To enjoy fresh and healthy camping foods, Camping coolers and storage are a necessity for you. You will want to pack only the best that won’t leave you stranded with spoilt or overheated foods and drinks. This guide provides links to different types of camping coolers and storage and tips for selecting the best for your needs. It doesn’t matter whether you’re camping, hiking, or spending a day at the beach, to enjoy the outdoors fully, you need them and a good cooler can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the trip.
Look out for certain features in a cooler before choosing one. Many coolers also come with features like locking handles and sturdy construction to prevent leaks and spills, and these ones are the most practical and convenient choice to properly store your camping food and drinks while on the go. If you’re wondering why you even need the cooler in the first place, camping coolers, and storage are not only great for keeping your food and drinks cold but they can also be used for so many other purposes, including storage of ice for drinks, preservation of fruits and veggies and sometimes they even pass for camping tables and seats.
Types of Coolers available
When considering how to prepare for camping, you might be wondering what cooler or storage is best for you. There are several types of coolers in the market, each with its own pros and cons. What you decide to go for will be dependent on your needs and preferences. Other factors that you should also consider are the intended use, the duration of your trip, convenience, the number of items you need to keep cold, and your budget when choosing a cooler. Here are a number of these camping coolers and storage if you are wondering, to help you make a choice.
Just as the name implies, hard-sided coolers are made of hard durable materials like plastic or metal and the main aim is to keep food cold for a long time. They come with thicker insulations when compared to other coolers in the market and can withstand the elements and even rough handling in the great outdoors. For this reason, they are usually more expensive and heavier than soft-sided coolers too.
Softsided coolers are less expensive than hard-sided coolers and much more lightweight. However, they may not keep food cold for a very extended period of time as compared to hard-sided or rotomolded coolers. They are quite portable and their lightweight makes them a great choice for camping activities, especially ones that won’t be for a long period of time.
They are made of plastic material that has been molded into shape with a rotational molding process. For this reason, they are quite durable with thick insulation, helping to preserve items for very long periods of time. Just like hard-sided coolers, rotomolded coolers are quite expensive and heavier than soft-sided coolers and also, and they can withstand elements and rough terrain.
Portable coolers are small lightweight coolers designed for travels, picnics, and camping alone or with a partner. They are often very compact and come in any form. Portable coolers can b hard-sided, soft-sided, rotomolded, or even thermoelectric. What makes them stand out is their sizes and weight and ease of transporting them anywhere.
Thermoelectric coolers use electricity to function but they are often quite compact and portable if going for the best option for camping. They can easily be kept going during road trips to the camping destination. Most times they require you to go with a battery or inverter to keep food cool always because they don’t use ice or else when taken from a power source might not sustain your food and drinks for a long time.
What to Consider When Choosing Camping Coolers and Storage
Here are some of the things to consider when choosing any of the camping coolers and storage for your camping food items and water:
The Size of the Cooler
As much as you are looking at something compact and lightweight that will be easy to transport you should also consider the size of your group. When camping with family or a group of friends you may need to consider a larger cooler to contain a larger quantity of food but when camping alone or with your significant other, portable camping coolers and storage are the best options.
Coolers with thick walls and good seals have better insulation that will keep food and drinks cold for an extended period of time. Always look out for the insulation capacity of the cooler before making a purchase.
How Durable It Is to Withstand Elements
Remember you are going to be hard there trying to weather the elements. Camping coolers and storage that will withstand these tough conditions are the best options for your time in the great outdoors. On that note, always look out for the durability of each cooler and pay attention to other reviews.
Portability of the Cooler
If you will go backpacking or hiking trails it is best you go with portable and lightweight coolers to avoid getting tired and worn out trying to carry your items along on the trails. Additional features like wheels and solid handles will be added advantages as they will make transportation easier.
Price and Your Budget
Always look at your budget and the price being offered when selecting a cooler. However, coolers with high quality are often more expensive. So it is best to save up for the best cooler that will last longer and keep your foods and drinks cold for a longer period of time.
Also Check out these 10 Must-Have Camping Fishing Gear and Tackle for Your Next Wilderness Adventure
It is best to opt for coolers with additional features like built-in cutting boards dry storage compartments and cup holders. All these features will come in handy when outdoors enjoying some fun things to do while camping like dinner, picnic, or maybe even hiking.
Top 5 camping coolers and Storage Based on Amazon Reviews
Here are some of the best coolers in different sizes and types that you can choose for your outdoor adventure.
ROCKBROS Soft Cooler
It is a 22-liter soft-sided waterproof cooler that is suitable for any camping of any type. Whether you are going on a backpacking trip, RV camping, or stealth camping, with its portability and carrier handles you can easily carry it along. It is leakproof and well-insulated to keep your liquids and foods preserved and cold.
- It is lightweight and easy to carry around.
- It has a sturdy handle for easy carriage.
- It is leakproof and well-insulated.
- May not be suitable for longer or extended trips.
- May not keep food cold for a long time.
- Not very durable and might not withstand extreme elements.
Coleman Rolling Cooler
Coleman Rolling Cooler is a plastic, hard-sided cooler with a great insulation system. It can keep ice up for up to 5 days without melting away. It is quite big and can hold up to 84 cans. It comes with wheels for easy carriage and they are sturdy enough to roll even on rough terrains. There are also extra features like cup holders, and extra telescoping handles, the lid is tough enough to serve as a table or seat and can support weights of up to 250 pounds.
- Can keep food and drinks cold for up to 5 days.
- Made of sturdy and durable plastic material to withstand the elements.
- Heavy-duty rolling wheels to easily move cooler and content about.
- Extra features like cupholders.
- Can serve as a camping table or chair for picnics and dinners as necessary.
- Might be too heavy and take up space and be hard to transport.
EchoSmile Quart Rotomolded Cooler
This high-strength rotomolded cooler is made of plastic and with an insulation layer made of polyurethane, effective enough to retain ice for more than 5 days. It weighs 17.6 lbs and is made of sturdy and solid lids that can support heavy weights. Suitable for keeping your water, drinks, and food cold, it also has UV inhibitors to protect it from the sun and elements in the outdoors.
- It can keep ice for up to 5 days.
- It has UV inhibitors to protect the cooler and its contents.
- Good insulation system.
- Made of durable and sturdy material.
- May be too heavy to transport or carry for a backpacking trip.
- Doesn’t have rolling wheels for easy transportation.
Coleman 40 Quart Portable Thermoelectric Cooler
This thermoelectric cooler can either keep your food hot or cold as you would like. It is perfect for any outdoor camping trip with access to a power system like an inverter or access to a power outlet. It is best for RV camping where it can be powered in your trailer or car. The outdoor material is made of plastic and this cooler can hold up to 40 liters.
- It is versatile and can either warm your item or keep it cold according to your preference per time.
- It has an 8-foot power cord so that you can power it in transit in the car or with any power inverter.
- The door can open to the right or left making it flexible to open from any angle.
- It can hold p to 40 liters.
- It doesn’t use ice.
- Needs electricity to power.
- Might not be good for backpacking and hiking because a battery or inverter may be hard to carry along.
Ivation Electric Cooler & Warmer
This is a powerful portable thermoelectric cooler that will keep your drinks cold at 40°F and keep your hot food still hot at 130F. It is suitable for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, picnics, and even backpacking because of its portability. It has enough space to hold a few dozen drinks and food. It comes with a hideaway AC Power Cord for Standard Wall Outlet & DC Adapter for Plugging into Car/Truck Cigarette Lighter. It has a collapsible handle that supports its portability and ease of carriage.
- It is portable
- It is versatile and can keep food cold or hot and drinks cold.
- It has a collapsible handle.
- Comes with power adapters.
- It is too small and may not be ideal for group camping.
- It only functions with power and doesn’t use ice.
Tips for Packing and Maintaining Food in Your Camping Coolers and Storage
- Always pack your cooler with enough ice or ice packs so that your food stays cold.
- Make sure to leave enough space for air to circulate around the ice and food, as this will help the ice last longer.
- Consider freezing items like drinks and meats before packing them in the cooler. This will help keep everything cold for longer periods of time.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Pack veggies and fruits and liquids in waterproof bags before packing them in the cooler to avoid spills.
- Perishable items like dairy products, meats, and eggs should go to the center of the cooler because it is colder there while non-perishable foods can be packed at the edges.
- Always group foods and drinks into smaller bags before packing them to stay organized.
- Don’t open your coolers frequently to avoid the air evaporating out.
- After accessing your cooler and its contents, always close it as soon as possible to avoid changing the temperature and getting your drinks hot.
- Keep the cooler in a cool place and don’t expose it to sunlight to avoid heating up your drinks.
- If possible, try to keep your cooler in a shaded or cool place while camping. This will help prevent the contents from warming up due to exposure to direct sunlight.
- To endure your safety and that of the bear when in bear country, be sure to keep all food, trash, and scented items (like toiletries) in a bear- container or hung out of reach from bears.
- Always dispose of your trash properly after your time outdoors. Clean up the cooler and store it properly to prevent odors and bacteria.
When it comes to camping coolers, there are a variety of options on the market. It’s important to consider your own needs and preferences when selecting a cooler, as well as the size of your group and the length of your trip.
One of the most important reasons for keeping your food and drinks cold while camping is to prevent food poisoning. Warm temperatures can cause bacteria to grow on perishable items, which can lead to illness if consumed. It’s also important to keep drinks refreshing, especially in hot weather.
With all these in mind, choose the best cooler that suits your needs, the number of people coming for the trip, and the period of time you will stay out and will need to keep your food and drinks preserved. Note that some coolers stay for longer periods while others may not.
No matter which cooler you choose, it’s important to do your own research and read reviews to find the best option for you. With the right cooler in tow, you’ll be able to enjoy all the pleasures of camping without worrying about spoiled food or warm drinks.