Looking for the Best Cooler for Camping?
While you carry your cooler around, it’s pretty unpleasant knowing your soggy sandwich is in a cooler suspended in a sea of melted ice.

Getting the best camping cooler is not a piece of cake. Especially for the free spirits who are buying a cooler for the first time. To help you get the best value for your money, we have devised this guide on the best coolers for camping.

Best Cooler for Camping – Our Top Picks

The market is flooded with camping coolers. But it does not mean that all of them are an ideal choice. To be honest, you don’t want to end up with the poorly built cooler. To save you from hassle, we have compiled a list of the best coolers for camping out in the market:

Product Model
Ice RetentionRating
Price
Grizzly Cooler

5 Days

4.5

Engel Cooler


7 Days

4.5

Pelican Cooler

7 Days

4.8

What are Bear Proof Coolers?

Best Cooler for Camping - Different cooler sizes

As the name implies, a bear proof cooler is designed and built to keep your food away from wild animals. Bears are the most common animal to meddle with your food. To get a bear-proof cooler, you need to take care about two things.
First one is the construction. The cooler has to be made of hardcore (rotomolded) plastic that can bear harsh conditions and withstand animal attack. (No pun intended).
Secondly, you must check the locks. Today, most popular cooler brands manufacture coolers with T-locks or flattened locks.

Bears cannot figure out these locks. In the end, choose a cooler with IGBC certification to ensure the cooler is bear proof.

Best Cooler For Camping Reviews

Amongst a ton of coolers all trying to claim the throne to the best camping cooler, the following three coolers have been shortlisted for you to decide your best pick. All coolers are designed to keep your contents safe from the reach of a grizzly bear and other wildlife creatures.

Grizzly 40 Quart Review

Best Cooler for Camping - Coolers Like Yeti But Cheaper - Grizzly Cooler

The market is stuffed with heavy duty coolers which claim to provide improved ice retention than any traditional coolers. Out of them, the most considerate choice is Grizzly 40 quart cooler. This brand is the rare gem which offers a lifetime warranty for all of its products.

The Grizzly 40 Quart cooler is a handsome choice when you are looking for the best camping cooler. Its dimensions are 25 x 16 x 15.5 inches. It comes in different colors including tan, blue, green/tan, white and sandstone/tan. You can pick as per your taste.

Grizzly Cooler Design

Designed to ensure maximum convenience. On each side, it features molded handles making lifting easier. For more hands, nylon sleeved rubber handles are attached too. When you need to secure the cooler to the rig, try 2-inch tie down openings.
Grizzly has patented Bearclaw latches to keep the cooler closed. The internal rubber gasket ensures a solid seal so that temperature remains low for the longer period.

Best Cooler for Camping - Coolers Like Yeti But Cheaper - Grizlly Cooler Tan Open

Unlike traditional coolers, Grizzly 40 quart cooler has been manufactured using roto-molded technology. This process heats and molds the plastic into desired shapes instead of joining different parts.
This way, we get rigid and incredibly durable coolers. 40 Quart unit is designed to live longer thanks to molded in the hinge that features stainless steel pins under the surface. You can rely on these molded in heavy duty handles for optimum and secure grip while lifting it.

When ice melts, it leaves the mess inside the cooler. Nothing is worse than a soggy sandwich. You can get rid of excess water using the 2-inch drain plug in the bottom.

Ice retention is the most important thing about any cooler. As Grizzly 40 quart is composed of double wall rotomolded shell, it offers ice retention for a longer period. Even at temperatures up to 90-degrees, the cooler retains the ice for 4 days and 5 hours.
Not to mention, Grizzly 40 quart is a certified bear proof cooler, wild animals and bears won’t be able to touch your contents as this unit is not easily breakable.

Available Sizes

Ranging from a smaller cooler size to big a hunting cooler, Grizzly’s are available in a variety of sizes as per your need.

Here’s the closer look at the available sizes.
Grizzly 15, 20, 40, 60, 75, 150, 400 Quart Cooler

Key Features
● Indestructible and user-friendly ice chests
● Comes in variety of sizes
● Ice retention ranges from 4 days and 5 hours
● High quality and thick insulation into the rotomolded walls
● Molded hinges and stainless architecture
● BearClaw hinges for lifting
● Tightly fitted gasket to avoid heat entry
● Drain plug to drain out excessive water
● Perfect for outdoor expeditions like hunting or fishing
Pros

● Incredibly durable
● Best ice retention capabilities
● Aggressive appearance
● Easy to carry
● Available in different sizes
● Easy to carry

Cons

● Very expensive
● Heavy

Engel 65 Cooler Review

Best Cooler for Camping - Coolers Like Yeti But Cheaper - Engel Cooler Open

When it comes to high-performance cooler line, we cannot forget the Engel. This brand is known for manufacturing high performance, long lasting and rugged camping coolers. Just like any premium brand, the coolers have been built using roto-molding technology. That’s why the product is so strong and tough.
Specifically talking about Engel 65, it comes with the dimensions of 29.25″ x 16.75″ x 16.75″.

Engel Cooler Design

Every unit of Engel is surrounded by polyurethane insulation walls which are 2” thicker. Due to high-quality insulation, the ice retention is spot on.
It comes with non-skid feet to provide good grip on greasy or slippery surfaces. For easy lifting and mobility, it also features self-stopping rear hinge and a latch keeper. To add convenience to mobility, you can either use rope handles or built in molded hinges.

As a cheaper alternative, Engel is IGBC certified; it means it is ranked as a bear proof cooler. Due to hardcore construction, the bears and animals cannot do any harm to the cooler.
The rotomolded shell provides maximum ice retention. And silicone airtight gaskets add more value to it. As this seal won’t let the heat come inside.
If durability is your thing, you will be pleased to see marine grade compression latches which make the loading easier.
For outdoor expeditions, this cooler is great to go. Thanks to UV resistant construction.

Available Sizes

Engel 65s come in a variety of sizes and colors to go with taste and requirements.
ENG 25, ENG35, ENG50, ENG65, ENG80, ENG123, ENG165, ENG240, ENG320

Key Features
● High-performance ice coolers
● Ice retention up to 10 days
● Professional outlook
● 2” polyurethane insulation into rotomolded walls
● Rotomolded construction for durability
● Silicone airtight gaskets to keep heat out of the cooler
Pros

● High-grade insulation
● Tough and durable
● Perfect for hunting and fishing

Cons

● Expensive
● Heavy to carry

Pelican 65 Cooler Review

Best Cooler for Camping - An Image of a Pelican Cooler

Arguably the best cooler for camping… The Pelican 65 Quart is one to watch.

With an ice retention of 10 Days, one can guess that Pelican coolers have a rotomolded shell by just looking at it. This unit has been manufactured using the most durable and toughest. No doubt, that is why it can withstand all kinds of terrains and conditions.

The construction alone is not enough for maximum ice retention. In this regard, a freezer grade gasket comes into the ground. It provides an absolute seal to retain the low temperatures.
Pelican camping cooler has an intelligent design but not complicated one. You can access it using the press and pull latches that secure the lid. Sometimes, you are in cold terrain where you need to wear gloves. These latches are easy to open even with the gloves.

Pelican is all about security and durability. To secure the cooler, you have molded in tie downs mounts. Furthermore, stainless steel lock plate is also available for added security. All you have to do I padlock the cooler.

Available Sizes

Pelican 45 Quart, 55 Quart, 80 Quart

Key Features
• 2” polyurethane insulation
• Rotomolded shell
• Built in bottle opener
• Press and pull latches
• Non-skid and marking raised feet
• Molded-in tie downs
• Sloped and tethered threaded drain plug
Heavy duty wheels
• Built for lifetime
• Ice retention up to 10 days
Pros

● Awesome ice retention
● Mobile friendly
● Durable and tough

Cons
• Bulkier design
● Expensive

What to Look For In The Best Camping Cooler?

As mentioned in the start, the best cooler for camping is nothing like an ordinary cooler. While getting a bear proof cooler, one needs to take care of certain things. You must check following things before buying best-insulated cooler:

Ice Retention

Well obviously, Ice retention is the most important and foremost feature of every cooler. Camping means that you will be out for several days. Whether you have decided to go fishing or hunting, you need a cooler to keep food and beverages cold. An ice cooler with poor insulation or ice retention is of no use for outdoor activities.

Durability

Camping means you are going to live in a drastic terrain for a few days. Ordinary coolers cannot withstand such scenarios. You desperately need the best cooler for camping that not only keeps the food cold but can bear the harsh wear & tear. Undoubtedly, the solid body construction is a primary consideration while buying a camping cooler.

Lock-ability

While on camping, it is possible that you may not be alone. Other groups might be exploring the area too. Above all, the presence of animals is obvious. That’s why camping coolers are also known as bear-proof coolers. You must get a cooler with great locks to protect your food, beverages, and staples from animals, human and otherwise.

Conclusion – Best Cooler for Camping

Best Cooler for Camping - Pelican Cooler Review - New Pelican Elite Cooler Open

We have discussed which point to take into account while getting the best-insulated cooler. It is easy to be delusional about your choices as the market is stuffed with hundreds of units. Grizzly, Pelican, and Engel are an ideal choice when looking for the best cooler for camping.
If we compare them, they pretty much possess same features with a slight difference.

If you want all in one package with maximum ice retention, go for Pelican. But for mobility, the Engel units are best. But the final decision is up to your needs.