What Size Cooler Do I Need For Camping?

Camping is one of the favorite outdoor activities for relaxation. It allows you to relax and attain peace of mind with the beauty of nature. However, you need the best equipment to have a memorable and satisfying camping experience. One of these is cooler.


A cooler is essential for your camping adventure. It can store your beverages and foods and keep them fresh during transport on water or land. They come in different construction, size, impact resistance, durability, and other aspects. So, you must choose according to your needs.

What Size Cooler Do You Need?

When it comes to choosing the size of your cooler, you can get the one that will suit your needs when you go to pack the cooler.

You can consider the time need to maintain the items cool. If you have a day trip, small soft-sided or hard-shell cooler is enough. On the other hand, you may need bigger coolers for longer outings.

The size of the cooler is stated in capacity or quartz in 12-ounce cans. One quart is equivalent to 0.75 cans. A 24-quart cooler can store around 6 packs of 18 cans. To guide you get the best cooler size, the following are the sizes you can choose from:

1. Small Portable Coolers (10 to 18 Quart)

Coolers in this size are usually soft-sided coolers. It is small and can be carried by a single person easily. It can provide ice retention of about 1 to 3 days. It comes with great portability with a shoulder strap or carries handles.

2. Personal/ Mini Coolers (4 to 10 Quart)

Personal/ Mini coolers are considered as small lunchbox coolers. It is made to keep your items cold from morning until lunchtime.

This cooler is ideal if you will have a single day camping. You can eat your lunch fresh. It is also perfect to use to work, picnic when you need to take food for yourself and one other individual. You can also take it in the car.

3. Medium-sized Cooler (20 to 3 Quart)

If you want a high-performing cooler, you can prefer a medium-sized cooler. It can keep ice for about 3 to 5 days. With this, you can store your beverages and food for a weekend camping. This size range is a combination of soft-sided coolers, backpack coolers, and hard sized coolers.

A medium-sized cooler can be efficient for shorter trips for a couple of small families that are composed of 3 to 4 members. This cooler is not too heavy so that you can carry it easily. However, it is big enough and has excellent performance and ice retention.

4. Large Cooler (55 to 80 Quart)

If you want to enjoy camping with your loved ones, the large cooler can be your best partner to keep your foods and beverages from 5 to 10 days and more. It is a quality cooler that is perfect for longer trips. In fact, this cooler size is also used for fishing and hunting to store catch or kills.

5. Regular-Sized Cooler (35 to 55 Quart)

A regular cooler is one of the most popular size range. It is a flexible cooler that can be used for camping trips, BBQs, fishing, boating, and other commercial needs. It can be enough to support a camping trip for a family of 5.

6. Giant Coolers (100+ Quart)

The coolers in this size range are huge. It comes with 100-quart up to 600-quart, which is beneficial for commercial use. It may be bulky and too big for your family camping trip.

Now that you learned the different sizes of coolers, you can get the right one for your camping needs. Let us now proceed to the factors you must consider in choosing the best size cooler.

How to Choose the Right Size Cooler for Camping?

The following are the essential factors you must consider when choosing a cooler size for your camping trip.

  • Internal space: Internal space is one of the most crucial factors in deciding on the size of your camping cooler. Take note that ice can also take more space in the cooler. Make sure that it can provide enough space for your food and beverages.
  • Portability: Is your cooler portable? Small coolers come with high portability. The bigger, the cooler, the more difficult it is to transport. If it is hard to carry by a single person, you can need the help of your camping buddy.
  • Ice retention: It is also necessary to consider how long you need the cooler to keep ice. The better cooler and more ice you have, the longer you ice can last. If you want to keep ice for about 3 days, you can prefer a medium-sized cooler. You can also choose a large cooler if you want ice retention for about 5 to 7 days.
  • External space: You must also check its external space so you can place it easily anywhere.
  • Weight: Weight is another factor you need to consider for the size of your cooler. You can get a size with a weight that you can carry for your convenience.
  • Price: Price is an important consideration when choosing your cooler for camping. If you want higher quality coolers, you can prefer for more expensive ones. If you are budget-conscious, you can choose for smaller coolers. Meanwhile, the price is not the main basis for its quality. So, you can get the best one that suits your budget and needs.
  • Features: Does your cooler come with some features? The features of your cooler can also help you decide when buying your cooler. Some coolers now feature wheels, cup holders, and more.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best size of a cooler that you can use for your camping. With that, you can make the best of your camping by having fresh foods, drinks, and beverages.

With lots of sizes to choose from in the market, you can get the right one that highly suits your needs. What are you waiting for? Get the best cooler size for your camping trip today!

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