Best Cooler For Camping Multiple Days: Top 5 Picks & Guide

by Ally Mash | Last Updated:   May 4th, 2022
Best Cooler For Camping Multiple Days: Top 5 Picks & Guide
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When going into the woods for a particular duration of time, camping coolers are a man’s best friend. In fact, they are the next thing to consider after sorting out your campfire and hammocks. It doesn’t matter whether you’ll be spending a single night at a camp or wish to go on a lengthy camping trip to explore the backcountry; you need a premium-quality cooler.

A camping cooler will elevate your outdoor game by keeping your food cold and supplies freshly preserved. You’ll only have limited supplies, and maintaining them is crucial to the success of your camping trip.

Deciding on how to protect your food best and keeping drinks cold is one of the biggest headaches. Well, you can’t come along with fresh food because it will get spoilt, and you can’t also travel with your refrigerator because of a lack of electricity.

Therefore, you must settle on a solution with ice retention capabilities that don’t run on electricity. Yes, you need to get an efficient camping cooler with impressive features. When you buy a high-quality camping cooler, all that’s left to do is to pour some ice into it and add your food supplies and drinks.

A good camping cooler is an ideal choice to help you preserve perishable products, such as meat, cheese, pre-cooked meals, or beers. Depending on the quality of your cooler, it should be able to prevent ice melt for an extended duration. This would give you and your camping crew enough time to dig through your supplies and have a fun trip.

However, you need to note that there are hundreds of camping cooler options out there. It can be a lot of work to dig through all the details that you find online. Settling on a final choice can even be more overwhelming. So, what do you do?

If you’re looking for the best camping cooler for your next trip, you’re at the right place. We’ve got you covered. In this piece, we’ll be taking a look at the best coolers for camping and what makes each of them special.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

What Are The Best Camping Coolers?

Coleman Ice Chest

The Coleman Ice Chest is one of the best coolers that you can find on the market. There are numerous impressive things to love about this hard cool and without any doubt, it will preserve all your drinks, food, and supplies for the entirety of your trip. One of the most impressive things about the Coleman Ice Chest is its fully insulated body. This product is designed with thick insulation that is capable of ice retention for about 5 days. Yes, the cooler will retain its coolness even in temperatures as high as 90°F.

What’s more? The Coleman Chest also features 6-inch heavy-duty wheels and tow handles that are durable and can withstand wear and tear. As a result, campers can easily move around the woods with this hard cooler. And they don’t have to lift it over far distances. Also, the cooler comes along with cup holders that will keep your drinks from spilling easily. These holders are molded into the lid and can hold up to a 30-oz. tumbler.

The impressive things about this cooler don’t end there. The body of this hard cooler is made from durable plastic that doesn’t break easily. This means you’ll be able to use your cooler for an extended period without sustaining too much damage to its exterior. There’s also a Have-a-seat lid that will shut firmly and preserve the chillness in the container. This hard cooler is also large enough to hold 160 cans of drink.

Furthermore, the Coleman Ice Chest is stain-resistant. Therefore, it will not get stained easily and can easily be cleaned. This feature will ensure that your hard cooler stays clean at all times. Finally, the large cooler also has a leak-proof design with a unique drain plug. This means that all its contents will stay intact.

Pros
  • Large enough to contain plenty supplies for your camp crew
  • Durable to withstand wear and tear
  • Leak proof keeps content intact
  • Can be moved around easily
Cons
  • Some parts may get spoilt quickly

Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler

The YETI Tundra 45 is one of the most reliable products that you can purchase to keep your drinks and food cool. Just like other YETI coolers available on the internet, this product is one-of-a-kind.

This hard cooler stands out from the rest of the competition with several features. You see, this cooler perfectly combines durability with versatility. All its parts are designed to withstand wear and tear and last for long period. It’s also versatile enough to be used by camping crews of different sizes.

Also, the YETI Tundra cooler features special Permafrost insulation that is made out of polyurethane foam. This special 3-inch insulation will ensure that all its contents remain cold and intact for a long time. There’s also an extra-thick FatWall design that is designed to be bear-resistant. That means it’s tough enough to withstand different types of damage.

Due to its Rotomolded design, this cooler is practically indestructible. It doesn’t matter where you decide to take this durable cooler; it will withstand the stress of the journey. What’s better? This hard cooler is perfect for camping trips because of its T-Rex lid. This lid is made out of heavy-duty rubber and will trap the coolness from the melted ice. . However, you’ll find that this lid has unique rubber batches.

Pros
  • Durable and tough body
  • Thick insulation for long-lasting cooling
  • Heavy lid to perfectly seal the top of the cooler
Cons
  • Expensive cooler

Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler

Without any doubt, the BMX 52 Quart Cooler is one of the best coolers for camping because of its in-built features. When you take a quick look at this cooler, it’s obvious that a lot of work has been put into it. It stands out from other coolers and will be a great addition to your camping equipment. You’ll never want to go into the woods without it when you buy it. So, what makes perfect cooler right for you?

To start with, Igloo BMX 52 features a blow-molded construction that ensures that your cooler will not get damaged – even under harsh conditions. This product also features extra-thick foam walls that can keep your drink cold for up to three days. This means you can have all the funds that you want in the woods without worrying about how to cool your drinks. On the lid of this cooler, you’ll find rubber latches that will keep the cold air trapped in the cooler.

This cooler is ideal for a short trip and comes with oversized hinges and stainless steel screws that preserve its life. You’ll also do well to note the triple point grab handle with additional stainless steel reinforcement. This handle also comes with a rubber grip for optimal comfort. Igloo is definitely not taking any chances with this cooler, and they have added skid pads for additional protection.

Furthermore, you will find a fish ruler and four tie-down points that allows easy loading and transportation to your destination. This Igloo BMX 52 review will not be complete without mentioning the Cool riser technology that is applied to this product. As a result of this innovative system, the cooling performance of the product is enhanced.

Pros
  • Easy handling
  • Durable and unbreakable body
  • Unbeatable cooling performance
Cons
  • Design is not leakproof

RTIC Hard Cooler

Get ready to enjoy life in the woods with this high-end cooler. The RTIC Hard Cooler is one of the top high-end coolers for campers. One of the most important features of any cooler is its ice retention capacity. This product excels at ice retention because of a 3-inch foam wall. You won’t have to worry about your ice melting quickly.

The body of this hard cooler features a rotomolded construction that makes it tougher than other products in the same category. Therefore, it will be able to easily handle the rigours of your excursion into the woods. This cooler is a great idea for any camping crew because it can conveniently hold three-course meals or several cans of beverages.

The RTIC Hard Cooler is also temperature retentive. It features 3-inch foam insulation that will trap cold air within the container. What’s more? The product is multifaceted. This means that it can also be used as a stool, tabletop, or cutting board. There’s also a heavy-duty rope that can be used to pull the cooler anywhere you want. This feature offers a high level of convenience and portability.

Finally, this cooler is an ideal product to take along on any adventure. It features durable T rubber latches and molded tie-down knots to keep the seal tightly close. This means that no air will escape. Therefore, your ice or cold packs will last longer.

Pros
  • Durable cooler for camping
  • Temperature retentive design
  • Can be used to perform several purposes.
Cons
  • No large drain plug

Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler

The Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler is a suitable choice for anyone who is interested in getting a wheeled cooler to take into the woods. Now, this product stands out from other wheeled coolers out there because of its unique features. There are many interesting things to note about this cooler.

The Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler features oversized wheels that will work effectively on any terrain. These wheels have superior traction than most small wheels and a ground clearance of 10 inches. This way, there’s no risk of your wheels getting stuck in the sand. It’s not every day you come across a cooler that can effectively conquer rough terrain.

Another interesting thing to note about this cooler is its capacity. It has a 70-quart capacity that can hold about 110 cold cones. The cooling chamber is designed with an Igloo ultra herm insulated body and lid. Therefore, the cooler is capable of ice retention for about four days.

Going further, you’ll also notice that water-resistant storage will keep pocket essentials dry and safe. There’s also a butler tray with a telescopic handle. This tray is perfect for holding your snacks, drinks, and cup holders. All your cold drinks and snacks will be accessible at an arm’s stretch.

Pros
  • Large wheels support easy movement
  • Unique insulated body for optimal ice retention
  • Easy accessibility
Cons
  • No handles

Our Top Choice

Yes, we’ve taken some time to review some of the best camping coolers on the market. However, it’s important to note that not all of them offer the same features and capabilities. Without any doubt, some are better than others.

For this piece, our top choice is the Igloo BMX 52 Cooler. This cooler has a perfect combination of features including extra thick foam insulation for improved ice retention, and Triple point grab handles for convenient handling and portability. Overall, it also has a relatively simple design.

Watch this video to learn how to pack a camping cooler:

What Are The Types Of Camping Coolers?

Best Cooler For Camping

When you see people moving around with camping coolers, it’s easy to imagine that these items are the same everywhere. But that isn’t the case. There are different types of coolers that are perfect for outdoor adventures.

They are split into four categories – soft coolers, hard coolers, electric coolers, and styrofoam coolers. Each of these types of coolers has what makes them different, and settling on the right choice may be the secret to a successful weekend camping trip.

Now, let’s take a look at each type of camping cooler:

Soft Cooler

Soft coolers are simply stiff cooler bags with insulation to protect against heat loss. Just like their name suggests, they are usually light and can easily be carried around on your shoulder, in hand, or as a modified backpack.

Due to their small size, soft coolers do not have a good enough ice retention capacity as hard coolers. As a result, they are perfect for a short camping excursion or a single-day trip. These soft coolers are easy and convenient to carry around.

Because of their size and physical properties, they make a great choice to carry along on hikes, picnics, fishing trips, etc. Their small size also means that you’ll be forced to pack small ice packs or blocks to maintain the coolness of its contents.

Hard Cooler

Hard coolers are one of the most common types of camping coolers that you’ll come across when shopping. A hardshell cooler bag is made from tough materials, such as plastic, fiberglass, or steel. Some manufacturers would also use a combination of these materials to achieve greater durability.

Due to the materials that are used in making the outer shell of hard coolers, they are heavier to move around with. Compared with a short camping cooler, a hard shell cooler is heavier and has a better insulating ability.

A typical hard cooler can keep your food cold for four to five days. All you have to do is keep them in as much shade as possible and avoid leaving them open.

Electric Cooler

In simple terms, an electric cooler is similar to a portable mini-fridge. These coolers are different from other options because they require a DC outlet, power station, or generator to run effectively. This means that you have to figure out how to travel with a reliable power source into the woods.

A typical electric cooler is costlier and better at ice retention than hard and soft coolers. Also, they can keep your food and supplies cold for an unlimited period if the power source isn’t disconnected. You don’t need to add ice to an electric cooler. As a result, you can fill them up to their maximum capacity.

If you can guarantee access to a power source, an electric-powered cooler would make a reasonable investment for your next camping trip. It would keep your ice from melting for a long period and you can sit back, relax and enjoy your time in the woods.

Styrofoam Cooler

Styrofoam coolers are equally popular and are a common choice among campers. These products are designed with styrofoam or polyurethane foam insulation. As a result of this unique design, these camp coolers are lightweight. They are a great choice for those who want to travel with a large but lightweight cooler.

However, you need to note that styrofoam will not keep your suppliers cold for as long as other products with thick insulation. If you are looking for something to travel with for more than a day, you can opt for any alternatives mentioned above.

How To Choose The Best Cooler For Camping

It’s been mentioned earlier that there are different types of camping coolers. When settling on the final choice, it can be quite overwhelming. There are a lot of things that affect picking the right cooler for camping.

These factors affect the type of cooler that you end up settling for:

Insulation

One of the first things to look at when choosing coolers is the insulation on their body. There are different types of insulation applied to coolers. The level and type of insulation that is applied when designing a cooler will determine its ice retention capacity.

Different materials could be used to make the insulation of a camping cooler. However, you should learn to pay more attention to its thickness. A cooler with thick insulation will have no problem retaining the coolness that it has gained over time. However, the type of material will make only a marginal difference.

Seal

Aside from the insulation, it’s also essential that you look at the quality of the seal on your cooler. All your efforts will be wasted if the quality of the seal on your cooler is low-quality. The purpose of the seal is to maintain the coldness in the camp cooler.

If warm air is able to make it into the cooler, it will cause the ice to melt and spoil your supplies. When inspecting the quality of the seal on your potential purchase, you should understand that there’s no room for purchase.

If you noticed a broken seal or any form of damage to it, check the next available option. Lid gaskets are the best seal options available to campers.

Durability

The durability of your cooler will also play a big part in your final choice. It’s essential to note that a durable cooler will be able to accompany you on multiple trips. It will easily withstand different weather and environmental conditions.

However, a cooler with poor durability will get spoil quickly. A hard cooler is renowned for having stronger durability and toughness than a soft cooler.

Weight

When settling on a final camping cooler choice, you also need to take a look at the weight of your final options. While the weight may seem irrelevant, it will determine how conveniently you can move around in the wild. Heavy coolers will be difficult to carry and transport. However, lightweight coolers can be carried for long distances. A soft-sided cooler also features lightweight characteristics.

Capacity

Yes, you also need to consider the capacity of your camp cooler. The capacity of the cooler will depend on its size and overall design. Take note that the size of cooler that you opt for should depend on the size of your camping crew and the duration of your trip

A large camping crew will require a cooler with a larger capacity than a small crew. A long camping trip also demands a larger cooler than short ones.

Watch this video to learn how to pack a cooler for camping:

Key Insight & Takeaways

Finally, we’ve gotten to the end of this best coolers for camping review. It’s quite clear that a cooler is a piece of important camping equipment. Also, it will help you properly store all your essentials and make sure that they are easily accessible.

However, when choosing a camping cooler for your next trip, you have to take a lot of caution. Make sure you settle on a suitable option for yourself by considering some of the abovementioned factors. If you’re still finding it to decide on a final choice, you can draw some inspiration from the top options noted above.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good camping cooler?

The physical features determine a good camping cooler that it possesses. A good cooler will have good ice retention, a durable body, a tough handle, and easy to move around with.

How long will a cooler last when camping?

The ice retention duration of a camp cooler depends on the material used in its foam insulation. Styrofoam will last between 18 – 24 hours, a steel belt insulation will last between 2-3 days, and coolers with extreme ice retention and quality seals will make cooling last between 4-5 days.

Will ice melt overnight?

Yes, the ice will melt overnight if you place the cooler in a warm environment. It’s a good idea to always keep the air in your cooler as cool as possible to enhance its performance.

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Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.