10 Top Rated Best Coolers for Camping

Coolers and ice chests are probably the most important piece of all of your camping gear. But with so many ice chests on the market, where does one start to find an efficient yet affordable cooler for tailgating or camping adventure? 

Your cooler is what can make or break your camping adventure or tailgating party. Everything from the beer, brats and burgers all need to be ice cold to keep from spoiling.

And, believe it or not, there is an actual science to keeping the contents in your cooler at nice frigid temperature all through the day and night.

So, grab yourself a cold one and take a look at these top rated coolers and ice chests for all of your outdoor adventures! We’re also going to give you a whole bunch of helpful tips on how to keep your cooler cold for days or the duration of your camping adventures.

Best Coolers for Camping - Always On Liberty

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10 Top Rated Best Coolers for Camping

Coolers and Ice Chests - Men Carrying

Today, coolers, also called ice chests, come in all shapes and sizes. And depending on how you’re going to use it and for how long will dictate which your going to choose.

But, before we get on with our list of our top rated coolers for camping, we’ll share a few helpful tips on how to keep your perishable food at a safe, consistent cold temperature. And yes, those beers need to be at a refreshing coolness as well.

Coolers and Ice Chests - Beer on Ice

What size camping cooler should I buy?

You need to take into consideration of several things when buying a cooler.

    • How many people will your cooler serve?
    • What is our duration of need?
    • What you’ll be icing down?
    • How far will you be from a place to get ice?

For example, if you’re going on an outdoor excursion for one or two days by yourself, a 25 quart cooler should be sufficient.

And for a 3-4 day camping trip, consider getting a 25-50 quart ice chest. But, for your week-long outdoor adventures, look into getting a 50+ quart cooler.

Now, for a couple or small family, this is where you should bump it up to a 60+ quart camping cooler to keep your perishable foods and drinks cold for longer outings.

Whereas, a smaller 40-50 quart cooler should be sufficient for your family day trips.

Your coolers should have a ratio of about 40% ice and 60% contents.

But, something to think of when opting for a large ice chest is it’s weight. The bigger the cooler for camping, the heavier it’s going to be once you add in your ice and all your food that needs refrigerated and beverages.

Make certain if you’re going to be able  to lift your cooler in and out of your vehicle or RV.

And if you’re going to be moving  your cooler to your camping buddies a few campsites away or down to  your favorite fishing hole, you may want  to get an ice chest with wheels and a pull handle.

You also want sturdy handles for lifting and pulling.

And, don’t forget to look for drain holes on large capacity camping coolers. This is so you can drain the excess water so you can add more ice when necessary.

How much ice should I put in my coolers to keep the contents cold?

While may be easier to just jam everything in cooler, dump a bag or two of ice over it, and shut the lid isn’t going to do it. Your food is going to spoil quickly and who likes warm beer anyways?

Again, remember that 40% of your cooler is going to be ice. So, plan accordingly.

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Should I prep my ice chest before putting food in it?

Prepping your cooler is actually a ‘thing’.

About 24 hours before putting your food or beverages in your ice chest, you should place a bag or two in the cooler with nothing else. This acclimates the ice chest.

It’s kind of like preheating an oven to get it up to temperature that evens out the temperature.

How can I keep my ice from melting in my cooler?

There are several  ways you can keep your ice from melting or melt slower in your coolers. The simplest way is to keep it out of the sun or out of excess heated area.

Also, you can cover it with a heat reflective blanket. 

Other ways to keep the temperature at an even keel in your ice chest is to add a little insulation to the inner walls and lid.

Lining it with that silver reflectix works wonders; especially on super hot days or if you can’t avoid your cooler being in the direct sun.

And lastly, common sense should tell you that just like your refrigerator at home, limit how many times you open your cooler and how much time spent while it is open.

As long as you keep your ice chest closed, the longer it will stay at the best refrigeration temperature required for proper food storage.

Now that we have shared our helpful cooler tips on how to manage your ice chest, let’s see which coolers appeal to you!

10 Top Rated Best Coolers for Camping & Boating

❄️ Pelican Elite 70 Cooler

Pelican Coolers

❄️ Cooler Features:

        • CAPACITY: 70 quart
        • EXTREME ICE RETENTION: 2 inches of polyurethane insulation with a 360 degree freezer-grade gasket delivers extreme ice retention
        • FEATURES: Over-molded carry handle, 3″ locking latches, reinforced lockable hasp, stainless steel bottle opener, anti-shear hinge system, molded-in tie-down slots, 4 self-draining cup holders, non-skid rubber feet
        • MADE IN USA: Includes Pelican’s legendary lifetime guarantee
        • COLOR CHOICE: Comes in 6 different colors

❄️ Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler

Coleman Xtreme 5 Coolers

❄️ Cooler Features:

        • CAPACITY: 70 Quart
        • XTREME TECHNOLOGY: Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
        • HAVE-A-SEAT LID: Closed lid supports up to 250 lbs
        • CUP HOLDERS: Molded Into the Lid to Keep Drinks Close and Prevent Spilling
        • COMFORT-GRIP HANDLES: No-crush design with positive stop for pinch-free carrying
        • EASY TO CLEAN: Smoother surface wipes clean easily; leak-resistant channel drain for easy draining without tilting

❄️ Kenai 65 Ice Chest

Kenai Cooler

❄️ Ice Chest Features:

        • CAPACITY: 65 Quart
        • ROTOMOLDED: built with rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic to ensure even wall thickness, durability, and max performance on every adventure.
        • ECOMATE INSULATION: uses Ecomate for optimal cooling. Unique insulation has no global warming potential, no ozone depletion potential, and is made with no volatile organic compounds.
        • LID GASKET: seals for optimal insulation even in hot temperatures with a silicone rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped inside to extend the life of ice.
        • LATCHES – one-handed flip of the latch and you’re in. Secure the latch and the lid won’t open.
        • MADE IN THE USA

❄️ Seavilis Roto Molded Cooler Box

❄️ Cooler Box Features:

        • CAPACITY: 60 Quart
        • THICK POLYURETHANE INSULATION: has a freezer-grade gasket that delivers extreme ice retention for days
        • AIR PRESSURE VALVE: Turn the valve counter-clockwise to release air pressure
        • 3″ ROTO-MOLDED INSULATED BODY & LID: with UV protection surface. 
        • SUPER DURABLE: Same quality as competitors but for less cost
        • LEAKPROOF DRAIN PLUG: pressure release valve for easy opening,
        • LOW PROFILE SNAP TIGHT LATCHES: keepS the cooler closed securely and prevent damage.
        • NON-SLIP FEET: with molded tie-down slots for secure transport
        • OTHER FEATURES: heavy duty grab handles, molded ruler, built in compass, and built in bottle openers.
        • MORE COLORS: comes in 5 different colors
        • MORE SIZES: choose from 4 different sizes

❄️ Blue Coolers Ice Vault

Blue Cooler

❄️ Ice Vault Features:

        • CAPACITY: 55 Quart – 50 Liters
        • KEEPS 10 DAYS OF ICE: with an industry leading 2 of insulation, the blue cooler ice vault keeps ice up to 10 days. 
        • ROTOMOLDED DESIGN: ensures that each cooler is rugged and durable, has a consistent wall thickness, and is free of imperfections. Virtually indestructible.
        • INGENUITIVE COOLER FEATURES: includes non-skid feet, lockable lid, freezer style gasket, sure grip handles, a rapid drain system and much more.

❄️ YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Ice Chest

Cooler - Yeti Tundra 45

❄️ Ice Chest Features:

        • CAPACITY:  55 quart
        • ROTOMOLDED CONSTRUCTION: makes it virtually indestructible.
        • FIRST EVER YETI COOLER ON WHEELS: great for transporting on foot.
        • NEVER-FLAT WHEELS: solid, single-piece tire construction that is impact and puncture resistant
        • STRONGARM HANDLE: durable welded aluminum arm with comfortable grips. Curved design tracks left or right for heel-friendly towing.

❄️ Lifetime High Performance Cooler

Lifetime High Performance Cooler

❄️ Cooler Features:

        • CAPACITY: 55 Quart
        • LONG TERM ICE RETENTION: Up to 7 days
        • HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION : Polyethylene hard-sided
        • DURABLE: Stainless Steel Hinge Rod
        • FOAM FILLED LID:  with 300 lb. Distributed Weight Capacity
        • INJECTION OVER-MOLDED FEET: with slide guard
        • ROPE HANDLES: with blue injection molded grips
        • EASY DRAIN SPOUT: serviceable with garden hose compatibility
        • STAINLESS STEEL BOTTLE OPENER: with padlock compatibility
        • RUBBER LATCHES: Easily Opened with One Hand
        • BEAR PROOF: Certified to withstand a Bear for up to 1 hour
        • 5-Year Limited Warranty 

❄️ Igloo 52 BMX Cooler

Igloo 52 BMX Cooler

❄️ Cooler Features:

        • CAPACITY: 52 quarts
        • HEAVY DUTY: blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection.
        • SUPERB ICE RETENTION: with proven 4-5 day ice retention at 90°F
        • UV RAYS INHIBITORS: protect the cooler against sun damage for extended life.
        • RUST RESISTANT: stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware provide extended performance.
        • RUBBERIZED T-GRIP LATCHES: keepS lid secure.
        • THREADED DRAIN  PLUG: is garden hose compatible and features a non-slip, easy-grip stainless steel tethered cap
        • MAXCOLD BODY: with 20% thicker foam and insulated lid provide advanced cooling performance.
        • COOL RISER TECHNOLOGY: molded base elevates the cooler away from hot surfaces and improves cooling performance.

❄️ Igloo 25 BMX Cooler

Igloo 25 BMX Coolers

❄️ Cooler Features:

        • CAPACITY: 25 Quart
        • HEAVY DUTY: blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection.
        • LONG TERM ICE RETENTION: lightweight with proven 4-5 day ice retention
        • UV RAY INHIBITORS: protect the cooler against sun damage for extended life.
        • RUST RESISTANT: stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware provide extended performance.
        • RUBBERIZED LATCHES: T-grip latches keep lid secure.
        • MAXCOLD BODY: 20% thicker foam and insulated lid provide advanced cooling performance.
        • COOL RISER TECHNOLOGY: molded base elevates the cooler away from hot surfaces and improves cooling performance.
        • COMFORT GRIP: 3-point grab handle for easy one-handed carrying.
        • BUILT IN TIE DOWN LOOPS: securing cooler during transport.
        • INTEGRATED RULER: on lid easily estimates your catch.

❄️ Cubix 20 Ice Chest

Cubix 20 Quart Coolers Ice Chest

❄️ Ice Chest Features:

        • CAPACITY: 20 Quart
        • LONG TERM ICE RETENTION: up to 3 days.
        • THICK WALL DESIGN: 3” of extreme insulation
        • SUPER DURABLE: Roto-molded construction that is practically impossible to be destroyed. 
        • SMALLER SIZE: for overnight fishing trip, planning your next tailgate, or throwing a barbeque in your own backyard,
        • ROBUSTLY ENGINEERED HANDLE: to ensure the perfect grip and hand protection.
        • FERROMAGNETIC LATCHES : lock in and seal the lid completely
        • THERMALOCK FREEZE GASKET: keeps in the cold for a long time.
        • OTHER FEATURES: comes with two cup holders, integrated bottle opener, ruler.

Family - Coolers

Final thoughts on the best coolers for camping

So, what did you think of those top ten coolers?

As you can see, coolers have come a long way since our grandpa’s red plaid metal sided cooler.

Today, ice chests can keep your burgers and beverages cold for days. Because, seriously, when you’re out camping, fishing, hiking and exploring, who has time to constantly be filling the cooler?

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Always On Liberty - Top Rated Coolers

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