Shopping for a cooler that costs less than $100 isn’t much different from shopping for any other kind of cooler, but you should think about a few extra things. Below, we’ll quickly talk about the most important things to consider when shopping for an outdoor cooler and some of the more minor things to remember when looking for the best camping cooler under $100.

Size & Volume

The right size and volume of your cooler will also depend on how many people you plan to feed and how long you plan to be off the grid. Even some coolers that cost less than $100 have a lot of space. However, one of the best methods to save money when buying a cooler is to look for a smaller one. Also, it’s essential to consider a cooler’s inside and outside dimensions. Some coolers have excellent thermal retention properties even though their shells and insulations are fragile.

Weight & Mobility

The size and weight of a cooler only tell part of the story about how easily it can be moved. Just as important is whether or not a cooler has straps, a grab handle, or wheels, all of which complete it much easier to move around. The weight of a cooler should also give you a good idea of how heavy it will be to carry, but you also need to think about the significance of what you plan to put in it. Just one six-pack of beer cans, for example, will add about 4.75 pounds to the cooler’s weight, and that’s before you add ice or cooling packs.

Construction & Durability

Since we were kids, took our lunch boxes to school, and drank Gatorade at little league, coolers have changed a lot. Today’s coolers are much better at keeping things cool and much more rigid and durable than coolers from decades ago. At the bottom of the durability scale are coolers with good abrasion resistance, and at the top are coolers that are completely crushproof and almost bulletproof. Because these coolers have to stand up to the abuse, temperatures, and conditions of off-grid exploration, their overall durability is another essential thing to consider before buying one.

Hardware & Components

Coolers for outdoor use today are much more than just a case and a lid. Some coolers can also be used as dry boxes, and most coolers today have extra features and amenities that make them more useful, perform better, or make life easier. This includes, among other things, built-in thermometers, bottle openers, waterproof zippers, MOLLE webbing, and release valves.

Thermal Retention Abilities

Given that the purpose of a cooler is to maintain its contents at low temperatures to preserve perishable products or to keep food or beverages at an appropriate serving temperature. Its capacity to fend off external heat is critical and should be one of the first factors to consider when buying. This region is mainly determined by the insulation employed, while the remainder of the structure and the seal and closing arrangement play essential roles. To obtain a sense of a particular offering’s chilling capabilities, more relaxed makers will often advertise how long a given model can hold ice – a statistic that, at this point, is commonly measured in days rather than hours. Comparing these data should help you get a feel of where a cooler sits in terms of performance and heat retention capacities compared to others.

Necessary Sacrifices

High-quality coolers are seldom inexpensive, while cheap coolers are rarely high-quality. You may consider sacrificing a few areas to get your hands on a more-than-decent cooler without spending an arm and a leg. You may check for coolers that lack fancy features like release valves, integrated thermometers, name-brand insulations, proprietary locking and closing mechanisms, and the like, in addition to selecting for a lesser size or capacity. While purchasing a cooler from a well-known, industry-leading brand such as YETI or RTIC nearly always ensures high quality and performance, you are paying a premium for the brand name. Alternatively, you can choose a cooler with the same durable and advanced construction techniques and materials as the big-name brands in the space. But is manufactured by a lesser-known, often foreign-owned and operated brand. Many of which are now producing some extremely high-quality coolers.

You have a good idea of what to look for and how to get the most out of your money when shopping in this area. Let’s talk about some best camping cooler under $100.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: RTIC Soft Pack Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

RTIC is a direct-to-consumer brand focused on adventure. They keep their prices low by maintaining imports, sales, and marketing all in one place. This 20-pack cooler has a soft vinyl shell that keeps sand out, doesn’t leak, and floats on water. Even the colors, like coral, seafoam, and citrus, are suitable for the beach or pool. It also arrives in a camo print and can keep you warm for ten days without getting mildewy.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

This cooler is perfect if you’re having a picnic for the whole family outside. For less than $100, it can hold up to 100 cans and has a leak-proof drain, so you don’t have to push your back to empty it. This sturdy unit is also useful for camping trips that last more than one day. Cup holders can seat up to 250 pounds. In weather 90 degrees Fahrenheit, Coleman’s Xtreme Technology insulation keeps ice for five days.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Engel 30 Quart Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

Engel was the first company to make portable refrigerators in 1962, so it’s not surprising that they’re confident enough to give this one a five-year warranty. Rotomolded coolers are caused by more than one company, but this was the first high-performance one. Rotomolding is used to produce stable walls that are all the same thickness and have a good finish. This cooler has a hanging accessory tray and high-quality polystyrene insulation to keep ice frozen for ten days. You can also use it as a modern dry box for electronics and emergency kits.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Igloo BMX 25 Qt Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

The BMX’s construction is industrial, strong, and sleek, which makes it stand out. It’s not just pretty, though. It is made of blow-moulded plastic, which makes it extra strong. It also has a reinforced grab handle and a stainless steel kickplate to make it even stronger. The BMX can carry 37 12-ounce cans, and the extra thick foam walls and rubber t-latches on the lid will keep them cold for four days. This unit is excellent for long trips in the back of your truck because its bottoms don’t slip. It’s the best cooler you can buy for under $100 this summer.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Kelty Folding Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

This cooler can do as many different things as an Autobot Transformer. The 25-litre model, which costs less than $100, can hold up to 40 cans and has the same insulation as a heavier hard-shelled unit, but it folds flat, so it’s easy to store. With the lid’s cup holder, you can also use it as a flat table if you’re camping on the ground or as a taller table if you’re sitting on a log. The lining is BPA-free and keeps you warm for hours. The shell is hunter green and has a fun orange zipper.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Stanley Adventure Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

Stanley is about finding new ways to store food and drinks, so the Adventure Cooler is a great way to step up your tailgating game. It’s strong but only weighs 6.6 pounds, doesn’t leak, and is made with more than twice as much foam insulation as similar units. It can hold 21 cans, and ice stays frozen for more than a day. The adjustable bungee on the lid is another helpful feature that lets you store more things that don’t need to be excellent.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

Even though it is big, this cooler with wheels and multiple cooling technologies will keep your beer cold for up to five days. The MaxCold foam on the inside of the lid is what makes it last for five days. And finally, Igloo’s THERMECOOL insulation is the first cooling system made of plastic produced in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. The wheels and comfort grip handle make it easier to hike with a group or go from one tailgate to another.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Icemule Classic 20L Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

This soft-shell, lightweight cooler is the most accessible item on the list. It’s great for day trips and soccer games. You can roll it up and put it away when drinking. It only weighs two pounds and doesn’t have a lot of parts, but what is there works well to keep drinks cool for 24 hours. Through their IM AirValve, you can use PolarLayer technology to let the air out or add more air to the insulation layer. This makes it more insulating and enables you to change the bulk level. It can hold 20 litres and comes in summery colors like “sunshine”, yellow and seafoam.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Polar Bear Coolers 12 Pack Soft Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

This portable cooler is easy to use and keeps ice frozen for more than 24 hours, even when it’s 100 degrees outside. Polar Bear’s patented design has a soft exterior that won’t leak and an FDA-approved nylon liner that won’t get wet or tear. Since it’s antimicrobial, you can keep drinks and food that go bad in there. It can hold 12 cans.

Best Camping Cooler Under $100: Pure Outdoor Emperor 25 Cooler

best camping cooler under $100

Monoprice focuses on affordable technology, so this cooler, which costs less than $100, has an innovative but simple design. The unit’s body is strong and lasts long. This unique process strengthens the material while letting the makers add complex, valuable details. This unit is also made of steel and has a bottle opener, making it great for camping or boating.

Final Thoughts

The finest coolers will keep your beverages and products cold all day, which is ideal for summer gatherings or outdoor excursions. Furthermore, the most fantastic coolers will be easy to transport no matter where you travel.


Q. Is a lifetime cooler superior to an igloo?

A. Igloo came in at 46.5 quarts, while Lifetime outdid itself by holding a whopping 62.4 quarts. Because of the increased space inside, Lifetime had a more difficult time than Igloo during the ice retention test.

Q. Is the color of your cooler important?

A. Yes, colder hue affects ice retention times, but not as much as many believe. We have now examined four distinct, more excellent manufacturers’ color variants. In the most challenging situation, a white cooler kept ice for half a day longer than a grey or darker equivalent.

Q. Is it preferable to have a plastic or metal cooler?

A. Steel body coolers are always more efficient than plastic body coolers since they have larger cooling pads. People occasionally prefer plastic body desert coolers since they look nicer and have little chance of rusting.

Read Next: Can You Put Ice In An Insulated Bag? Let’s Find Out

Similar Posts