After combing through verified customer reviews and putting these products through our comprehensive testing procedure, we’ve decided that the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler is the best product available. Another great alternative is the Igloo Trailmate Journey, and the best affordable option is the Engel ENG50 High-Performance Cooler. Keep reading to find out which cooler is the best for you.
The YETI Tundra 65 is the best cooler for camping on the market today. It’s constructed with storage capacity and durability in mind, with a thick, bear-proof outer layer proven to keep animals out of your supplies. The three inches of insulation guarantees your food, ice, and beverages will remain as cold as possible, even after a few days out in the bush.
Due to how tough it is, the YETI Tundra 65 isn’t light. At 29 pounds while empty, it’s one of the heavier premium coolers on the market, but the protection you get in return is unparalleled. Considering it has a rotomolded design that is essentially indestructible, 29 pounds is pretty impressive. To help your camping crew out, it has double haul handles that make transporting it much easier than other competitors, especially if you have a vehicle to take you to your campsite.
For what you can fit in this cooler, all that insulation isn’t for nothing. The Tundra 65 can serve as the best beer cooler imaginable, holding up to 42 cans of beer or nearly 52 pounds of ice. According to one customer, the YETI Tundra 65 keeps ice for three times as long as any other cooler. For just under $350, you’re getting the absolute best cooler available, without any doubt.
If you need a cooler that is easier to transport than the YETI Tundra 65, then the Igloo Trailmate Journey is the best alternative around. While nearly six pounds heavier than our best overall pick, this cooler features heavy-duty wheels and a glide-locking handle that makes moving it as easy as can be. It’s all terrain-capable, meaning you can pack up your beers and head through forest, sand, mud, or whatever else nature throws at you on your camping trip.
Another reason this is a great alternative product is its insane storage capacity. The Igloo Trailmate Journey has a 70-quart storage space that can snugly fit up to 112 cold beers. With a dry storage rack, storage pouch for valuables, and built-in cup holders, odds are that you won’t need any more than that. If you’re looking to store ice inside, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the four-day ice retention rate. No more fishing for beers in a lake of melted ice.
The Igloo Trailmate Journey is essentially an all-in-one storage tool for whatever your camping needs might be. While you might not be able to take it on a backpacking trip, the cooler can handle any terrain with ease and can store everything you might have like it was nothing. One happy customer says that he can’t wait for the beach this summer because he doesn’t have to worry about lugging all of his equipment by hand.
The Most Affordable
If our best overall and alternative options weren’t in your preferred price range, then the Engel ENG50 High-Performance Cooler is an excellent budget option to consider. For just around $250, it’s nearly $100 less than our best overall without compromising too much on its different features. The cooler is still highly durable and can carry up to 48-quarts or 60 cans of beer, but it doesn’t have the same easy transport features as our other options.
However, the cooler is a bit lighter than the more expensive alternatives. It only weighs 26-pounds, but the rotomolded frame can keep animals out and take a beating from a rough drive. It has a robust tie-down mechanism to help keep it secure, no matter what terrain you’re driving through. Although it doesn’t have the same extra storage features as the other options, like cup holders or electronics pouches, the ENG50 excels at what coolers do best: keeping things cool.
In that regard, one aspect of the Engel ENG50 that we found remarkable was its ice-retention rate. If you have a more extended camping trip and need to consider keeping your supplies cool for multiple days, then the 10-day retention rate of this cooler will delight you. One customer even said that their ice stayed frozen for three days and had ice cream leftover for the ride home.
Things to Consider
When thinking about the different coolers for camping that are available today, there are three main things you need to consider. First, the cooler’s storage capacity should be one of the first things you consider. If a cooler is meant for short day trips and only holds around 20 quarts, it probably won’t be the best option for a camping trip. Look out for coolers with enough capacity to bring all of your essentials, plus some extras you might need along the way.
Durability is another critical factor to take into account. Even if your cooler holds three cases of beer, that won’t do you any good if the hinges break after the first bump in the road. Rotomolded coolers are the industry-standard nowadays, and anything other than that probably won’t be up to the task of a multi-day camping adventure. Bear-proofing is also great to have but not necessary if you aren’t heading off into the woods anytime soon.
The last thing you need to examine for any cooler is its extra features. Things like cupholders, a serving tray, wheels, and tie-down points can make or break a decision to purchase one cooler over another. Budget options tend to have far less in terms of extra features, so if you’re thinking of taking your cooler to the beach, then those cup and umbrella holders might come in handy.