This list of the Best Coolers For Camping is the result of our own in-depth research we have completed on a number of Roto-Molded coolers from different manufacturers. The perfect cooler for you is here.
This Article Was Last Updated On January 7, 2021
Roto-Molding, which simply means that the manufacturing procedure takes place as heated plastic is poured into a mold and rotated so that every part of the cooler is made with a continuous and consistent firm plastic along the entire body of the cooler.
This Procedure ensures a uniform thick wall with no imperfections. In the last decade or so there have been major changes and now the Super Cooler or Roto-Molded Cooler is setting the standard, they are readily available, very robust, and will last many years.
Traditionally coolers were lightweight but not very durable, and would probably only keep ice for a day, but these super-strong super coolers have ice retention capabilities of up to 10 days in some circumstances.
These are the type of coolers we have researched for this review, and as such, will list only Super Coolers here in this series. One of these coolers should form a major part of your camping checklist essentials.
Buyers Guide To Choosing The Best Cooler For You.
This is one of the most popular questions, and it depends on a few things. The number of people in your group, how much food and drink will your group requires.
Are they all adults, or are there children, Are there any cold drinks and how many or is it just meat and perishables? One important thing to remember is that the size of the cooler does not necessarily make a difference in how long the ice lasts.
The number of days away will be a major factor on your requirements for size is it for a day or is it 10 days, what is the access like to your campsite, and what is the distance you may need to carry it. There are many sizes available and surely one to suit you.
For a simple guide to size, a 25Q is enough for 1 person overnight or 2 people on a picnic. 45Q would be suitable for 2 people for 2 days. 75Q would suit 2 people for a week’s camping.
There are many features available on some of these coolers, Separators that double as cutting boards, baskets to hold sandwiches meat cheese, or other items you don’t like seeing in the ice/water.
Screw-in drain plugs to allow for easy drainage of ice melt out of the cooler, slip-proof feet, bottle openers, are just some of them. Wheels that complement the larger coolers for ease of transporting your food and drink to your campsite.
For carrying the cooler makes it much easier to walk long distances over rough terrain, also allowing the load to be shared by more than 1 person.
Locks for the security of perishables while away from your camp and from creatures that may be feeling hungry, non-slip feet to give it a stable footing on slippery surfaces, and tie-down points for securing the cooler into the vehicle.
Ice retention is the major benefit of super-coolers, and some models have ice retention capability of up to 10 days.
This is also one of the main reasons for such a big price difference between these high-end coolers and the old-style traditional coolers that may be unable to keep your drinks cold for one day on a hot beach outing.
These coolers are certainly made of tough stuff and if you require a cooler that can take some heavy use these are the ones you need to consider.
Their construction ensures a high level of durability and lasting benefits not associated with the more traditional lightweight cooler. You can sit or even stand on these coolers with confidence, they are extremely rugged.
Are spare parts available, (just in case) like hinges and latches. This is another benefit of these high-end coolers is that they have spares for unforeseen circumstances. They are very well-built and may last many decades.
There are a huge number of manufacturers, each has quality and durability that is unique to the individual cooler brand. Some manufacturers have a very solid brand and an equally solid following of loyal customers, and a lot will come down to the manufacturers.
Be sure to check and confirm any warranty they offer, as this can be a big part of your purchasing decision. Check the pros and cons of each product from your own research.
Then you will have the information you require to allow you to buy a good quality cooler that is strong and durable with confidence. A cooler which will give you a lasting and memorable service for many years to come.
The price is also an obvious part of your purchasing decision, and it’s not always a good idea to go for the cheapest available, remember, sometimes you get what you pay for and this could result in an inferior product and an item that does not meet your expectations.
Roto-molded coolers do cost several times more than a traditional lightweight cooler, but depending on the amount of use you get out of it, then it can certainly be a very wise investment, this thing could even outlast you.
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1. Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler.
I DISLIKE. Hard to be too negative, although like all yetis the model number doesn’t reflect their true inner dimensions.
This is a very popular small model and is a good cooler for multiple situations. a great unit that can hold a dozen cans plus ice using the 2:1 ice to contents ratio. Construction using permafrost insulation up to 3in thick will keep the drinks cold for days.
This is a great personal everyday cooler to keep your lunch fresh at the worksite or a weekend camping trip or family bar-b-que, even BYO to your favorite restaurant.
Freezer grade seal ring surrounds the entire lid length, to keep out the hot air which is the enemy, and to lock in the cold.
One issue with these small super coolers is that the thickness of the walls reduces the available space inside, and also adds weight to the unit. But, like its name, this cooler takes some beating when going on road trips in the car.
Yeti Roadie 20 is bear-resistant certified, it has a leak-proof drain plug for easy drainage, and heavy-duty rubber latches are made strong and should never break. and features a self-stopping hinge that won’t overextend.
This small yeti will give great service over a number of years. It comes in multiple colors including white, Desert Tan, Ice Blue, and LE Coral.
2. Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler.
I LIKE. Good looking cooler, Quality unit will last the distance. This is a new model. Guaranteed for life
I DISLIKE. Hard to dislike this cooler.
Extreme ice retention in a cooler which you can fit 24 cans plus ice, that will keep you and a couple of pals happy for a day’s fishing.
This cooler comes with a Lifetime Guarantee which takes a lot of beating and gives a long term peace of mind also means the manufacturer thinks he has a product that can pass the test.
Two sets of handles make for easy carrying, plus you can share the load with a friend on a long haul. Strong new style press and pull latches. Molded-in tie-down slots, useful while in the back of the truck.
It has a very good airtight seal, sometime the lid will hold shut for a while after closing as escaping air when the lid is closed causes a vacuum.
It comes with integrated cup holders, it’s always good to have a spot to store your beer if the fish are biting, also is dry ice compatible which is handy.
Another great feature is it has a built-in bottle opener, now that’s important. This cooler has heaps of strength and durability.
It looks great and will give you optimum performance for a very long time, with normal use this unit will give reliable service for many years.
3. Driftsun 20 Quart Ice Chest.
I LIKE. This is a good quality cooler for a very economical price, has lots of good features and is my choice for a small cooler.
I DISLIKE. Nothing. If I had to pick something it’s the specification stickers. They will easily come off.
Another tough looking unit from Driftsun well-built with 3in of insulation this baby will hold ice for several days and satisfy the needs of 1 or 2 people for an overnight stay.
Ample size for a day fishing out on the lake or camping overnight. up to 3in of roto-molded insulation plus a thermal lock freeze style gasket will work together to block out the hot air and hold in the cold.
Due to the extreme construction and thickness of insulation that goes into the cooler, it will work well in the hot summer conditions with an ice retention capability of 7-10 days.
It has a drain system with a recessed dual cap. A bottle opener on the two front corners makes it very convenient, these bottle openers double as locking points for safety just place your padlock into the holes and its secure.
Molded tie-down slots mean this cooler won’t go for a swim when you have it onboard your boat. Keep it right where you put it with gorilla grip non-slip textured feet.
Strap it in, also no need to worry about it sliding around the back of your truck.quick. Clip latches will lock it tight and are extremely easy to use.
Driftsun comes with a pressure release valve. Normalize the pressure inside your cooler by simply pressing the pressure release valve. It also comes with a 12-month warranty for peace of mind.
4. Engel Cooler High-Performance ENG35.
I LIKE. Continuity, a long time brand usually gives good backup service to a good product.
I DISLIKE. I don’t like this type of lid latch. To me, the whole unit looks bland.
Engel has been around for many years, is very well known and most people have at least heard the name, many people have used an Engel product.
They are a very well made product that simply has to be on this list. Ice retention 8 to 10 days will be long enough for most situations
It will give you very good performance with 2in thick polyurethane insulation all around, strong seamless Roto-Molded construction makes this a great small to a mid-size cooler.
Silicon gaskets will give a good seal and keep in the cold. well-designed latches should hold the sturdy and skid-proof lid down firmly.
Whether you are camping for a week in the woods or on a fishing trip for a couple of days this is one tough cooler that will perform well in all environments.
It is strong enough to stand on, the inside floor has a pitch that allows excess water to completely drain from the unit. the drain plug is attached to a tether. It also has built-in hand grips for a more secure and comfortable carry.
5. RTIC Cooler 45.
I LIKE. Just about everything about this cooler, this might be my choice of 45q.
I DISLIKE. It looks a bit plain beside some of the others but hey, looks don’t help it keep the beer cold.
This Midsize cooler is all about extremes, extreme damage resistance and extreme durability give this unit a great start in the competition stakes.
It is a great multi-use cooler it can be carried by just one person although full you may have to be a strong person if hauling it any distance.
It has terrific ice retention capabilities, up to 10 days, and will withstand all the serious abuse you may like to give it. It has a good airtight seal that keeps out the warm air and creates a good vacuum between the lid and the body.
It comes in three colors, White, Tan, and Blue.
The RTIC 45b can do many jobs not only a cooler but stable table a stool or seat and put a perspex sheet over the top and you have great cutting board support.
This cooler with its extra-thick insulation provides you with a midsize unit that is a robust hard wearing go anywhere type of cooler that will keep your perishables and drinks fresh and cold for an extended period.
A couple, camping for several days will be satisfied by this cooler. It will do the job with ease while giving you some of the comforts of home.
This cooler seems to tick a lot of boxes, although you don’t get a lifetime warranty you do get a well-built cooler and what I have seen makes me believe this is one heck of a good unit.
The ice retention capability is unquestionable, the reviews say probably as good as a yeti, this one is in the race.
6. Thermik High-Performance Roto-Molded Cooler 45Qt.
I LIKE. The extras, the separator that doubles as a cutting board, the basket and the drink holder, nice touch. Lots of good reviews. 5-year warranty.
I DISLIKE. Nothing.
Here is a cooler that not only looks good but is built to withstand some hard work, rugged design and versatile. Roto-Molded construction with a textured lid with strong latches, Thick urethane insulation keeps ice for over 5 days no problems.
Freezer grade seal provides a nice tight close, plus it has a vacuum release knob to make opening the lid easy where there is a vacuum inside the cooler.
Rubber feet stop the slipping and sliding and tie-down points allow you to keep it secure in the back of the pickup.
2 x Built-in Bottle openers on each side of the unit double as locking points for a padlock to keep your contents safe and secure.
Inside there is a separator that doubles as a cutting board, a basket for bread or dry goods, and a drink holder that attaches on the outside.
To drain the ice melt there is a screw-over plug that has a stainless steel tether so the plug doesn’t get dirty or lost. This cooler is also covered by a 5-year warranty. There is a lot to like about this one.
7. Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler.
I LIKE. Well built good quality cooler, solid following, with a reliable backup service.
I DISLIKE. They are at the top of the price range so it depends if you can afford the extra.
Roto-Molded construction makes this cooler strong and rugged, able to withstand any journey over any terrain. Dual 2in drain to remove ice-melt quickly and completely.
Bear claw latches made of strong rubber compound, are used to keep the lid securely closed. Non-slip and non-marking rubber feet keep this cooler stable on slippery surfaces.
A strong and dependable yeti 45 cooler with 3in of permafrost insulation with an extra thick fat wall design will keep your food cold long into the week. Holding 26 cans with 2;1 ice to contents ratio there is plenty of internal space.
Ice retention is extremely good for up to 10 days in normal conditions. size of the unit is 25.5 x 16 x 15.5 inches and weighs in at 15 pounds.
This is a very popular model and the Yeti name has a very strong following. A small basket is included to help separate your fruit and veg and keep them out of the ice/water.
4.5 from 5-star rating from customer reviews is a good number and given this standard of cooler, it is probably well-deserved.
Lipgrip handles make carrying this cooler into your camp seem less of a chore, and much more easy. A freezer-grade gasket encircles the entire lid perimeter to completely seal the unit and to block the cold escaping
Heavy-duty rubber latches work well and are made tough to last. This is a very sturdy cooler built by a reputable manufacturer who is here to stay it has lots of benefits and will provide refrigerated comforts while you are away from home on your next adventure
8. Igloo Sportsman Cooler 55 Quarts.
I LIKE. This cooler has all the features you need and I really like the price. Do your research.
I DISLIKE. The build quality may not be up to scratch. Remember the saying you get what you pay for.
This cooler has a good size, lots of features, and an oversized drain plug to remove ice melt quickly the plus has a tether so it works well keeping the plug out of the dirt and a lot harder to misplace it.
Another very strong cooler nearly unbreakable construction typically used in roto-molded manufacturing.
Thick insulation in both the lid and body will keep your catch fresh on your next fishing or hunting trip. Heavy-duty handle for ease of carrying and a trip lip latch keeps the cold in. the lid has lockable points and comes with a built-in fish ruler so you’re sure to be inside your legal sizes
Anti-skid feet keep the cooler stable and stop and sliding around in the back of the boat, it weighs in at just under 42 pounds has aluminum hinges plus a notched lid will allow the lid to stop and stay in an open position.
Customer rating 3.8 out of 5 stars. The reviews on the product are not really positive just 53% of reviews were 5-star.
9. Engel Coolers High-Performance ENG65.
I LIKE. Clean lines of the cooler well-built with good latches.
I DISLIKE. No basket or separator
We have already checked out the ENG 35 and have previously noted that Engel has been around for many years, are very well-known and most people have at least heard the name.
They are a very well-made product and with Ice retention capabilities claimed at up to 10 days, should be long enough for most camping situations.
Engel Coolers ENG65 has a great ability to keep ice well for up to 10 days. Thick 2in polyurethane insulation all around ensures fresh food in the cooler when you need it.
Certified bear-resistant, it comes with points for padlocking closed for security this cooler has a durable seamless construction with silicon airtight gaskets in the lid, compression latches to hold it closed tight, and has a good size capacity of 58 Quarts.
White nonskid non-marking feet make sure your cooler stays put the feet also raise the body of the cooler off the ground a little.
Full length integrated self-stopping hinge for maximum strength Engel will last for many years and you will enjoy a lot of hours using it for keeping all your perishables.
10. Yeti Tundra 65.
I LIKE. Hard to fault, these are good products.
I DISLIKE. I cannot pick a genuine fault.
Yeti Tundra 65 is a cooler that has plenty of space, capable of holding enough drinks for a dozen people, in fact over 3 dozen cans plus ice.
It is just as good out in the field on a worksite, as on a camping trip into the woods, even your backyard family bar-b-que will not faze this quality cooler. Inside is tall enough for a wine bottle to stand, and the strength of this unit is second to none.
It will keep your ice well, because of the extra thick insulation, the roto-molded manufacturing process makes the tundra very strong, very durable, and will handle any treatment on any occasion.
This cooler is bear-resistant, plus these tundra coolers come with patented T-rex lid latches made from heavy-duty rubber that will last a seriously long time.
Inside there is a basket to separate your sandwiches or other foods from the ice and water. Neverfail hinge system prevents the hinges from failing and a freezer-grade gasket surrounds the lid that will keep all your perishables cold and fresh.
Transporting and carrying your Yeti 65 into a campsite will be made much easier by the well thought out design of the handles which are made from marine-grade nylon rope with textured grips that give a more secure and comfortable grip.
This cooler is up for any challenge and will remain a silent, reliable, and convenient part of your essential kit when camping for an extended period. We consider the Yeti 65 a good all-around cooler.
11. Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler.
I LIKE. Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty.
I DISLIKE. If I had to pick a fault I would like to see wheels on a unit this size.
Pelican elite 70 has extreme ice retention capabilities of up to 10 days through thick polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket in the lid.
It has molded handles that will make it so much easier to carry the food and beverage into your campsite. It has tie-down slots to reduce the chance of moving while being transported.
It comes with strong 3in locking latches that will keep it securely closed and for security when away from camp or from animals getting in.
It has locking points for a padlock to be used, a fish scale is inbuilt into the lid, plus it also has a convenient Stainless Steel bottle opener. Non-slip rubber feet are another feature of this product and it has a whole 70Q of internal volume.
Leak-proof drain plug for efficient drainage of ice melt, while molded handles give you a comfortable way of carrying this unit. Tiedown slots allow for the cooler to be secured to the floor of the boat or pick-up.
Self-draining cup holders give an added feature and are convenient in that it gives you a place to put your cups.
12. K2 Coolers Summit 70 Cooler.
I LIKE. The 7-year warranty will provide peace of mind
I DISLIKE. At 32lbs it’s a bit heavy.
This 1 piece roto-molded construction gives extreme ruggedness and a tough, durable quality that is a hallmark of all super coolers and the K2 summit 70 is no exception.
The size of this unit is 33 x 17 x 19inches and weighs 32 pounds so it is a little heavy for its size however remember weight is a part of owning one of these super coolers.
The extra-thick insulation gives every good ice retention, is also food-grade material, and is engineered to take a bit of rough stuff.
Ample room for extended stays on holidays or trips away camping out, loads of room for the drinks after a hard day of doing nothing. Plus this cooler has a 5-year warranty depending on the supplier.
Sitting on the patio at home half full of ice you will have more than enough chilling power for a major weekend-long get-together and more than plenty of room for all the drinks and food you’ll need.
This cooler is a great size so whether it’s a weekend at home with family and friends or a week camping under the stars this unit will satisfy all your needs.
13. Thermik High-Performance Roto-Molded Cooler 75qt.
I LIKE. Separator/cutting board basket and Drink holder extras. The textured lid top.
I DISLIKE. Once again at 32 lbs, I’d like to see wheels on a cooler this size.
A larger version of the 45Qt has all the features you would expect from a quality cooler, and maybe 1 or 2 more.
These coolers made from thick urethane insulation construction with soft damage proof latches, ice retention is good at 5+ days freezer-grade seal keeps hot air out and the cold in.
It has a vacuum release Button which is a feature few others have, and it makes breaking the seal and opening the lid much easier, the lid swings to 90 degrees on a strong and near indestructible hinge it has rubber feet to stop it sliding out the back of the truck.
Another feature is the detachable drink holder that sits on the outside of the unit and works very well as you don’t have to shift your drink to open the cooler.
14. Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest.
I LIKE. Everything about this cooler has a nice finish with heaps of extra’s. Great reviews, 4.8 from 5 stars.
I DISLIKE. The weight when you fill it you don’t want to be having to move it.
Driftsun has put together a strong and well-insulated 75-quart cooler that has good ice retention 3 inches of commercial-grade insulation makes this one seriously tough unit.
Virtually indestructible Rot-Molded thermoplastic construction means this cooler will be around for a long time.
Non-slip feet will prevent movement on slippery surfaces, together with the tie-down slots that allow you to strap it into place in the truck, ensures it won’t be moving without you.
Rubber cold seal latches will hold the lid down nice and tight. And with the freezer-grade lid gasket that will keep things cold for an extended getaway.
While heavy when loaded it will be easy to carry thanks to the military-grade nylon rope handles. It has a recessed Drain plug and also comes with a built-in pressure release valve. there are 2 x built-in bottle openers on the corners of the unit.
Overall it looks like it could be a contender. this cooler will pass all the tests to store your food and drinks for an extended stay off the grid, a 1-year warranty is included and it weighs in at 32 pounds.
15. Pelican Products Progear Elite Wheeled Cooler 80.
I LIKE. Definitely the wheels they just make moving these size coolers much easier. A very good cooler.
I DISLIKE. Not much to dislike about this cooler, except at this price point a separator and basket would be a good finish.
This is a serious sized roto-molded cooler for a serious Camper or Boatey. Too big just to wet a line, this baby is more like a trip to the deep blue for a few days, full of provisions when you start and full of fillets when you return home.
It has press and pull Latches to keep it securely closed. it is very well-built, study very strong and will probably last a lifetime while giving very good service along the way.
This Beast has an ice retention capability of up to 10 days under normal conditions so this would be a unit to consider if you like to have some size on your side whether hunting, fishing, or on long camping trips this cooler will satisfy.
It has a built-in fish scale on the lid to make sure your keeping fish that are legal size, very convenient also could save you a lot of heartaches.
Large sturdy wheels for transporting the cooler into your campsite or just moving it around the yard at home for a big family get together. It has molded tie-downs to secure the cooler to the boat or tray of your truck.
Non-skid raised feet to make it sit stably on slippery surfaces, the unit is fitted with a hasp and plate locking device and a sloped drain to empty any ice melt, and a tethered threaded plug.
It also has a built-in bottle opener the 2 in polyethylene insulation will keep your goodies fresh and tasty many days, this cooler is made in the USA and comes with a Lifetime Guarantee.
Buyers Guide and Advice.
- How Big Do I Need It?
- A simple size guide
- Handles for Easy Lifting.
- Benefits that Last a Lifetime.
- Spare Parts.
These products perform exceptionally well, obviously some better than others, that is why we put together these reviews but they will keep food drinks and perishables colder than the best traditional coolers out there.
These coolers are quite heavy however this is a standard-issue with all super Coolers, it’s just the way they are made, Roto-Molded Technology is not about being lightweight.
As well as the convenience and reliability that these coolers will give you, and the fact that you can rest assured that whatever you place into them plus ice, will remain cold and maintain freshness in your food for a long period.
You can enjoy family camping activities in the great outdoors without worry, that you may not have a cold drink at the end of the day.
Ice retention capabilities are what it’s all about but the specs from the manufacturer will differ from reality under different operating conditions so be sure to check them out.
If you are in the market for a good cooler for your future outdoor adventures, or your next get-together with the family, we believe one of these will have all the necessary benefits and features you require.
Yes, you will pay a premium for these units initially, but over a lifetime you may go through several cheaper traditional coolers plus the cost of regular ice supplies, and that will soon start to add up.
Make sure you check the warranty on any product as this changes from one supplier to another. Buying one of these coolers from a reputable supplier will make a good investment and may give you decades of reliable service.
If you have any more questions about the Best Coolers For Camping, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.
Remember, leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.