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Best Camping Coolers for the Money

An outdoor cooler doesn’t just help keep your refreshment cool when you are camping in the outdoors, it can be a lifesaver. In humid and hot weather conditions, there are very few ways to keep your temperature down while out in the outdoors. A cooler can help you keep your temperature stable and prevent the risk of heatstroke by providing ready access to cold water when you need it. A good outdoor cooler doesn’t need to be pricey to provide great value. In this guide, we list down some of the best camping coolers for the money currently on the market.

 

Our Top Pick: Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler

The Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler strikes an excellent balance between price and quality. It is both highly affordable and features excellent cooling retention – up to nearly three days. This cooler is also highly portable thanks to its adjustable handle, lightweight design, and rollers that keep rolling even when the cooler box is filled to capacity. The cooler lid doubles as a drink holder on the lid, which is a nice feature. The cooler has a surprisingly large capacity, enough to fill the needs of a small camping group for nearly an entire week’s trip. However, in the durability department, this cooler isn’t exactly the most robust. The flexible lid on top will easily break if you try to sit on it.


Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Great affordable price
  • Superb insulation
  • Easy to clean
  • Large capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Cup holders

 

Cons

  • Not exactly sturdy


Runner-up: Tourit Soft Cooler

For those with more money to spend, the Tourit Soft Cooler promises to be a product of excellent value. This three-layered cooler provides excellent insulation against heat, and can keep your refreshments chilled for up to 3 days. The bag design is also water- and leak-proof, as well as durable. The cooler’s tough exterior shell provides excellent protection against impact, punctures, and the outdoor elements. For portability, the bag features three ways of carrying – a detachable shoulder strap with pad, top handles, and two reinforced side handles. The cooler bag also comes with a built-in bottle opener, which is a plus.

 

The bag’s zipper though leaves much to be desired. If you are not careful, this fragile zip can easily give out. Fortunately, the product comes with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturers.

 

Pros

  • Waterproof and leakproof
  • Durable
  • 3-year warranty
  • Superb insulation
  • Versatile portability options
  • Comes with a bottle opener

 

Cons

  • Flimsy zipper
  • Price


Best Cooler Bag: Igloo Marine Ultra Square Cooler

Lightweight, easy to clean, and with a durable design all for a great affordable price, the Igloo Marine Ultra Square Cooler is an option you should definitely be checking out. The exterior of the cooler is composed of stain, UV, and odor-resistant materials. Insulation from heat is good but not great – you can expect it to keep your foodstuff chilled for about two days. This great igloo cooler is available in a wide range of capacities and sizes. The one we reviewed here has a storage capacity of 24 beer cans. The front zip pocket and side mesh panels the bag comes with are also handy for storing additional items.

 

There were two aspects worth mentioning that we disliked about this otherwise excellent cooler bag. One, the shoulder straps of this cooler bag is somewhat fragile and can break. Second is that the bag is leak-resistant but not entirely leak-proof.

 

Pros

  • Great affordable price
  • Decent insulation
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Stain, UV, and odor-resistant fabric
  • Large capacity
  • Lightweight

 

Cons

  • Fragile straps
  • Not entirely leak-proof

 

Best Portable Cooler: IceMule Pro Backpack

For those highly mobile campers who are always on, the IceMule Pro Backpack can be the best camping cooler for the money. This cooler backpack promises a hands-free carry experience, managing to distribute the weight of your stuff inside it evenly so that your back never feels taxed by the load. This cooler is an excellent mate for outdoor camping and hiking, being highly durable, waterproof, leakproof, and can float on water. When not in use, the backpack can be collapsed for easy storage.

 

The bag design does, however, make it challenging to find the store item you are looking for inside. Another gripe we have is that the mesh fabric can be a bit harsh on bare skin, enough to make a shirtless carrier quickly uncomfortable.

 

Pros

  • Highly versatile and portable
  • Great color options
  • Collapsible design
  • Durable
  • Waterproof and leak-proof
  • Floats on water
  • Decent insulation

 

Cons

  • Mesh fabric is too coarse
  • The design makes it hard to sort through stored items


Best Tailgating Cooler: Coleman Soft Cooler

For those looking for a great value tailgating cooler, Coleman Soft Cooler is a worthy option. Its telescopic handle and roller wheels help with its portability. The many zip and mesh pockets allow for additional item storage. The design is high quality, very durable, and leak-proof, as well as resistant against stains, UV, mold growth, and odor. It also carries a respectably large capacity – enough to carry 42 beer cans. As for drawbacks, locking feature on the handle is missing on this cooler, which in some circumstances can cause unnecessary annoyance. Also, insulation against heat isn’t exactly the best, making it more suitable for shorter trips.

 

Pros

  • Great affordable price
  • Durable
  • Highly portable
  • Leak-proof
  • Extra pockets for additional storage option
  • Stain, UV, mold, and odor-resistant fabric
  • Large capacity

 

Cons

  • No locking handle
  • Weak cooling retention


Best High Capacity Cooler: Igloo Polar Cooler

For large camping groups, Igloo Polar Cooler provides the best bang for the buck. The cooler has an extraordinary storage capacity – about 20 quarts. This is enough to store nearly 188 standard beer cans. The cooler also offers exceptional cooling retention – up to 5 days. The cooler is very easy to clean, and thanks to its threaded drain plug, draining it is also a breeze.

 

As for drawbacks, the most obvious is that it is not the most portable option out there. The entire thing is about 3.2 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and weighs nearly 20 lbs. This limits the outdoor areas where you can bring it along without facing difficulty. Another is its cheap plastic hinges and latches, which aren’t all that durable and are vulnerable to breaking.

 

Pros

  • Massive capacity
  • Great affordable price
  • Superb insulation
  • Durable
  • Easy draining and cleaning

 

Cons

  • Weak lid hinges and latches
  • Not very portable


Concluding Note

When out shopping for an outdoor cooler, considering the following factors to judge how good of a value the cooler provides for the money. The most important are its storage capacity, durability, and insulation. The best camping coolers for money are long-lasting, can keep your drinks chill for days, and can pack enough inside to fit your needs without being cumbersome to carry. Many great and affordable coolers boast additional useful features that further add to their overall value.

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