Top 5 Best Camping Coolers You Must Choose

The top 5 coolers for your camping trip

If you camp, then the odds are that you need to have a cooler to tote your food to and from the campsite. While you could go a bit rogue and have a hiking pack with some MREs or dehydrated foods, if you have a party of more than one or two people, this is not really a realistic means of nourishment. For groups, or just the person that does not want to “rough it”, use one of the 5 best camping coolers listed below.

Product Name

Images

Quality

Price

Rubbermaid Ice Chest/Cooler, Blue, 60-quart Wheeled (FG2A9002MODBL)

Rubbermaid Ice Chest/Cooler, Blue, 60-quart Wheeled (FG2A9002MODBL)

A+

Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

A

Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5, Wheeled Cooler

Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5, Wheeled Cooler

A-

Coleman 48-Quart Cooler, Blue

Coleman 48-Quart Cooler, Blue

A+

Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtremem Series Marine Cooler

Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtremem Series Marine Cooler

A

1. Rubbermaid Ice Chest/Cooler, Blue, 60-quart Wheeled (FG2A9002MODBL)

camping coolers

​Equipped with a handle and wheels this cooler is easy to pull through those trails and rougher terrains. The handle does fold down into the cooler when not in use to allow you to carry it by the handles. The Rubbermaid Ice Chest has superior thermal retention to keep food and beverages cold, is stain and odor resistant, comes with a stain and easy-to-clean liner, and is made in the USA.

​Design wise, the cooler has a split top opening. Those who do not wish to have the 60-quart cooler can go as small as 10-quart.

TOP PROS

  • Spacious Design allows for beverages to lay side by side
  • Design holds cold in for a rather long period
  • Rubbermaid is a trusted and established brand
  • The multiple size options allow for most individuals to find an option that meets their camping needs

TOP CONS

  • Hinges may warp under certain conditions causing the lid to fall off. This is especially true for the 10-quart model.
  • If you are planning on keeping food cold for over 6 hours (which many campers would want to do), multiple ice packs would be required limiting the interior space.
  • If the seal ever gets broken, water will get into the space between the insulation and plastic adding to the weight of the cooler as well as stagnating causing a health risk to the food inside.

​This cooler is best used for camping trips which do not require the food to be kept cold all day. It is not for everyday use, and those which purchase the product should take measures not to damage the lid by overpacking it.

2. Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

cooler camping

​Camping in a more rugged terrain requires the camper to have a more durable cooler than the standard plastic hinged options on the market. The Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler has a steel construction, is rust resistant, and has a solid steel latch to seal content for up to 10lbs of force. The cooler’s interior is quite spacious allowing for up to 85 cans to be stored vertically with ease.

TOP PROS

  • The cooler is available in 7 different colors, so you are not stuck with the market standard blue or black.
  • Rust resistant makes the cooler acceptable for camping alongside riverbanks, on the beach, or in other areas where water condensation could be an issue.
  • The bottom nozzle allows for quick draining of melted ice and water without having to tip and turn the cooler about.

TOP CONS

  • The cooler has far less metal then prior generations. There is more plastic on the model making the device more sentimental than functional.
  • Latch has shown to be faulty on multiple coolers. This defect reduces the ability to use the cooler without additional measures taken.
  • Metal to plastic connections tends to wear out and come off.

​This cooler is best suited for a camper who is looking to re-create an experience from the past who does not care too much about the actual preservation of the food. While the cooler does offer a large interior, the ice tends to melt quickly, the metal does not appear to be as durable as advertised, and the overall quality of the design is low for the Colman name. Ideal for one to two-time usage.

3. Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5, Wheeled Cooler

cooler camping

Specifically designed to keep ice cold for an extremely long period of time, the Colman 50-Quart Xtreme 5, Wheeled Cooler can keep ice cold up to 5 days. This is possible due to the Xtreme 5 technology of the product. This technology works alongside ThermOZONE insulation for maximum functionality.On the exterior of the cooler, you will find that the lid can be used as a makeshift table. A large flat surface is cornered by 4 cup-holders. Wheels on the base of the camping cooler allow for easy mobility around the campsite.

TOP PROS

  • Ideal for camping trips which will last a few days as customers have validated that both food and drink will reman cold for at least 3 days.
  • For a cooler with thick insulation, it is relatively light weight
  • Side handles are built into the design, removing the possibility of breakage or stripped screws

TOP CONS

  • The cooler does not seem to keep food for the full 5 days but averages around 3 days’ time
  • The handle is a bit flimsy and so those going over rough ground may have it break on them or bend.
  • The lid does not have a definitive locking mechanism. Coolers which are overstuffed of tipped the wrong way could have the lid open unexpectantly.

​The Colman cooler is best suited for tailgate parties, social camping, and for 3-day trips. Because of the wheels, the cooler can go over most terrain. However, rough terrain may be a bit of a problem due to the weak handle. This cooler is not advised for use around large campfires or on uneven ground.

4. Coleman 48-Quart Cooler, Blue

cooler camping

​If you just want to have the basic durable cooler, then this is the camping cooler for you. There are not too many bells and whistles to the Colman 48-quart cooler . You have plastic throughout, a thick durable top lid, a nozzle at the bottom, and plastic side swivel handles. And while you may not have all the super freezing and cooling capabilities that you would get with another brand/model, you get an enormous amount of room for your food and beverages.

TOP PROS

  • Very Cheaply priced making it great for the beginner camper who does not want to spend a ton on their first outdoor experience.
  • The design maximizes the interior space for food and beverage storage
  • Durable design

TOP CONS

  • There are no wheels on this cooler. Someone must tote it. And if this is filled to maximum capacity, that could be a bit of a hefty weight to bear.
  • The plastic tends to crack over time and water gets in between the exterior and the interior. While this does usually lead to food spoilage, the added water weight is anything but ideal.
  • The hinge on the lid tends to wear out

​This cooler is best suited for those which have some upper body strength, as you must tote it to your campsite. The cooler is also not intended for multiple “hard” camping trips. It is ideal for the overnight excursion or for parties.

5. Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtremem Series Marine Cooler

camping cooler

​As the name would suggest, this cooler is designed to be in aquatic conditions. This means that camping trips on the coast, on yachts, and around lakes and such is ideal for this cooler. The Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtremem Series Marine Cooler design is made from UVGuard materials to help protect the cooler from the sun, increasing the time that your food stays cold. Ice can be kept up to 6 days at temperatures up to 90 degrees, and a leak resistant design keeps the cooler from taking in any lake, sea, or river water.

TOP PROS

  • The cooler holds beverages for up to 6 days
  • Durable plastic design makes it easy to clean
  • Leak resistant seals keep out unwanted water

TOP CONS

  • The design is a bit bulky and the handles do not extend out far enough to resolve this issue
  • Although advertised as rustproof, the hinges may rust
  • Fully loaded, the weight of the cooler may cause the handles to break off

​Best suited for trips where the cooler will be stationary throughout the camping. This is not one of those coolers that you would pick up and tote around. Not ideal for hiking excursions as there are no wheels and someone would have to tote it. Ideal for 3 to 6-day camping trips.

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