Skip to Content

5 Best Coolers for Camping in 2024

Are you gearing up for your next camping adventure and wondering which cooler will keep your snacks fresh and drinks icy cold? You’re in luck!

In this post, we’re diving into the world of coolers for camping, exploring the best options out there to make sure your wilderness meals are as chilled as your nature vibes.

camping coolers

Our Top Picks

Best Overall – Large
Canyon PRO45

Best Small Cooler – Small
YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

Budget Cooler – Large
Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler

Budget Cooler – Small
Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler

Best Overall – Large

Canyon PRO45

Canyon Coolers PRO45 Premium rotomolded Cooler -Sandstone

The Canyon Coolers Pro Series 45 is made with durable roto-molded construction, ensuring long-lasting performance in rugged environments. It features thick insulated walls and a freezer-grade gasket to provide superior ice retention, keeping your contents cold for up to several days.

The cooler also includes rugged, oversized, and durable latches and molded tie-down points. It even includes a divider for easy organization that can also be attached to the cooler at multiple points, featuring a convenient table for cutting, food preparation, or simply a spot to place your drink. Built to last, with a capacity of 45 quarts, this cooler is ideal for weekend getaways, camping trips, and outdoor events!

What We Like:

  • Excellent ice retention
  • Durable roto-molded construction
  • Molded tie-down points
  • Ample 45-quart capacity
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Limited colors
  • Pricey

Best Overall – Small

Yeti Roadie 24

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, Aquifer Blue

The Yeti Roadie 24 stands out as a top-notch personal cooler, ideal for solo camping trips or as a reliable ice chest for road trips. Despite its smaller size, it excels in build quality with durable rotomolded construction, polyurethane foam insulation, and robust rubber latches and gasket.

It offers non-slip feet, tie-down points, a comfortable metal handle, and a built-in drain, enhancing its versatility. However, its high cost and relatively heavy weight (nearly 13 pounds) for its size are notable downsides.

What We Like:

  • Versatile
  • Easy to Use
  • Convenient Features
  • Nearly Indestructible Construction
  • Quality Insulation

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Budget Option – Large

Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70

Coleman Xtreme Cooler

The Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70 cooler offers an affordable yet effective option for those on a budget, though it’s not the top choice for camping. Despite its lower price compared to premium rotomolded coolers, it still provides reasonable insulation, achieving 3 to 4 days of ice life, extendable to around 5 days with careful pre-chilling and shading.

Its lightweight, spacious design is a bonus, offering portability and ample storage, with a sleek look for a traditional cooler. However, it falls short in insulation and durability compared to high-end models, isn’t airtight, and has uncomfortable plastic handles. Nonetheless, its low cost and decent performance make it a valuable choice for budget-conscious campers.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Decent Insulation for Price
  • Large Storage Capacity
  • Built-In Beverage Holders
  • Lightweight Design

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not Airtight
  • Not Very Durable

Budget Option – Small

Igloo BMX 25

Igloo camping cooler

The Igloo BMX 25 is a top pick among personal-sized coolers, impressing with its build quality and lightweight design. Weighing just over 11 pounds, it’s significantly lighter than the Yeti Roadie 24, yet offers comparable features. It boasts thick walls and a lid that provide around three days of ice retention, although the absence of a freezer-style rubber gasket limits its potential to extend this period.

Despite its affordable price and excellent value, the Igloo BMX stands out for its durability, making it ideal for regular use and camping trips. The main drawback is the slightly inferior quality of some components, like hinges, and the missing freezer-style gasket.

What We Like:

  • Great Value
  • Good Insulation
  • Durable Construction
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to Use

What We Don’t Like:

  • Poor Quality Hinges
  • Doesn`t Seal Completely

Orca 58 Quart

Orca Cooler

The Orca 58 Quart is a rotomolded cooler well-suited for family camping, featuring a unique tall and narrow design that saves space but can be challenging to search through. It offers excellent insulation and robust construction, with Orca claiming up to 10 days of cooling, though around 5 days is more typical. Key features include a rubber sealing gasket, integrated hinges, durable rubber latches, sturdy rope handles, and built-in tie-downs, plus a useful netted pocket on the back.

However, it lacks a dry storage basket. The main drawbacks are its high cost, typical of modern camping coolers, and a hefty weight of 30.6 pounds.

What We Like:

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Insulation
  • Bearproof Construction
  • Built-In Storage Net
  • Durable Components

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Buyer’s Guide

When choosing the best camping cooler, consider the following aspects to find a cooler that suits your specific needs:

  1. Type of Camping: Different camping styles, like family, solo, car, or kayak camping, need different types of coolers.
  2. Number of Users: Larger groups require bigger coolers or multiple smaller ones. For small groups, a large cooler might be unnecessary and less efficient.
  3. Trip Duration: For longer trips without ice restocking opportunities, opt for a larger cooler. Short trips or ones where you can buy ice frequently may require smaller coolers.
  4. Expected Weather: In extreme heat, coolers with thicker insulation and a freezer-style gasket perform better.
  5. Type of Food: Foods like meat, dairy, and eggs need more cooling than fruits, vegetables, and beverages.
  6. Wildlife Encounters: In bear country, choose a bear-resistant cooler and follow food storage best practices.

Key Features to Look for in a Camping Cooler:

  1. Volume: Larger groups and longer trips necessitate bigger camping coolers. Plan your meals to estimate required storage space.
  2. Insulation: Opt for coolers with up to 3-inch thick double-wall construction and dense polyurethane foam for better insulation.
  3. Durability: Rotomolded coolers with thicker walls are typically more durable. Look for quality components like integrated hinges and rubber latches.
  4. Ice Life: The duration a cooler can keep ice depends on insulation quality, construction (like rotomolded design), elevated feet, and a freezer-style rubber gasket.
  5. Size & Weight: Large, well-insulated rotomolded coolers offer more space but are heavier and bulkier.
  6. Ease of Use: Consider portability and ease of access. For large coolers, models with wheels and handles are practical.
  7. Features: Essential features include integrated tie-down points, drain plugs, and locking lids. Extras like beverage holders and bottle openers are convenient but not critical.
  8. Accessories: Look for coolers with additional accessories like wire storage baskets and other customizable options.

Keep these points in mind while exploring coolers for camping options to find the best fit for your needs.

Carrying a cooler along the beach for camping

Wrapping up

For most campers, a cooler for camping is an essential piece of equipment.

I personally use my camping cooler for everything from car camping to long road trips to kayaking and canoeing to fishing trips to just lounging on the beach and so much more.

Whether you`re in the market for a high-end model or prefer something cheaper, we`re here to help you find the best cooler for camping – so don`t hesitate to ask questions!