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Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Otterbox Venture 45 Cooler at Amazon
"Uses two-part polyurethane insulation to keep ice frozen for up to 14 days."
Best Value: Stanley Adventure Cooler at Amazon
"Provides a lot of utility at a modest price point."
Best Soft-Sided: Yeti Hopper Flip 18 at Amazon
"Made of a high-density fabric that’s waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays."
Best Backpack Cooler: Hydroflask 22-Liter Soft Cooler Pack at Amazon
"This cooler features two shoulder straps that are ergonomically designed to match the curve of your torso."
Best Collapsible: Kelty Folding Cooler at Amazon
"A hard-sided cooler that's available with either 25 or 45 liters of storage space."
Most Stylish: Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler at Amazon
"A 54-quart cooler with a classic, retro design."
Best Wheeled Cooler: Rovr RollR 45 at Amazon
"A telescoping handle makes it easy to maneuver when weighed down."
Best Eco-Friendly: Igloo Recool at REI
"A smart, eco-friendly update to the disposable Styrofoam cooler."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Otterbox Venture 45 Cooler
Known for its durable smartphone cases, Otterbox joins the high-performance cooler market with their Venture 45 Cooler. The cooler uses two-part polyurethane insulation to keep ice frozen for up to 14 days, and has a bomber polypropylene on both the inside and outer shell. Plus, it was even certified as bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Association. It boasts more than 45 quarts of storage, with a slanted interior bottom to make it easier to drain, and three slots to accommodate custom compartments. Those dividers are sold separately and are part of a family of Otterbox cooler accessories that include a side table, all-terrain wheels, and a double cup holder. The cooler does come with a bottle opener and a dry storage tray, as well as a mounting system that makes it easy to integrate whatever add-ons you want. It also has anti-side rubber feet to avoid sliding, with side handles and two, one-hand-operated polycarbonate ABS latches.
Best Value: Stanley Adventure Cooler
With a retail price of $250 and the ability to keep things cool for up to four days, the Stanley Adventure Cooler provides a lot of utility at a modest price point. It measures 21 x 18.5 x 15.5 inches and boasts 30 quarts of storage — that's enough space to fit 40, 12-ounce cans. A durable, leak-proof drain makes it easy to rid the cooler of melted ice, and the foamed lid comes with a leak-resistant gasket. Close it up via two sturdy latches and the cooler doubles as a bench, step stool, or work table. It also comes in either classic Stanley green or white.
Best Soft-Sided: Yeti Hopper Flip 18
A leading brand in high-end coolers, Yeti is a favorite among campers, anglers, and hunters. And while their hard-sided, larger-format coolers are great, they broke the mold of the soft-sided cooler with the Hopper Flip 18. This latest design updates the previous model by shifting the main zipper from the cooler’s top seam to a C-shaped configuration that allows the lid to flip open, making it refreshingly easy to access it inside. At 18 quarts, the cooler is best-suited for weekend trips (with enough space for 20 cans of beer or 24 pounds of ice) but will also keep your ice frozen for several days thanks to closed-cell rubber foam insulation and a burly, easy-to-operate “Hydrolock” zipper that makes the cooler leakproof. Yeti's proprietary Dryhide outer shell — made of a high-density fabric that’s waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays — can take a serious beating, while the interior has been lined with FDA-approved food-grade materials. Vertical rows of daisy chain straps line both sides of the cooler, making it easy to fasten the Hopper Flip down or to attach other accessories, like the Yeti’s Sidekick Tray or the Molle Bottle Opener.
Best Backpack Cooler: Hydroflask 22-Liter Soft Cooler Pack
For off-the-grid picnic adventures, Hydroflask’s 22-Liter Soft Cooler Pack is the way to go. This cooler features two shoulder straps that are ergonomically designed to match the curve of your torso, along with a simple sternum strap to help distribute the load. Its proprietary insulation will keep your food and drinks cold for up to 48 hours, with a waterproof zipper that seals tight due to an easy-to-operate, T-shaped pull handle. The 40D nylon has proven to be light and durable over multiple outings, and the BPA-free liner is food grade-certified by the FDA. It weighs only 3.2 pounds and comes with a cache of day-hike friendly features like an upper zip compartment in the flip-top lid, a zippered side pocket, and stretch mesh pockets on both sides — made to perfectly fit one of Hydroflask’s award-winning water bottles. And, like the brand's vacuum-insulated bottles, the pack also comes in a few colors including gold, red, black, or gray.
Best Collapsible: Kelty Folding Cooler
Save space on your camping trip with the Kelty Folding Cooler — a hard-sided cooler that's available with either 25 or 45 liters of storage space. When collapsed, the cooler measures four inches in height. And when you’re ready to load it up, it assembles in minutes. The four, 12-mm PE foam-insulated walls and the cooler floor fold together conveniently, with Velcro to secure things in place. To assemble, you drop the box into the ripstop 300D polyester outer shell, pull up the sides, and attach it to the cooler via Velcro panels. Then, wiggle the inner lining (made of PEVA) into the cooler and use additional strips of integrated Velcro to shore up the cooler. It keeps ice frozen for up to 36 hours, with easy-carry handles and four cup holders integrated into the hard-top lid.
If less is more, we've got you covered. Check out our selection of the best small coolers.
Most Stylish: Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
Bring the 60s back with Coleman's Vintage Steel-Belted Cooler, a 54-quart cooler with a classic, retro design. Stainless steel construction makes this hard-sided cooler incredibly durable and boasts enough storage space to accommodate 85, 12-ounce cans. It’s also deep enough to store two-liter bottles upright. Coleman’s aptly-titled “Keep the Ice!” insulation provides enough protection to keep items cold for up to four days in temperatures as high as 90 degrees. An integrated bottle opener makes it easy to crack open a beer, a traditional metal latch seals out the elements to keep things cold, and twin handles make the cooler easy to haul. Otherwise, it’s as simple as a hard-sided cooler, with a leak-resistant drain and a lid that supports up to 250 pounds.
Best Wheeled Cooler: Rovr RollR 45
Big-capacity coolers can store a lot of stuff, but they’re also a pain to carry when fully loaded. With the Rovr RollR 45, you can easily travel with a cooler thanks to its two, nine-inch all-terrain rubber tires equipped with an interchangeable tube, aluminum hubs, and two sealed bearings. A telescoping handle makes the cooler easy to maneuver when weighed down with ice, drinks, and food. Two rubber non-skid feet assure it won't roll away, and a five-year limited warranty guarantees high-quality construction. It’s rated to keep ice frozen for up to eight days, and comes with a fast-flow drain, a removable storage bin, and a “deep freeze," removable dry bin with two compartments to keep food away from ice. The exterior is certified as bear-resistant, with rubber latches and an airtight gasket. And, you can add a variety of Rovr accessories to the cooler, including a prepping board, an umbrella or fishing rod holder, twin cup holders, a wagon bin, a stash bag, and the BikR Kit — a bracket that affixes to the cooler so you can tow it on your bike. For most campers, the 45-quart capacity should suffice, but for bigger parties, you can upgrade to the 60- or 80-quart versions.
Best Eco-Friendly: Igloo Recool
In both price point and overall features, the Recool cooler from Igloo differs most mainstream coolers — but that doesn’t mean it’s less innovative. In many ways, it’s a smart, eco-friendly update to the disposable Styrofoam cooler and the first cooler made entirely from biodegradable materials. It provides 16 quarts of storage and can hold water for up to five days. Note that the cooler can keep things cool for up to 12 hours, so it isn't ideal for week-long expeditions. Otherwise, it’s pretty simple, with two molded-in side handles, one center handle, and four mold-in cup holders on the drop-on lid. But don’t let its low price tag or cardboard-like materials fool you — Igloo designed the Recool to be re-used. Just empty it, let it air dry, and you’re good to go.
Our writers spent 23 hours researching the most popular coolers for camping on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different coolers overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, read over 30 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the coolers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.