Best Cooler For Camping 2018 Buying Guide

Camping usually involves being miles from home or any places to buy groceries. It's important to keep food your food items cool to avoid spoilage. We've reviewed the line of Pelican coolers for sale with other top brands to include most highly recommended by hard core camping enthusiasts. We've included tips on what to look for when you're after the best cooler for camping along with details about what makes these coolers so popular.

What Makes A Cooler The Best Cooler for Camping?

The best means that it most closely meets your individual needs. What works great for one person may not for another. The top coolers will be made of durable materials. They are designed to hold up under rugged use and will not fail when you need them the most. They will be large enough to hold the food items you'll need for the duration of your trip and they will keep your food chilled to the recommended temperatures for safety. Finally, they will come with the features that make them the most convenient and useful for you when you're miles away from home. Here are the top ten recommendations for your consideration.

Comparison Table of Best Cooler for Camping

Picture

Name

Editor Rating

Price

Thermik_20_qt_+5_High_Performance_Roto-molded_Cooler

Thermik 20 qt +5 High Performance Roto-molded Cooler

Pelican_Products_ProGear_Elite_Wheeled_Cooler

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

Engel_Coolers

Engel Coolers High Performance ENG65 Roto-Molded Cooler

Coleman_70_quart Xtreme_5_Cooler

Coleman 70 quart Xtreme 5 Cooler

Grizzly_75_quart_Cooler

Grizzly 75 quart Cooler

Engel_Coolers_High_Performance_ENG35

Engel Coolers High Performance ENG35 Roto-Molded Cooler

RTIC_Cooler

RTIC Cooler (RTIC 45 Tan)

Best_Cooler_For_Camping

Pelican Elite 50 Quart Cooler

YETI_Tundra_65_Cooler

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

Outdoor_Recreational_Company_of_America_Cooler

Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler

Top 10 Cooler for Camping Reviews

Thermik_20_qt_+5_High_Performance_Roto-molded_Cooler

Enjoy additional depth space for larger food items with the Thermik +5 High Performance Cooler. Built to hold up under rugged environmental conditions.

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    Rugged construction for durability: The Thermik cooler is molded in one piece for exceptional strength and durability. Strong materials protect the contents while resisting damage from bumps, drops, scrapes and exterior impacts. Indestructible hinges add to the strength and reliability of the Thermik.
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    Extra depth: This cooler is designed with an extra 5 quarts of depth for increased volume that makes it one of the deepest small sized 20 quart coolers. The perfect solution for storing larger items.
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    High performance cooling: Thick urethane insulation material keeps contents cool for 5 or more days.
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    Anti-stick lid: Sticky cooler lids are difficult to open. Thermik has found a solution to the problem with a freezer grade lid seal with a built in vacuum release button that helps to prevent lid sticks with one push. The system equalizes the pressure on the inside of the cooler so it doesn't offer any resistance when you open the lid, thanks to thee vacuum release valve.
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    Stainless Bottle Openers: Conveniently open bottles with thee built in steel locking tab and bottle openers. Made of double duty stainless steel for extra strength and reliability.
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    Additional accessoriees: Enjoy convenience and high functionality with a two stage drain for remote draining. This cooler also comes with a cutting board separator, drink holder and dry basket for keeping items above melting ice and water
Pelican_Products_ProGear_Elite_Wheeled_Cooler

The Pelican ProGear Elite retains ice for up to ten days. Keep food safe for extended camping trips and enjoy cold beverages to quench your thirst and alleviate the heat of summer camping.

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    High performance cooling: Retain ice for up to ten days thanks to the freezer grade gasket and two inch thickness of polyurethane insulation. Keeps contents cool on the inside in outside temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
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    Rugged construction for durability: Designed with reinforced corners, thick walls and durable materials. Stainless steel hardware holds up under harsh conditions and frequent use. UV resistant to withstand destructive elements of direct sunlight. Tested for durability and reliability.
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    Bear and predator resistant: Keep wildlife out of your cooler with a molded In-Lock hasp and a stainless steel plate. This makes the cooler virtually bear proof and protects the contents. Certified bear proof for serious campers and hunters.
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    Easy clean features: The sloped drain and tethered threaded plug make it easy to drain melted ice water. Fitted with threads for attaching a garden hose.
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    Additional features: Press and pull latches are extra wide for gloved use. Molded in tie downs let you secure the cooler for transport. Non-skid and non-marking raised feet protect delicate floor surfaces, Integrated fish scale on lid allows you to weigh your catch conveniently. Heavy duty wheels and molded in handles with a trolley handle built in make transporting the full ice chest effortless. The built in bottle opener makes it easier to open your favorite beverage.
Engel_Coolers

Engel's High Performance Roto-Molded cooler keeps your food and beverages cool and safe for extended trips. Designed to be the perfect cooler for long trips away from civilization.

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    Extra insulation: Designed for the maximum insulation against heat with two inches of high quality polyurethane insulation all around. This ensures the best ice retention that lasts for up to ten days in 90 degree weather.
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    IGBC Certified: Certified and guaranteed to be resistant to bear intrusion. Keep nosy animals out of your cooler and protect your food supply with a design that makes it bear proof.
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    Durable and reliable: The seamless rotational molded build of this cooler makes it rugged and tough enough to withstand the abuse that a whitewater kayak endures. The same materials hold up under harsh conditions, bumps, impacts and drops. This helps to avoid cracks and leakage.
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    Damage resistant: This cooler won't fail you because it is made with marine grade compression latches. Materials are highly resistant to the effects of UV rays. Silicone airtight gaskets keep the seal tight and certain for ice retention and protection from accidental spills.
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    58 Quart capacity: Plenty of room to store food items of all sizes. The 58 quart capacity offers medium sized cooling for foods and beverages.
Coleman_70_quart Xtreme_5_Cooler

Food and beverages are kept cold for extended periods for food safety on long camping or hunting trips. Great for road trips, Barbecues, sporting or concert events for large gatherings of friends and family.

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    Leak resistant: Avoid the inconvenience of messy water leaks with a sturdy construction of strong materials that resist damage from bumps, impacts and abrasions.
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    Easy transport: No crush handles with comfort grips make it easier to carry. You won't need to worry about handle pinches on your hands and fingers ever again.
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    High performance cooling: Enjoy ice retention for up to five days with extra insulation in the cooler's walls and in the lid. These features keep the contents of the cooler colder for longer in external temperatures up to 90 degrees F.
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    Have-A-Seat lid: You'll never be without a place to sit with the innovative lid design. The cooler is built with a strong and durable design and heavy duty materials that allows you to sit on the comfortably molded lid for a chair when it's time to take a break.
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    70 quart storage capacity: The extra large sized 70 quart extreme gives you the space to cool up to 100 standard cans of your favorite beverage. Plenty of space to carry food and beverage items and additional depth for larger sized items.
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    Easy to clean: The leak resistant channel lets you easily drain the cooler without thee need for tilting. Drain away excess water whenever you need. The EZ clean lid quickly and effortlessly wipes clean.
Grizzly_75_quart_Cooler

Enjoy the extra large space for keeping food and beverages cool in the Grizzly 75 quart cooler.

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    Generous storage space: The 75 quart capacity gives you the room to fit up to 80 12 ounce cans inside or a combination of food and beverage items when you need a large capacity cooler. Perfect for hunting, camping, road trips, barbecues and all kinds of outdoor events.
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    Safe for use on all surfaces: Non-skid rubber feet keep the cooler anchored on all types of surfaces. The non-skid feet help to protect delicate surfaces when used as an indoor cooler. You won't leave marks if the cooler is slid across the floor.
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    Easy to clean: Thanks to the dual two inch drains, this large capacity cooler couldn't be easier to clean. Drain quickly and easily from both in half the time of regular single drain coolers.
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    Fully sealed lid: The lid is designed with a rubber gasket built into the lid. This helps to ensure a tight seal to retain ice and a colder temperature in the cooler for longer in outside temperatures up to 90 degrees F.
Engel_Coolers_High_Performance_ENG35

Superior ice retention for keeping foods and beverages cold on long trips. Whether you're hunting, camping or on an outdoor excursion, the Engel High performance ENG35 is the cooler that's up for the task.

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    10 day ice retention: A two inch thickness of polyurethane insulation holds in the cold for up to ten days in temperatures up to 90 degrees F outside. It is the best in its class for long trips.
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    IGBC certified: This certification is your guarantee that this cooler is bear resistant. Built to resist accidental opening or spills and rugged construction to withstand the abuse that these animals are famous for dishing out. The extra thick insulation also provides a scent barrier to help avoid attracting bears with the smell of the contents.
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    Seamless construction: Less can go wrong thanks to the damage resistant seamless rotationally molded construction design. The roto molded hard shell technique makes this cooler strong and durable, even under the harshest conditions.
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    Airtight seal: the ArcticValut gasket is made of silicone for the best seal possible. This feature keeps heat out of the cooler so ice is retained for longer. It also protects against accidental spills.
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    Other useful features: Marine grade compression latches also keep the cooler secure against spills. The UV resistant, marine grade materials add to the durability and life of the product. The lid doubles as a casting deck that is convenient to use when fly-fishing. the cornerstone feet are grippy, yet non-marking and safe for delicate surfaces. The one twist Flick drain plug makes it fast and easy to drain when it's time to clean the inside of the cooler.
RTIC_Cooler

Enjoy extreme high performance from the RTIC cooler. The perfect choice for tailgating, boating, fishing and other recreational activities.

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    Midsize storage capacity: The dimensions of this cooler are Height 15.5" x Width 26.5"x Depth 16.5, for the when a small cooler isn't large enough, but a large capacity is too much.
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    Sturdy and reliable: Resists damage that can cause inconvenient leakages. Durable and impact resistant materials make this cooler fit for use in extreme and harsh environmental conditions. Resists damage from drops, impacts and abrasions.
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    Multi-purpose features: The strong and sturdy lid doubles for use as a bench, a table top, a step stool with nonslip features and it even works well when used as an extra cutting board.
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    Ice retention: This multi-purpose cooler will keep your foods and beverages cold, thanks to its high ice retention capacity. Enjoy a cool beverage when you're hot and thirsty and keep perishable food items cooled to a safe temperature to avoid spoilage.
Best_Cooler_For_Camping

Enjoy the dependability and high performance of the Pelican Elite 50 quart cooler. Mid sized capacity with extreme ice retention to keep foods and drinks cold for the length of your trip.

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    Mid capacity volume: When you don't need a large bulky cooler, but a portable isn't big enough, the 50 quart Pelican Elite is the solution that offers fifty quarts of internal volume.
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    Extreme ice retention: Two inch thick polyurethane insulation material retains ice for up to ten days in temps up to 90 degrees outside. The 360 degree freezer grade gasket provides the airtight seal that keeps warm air out and the cold inside.
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    Durable and reliable convenience: Molded handles make it easy to transport the cooler and they are a durable solution for minimizing the chance of handle failure. The three inch locking latches and reinforced lockable hasp offers strength, reliability and security to guard against accidental spills. Molded tie down slots add to the security features or guarding against accidental opening when in transport.
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    Easy to clean: The leakproof drain plug makes it fast and easy to clean and drain the interior of this cooler.
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    Additional useful features: 4 self draining cup holders give you a place to set your beverage when you need both hands for other activities. A measuring board featuring inches and centimeters makes it easy to measure your catch with the integrated system. Non-skid rubber feet add to the security and makes the cooler safe for use on all flooring or ground types. The lifetime guarantee issued by the manufacturer makes this the last cooler you'll ever need to buy.
YETI_Tundra_65_Cooler

YETI is a brand that stands behind its reputation. High quality materials, construction and features combine to present the best cooler on the market today.

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    Upper middle storage capacity: The Tundra 65 offers 30 1/2 in long x 17 3/8 in wide x 16 in high with an empty weight of 27 lbs for heavy duty cooling of food and beverages.
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    Extreme ice retention: Three inches of PermaFrost patented insulation combine with an extra thick design known as the FatWall to ensure the maximum in ice retention capability. This keeps the contents cold for longer.
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    Bear Resistant: Whether you're camping or hunting in bear country, there's a risk of bears plundering your food supply. This cooler is certified to be bear resistant with a design and construction that makes it impossible for bears to rob you of its contents.
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    Sturdy and durable: Rotomolding techniques make this cooler indestructible. It can stand up under harsh conditions, heavy use, bumps, drops and impacts without damage. T-Rex lid latches are made of heavy duty rubber with a patented technology that prevents latch failure.
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    Additional feature: A dry goods basket is also included to keep delicate items from coming into contact with ice and water. Delicate items such as eggs or things stored in cartons are kept safe from damage.
Outdoor_Recreational_Company_of_America_Cooler

Enjoy the reliability and guarantee that comes with owning an ORCA cooler. Keep foods and beverages cool for safe perishables and refreshing beverages when you're hot and thirsty.

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    Durable and dependable: You won't need to hassle with flimsy coolers that crack and leak, letting you down when you need them the most. The ORCA cooler is built to be rugged and strong with a roto molded construction design. It withstands bumps, scrapes, drops and other impacts with damage resistant materials and design.
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    Integrated insulaltion: Enjoy the maximum cold and ice retention with an integrated insulation design. Keeps food cold for extended periods of time when the outside temps are up to 90 degrees.
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    Additional storage option: This cooler comes with an attached cargo net that gives you additional storage space inside the cooler. It's ideal for storing delicate items that you want to isolate from heavier objects. It keeps items safe from water or ice damage by suspending them above the moisture.
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    Lifetime guarantee: This cooler is so well built that the manufacturer has extreme confidence in providing a lifetime warranty on the product.

How to Choose Your Cooler

Ice Retention

Ice retention is one of the most important factors, especially for extended trips. When you're hunting or on a week to ten day camping trip, you depend on your cooler to keep your food items at a cool and safe temperature to avoid spoilage. Choose the cooler that is rated for the ice retention time that you will need for the length of time that you plan to use it. Not all are rated with the same strength, so this is an important detail to consider.

Easy to Move

When your cooler is filled with ice and perishables, it's going to be heavy. You must be able to move it to its intended destination without straining your back muscles. Look for the features that will make it easier to move. If it's a large capacity, you may want to go with a model that comes with durable wheels and a pull out handle for pulling and rolling. Look for the type of handles that you find to be easiest to use. Some have handles that are pre-molded into the unit for grab and go moving and others come with handles that you pull out at the sides, then fold up when they're not in use.

Durability

The strength and durability of the cooler depend on its design and the types of materials that are used in the construction. Pay careful attention to the handles, latches and closure hardware. Make seure that the materials are high quality and rated for strength and resistant to damage from wear, moisture and UV rays. Stainless steel, innovative plastics and damage resistant rubber are good options. Avoid coolers with cheap materials because they are not likely to hold up. Roto-molding that makes the core of the chest in one piece is always recommended for exceptional durability.

Storage Capacity And External Size

The external size should not be confused with the storage capacity. Look at the internal dimensions and the quart rating capacity and choose a cooler that has the interior space to store the amount of food and beverage items that you'll need for your trip. Only use external measurements when determining if the cooler will fit into transport and storage areas.

Portability

Portability deals with size and ease of transport. A large 120 quart cooler that offers few options for moving isn't portable. Coolers that come with convenient handles or wheels are considered to be portable. Choose the cooler that has the portability options that best fits your needs.

Cooler Insulation Explained

Cooler manufacturers use a variety of different insulation types. The goal of new and innovative insulation is to keep contents cooler and to retain ice for longer duration's. Look for coolers that feature the thickness that will maximize ice retention. The walls and lid should be fully insulated and not all coolers offer this option. Insulation keeps the heat out and the cold in so you want a cooler that is fully insulated for the best results.

How Do You Pack a Cooler for Camping?

Always place the heaviest items at the bottom of the cooler. Fit them in tightly so you'll have room for all the items that you need. Canned beverages become heavy so you don't want to keep delicate items such as eggs or fruits and vegetables beneath them. If your cooler comes with a dry goods basket, pack the bottom so it comes close to the bottom of the basket and place delicates or items that can be damaged by moisture inside. Make sure that you don't overpack the cooler so it can't properly seal or your ice will melt and the cooler won't be able to do its job.

What size cooler you need?

The size of cooler you need depends upon the number of people going and the length of time you'll need to use it. Portable coolers that are small in size are perfect for storing a six pack of canned beverages or even a few lunch items for two or three people on a day trip. Medium sized coolers are best for taking food for a few days' worth of meals. Large or Max capacity coolers of 70 quarts capacity are needed for longer trips or for larger crowds of people.

To wheel or not to wheel?

Wheeled coolers can make your life a lot easier if you use them in areas with hard or even terrain. They're great for use on sidewalks, hard compacted ground, concrete, asphalt or hard flooring surfaces. They become more difficult to use if you camp in areas with sandy ground, gravel or extremely rocky areas.

Tips For Keeping Your Food Cool

Even with a high quality cooler, there are things that you need to do to maximize its full potential for cooling. Consider freezing some items before packing them in the cooler. Place a layer of ice in the bottom, then pack some food items. Next, throw in another layer of ice, more items and top it off with the remaining ice. The layering will help in ice retention. Don't open the lid any more often than you need to, avoid leaving the lid open, and store the cooler in a shaded or cooler spot, avoiding direct sunlight.

FAQ- Cooler for Camping

Q. What is the best cooler for camping?

A. The best camping cooler is the one that meets your needs. It must be large enough to hold the contents you'll need for its intended use. Choose the one with features you will find the most useful.

Q. How can I find the right cooler for camping?

 A. Consult product reviews to more easily find full details about each product and compare them.

Best Cooler Brands

Our reviews include the top recommended cooler brands.

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    Yeti: Yeti is among the more expensive coolers, but the quality in unsurpassed. They're built to last a lifetime. While you may pay much more for a Yeti, you'll save in replacement costs and the hassle of dealing with a failing cooler that could ruin or shorten a trip.
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    Pelican: Pelican coolers are highly rated by customers that report they are of high quality, durable and offer a variety of sizes and useful features.
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    Engel: Engel coolers offer a variety of sizes and models that fit any type of situation. They're made of high quality materials and roto molded construction that adds to their reliability and ice retention capacity.
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    RTIC: RTIC is another top brand that is a consumer favorite for the range of features, sizes and styles that are available. The products are highly rated for durability and dependability.

Conclusion

By following our tips and browsing through our reviews of the best coolers for camping, you can quickly and easily find the option that is best for you. We've provided all the details you need to make an informed choice.

Michael Ethan
 

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