When camping, it is essential to store food and drinks during the trip. This is where the best camping cooler comes in. Aside from protecting your shelter with a good camping tent, keeping your hearty camping meals and cold drinks can make or break your camping trip. That's why a quality cooler should be at the top of your camping gear list. It will help you stay energized on long hikes and keep you hydrated and energized throughout the day. No one likes to go back to their campsite to find slightly warm sparkling water and soggy food drowned in melting ice.
What are the types of camping coolers?
They fall into four categories - soft coolers, hard coolers, electric coolers, and polystyrene foam coolers. Each of these types of coolers has something that makes them unique, and choosing the right one may be the secret to a successful weekend camping trip.
Soft coolers are simply rigid cooler bags with insulation that prevents heat from escaping. As their name implies, they are usually light enough to be easily carried over the shoulder, by hand or as a converted backpack.
Due to their small size, soft coolers do not have the ice retention capabilities of hard coolers that are good enough. Therefore, they are ideal for short camping trips or single day trips. These soft coolers are easy to carry.
Because of their size and physical characteristics, they are great for hiking, picnics, fishing trips, and more. Their small size also means you will be forced to pack small ice packs or ice cubes to keep their cool contents.
Hard coolers are one of the most common types of camping coolers you'll encounter when shopping. Hard-shell coolers are made of tough materials, such as plastic, fiberglass or steel. Some manufacturers will also use a combination of these materials to achieve greater durability.
Because of the materials used to make hard cooler shells, they are heavier and easier to move around. Compared to shorter camping coolers, hard-shell coolers are heavier and have better insulation capabilities.
A typical hard cooler will keep your food cold for four to five days. All you have to do is keep them in a cool place if possible and avoid leaving them open.
Simply put, electric refrigerators are similar to portable mini-fridges. These coolers are different from other options because they require a DC power outlet, power station or generator to operate effectively. This means you have to figure out how to get into the woods with a reliable power source.
Typical electric coolers cost more and are better at retaining ice than hard and soft coolers. In addition, they can keep your food and supplies cold indefinitely if the power is not disconnected. You don't need to add ice to electric coolers. Therefore, you can fill them to maximum capacity.
If you can guarantee access to power, then an electric cooler will be a sound investment for your next camping trip. It will prevent your ice from melting for a long time, and you can rest easy and enjoy your time in the woods.
Polystyrene foam coolers
Polystyrene foam coolers are equally popular and are a common choice for campers. These are designed with polystyrene foam or polyurethane foam insulation. Due to this unique design, these camp coolers are lightweight. They are a great option for those who want to travel with a large, lightweight cooler.
However, you need to be aware that polystyrene foam will not keep your provider as cold as other products with thick insulation. If you're looking for something to travel with for more than a day, you can choose any of the above alternatives.
Outdoor Camping Cooler Buying Guide
One of the first things to consider when choosing a cooler is the insulation of its body. There are different types of insulation applied to coolers. The level and type of insulation applied when designing a cooler will determine its ability to retain ice.
There are different materials that can be used to make the insulation for the camping cooler. However, you should learn to pay more attention to its thickness. Coolers with thick insulation will have no problem keeping the coolness gained over time. However, the type of material will only make a small difference.
In addition to insulation, it is important to look at the quality of the seal on the cooler. If the seal on the cooler is of poor quality, all your efforts will be for naught. The purpose of sealing is to keep the cold out of the camp cooler.
If warm air is able to enter the cooler, it will cause the ice to melt and ruin your supply. When checking the quality of the seal you are potentially purchasing, you should be aware that there is no room to buy.
If you find a broken seal or any kind of damage, check the next available option. Lid gaskets are the best sealing option available to campers.
The durability of the cooler will also play an important role in your final choice. It is important to note that a durable cooler will be able to accompany you on many trips. It can easily withstand different weather and environmental conditions.
However, a cooler with poor durability will deteriorate quickly. Hard coolers are known for having greater durability and toughness than soft coolers.
When determining your final camping cooler choice, you will also need to look at the weight of your final choice. While weight may seem inconsequential, it will determine how easy it will be for you to move around in the field. Heavy coolers will be difficult to carry and transport. Lightweight coolers, however, can be carried over long distances. Soft-sided coolers also feature light weight.
Yes, you also need to consider the capacity of the camp cooler. The capacity of the cooler will depend on its size and overall design. Please note that the size of the cooler you choose should depend on the number of campers and the duration of the trip
Larger campers will need a larger capacity cooler than smaller ones. Longer camping trips also require larger coolers than shorter trips.
How long can a cooler be used while camping?
The ice retention time of a campsite cooler depends on the material used in its foam insulation. Polystyrene foam will last 18 to 24 hours, steel tape insulation will last 2 to 3 days, and a cooler with extreme ice retention and a quality seal will allow cooling to last 4 to 5 days.
Will the ice melt overnight?
Yes, if you keep the cooler in a warm environment, the ice will melt overnight. It is always a good idea to keep the air in the cooler as cool as possible to improve its performance.