3 Best Camping Coolers

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Hey there campers and welcome to my post covering my 3 best camping coolers to keep the drinks cold this year. Now, anybody who has been camping will know that one of the most important things to consider is how we are going to keep our food and drinks cold. More importantly, we want it to keep it all cold for as long as possible without the need to be constantly replacing ice – or even worse, pulling everything out of cold water each morning.

So I guess it goes without saying then that the better the cooler we use, the easier it is not keep our food – and beer – nice and cold at all times. So with this in mind, let’s see if we can find a camping cooler to assist with our camping adventures…

My 3 recommended camping coolers

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get to sitting without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:

02/18/2024 08:05 pm GMT Lasso Brag

What are camping coolers?

Ok, so we pretty much covered it all within the introduction above but camping coolers – also known as Eskies, Chilli Bins, Ice Chests or even Cool Boxes – are effectively insulated ‘boxes’ that keep our food and drink cold whilst we are out in the wilderness away from electrical power and refrigerators.

Regardless of the name however, they are essentially the same thing in that they are made of a hard plastic material that seals tight to keep the internal contents cool – usually assisted by the use of ice (dry or wet). And as with anything else to do with camping of course, there are some variations to consider as you make your purchase choice. We will look at these below…

Best Camping Coolers - man reaching into cooler

What should you be looking for?

When it comes to a good cooler for camping, there are two main things to consider:

  1. How it is made
  2. What additions it has

Note: We are discussing unpowered cooler boxes here and not the 12V powered camping refrigerators.


As we know, the main purpose of a cooler is to keep the contents inside of it cold. And without getting all scientific about it, the more warm air that hits the contents, the less cold it will be. I mean how many of you reading this have been scolded by an adult as a kid for opening the cooler all the time and “letting all the cold out”…

So unless you are going to keep the esky closed at all times, then its manufacture will assist in keeping thing colder for longer in spite of it begin opened. This includes:

Insulation – Insulation is the material that makes a cooler cool. In short, it is the material that lines in the inside of the cooler walls. Originally this was made of Styrofoam (in fact, cheaper models are completely made of this) but the more effective options however use polyurethane.

Best Camping Coolers - insulation

Seal – Cool things become less cool when warm air is introduced. This obviously occurs when coolers are opened however it is when it is closed that we want to check. A good cooler must be airtight meaning it must have a good seal. This can be checked by:

  1. Ensuring it has a good rubber or foam seal on the lid – or is extremely well moulded needing a little push to close it.
  2. Good strong hinges – these keep the lid on tight at the back.
  3. Good latches – any good cooler should have a good latch which works with the hinges to keep the lid on tight.

Size – If you are like me, then the temptation is always to go for the biggest option you can get for the price you want to pay. The problem is that a full, smaller cooler is way more effective than a half full large one. Obviously you need one that is large enough to keep everything you need cool, however not too large in that it will never be full.

Strength -I mentioned above the need for a decent hinge set and latches on your cooler. The other aspect here is that when it comes to camping, coolers tend to get a bit of a hard time. They are usually dragged from one side to the other, then to the fire at night. They are also used as seats, stools, tables, weights and even to keep fishy catches in once empty. These all have the capacity to damage the cooler so the stronger the better.

Drainage plug – This is needed to assist in letting any water from melted ice out of it. Again, make sure it has a good rubber seal on it so it can screw in air tight when replaced.


Again, as with everything to do with camping there are added extras available when it comes to coolers. These can include:

  • Drink holders – usually moulded into the lid.
  • Wheels – these are great if you have need to move your cooler around a lot.
  • Extendable handle – goes with the wheels for easier movement.
  • Bottle opener – mine has a little bottle opener attached the side of it – it is the best thing about it I think.
  • Fishing Rod holders – for those who want to double as a cooler and fishing chair as well.
  • Other clips – for umbrellas and the like.
  • Camping chair – some have fold out chairs attached to them too.

Some also float which is good if you plan to use it on a boat or kayak as well.


How long does ice last in a camping cooler?

This obviously depends on the cooler and how often it is opened. However if it is of good quality and properly sealed then you can expect block ice to last around 2 – 4 days. Higher quality options such as a Yeti however will keep ice frozen for up to 10 days.

What do I use?

My camping choice is a hard plastic cooler with thick insulation, rubber seals in the lid, moulded hinges and solid metal latches. If I am being honest it is probably a size too large for my use but it is airtight, tough and will keep everything nice and cold without the need to replace ice for about 2 days at least.

Best Camping Coolers - my cooler

My 3 Recommendations broken down

As mentioned, there are a few different camping cooler options available online so I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you some choices taking into consideration the information above:

1. Coleman Rolling Cooler

The first cooler have chosen is a great option for those looking for a solid product for a good price. It contains full insulation within the body and lid to keep ice frozen for up to 5 days. And for those looking for some portability is comes with wheels and an extendable handle as well. Its specifications includes:

  • Composition: Heavy duty plastic
  • Hinges: Clip on lid
  • Latches: None – clip down lid
  • Seal: Moulded lid to body
  • Size: 23 x 18 x 18 inches
  • Capacity: 50L
  • Drainage plug: No

Other advantages include:

  • Heavy duty wheels
  • 4 cup holders moulded into lid
  • Lid doubles as seat to hold up to 250lb

Why have I chosen it?

As above, this is a great one for those looking for a decent, versatile and strong cooler that will handle camping with ease as well as any other need you may have for it. It is easy to transport with the ability to carry up to 84 cans. Also good for picnics, fishing and parties as well.

2. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Premium Ice Chest

Our next option is a heavy-duty design for ultimate food keeping on camping trips of any length with ultra strong composition and premium insulation for maximum ice retention. It is fully sealed with strong hinges and Microban product protection that helps prevent the build-up of bacterial odors and stains. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Roto-molded plastic construction with polyurethane insulation
  • Hinges: Roto moulded into lid and container
  • Latches: Corrosion-resistant T-latches
  • Seal: Freezer grade 360 degree rubber gasket
  • Size: 22.05 x 14.77 x 13.98 inches/30.32 x 17.72 x 17.13 inches
  • Capacity: 20 and 55q options
  • Drainage plug: Rubber sealed plugs on side

Other advantages include:

  • Anti skid feet
  • Meets the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee standards for Bear-Resistant containers when used with the appropriate locks (sold separately)
  • Padded handles
  • Wire basket included inside
  • Locking mounts for added security

Why have I chosen it?

I like this one as it is super strong with the ability to keep ice for up to 8 days. It has premium insulation, is easy to clean and well suited to all environments and conditions. It is also available in two sizes for those who like to venture out for longer periods of time.

3. YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

I have chosen this last one simply for the fact that it is an extremely well-known brand and as a friend of mine has one, I have seen their effectiveness firsthand. Ice really just does not appear to melt in these. It is strongly made and comes with wheels making it easily maneuvered as well. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Roto-molded plastic construction with pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid
  • Hinges: Roto moulded into lid and container
  • Latches: Rubber T-latches
  • Seal: Freezer grade 360 degree rubber gasket
  • Size: 28.25 x 18.63 x 19.5 inches
  • Capacity: Not stated (will hold 45 cans of beer)
  • Drainage plug: Rubber sealed plugs on side

Other advantages include:

  • NeverFlat Wheel
  • Anti skid feet
  • Durable welded aluminum arm with comfortable grips
  • Locking mounts for added security

Why have I chosen it?

Yeti is a brand that simply commands respect when it comes to keeping stuff cold. I have seen these in action and despite their higher price tag, they will more than repay themselves in terms of ice retention and lack of food loss. It is wheeled for ease of portability and super strong to handle any conditions that could be thrown at it.

02/18/2024 08:05 pm GMT Lasso Brag


And there they are – my 3 best camping coolers to keep the drinks cold this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.