The Best Coolers for Camping Deter Bears While Keeping Food Chill

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Approximately 77 million U.S. households have a member who camps at least occasionally. It is also true that camping has been growing in popularity over the past decade. As a person who goes camping or wants to start participating in the activity, keeping food and drinks under ideal conditions is vital. That is why you should consider the best coolers for camping.

The best coolers for camping are durable and tough enough to keep bears and wild animals out. They offer ample storage space and can keep your food and drinks fresh for more than a day. However, the high number of products on the market can present quite a challenge when you are trying to pick the best.

So how exactly can you choose the best coolers for camping?

Comparison Table

How to Choose the Best Coolers for Camping

To avoid getting confused by the different coolers on the market, use the following information to make your selection.

Think in terms of space

The best coolers for camping should offer ample room for you to pack enough food and drinks to nourish you and anyone else in your company.

Small capacity coolers are portable but only hold a few drinks. Large capacity coolers are heavy but can hold a lot of food and beverages.

Ice retention is key

The best coolers for camping are those that hold ice for more than a day. Ideally, they should be able to keep contents cold for more than 48 hours.

What about maintenance?

The best coolers for camping have features such as drain plugs and smooth surfaces. Such features make it easy to drain water and wipe off any dirt that may otherwise accumulate. They are generally easy to maintain.

Last but not least

The best coolers offer more than cooling for your food and drinks. They have extra features such as bottle openers, side tables, and fishing rulers for convenience.

How We Reviewed the Best Coolers for Camping

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To identify the best coolers for camping, we considered expert analysis such as those published by CNET alongside Amazon customer ratings and feedback. All the products on this list of the best coolers for camping score a minimum of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon.

We also took an interest in the features included for safety and security. Other important factors we considered include capacity, ease of maintenance, ability to hold ice for over 24 hours, and extra features for convenience.

Our Top 10 Best Coolers for Camping

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The products on this list can retain ice for more than a day and are generally easy to use and maintain. This list of the best coolers for camping is in no particular order.

1. Stanley Adventure Cooler

The Stanley Adventure Cooler features sturdy construction and a compact design making it easy to transport and store when not in use. It has a 16-quart capacity which is enough to accommodate approximately 21 cans and retains ice for up to 36 hours.

The cooler has robust latches for securing contents, sturdy hinges that allow you to open and close without damage, and an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to move from one point to another.

The thick insulation, leak-resistant gasket lock, and the tight sealing lid ensure the ideal internal temperatures regardless of the prevailing conditions. Smooth interior and exterior surface make it easy to clean while its lightweight design makes for effortless portability for any camper.

This cooler has an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Holds ice for up to 36 hours
  • Compact and lightweight for portability

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim the handle breaks off easily
  • Interior space does not accommodate tall bottles

2. Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler

This cooler features rotomold construction, making it quite sturdy and almost impenetrable by bears. It has 2-inch PermaFrost insulation that helps keep your food and drinks under the ideal temperature.

Heavy-duty rubber T-Rex lid latches keep contents sealed and safe, while the spacious interior easily holds up to 14 cans.

The cooler has a steel handle with a comfortable grip for easy carrying. Its compact, lightweight design means you can put it in the trunk or load it onto the boat even when there is little space left. The soft surface design, coupled with an easy-to-open drain plug makes cleaning a breeze.

Reviewers on Amazon give the Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Features solid construction
  • Can hold ice for up to two days
  • Compact and lightweight for effortless portability

Cons

  • Some reviewers say it leaks
  • Can only hold 14 cans

3. Pelican Elite 70-Quart Cooler

This is a 70-quart cooler capable of holding up to 100 cans. It features solid construction to help ensure durability regardless of the frequency of use. It has an over-molded carry handle for easy moving, 3-inch locking latches to secure contents and reinforced lockable hasp for good measure.

The cooler has 2 inches of polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket to help maintain internal temperatures. Four self-draining cup holders at the top of the lid provide a convenient place to rest your drinks, while a stainless steel bottle opener makes for effortless opening of drinks.

This cooler has four non-skid feet for stability and an anti-shear hinge system so you can open and close it as much as you want without the risk of damage. Additionally, the cooler has molded-in tie-down slots for securing it during transportation.

This particular cooler has an Amazon rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Can accommodate up to 100 cans
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee
  • Has four cup holders and a bottle opener for convenience

Cons

  • Some buyers claim the cooler leaks
  • May require two people to carry when full

4. Giantex Heavy-Duty Cooler

This is a 40-quart cooler than can hold up to 59 cans depending on how you pack. A FatWall design ensures it can withstand the pressure of frequent use, while ultraviolet surface protection guards against damage due to direct sunlight.

The cooler features 2-inch PermaFrost insulation and a freezer-grade gasket to help retain ice for approximately 11 days. Its sturdy build means you can use it a seat while out camping.

The Giantex Heavy-Duty Cooler has two locking latches to prevent unwanted access and a smooth surface for easy cleaning. What’s more, an easy-to-use drain plug lets you get rid of excess water quickly.

Customers on Amazon give the Giantex Heavy-Duty Cooler a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight for portability
  • You can use it as a seat
  • Retains ice for almost 11 days

Cons

  • Some customers claim the sealing is not well done

5. Igloo Super Tough STX Sportsman Cooler

If you want a cooler that can hold enough food and drinks for a small group, you might want to check out the Igloo Super Tough STX Sportsman Cooler. It offers up to 120 quarts of space, that's enough to hold approximately 190 cans.

The cooler has a heavy-duty design to help withstand rugged use and can also work as a seat when you want to rest. It has ultratherm insulation and a robust gasket sealing to ensure ice retention for up to five days.

Stainless steel hinges let you open and close the lid with relative ease and a hybrid latch with rubber and steel construction for secure closure.

A triple-snap drain plug lets you get rid of excess water quickly, while the smooth surface design simplifies cleanup. Furthermore, the cooler has bolt-through-body handles with heavy-duty back-up plates for secure carrying.

Reviewers on Amazon give this particular cooler a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Can hold up to 190 cans
  • Sturdy construction means you can use it as a seat
  • Holds ice for up to five days

Cons

  • Some customers claim the latches are flimsy
  • Requires more than one person to carry when full

6. Outsunny Outdoor Portable Camping Cooler

This cooler features rotomolded construction and offers 110-quart storage space to hold your food and drinks. It has 3-inch insulation and freezer-grade gasket to keep interior temperatures cold.

The smooth exterior surface is easy to wipe clean and has a UV-protected coating to prevent sun damage.

Quick-clip latches secure contents, while GorillaGrip non-slip feet ensure stability on different surfaces. This cooler has molded tie-down slots with lock plates for secure transportation and a recessed no-leak drain so you can get rid of excessive water quickly.

A pressure release valve allows you to open the cooler easily, while the military-grade nylon rope handles provide a comfortable way to carry the cooler from one point to another. What’s more, it comes with a fish ruler and two built-in bottle openers for convenience.

This particular cooler has an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Offers a spacious interior
  • Features robust construction
  • Comes with two bottle openers and fish ruler

Cons

  • May be heavy when full
  • Some reviewers say it does not hold ice for too long

7. Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler

This is a 54-quart cooler with a solid build to withstand rugged use. It features a retro design and can hold up to 84 cans. Owing to its tough build, you can also use it as a seat, but only if you weigh less than 250 pounds.

Comfort-grip handles let you move it with relative ease, while the smooth exterior surface allows you to clean by simply wiping off any dirt or stains. Its thick insulation coupled with commercial-grade gasket sealing ensures ice retention for up to four days.

The cooler sports a latch closure system to keep your food and drinks safe and has a simple drain plug to let you drain water quickly. Reviewers on Amazon give this particular cooler a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Can double up as a seat
  • Holds up to 84 cans
  • Retains ice for up to four days

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim the latch and seal systems are of poor quality

8. Grizzly 15-Quart Cooler

The Grizzly 15-Quart Cooler is lightweight and compact so you can easily bring it along to any camping trip. It accommodates approximately 20 cans and can retain ice for up to 4 days thanks to its thick insulation and rubber gasket in lid sealing.

It boasts of a strong body that can withstand rugged use and non-skid rubber feet to keep it firmly in place. The top of the lid features an embossed ruler so you can measure your fish. The cooler features exterior UV protection to reduce any chance of sun damage.

BearClaw rubber latches keep the lid firmly closed, while solid hinges facilitate easy opening and closing of the cover. Additionally, the cooler has an adjustable strap for carrying comfort.

Buyers on Amazon give this cooler a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight for easy carrying and storage
  • Features solid rubber feet for ease of placement
  • Can retain ice for up to four days
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Can only hold up to 20 cans
  • Does not have a drain hole

9. REYLEO Cooler

This REYLEO Cooler has a 21-quart capacity and can hold up to 30 cans. It features robust rotomolded construction to withstand any bear attacks. The cooler has polyurethane insulation and a robust gasket to help ensure ice retention for up to three days.

Non-skid feet keep it firmly in place, while a UV-protected exterior minimizes sun damage. A steel handle with ergonomic grip makes for comfortable carrying, while the sturdy constriction means you can use it as a seat.

There are two cup holders at the top, a built-in bottle opener for convenience and a 16-inch fishing ruler on the lid.

Furthermore, this cooler features a pressure release valve for effortless opening and a drain plug to simplify cleanup.

Customers on Amazon give the REYLEO Cooler a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Keeps cold for up to three days
  • Features all-round UV protection
  • Can work as a seat

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the cooler does not hold ice for more than two days

10. SuperHandy Rotomolded ENHANCED Ice Cooler

This is a 20-quart cooler that offers enough room for you to keep fresh fruits, vegetables, and drinks. It features 3-inch insulation and a 360-degree commercial-grade gasket allowing it to retain ice for up to 10 days.

Sleek low profile TPE T-Clasp latches allow for secure locking, while a pressure relief valve system makes for effortless opening. The cooler has recessed zero-leak drain plug and molded tie-down slots for safe transport.

Additionally, this cooler features a steel handle with ergonomic grip for easy carrying.

Reviewers on Amazon give this cooler a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 stars.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Retains ice for up to 10 days
  • Has a bottle opener for convenience

Cons

  • Some buyers say it does not hold ice for more than three days

Pick Your Best Cooler and Enjoy Camping

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All the products on this list of the best camping coolers feature robust construction and retain ice for more than 24 hours. They have reliable seals and tough body construction to ensure that bears and other wild animals do not get access to your food and drinks.

The choice of the best cooler for your needs boils down to your personal preference and budget. When making your selection, you should also consider the number of drinks and the amount of food you wish to pack. Finally, you should think about the number of days you will be camping.

Is there any other cooler you believe should be on this list of the best coolers for camping? Let us know in the comment section below.

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