How To Get The Most Out Of Your Cooler
One of the trickiest things about recommending the bestcooler for camping is that so much of a cooler`s performance relies on how itis used.
For example, even the most well-insulated cooler will falter in extremely hot weather, especially if it`s left in direct sunlight for hours. And then there`s additional factors that influence ice life like the amount of ice used compared to the amount of food/beverages, to name just one example.
That said, there are a few key ways to get the most out of anycamping cooler. Here`s how to maximize insulation efficiency to improve icelife:
- Pre-Chill Cooler âA cold cooler is more effective than a warm cooler, so cool yours with an extra bag of ice a night before your trip.
- Pre-Chill Contents âDo your shopping ahead of time if possible. This allows you to pre-chill the contents in the refrigerator before placing them in your pre-chilled cooler.
- Pre-ChillIce âWhen using store-bought ice, I like to chill the bags at home in myfreezer to make sure they`re colder than freezing. The colder the ice, the longerit will last.
- Twice theIce âA good ratio is to use twice the ice as the contents of your cooler.Also note that the more of your cooler you fill up with ice, the better it willperform.
- Mix Blocks and Cubes âCubed ice provides more immediate cooling power while blocked ice lasts longer. Use both at the same time for the best of both worlds.
Herschel Supply Co Little America Backpack
Herschel Supply Co.
- Exterior dimensions: 18.25 x 11.25 x 7 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Capacity: 25 quarts
Easy to carry around with you, backpack coolers are great for hiking, going to the park and just exploring any neighborhood or city. Made from recycled fabric, Herschels Little America Insulated Backpack can fit up to 32 cans and keeps contents cool all day long. And its available in a wide variety of patterns and colors from Ash Rose to Hot Pink/Bluebird Check, so you can find one that fits your personality.
What the Reviews Say: Reviewers love how comfortable and supportive Herschels backpacks are. Even with about 25 to 30 pounds worth of stuff in my bag, I don’t feel any strain on my back or shoulders, and THAT is just one of the reasons I love Herschel.
Camping Cooler Buying Advice
Address the following points to further narrow down your options for the best camping cooler:
- Type ofCamping âFamily camping requires a different type of cooler than solocamping. The same goes for walk-in camping, car camping, kayakcamping, and more.
- Number ofUsers â You`ll need a larger cooler for larger groups of people . For camping with a small group, a large cooler isoften overkill .
- TripDuration âLonger trips without a chance to restock on ice require a largercooler than shorter trips or campingroad trips where you can buy new ice every couple days.
- Expected Weather âExtremely hot weather takes a toll on even the best insulated coolers â but a model with thicker insulation and a freezer-style gasket will perform better than one without these features.
- Type of Food âWhat type of camping meals do you cook? Ingredients like meat, dairy products, and eggs all require more cooling power from your cooler than fruits, vegetables, and beverages.
- Wildlife Encounters âA bear-resistant cooler is essential for camping in bear country, although you must still follow all camping food storage best practices. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee maintains a list of bear-resistant products, including camping coolers.
Use your answers to these questions to help assess and prioritize your needs while reviewing the most important features that make up the best camping coolers below.
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Igloo Super Tough Stx Cooler 54 Quarts
Igloo has carved out a niche for itself as one of the leading giants in camping coolers. This camping cooler from Igloo is designed using heavy-duty material that ensures its longevity for the years to come. Igloo Super Tough Cooler is a high-performance cooler that can survive in extreme weather conditions and offer you an incredible ice life. The cooler features premium hardware, bolt through handles, stainless steel hinges, heavy-duty latches that combine to make this a rugged and sturdily-built cooler.
Talking about the insulation ability, you can expect at least 6 days of ice retention thanks to the presence of a solid lid and extra-thick shell. Talking about the space, this cooler comes in different sizes, and you can take your pick accordingly. You can find a cooler that comes with 150 quartz of capacity to hold your food and drinks. Take a look at the specifications of this cooler:
- Dimensions 26 x 15.6 x 15.1 inches
- Weight 10.18 pounds
- Solid and sturdily built. This cooler is highly durable.
- Superior Insulation ability.
- The latch of this cooler is prone to damage.
- This cooler becomes very heavy when you load your content.
Red Waterproof Cooler Bag
Best cooler bag for versatility
- Strong ‘new product’ smell
Star rating: 5/5
This is a cooler bag-box hybrid, equipped with carry straps and additional handles, with a robust exterior that’s self-supporting. It has impressive cooling capabilities, living up to the 72-hour credential for keeping ice frozen . It’s also practical. The body is reinforced and waterproof, with a YKK Aquaseal zip designed to keep water out and leaks in. There are two side pockets and wave webbing, a luggage tension system for attaching it to your boat, roof or car. If you’re after an easy-to-carry cooler box for adventures that’s large enough for a family of six, this is our top recommendation.
- Stiff top zipper
The boxy external structure of this backpack is self -supporting, covered with an impressively durable TPU fabric. The padded straps and back panel made wearing it a comfortable experience, although the chest strap came into play when fully loaded. We found its 15L capacity was enough space to stack lunch for four, helped by the two high bottle pouches which encased a tall water bottle in one side and two cans of beer stacked in the other. The only downside is the stiffness of its zip – responsible for it’s impressive leakproof credentials. The added bungee storage pocket held a scrunched up jacket whilst keys and a phone fitted in the top zip pouch.
Best traditional picnic cooler basket for two
- Practical upright design for carrying
- No accompanying picnic rug
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Coleman 100qrt Xtreme Cooler
Looking for a large, old-school cooler to knock around? Pick up one of these 100-quart coolers from Coleman. The build is a simple insulated synthetic that weighs in at just 18 pounds, making it far lighter than premium rotomolded coolers. This minimal weight, plus wheels makes the Coleman very easy to transport despite its large 160-can capacity.
Coleman claims that the Xtreme cooler will retain ice for five days in 90-degree heat, which is pretty impressive despite its less-than-high-tech construction. The cooler can also support 250 pounds on its lid, allowing a large person or two smaller people to have a seat. Overall, its quite durable, although certainly not as rugged as high-end rotomolded coolers.
Choosing The Right Cooler For Camping Trips
Theres a lot more that goes into picking the right cooler than you might think. Everything from insulation, seals, and even drains can be factors that need to be considered when youre choosing a unit for your next camping trip.
Im going to go over all the criteria that you should look at before making your decision in this section.
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Best Coolers For Camping In 2022
Do you want a cooler that actually stays cold?
Of course, you do! So, today, I`m going to walk you throughthe most important features that all the best camping coolers must have.
But that`s not all. I also review the 9 best coolers for camping that I`ve tested myself. I`ll show you what I like and dislike about each model as well as their key features. I end with a list of my top tips on how to get the most from your cooler, including how to make ice last longer.
Here`s how to choose the best cooler for camping in 2021.
Analysis And Test Results
The market for ice chests continues to grow over the years, resulting in some extremely close competition and hard-fought rivalries. To tease apart performance differences between contenders, we implement specific tests, spanning five exhaustive, mutually exclusive metrics. We test the insulation performance, durability, ease of use, portability, and features of every single model. As some performance aspects are more important than others, we weight each metric accordingly. Below, we discuss our test results and which models stand out in each area.
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Engel 50 Qt Performance Cooler
As weve already mentioned, this is our go-to cooler when we go camping. This cooler works for us because its a tall/deeper cooler as opposed to a wider cooler. For those with a lot of gear, like us, it takes up less real estate in the back of a truck or SUV. The Engel 50 qt. DeepBlue Performance Cooler has a two inch wall of insulation that allows campers to keep ice for 8-10 days. We actually were able to get 10 FULL Days out of our Engel One unique feature that the Engel has that the Grizzly 400 and the Yeti 45 doesnt, is a pitched floor that allows water to drain completely which means you will not be straining yourself with unnecessary lifting to empty ice melt.
Q: What Do You Plan On Using The Cooler For
A: What you plan to do with your camping cooler will go a long way toward determining what type of box you should purchase. If its you and your significant other heading off for a relaxing weekend at the state park then a small cooler should be fine since you wont need to keep things cold for a week. If, on the other hand youre heading off for a week or two at Yellowstone youre going to want something thats bear proof, has robust insulation and is large enough to accommodate several days worth of food and drink . If youre just looking for a kind of portable fridge you can plant on the deck during big holiday get togethers consider something like the Dometic CFX50W profiled above.
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Coleman 50qt Xtreme Wheeled Cooler Blue
- Ice retention: up to 4 days ice
- Weight: 5.5kg
- Inner dimensions: 45cm x 33cm x 33cm
- Outer dimensions: 58cm x 44cm x 46cm
- Robust lid with four beverage holders
- Telescopic handle
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The Colemanname has grown to be one of the best-loved brands on the market and is beloved by outdoor types around the globe, offering great camping and anglings must-haves to complete your cooking equipment and storage set up.
The Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Cooler Blue sports a 47-litre capacity, offering an incredibly large cooling system on the bankside. With such an impressive capacity, Coleman made sure to make this cooler actually transportable when full of baitwith its wheeling and telescopic steel handle.
Along with moulded carrying handles each side, the cooler features a drain plug in the base to help remove ice melt, keeping baits and your lunch cold, not damp. Storage-wise, the cooler sports a robust hinged lid which includes four beverage holders and can be used as a seatthat will support up to 113kg.
Keep your bait and lunch at the ideal temperatures with this Xtereme cooler from Coleman.
Dometic Cfx3 35 Powered Cooler
If your main motivation for researching coolers is because you are looking for the best coolers for car camping or for use in a camper van, then an electric cooler is the way to go if you have access to an electricity supply, either at your campsite, in your vehicle, or with a portable power station such as a Jackery.
This Dometic electric cooler will keep your food and drink cool without ice. So its a mess-free, super convenient option.
- Capacity: 50 cans
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What Are The Best Coolers
After extensive research, weve found the best cooler to be the RovR RollR rolling cooler. This is because its much more than just a cooler, its actually the ultimate outdoor BBQ accessory. With a useful pop-up storage bin, cutting board and optional bike attachment, this cooler comes with an array of accessories and add-ons. You can even upgrade it into a mobile wagon, which is brilliant for moving it around. Its available in three sizes and a selection of colors as well.
If youre in the market for a more traditional design of cooler, then the Coleman 54 Quart Steel Belted Cooler is worth considering. It may not feature any add-ons or accessories as some others do on this list, but it serves its purpose it will chill your drinks and it will support your weight if you sit on it. In fact, it can accommodate up to 250 pounds! Its unfortunately only available in one size, but there are six colors to choose from.
Should you be looking for something more durable, then the Pelican Elite could be the cooler for you. Its heavy-duty design is available from a 12-quart size up to a huge 150 quarts and it features 3-inch locking latches, a reinforced lockable hasp and an anti-shear hinge system. Its not the cheapest, with the 70-quart model costing $350, but it does come with a lifetime warranty, which shows Pelicans confidence in this cooler.
Benefits Of Using Large Coolers
Nothing feels more refreshing than taking a sip from a cold drink on a hot summer day. Coolers have been used in restaurants and other public places where a lot of cold refreshments are needed. These big coolers can also be used individually for people who travel, camp, or engage in other outdoor activities.
Big coolers are reliable and durable. Depending on your needs, cooler companies have worked hard to ensure that what you buy serves you for a long time. Coolers with over 100 quarts can be used for commercial purposes while others are intended for huge parties and events.
When youre camping, consuming spoiled food can be life-threateningespecially when youre far away from civilization. Having a cooler on-hand will help keep all your perishables cool so you dont get sick. If youre the kind of person who likes to go on extended camping trips, you need to have a big cooler to ensure you have enough to food for the entire duration.
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Igloo Retro Picnic Basket Cooler
- Exterior dimensions: 17.79 x 13.12 x 12.88 inches
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Capacity: 24 liters
Its time to cue the nostalgia with this retro picnic basket cooler from Igloo. Made with neon molded inside handles, this cooler can be held with one handperfect for those summer picnics like you see in the movies. Designed with Thermecool foam and large enough to hold up to 36 cans, you can toss plenty of your favorite sparkling waters and fruity beverages into this cooler.
And not only can this keep your food and drinks cool all day long, it also serves as an extra seat. The lids waffle-top design is durable and strong enough to hold you up when the grass becomes too much for your legs.
What the Reviews Say: Reviewers appreciate this cooler for its retro vibes and bold colors. Beautiful and light weight! Love the Fiesta blue color combination. Takes me back in time, RETRO!
Halfords Electric Coolbox 95
Best for long car journeys
Capacity: 40L | Size: H43.5cm x W37 x L55
This huge capacity cool box can be powered by mains electrics , in the car or from a vehicle cigarette plug . Although on the pricey side, this makes it ideal for long car journeys where youll have access to electricity and will want to keep food cooler for longer, for instance on family camping trips.
The camping cool box was rated 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 700 reviews with buyers commenting on how well it functioned and how good value it was.
One customer said, It has a large capacity, ideal as we took most of our food for a week away trying to limit time in supermarkets while on holiday. It kept everything cool and in great condition.
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Skandi Grey Marl Cooler Backpack 14
Best for portability
Size: H40 x W15 x L29cm
This smart backpack is made from soft marl so it should be comfortable to wear, especially with the adjustable straps and fasteners which allow it to sit at the best position on your back. This smaller picnic cool bag is ideal for shorter trips as it is so portable and being on your back keeps your hands free to help you hang onto wriggly little ones.
Theres a one year warranty on this and it also boasts a wipe-able interior so it can easily be cleaned in case of any spills or leaks. This was something reviewers were impressed with, as well as the comfort of the cool bag.
Can hold quite a bit and good quality straps so comfortable to wear! said one reviewer while another described the backpack as, well made, comfortable to carry and keeps food at the right temperate. The same reviewer also said that they, had a spillage the other day, but it just wiped clean no issues.
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