It’s Keeping Cool Month on T3 and this week is all about outdoor cooling. From looking after your pets in the heat to the best fans to use outside, I’d argue that outdoor cooling is just as important (if not more) than indoor cooling, especially if you’re on a camping trip.
Camping is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the summer, and it’s a fun way to explore nature. If you’re planning your next camping trip, it’s important to make sure you’ve got all the right equipment with you, including the best tents and best sleeping bags. But what about storing food and drink? Whether you’re cooking over the best camping cookware or chilling out with a cold beer around the campfire, you need a way to store everything properly and at the optimal temperature.
To help you plan your next camping trip, I’ve found 8 of the best cool boxes, bags and bottles that’ll keep everything cold and fresh while you camp.
1. EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator
The best way to keep food and drink cool while camping is a cool box or portable refrigerator. The EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator is one of the best cooling devices you can buy and has a large 38-litre capacity which can hold soft drinks, meat, dairy and much more. Its powerful 120W compressor brings you solid ice cubes in minutes and it can refrigerate and freeze from 10°C to -25°C. What’s impressive about the EcoFlow GLACIER Portable Refrigerator is its dual zone and controls. With a removable divider, you can create two compartments which can be at different temperatures to each other, making storing food and drink together much easier and safer. Once powered up, it can last for up to 40 hours without wires.
2. Vango Soft Cooler
If you don’t need anything too ‘high-tech’, the Vango Soft Cooler is a great choice. This soft cooler has a 20-litre capacity and can hold up to 30 cans at a time. While it doesn’t have wheels like the EcoFlow, the Vango Soft Cooler is equipped with two carry handles which makes it easier to lug around on your travels. The inside of the cooler is made of quality antibacterial insulation, and can keep cool for up to 48 hours or frozen for up to 24 hours. The Vango Soft Cooler is an attractive-looking cooling bag and it’s waterproof and leakproof, ideal for storing inside your tent.
3. Igloo Maxcold Hard Top Backpack Cool Bag
Maybe you’re only camping for a night or you’re hiking throughout the day. In that case, you’re better off with a cool bag / backpack hybrid like the Igloo Maxcold Hard Top Backpack Cool Bag. Made from recycled bottles, this cool bag has a hard crushproof exterior and multiple pockets for plenty of storage. It keeps everything cold for prolonged periods and it can fit up to 20 cans. For ultimate portability, this cool bag from Igloo has padded adjustable straps for comfortable carrying so it’s the best thing to take with you on walking days.
4. Burton Beeracuda
Ever heard of a beer snake? Well the Burton Beeracuda looks a lot like one and it almost acts in the same way… except you can use this one to store your drinks instead. This tall 66cm cooling bag can stack 5 cans vertically and once it’s zipped up, it insulates your drinks perfectly. From there, you can sling the bag over your shoulder and take your beer with you for picnics, beach days or hiking activities. It looks a lot like a camping chair bag but it’s much more exciting than that!
5. YETI Rambler Beverage Bucket
Launched in 2023, the YETI Rambler Beverage Bucket is a must-have for happy hours in the summer. This beverage bucket has a 7.6-litre capacity, and it’s big and strong enough to hold a six-pack of beer, multiple cocktail cans or three bottles of wine. Made from stainless steel, the YETI Rambler Beverage Bucket has double-wall vacuum insulation that prevents ice from melting and keeps drinks or food cooler for longer.
6. Hydro Flask Drinks Bottle
When hiking or camping, it’s always a good idea to bring the best reusable water bottles with you. Not only are they better for the environment, but most of them have superior insulation to keep your water cooler for longer. The Hydro Flask Drinks Bottle features TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps your drink cold for up to 24 hours. Available in multiple colours, this water bottle is ideal for camping and its easy-to-carry handle makes it perfect for day trips.
7. Chilly’s Food Pot
Whether you’re going for a short hiking trip for the day or you’re camping for several weeks, food pots keep your food cool and fresher for longer. The Chilly’s Food Pot can keep food crisp and fresh between 5-6 hours, so if you make something for breakfast and want to save it for later, this flask is perfect for the job. Its 500ml size makes it easy to grab and go or store away in a backpack. It comes with an airtight lid so it’s leakproof and remains condensation free with its vacuum insulation.
8. Kikkerland Ice Sticks
If you don’t have a well-insulated drinking bottle, keep your drinks cool by popping a cold insert or ice stick into your bottle. The Kikkerland Ice Sticks are simple to freeze and when placed in a bottle of water, it keeps your drink cold and doesn’t dilute it. This 8-pack from Lakeland is reusable so you can take these ice sticks with you wherever you go and there’s plenty of them to go around.
For more cooling tips, here are 7 camping cooler tricks to keep your stuff chilled for longer.