Keeping it Cool: The Best Cooler for Car Camping Unveiled!

Are you ready to take your camping adventure to the next level? Look no further than the best coolers for car camping! Whether you're planning a short trip or a longer excursion, these coolers are designed to keep your food and drinks ice-cold for days on end. From crowd-favorites to extra-durable options, we've rounded up the top picks to ensure your camping experience is nothing short of incredible. Get ready to discover the best cooler for car camping and make your outdoor getaway a chilled-out success!

Best Overall: RovR RollR

ROVR RollR cooler sits open on a dock. Why It Made the Cut

The RovR RollR came in first place in our ice retention test. It is also easy to move around and has additional features like a bike attachment, making it the ideal choice for adventurous campers. 

Key Features

  • Capacity: 60 quarts (claimed), 52 (measured); 45-quart and 80-quart capacity also available
  • Dimensions: 26.5 x 20 x 21 inches (exterior); 19.5 x 10.5 x 12 inches (interior)
  • Weight: 49.5 pounds
  • IGBC-certified (bear-proof locks sold separately) 


  • Best-in-class ice retention
  • Wheels make it easily portable
  • Excellent drainage


  • Expensive compared to other coolers in our test
  • Poor interior volume to exterior volume ratio; interior volume does not match manufacturer-provided measurements of the interior

Product Description

The RovR RollR is a stylish cooler with bulky 9-inch wheels, a roller handle, and a convenient pop-top storage bin. Despite the extra features, this cooler excelled in our ice retention test, with a bag of ice taking nearly two days to melt.

The additional features of this cooler are particularly attractive for those planning to explore rugged landscapes. The 9-inch wheels make it easy to pull over uneven trails, despite its weight of 50 pounds. The sitting pad on the cooler can also be used as a storage bin for extra items you want to bring along. For campers going on longer journeys, there is even a bike attachment available for separate purchase to attach the cooler to your bike.

One unique feature of this cooler is its interior design. The wheels create a step-down shelf on one side, which may seem odd at first but proves useful as the ice melts. The meltwater drips down into a pocket, where it can be easily drained using the drainage port. This prevents your food from becoming soggy in a pool of melted ice water. The cooler also comes with a vertical basket that can be used to store food on the drainage end without immersing it in water, creating a barrier to prevent the rest of your food from sliding over. Despite its unusual design, it is well-thought-out.

The main drawback of the RovR RollR is its price. It was the most expensive option in our test, and its measured volume was less than the claimed 60 quarts. Some users may also find the rubber latches somewhat difficult to manage, and the drainage may leak if not closed properly. However, overall, if you're willing to spend extra for an enhanced camping experience, this cooler is an excellent choice.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall – LargeYETI Tundra 45 Cooler (or shop REI)

Best Small Cooler – SmallYETI Roadie 24 Cooler (or shop REI)

Budget Cooler – LargeColeman Xtreme Portable Cooler

Budget Cooler – SmallIgloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler

Best Coolers For Camping: The Details

It's time to dive into the details of the coolers we tested to help you determine the best coolers for your needs. First, we'll provide the general details of each cooler we tested and then compare their performance, features, and specs to determine the top choices.


Tips to Get the Most Out Of Your Cooler – Best Coolers

Best coolers for camping, best coolers for hunting

To maximize the performance of any cooler, whether it's one of the top coolers on the market or an economy option, there are several things you can do:


Store your cooler in a cool place overnight before using it. This helps the ice chest retain cold temperatures more effectively.

Best Coolers for camping, hunting, fishing, and best cooler for the money


Minimize the number of times you open the cooler to keep the interior temperature stable and maximize cooling efficiency.


Unless the water is damaging your food, keep the melted ice in the cooler as it helps maintain cold temperatures. Elevate items that could be affected by the water to keep them dry.


When packing your cooler, use a 2:1 ratio of ice to food for optimal performance. Put twice as much ice as food in the cooler, especially for longer trips. Consider bringing extra ice if necessary.

What Size Do I Need? Best Coolers For Hunting and Camping


For a weekend camping trip with up to 4 people, a 65-quart cooler is a good starting point. If you're packing for more than 4 people, consider an 80 or 100-quart ice chest.


Best Coolers for camping, hunting, fishing, and best cooler for the money

Storing large game like deer, elk, moose, or pronghorn requires a larger cooler. Here are some starting points based on our testing:

  • 65-75 quart – 1 deer plus ice; 2 deer with limited room for ice
  • 110-125 quart – 3 deer with some room for ice
  • 140-165 quart – 4 deer or 1 deboned elk with some room for ice

If you're going on an extended hunting trip, it's best to use a dedicated cooler for your harvest. Fill the cooler with blocks of ice or frozen jugs of water to maintain optimal temperatures. Avoid storing game meat in water, even if it's cold.

Interesting Things We Learned: Best Coolers For Camping

  • Some coolers experienced greater temperature variations throughout the day than others.
  • The ability to hold ice doesn't necessarily determine the suitability for storing meat. The internal temperature is crucial, and it should be below 40°F for safe meat storage.
  • While some coolers maintained sub 40°F temperatures until the ice melted, not all coolers performed the same.
  • Ultralight coolers generally have reduced thermal retention performance.

The best coolers for camping: Reviews & Recommendations

Camping has become increasingly popular recently, as people seek outdoor activities away from crowds amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, there has been a surge in interest in camping gear, particularly tents and water filters. Many individuals are discovering, or rediscovering, the therapeutic benefits of spending time in nature. While there are many high-tech camping gadgets available, camping coolers maintain a deliberately low-tech design. Companies have dedicated effort to creating insulated materials that keep food and drinks fresh for longer periods of time without adding excessive weight or bulk. When choosing a camping cooler, it is important to strike the right balance between size and portability based on individual needs. The camping coolers listed below come in multiple sizes to accommodate various situations.

Best overall: RTIC Ultra-Light Quart Hard Cooler

RTIC Ultra-Light Quart Hard Cooler Specs

  • Size: 27.01 x 17.28 x 16.54 inches
  • Weight: 13.4 pounds
  • Capacity: 54 Qt.
  • Style: Hardshell
  • Materials: Closed-cell foam
  • Price: $219.99
  • Excellent weight to capacity ratio
  • Three inches of insulation
  • Reasonably priced
  • No separate built-in compartments
If we had to recommend just one camping cooler to meet everyone's needs, the RTIC Ultra-Light Quart Hard Cooler would be the top choice. This cooler has been meticulously engineered and stands out as one of the best outdoor gear options available.

With a 52 quart capacity, the RTIC cooler can hold up to 60 pounds of ice or 70 cans without ice. Despite its size, this camping cooler is surprisingly lightweight, weighing only half as much as its competitors. This makes it much easier to transport. Additional features such as T-latches, non-skid rubber feet, marine-grade nylon rope handles, and an optional divider for separating food and drinks make it even more appealing. It is also available in six color options. The only drawback is that the divider is not included with the cooler, although it can be purchased separately for a reasonable price.

If you're in need of a large, light, and relatively affordable camping cooler for various outdoor activities, the RTIC Ultra-Light Quart Hard Cooler is an excellent choice.

Best electric: GOSun Chill Cooler

GOsun Chill Cooler Specs

  • Size: 23.5 x 16 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Capacity: 42 Qt.
  • Style: Hardshell
  • Materials: Close cell polyurethane foam
  • Price: 9
  • Built-in compressor keeps items cool without ice
  • Solar power compatibility
  • Separate fridge and freezer compartments
  • Requires regular charging
  • Expensive
The GOSun Chill Cooler offers the most advanced technology in its category. Although it comes with a higher price tag, it provides exceptional efficiency. Featuring a built-in refrigeration system, this cooler maintains a pre-set temperature range between -4 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit without the need for ice. The cooler's temperature can be controlled using the touch panel on top, and it also includes USB-A ports and a DC cigarette lighter for charging devices on the go.

The standout feature of the Chill Cooler is its ability to function without relying on a power source. It can be connected to an external battery pack or powered by GOsun's Outdoor Solar Table for off-grid use during sunny days. While continuous use of the cooling features may drain the battery, this cooler remains an excellent choice for individuals who prefer electric cooling options.

Best with wheels: YETI Roadie 60

YETI Roadie 60 Specs

  • Size: 23.7 x 19.9 x 20.5 inches
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Capacity: 63 Qt.
  • Style: Hardshell
  • Materials: Polyurethane
  • Price: $500
  • Extremely durable
  • Highly portable considering its size
  • Convenient periscoping handle

YETI is renowned for its premium coolers, and the YETI Roadie 60 meets the high standards associated with the brand. This 60 quart cooler is one of the largest camping coolers available, and although it's expensive, it offers exceptional quality.

The Roadie 60's durability is its most notable feature—its insulation and well-designed latches make it bear-proof. Additionally, YETI uses single-piece tires that can withstand exposure to rocks and dirt, making it highly portable. The cooler's design ensures portability without compromising its capacity, providing the same storage space as a traditional cooler in a more compact form. The telescoping handle reaches a comfortable height for rolling and can be concealed when not in use.

While the YETI Roadie 60 may be a significant investment, it is worth considering for those seeking the highest quality wheeled camping cooler.

Best large: Driftsun 75 Quart Insulated Cooler

Driftsun 75 Quart Insulated Cooler Specs

  • Size: 33.5 x 18.5 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Capacity: 75 Qt.
  • Style: Hardshell
  • Materials: Rotomolded thermoplastic
  • Price: $249.99
  • Exceptional ice retention
  • High capacity
  • Built-in bottle opener
  • Large size adds weight
If you require a high-capacity camping cooler, the Driftsun 75 Quart Insulated Cooler is an ideal choice. Offering 75 quarts of storage space, this cooler comfortably accommodates numerous cans and ample ice. Driftsun is confident in the cooler's insulation, claiming it can keep ice solid for up to 10 days. The cooler's locking latches ensure a secure closure.

Despite its size, this camping cooler remains relatively lightweight compared to other non-electric models. Portability was a key consideration when selecting a cooler in this category. While the 75 quart option may not seem significantly larger than alternatives, being able to transport the same amount of cans with ice is advantageous for longer trips. Driftsun's attention to detail is evident with features like the built-in bottle opener, enhancing the overall user experience. Overall, the Driftsun 75 Quart Insulated Cooler is an affordable and practical choice for individuals in need of a spacious cooler.

Best soft cooler: Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Soft Cooler

Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Soft Cooler Specs

  • Size: 14.5 x 14.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Capacity: 27 Qt.
  • Style: Softshell
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Price: $179.95
  • Lightweight
  • Relatively high capacity
  • Includes straps and handles
  • Cannot hold as much as hard shell coolers
If your camping trips consist of one-night stays with two or three people, a large hardshell cooler is unnecessary. The Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Soft Cooler is a perfect solution for such situations. This ultra-lightweight soft cooler offers excellent insulation, keeping contents cold for up to 27 hours according to the manufacturer.

Due to its smaller size, this cooler is likely to be filled to capacity. To facilitate ease of carrying, Hydro Flask has included side handles in addition to a strap that can be utilized by two people. This attention to detail significantly enhances the user experience. The cooler's zipper is another notable feature, as it is constructed with high-quality materials that prevent warm air from entering or liquids from leaking. The Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Soft Cooler is a fantastic choice for individuals seeking a compact and hassle-free cooler for shorter camping trips.

Best budget: Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler Specs

  • Size: 28.25 x 15.75 x 18.25 inches
  • Weight: 12.3 pounds
  • Capacity: 70 Qt.
  • Style: Hardshell
  • Materials: Plastic (with Xtreme® technology)
  • Price: .99
  • High capacity
  • Features cup holders and seating
  • Affordable price
  • No latches to keep the lid closed
The Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler offers outstanding value for a full-sized hard cooler. While it may lack extra features, its simplicity is offset by its spacious interior. With a 70 quart capacity, this cooler provides ample storage space. Despite its large size, it weighs just under 12.5 pounds, making it the lightest camping cooler recommended. Coleman claims that this cooler can keep its contents cold for up to five days, although the absence of latches to secure the lid may compromise its insulation.

The Xtreme Portable Cooler includes additional features such as four cup holders on top and the ability to function as a seat or work surface, supporting up to 250 pounds. These practical auxiliary uses enhance the cooler's overall functionality, although the cup holders may impact insulation in those areas. Considering its price, the Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler is an excellent choice for new campers or those who do not require a more premium option.

This YETI model is a popular option and one of the best coolers for car camping.Amazon

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler



  • Certified bear-resistant
  • Features tie-down slots and lid lock
  • Available in various eye-catching colors


  • No wheels
  • Expensive
YETI is a well-known cooler brand with a dedicated following, and their Tundra Cooler is a fantastic choice for car camping. It has received an impressive overall rating of 4.8 stars, based on over 3,500 ratings. This cooler is highly durable, featuring 3 inches of foam insulation and a dry goods basket. It also has a convenient drain spout for easy emptying. Additionally, the cooler is bear-resistant and has tie-down slots, making it suitable for attachment to a truck bed or boat. The T-shaped latches ensure a secure closure. The model mentioned here is the 45-quart size, but there are other sizes available, such as the 35-quart and 75-quart sizes. These variations allow for customization based on your camping needs.

According to one reviewer: “Yeti 45, got about 80 hours out of my ice on recent camping trip. The design of everything to be super functional with no shortcuts, the construction, the fasteners, the performance. Wow worth every penny!”

Cooler type: Hard cooler | Available sizes: 45 quarts (more available here) | Weight: 20 pounds | Exterior dimensions: 26 x 16 x 16 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 13 | Wheels: Not on this model (but available on this heavier, pricier YETI Tundra cooler) | Handles: Yes

Best Value: RTIC Hard Cooler

RTIC cooler sitting on a dock. Why It Made the Cut

The RTIC cooler, being the largest in my test, lasted over twenty-four hours and offers excellent interior space utilization.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 65 quarts (45-quart capacity also available)
  • Dimensions: 32 x 17 x 18.5 inches (exterior); 26 x 12 x 13 inches (interior)
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Not IGBC-certified
  • Affordable price
  • Large volume works well for larger groups
  • Optimal interior volume to exterior volume ratio
  • No tray insert
  • Wide size makes it difficult for one person to move
Product Description

The RTIC Hard Cooler is the perfect choice for those who simply want a spacious and no-frills option to keep their supplies cold. Its rectangular design maximizes interior space and features rubber T-latches with rope and foam handles for easy transport. Although this cooler is nearly 3 feet long, making it challenging to handle alone, it offers ample room for a family of four or a longer trip for two people.

In my ice retention test, this cooler performed admirably, ranking second overall. It is worth noting that the RTIC 65 QT Hard Cooler does not utilize the rotomolded construction found in many other top camping coolers. Nonetheless, it comes with several attractive features such as a user-friendly click latching system and a drainage port cap attached to the cooler to prevent misplacement.

Of course, the real standout feature of this cooler is its significantly lower price compared to other options on the market. While it may not be the best budget pick due to its larger size, it still offers excellent value. If you're new to camping or looking for a cost-effective option, the RTIC Hard Cooler is a reliable choice that will last you for years.

An Extra-Large Cooler for Extended Camping Trips

This Igloo Polar model is the best large cooler for long car camping trips.Amazon

Igloo Polar Cooler



  • Available in three sizes, up to 150 quarts
  • Equipped with securing latches
  • Features a drain and hose hookup


  • Heavy and challenging to move around
  • No wheels
Igloo’s large Polar Cooler is perfect for storing a large volume of food and drinks on extended trips or when camping with a large group. The cooler claims to keep ice frozen for seven days in temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and reviewers have confirmed its long ice retention capability. It is designed with latches to keep the lid tightly closed, as well as a drain and a hose hookup for easy emptying without handling the cooler directly.

According to one reviewer: “Used this cooler for a 2-day camping trip and it did a wonderful job of holding ice and keeping the food cold. On the second day, I thought I might need to buy more ice, but there was still ice from when we left for our trip. Freezing some of the food beforehand helps extend the ice retention. I've always been a fan of Igloo coolers. And for those wondering, the cooler was left outdoors the whole trip. We only moved it into the shade to keep it out of the sun.”

Cooler type: Hard cooler | Available sizes: 120 quarts, 150 quarts | Weight: 18.2 pounds (120-quart), unspecified (150-quart) | Exterior dimensions: 39 x 17 x 18 inches, 42 x 19 x 21 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 2 | Wheels: No | Handles: Yes

Best for Smaller Cars: Stanley Adventure Cold for Days

The Stanley Adventure for Days cooler drains on a dock. Why It Made the Cut

This mid-sized cooler offers excellent ice retention and is ideal for smaller cars on multi-day trips.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 30 quarts 
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 18.5 x 15.5  inches (exterior); 13 x 11 x 12 inches (interior)
  • Weight: 13.6 pounds
  • Not IGBC-certified
  • Affordable price
  • Compact design suitable for smaller cars
  • May not offer enough storage space for longer trips
Product Description

For campers who primarily use sedans, a three-foot long cooler capable of accommodating a week's worth of food for a family of six is unnecessary. The Stanley Adventure Cold for Days Cooler, with its 30-quart capacity, is a perfect fit for smaller cars and weekend trips. It offers plenty of room to store snacks for kids and beverages for adults on a family trip, or for longer getaways with two people.

In my ice retention test, this cooler ranked second overall, an impressive feat considering it lacks the popular rotomolded construction found in other top camping coolers. I particularly liked its click latching system, which is simple to use, and the connected drainage port cap, which reduces the risk of misplacement during long journeys.

However, the standout feature of this cooler is its affordable price point. It costs a fraction of the most expensive cooler in my test, making it an excellent choice for beginners or anyone looking for a budget-friendly option that still offers long-lasting performance.

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Best Water Resistance: ORCA Cooler

ORCA cooler sits slightly ajar on dock.

Why It Made the Cut

No matter which side I turned the ORCA Cooler on, only a drop or two of water managed to escape the seams of the lid. 

Key Features

  • Capacity: 58 quarts; 20-quart, 26-quart, 40-quart, and 140-quart capacity also available
  • Dimensions: 27 x 19.5 x 19.5 inches (exterior); 20 x 13.5 x 13 inches (interior)
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • IGBC-certified (locks sold separately) 


  • Extremely water-resistant
  • Widest variety of sizes available of any cooler in my test


Product Description

When I first unboxed the ORCA Hard Cooler, I thought there was something wrong with it. No matter how hard I pried at the lid after unhooking the two rubber latches, I couldn’t get it open. Was I going to have to leave this cooler out of my test due to lack of upper body strength? As a last ditch effort, I unscrewed the drainage port: there was an immediate hiss of air, followed by the popping sound of the cooler walls releasing. To say that the amount of pressure this cooler is capable of holding is impressive is an understatement.  

Even when filled with room temperature water, this cooler is quite water resistant. During my test for waterproofness, the sides and the back held the water completely in, and only a small dribble escaped the front. However, when the cooler is filled with ice (and hasn’t been opened in a while), the cooler becomes entirely waterproof. The pressure inside the cooler creates a seal similar (if, fortunately, less intense) to when I first unboxed the cooler.

The only downside to this extremely effective water-resistance is that the latches are surprisingly difficult to use, requiring more than some effort to secure. If you’re camping with children (who might not have the strength or patience to operate this cooler correctly), then another choice might be better. However, if you plan to use your cooler on a boat in addition to camping, then this one is a no-brainer, in addition to these coolers for fishing. 

Best Features: YETI Wheeled Roadie

YETI Roadie sits open on dock.

Why It Made the Cut

The YETI not only performed third best of the coolers I tested for ice retention, it was also a breeze to use thanks to a telescopic handle, durable wheels, a simple latching mechanism, and a quality drain plug.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 48 quarts (20-quart and 60-quart capacity also available)
  • Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20.5 inches (exterior); 14.5 x 11.5 x 15.5 inches (interior)
  • Weight: 25.8 pounds
  • Not IGBC-certified


  • Good ice retention
  • Easy to move around
  • Excellent latching mechanism and drainage ports


Product Description

One of the biggest drags of any high quality cooler is having to move it around. No matter how advanced your technique (lift from the legs, not from the back), it’s still awkward and uncomfortable. The YETI Wheeled Roadie at first glance looks more like a roller-bag than a typical cooler, and fortunately for you, it’s maneuverability is much more akin to the former. A telescopic handle (the only cooler in my test with this feature) pops up from the top of the cooler and lifts up to an impressive 3.5 feet—high enough for even the tallest campers to grab comfortably. Shorter users have the option to adjust the height down to a more comfortable level. One upgrade here is that the wheels on the YETI Roadie are (thankfully) significantly larger and more durable than those on your suitcase. While checking ice retention, leaks and functionality, this was one of the few coolers that this 5-foot 5-inch tester didn’t dread having to maneuver around. 

This was also one of the few coolers in my test to survive two nights of the ice retention test (and would have obviously lasted a lot longer if I had filled it to the brim with ice). Also notable was its simple snap-latch design, which was significantly easier to use than the rubber latches I tested on the other coolers. The drainage port is also waterproof and requires very little torque to operate. 

The YETI comes with a basket that sits up top (for your butter, cheese, and other goods that are prone to waterlogging), but can accommodate a second one as well as a divider—useful for storing food at different temperatures. YETI also has a helpful guide on how to pack your ice chest for peak efficiency. If your number one priority in your camping cooler is ease of use, then this is the choice for you.  

A hard cooler with wheels & other handy features

This Coleman model has lots of handy features, making it one of the best coolers for car camping.Amazon


  • Easy to transport with wheels and tow handle
  • Has a drain spout
  • Can double as a table (with cup holders) and as a seat


  • Not many color options
  • Lid doesn’t lock shut

This classic hard cooler’s combination of a tow handle and wheels makes taking it to your site as easy as can be. Coleman claims it can keep ice for up to five days, making it great for longer trips. The spout on the bottom simplifies draining water as the ice melts, it has cup holders in its lid that can hold up to 30-ounce tumblers, and the lid can also be used as a seat.

One reviewer wrote: “Went camping for 3 days and it kept most of the ice to where I didnt need to add more. Food was kept nice and cold. The trick is to always drain the water as the ice melts. Works better then expected, also had a YETI cooler with us and for the price difference the Coleman kept up pretty well. I would buy again.”

Cooler type: Hard cooler | Available sizes: 62 quarts, 65 quarts, 100 quarts | Weight: Not specified (62-quart), 12.3 pounds (65-quart), 20.4 pounds (100-quart) | Exterior dimensions: 28 x 16 x 18 inches, 22 x 17 x 21 inches, 37 x 17 x 18 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 2 | Wheels: Yes | Handles: Yes

Best Budget: Dometic Patrol 

Dometic Patrol cooler sits open on dock.

Why It Made the Cut

This simple cooler from Dometic had middle-of-the-pack ice retention capabilities at half the cost of my best overall pick.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 55 quarts (20-quart, 35-quart, and 105-quart capacity also available)
  • Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 10 inches (exterior); 22.5 x 11 x 13.5 inches (interior)
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Not IGBC-certified


  • Great value
  • Easy to use latch


Product Description 

The Dometic Patrol shared many of the qualities of the RTIC Hard Cooler: a simple design paired with effective ice retention. But while the exterior-to-interior size ratio was not quite as impressive with this cooler as it was with the RTIC, I was impressed at what it accomplished at its price point, almost half of the most expensive coolers in my test. Given Dometic’s earned reputation for producing high-end and high-tech overlanding gear, the affordability and simplicity of this quality camping cooler was a pleasant surprise. 

The basket provided by the Dometic was also one of the largest in my test, capable of holding all your sensitive perishables and then some above the inevitable melting slurry. If you’re looking to upgrade your cooler without spending your entire camping budget on one piece of gear then this is a smart pick. 

A budget-friendly hard cooler

This Igloo option is the best budget cooler for car camping.Amazon


  • Costs less than $50
  • Lightweight design


  • No lid lock or drain spout
  • Not as durable as other options

This Igloo cooler is a great buy for less than $55, and it has all the functions a basic hard cooler needs. This red 50-quart cooler is a size that would be well-suited for weekend car camping trips, but it’s also available in other colors and sizes, including smaller 28-quart and 30-quart options.

One reviewer wrote: “Cool as can be! [...] Liked this so much we have given one to special friends! Great for carrying chilled wine upright and keeps cool for a long time.”

Cooler type: Hard cooler | Available sizes: 28 quarts, 30 quarts, 50 quarts | Weight: 5.6 pounds | Exterior dimensions: 25 x 15 x 15 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 4 | Wheels: No | Handles: Yes

A versatile powered cooler with a warming function

This Ivation option is one of the best power coolers for car camping with a warming function.


The Ivation Electric Cooler & Warmer is a versatile addition to your car camping setup. It has the ability to cool food to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or heat food up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. With its warming function, you can keep your food at the perfect temperature. This cooler is designed with a divider on the interior to help you stay organized. It also comes with two types of power cables, including an AC adapter for convenient use with a traditional outlet. Unlike traditional coolers, it doesn't rely on ice and therefore doesn't feature a drainage spout.

One reviewer had this to say about the Ivation Electric Cooler & Warmer: "We needed something that would keep things cold while camping. This model had the best capacity we could find and worked perfectly! Since the initial purchase, we have used it for camping, tailgating, a couple of baseball games and a football practice or 2. Remember to load cold items as it cannot cool like your fridge, but keeping everything cold was no problem. Quiet and compact. Perfect for us."

Cooler type: Hard powered cooler | Available sizes: 48 quarts | Weight: 17 pounds | Exterior dimensions: 22.1 x 15.4 x 16.4 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 1 | Wheels: Yes | Handles: Yes

A roomy soft cooler with a leakproof seal

This YETI Hopper is one of the best soft coolers for car camping.


The YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler is a spacious and reliable choice for car camping. It features a leakproof seal, ensuring that your items stay cool and dry. The magnet and zipper closure create a tight seal to maintain the cool temperature inside. With its waterproof exterior, you can confidently take this cooler on your outdoor adventures. The YETI Hopper M30 is lightweight and easy to carry, making it ideal for road trips and camping trips.

One reviewer shared their experience with the YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler: "Absolutely fantastic! Went deep sea fishing in the Florida Keys! Everything was dry, dry, dry! The Yeti Hopper M30 is so wonderful. Everything I hoped for! Also great for camping!"

Cooler type: Soft cooler | Available sizes: 30 quarts (more available here) | Weight: 7 pounds | Exterior dimensions: 25 x 12 x 18 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 8 | Wheels: No | Handles: Yes

An electric cooler that doesn’t require ice

This Igloo model doesn't require ice, making it one of the best coolers for car camping.


The Igloo Versatemp Cooler is an electric cooler that eliminates the need for ice. It uses a fan to keep the inside temperature up to 36 degrees cooler than the temperature outside. With its heating and cooling capabilities, you can use this cooler to keep your food at the desired temperature. The cooler comes with an 8-foot cord and plugs into a 12V outlet. It can hold a variety of items without the need for ice and maintains its temperature as long as it is connected to a power source. However, please note that an AC adapter is not included with the cooler.

A satisfied customer shared their experience with the Igloo Versatemp Cooler: "Works great! Used it for a 2-month tent camping trip at a KOA type campground where I had electricity at my site. Love it! Saved a lot of money by not having to buy ice every few days and did not have to deal with soggy food from melting ice!"

Cooler type: Hard powered cooler | Available sizes: 28 quarts, 35 quarts, 40 quarts | Weight: 10 pounds (18-quart), 11.9 pounds (35-quart), 18.8 pounds (40-quart) | Exterior dimensions: 18.2 inches x 12.9 inches x 16.7 inches, 23 x 13 x 16 inches, 22 x 15 x 17 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 1 | Wheels: Yes, on 35-quart size | Handles: Yes

Shop the best coolers for car camping

In a hurry? These are the best coolers for car camping:

Affordable and Convenient Soft Cooler for Short Trips

This CleverMade option is one of the best coolers for short car camping trips.

Click here to check the CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag on Amazon

Available for only $28


  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • Convenient collapsible design for easy storage
  • Includes a built-in bottle opener


  • Possible leakage when used with ice
  • Relatively small capacity

Experience the benefits of this compact soft cooler for your short camping trips. It provides ample storage space for a few drinks or snacks. The collapsible design allows for convenient storage when not in use, making it ideal for quick trips to the park, beach, or pool. Additionally, it features a built-in bottle opener on its handle. Some users have reported minor leakage issues when using it with ice, so it's recommended to use ice packs instead. If you don't have any ice packs, you can purchase the cooler as a set that includes them.

According to one reviewer: "Excellent. Worked great on camping trip and folded flat for easy packing."

Cooler type: Soft cooler | Available sizes: 21 quarts | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Exterior dimensions: 15 x 10 x 12 inches (length x width x height) | Colors: 4 | Wheels: No | Handles: Yes

About The Recommender

Rachel Dunkel has been a commerce writer since 2018, specializing in product reviews across various categories, particularly gear and outdoor products. While she has been camping with her family since childhood, she has developed a newfound passion for the outdoors in recent years, testing gear during section hikes on the Appalachian Trail and backpacking in Michigan.

In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best cooler for car camping, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you're looking for durability, water resistance, budget-friendly choices, or added features like wheels and a warming function, there is a cooler that fits your needs. The RovR RollR stands out as the best overall choice, offering durability and versatility for all your camping adventures. However, if you're on a budget, the Dometic Patrol is a great option that won't break the bank. So, don't let the heat of summer ruin your camping experience – invest in a top-quality cooler and keep those drinks and snacks perfectly chilled on your next outdoor getaway.

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