How to Choose the Right Hard Coolers for Camping

Trends show that a considerable number of Millennials are participating in outdoor activities, including camping and hunting. In fact, studies have indicated that Gen Xers and Millennials make up more than 75% of all campers in the United States with Millennials accounting for over 40%!

However, most of the outdoor activities are done in summer. When it comes to keeping your water cold and your perishable food items fresh, you’ll need a little help. Hard coolers are essential for keeping your goods cold throughout the entire camping trip. But how do you choose the right one?

Whether you’re looking for hard-sided coolers or live bait coolers, these are just some of the best properties that you should consider for your next camping trip.


The size of the cooler might seem straightforward, but there are some important aspects that campers need to understand. For example, the external size of the cooler might make the overall storage space seem larger than it actually is. In these cases, the hard coolers have large external dimensions but are very small when it comes to the size inside. Therefore, you should not be fooled by the external size of the cooler. Make sure to see the internal storage dimensions so that you can carry supplies to last you through the camping period.


Food coolers and live bait coolers are made using several materials such as plastic, metals, fabrics, and rubber. Depending on your taste and preferences, you can choose the material that works for you. However, metal-walled coolers have been considered the best coolers for a long time. They are aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting, making this a worthy investment for the frequent camper. However, most of the metal-walled portable fridge freezers are found in high-end stores and attract premium prices.

Carrying Method

Carrying a hard cooler, especially when hunting or camping, is a challenge. The weight of the cooler and the drinks inside can make it hard for a person to move it from one place to another. Therefore, the carrying method is always an important aspect of the purchase decision. Shoulder straps and side handles are some of the most preferred carrying methods that one has to check. Some heavier coolers, however, even have wheels for easy transport.


The insulation ability relates to what the cooler is intended to do: cool food and drink for summer camping. However, insulation ability varies from one cooler to the other. Some hard coolers only last a few days while soft sided coolers have an even shorter insulation ability. If you’re an avid camper, investing in a quality cooler might up the price, but it’s worth it to avoid a few headaches along the way.


Every person would like to get a hard cooler that will last forever, but that is not possible. Luckily, there are coolers out there that will last for many years, especially if you need a cooler that can withstand harsh camping conditions. Be sure to check your hard coolers’ specs to get a better idea of the life expectancy before you purchase it.

Other Features

There are several additional features that campers should analyze before they make any purchase decisions. For example, it is important to make sure that the cooler is waterproof so that it can be used in rainy and moist conditions. On the other hand, some campers will care more about the physical appearance of the cooler. Other features to consider include grooved slots for ice packs, easy-access drain plugs, and built-in cup holders. The decision is up to you when you choose the perfect cooler for your camping trip.

These are the most important considerations that campers should make when they are selecting hard coolers for camping. For more information on the best hard coolers around, rely on Engel Coolers to streamline your outdoor adventure.