Best Cool Boxes for Camping

A cool box is an essential piece of camping equipment that should never be forgotten. After all, when out in the wilderness there aren’t many suitable places to store your food, so it’s important to bring along a suitable container like a cool box.

Coleman Xtreme Passive Coolers

  • 47L Capacity
  • Cools for five days
  • Moulded handles and large wheels for easy manoeuvrability
Coleman Xtreme Passive Coolers

Coleman is a leading manufacturer of cool boxes, and their Xtreme Passive Cooler range highlight why this is the case. Strong and robust with an impressive capacity, this cool box is perfect for single day trips or weekend camping trips.

Utilising innovative technology, Coleman cool boxes such as this one offer incredible ice retention that will last several days. In the case of this model, you can get a whopping five days of cooling, making it ideal for longer trips over the weekend or several days.

The insulation is very thick, especially at the top and bottom of the cooler, which is said to help decrease cooling loss by a third. With the Xtreme Passive Coolers, the insulation is actually thinner at the sides to provide a larger capacity without sacrificing any cool time.

Speaking of capacity, the box can hold up to 47L, and you can even store standard 2 litre bottles thanks to the impressive depth. The lid has been reinforced to allow the box to double as a seat, while wheels and moulded hand grips make lifting and moving the box easy. 

Thermos Cool Box

  • 32L Capacity
  • Cools for eight hours
  • Lightweight design
32 Litre Thermos Cool Box

This Thermos cool box set is perfect for day trips, whether it’s spending the night camping or simply chilling outside in the garden with a few beers. Compact, lightweight, yet very durable, this is a great cool box for packing a picnic or plenty of drinks.

With a 32L capacity, the cool box should offer enough space for a day’s worth of food and drink. The eight-hour cooling time isn’t the longest, but it should be more than enough for any day trips or overnight camping.

The inclusion of Thermos freeze boards helps to improve the cooling performance, making a fantastic alternative to ice. This allows more space for food and drink while allowing the cooling period to last a little longer.

There’s a built-in handle that doubles as a lock when in use, so you don’t have to worry about the contents spilling should you drop it. In fact, the plastic is thick enough to withstand a plenty of punishment, so expect to get plenty of use from it!

It’s also relatively light too, so carrying over longer distances is made much easier!


Vivo 26L Electric Coolbox Cooler

  • 26L Capacity
  • Thermoelectric cooling system
  • Keeps food cool or warm
  • Cools up to 15C below ambient temperature
Electric Coolbox Cooler

This thermoelectric cool box from Vivo offers an affordable electric cooler suitable for day trips or short camping journeys – although it will need a source of power! Should you be driving then this not a problem, as the cool box comes with a car cigarette lighter lead, although you will need to limit your use to a few days or risk depleting your car battery.

Cooling is made much easier thanks to the thermoelectric design, which allows the cool box to reach 15°C below the ambient temperature of your surroundings. This makes it especially good in warmer climates, as the temperature is maintained even in hotter conditions.

Better still, you can use the same feature to keep food warm too! The insulation can be used to maintain heats of up to 50°C, allowing your food to remain warm for much longer.

With a 26L capacity, expect to fit a good day’s worth of supplies into the cool box. You can fit a 1.5L bottle in an upright position, with enough space for around 6 bottles. The hinged handle is nice and sturdy and locks the lid when in use.

A great thermoelectric cool box that is perfect for day trips!

Waeco/Mobicool U32

  • 29L Capacity
  • Double fan thermoelectric cooling system
  • Cools up to 18C below ambient temperature
Waeco Mobicool 12 volt and mains camping coolbox

The U32 cool box from Mobicool is a great thermoelectric cool box that will maintain your food for as long as it’s plugged in. The power consumption is low enough to provide a good few days’ worth of cooling, making it ideal for camping trips.

At 29L, the capacity is big enough to pack supplies for several days, being tall enough to store 2L bottles comfortably. The carrier handle can be used to fix the lid when not in use or to support it when opened, which is certainly a useful feature.

Of course, the big selling point of the U23 is the impressive 12-volt cooling system. This produces at max cooling temperature of 18C below ambient temperature, making it great option for virtually every climate.

Better still, the temperature setting can be fully adjusted, so it’s easy to find that perfect setting for your camping excursion.

The double fan is certainly playing its part to keep things cool, although it can get on the noisy side. Adding some ice packs into the cool box should really enhance cooling performance, allowing it to immidately keep things cold.

A great thermoelectric cool box that offers a lot of versatility!

Igloo Unisex Maxcold Quantum Roller Cool Box

  • 49L Capacity
  • Cools for up to five days
  • Telescopic handle and double wheels for easy transporting
  • Leak resistant drain plug for draining melted ice
Igloo Cool Box For Camping

Igloo are known for producing high quality cool boxes with affordable prices, and the Maxcold Quantum Roller is no different. Boasting impressive insulation, high-grade insulation, and a host of great features, this is a premium cool box without the expensive cost.

This cool box features Igloo’s trademark ultratherm insulation, providing a very impressive cooling period of up to five days. The Cool Riser Technology further improves cooling performance by keeping the cooler elevated away from hot surfaces, such as the warm ground or the floor of your vehicle.

The 49L capacity also makes it a fine choice for groups or families out camping. You can fit many days’ worth of food and drinks in here and expect them to remain perfectly cold throughout the journey.

Of course, some of the ice will melt if you’re planning a longer trip, but this should be an issue thanks to the leak resistant drain plug. Simply pull the plug and drain the melted ice as necessary!

Don’t worry about the cool box feeling too heavy either. The double-wheel design makes moving the cooler much easier than carrying, with a telescopic handle taking all the strain away. Thankfully, the wheels are very durable so can handle being dragged across rougher terrain.

A truly high-quality cool box from Igloo, this is certainly a must-have for any camping trips that will last several days.

Not only does it help to keep food fresh, it ensures all your drinks remain nice and cool, while high quality cool boxes can help to preserve certain food and beverages such as meats, dairy, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

However, finding the best cool box for your camping excursion can be quite difficult. After all, there is a huge selection of products to choose from, while you also need to think about where you are going and how long for to get the most suitable cool box.


What to look for in a cool box for camping 


Size

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is what size of cool box you require. You will find products in various sizes, so be sure to select one that offers enough space for all your supplies.

Think about the number of people going camping first, as this will allow you to get a good idea of the amount of food you need to store. For instance, a family camping trip will require a much larger cool box compared to camping yourself. Once you have an idea of this, look for suitably sized cool boxes.

Remember, a cool box requires ice to remain cool, so take this into account when working out the size you require. A good rule of thumb is to use a quarter of the cool boxes space for ice, so be sure to calculate accordingly.

Durability

Cool boxes endure a fair amount of rough and tumble during every camping trip, so you want one that is built to last. A durable cool box may cost a bit more, but they pay for themselves in the long run by lasting much longer.

Look at the exterior shell of the cool box and make sure it’s thick enough to handle bumps and bangs without puncturing. Check out things like the handle and any hinges to gauge how sturdy the cool box, while keeping an eye on things like whiles and drain plugs if included.

Insulation

How well insulated a cool box is will determine the number of days it keep ice frozen for, so the better the insulated the longer you can expect it to last. This may not be much of an issue for single day camping, but will be more important for anything longer than a few days.

So, if you need your cool box to keep things cool for several days or longer, be sure to check how well the insulation is. High-end models usually get a few extra days’ worth of ice retention thanks to superior insulation, but they will cost a lot more.

Types of cool boxes

Traditional – The recognisable cooler widely available at outdoor stores, supermarkets, and online, traditional cool boxes usually feature foam insulation between thick plastic. Includes a carry handle in most cases, and is very affordable.

High-End – Manufacturers such as Yeti produce high-quality cool box products for the ultimate outdoors person. Capacity, durability and insulation is much better than traditional boxes, although they do cost much more.

Electric – Cool boxes with an electric cooling system require a power source to retain their heat, usually from a car battery. Great performance but will drain a battery quite quickly, so more suited for day trips.

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