there.
3) Igloo Super Tough STX Cooler
|Very well-insulated||Fasteners don’t always close tightly|
|Tough outer shell||Very heavy|
- Shelf Life of Food: 4.8 days
- Ice Retention: Up to 7 days
- Weight: 18.98 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 120-Quart
- Exterior Dimensions: 38.2 x 17.9 x 18.2 inches
- Material Construction: Plastic and metal composition
The Igloo Super Tough STX Cooler is built as one of the toughest coolers available in the market, making it the best cooler for weekend camping and can even survive the most extreme conditions. It has excellent features to accomplish this, such as a bolt-through-body, comfort-grip side handles with gasket heavy-duty back-up plates that won’t pull out even under heavy loads. It also has dual stainless-steel latches to ensure long life and secure closure so you can ease all your worries about how this cooler will do over long journeys. It can also hold ice up to 7 days; an ability further increased by its UV inhibitors that also guard against sun damage. You can expect the ice to last for around seven days before you will need to refill it in absolute optimal conditions. This is accomplished by the extra thick shell, as well as the nice-sealing lid. The lid is similar to what you will find on some of the much more expensive coolers on the market right now. The Igloo Super Tough STX Cooler also comes with a fully foamed lid for maximum cold retention. However, the fasteners that hold the lid down need to be checked carefully to ensure that they are secure or else a gap can form, and all of the cold air can escape, making the 6 days drop to just a couple of days or worse. In most real-life scenarios, your actual ice life will probably be closer to 4 days or so.
Comfort features such as easy-grip handles and 4 molded cup holders also help to make it more user-friendly. It comes in the exclusive STX multi-tan color and is available in 54, 120, and 150-quart options. It is made of thick plastic and has metal hardware. However, despite this metal hardware, the latches are still prone to breaking and can potentially struggle when trying to clamp them down properly. The durability offered by the rubber grips is helpful, but keep in mind that the weight of this cooler is about 30% heavier than comparable sizes in other Igloo products. Because of this, it can be quite heavy, so expect and anticipate needing some extra assistance while moving. This will be a common issue no matter which high-end cooler brand you go with. Furthermore, some instructions to be mindful of to ensure proper protection and care would wipe the interior and exterior surfaces clean before storing and between uses. To prevent stains and odors, empty a cooler of contents after use.
The Igloo Super Tough STX Cooler has a good ice life and sturdy construction, as well as a decent price tag, all of which are incredibly desirable features for these lines of coolers.
4) Pelican Progear Elite Cooler, 95 Quart
|Great ice retention||Expensive|
|Plenty of neat additional features||Can be quite heavy|
|Great Shape||Lacking in colors for specific models|
|A durable and convenient styling|
- Ice Retention: Up to 10 days
- Weight: 60lbs
- Measured Capacity: 20qt to 250 qt (depending on which one you pick)
- Exterior Dimensions: 20 x 37.8 x 24.9 inches
- Material Construction: Rotomolded
The Pelican Elite Series is a battle-tested series that offers up a large selection of sizes and configurations. The quality hardware, along with the thick rotomolded walls, means that you will enjoy a sturdy ice chest that can hold ice for long periods. But it does come with a hefty asking price. The insulation is pretty incredible as its wall thickness varies from around 2” up to a whopping 5”. However, on average, if you’re looking for coolers in a similar price bracket, you will be able to find the thickness to be relatively the same for other such premium coolers. The insulation is tucked in quality rotomolded constructed walls, and the lid and body are held together with a durable rubber gasket. What is truly a standout feature is Pelican’s latches. The Pelican’s unique latch design allows for a fantastic clamping force, which makes the most out of the gasket. Once you combine this with the huge storage volume, you have the eventuality of some serious ice life. Pelican’s coolers, because of their thick walls and quality components, can be quite heavy. But to assist with this, they have a host of features. These include multi-option carrying methods (rotating handles and molded handles), optional wheeled configurations, and telescoping tow handles.
And as for convenience features, there are quite a few. They include things such as a high flow drain port, elevated anti-skid feet, molded cup holders and fish scale, built-in bottle opener, and more. When you buy a Pelican, you are purchasing quality. Pelican stands behind its products with an impressive limited lifetime warranty.
Despite the relatively heavy price tag, the longevity and performance of this high-end cooler are without a doubt worth it. A tool for car or truck camping because of the weight and capacity making it one of the best large camping coolers.
5) YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler (Rovr RollR 60)
|Beefy wheels with rubber tires||A tad bit heavy|
|Bike attachment (sold separately) is awesome||A pricier option|
|Durable and strong model||Not the best insulation|
|Easy to pull|
|Useful included accessories|
- Shelf Life of Food: 4.7 days
- Ice Retention: 5.3 days
- Weight: 44 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 60 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 28.2 x 18.6 x 19.5 inches
- Material Construction: Rotomolded
The Rovr RollR 60 is one of the best coolers with wheels, and as far as wheeling a big, bulky plastic box around, it is easily our favorite. It is the first-ever YETI cooler on wheels. It perfectly combines the Tundra’s legendary toughness and unmatched insulation power with the extra mile of never-flat wheels. These wheels are a solid, single-piece tire construction with great impact. These wheels are also puncture-resistant, and this cooler is the only model that has actual pneumatic tires instead of just cylindrical plastic chunks trying to pass off as wheels. You can pump the wheels up just like your car or bicycle tires, which gives you the freedom to drive the cooler all over the same stuff. While other models frequently have tiny wheels, rigid wheels, low clearance, narrow, uncomfortable handles (or often all of the above), the Rovr is what a wheeled chest should be. It has a StrongArm Handle, which is a durable welded aluminum arm with comfortable grips. The curved design allows for it to be tracked left or right for heel-friendly towing. Thus, the broad handle feature ensures a comfortable and functional rubber grip on either end. The cooler is then easy to stroll down the sidewalk, through the grass, and across the beach with this box in tow. The Rovr also boasts solid, durable construction, hefty latches, and integrated hinges to help it last for years of picnics and get-togethers thanks to its rotomolded construction, which makes it armored to the core and virtually indestructible.
The most crucial aspect of any wheeled model is how easily it gets you there, which the Rovr does spectacularly. That said, it does lag behind a little in the insulation department compared to some intense rivals, which is likely due to the imperfect seal between the top of the body and its lid. However, this does not discount its rather impressive permafrost insulation, which includes pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid to make sure your ice stays ice. Including this, we do think the latches are a bit stiff to manipulate but can easily be gotten used to with some practice. But honestly, this rolling icebox is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before and is the only one that our friends requested to cart around.
All in all, this model is one of the best coolers with wheels that you’ll ever come across. So, if you’re interested in possessing a durable, sturdy, practical, and easily transportable model, then we could not recommend this enough.
6) Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt
|Sound insulation for the price||Not overly durable|
|Large capacity for its size||Not sealed|
|Great shape and color|
- Shelf Life of Food: 4.1 days
- Ice Retention: 5 days
- Weight: 11.9 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 68 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 28.5″ x 15.5″ x 17.5″
The insulation performance of this rather inexpensive product is very impressive. Customer reviews have noted that Coleman outperformed all the more prominent names in the camping cooler market by retaining ice incredibly up to 5 full days. With its Xtreme Technology that gives it an insulated lid and extra wall insulation, it can genuinely easily keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F. In comparison to models more than three or four times the price, the Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70Qt holds its own. Though it can’t fully match the rotomolded prowess of the premium models, the Coleman clearly shows its value and is worth considering it’ll save you a HUGE amount of money. It’s also much lighter in weight than the rest of the competition – lighter even than several of the personal-sized models we tested. And to top it off, it has a deceptively large capacity and can hold up to 100 cans, which is surprisingly impressive for a relatively small overall size. It even possesses cup holders that are molded into the lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling. With a simple pull-open lid with no latches to slow you down as a result of its comfortable grip handles, it allows for a no-crush design with a positive stop for pinch-free carrying. It has a seat lid, and its closed lid supports up to 250 lb. This means the Coleman is one of the most natural-feeling chests to use – almost like opening your fridge at home. It’s a simple design that does what it’s meant to do.
That said, if longevity is something you want, the Coleman may not be the best choice. Its handles, hinges, and latches don’t inspire confidence in their ability to last the years in the same way as the high-end, rotomolded and IGBC rated models do. We fully appreciate the simplicity of the pop-open drain. Also, we can’t deny that we love its smooth surface which wipes clean easily and is also leak-resistant channel drain for easy draining without tilting;
but its small size can’t offer the same natural rate of flow of the much broader provided by the opposition. It also lacks a rubber gasket around the chest opening, bringing up questions of its ability to remain sealed through the years. But at the end of the day, you could purchase 3 or 4 of these for the price of some of the competition, which we think makes it a great value.
The Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70Qt is one of the most affordable options out there, indeed making it our number one choice to be the best camping cooler for the money. Most importantly, it offers a great price without compromising on any of the quality!
7) Igloo BMX 25
|Ample insulation||No watertight seal|
|Comfortable carry handle||Hinges are not very sturdy|
|Lightweight||No drainage hole|
- Shelf Life of Food: 2.6 days
- Ice Retention: Up to 4 days
- Weight: 11.3 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 25 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 19.59″L x 13.25″W x 15.7″H
- Material Construction: Blow-molded plastic (non-rotomolded)
Engineered for sturdiness and performance, the lightweight Igloo BMX Cooler stands up to tough conditions and goes wherever you want. It also possesses durable construction thanks to its heavy-duty blow-molded construction, which adds longevity. The BMX is made more durable with its reinforced base and kicks plates that deliver increased strength along with skid pads that attach an extra layer of corner protection. The diamond plate metal insert reinforces the ruggedness and durability
The BMX combines a slightly larger-than-expected capacity, in a lower weight package than the other personal coolers we tested and is less than half the cost. It performs better than the other personal-sized competitors, keeping its contents cold for over 2.6 days – four hours longer than the next best personal model. Its extra-thick foam walls and insulated lid for best-in-category cooling performance. The BMX employs a Cool Riser Technology that uses elevated design to improve cooling performance by including rubberized T-latches that secure lid closure and lock in the cold. The lid is also great because it has a fish ruler and four tie-down points on the lid for added convenience. Its thick handle and lighter starting weight make for a more comfortable carrying experience, and a handy ruler across the top helps you easily measure your catch of the day.
As much as we like this cooler, the hinges of the BMX aren’t as impressive. They visibly complain when over-extending the lid, giving us some doubts about leaving it in the care of our less careful friends. We wish this model had a drainage hole, though it’s not alone in this deficiency. The BMX doesn’t boast the tank-like durability or longevity that some of the burlier boxes bring to the table. However, it’s still solidly built and more comfortable to carry. The BMX is an excellent insulation option for your refreshments — and your wallet will indeed thank you. With its oversized hinges and stainless-steel screws, it can extend product life, and the triple point grab handle with stainless steel reinforcement and rubber grip provide premium touchpoints. The best part is that the cooler comes with a 3-Year Warranty. Also, longevity can be guaranteed thanks to its UV inhibitors that protect the cooler against sun damage. It is also rust-resistant, with stainless-steel hinge rods and sturdy hardware that provides extended performance.
If you’re here for the insulation, but don’t always need the full-sized chest, the Igloo BMX 25 is the perfect size for a personal icebox. It easily fits all your individual tailgating needs, road trip refreshments, or beachside brews without requiring both hands to carry.
8) Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55qt
|Good drain||Insulation could be better|
|Includes great additional features||Harder to carry|
|Possesses removable handles||Details less well-executed than others|
|Durable camping cooler|
|Great shape and color|
- Shelf Life of Food: 3.9 days
- Ice Retention: Up to 8 days
- Weight: 29.6 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 57 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 30″ x 17.5″ x 17″
- Material Construction: Rotomolded
The Titan 55qt is a rotomolded cooler with dual handle sets and an indented lid that allows you to squeeze in a bottle of wine. It features a wire basket, anti-skid feet, tie-downs, and an integrated fish ruler. The Titan offers substantial insulation value as it is constructed with a premium blend of thick polyurethane insulation that maximizes ice retention making it perfect for outdoor adventures and camping. It also features a freezer-grade, 360-degree rubber gasket, and corrosion-resistant T-latches that create a tight seal to keep the cold inside. It can hold temperatures of below 40ºF for 3.9 days and can manage up to 8days below 50ºF. While this may be enough to get you through a weekend of camping, compared to the other coolers of similar size, this is one of the least impressive competitors. Its freezer-grade gasket does offer an airtight seal, but its blue or grey colors are a bit darker – and therefore more heat-collecting – than other models we tested.
It has an indented lid inside that allows extra clearance for taller objects. Its oversized drain makes emptying meltwater a breeze, though the oddly rectangular channel inside isn’t the best shape for getting out every last drop. Both sets of handles are easy to use and grab, though the longer webbing handles hang nearly on top of the drain plug. And while the depth of the indented solo-carry handle is appreciated, this added deepness makes it significantly more challenging to replace the removable handles. The rubber T-grip latches are secure, with their peg-style closure system, but they’re not the easiest to open and almost always require both hands to get the right amount of force.
Lastly, the Titan 55qt presents itself as a heavy-duty, high-performance cooler with built-in Microban product protection that helps prevent the build-up of bacterial odors and stains. It is constructed with a seamless, one-piece, rotomolded construction that is built to last. Also, fun fact, it meets the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee standards for Bear-Resistant containers when used with the appropriate locks (sold separately).
We do have some minor concerns about the longevity of the rubber, anti-skid feet, as they seem a bit softer than many others, and we read several reports of them wearing down more quickly than expected. And while the rubber latches seem similarly solid to many of the Titan’s competitors, they do have reasonably large holes cut out of them and are harder to dispute than we’d prefer, making us wonder if they’ll last years of yanking. Though the Titan is less expensive than many other comparable, high-end coolers, it’s just not particularly impressive. It’s not a bad cooler at all and has a lower price than many other competitors. Though we think there are coolers with higher value, you might just find the right deal to make the Titan a part of your gear family.
If you’re here for a cooler that has the best drain system but is not very light to carry around then the Titan 55qt is indeed the right pick for you!
9) K2 Coolers Summit 120 Cooler
|Incredible ice life||Quite expensive|
|Wheeled option for mobility||Only one model|
|Very sturdy construction|
|Plenty of color choices|
|Great shape and color|
- Ice Retention: Up to 8 days
- Weight: 14 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 120 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 16.9 x 15.6 x 12.6 inches
- Material Construction: Roto-molded Polyethylene
K2 Coolers are built to compete with the toughest coolers on the market. This means creating a product that can hold up in the most extreme conditions for long periods. It means not only being able to keep your product in one piece and operational but also being able to both protect as well as insulate the chilled items inside. These are premium iceboxes and, as such, come at a premium-tiered price. But while they are quite expensive, they are still more affordable than many of the other premium coolers on the market. And when looking at their performance and build quality, they will easily compete with many of these other more expensive cooler brands.
The K2 Cooler is built with one-piece rotomolded polyethylene construction for extreme durability, which means that the walls are virtually indestructible. To aid with maximizing ice life, snow-blown insulation is used in correlation with POSITRAC lid latches and the K2 ice vault gasket, making it difficult for the cold air to escape. The K2 also offers extra-thick insulation for maximum ice retention as a result of which it does a truly remarkable job of keeping ice frozen. The thick insulated walls that are attached via rotomolded insulation shine, and have no trouble keeping the warm air out and the cold air in. The other primary exit point is typically the lid, but the airtight gasket and handy lid, hinge, and clamp mechanism keeps this potential issue in check. You can expect these ice chests, depending on size, environment, and how often they are opened, to remain cold for up to 6 to 8 days. This is very impressive and will compete with the best on the market, and for frequently a much lower price. Other premium features include the padded shoulder strap, ENDURA integrated hinge system, and SURE Grip rubber feet. The K2 is even equipped with a 7 Year Warranty and meets the professional-grade standard and is engineered to make the outdoors great!
With an ice life of potentially a week or more, great construction, and a resilient look, anybody that is looking for a long-term cooler investment will be pleased. It is truly the best ice chest for camping, as it is one of the best insulated coolers currently available in the market.
10) YETI Roadie Cooler
|Insulates well||Its shape could make it a little awkward to carry|
|Versatile and easy-to-use features||The narrow handle is less comfortable|
|Plenty of color choices|
- Shelf Life of Food: 2.3 Days
- Ice Retention: Up to 4 Days
- Weight: 15.0 lbs.
- Measured Capacity: 20 qt
- Exterior Dimensions: 19.9″ x 13.5″ x 14.1″/19.8″
- Material Construction: Rotomolded polyethylene
The Yeti Roadie is a rotomolded personal cooler with a top handle and indented handles on the sides. Its maximum internal height of just over 10 inches doesn’t quite fit an upright wine bottle. It features a drain (novel in a personal cooler) and lockable corners. According to Yeti, the Roadie is 10% lighter in weight and holds 20% more than a Roadie 20, and it even performs 30% better thermally. It’s got a taller build than its predecessor, so it now accommodates a standard bottle of wine (or 2-liter bottle) upright and is a better fit behind the driver’s or passenger’s seat of a car. The Roadie is constructed of a seemingly endless number of specially designed features with uniquely assigned names to describe them, like the Interlock lid system, Fatwall design, and Coldlock gasket. All these translate into a well-insulated little box with up to 2 inches of insulation, a rubberized seal, and an ability to maintain low temperatures. The most crucial fact of each of these insulation features is that ultimately, at the end of the day, the Yeti Roadie makes use of Rotomolded polyethylene construction. This has been increasingly evolved to be thinner and lighter weight for more accessible transport, while still incredibly tough. This single-piece polyethylene body is substantial and has the same rotomolded construction as whitewater kayaks.
The Roadie is filled with polyurethane foam and fitted with a freezer-style gasket to seal in water and out hot air. Even the “virtually indestructible” hinge and thick rubber latches, often weak points on similar coolers, are sturdy. The Yeti Roadie also features a QuickLatch, which allows for flexible, simple, and essential built for quick, one-handed cooler access. The Roadie is also perfect for camping as it holds 18 cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio or 24 lbs. of just ice. With both a padded handle and two different ways to easily carry this cooler, the Yeti Roadie 20 is much easier for a single person to handle than most of the other coolers in this review. Lastly, it also features a convenient drain, two options of handles, an airtight seal, and the ability to be used as a solid seat are all great features. Additionally, the Roadie 20 can handle dry ice, due in part to its rotomolded construction. The Roadie also packs a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, just in case you do run into any issues that aren’t user-caused.
This impressively solid personal-sized cooler is sealed, with adequate insulation, and packed with a wide variety of useful features like a drain, non-slip feet, and the ability to be used as an impromptu chair.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Q) What is a Roto-Molded cooler?
Roto-molded coolers, or rotationally molded coolers, are made to keep ice cold for a very long time and keep your perishables protected from forest creatures. These high-end coolers are constructed with what is known as rotationally molded plastic. The roto-molding procedure ensures that every part of the cooler is made with a continuous thick wall with no imperfections. Roto-Molded Coolers can uphold a very high degree of abuse, including being handled roughly by grizzly bears.
Roto molded coolers are significantly more durable than an average cooler and are the best coolers for keeping ice. This ice retention feature lets you keep ice frozen to keep your drinks cold, but also keep fish or animal parts from spoiling on your fishing or hunting trips.
Q) How do I Clean my Camping Cooler?
Clean both the inside and outside with a solution of mild soap and warm water. If the product has a faucet, be sure to rinse with hot soapy water and drain completely. Use baking soda and water to remove tough stains. Also, remove odors with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water. If odor persists, wipe the interior with a cloth saturated with vanilla extract, then leave in cloth in cooler overnight. Make sure to always air dry with the lid open before storing it.
Q) What is “Ice Retention” and how does a Cooler measure it?
“Ice retention” is the product’s “level of cooling” measured in how many days it can retain ice. This is tested in controlled laboratory conditions by filling a cooler with a fixed amount of ice, closing the lid, and placing it in a 90-degrees-Fahrenheit oven to simulate a warm outdoor environment. The cooler’s ice retention level is the amount of time (measured in days) that it takes for the ice to reach 39 degrees and begin to melt.
Q) How Should I Pack A Cooler For Camping?
When prepping for your next trip, take the following steps when packing your cooler:
- Prep your food at home to save carrying condiment bottles and things you’ll discard at camp (shells, peels, stalks, ends, cans, packaging).
- Store your food in leak-proof containers so you can reseal after use and keep things clean and tidy.
- Freeze freezables and refrigerate everything else to aid cooling, particularly if headed on a multi-day trip.
Wait until the last minute before transferring your cooler and its contents to the car in order to minimize its exposure to ambient air temps.
- Pack from the bottom up, starting with a layer of ice and the food items you’ll be using last on your trip and finishing with those items you’ll be using first.
Q) How To Keep Food Cold In Cooler?
In short, the air is the enemy.
Try to fill all unused space inside your box with ice. Start off with a layer on the bottom of the cooler, fill any gaps between items as you pack them in, and then add a further layer of ice on top of the goods before closing the lid.
Naturally, your food and drinks will stay cold for longer if frozen or refrigerated before placing them in the cooler.
Q) How To Keep Your Cooler Cold?
When temps are high, keeping your cooler cold can be a touch tricky. The following tips will help to make sure you keep your cooler as cold as possible and maximize its cooling potential:
- Place your cooler in the shade if possible
- Cover your cooler with a blanket
- Use a reflective blanket to save carrying a large, heavy blanket made with other fabrics
- Soak the blanket before placing it over the cooler if temps are particularly high
While it’s possible to enjoy camping without a cooler, most people prefer to take the luxuries of home with them into the outdoors. Picking out a cooler with ample insulation and internal space for your needs is essential to finding the right tool for your needs. We hope this review is helpful and allows you the necessary insight and support that you may require to pick the best camping cooler, which is affordable and also provides excellent quality.