The 5 Best Camping Coolers

If you’re going camping and don’t want to live on granola and protein bars, you should get the best camping cooler to keep your meats and vegetables cold before cooking in your stocked-up camping kitchen. There are many different ways you can prepare delicious meals that let you toss everything onto a camping griddle without much prep work. All you have to do is bring your ingredients from home and set up shop at your campground, cooking just as you would at your home kitchen. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there is a large variety of different recipes waiting for you!

Regardless of which type of food you’re making with your camping kitchen, you’ll likely need some place to cool essential ingredients such as meat or fruit. Camping coolers are great for this purpose, giving you enough room and security to effectively regulate the temperature of the food you’re bringing without taking up too much space among your camping materials. Keep reading for camping cooler reviews and ratings so you can pick the best one for your camping trips!

The 5 Top Camping Coolers

When looking for the best camping cooler, where do you start? Are there any models to look out for or specifications that you absolutely need? This is why I’m here to help—in this buyer’s guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about camping coolers, whether you use a wheeled cooler or a soft-sided cooler, so you can start making some seriously delicious meals while camping. Here are the top 5 best camping coolers and what makes them all great choices for your next camping trip.

Best Choice
Our Score 10 Out of 10
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Premium Pick
Our Score 10 Out of 10
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Best Value
Our Score 6 Out of 10
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Backpacking Pick
Our Score 8 Out of 10
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Heavy-Duty Pick
Our Score 8 Out of 10
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* Ratings are determined using our specialized rating system.

YETI Hopper Flip Portable Indoor/Outdoor Cooler

Our Score 10 out of 10
YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler, Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue
YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler, Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue Check price

The Hopper Flip 8 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers, with a capacity of up to 6 cans plus ice
The Hopper Flip 8 features a 100% ...

The YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler is truly remarkable when compared to other products on the market. Though the price is on the moderate side when compared to other products, you truly get great value for your money. The ColdCell Insulation works remarkably well, allowing you to keep items chilled for long periods of time even when in especially hot conditions.

For example, I took this portable cooler with me on a camping trip that involved some blazing hot temperatures. Despite the product being in direct sunlight for large portions of the day, I was still able to grab a cold drink and relax! The included bottle opener makes this even more convenient! Even if you want to take your cooler with you on a trip with more tumultuous weather, the DryHide Shell will keep the cooler waterproof so you’re still able to keep your items chilled!

  • Insulation works well
  • Included bottle opener
  • DryHide Shell keeps cooler waterproof
  • Comes in four colors and three sizes
  • Zippers sometimes malfunction
  • Zippers sometimes malfunction

YETI Tundra 65 Insulated Camping Cooler

Our Score 10 out of 10
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, Seafoam
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, Seafoam Check price

The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is storing the drinks and food for your backyard barbecue, this ice chest is plenty roomy, holding a limit of red...

The YETI Tundra 63 Insulated Camping Cooler is an extremely durable camping cooler that can fit just about anything you would ever want to bring camping. Not only is there an incredible amount of room in this product (30 1/2 inches long, 17 3/8th inches wide and 16 inches high), but it is all contained within an impressive and modern design.

The Rot molded construction allows this product to be completely damage-free for long periods of time, making it ideal for those who need something reliable and don’t mind paying a little extra for it. Though the price might be prohibitive for some, this is a great example of a truly premium product. It also includes 3 inches of Permafrost Insulation so you can make sure your food stays truly cold.

  • Extremely spacious
  • Three inches of Permafrost Insulation
  • Incredibly durable design
  • Five color options
  • Very heavy when filled
  • Very heavy when filled

AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation

Our Score 6 out of 10
AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Navy Blue, 24-Can
AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation, Navy Blue, 24-Can Check price

Soft-sided cooler with high-density insulation, a removable shoulder strap, and side pocket
Twice the insulation of other soft-sided coolers; guaranteed to hold ice for 24 hours in 120-degree weath...

The AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation is great for campers who are on a tight budget or just want something for a short trip.It does everything that more premium products do for a fraction of the price!

This soft cooler is also guaranteed to keep your items cool for 24 hours! The incredibly convenient carrying strap also makes it easy to carry it, so it’s a good choice for hiking and backpacking. This product also comes in eight color options, so you can pick something that’s easy to spot while camping.

  • Affordable price
  • Keeps items cool for 24 hours
  • Carrying strap included
  • Eight color options
  • Not a lot of non-leak security included
  • Not a lot of non-leak security included

SEEHONOR Insulated Outdoor Cooler Backpack

Our Score 8 out of 10
SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack Leakproof Soft Cooler Bag Lightweight Backpack Cooler for Lunch Picnic Fishing Hiking Camping Park Beach, 25 Cans
SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack Leakproof Soft Cooler Bag Lightweight Backpack Cooler for Lunch Picnic Fishing Hiking Camping Park Beach, 25 Cans Check price

Large capacity: 25 Cans/25L, measures 13.3” x 8.6” x 14.9”, roomy enough to pack meals, beers, tall beverages, snacks and all your other necessities. Perfect insulated cooler backpack for lunch, wo...

The SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Backpack Leak Proof Soft Cooler is perfect for spending a day backpacking. Though it doesn’t have a very durable design, it is incredibly affordable and effective for those day trips where you just need a few drinks and protein bars. 

It has two straps so you can wear it like a backpack cooler, and it has a bunch of pockets made specifically to hold everything you’d need on a day trip. It can hold plates, flatware, and even two bottles of wine, if you’re planning a romantic backpacking trip with your partner.

  • Incredibly affordable
  • Fits enough for a day trip
  • Convenient two straps included
  • Design isn’t very durable
  • Design isn’t very durable

Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler – Carbonite Gray/Carbonite Blue

Our Score 8 out of 10
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue Check price

Heavy duty blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection.
Extremely durable yet lightweight with proven 4-5 day ice retention at 90°F
UV inhibitors protect the...

The Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler – Carbonite Gray/Carbonite Blue is a product that is truly for those who need something durable. It is made of blow-molded construction that will protect the cooler in any situation. This product also comes with UV inhibitors to protect it against the sun, a feature that works remarkably well. 

Those who need a cooler to go fishing will love this Igloo cooler, but the price and size might be prohibitive for some. This product has a drain plug on the bottom that will fit any standard sized garden hose, so draining is a breeze.

  • Very durable design
  • Comes with UV inhibitors
  • Perfect size for storing fish
  • Size may be too big for many
  • Size may be too big for many

Important Camping Cooler Features to Consider

When shopping for a camping cooler, the most important thing you need to take note of is the size. Though the size will allow you to store more items, it also makes it heavier in the long run, making it necessary for you to ensure you’re not taking on more weight than you can carry. It’s very easy to think you’re packing lightly at home only to take your cooler on a trip and realize you’re not able to carry it, so I recommend you keep this in mind.

Another thing to keep track of is price. Unlike a variety of other camping devices, camping coolers can be quite expensive. That being said, there is a good range of products over different price points, so I wouldn’t be too worried about finding something within your budget. This is why I’ve included products with a variety of different price points on my list.

If you’re somebody who is looking for a product to take with you into tumultuous weather, you should ensure that the specific product you’re considering is capable of handling that. Some products do not have as much security as others, so you should familiarize yourself with the specific product’s features. For example, it’s likely that the product you’re looking into will have an insulated inside to keep your items cool, but what about various layers of anti-leak materials?

What are the Benefits of Camping Coolers?

Having a camping cooler when you’re out on your weekend hiking trip can be invaluable. Not only are camping coolers affordable, but they’re great for bringing all the food you need, sauces and spices in camping spice containers that need to be kept cool, or bringing cool water to stay hydrated. And because so many are insulated, they can keep your food and drinks cold through your entire trip. Plus, you don’t have to commit to a giant camping cooler if you don’t want to. Camping coolers come in a variety of sizes to fit every type of camping trip, and some can even fit into a camping kitchen organizer to keep them out of the way.

Precautions to Take When Using a Camping Cooler

When using a camping cooler, whether it’s a Fatboy cooler, an RTIC cooler, a Canyon cooler, a Pelican cooler, or any other type of cooler, it’s important to make sure that the product your purchase is capable of handling each food item that you plan on bringing with you. For example, some camping coolers might not be as practical for dealing with things such as raw meat, while others will explicitly advertise this as one of their benefits.

The best way to know if the product is the best camping cooler for your specific needs is simply to ask the vendor. If you already purchased your cooler and are planning to bring only the products that are compatible with it, I recommend reading the entire manual so you have an accurate idea of what it can and can’t do.

Before you subject your camping cooler to harsh weather conditions, we also recommend that you verify that the product you’re purchasing is compatible with those conditions. While most products have many layers of security, some are more geared for day trips and are not for intense weather conditions or to serve as a bear proof cooler for bear country. You should also make sure you keep your camping cooler clean. Grime and other dirt buildups can compromise the efficiency of the cooler and the sanitation of your food.

Another precaution to keep in mind when using a camping cooler is to make sure that you’re able to carry it before you leave for your trip. Of course, I’m assuming you can carry the product itself, but you should be careful that you don’t put objects that are too heavy without realizing, especially if you have a larger or heavier cooler like the sturdy ORCA coolers.

It can be easy to throw things in a cooler and forget about how they’ll feel when you’re hiking, so it’s important to take note of that before you go. If you need to throw anything away to carry a lighter load, that’s perfectly okay! You may also be able to switch to a different type of camping cooler that doesn’t weigh so much.

Also, don’t forget about the other heavy camping things you may be carrying as well. Camping cooking pots and cast iron skillets are heavy, and you’ll need something to cook the food you bring in your cooler. And don’t forget your creature comforts like camping coffee pots or camping cots. If you’re determined to camp with things like this, you need to take all those weights into account on top of your cooler.


At the end of the day, having the best camping cooler is essential to making sure everything you bring with you is fresh and ready to be used in cooking, unless you invest in an outdoor refrigerator. However, having a cooler that does a lot could just give you a lot to carry, making it necessary to find a product that is both convenient and accessible. This is why I believe that the YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler is the best camping cooler currently available on the market. The effective ColdCell insulation allows you to make sure everything you’re carrying stays the temperature it needs to be.

Those who don’t use cooler ice packs and are often worried about coolers leaking or the ice in their cooler melting will also be glad to know that the 100% leak proof HydroLok Zipper truly works, with the entire product itself being protected in ways that are remarkably helpful. All of this security allows you to keep items cool for days at a time, something that many other products aren’t capable of. The price is a bit expensive, but this product is a perfect moderately priced option for those simply wanting the best camping cooler available.

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