Which is the best cooler for your camping trip? This is something almost everyone will remember to bring on the trip. It is a great way to keep beer, beverages and other items cold when there isn’t electricity around.
What You Need to Consider When Picking A Cooler
How will your cooler be used?
Will you use your cooler for relatively short periods of time and primarily to keep beverages cold? Or do you plan on lengthy camping trips where the cooler will be depended upon to keep your food from spoiling? The answer to these questions provides the clue to how much thought you need to put into deciding what cooler to purchase.
If you just want a cooler for a Saturday fishing trip with the guys your decision can be based on your budget, what appeals to you in terms of convenience and usability, and whether it’s roomy enough to meet your needs.
On the other hand, if you will be using your cooler on an extended excursion where you will be without a refrigerator for days at a time your decision will rest on more basic considerations.
Factors in Choosing the Best Cooler for Camping
Here are some factors you need to consider when making your selection.
1. How well and how long will the cooler keep things cold?
A cooler is not really a cooler. That is to say it doesn’t make things colder. The way a cooler works is by slowing the rate at which the temperature in the cooler matches the temperature in the surrounding area. It does this by the use of insulation.
So how do you tell how much insulation a cooler has? If possible find specifications or ratings which provide this information. If those aren’t available look at the thickness of the walls. The thicker they are the more insulation they can hold. The lid should also be insulated so look to see that it is.
Some coolers will be able to hold ice for up to a week. Others meanwhile won’t even be able to do so for 24 hours.
2. How well is it made?
What we are thinking about here is whether it is likely to wear out. A cooler is relatively simple in design but you do want to buy the one which looks like it will last the longest.
The primary concern is whether the lid will close as tight in the future as it does today. Look at the way it seals: is there a gasket or does it just close? Be sure to look at the hinges as well. Do they look like they are well made and durable or will they wear out relatively quickly.
3. How much room does it have?
We all know that heat rises, but we might not consider the opposite is also true, cold falls. What this means is that you want to place your ice on top of your food and beverages to keep them cool for longer periods of time. So, a deeper cooler might be a better cooler.
What you will be putting in your ice cooler also determines the size you will get. The more items you want the larger. But don’t overlook the fact that you still have to carry the cooler and transport it. So capacity has to be balanced with bulk.
4. How convenient is it to use?
Do you like the way the handles are made? Are there wheels? If so will they be adequate to negotiate the terrain you are going to encounter? Is the plug placed to permit easy drainage?
Remember also, a quality cooler is a good thing to have in the event power goes out so take that into account even if you will normally use it only for keeping drinks cold for day trips or picnics.
Our recommended coolers for the outdoors