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7 Best Camping Cooler Picks For 2024

6 min read 0 Comments

Camping is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy nature. But no matter how long or how far you venture, one of the most essential pieces of camping gear is a camping cooler.

Why? Because whether you prefer to kick back in a hammock with a cold beer, or take charge as the camp chef making dinners around the campfire, you need a way to safely transport meals and beverages.

A critical component to maintaining perishables and keeping food safely unspoiled, your camping cooler can make or break your camping trip. Ice-retention, durability, and extra features like built-in wheels, a drain plug, and interior trays to divide your food and snacks – all of these design elements ensure that a camping cooler goes as smoothly and as enjoyable as possible.

1. RTIC Coolers

RTIC Cooler images

RTIC Outdoors makes premium hard coolers that compete well against Yeti and are impact-resistant and long-lasting. Their original model comes in a variety of sizes, from a smaller 20-quart ice chest for quick overnight camping trips to a 145-quart cooler for longer adventures or even bringing home game after a hunting excursion.

RTIC Coolers offer some amazing features, including 3 inches of closed-cell foam insulation for superior ice retention, heavy-duty rope handles and rubber latches and tie-downs. You can also pick up a few accessories like a cooler basket to store certain dry items on top of the ice.

RTIC also makes two styles of ultra-light hard coolers that are 30% lighter than the rotomolded original version: a 32-quart and a 52-quart all-terrain wheeled cooler for those extra-long hauls to the beach or a large campsite.

Original hard cooler sizes

Ultra-light hard cooler sizes

2. Coleman Vintage Coolers

vintage style coleman cooler

If you like that classic Coleman cooler aesthetic but didn’t quite inherit a hand-me-down, you’re in luck. Coleman offers a steel-belted Vintage Style Cooler designed to resemble the timeless look.

The great news is that the Vintage 54-Quart Coleman Coolers ($199) come with more modern features. Features such as durable steel construction and a stain-resistant liner. Comfort-grip steel handles and a 250-pound weight limit make it transportable and able to double as a campsite bench. And, just like the vintage original, they come available in the signature retro color choices of green, red, and silver.

For the same retro style with a touch of history, check out the 1900 Collection 20-Quart Cooler ($290) or 54-Quart Cooler ($349). It offers a really attractive gunmetal finish with metallic brass-like accents on the handles and latches. Functional, yet stylish enough for glamping!

3. RovR RollR 45 Coolers

RovR cooler with wheels

RovR makes some pretty nifty camp gear and products. One, in particular, is their all-terrain wheeled cooler designed with high-performance 9-inch rubber wheels.

Like many high-end rotomolded coolers, the RovR RollR is certified bear-resistant. You can also expect a 10-day ice retention for those week-long camping trips. They also offer nifty accessories and features like the DeepFreeze™ Dry Bin that can keep items separate from wet ice, but still reach between 35- and 40-degrees. If you like biking to parks for picnics, look at the BikR™ Kit tow arm for transporting your RovR RollR cooler.

Be sure to take advantage of the foldable RovR LandR bins too! A nicely matching storage solution, the bin rests on top of the cooler and can hold extra dry food, snacks, or camping accessories to and from the site. Unpack the contents and fold it back down for a cooler cushion. And choose from vibrant color options like Aloha, Magic Hour, Glacier, Chili Pepper, and more.

Cooler sizes

4. Seismic Coolers

Seismic cooler with bluetooth speakers

Seismic Audio makes lots of audio equipment, but did you know they make coolers? Seismic Coolers are rotomolded hard coolers with built-in Bluetooth speakers. Already have a Bluetooth setup for your campsite? They make standard coolers too!

Okay, so you might wonder: How long does ice last in a Seismic hard cooler with Bluetooth speakers? While many variables affect ice retention, Seismic has tested their coolers and found them to last at least 3-5 days, longer in colder weather. This is due in part to the Seismic cooler’s design features which include 2-3 inches of polyurethane foam insulation and a freezer-style sealing gasket.

Speaker cooler sizes

Standard cooler sizes

5. Oyster Coolers

Oyster cooler with red handle

Oyster Coolers touts their Tempo Cooler as the world’s first performance cooler. The Tempo Cooler features a DLTA™ patented technology and a vacuum-insulated system. While it’s not your standard rotomolded cooler, its aluminum design offers more internal space for keeping perishables cold. Three times the space with nearly half the external size, to be exact. You can fit 36 cans inside and even remove parts to clean it entirely.

They proclaim that their aluminum coolers are beer-proof, not bear-proof. So if maintaining cold drinks is a bigger priority than bears (which you may never encounter in certain regions), this is one of the best coolers for a camping trip. If on the off chance your Oyster cooler is mangled by bears, you can simply return it to Oyster, where they melt and recycle the aluminum remains to create a new cooler.

6. Cordova Coolers

Cordova cooler under overland vehicle

Cordova Outdoors was co-founded by a former NAVY SEAL and backcountry pilot, so you can trust their hard coolers are as rugged and durable as they come. Take a look at their Basecamp Class Hard Coolers, featuring a wide range of sizes from 20-quart to 128-quart.

Like many exceptional coolers, they’re bear-resistant certified and are made with extra features like a built-in bottle opener, engineered drain plug, a patented lid lock, and top-mount latches. If sustainability is your thing, check out their Obsidian Recycled Hard Cooler made with 100-percent recycled resin.

Another stand-out feature: Cordova coolers come in a lot of stylish designs. Choose a patriotic print from the American Collection, a camouflage pattern, or even a silhouette design of woods, lakes, and mountain ranges from the Elements Collection. There’s something for everybody and the cooler grabs everyone’s attention.

Plus, not only are Cordova Coolers veteran-owned and operated, but they’re American-made too – right in Idaho’s Treasure Valley!

7. Grizzly Coolers

Grizzly cooler images

Grizzly Coolers make for an excellent camping cooler. Designed with pressure-injected insulation, Grizzly coolers are much more durable than foam, but offer a lighter weight to your camp gear. The Rototough™ construction also means that it stands up to rot, and leaks, and is durable enough to withstand dents.

If you need a more transportable camping cooler, especially for those overland adventures, look no further. These Grizzlies offer comfortable foam grip on stainless steel handles. But even better – they come with tie-down slots to prevent shifting or tipping during bouncy off-road trails.

Similar to RTIC, Grizzly coolers offer a large size variety – reaching into huge 400-quart coolers for you hunting folk to haul to and fro from deer camp.

Cooler sizes

The Best Camping Cooler Brand for You

As you can see, a huge variety of camping coolers are available. So how do you choose? Here is a quick rundown of features and personal considerations to make when choosing the best camping cooler for you.

  • Evaluate your camping style. This means the average length of your camping trip and the number of folks that tag along or hang around the campsite. Also consider how you plan meals.
  • Choose good insulation. Hard sided coolers like mentioned above offer the best insulation, hands down. Soft-sided coolers are fine for shorter weekends, but anything more requires thick insulative properties for ice and temperature retention.
  • Analyze size and capacity. Coolers are listed in quart sizes, sometimes in can capacity. Find a camping cooler with plenty of interior volume to fit your camping meals and enough water to keep everything happy and healthy.
  • Consider portable handles and wheels. Even when car camping, you need to get your camping cooler from Point A to Point B – especially if it’s a heavy beast! Do so with features like handles, wheels, and more. For this, remember: soft-sided backpack-style coolers are ideal, but lack the capacity.
  • Make sure it’s rugged. Durable materials are critical for camping coolers. High-density polyethylene, rotomolded hard case coolers are the answer. This means reinforced corners, hinges, latches, and high-quality seals and gaskets too. Consider bear-resistant certification if you camp in bear territory.
  • Weigh your budget and brand. Honestly, your camping cooler could come right down to brand. Yeti has made a name for itself and is one of the most popular cooler manufacturers out there. But! You pay a heavy price tag. So keep in mind: There are plenty of other small business best cooler brands that deserve recognition and are made in America.

Many of the above links contain affiliate links. Any purchases made via the links will help to support our small business. Thank you!

Have you purchased one of these coolers? Share what your favorite brand of camping cooler is, and why below.

Brette DeVore
Brette DeVore

As a former hospitality interior designer with an adventurous spirit and love for travel, I now help interior designers and tourism-related businesses in creating online content and media.

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