Top 15 Coolers To Keep Your Food and Drinks Fresh In the Wilderness
Otterbox, Evo, RTIC
The same adventurous spirit possessed by its users is encapsulated in outdoor coolers. These ice chests are constructed to withstand extreme conditions - having the ability to endure falls, impacts, submersion, and even animal attacks - all without affecting the cold temperature it preserves for days.
From deep-sea fishing to big game hunting, Class-5 rapids to tailgating, our guide lists the best coolers for every occasion that requires a portable ice chest. We evaluate and compare each model based on essential features such as volume, durability, ice retention, weight, and additional perks to help you make informed decisions.
The Different Kinds of CoolersCoolers vary in multiple ways - the type you select will depend primarily on its intended purpose. The most straightforward method of categorizing coolers is by their size and material: soft-sided and small coolers are ideal for daily use, lunch boxes, and brief visits to the beach with family or friends. They are usually made with sturdy canvas, cotton twill, heavy-duty vinyl or nylon, collapsible, and hassle-free to maintain for prolonged use. When searching for a soft-sided cooler, pay attention to its leak-resistance and stain-resistant materials.
Conversely, large and hard-sided coolers or chests are ideal for extended trips, camping, and hunting. Many of these chests are rotomolded, made with a single piece of plastic and waterproof, preventing any leaks (such as Yeti). Their weight is comparatively higher, but there is a lower risk of breakage or cracking due to high usage.
Backpack coolers are similar to their soft-sided counterparts in construction, equipped with heavier padded straps and occasionally, sections for dry storage. Backpack coolers are perfect for day trips, offering insulation and convenient carrying. Don't forget, draining your backpack cooler and letting it dry upside down can prevent bacterial and mildew growth.
How to Utilize Your CoolerHave you ever found that half of the ice in your cooler has melted by the second day of your camping trip or a couple of hours into your beach day? This can be more frustrating if you've spent a lot of money on the cooler. You'll face a similar problem again and again if you don't follow the correct procedure when packing your cooler.
To ensure your cooler is ready for use, it's important to chill it beforehand, particularly if it's rotomolded and has a sturdy build. Load it up with ice the day before your excursion, keep it in a cool, shady spot, and let the ice settle overnight. Swap out the old ice with new in the morning and pack your belongings. If you're planning a multi-day trip, consider freezing the items you intend to use on the third or fourth day, as they'll melt slowly, helping to maintain the cooler's temperature.
Using ice blocks instead of cubes, packing in layers, and keeping the lid closed and secured whenever feasible are all helpful tips. If a cooler claims to keep ice for five days, bear in mind that it was not left open during testing. Following these suggestions when packing for an outing will preserve your ice and your sanity.
The Latest and Greatest ProductsOyster Tempo: Freshly released in the United States, the Tempo is so effective at cooling that you won't require the bulky ice bag that usually consumes most of your standard cooler's space. The Tempo weighs just 12.3 pounds thanks to vacuum insulation technology, which was previously restricted to cylindrical items like water bottles. It can keep food and drinks cold for three times as long as other coolers while using just one small ice pack.
Most Versatile Cooler
RovR RollR 60 Cooler BEST SPLURGE OPTION
Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler BEST BUDGET COOLER
Igloo Maxcold 40-100QT BEST EXTENDED TRIP COOLER
KONG 110 Cooler Best Overall Cooler
Otterbox Venture 25 Cooler Best Small Hard Cooler
Pelican Elite Cooler - 20 QT Best Disposable Cooler
Igloo Recool 16 Quart Cooler Best Cooler Backpack
Hydro Flask 20L Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack Best Soft Cooler
Hopper Flip 8 Soft Cooler BEST FOR PARTIES AND LARGE GATHERINGS
Coleman 316 Series 120Qt Hard Chest Cooler Best Carrying Handle
Stanley Adventure Easy Carry Outdoor 16qt Cooler Yeti Hopper M30 Soft Cooler
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