Whether you are going on an overnight adventure or a week-long expedition, when you are looking at the best coolers for camping, you want to find one that will be durable to withstand the outdoors. The best coolers for camping are weatherproof, waterproof, bear proof as well as being able to keep your food cold for long periods of time.
Depending on your lifestyle, you can choose the best cooler for camping based on your personal needs. For example, if you are a camping enthusiast, then you will want to get a high-end camping cooler. A high-end camping cooler is also necessary for you if you are planning to camp in a remote or rugged area, where you will not be able to get to a store for food and drinks for extended periods.
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What Makes a Cooler the Best Cooler For Camping?
As the title indicates, camping coolers are coolers which are to be used while camping. However, these coolers are not just for camping they can be for many other uses. What makes a camping cooler a camping cooler are a few factors seen below, most notably if it is Certified Bear Resistant. If you are only camping for a short-time, like just the weekend, then the best camping cooler for you is probably a small one. Although it can be smaller, it should still be strong enough to withstand any adverse weather. In addition, you want to look for a one that is portable, and if you are camping by yourself, you are able to move it around easily. If you are more interested in coolers meant for patios or beach trips and not so much camping, check out our homepage.
A great thought to keep in mind when looking at the best coolers for camping for your trip is:
- A small camping cooler (25 quarts) is ideal if you are going on a camping trip by yourself for one or two days.
- A medium camping cooler (25-45 quarts) is ideal if you are going on a camping trip by yourself for three to four days. Additionally, this size will work if you and a special someone is planning a weekend camping trip.
- A large camping cooler (45-70 quarts) is ideal if you and a special someone is planning a weeklong camping trip. It will also work for a family going on a weekend camping trip.
A camping cooler that costs a little more might seem expensive, but if you plan on going camping for more than approximately 20 days out of the year, it will be an investment and well worth the price.
A very important point to remember is that in remote environment, food smells attract animals and critters than live in the woods, in particular, bears. Again, if you are planning to camp in the wilderness, then you will want the camping cooler you purchase to protect your food and drinks from animal tampering.
What are Bear Proof Coolers?
Bear proof coolers, also known as grizzly coolers, are coolers that are not only strong enough for wilderness camping trips, but also will protect your food from bears and other animals. Bear proof coolers will keep your perishables safe, and furthermore, will not harm any animals that attempt to consume the coolers (or the contents in the cooler).
By chance, when animals break into a cooler and eats what’s inside, it could possibly harm or kill them and worse yet create a safety hazard for other campers. For this reason, the best bear proof coolers are certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), an organization that works to preserve the grizzly bear population. IGBC certified coolers have been rigorously tested to make sure that your food and drinks are kept safe, and in the event that animals break into your cooler, then they will not be harmed as well. These bear proof coolers are the best and have been verified to be resilient and safe.
If you are considering purchasing a bear proof cooler, below is some information on three of the best bear proof coolers on the market. A lot of our readers may be pondering between a Grizzly Cooler vs Yeti, Pelican Vs Yeti OR a Engel vs Yeti; below is a brief review of our top picks.
Well known to camping aficionados for it durable camping products, Yeti has come up with a cooler that will stand the test of any rugged outdoor trip. The Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler potentially hosts a number of necessary features for a better prepared camping trip, including a dry goods rack, a rope for easy handling, and non-slip rubber feet.
This cooler has long been the favorite among those that take their camping seriously. It is made with roto-molded polyethylene, UV resistance, and sturdy insolation, which makes the Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler practically impossible to destroy, meaning, it is IGBC certified.
The huge capacity of the Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler can hold up to 26 cans of beverages or 35 pounds of ice. Read our full review of the Yeti Tundra Series Here⇒
If you are planning a long camping trip, the Grizzly 400 White by Grizzly Coolers is one of your best coolers for camping. It is constructed to carry everything you need for your camping excursion to your campsite and back.
Similar to the Yeti 45 Cooler, the Grizzly 400 holds bear resistant certification by the IGBC. It has an unique latch system that makes it difficult for animals to break, especially when there is the added protection of two shackle padlocks. Also, like the Yeti 45 Cooler, it is durable and made to withstand rugged camping trips in the wilderness.
While the Yeti 45 Cooler is geared towards camping trips that will last one or two days, the Grizzly 400 White Cooler is geared toward longer camping trips, in particular, family camping trips. It will hold 500-12oz. cans or 200-20 oz. bottles. It is important to take into consideration that the Grizzly 400 White Cooler is huge and heavy, weighing in at 90 lbs., while the Yeti 45 Cooler is only 22 lbs.
If you are going camping by yourself, you have to ask yourself if you want to be lugging around a 90 lbs. cooler. Another question to consider about the Grizzly 400 White Cooler is the price. While the Engle 58 qt. DeepBlue and the Yeti 45 are roughly around the same price, the Grizzly 400 White is about three times the cost of either of them. If you’re stuck debating between a Grizzly or a Yeti cooler, we got you covered in our Grizzly VS Yeti Review.
The Engel 58 qt. DeepBlue Performance Cooler is one of the best coolers for camping with its two inch wall of insulation that allows campers to keep ice for 8-10 days. One unique feature that it has that the Grizzly 400 and the Yeti 45 doesn’t have is a pitched floor that allows water to drain completely, which means you will not be straining yourself with unnecessary lifting.
Like the Yeti 45 and the Grizzly 400 White, the Engel 58 qt. is IGBC certified to protect your food and drinks, as well as protect the animals from harm. Additionally, the Engel 58 qt. comes with non-skid feet and rope handles, like the other two, to stay in place and for easy handling and portability.
The best coolers for camping depends on how long you are planning to spend outdoors and how much you are willing to spend on a camping cooler. However, regardless of these two concerns, since you (or your family) plan on being outdoors in the woods, you will want to have a camping cooler that is IGBC certified to protect your food from unwelcomed furry, grizzly guests. Full Engel Deep Blue Review Here⇒