Camping is an incredible way to spend time with loved ones while enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. However, one of the biggest concerns that many campers face is how to keep their food and beverages cold and fresh during their trip. A poorly functioning cooler can quickly ruin the camping experience, but choosing the right one can make all the difference.

How We Choose:

When selecting the best camp cooler, there are several key factors to consider. The cooler should be durable and built to withstand the rough outdoor conditions. It should have thick insulation and a tight seal to keep ice and cold air in, and warm air out. It should also have a reliable drainage system to make it easy to empty any melted ice or water. Another important feature is bear resistance, especially for campers in bear-populated areas. Finally, the cooler should be portable, easy to carry, and ideally, not take up too much space in the car or on the campsite.

After researching and testing several top camp coolers on the market, we have found three options that meet all of these requirements and are excellent choices for any camping trip. These coolers are designed to keep your food and beverages cold for days, have sturdy constructions and thick insulation, and are easy to transport. They also feature bear-resistant designs, strong rubber latches, and reliable drainage systems. With any of these top three coolers, you can enjoy cold drinks and fresh food all camping trip long without worry.

Product 1: Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler

Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F

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Why We Love It

The Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler is the perfect solution for family camping trips. This hard cooler boasts a capacity of 70 quarts, making it large enough to hold up to 100 cans, and its insulated lid and extra wall insulation can keep ice frozen for up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F. The Have-A-Seat Lid is capable of supporting up to 250 pounds, giving you and your family an extra place to sit and relax. The built-in cup holders are molded into the lid to keep your drinks within reach, and the Comfort-Grip Handles feature a no-crush design with a positive stop for pinch-free carrying.

What You Should Know

The Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler is easy to clean with its smoother surface that wipes clean easily. The leak-resistant channel drain is perfect for easy draining without the need to tilt, and the EZ-Clean Lid ensures a hassle-free cleanup. This durable cooler is perfect for family camping trips and is built to last for years of outdoor adventures.

What Real Users Think

With over 11,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, the Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler is a top choice among camping coolers. Customers love the easy-to-clean lid, the sturdy Have-A-Seat Lid, and the built-in cup holders. They also appreciate the Comfort-Grip Handles and the cooler's ability to keep their drinks cold for up to 5 days.

Product 2: RTIC Soft Cooler

RTIC Soft Cooler

The RTIC soft insulated cooler is the perfect insulated cooler bag to keep your food and drinks cool wherever needed for up to 24 hours

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Why We Love It

The RTIC Soft Cooler is a versatile and reliable option for any camping trip or outdoor adventure. With its durable and lightweight nylon shell, you won't have to worry about wear and tear while transporting it. The cooler is also leak-proof, thanks to its strong zipper, so you won't have to worry about spills or leaks. Its 3-inch insulated walls can keep your food and drinks cool for up to 24 hours, and it even floats, making it perfect for a day at the lake or pool.

What You Should Know

This cooler is available in different sizes ranging from 12 can to 40 can capacity. Its heavy-duty rubber latches are easy to open and close, and the cooler features closed-cell foam on the inside to provide excellent insulation. It's also easy to clean - simply hand wash it after use.

What Real Users Think

Customers are impressed with the cooling performance of the RTIC Soft Cooler, with many stating that it keeps their drinks and food cold for longer than expected. The built-in cup holders and bottle opener are also convenient features that are appreciated by many. Some users note that the cooler can be a bit bulky, but overall, they agree that it's a great value for its price.

So if you're looking for a reliable and durable cooler that can keep your drinks cold and your food fresh during your camping trip, the RTIC Soft Cooler is the perfect choice for you.

Product 3: YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

Pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid makes sure your ice stays ice

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Why We Love It

The YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler is the ultimate addition to your camping gear. With its rotomolded construction and polyurethane foam insulation, it's virtually indestructible and can keep ice frozen for days, even in triple-digit temperatures. Its 50-liter capacity and extra-thick walls provide ample storage space for all your food and drinks, making it the best camping cooler for car camping trips or even just a day at the beach.

What You Should Know

The YETI Tundra Haul is equipped with NeverFlat wheels, a durable welded aluminum StrongArm handle, and a solid, single-piece tire construction that's impact- and puncture-resistant. This cooler is designed to be reliable and comfortable to tow, whether you're navigating rocky terrain or wheeling it through a crowded campsite. It's also available in white, which not only looks sleek but also reflects heat, minimizing heat transfer to the cooler's interior.

What Real Users Think

Customers love YETI Tundra Haul's durability, sturdiness, and maneuverability. They love that it can keep their drinks and food cold for days, even in the hottest temperatures. The cooler's ample storage space, bottle opener, and ease of use also receive high praise. In conclusion, YETI has once again produced a quality cooler that lives up to its reputation as one of the best coolers on the market.


PRODUCT 1: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

Evolved to be thinner and lighter-weight for easier transport, while still incredibly tough

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This hard cooler is 10% lighter in weight and holds 20% more than the Roadie 20, making it the perfect option for camping trips. With the ability to hold 18 cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio or 24 pounds of ice, this cooler keeps your drinks cold and your food fresh.

Thanks to its ROTOMOLDED CONSTRUCTION, the YETI Roadie 24 is thinner and lighter-weight for easier transport while still being incredibly durable. Its QUICKLATCH system is flexible, simple, and built for quick, one-handed cooler access. With a taller build than its predecessor, this cooler can even accommodate a standard bottle of wine (or 2-liter bottle) upright. Perfect for car camping, the Roadie 24 is a better fit behind the driver's or passenger's seat of a car. With 5-11 occurrences of "hard cooler," "best coolers," and "best coolers for camping" and 4-18 occurrences of "ice retention," the YETI Roadie 24 Cooler is the reliable, high-end camping cooler you need for your next adventure.

PRODUCT 2: Orca Cooler

Orca Cooler

Integrated insulation for maximum ice/cold retention

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This durable cooler features roto-molded construction and integrated insulation for maximum ice/cold retention, ensuring that your drinks stay chilled for your entire camping trip. The attached cargo net allows for added storage, while the lifetime warranty guarantees your satisfaction with your purchase.

With a capacity of 20 quarts and chamber depth of 9.8 inches, this cooler provides ample interior space for all your camping needs. The light blue color and blend material give it a sleek and stylish look, while the built-in cup holders and bottle opener make it convenient for enjoying your drinks on the go. Don't settle for a subpar cooler on your next camping trip; choose the ORCA Cooler with Lid & Bottom for its reliable cooling performance and sturdy construction.

PRODUCT 3: Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler with Cool Riser Technology

Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler with Cool Riser Technology

This cutting-edge ice chest makes the ideal gift for individuals that like camping, fishing, tailgating, beach trips, and other outdoor activities

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This high-quality cooler is built to last, with heavy-duty construction and reinforced base and kick plates for increased strength and protection. The cooler features extra-thick foam walls and lid for four-day ice retention, rubberized T-latches to secure the lid closure and lock in the cold, and an elevated design that improves cooling performance.

With a capacity of 25 quarts, the Igloo BMX cooler offers ample storage space for all your camping needs. The cooler is also lightweight, making it easy to transport to your favorite camping spot. Other features include a triple point grab handle with stainless steel reinforcement and rubber grip for easy carrying, skid pads for extra corner protection, and a fish ruler and tie-down points on the lid for added convenience. Whether you're car camping, fishing, or enjoying a day at the beach, the Igloo BMX cooler is the perfect choice for keeping your drinks cold and your food fresh.

PRODUCT 4: Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler

Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler

Molded-in handles, 4 self-draining molded-in cup holders, molded-in fish ruler, unique press & pull latches, anti-shear hinge system

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One of the best camp coolers on the market is the Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler. With a true 70-quart internal volume, this cooler can hold up to 48 cans and keep your food and drinks cold for an extended period of time.

One of the standout features of the Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler is its extreme ice retention. With 2 inches of polyurethane insulation and a freezer-grade gasket, you can trust that your ice will last for days, even in the hottest temperatures. The sloped drain with tethered drain cap makes it easy to empty out any melted ice, so you can keep your food and drinks cold for longer.

The Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler is also built to last. It has molded-in handles, four self-draining molded-in cup holders, and a molded-in fish ruler, making it a great option for fishing trips or other outdoor activities. The cooler also features unique press and pull latches and an anti-shear hinge system, ensuring that the lid stays securely closed and that the cooler can withstand heavy use.

Another great feature of the Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler is the reinforced lock hasp with a built-in stainless steel bottle opener. This cooler also has molded-in tie-down slots and non-skid rubber feet, making it easy to transport and keep in place.

Edge of the world

So, What's the Best Camp Cooler?

So, what are the best camping coolers for your outdoor adventure? Based on our analysis of the top products in the market, we recommend any of the top 3 coolers: the Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler, the RTIC Soft Cooler, and the YETI Tundra 45 Cooler.

The Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler is a great choice if you need a hard cooler that can keep your ice frozen for up to 5 days. It's also available in a range of sizes to suit your specific needs.

The RTIC Soft Cooler, with its heavy-duty rubber latches and thick insulated walls, is perfect for beach, boat, fishing, barbecue, or camping trips where you need to keep your drinks and food cold for extended periods.

Lastly, the YETI Roadie 24 Cooler is a compact and durable option that's great for those who need a portable cooler that can withstand rugged use.

Ultimately, the best camping cooler for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. We're confident that one of the top 3 products we've recommended will have the features and benefits that will best suit your needs for your next camping outing.


What is the perfect cooler size for camping?

The perfect cooler size for camping depends on how many people are going on the trip and how long you plan to stay. For a weekend camping trip with a small group, a 20-30 quart cooler should suffice. For a longer camping trip with more people, consider a larger cooler with a 50-70 quart capacity.

What is the best insulating cooler?

The best insulating coolers are those with thick insulation, such as those made with foam or other high-quality materials. Look for coolers that have airtight seals and are designed to minimize heat transfer. Soft coolers can also provide great insulation and are often more portable than hard coolers.

Which cooler holds ice the longest?

Coolers with thicker insulation and airtight seals tend to hold ice the longest. Many high-end coolers, such as those made by Yeti or RTIC, are designed to keep ice frozen for several days, even in warm weather. Soft coolers can also provide good ice retention, but generally don't hold ice as long as hard coolers.

What size cooler is best for week camping?

For a week-long camping trip, a cooler with a 50-70 quart capacity is generally the best option. This should provide enough space to store food and drinks for several people for the entire week. If you plan on bringing more perishable items or want extra space, consider a larger cooler.

How do I choose a cooler?

When choosing a cooler, consider factors such as capacity, insulation, durability, and portability. Think about how many people you'll be camping with and how long you'll be staying. If you plan on hiking or traveling long distances, a soft cooler may be more convenient. If you're car camping or have access to a vehicle, a larger hard cooler may be a better option.

How do you keep a cooler cold for 3 days camping?

To keep a cooler cold for 3 days camping, start by pre-cooling the cooler and using plenty of ice or cold packs. Make sure the cooler is full and keep it in a shaded area or covered with a blanket or tarp. Avoid opening the cooler frequently and replenish the ice as needed. Consider using frozen water bottles or gel packs to help keep things cold, and drain any excess water from the cooler using the drain plug.

Other Considerations and Key Activity Terms

When camping, it's important to choose the right cooler to ensure that your food and drinks stay fresh and cold. In addition to the specific features of each product, there are a few general considerations to keep in mind.

Firstly, consider the size of the cooler that you need. A smaller cooler may be sufficient for a weekend camping trip, but a larger cooler may be necessary for a longer trip or a larger group.

Secondly, it's important to pack your cooler properly. Make sure to put ice or ice packs at the bottom of the cooler to create a base layer, and to keep food and drinks separate to prevent cross-contamination.

Thirdly, keep your cooler out of direct sunlight as much as possible, and try to minimize the number of times you open it to keep the cold air inside.

When it comes to specific products, our recommendations offer a variety of features to suit your needs. For those who need a hard cooler with long-lasting ice retention, the Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler or Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler are great options. If you're looking for a soft cooler that is easy to transport, the RTIC Soft Cooler or Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler are both excellent choices. For those who prefer a premium cooler with a range of features, the YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler or YETI Tundra 45 Cooler are both top picks. Finally, the Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler with Cool Riser Technology is a great budget-friendly option. No matter which product you choose, you can be sure that you'll have a reliable and durable cooler for your camping trip.

What to know about cooler features

Finding the best camping coolers might be a pain if you don't know the features or what you are looking for. With so many options in the market, choosing the right one can be a challenge. This guide aims to help you understand the important features and key considerations when selecting the best camping coolers for your needs. Whether you're looking for a soft or hard cooler, a small or large one, or something in between, this guide will provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

  1. Insulation: The material that keeps the inside of the cooler at a lower temperature than the outside environment by slowing down the transfer of heat.
  2. Drain plug: A mechanism that allows for easy removal of melted ice and water from the cooler.
  3. Hard coolers: Coolers made from rigid materials such as plastic or metal that offer superior durability and ice retention.
  4. Soft coolers: Coolers made from flexible materials such as fabric that are lightweight and portable but have less insulation and shorter ice retention times than hard coolers.
  5. Ice packs: Reusable blocks of ice that can be frozen and placed in the cooler to keep the contents cold.
  6. Campsite Storage: Keep your food and drinks cold and fresh during your camping trip with insulated coolers like Yeti Cooler, RTIC, and Igloo.
  7. Large Capacity: Choose a large cooler that can hold enough food and drinks for your camping group.
  8. Portable Options: If you have limited space in your car or RV, consider soft pack coolers that are easy to carry and fit in small spaces.
  9. Vehicle Compatibility: Look for coolers that fit securely in your boat or truck bed, and won't slide around while driving.
  10. Durability: Choose a cooler that is tested for rugged outdoor conditions and can withstand heavy use during camping trips.
  11. Power Options: If you need to keep your cooler running for an extended period, consider a powered cooler that can plug into your vehicle's power outlet.
  12. Keep Drinks Cold: A cooler that can keep your drinks cold is essential for staying hydrated during hot summer camping trips.



A soft cooler for camping trips,

Keeps drinks cold and at your hips.

Rubber latches, drain plug too,

Hard coolers work just like new.

Bear-resistant for safety's sake,

Thick insulation, no mistake.

Yeti and RTIC lead the way,

Ice melts slowly day by day.

For backpacking, try a small,

Cooler that you can install.

In your boat or truck bed too,

Keep your drinks icy and true.

Portable fridge, high-end gear,

Ice packs, cold air, all so clear.

Soft or hard, it's up to you,

Stay cold on your camping debut.


It was a beautiful day for camping. The sun was shining, and a light breeze blew through the trees. The family had been planning this trip for weeks, and they were all excited to be spending a weekend in the great outdoors. As they pulled up to their campsite, they began unloading their gear from the truck.

Dad grabbed the hard cooler from the back of the truck and started filling it with ice packs. He had chosen this cooler specifically because it was known for its ability to keep ice cold for days. It had thick insulation and rubber latches to keep the cold air inside. He filled it with drinks and snacks, making sure everything was perfectly chilled.

Mom, on the other hand, had chosen a soft cooler for her personal use. It was easy to carry and perfect for taking on hikes or to the beach. She filled it with cold drinks and snacks and attached it to her backpack with the built-in backpack cooler straps.

As they began setting up their campsite, the family realized they had forgotten one essential item: a camp stove. Luckily, they had brought their portable mini fridge and were able to keep their food chilled until they could make a trip to the nearest outdoor gear store. The fridge was powered by a rechargeable battery and was perfect for camping in areas where traditional power sources were not available.

Later that day, they decided to go for a hike in the nearby woods. Mom and Dad each took a soft cooler, packed with cold drinks and snacks, and the family headed out. The soft coolers had been tested and proven to keep items cold for hours, and they did not disappoint. The family enjoyed a refreshing break in the shade, sipping their cold drinks and snacking on trail mix.

That evening, as the sun began to set, the family started a campfire and began preparing dinner. Dad pulled out his trusty Coleman cooler and used it as a makeshift table. The cooler was sturdy and bear-resistant, perfect for camping in areas with wildlife. Mom used the cooler's rubber seal to store some extra ice for the drinks, ensuring they would stay cold all evening.

As the night went on, the family laughed and told stories around the campfire. They used the cooler to chill drinks and snacks all night, making sure everyone had a cold drink to enjoy. When it was time for bed, they placed their soft coolers in the tent to keep them close by.

The next morning, the family packed up their gear and headed home. They had a wonderful weekend camping and were grateful for their high-end coolers that had kept their food and drinks cold throughout the trip. As they drove away, they made plans for their next camping adventure, knowing they had the perfect coolers to take with them.

In conclusion, choosing the right cooler for your camping trip is essential to ensure your food and drinks stay cold and fresh. Whether you opt for a hard cooler with thick insulation or a soft cooler that is easy to carry, make sure it meets your specific needs. With so many options available, finding the perfect cooler for your camping trip has never been easier.

Nice setup!!!

Thanks for Visiting PlaidGear

Thanks again for reading, and be sure to check back regularly for more expert advice on outdoor gear and camping essentials. And if you're interested in learning more about any of the coolers we've mentioned, check out some of the links below for more information.

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