7 Best Coolers for Camping in 2023 (Ranked)

No matter what time of year you’re planning a camping trip, a high-quality cooler is one of the most essential pieces of gear you need. They’ll not only keep your food and drinks cold, but they’ll also protect everything from wildlife, weather, and more. 

But finding a good camping cooler is not as easy as just heading to the store and buying the first one you see. There are hard coolers, soft coolers, backpack coolers, and more. How should you know which one is the best option?

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To help, we’ve put together a list of the best coolers for camping. All of the coolers you see in this guide have been used by me personally or other camping enthusiasts that swear by them, so you can rest assured knowing that each one listed here has been tested and vetted!

My goal with this article is to be your one-stop shop for finding the perfect cooler for your next camping trip. So let’s get into the good stuff.

Key Takeaways

  • Coleman coolers offer the best bang for your buck.
  • YETI makes the best coolers on the market if you want to pay the premium price.
  • Look for wheeled coolers since they’re easier to move around your campsite.

What Are the Best Coolers for Camping?

The best coolers for camping are portable, have enough room for everything you need, and will keep your food and drinks cool for as long as possible. Based on my own experience and input from other camping enthusiasts, here are the best camping coolers on the market:

Best Overall Cooler: Coleman 316 Series 65-Quart Portable Cooler

Coleman 316 Series 65-Quart Portable Cooler


  • Capacity: 65 quarts; up to 101 cans
  • Ice Retention: 4 days
  • Weight: 12.9 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 6”
  • Exterior Dimensions: 21.0” x 15.5” x 20.5”

Product Overview

I mention the Coleman 316 Series of coolers in a few other articles on the site about staying cool while camping, and for good reason. It’s been by far my favorite camping cooler of all of them that I’ve tried as it’s the best combination of performance, capacity, features, and price.

Much more affordable than something like a YETI, this wheeled 65-quart cooler keeps ice for up to 4 days in 90°F heat so your food and drinks stay cool all trip. Its 6-inch wheels and extendable handle make it easy to move around the campsite, and the lid is the perfect place to sit, capable of holding 250 pounds.

Highlights & Key Features

  • Lid supports 250 pounds
  • Stain-resistant interior is easy to clean
  • Cupholders molded into the lid that hold up to a 30oz tumbler
  • Fully insulated body and lid

My Take

This is my go-to cooler for the vast majority of all my camping trips. No matter if I’m heading somewhere for just a few days, staking out a campsite at a campground for a week, or going on a beach camping trip. This cooler has been phenomenal for me!

Runner Up: RTIC Ultra-Light 52-Quart Hard Cooler

RTIC Ultra-Light 52-Quart Hard Cooler


  • Capacity: 52 quarts; up to 76 cans
  • Ice Retention: 4 days
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Wheel Size: N/A
  • Exterior Dimensions: 27.75” x 17.25” x 17.0”

Product Overview

If you’re getting ready for a camping trip where you’ll be staying in one spot and won’t need to move your cooler around much, the RTIC Ultra-Light 52-Quart is a great option.

It doesn’t have wheels so it’s a little harder to maneuver, but this double-insulated cooler holds ice for up to 4 days just like the Coleman above, and is ergonomically designed to be easy to carry.

To help it be one of the most secure coolers available, this RTIC cooler comes with T-latches that lock the lid into place so wildlife can’t get into it. It also has integrated tie-down slots so you can easily secure it to your trailer, truck bed, or gear carrier.

Highlights & Key Features

  • Rapid V-Drain system with two drains
  • Non-skid rubber feet
  • T-latches to lock the lid in place
  • Nylon rope handles with comfortable hand grips

My Take

This cooler is durable and tough, so you should have no trouble getting quite a few years and countless camping trips out of it. Though I prefer one with wheels, I couldn’t put this one any lower than the overall runner-up because it really is that good.

Best High-End Cooler: YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler


  • Capacity: Up to 82 cans
  • Ice Retention: 4-5 days
  • Weight: 37.5 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 6”
  • Exterior Dimensions: 28.1” x 18.6” x 19.6”

Product Overview

You might have been expecting to see a YETI listed at the top, but I was saving it to list as the best premium cooler on the market since you’ll be paying a premium for it if you choose to buy one. Of all the YETI options on the market, the best one for camping is the Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler, combining some features from both options listed above.

This cooler is actually the first YETI cooler to be on wheels, and they knocked it out of the park. The Tundra Haul has a built-in handle that makes it easy to move around and take with you, plus it has all of the normal YETI tech that you know and love. The T-latches lock the lid in place, the durable construction is bear-proof, leakproof, and more.

Highlights & Key Features

  • NeverFlat Wheels go over any terrain
  • T-latches and integrated tie-downs keep everything secure
  • Bear-proof construction and durability
  • Freezer-quality gasket keeps everything colder for longer

My Take

YETI makes the best coolers on the market, hands down. If price and affordability was not a factor in any of these rankings, I would have even more YETIs on this list. It’s an amazing cooler that does everything you need it to.

Best Budget Cooler: Coleman Chiller Series 48-Quart Insulated Cooler

Coleman Chiller Series 48-Quart Cooler


  • Capacity: 48 quarts; up to 31 cans
  • Ice Retention: 2-3 days
  • Weight: 8.1 pounds
  • Wheel Size: N/A
  • Exterior Dimensions: 25.5” x 15.0” x 14.2”

Product Overview

After talking about a YETI, it seems fitting to follow it up with the best budget camping cooler, the Coleman Chiller Series. At the start, I mentioned how you typically don’t just want to go into the store and pick up the most basic cooler you see, but this is pretty much what you would get.

Coleman just does the budget cooler better than anyone else.

This Coleman cooler doesn’t have many of the frills and features that the other options on this list come with, but it gets the job done. It is a great option for a weekend camping trip when you don’t need 4-5 days worth of ice retention, and the swing-up handles make it easy to carry around the campsite.

Highlights & Key Features

  • Fits 2-liter bottles and wine bottles upright
  • Handles swing up to carry, then down to stay out of the way
  • Coleman TempLock technology to keep everything cold

My Take

I’ve had one of these coolers for years, and I’ve used it countless times for camping, tailgating, and more. It’s just a basic cooler that does the job at a great price. I highly recommend adding one of these to your repertoire!

Best Cooler for Short Trips: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler


  • Capacity: Up to 33 cans
  • Ice Retention: 4-5 days
  • Weight: 13.1 pounds
  • Wheel Size: N/A
  • Exterior Dimensions: 16.6” x 14.0” x 17.4”

Product Overview

Up until now, most of the coolers we’ve looked at have been pretty big, which is great for longer trips or big families. But if you’re just planning a day trip to the beach or a short weekend camping trip, you might not need all that cooling capacity. This is where the YETI Roadie 24 shines, which is one of my favorite coolers.

The Roadie 24 is designed to be taller than most comparable units, which allows you to store 2-liters and wine bottles upright to prevent spilling. It also comes with the same YETI tech as other options, but it’s much more affordable than something like the Tundra Haul above.

Highlights & Key Features

  • Tall enough to accommodate 2-liters and bottles of wine
  • Narrow design makes it easy to load up and take with you
  • RockSolid technology makes it tough and durable
  • Keeps ice for longer than bigger coolers

My Take

Other than the Coleman 316 listed at the top, the YETI Roadie is my other go-to any time I don’t need the bigger one. In my opinion, it’s the best and most versatile non-wheeled cooler on the market, and it’s been perfect for shorter trips no matter where I’m headed.

Best Backpack Cooler: Everlasting Comfort 54-Can Backpack Cooler

Everlasting Comfort 54-Can Backpack Cooler


  • Capacity: Up to 54 cans
  • Ice Retention: 24 hours
  • Weight: 2.0 pounds
  • Wheel Size: N/A
  • Exterior Dimensions: 13.4” x 8.7” x 17.7”

Product Overview

Everything else on this list comes from one of the big names in the cooler industry — Coleman, YETI, RTIC, and Igloo — but when it comes to a backpack cooler, I really love this option from Everlasting Comfort. This versatile backpack can hold an astounding 54 cans, although if you max it out, it’s going to be pretty heavy to carry!

Backpack coolers like this are great because you can use them for much more than just camping. With its many compartments, durable construction, and padded straps, you can use this backpack for a packing trip, to carry your water while you hike, or even to the beach. Its insulation is designed to hold ice and keep everything cool for up to 24 hours.

Highlights & Key Features

  • Holds up to 54 cans in a backpack
  • Padded adjustable straps make it easy to carry
  • Side pockets for bottles of water (or wine)
  • Built-in bottle opener

My Take

I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical of this backpack cooler at first — 54 cans?! —  so I had to try it. For what it is and what it costs, I absolutely love this thing and have even used it as my only cooler on some of my shorter camping trips

Best Cooler for Beach Camping: Igloo 70-Quart Premium Trailmate Wheeled Cooler

Igloo Premium Trailmate Wheeled Cooler


  • Capacity: 70 quarts; up to 112 cans
  • Ice Retention: 4 days
  • Weight: 34.7 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 10”
  • Exterior Dimensions: 34.6” x 19.7” x 23.6”

Product Overview

Rounding off our list of the best coolers for camping is the Igloo 70-Quart Trailmate, which is great for beach camping and is also the biggest cooler on this list. Capable of holding up to 112 cans, the Igloo Trailmate is the perfect companion for long trips to your sunny and sandy paradise.

What makes this cooler so great for the beach is its oversized 10” wheels that easily glide through the sand. On top of that, it’s one of the only coolers on the market with built-in skid rails on the bottom that keep the base of your cooler out of the hot sand. This innovative construction allows it to keep everything colder for even longer.

Highlights & Key Features

  • Oversized wheels go over any terrain
  • Skid rails keep the cooler out of the hot sand
  • Multiple built-in bottle openers keep the party going
  • Lid has integrated cupholders and a smartphone holder

My Take

The skid rails on this cooler are without a doubt the biggest selling point to me. This clever design is one of the only coolers I’ve seen that has wheels this big and skid rails to make it not only easy to move but also to keep the base of the cooler off the ground and out of the sand.

What Makes a Cooler Good For Camping?

All of the coolers in this guide have been personally used by me or by other campers that I know and receive input from, so these are all battle-tested. The best camping coolers stay cold for multiple days, are portable enough to move around, and have lots of extra features built-in. 

Although you might like to bring a soft cooler on a hike or to the beach, I’ve always preferred hard-sided coolers when I’m camping, especially on longer camping trips. They’re usually more durable and keep things cold for longer. Lastly, hard coolers are pretty much your only option if you’re in the market for a large cooler.

If you ever have any doubt about a cooler, I’ll be honest, you can always just shell out the money for a YETI. While I definitely think there are plenty of other options (see above!) that give you more bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with a YETI. 

That said, Coleman, RTIC, and other brands make great camping coolers that will do almost just as well!

Keep Everything Cool on Your Next Camping Trip

With this complete list of the best coolers for camping, I’m sure you’ll find a couple of options that work for you and will do what you need. I strongly suggest the Coleman 316 Series as the best all-around lineup of coolers when you combine performance, features, and cost, but every cooler in this guide gets the job done.

No matter what time of year you’re planning on going camping, a cooler is essential for keeping your food and drinks cold, making it one of the most important pieces of camping gear. So I hope that this guide has helped you find one that works for you so you can get your next camping adventure planned and underway.

I hope to see you out there!

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