Hopefully, you are enjoying the summer weather with some of the coldest brews available and perhaps even doing a little day drinking while you are out camping or just camped out watching a football game.
If you haven’t yet gotten outfitted for summer and are disrespecting your beer, wine, or champagne spritzer, then you need to get serious before the real festivities hit.
This means you need to get a cooler that is worthy of keeping your refreshments or your meats chilled.
Coolers are often forgotten. Some people – philistines really – think that a styrofoam shell with a bag of ice is all it takes to make a cooler worthwhile.
These are the hangdog men and women who are always ignored at every Barbecue. They are reviled at every Super Bowl party.
They are shunned from bikini pool bashes because they always show up with warm inferior beers and the jumbo array of cheap hotdogs that no true grillmaster will cook.
Don’t let yourself become one of these unfortunate folks of summer and get yourself one of the four best coolers you can.
Coleman 62 Xtreme
Check it out on Amazon
Best Mobile: A lot of the larger coolers slap on a pair of cheap training wheels that won’t stand up to a man-sized excursion, or they don’t actually roll when the cooler is full.
Invariably they just get drug along, leaving deep furrows in the dirt and causing you to sweat every bump in the road.
The Xtreme manages to actually bring mobility to your camping without feeling like it is going to roll away when it gets turned into a chair or a drink holder.
Even when the 62-quart capacity is filled with ice and goodies, you can still move it along with the relative ease of a much smaller cooler.
The durability of the Xtreme is an issue, but unlike sturdier models, the insulation is not where this skimps.
You can expect it to keep ice, food, and drinks cold for days, even in direct sunshine.
The hinges, handles, and epoxy are where Coleman clearly cut costs, but they passed that savings on to the consumer.
You could pay the same price for a cooler that is smaller and less mobile, so even if you need to replace it every few years, it still won’t put a sting in your pocketbook.
Comes in 50 to 100-quart sizes.
More: Best Camping Gear
Survivor: The Grizzly 15 wasn’t meant for size but rather for heading into the most extreme conditions on the earth while still keeping your cargo cold and holding wildlife at bay.
It will retain ice for more than four days, whether you are going on a walkabout through the outback or carrying a donor’s heart over whitewater rapids.
The locking hooks and transport strap make toting this around on your back a breeze.
The high price and small size are generally what turns off buyers, but when you’ve seen this take a hit onto a rocky outcropping without spilling a drop or seen it attacked by a devoted black bear without losing interior integrity, you’ll know where the extra money went.
This is meant for the BYOB party or daytime fishing trip where your mountain lager goes out with you, and you are bringing dinner backpacked in ice. If need be, you can fit nearly 50 lbs. of game into it.
More: Best Hiking Backpacks
NRS Dura Soft Cooler
Rollin’ on the River: Soft coolers are generally not well-liked among those who need something that won’t fall apart on them and gives them the insulation they need.
If you are a soft cooler fan, then you won’t find a better insulated, more easily carried softie than the Dura Soft.
It keeps ice fresh for 48 full hours before leaving you with a puddle, but that is astoundingly high for a softshell and plenty of time for taking along a few deli types of meat or microbrews to be shared during a weekend trip.
It will also save you on fatigue compared with heavy hard-sides.
It is built primarily with rafters, kayakers, and other river rats in mind with a body that helps keep contaminated water from breaking down the cooler’s body or sneaking in.
The capacity claims to be 30 cans, but you’ll find it closer to 24 once you get an appreciable amount of ice into it. The actual measurement is 14 quarts.
Really you’ll be better off using this for a backpacking excursion, a picnic, or an adventure through whitewater rapids where space counts.
The insulation seems flimsy, but it actually works smarter, not harder, by adding mylar lining to keep heat out and single-cell construction to lock cold in so it doesn’t get uncomfortable to carry as the ice seeps away.
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Pelican 45 Quart Elite
Fisherman’s Friend: This is for the more serious water dog who is looking to take their action out on the high seas, perhaps bag a sturgeon, or at the very least have some Dom to celebrate braving the wicked coastal waters.
It has a true freezer gasket that will battle against leaks and saltwater that could ruin a fresh catch or just hickory-smoked Angus steak burgers.
The one problem is the weight is restrictive when it comes to packing light or moving the Elite around. It was clearly meant to be put in one place and stay there.
The hardware is all corrosion-resistant stainless steel that works as well as plastic without the concern that it will accidentally break at the worst possible moment.
The handles can easily be opened if you are wearing gloves, thanks to a larger latch design and no namby-pamby little parts.
The lifetime guarantee, as well as the knowledge you never again want to pay for a replacement, just shows how confident Pelican is that this will survive whatever you use it for.
It comes in 35 to 250-quart sizes.
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Buying guide for the Best Coolers
Coolers are one of the most popular items for camping trips. It is a good idea to have at least one, if not several, coolers in your camping gear bag since you will likely need to store other items along with food and drinks in them for some time. For this reason, you should be sure to get the best coolers possible from a reliable manufacturer that can meet your needs and provide you with years of use. Here are some of the best coolers available:
If you are planning a road trip, the best cooler for you is one that provides protection from the weather, as well as easy access to your food and drinks. The cooler is an excellent choice for protecting your food from rain, as well as keeping it cool when you need to transport it to and from the campsite. This lightweight, waterproof cooler will survive even the worst weather conditions on a long road trip. Other features include a large volume of storage room and an internal hydration system that keep your drinks fresh.
Camping is a fun activity, but if you want to do it safely, you need to take precautions to keep your food and drinks as fresh as possible.
That is why many people choose various small coolers that can fit into their cars or briefcases and allow them to take full advantage of all the space in their car trunk or glove compartment.
A Coleman cooler will fit in most cars and provide you with plenty of storage space for your food and drinks. At the same time, other models include multiple compartments and insulated zippered areas in which to store even more items. Some of these smaller coolers also include a feature that stores your emergency supplies in a waterproof container that you can carry in your car during road trips.
Last update on 2021-03-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API