Portable Camping Cooler

The Coolest Camping Coolers

If you thought that all coolers were pretty much the same, then have we got news for you!

Not only do they come in different price ranges and colors, but also some of them come in different fighting categories. At least one of our five top picks has challenged a bear to a fight – and won!

Below is a resume of what they can do, how big they are and other vital statistics that you need to be in the know about, before investing in the best camping cooler that you can buy this New Year.

Naturally, all five keep your beer and other cans good and cold, but some of them do so much more than this as well. Some double up as seats, some keep things hot as well as cold and some can be carried easily.

All are excellent value though and whichever you plump for is up to you! 

Rubbermaid Ice Chest / Cooler, Blue, 60-quart Wheeled

Rubbermaid Ice Chest / Cooler, Blue, 60-quart Wheeled

Essential Information

The absolute basics that you should know about this product.

  • Dimensions: 2 x 29 x 18.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 9 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 18 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Rubbermaid
  • Country of Origin:U.S.A.
  • Other Sizes: 5 quart, 20 quart, 24 quart, 34 quart
  • Colors: Pink, blue
  • Warranty: One year limited
  • Original Price: $68.71
  • Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Further Details

More important facts about the Rubbermaid Ice Chest and Cooler

  • Capacity: Can hold 82 cans in ice. Enough for a party! A big one!
  • Thermal Retention: Keeps food chilled down for hours whilst you are camping or outdoors.
  • Cup Holders: So your drinks are secured on the move. Fits both 12 oz cans and 20 oz bottles.
  • Easy Drainage: The front has a drain so it can be easily emptied.
  • Tough Wheels: Taking this over difficult terrain should not be challenge.
  • Split Lid: Offers easy access to contents in compartments, without having to empty the whole thing.
  • Hardwearing Materials: Tough metal and durable plastic with a retractable handle for easy moving.
  • Easy To Clean Interior: Because sometimes cleaning these things can be a drag, the manufacturers have included an easy clean design with Microban antibacterial protection.
  • Stain and Odor Resistant: Because you don’t want it ponging in there for all eternity, just because someone wanted a boiled egg once.
  • Fits A Mean Picnic: With a capacity of 60 quarts, this thing can contain a lunch fit for a prince. No more do you have to compromise on your camping vacation.

This is strong, robust, will fit enough to feed a hungry group of people or refresh a thirsty crowd on the go. We especially like the rugged wheels, which make it a bit like the Sherman Tanks of lunchbox coolers. Highly recommended.

Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Essential Information

An outline of the vital stats.

  • Dimensions: 25 x 17.13 x 25.25 inches
  • Item Weight: 9 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 20 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Coleman
  • Country of Origin: U.S.A.
  • Colors: Black, green, red/black, rose, silver, stainless steel, turquoise
  • Warranty: Six year limited
  • Original Price: $59.35
  • Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Further Details

Stuff you need to know about this cooler…

  • Capacity: Holds 85 cans.
  • Have-a-Seat Lid: Doubles up as a seat, which supports up to 250 pounds of weight.
  • Long Life Ice Retention: Keeps cold enough for ice to remain inside for up to four days at 90 degrees.
  • Added Height: This has capacity for 2 liter bottles inside.
  • Steel Body: Rust resistant stainless steel body and lid.
  • Comfort Grip Handles: Easy to hold handles, go easy on your fingers.
  • Low CO2 Insulation: Reduced carbon emissions
  • Leak Resistant: This can be drained without needing to tip the cooler and spill all your drinks inside.

Made of steel, this is a pretty sturdy contender from Coleman, who are a leading brand in all things camping and outdoors. When it’s not being transported it can double up as a handy seat for weights up to 250 pounds, which is pretty accommodating.

As well as all that, this absolutely looks the business, constructed from solid steel and not plastic. Of course, this puts the weight up a little bit and you should be advised that it will be heavy when it’s completely full – but you knew that anyway.

There’s no need to knock everything over inside when it needs to drain, as there is a special feature to allow this without tipping it.

The manufacturers boast that this thing will keep ice for four days even in 90 degree heat – which is quite some claim. Fortunately, plenty of customers have agreed that it does, which makes it pretty awesome as a cooler in our book!

Igloo Sportsman 52 Qt

Igloo Sportsman Camping Cooler 52 Qt

Essential Information

The bare essentials about this cooler…

  • Dimensions:14.57 x 14.57 x 25.59 inches
  • Weight: 8.05 pounds
  • Shipping Weight:8.25 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Igloo products corp
  • Material: Polyurethane
  • Country of Origin: U.S.A.
  • Other Sizes: 100 Quart (specs vary- please check)
  • Colors: Hunter green
  • Warranty: One year
  • Original Price: $56.99
  • Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Further Details

At a glance the need to know facts about this Igloo cooler…

  • Light and Portable: Because this is made of plastic, it should not be too much of a chore to move about.
  • Doubles Up As A Seat: This supports up to 300 pounds in weight on top of the lid.
  • Measure Your Catch: The top of this has a fish measuring ruler molded into the lid.
  • Drain Plug: Empties with a plug which can be removed.

Shipmates ahoy! If you’re a keen angler or just like doing the odd spot of fishing, perhaps on a boat, then this could be for you. Constructed from polyurethane plastic, this won’t rust and crucially, doesn’t weight a ton like some other coolers, thus making it a prime choice for boating trips.

When you have caught your load, you can measure it against the handy included fish ruler, so you can boast accurately about the size of your catch (the 52q version). And of course, the insulation will keep your fish fresh for hours afterwards.

As well as practical use as a cooler, this also doubles up as a seat, taking up to 300 pounds in weight.

If there were any slight criticisms of this cooler it may be the plastic hinges, but on the other hand, the solid plastic construction is what keeps it weighing only eight pounds - making it light enough to take to the seas and transport without too much fuss.

eBags Crew Cooler II

eBags Crew Cooler II

Essential Information

The lowdown about this cooler bag.

  • Dimensions: 15" x 10.5" x 8.5" inches
  • Cold Compartment: 5" high, 13.5" wide, 7" deep
  • Item Weight: 2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight:16 pounds
  • Manufacturer: eBags
  • Material: 840D Twisted Poly
  • Colors: Blue yonder, eggplant, green envy, grey matter, pitch black, sinful red, tropical turquoise
  • Warranty: Lifetime (non commercial) 5 years limited (flight crew and commercial)
  • Regular Price: $49.99
  • Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Further Details

Other things you must know about this.

  • Designed For Flight Crew: Originally made for the needs of pilots and flight attendants on long haul journeys, now recognized as indispensible for all.
  • “Dry” Compartments: The top compartment is a normal zipped pocket for ‘normal’ non perishable items that you don’t want in the cool part.
  • PVC Free Liner Inside: The inside liner of the cool compartment is PVC free.
  • Easy Access Opening: The front has lots of easily opened compartments, for hassle free storage and easy finding later!
  • Pass Through Pocket: This is a pocket in the bag of the bag which opens up to allow a handle of a wheeled suitcase through the top of it. It stacks neatly on your suitcase.
  • Three Ways To Carry: Removable Adjustable Shoulder Strap or Padded Handles or the Pass Through Pocket
  • Water Bottle Pouches: Water bottle pouches located on the outside.

Not all coolers are meant solely for camping, although this one is still totally usable as such. This is portable and lightweight and can be used by anyone going off the grid and away from their vehicle. Because not everyone who goes camping is in a car!

However, just remember, this is a bag you are limited to what you can realistically pack down in here and carry comfortably.

Designed for the unique needs of cabin crew, this is a bag that you can zip in your passport into in the ‘dry’ i.e. non cool compartment and still keep your lunch cold separately.

Finally, we love the compartments in this, which make it easy to zip in and out.

Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler

Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler

Essential Information

The absolute basic details about the Yeti.

  • Dimensions: 14 3/8” × 19” × 13 3/4”inches
  • Dimensions (Inside): 10” × 13” × 8 3/8”
  • Item Weight: 15 pounds
  • Shipping Weight:6 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Yeti
  • Country of Origin: U.S.A.
  • Material: Steel handles, rotomolded polyethylene
  • Colors: White, desert tan, ice blue
  • Warranty: 5 Years Limited
  • Original Price: $293
  • Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Further Details

Need-to-know information about this product.

  • Holds 14 Cans in 2:1 Ice Ratio: This should surely be enough.
  • Recommended For Truck Cabins: Neatly fits in cabins and also other vehicles as well as canoes.
  • Keeps Hot As Well As Cold: Does what it says on the tin and keeps food hot as well as cold.
  • Vortex Drain System: Empties easily and without fuss.

Not many coolers come with the promise that they are Grizzly bear proof, but this one does, making it well worth a second look in our opinion. Although of course, if a Grizzly should get that close to you, you probably wouldn’t be that worried about your beer staying safe... but if you were, it still is!

This is pretty damn sturdy all round and keeps things toastie warm as well as ice cold, should you want that facility.

Designed to fit snugly into truck cabins, this is equally at home on a kayak or boat.

Yes, when this is full it is going to be heavy, but then what did you expect? Fending off the attentions of a Grizzly bear attack isn’t something that can be achieved lightly, in every sense of the word.

Customers who have purchased this seem highly pleased with its performance and there is a five year guarantee backing this up.

We give it the thumbs up.

Too Much Choice? We Break It Down

It might seem like a tough choice between the five coolers, but it just depends what your needs are and how much you have to spend.

If price is your main consideration, then we must pick the eBags cooler, which is much more than just a cooler and great for camping, as well as flights. The compartments cut away at the hassle factor of having to shake the whole thing down just to find one yogurt and we also like being able to sling it over our shoulder.

Should you be looking for something to double up as a seat, then our pick would be the Igloo or the Coleman, although the Igloo wins at the weigh in – supporting 300 pounds, we think it won’t win any beauty contests in comparison with the Coleman, which is sitting pretty, literally!

If classic stainless steel is the look you want, you need the Coleman in your car boot.

Whereas the Rubbermaid makes a good choice for traversing difficult terrain, as the wheel looks like something you’d find on a tank and shouldn’t come a cropper in any boggy fields.

Anglers or anyone in a kayak should probably get the Igloo because not only is it light but it also has a handy ruler for measuring your catch in. Although if weight is your primary consideration the eBags cooler wins time and again.

Lastly, in terms of overall build quality then it is probably a face-off between the Coleman and the Yeti. Not surprisingly, being vastly higher in price, the Yeti emerges the victor. It would probably win against a nuclear attack, never mind a bear perusing your sandwiches!

In conclusion, considering the huge price differential we think the Coleman is the best all-rounder, scoring highly on a wide range of criteria.

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