Best Car Camping Cooler

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
Yep. A relative bargain in this segment.
I'd go to the Wallyworld though. With all of the Black Friday fanfare they've got going right now you might score a deal.
 

spazzyfry123

New member
Another option that I'm not sure why wasn't popping up on my radar since I was looking into Igloo, is their IMX line. They have a 70qt that's injection molded (instead of their "usual" blow-molded) it looks like a pretty good setup for ~$200. Says 7 days ice retention. It's on the larger size of what I was looking for, but could be a great alternative if it performs as advertised.

 
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eatSleepWoof

Explorer
What are your thoughts? I feel the Yeti stuff is just way too overpriced. Our "most extreme" trip would be four nights, so I don't see the benefit in a powered fridge.
A few things:

When a cooler is "rated for 10 days" of ice retention, that means absolutely ideal conditions (for ice retention). That is never reflective of real-world use, and that rating often decreases significantly with smaller cooler sizes (less insulation, less ice).

When using a cooler that's rated for 10 days on a 4-night trip, you may get away with using less ice (and thus carrying more food) than using a cooler rated for 7 days. This may mean you can get away with using a physically smaller cooler that will be cheaper, lighter, easier to fit, transport, etc.

We use a 35QT Yeti, and do not fill it up to the "proper" 2:1 ice:food ratio. In fact, I'd say we have a 1:2, if not a 1:3 ice:food ratio. This still works well for 3-4 day trips, keeps food cold, and ice packs mostly frozen. This is a better setup than buying a cheaper-brand (arguably worse insulation) cooler, but in a larger size.
 

susswein

Observer
10 days is easily possible if you manage your cooler well. I've done multiple raft trips down the grand canyon where we still had ice for cocktails on day 21.
 

Knickter

Active member
here are some choices:
Wool Street Wooly Mammoth
Yeti Tundra 35
Orca 20 Quart
Cabela’s Polar Cap Cooler
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
 

spazzyfry123

New member
I ended up picking up the RTIC 65 with its wire rack and divider. Part of me thinks I should have gone for the 45, but I figure this cooler will be used for all things, not just the trips. Would be good to have a decent cooler for get togethers and the extra size could be beneficial. Cheapest I could find it was $320 with most retailers at $350. RTIC had it for $240 shipped. Hard to say no.
 

Mfitz

Member
I ended up picking up the RTIC 65 with its wire rack and divider. Part of me thinks I should have gone for the 45, but I figure this cooler will be used for all things, not just the trips. Would be good to have a decent cooler for get togethers and the extra size could be beneficial. Cheapest I could find it was $320 with most retailers at $350. RTIC had it for $240 shipped. Hard to say no.
RTIC is offering a new "lite" cooler (not rotomolded) with a wire rack and divider for $150. Might be a nice compromise between the high price Yeti-class and the cheaper Ozark Trail. I looked at Lifetime coolers at WalMart, they got great reviews at independent cooler test sites, but the new cheaper RTIC has me thinking I may go that way.
 

spazzyfry123

New member
RTIC is offering a new "lite" cooler (not rotomolded) with a wire rack and divider for $150. Might be a nice compromise between the high price Yeti-class and the cheaper Ozark Trail. I looked at Lifetime coolers at WalMart, they got great reviews at independent cooler test sites, but the new cheaper RTIC has me thinking I may go that way.
I saw that! I think it's going to be the game changer, for sure. I was actually going to pick it up, but see it's in the pre-order stage now. Unfortunately we needed ours by Thanksgiving, so we opted for the roto-molded over the injection molded. Really like that it comes with the basket and a divider (that also doubles as a ice pack since it is gel-filled) - I mean I bought those two to go with my 65. They're going to sell a million of 'em.
 

Titan_Bow

Member
I bought 2 Yetis years ago at an auction at a steal of a price. Later, I've since picked up a 52 and 72qt Ozark Trail from Wallmart. When we are camping or hunting or fishing, the Ozark Trails are usually what I bring to be honest. I havent noticed any difference in ice retention between them and the Yetis. In fact, the 72qt Ozark Trail seems to hold ice longest of all my coolers. I picked them both up on sale at Walmart and probably paid less for them both than a single small Yeti would cost.
 

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
The Coleman five day cooler is very good without the price of the fancy coolers. Good if you are on a budget.
 
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