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Revealed Mar 15, 2023 5:00 PM

A well-built, long-lasting cooler for tenting will maintain your meals and drinks chilly for hours while you’re away from an influence outlet, comfort retailer, or different trendy luxuries. It must be rugged sufficient to get taken out and in of the again of a automotive, trekked to a campsite, and uncovered to rain, snow, sunshine, bugs, and the rest you’ll discover out within the wilderness. In case your present tenting cooler is wanting a bit lengthy within the tooth, isn’t large enough for the size of your journey, it’s time for an improve. Listed below are a number of the finest coolers for tenting in a variety of kinds for each price range.

How we selected one of the best coolers for tenting

There are a glut of coolers out there on the Web, however the start line for the suggestions beneath began with a few of our different tales. The commerce workforce Standard Science has already lined one of the best coolers and cooler baggage out there for all makes use of. Lots of the metrics—measurement, capability, worth—that went into figuring out the highest picks in these tales have been additionally vital right here. We paid consideration to choices from the highest manufacturers, and have been in a position to conduct some in-person testing to complement our analysis.

Coolers can get costly very quick—we really feel the worth is worth it since this can be a piece of drugs that ought to actually final you a long time—however we made certain our picks have been comparatively reasonably priced. This mentality was a through-line all through this whole story, not simply one thing we cared about when selecting our price range choose. Total, you’ll discover tenting coolers that present the right combination of efficiency and worth with out sacrificing both.

One of the best coolers for tenting: Evaluations & Suggestions

Tenting has skilled a mainstream renaissance these days, pushed partially by the persevering with results of the COVID-19 pandemic and our collective need to be out on the earth however away from crowds. When out of doors journeys have been seen one of many few secure summertime actions, folks started investing in tenting gear, particularly tents and water filters. Individuals are nonetheless discovering (or rediscovering) the advantages of spending time outdoor, recognized in some circles as “nature remedy.” There are plenty of fancy tenting devices, however a tenting cooler is intentionally low tech—no less than normally. Corporations have put plenty of effort into creating supplies that insulate your meals and drinks for longer durations of time with out including an excessive amount of weight or bulk. There’s at all times going to be a tradeoff between measurement and capability vs. portability, so it’s vital to strike the correct steadiness to your particular wants. Lots of the tenting coolers you’ll see beneath can be found in a number of sizes, which was completed by design. We wish to ensure everybody’s wants are met no matter their state of affairs.

Finest general: RTIC Extremely-Gentle Quart Exhausting Cooler


  • Measurement: 27.01 x 17.28 x 16.54 inches
  • Weight: 13.4 kilos
  • Capability: 54 Qt.
  • Model: Hardshell
  • Supplies: Closed-cell foam
  • Worth: $219.99


  • Wonderful weight to capability ratio
  • Three inches of insulation
  • Worth


  • No separate built-in compartments

If we might solely suggest one tenting cooler to swimsuit everybody’s wants, RTIC’s Extremely-Gentle Quart Exhausting Cooler is much and away your best option. The corporate thought of each angle of this cooler, and engineered among the best items of outside gear we’ve ever seen whatever the class.

The cooler’s 52 quart capability permits it to carry as much as 60 kilos of ice or 70 cans with no ice based on RTIC, which is greater than sufficient house to carry every thing you’d want for a two day tenting journey. This is without doubt one of the largest tenting coolers we’re recommending, however due to RTIC’s engineering, it’s additionally one of many lightest. Regardless of its three inches of closed-cell foam insulation, it weighs roughly half as a lot as its competitors. It will make an enormous distinction when transporting the cooler to and from your home.

Little touches, just like the T-latches that maintain it securely closed, non-skid rubber ft, marine-grade nylon rope handles, and the power to slide in an non-obligatory divider to separate food and drinks make it much more interesting. We’re even glad to see RTIC provides this tenting cooler in six colorways, so that you’re not caught with a plain white one. We want RTIC included their divider with this cooler—it’s solely $7 on their web site—however past that we couldn’t discover a lot fault with the Extremely-Gentle Quart Exhausting Cooler.

In case you’re in search of an enormous, mild, comparatively cheap cooler for tenting, boating, tailgating, or different all-day out of doors actions, don’t hesitate to choose one up.

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Finest electrical: GOSun Chill Cooler

GOsun Chill Cooler


  • Measurement: 23.5 x 16 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 30 kilos
  • Capability: 42 Qt.
  • Model: Hardshell
  • Supplies: Shut cell polyurethane foam
  • Worth: $649


  • Constructed-in compressor retains objects cool with out ice
  • Could be run off solar energy
  • Separate compartments for fridge and freezer objects


  • It’s important to bear in mind to cost it
  • Worth

GOsun’s Chill Cooler is probably the most high-tech choice we’re recommending, and whereas its worth is excessive, it’s arguably probably the most environment friendly alternative. That’s as a result of it has a built-in refrigeration system, which frequently retains its chamber at a pre-set temperature between -4 and 68 levels Fahrenheit. This implies you received’t need to dedicate any house to ice to maintain its contents cool. The cooler’s temperature is managed by a contact panel on prime, which is flanked by USB-A ports and a DC cigarette lighter, so you’ll be able to cost your telephone and different units on-the-go.

The Chill Cooler’s biggest energy is the power to maintain its contents cool, however its high-tech design comes with one draw back: the necessity to maintain it charged. Sure, you’ll have to plug in your cooler, which might make the Chill Cooler a no-go for tenting if not for GOsun’s ingenuity. You may join this cooler to an exterior battery pack or go totally off the grid by plugging it into GOsun’s Outside Photo voltaic Desk. In case you’re tenting throughout sunny summer season days, and don’t use the Chill Cooler’s cooling options repeatedly, you shouldn’t have too many points with it operating out of juice.

There aren’t very many electrical coolers out there, however GOsun’s Chill Cooler stands out on this class due to its revolutionary design.

Finest with wheels: YETI Roadie 60

YETI Roadie 60


  • Measurement: 23.7 x 19.9 x 20.5 inches
  • Weight: 29 kilos
  • Capability: 63 Qt.
  • Model: Hardshell
  • Supplies: Polyurethane
  • Worth: $500


  • Extremely-durable
  • Extremely moveable given its measurement
  • Periscoping deal with for straightforward manuverability


YETI is arguably the best-known premium cooler model, and it’s introduced all of the design chops that make its sedentary gear widespread right into a wheeled model. The $500 60 Quart cooler is without doubt one of the largest—by capability—tenting coolers we’re recommending, and it’s the most costly non-electric mannequin, however you’re getting what you pay for.

The most important profit to getting a YETI cooler is its sturdiness—they’re actually bear proof due to their insulation and well-made latches. In case you make the funding, you must be capable to maintain this cooler for all times. One of many largest potential ache factors for a wheeled cooler is, effectively, their wheels, that are going to come back into contact with robust terrain fairly often. YETI says it makes use of single-piece tires, which ought to be capable to deal with extended publicity rocks and dust simply high quality.

Portability is the primary purpose to get a wheeled cooler, and the Roadie 60 excels on this space. Its squat-but-deep design provides the identical capability as a conventional cooler in a extra compact kind. The Roadie 60’s telescoping deal with will attain excessive sufficient at its most top to be comfy to roll round, however will contract to the purpose the place it’s out of sight when it’s not wanted.

Sure, the YETI Roadie 60 is pricey, however if you need the best high quality rolling tenting cooler round and are in a position to stretch your price range, you received’t discover a higher choice.

Finest giant: Driftsun 75 Quart Insulated Cooler

Driftsun 75 Quart Insulated Cooler


  • Measurement: 33.5 x 18.5 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 32 kilos
  • Capability: 75 Qt.
  • Model: Hardshell
  • Supplies: Rotomolded thermoplastic
  • Worth: $249.99


  • Wonderful ice retention
  • Excessive capability
  • Constructed-in bottle opener


  • Massive measurement comes with added weight

If a high-capacity tenting cooler is what you crave, Driftsun has you lined with its ultra-large-but-relatively-inexpensive Insulated Cooler. Its 75 quart capability will comfortably maintain dozens of cans with room to spare ice. Driftsun can also be assured on this cooler’s insulation, and says it could actually maintain ice strong for as much as 10 days—greater than sufficient time for a week-long tenting journey for those who’re strategic about how lengthy you retain it open. This degree of efficiency can also be attainable due to the cooler’s locking latches, which can maintain it firmly shut.

This can be the most important tenting cooler we suggest, but it surely’s not the heaviest—even amongst non-electric fashions. We thought of portability very strongly when choosing a tenting cooler on this class as a result of no one wish to carry it round if it’s too heavy. Lots of the coolers on this information have a capability of between 50 and 60 quarts, and whereas a 75 quart choice could not appear to be an enormous distinction, the power to hold across the identical variety of cans with ice is an enormous deal for lengthy journeys. A few of Driftsun’s little extras, like a built-in bottle opener make it a bit nicer to make use of, too.

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In case you want an enormous cooler for longer journeys—or ones with a bigger get together—Driftsun’s 75 Quart Insulated Cooler is the way in which to go. There’s sufficient house to fulfill the thirst of an enormous crowd with out being too unwieldy to make use of. This tenting cooler’s reasonably priced worth is simply icing on the cake.

Finest delicate cooler: Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Smooth Cooler

Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Soft Cooler


  • Measurement: 14.5 x 14.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 kilos
  • Capability: 27 Qt.
  • Model: Softshell
  • Supplies: Polyester
  • Worth: $179.95


  • Light-weight
  • Comparatively excessive capability
  • Options straps and handles


  • Can’t maintain as a lot stuff as exhausting shell coolers

In case your thought of a tenting journey is a one evening keep at a campsite for 2 or three folks, there isn’t a lot of a purpose to pack an enormous hardshell cooler—Hydro Flask’s 26L Day Escape Smooth Cooler will greater than fulfill your wants. The delicate cooler is extremely mild, however the insulation Hyrdro Flask makes use of can maintain its contents chilly for as much as 27 hours based on the corporate.

Due to the cooler’s comparatively small measurement, you’re doubtless going to fill it to the brim, and Hydro Flask has accounted for this by providing aspect handles along with a strap, which may make it simpler to hold for 2 folks. This looks as if a bit contact, however it could actually make an enormous distinction. Moreover, the Day Escape’s strap may be eliminated and reattached in such a approach you can carry it as a cross-body strap.

We’ve tried a few of Hydro Flask’s delicate coolers prior to now, and one of many options that’s at all times struck us is the standard of their zipper. That is important for a delicate cooler, as a result of a defective zipper will let heat air inside, or let liquid leak out. We’re glad to say this has by no means been a problem for us. In case you’re assured that your subsequent tenting journeys shall be brief and candy, and also you’d prefer to be as unencumbered as attainable when you’re exploring nature, Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape is the best cooler.

Finest price range: Coleman Xtreme Moveable Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Portable Cooler


  • Measurement: 28.25 x 15.75 x 18.25 inches
  • Weight: 12.3 kilos
  • Capability: 70 Qt.
  • Model: Hardshell
  • Supplies: Plastic (with Xtreme® expertise)
  • Worth: $79.99


  • Excessive capability
  • Cup holders and seating
  • Worth


  • No latches to maintain the lid closed

Coleman’s Xtreme Moveable Cooler doesn’t have plenty of bells and whistles, but it surely makes up for its simplicity by providing one of the best worth we’ve ever seen in a full-sized exhausting cooler. The Xtreme has a capability of 70 quarts, but it’s the lightest tenting cooler we’re recommending at slightly below 12.5 kilos. The tenting cooler’s favorable capacity-to-weight ratio is complemented by its sun-$100 price ticket and general efficiency. Coleman says this cooler can maintain its contents chilly for as much as 5 days, however we’re skeptical given its lid, which has further insulation across the rim, however no latches to maintain it closed.

Coleman touts the Xtreme Moveable Cooler’s further options, like 4 cup holders on prime, and its capacity for use as a seat or work floor with a 250 pound weight restrict. These are genuinely helpful auxiliary makes use of, although the cup holders do scale back the insulation on prime of the cooler at 4 factors. Nonetheless, these nitpicks are instantly forgivable as a result of Xtreme Moveable Cooler’s worth, which makes it the proper choose for newer campers who aren’t certain they’ll exit sufficient instances to justify getting a extra luxe choice.

What to think about when looking for one of the best coolers for tenting


A cooler’s bodily measurement—together with weight—is the primary issue to consider when selecting the correct tenting cooler. This isn’t a chunk of drugs you’re going to wish to improve frequently. Our suggestions run the gamut, however most of them are roughly two ft smart, and a meals and a half huge and deep. A cooler in that measurement vary will weigh roughly 15 kilos when empty. Additionally think about the quantity of house you’ve in your automotive, which can doubtless be full of plenty of different gear, and on the campsite.


A tenting cooler’s capability is measured in quarts, and determines how a lot house there’s inside to your meals and drinks. Many corporations illustrate the capability of their cooler by saying how a lot ice and what number of cans it could actually maintain. These tough metrics could be a massive assist in determining which cooler is best for you, so don’t disregard them even for those who plan on packing liquid in bottles and dedicating a part of its house to meals.

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Tenting coolers are available all sizes and styles, however we’ve damaged them down into two kinds: hardshell and softshell. We’ve elected to primarily deal with hardshell coolers largely as a result of that is probably the most conventional kind. We even have a complete information to insulated cooler baggage—the official title for softshell coolers—so that you’re lined for those who desire this fashion. Softshell coolers appear like a tote bag and are much more moveable, however they’ll’t maintain as a lot stuff. The answer for multi-day tenting journeys with plenty of mountain climbing to and from a central tenting spot could also be to get considered one of each.


When attainable, we’ve known as out the supplies corporations have used to make their coolers. This has the most important impression on their capacity to maintain your perishables chilly for prolonged durations of time. Naturally, coolers with thick insulation shall be bigger and weigh extra, so maintain that in thoughts if portability is your precedence.


You may spend some huge cash on a tenting cooler, however we’ve made certain most of our suggestions fall below $300, in order that they’re accessible to the best variety of folks. That mentioned, we didn’t draw back from costlier fashions if that they had a differentiating characteristic that justified the upper price.


Q: How a lot does a cooler for tenting price?

It will depend upon its measurement and additional options, however you must anticipate to pay below $300 for many tenting coolers we suggest.

Q: How do I do know what measurement cooler I would like?

You should utilize the cooler’s measurement and capability information to assist decide the dimensions of cooler that works finest for you. In case you’re a frequent camper who plans on taking extra folks with you, choose for a bigger choice than you want in the present day.

Q: Are delicate or exhausting coolers higher for tenting?

This is determined by the size of your journey. In case you’re a single or two-person workforce happening a day journey, a delicate cooler may match finest for you due to its portability. In case you’re half of a bigger multi-person get together who’s going to be away for a number of days, a tough cooler is the way in which to go.

Q: How lengthy do tenting coolers keep chilly?

This is determined by its supplies, the quantity of insulation used, and the way a lot ice is inside. In case you use plenty of ice, there’s no purpose the cooler shouldn’t maintain your meals and drinks cool for a few days.

Q: Will a cooler maintain issues chilly with out ice?

This is determined by the temperature of the perishables you set within it. The cooler’s insulation will scale back the quantity of sizzling air that reaches your perishables, but it surely received’t be as efficient as it might be with ice inside.

Q: Are tenting coolers value it?

Sure. In case you’re happening a protracted out of doors journey, a tenting cooler is important for protecting drinks and perishable meals from reaching unsafe temperatures.

Last ideas on one of the best coolers for tenting

The correct tenting cooler ought to final a lifetime, which is greater than we will say for many gear produced as of late whatever the class. Developments in supplies and manufacturing, pushed by demand, has allowed corporations to make massive investments on this house. Outside actions by no means exit of fashion, and the upside is you need to use your tenting cooler in your yard, at a tailgate, and even further fridge house for those who’re internet hosting a celebration. These auxiliary functions can assist make bigger, costlier tenting coolers a bit simpler to justify, particularly for those who dwell in a spot the place the local weather is reasonable or heat year-round.

Why belief us

Standard Science began writing about expertise greater than 150 years in the past. There was no such factor as “gadget writing” after we revealed our first problem in 1872, but when there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for on a regular basis readers means we’d have been throughout it. Right here within the current, PopSci is totally dedicated to serving to readers navigate the more and more intimidating array of units in the marketplace proper now.

Our writers and editors have mixed a long time of expertise masking and reviewing shopper electronics. We every have our personal obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video video games to cameras and past—however after we’re reviewing units outdoors of our quick wheelhouses, we do our greatest to hunt out reliable voices and opinions to assist information folks to the easiest suggestions. We all know we don’t know every thing, however we’re excited to dwell by means of the evaluation paralysis that web purchasing can spur so readers don’t need to.