Got Ice? The Best Food Coolers for Camping Reviewed!

Best Overall

YETI Tundra 75 Cooler

Built to last.

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Best Cooler for Camping Under $100

Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler

Affordable but reliable.

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Best Small Cooler for Camping

Stanley 30QT Adventure Cooler

Portability at its finest.

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Best Soft-sided Cooler

Otterbox Trooper 20

Small in size, big on performance.

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One of the most exciting parts of going camping is grilling your own food. But it’s a shame when you open your cooler only to find your frozen goods thawed and floating in melted ice! Your dilemma ends here because we picked the best food coolers for camping (and every outdoor activity you can think of) in this article!

Quick Comparison of the Best Food Coolers for Camping

YETI Tundra 75 Cooler, Desert Tan
Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler (Dark Blue)
Stanley, Cooler Adventure 30 Quart Green
OtterBox Trooper Cooler
DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator and Freezer,...
RovR Products, RollR Portable Wheeled Camping Cooler (80 qt.)
Model
YETI Tundra 75 Cooler, Desert Tan
Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler (Dark Blue)
Stanley, Cooler Adventure 30 Quart Green
OtterBox Trooper Cooler
DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator and Freezer,...
RovR Products, RollR Portable Wheeled Camping Cooler (80 qt.)
MSRP
$450.00
-
$253.00
-
$1,356.30
-
Capacity
75 Quarts
50 Quarts
30 Quarts
20 Quarts
75 Liters
80 Quarts
Material
Polyester
Xtreme® technology Insulation/Plastic
Foam
TPU coated nylon/Premium grade thermal insulation
Heavy-duty, lightweight ExoFrame construction
High Density Insulation/DeepFreeze™ Dry Bin
Weight
34 Pounds
12.7 Pounds
13.62 Pounds
0.2 Pounds
71 pounds
‎52 Pounds
Dimensions
33.25 x 18 x 18 inches
‎22.6 x 17.6 x 17.7 inches
8.39 x 7.28 x 6.1 inches
14.30" L x 17.50" W x 10.25"
19.5"D x 35.9"W x 18.6"H
‎28 x 25 x 25 inches
YETI Tundra 75 Cooler, Desert Tan
Model
YETI Tundra 75 Cooler, Desert Tan
MSRP
$450.00
Capacity
75 Quarts
Material
Polyester
Weight
34 Pounds
Dimensions
33.25 x 18 x 18 inches
More Info
Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler (Dark Blue)
Model
Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler (Dark Blue)
MSRP
-
Capacity
50 Quarts
Material
Xtreme® technology Insulation/Plastic
Weight
12.7 Pounds
Dimensions
‎22.6 x 17.6 x 17.7 inches
More Info
Stanley, Cooler Adventure 30 Quart Green
Model
Stanley, Cooler Adventure 30 Quart Green
MSRP
$253.00
Capacity
30 Quarts
Material
Foam
Weight
13.62 Pounds
Dimensions
8.39 x 7.28 x 6.1 inches
More Info
OtterBox Trooper Cooler
Model
OtterBox Trooper Cooler
MSRP
-
Capacity
20 Quarts
Material
TPU coated nylon/Premium grade thermal insulation
Weight
0.2 Pounds
Dimensions
14.30" L x 17.50" W x 10.25"
More Info
DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator and Freezer,...
Model
DOMETIC CFX3 75-Liter Dual Zone Portable Refrigerator and Freezer,...
MSRP
$1,356.30
Capacity
75 Liters
Material
Heavy-duty, lightweight ExoFrame construction
Weight
71 pounds
Dimensions
19.5"D x 35.9"W x 18.6"H
More Info
RovR Products, RollR Portable Wheeled Camping Cooler (80 qt.)
Model
RovR Products, RollR Portable Wheeled Camping Cooler (80 qt.)
MSRP
-
Capacity
80 Quarts
Material
High Density Insulation/DeepFreeze™ Dry Bin
Weight
‎52 Pounds
Dimensions
‎28 x 25 x 25 inches
More Info

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features to Consider

Material

There are two types of coolers in terms of material – hard coolers and soft coolers. Yes, the difference between them is obvious, but there’s more to that. Let’s talk about them.

Hard Coolers

You’ll want hard coolers if you’re going on long trips as they have better ice retention than soft ones. High-end hard coolers can keep your food and drinks cold for up to five days. Keep in mind, however, that ice retention depends on temperature. If you’ll be going somewhere hot, the ice inside your cooler may melt in less than 5 days.

Soft Coolers

For short trips (one to two days), soft-sided coolers are better options. They’re extremely portable (some can be worn as backpacks), and maintains ice just long enough ‘til the end of your trip.

Insulation

Now here’s the main reason why most of us want a cooler – insulation or ice retention. Choose a cooler than can keep your meat cold until you’re ready to grill, or your drinks cold until the end of your trip. Beware of buying cheap coolers because most of them will be a waste of your money. If you’re looking for an affordable one, we picked a reliable cooler for less than $100 below!

Transportability

Aside from its insulating properties, make sure your cooler fits in your car or your trunk but still has the capacity for your expected needs. That’s after taking the people coming with you and your other camping gear into account. Otherwise, you’ll end up leaving some of your stuff, and that would be a major buzzkill!

Also, your campsite won’t always be accessible to vehicles, so be ready to carry your cooler. If you’ll be camping for a day or two, a small cooler with straps is the way to go. But if you’re carrying a bulky cooler, it should have user-friendly handles or better yet, wheels. We’ve picked a rolled cooler below that might interest you.

Size/Volume

The cooler’s size will also play a major role in our decision-making. Again, this will depend on how long your trips are (if you camp often). If your camping trips usually take 3 days or more, then get a bigger cooler so it can accommodate all of your food (and don’t forget your beer!).

7 Best Food Coolers for Camping

Best Overall: Yeti Tundra 75 Hard Cooler

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yeti is known for its heavy-duty outdoor coolers that not only have excellent ice retention but can also stand the test of time. The Tundra 75 features 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and its extra thick FatWall. Plus it’s very spacious and can handle up to 50 cans!

Tundra coolers are also designed with Rotomolded construction to handle getting bumped around. Their latches are named T-Rex Lid Latches because of their robust construction. One thing that we didn’t like about the Yeti Tundra 75 is that it’s too heavy to move once it’s loaded.

Pros

  • Roomy
  • Great ice retention

Cons

  • Difficult to transport once loaded
  • Expensive

Score

Insulation Score – 5/5

The Tundra 75 can keep your meat mostly frozen for 3 days (and your drinks cold for up to one week).

Transportability Score – 4/5

It has easy-grip handles but is very heavy when fully loaded.

Size/Volume Score – 4.5/5

Can accommodate up to 50 cans.

Overall Score – 4.5/5

What Customers Say

Very impressed with this cooler. Kept my drinks cold for a week while camping off the grid. Wish I had gotten a smaller one as it’s really heavy when fully loaded with food, drinks and ice. Otherwise a very solid and well made cooler. Expensive? Yes, but not having to restock ice daily (or twice a day on those hot days) is worth it.

David Kinsman

Dude, it’s a Yeti. Weighs a ton!! Don’t plan on moving it once it’s loaded. I installed a drain hose to empty the excess water. Ice lasted a day because my group had an issue latching the lid.

King

Best Cooler for Camping Under $100: Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5-Wheeled Cooler

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our next pick is manufactured by Coleman, another household name in terms of coolers. This wheeled cooler is specifically well-built despite its affordability. The Coleman 50-Quart 5-Wheeled cooler may look small but it can actually accommodate a lot of stuff (up to 84 cans). The wheels that come with the cooler also roll smoothly on any terrain.

One downside is that its collapsible handle is a little flimsy, but this cooler is a great buy for less than a hundred bucks.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High Capacity

Cons

  • Flimsy handle

Score

Insulation Score – 4.5/5

This cooler keeps your stuff cool for 3 days even after the ice has melted.

Transportability Score – 3.5/5

Easy to transport but has flimsy handles.

Size/Volume Score – 4.5/5

Can accommodate up to 84 cans.

Overall Score – 4.2/5

What Customers Say

This cooler kept something irreplaceable intact- my breastmilk. It went through check-in at the airport and had been in my car for hours prior to our flight. The flight was five hours and by the time we were home, another two hours had passed. Opening this cooler to completely frozen breastmilk was an absolute blessing. I cannot be more thankful!!

Ashley Lorraine

I was speculating the cooler if it can actually keep the inside cold. And I was amazed by its performance. Went on a camping trip, placed the cooler under direct sunlight; I still got cold temperatures inside the cooler. Way to go!

Luffy

Best Small Coolers for Camping: Stanley 30QT Adventure Cooler

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our next pick is the perfect short-camping-trip cooler for those who don’t have the wallet for a premium-grade cooler. It’s not as expensive as a Yeti but it will keep your stuff cold for a few days (and in 90-degree weather) just the same. It features a drain plug that guarantees minimal condensation and easy water drainage. The Stanley 30QT adventure cooler can also fit a seat in a small car, making it easy to transport.

Pros

  • Air-tight seal
  • Comes with sturdy latches
  • Compact 

Cons

  • It’s too small for long camping trips

Score

Insulation Score – 4.5/5

Keeps stuff cold for a maximum of 4 days.

Transportability Score – 4.5/5

Very easy to transport.

Size/Volume Score – 4/5

Can accommodate up to 40 cans.

Overall Score – 4.3/5

What Customers Say

I now have all 3 sizes of this product which are offered and I’m impressed with the great job it does keeping things cold, as well as the quality of the materials. It’s a lot more expensive than the typical coolers you see in the stores, though a lot less expensive than the premium ones. For me, it was worthwhile to pay extra to get a cooler that is much better than average without forking out a ridiculous sum of money and this product line was perfectly situated for that. I’m glad I went with this approach and I’m extremely happy with the cooler(s). They keep things way, way colder than a typical cooler.

Steve Short

Mine arrived yesterday, on time. Having read reviews that the drain valve leaks, the first thing I did was fill it half full of water. Immediately there was a puddle that formed at the drain. Upon closer inspection I discovered that the nut at the base of the threaded drain was not fully tightened down. After tightening it, it does not leak at all. I’m going to give it five stars. It’s exactly what I want for camping and is indeed top quality.

Belle Harper

Best Soft-sided Cooler: Otterbox Trooper 20

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As we mentioned above, soft-sided coolers are great for hiking trips because of their portability. And we picked the perfect model for this category – the Otterbox Trooper 20. It’s one of the soft-sided coolers with great accessibility and value. Unlike similar models from other brands, The Trooper 20 has a latch opening instead of a zipper, making it more accessible and easier to fill. Also, Otterbox provides excellent customer service in terms of item replacement.

Pros

  • Leak-proof seal
  • Water-resistant zippers
  • Portable
  • Comes with a bottle opener

Cons

  • Poor ice retention

Score

Insulation Score – 3/5

Keeps your stuff cold for a day.

Transportability Score – 5/5

Excellent for transport.

Size/Volume Score – 4/5

Capacity is only 20 quarts.

Overall Score – 4/5

What Customers Say

Amazing cooler all the way around holds plenty of beer and ice yet compact and easy to carry. Keeps cold the whole day on the river or at a gathering.

Amazon Customer

Outstanding cooler! Pay the money. It’s the best cooler out there. We hit the river in triple digit heat all day and this cooler keeps all the items ice cold for hours! You can’t beat it. Extremely durable, too. The strap makes it easy to tote from one place to another with ease.

Gusmom

Best Electric Cooler: Dometic CFX3 75 Dual Zone Powered Cooler

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now our next pick doesn’t need a single ice cube to keep your stuff cold. It gets power through an AC or DC supply, via Lithium batteries, or through a solar source. It’s like a portable mini fridge!

The Dometic CFX3 is equipped with VMSO3 compressor cooling technology that guarantees efficient power consumption and cooling. It’s divided into two compartments with individual temperature control for more flexibility. Despite being a powered cooler, the Dometic CFX3 works quietly.

Pros

  • Great ice retention
  • Well-built
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Very expensive

Score

Insulation Score – 5/5

Keeps your stuff frozen as long as you have a power source to plug it in.

Transportability Score – 5/5

Features aluminum alloy handles for hassle-free transport.

Size/Volume Score – 4.5/5

Has dual compartments that can accommodate up to 75 liters.

Overall Score – 4.8/5

What Customers Say

The cooler is a top shelf unit and I am picky to a fault. It is silent as a church mouse and works perfect. I expect many years of service from it. I have it paired up with an ecoflow river pro and the only way I know it is running is by looking at the display on the ecoflow.

Jerry keelean

We use this fridge/freezer combo on our boat trips and also on longer RV trips. Absolutely love the option to have dual zones. It’s really awesome having a freezer when we are in our trips!

Megan

Best for All Terrains: RovR Rollr 80 Cooler

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Walking miles to your campsite while carrying camping gear and a really heavy cooler will deplete the energy you need for setting up camp. That’s where a wheeled cooler comes in, and we picked the best one for you! 

The RovR Roller 80 cooler is constructed with a rotomolded and elevated body that features an airtight gasket for days-long insulation. It also comes with puncture-resistant tires mounted on five-spoke aluminum tubs that perform well in all types of terrain. 

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Great ice retention 

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Expensive

Score

Insulation Score – 4.5/5

Great ice retention.

Transportability Score – 5/5

This cooler is very heavy but that won’t be a problem because of its durable wheels.

Size/Volume Score – 4.5/5

Can accommodate up to 120 cans and 20lbs. of ice

Overall Score – 4.7/5

What Customers Say

Love everything about this cooler except 1 thing. If the top dry storage has too much stuff in it… like folding chairs and towels and umbrellas etc, and you start pulling the Rover by the handle, it tends to tilt backwards and topple over. EVEN if the cold storage is full of drinks, food etc. that’s kind of annoying, but I guess I’d still rather have the wheels than carry the heavy cooler by two side handles.

Anamarie

This thing is heavy! like 70 lbs heavy without anything in it! It has a lot of room for storage and it’s more square than rectangle. The parts are super heavy duty and we aren’t worried about things breaking or falling apart. Rolls very quietly and smoothly – happy customers!

Lacylampe

Pelican 30 QT Elite Cooler

Last update on 2022-11-12 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our last pick is built like a tank and is constructed from premium-quality materials. It’s made from 2 inches of polyurethane and features a freezer-grade gasket for long-lasting ice retention and excellent insulation.

The Pelican 30 QT Elite cooler also comes with molded-in tie-down slots, a sloped drain with tethered drain cap, and a built-in stainless steel bottle opener. Plus non-skid rubber feet that are perfect for car camping, base camping, and boating trips.

What we love most about this cooler is its lifetime guarantee, that’s also a favorite feature among customers.

Pros

  • Better warranty than other brands
  • Great ice retention
  • Rugged construction

Cons

  • Top heavy

Score

Insulation Score – 4.5/5

Great ice retention because of its thick insulated walls.

Transportability Score – 4/5

This cooler is top-heavy but has an anti-skid base.

Size/Volume Score – 4/5

Can hold up to 22 cans.

Overall Score – 4.2/5

What Customers Say

This is my second Pelican cooler. I have had Yeti and RTIC both hard shell and soft shell. With proper care they all hold ice well but the warranty on the Pelican makes the difference in my book.

Darrin Brown

I was really excited to find a heavy duty cooler made in the USA. Another plus is the easy open latches. My wife has pretty bad arthritis in her hands and opening the rubber toggles that everyone else seems to use would be a problem. I can’t say I’m exactly overwhelmed by the ice keeping time but it’s far better than what we were using. To be fair we’ve mostly filled it with already chilled sodas and beer and only put in a little ice. Overall though I’m quite pleased with the cooler and glad I bought it.

Robert I.

FAQs

What is the best cooler to take camping?

The best cooler to take camping is the Yeti Tundra 75 cooler. It has great ice retention, is reliable, and lasts a long time. Check out our more detailed review above. 

What are the best coolers to keep food cold?

All of the coolers we picked in this article keep food cold for days. The length depends on the brand and type of cooler, learn about them above. 

How do you keep food cold while camping?

Pack your stuff directly from the fridge into your ice-filled cooler, that way they remain frozen. Also, be diligent in draining melted ice from the cooler so it doesn’t melt the rest of the ice. And as much as possible, keep your cooler away from direct heat. 

How can I keep food cold in a cooler for 2 days?

Pick one from our choices above as they’re all proven to keep stuff cold for 2 days (some last more). Then follow our tips from the previous question. Happy camping!

Want more outdoor and survival tips? Our article about the best bug-out bags is a great read!

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