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When you go on a camping activity site, with all your commodities, an ice chest is one of the essentials to carry along. The best of these products will help keep your ice cold and in turn, these ice keep your edible products fresh. You will need an ice chest cooler to adequately store your food and keep your drinks warm whether you decide to go on a trip for a few days or even weeks. Before purchasing the best ice chest cooler take a look at our article before making the final judgement.
Our researchers have compiled down a list that could help you buy a product that will be most convenient for you to have in your camping site. A big ice chest cooler is to be preferred when the customer is going for sightseeing, fishing or even hiking. On the other hand, you can opt for a smaller cabinet of ice chest when you are going on a long drive and such. There are a variety of ice chests that you will have to choose from, depending on your requirements. Lucky for you, these are the 5 best ice chests and ice coolers for camping in 2021 you will need for your adventurous sport.
Editor’s Picks: 3 Of The Best Ice Chests and Coolers for Camping In 2021
5 Best Ice Chests and Ice Coolers for Camping In 2021 Reviewed
1. Igloo BMX Family with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points
The first product on our list is the Igloo BMX Family Ice Cooler. Igloo is one of the finest and most trustworthy brands when it comes to ice chest boxes and has time and again proved it with the products they launch in the market. These boxes are generally large and are preferred to have opted when the customer wants to go for sightseeing adventures, or hiking and fishing type experiences.
The Igloo BMX Family ice chest is available in many different colours ranging from the standard Carbon to green, red, white & blue. This ice chest model has ice retention of up to four days. The model is also observed to be very lightweight and stands up to tough conditions and goes wherever you want. It also has a Cool Riser Technology moulded base that elevates the box away from hot surfaces and helps in improving cooling performance which keeps the edibles cool and fresh.
The Igloo BMX Family ice chest is rust-resistant and is built with stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware that provides extended performance to the ice chest box. It weighs only 10 pounds and is easily the most lightweight product in the market. This item can be easily washed despite its huge model. The model comes with a comfort grip, a 3-point-grab handle that makes easy one-handed carrying by the customer. It also comes with a UV inhibitor that protects the cooler against sun damage which then aids more extended life to the product.
- Extra-thick foam walls and insulated lid for best-in-category cooling performance
- Rubberized T-latches secure lid closure and lock in the cold
- Very Lightweight
- The product has a different range of colors for the customer to choose from.
- Very durable
- No drain plug
2. RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler with Wheels (60 qt.)
Our next recommendation is the RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler. This ice chest helps in keeping the edibles cold and fresh for a very brief amount of time. This Cooler is also preferred when the customer wants to go on a hiking trip or a camping trip that will keep him/her outside their residence for a long time. This model is larger, when compared to the other models. It makes sense because this aids the product to have ice retainment of ten days. The combination of a rotomolded, elevated body with an airtight gasket and thick foam insulation helps the product in retainment.
RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler weighs about 50 pounds which makes it quite harder to carry but this model comes with tyres which makes it draggable. The tyres are puncture resistant and are highly praised among the people who have already purchased this model. The tyres are of high performance, puncture-resistant tyres that have ascended on rust-proof aluminium hubs. These lightweight 9-inch wheels spin fast over rough terrain and stay afloat in deep sand. The model comes with a Dry storage bin: It is a Deep Freeze removable Dry Bin that has two compartments. The product has also won the Men’s Journal 2018 Gear of the Year Award for the most feature-packed cooler for its durability and versatility
- Up to ten days of ice retainment
- The model has many compartments
- Durable and versatile
- Has tyres that make the movement very easy
- Quite large in size
3. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Yeti is one of the trusted companies a lot of campers purchase their products from. It is based in the USA. The product weighs about 35.2 pounds. However, it is said that it can hold up retainment for over ten days. This feature makes this ice chest cooler another preferable pick for long time travel plans like camping or such. Ice stays as solid as ice when put in the chest all credits to the 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design which is certified Bear-Resistant and is reported to be very optimal.
The Yeti Tundra 65 ice cooler is built with The Rotomolded Construction that makes the chest armored to the core and virtually indestructible so this allows you to carry it with you wherever you want, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to all the hardships of the adventure. The Yeti Tundra 65 also comes in a variety of colors from the standard Desert tan, to navy, sagebrush green, and white. But customers may have to throw a few extra bills for having a different preferred color. The cheapest option is the standard desert tan color.
Yeti Tundra 65 also gives its customers a warranty of five years in case there are some defects in workmanship and not for normal wear or scratches on the product. This model of the ice chest cooler also comes with a drain plug on one side which a lot of products do not have
- The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is storing the drinks and food for your backyard barbecue, this ice chest is plenty roomy, holding a limit of redfish or your prized brisket
- Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
- Has a drain plug
- Comes with a variety of color options
- Quite sturdy
- Comes with a 5 year warranty
- No tyres
4. Coleman Heavy-Duty 70-Quart Cooler
Coleman is a brand that mainly focuses on products that aid outdoor activities like stoves, coolers, tents, sleeping bags, and other camping tools. The ice chest cooler may not have a big retention date, but five days surely helps. It keeps ice up to 5 days in temperatures that go as high as 90°F. The model is a black coloured box that has the capacity to hold up to 100 cans. The model also comes with an attached cup holder: which is moulded into the lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling. A lot of other models in the market do not have this feature of holding cups.
The model was reported as very easy to clean by the customers. The Smooth surface helps wipe clean easily. The Coleman cooler also has a leak-resistant channel drain for easy draining without tilting. The cooler is built properly and can withstand people sitting on it or even having 250 pounds on it without the chest having to be damaged. Consider this cooler as an extra seating arrangement for your camping activities.
There are side handles that feature a positive stop for no-pinch carrying, which makes it a breeze to lift your cooler in and out of the vehicle you are travelling with. This model of ice chest cooler weighs about 13.5 pounds and is significantly much less weighted compared to the other few models.
- Easy to clean
- Can accommodate 250 pounds on itself
- Five days of ice retainment
- No wheels
5. Engel 65 High-Performance Hard Cooler
Last but not the least, Engel 65 High-performance hard cooler makes it to our list of one of the best ice chest coolers to own this year. Engel Coolers are the golden standard in high-performance, they are also more durable and affordable coolers, much more. Since 1962, people who wanted to keep things cold have turned to Engel, the pioneer in portable refrigeration and cooling.
This model is the best in class ice retention and overall performance holds ice for up to 10 days more or less. It is built with silicone airtight gasket, adjustable recessed marine grade compression latches and also has a UV-Resistant Construction. The cooler also comes in many different colours ranging from the standard white to arctic blue, haze grey, seafoam and desert tan.
The ice cooler comes with a whooping ten-year warranty for the customers and none other product in the market supports this policy. Any defect in the cooler and your model will be replaced by the company with no questions asked. This model weighs about 28 pounds and is lighter than a few other products on the list. The Engels have many other different coolers with the same features but they differ in sizes and you may have to spend an extra couple of bills to get the superior model of each manufacturing company.
- Light in weight
- Quite durable
- The angle of view that it comes with is extremely wide
- Comes with a 10 year warranty
- A little tough to clean
Things To Consider Before Buying An Ice Cooler
Before making your next purchase of an ice chest cooler, there are several factors you may want to consider. From dimensions to colour all of the qualities play their role equally to contribute to being the best product. You need to ensure that you research well before buying a product.
Make sure you purchase your ice chest cooler from a reputed manufacturer or a brand whose customers have verified them with positive reviews. It becomes rather easy for a customer to understand that the product may be faulty if the reviews are not really up to the mark. Some brands have confidence in their brands and offer a good period of warranty to their customers in case of any defect found. And so in return, they are given a replaced model without charging any fee. Many are the cases where customers end up with the wrong products because of incorrect or lack of good advice or lack of research for that matter.
- Storage Size
Storage size is the size of the cooler you want which is how much volume you can store. This volume can come from both insulated and non-insulated storage areas. You might want to purchase a cooler depending upon the tenure of your trip and purchase the most optimal one. Next, It is important to also keep in mind the amount of space the ice-packs take up. With the ice taking up a lot of space, sometimes you will only be left with a small storage space for your items to be stored. You have to always make sure you have enough space for all your needs to be accommodated in the product.
You also need to choose the right material, so your product will not be vulnerable to being damaged in vigorous conditions. Most of the manufacturers prefer the product made of Plastic, Metal, rubbers, and Fabrics. Each of the materials is special in their terms to protect the built of the chest box.
- Carrying method
It could be quite a challenge to carry a cooler around, especially when the chest cooler is filled with edibles and other items it gets very difficult for the customer to carry them. It is recommended to have an ice chest cooler with an attached wheel to it so it becomes easier to transport. While some products come with wheels, the other products have other modes of having to be carried like side handles, lid handles and shoulder strap.
- Ice retainment
The most important of them all is the ice retainment feature. This one is very important because it relates to how well a cooler does what it is intended to do like keeping the food fresh and cold. These are the time zones and the recommended coolers you should use:
- A few hours: Nearly every reputable product on the market will help you keep the edible cool for this time range. An additional ice pack will help you get elongated cooling if needed.
- A day: Some of the smaller soft-sided totes and bags will struggle with this, but almost all plastic and larger coolers should handle it.
- 2 to 3 days: Very few soft-sided coolers can go this long, other than a select handful of larger premium ones. Budget and poorly-constructed plastic coolers will reach their limits here as well.
- 4 to 5 days: These will almost exclusively be the premium cooler offerings. Most will be made of higher-quality materials, have rotomolded construction, and implement metal hardware and other better-performing features.
- 6 days +: Only a select few coolers on the market will reach this point, and most will be quite expensive. Nearly all will be large-sized or bigger.
- External Storage
A lot of customers have complained about not having an external storage unit where they could store items which they wished were not to be chilled. Many products in the market struggle with this while some of them provide this feature. Things such as potato chips, sunglasses, wallets, car keys, towels, etc. are very common accessories and simply putting these in the insulated storage areas can be frustrating for it could be damaged if directly put in the chill zone. Because of this reason, you might want to look at coolers that provide customers to have extra compartments that will take care of all their needs.
With premium features on offer to you, you always have to throw in a few extra bucks. But most of the time you get what you pay for! Sometimes these extra dollars could buy you an extra storage unit, an extra feature like having wheels or such, but make sure you check the product properly before purchasing it for it could all go south if you blindly buy one off the market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is “Ice Retention” and how does Igloo measure it?
“Ice retention” is the product’s ability and the level of cooling measured in the number of days it can retain ice. This is usually tested in controlled laboratory conditions by filling a cooler with a fixed amount of ice, closing the lid, and placing it in a 90°F oven to simulate a warm outdoor environment. The cooler’s ice retention level is the amount of time (measured in days) that it takes for the ice to reach 39 degrees and begin to melt.
Using the coolers, however, may differ from each other from the situations of your outdoor activities, but this is the closest you will get to as experts have researched.
Q. How do I keep things in my cooler cold for longer?
To give a longer life to your products you can pre-freeze the edibles so it can stay cold for a longer period. More options include you adding extra ice packs inside the cooler to keep the edibles fresh. Also, before packing for the camping day, we recommend that you prechill your ice chest cooler overnight by storing it in a cool place as this is your another alternative to keep the food chill
Q. How much ice should I put in my cooler?
It depends on the number of items you will be carrying for your trip. Experts recommend at least 10 to 12 pounds minimum should do just fine for your trips. However, if you have a bigger cooler, it is recommended that you get more ice to ensure optimal ice retainment. They recommend a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio for majorly all coolers.
Q. How should I clean my cooler?
Usually, it is very simple with most of the products for the cleaning products. Simply put a few drops of liquid soap (e.g. dishwashing soap) inside the cooler and then hose it out. You may also just keep it open for a couple of days in case there is some odour coming out of the chest cooler.
A Final Word
When camping or hiking, an ice chest is one of the most essentials you must have. It helps you keep food fresh and warm. It also acts as a chair when there are minimum seating arrangements. These coolers with extra compartments also help you store many other important items without taking a lot of space in your travel bags. We have narrowed down the best ice coolers you can purchase in 2021, so all that is left for you to do is stress over which color you want your cooler purchased in rather than which model.
On an ending note, we personally recommend you to buy:
It is is big, has all-round abilities, and many features that a camper needs for their trip. This model also has wheels that help in easier transportation. Moreover, this model comes with a warranty and it can be replaced if there are problems with the wheels or any defect before-hand.
Last update on 2021-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API