Best Cooler for Camping

Taking a cooler along on your camping trip can save time and money.

Taking a cooler along on your camping trip can save time and money.

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When you go camping it is absolutely essential that you take a cooler with you – how else are you going to keep your food fresh? But any old cooler won’t always do.

My current GO-TO: The Pelican cooler at Amazon.

If you are going to be camping for any more than a couple of days, then you will want to make sure that you get a cooler that can keep food at its freshest for the longest time possible. In some cases, you’ll need it to be strong enough to keep animals with claws and hands out of it.

When looking for a cooler, you should make sure that it is durable, has an excellent seal, and can withstand the beating that it will undoubtedly take when you go camping.

Make sure you know how to pack your cooler with ice too!

Today we will look at three of my favorite coolers to use for camping. We’ll look at which ones are best for which situations and which one is best for you.

Driftsun 20 Quart Ice chest heavy duty cooler

This is a commercial grade cooler with tremendous insulation ability. As the name would suggest, it has a holding capacity of 20 quarts, and it can keep your ice frozen for multiple days. The three-inch insulation core, the freezer style gasket, and the cold seal latches all make sure that you have maximum temperature retention.

The Driftsun cooler features non-slip rubber feet keeping it stable on all surfaces, a comfort grip handle, pressure release valves, recessed no leak drain plug, two bottle openers, and has an extremely lightweight design.

Looking for the Driftsun at Amazon? Find it here.

Besides having good tier insulation power, it is also extremely tough and can handle almost anything you throw at it. But if it does happen to break, there is a 1 year manufacturer warranty on the cooler. As long as you don’t abuse it, the product will be replaced for you free of charge.

Should you get this cooler?

This cooler has an amazing ability to keep the contents inside cool for a long time. It is very durable, and it is relatively easy to carry. If I were to give a downside to it, it would be the storage capacity. 20 quarts is not terribly small, but it won’t be able to fit nearly as much into it as some of the other coolers on the market today.

Pelican Elite 30 quart cooler

Pelican is one of my favorite companies when it comes to building containers. They are very durable (some of the most heavy duty cases I have ever seen), they sturdy in design and they always look amazing.

This cooler is no different any other Pelican case that is on the market. In fact, being that it is also a cooler, this may be the absolute best product they make.

See the Pelican cooler here at Amazon.

The Pelican elite has an internal capacity of 30 quarts, which is more than enough room to carry almost anything you are bringing on your camping trip.

It has 2 inches of polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree gasket that is freezer grade. This can keep your food and drinks fresh and cool for several days and is capable of keeping ice frozen for up to 10 days.

It features a leak-proof drain plug, reinforced lockable hasp, 3 inch locking latches, 4 self-draining cup holders, stainless steel bottle opener, molded handles with tie-downs, and an anti-shear hinge system.

Looking for a portable grill to cook some of your chilled cooler food? Look no further.

One reason I love Pelican is that it is a company that manufactures its products right here in the United States, meaning if you have any issues with it, they are going to be able to get you a replacement quickly.

Pelican also has a lifetime warranty on all of their products, and if it breaks, they will replace it for free.

Upgrade your camping experience with a durable, reliable cooler for all easy access to all your favorite snacks and drinks.

Upgrade your camping experience with a durable, reliable cooler for all easy access to all your favorite snacks and drinks.

Should you get this cooler?

I love pelican cases. I use them for almost all of my weapons when I am transporting them, and I think their coolers are absolutely incredible. They are famous for their products being the best possible quality and for being quick to replace any product that failed to live up to that quality.

Some coolers can keep your food cold for even longer than these, so if you are looking for something to last a little bit longer than two weeks, then this may not be for you.

Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler

Yeti is the go-to company when you need to keep your food and drinks ice cold. They have only been around for a few years, but in that time have established themselves as the greatest cooler company on the market.

The Tundra 35 Cooler offers you 35 quarts of internal storage space and only weighs 20 pounds when it is empty. It holds 20 cans with a 2 to 1 ice to content ratio.

The Tundra features a “T Rex” lid latches made with heavy duty rubber, so they will not break easily. It has 3 inches of PermaFrost insulation and an extra thick design that is actually bear resistant (great if you’re camping in areas occupied by bears).

Find the Yeti Tundra cooler at Amazon here.

Rotomolded construction means that your Yeti Tundra is as close to indestructible as you can get.

Should you get this cooler?

Yeti is easily one of the best cooler companies out there today. They stand by their name and back all of their products.

The Tundra 35 has insane insulation capabilities and can keep everything fresh for more than 2 weeks. If you are going on very long trips, then you should consider getting a Yeti cooler.

However, because they are so popular and held in such high regard, you can expect to pay a handsome price for this cooler.

Do you want a matching tumbler to keep your drinks cold? Find the best ones here.


Finding the best cooler for your camping trip is an important task. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of nowhere and find that your cooler wasn’t able to keep your food cold.

The cooler on this list with the best insulating properties is definitely the Yeti cooler. But the Pelican comes in at a very close second, and in my estimation is the most durable cooler on this list.

The Pelican Elite gets my vote for the best cooler.

Heading to the beach instead? Read up on the best coolers for that trip.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Deb D. and Wayne

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