What is the Best Cool Box for Camping?
When looking for the best cooler box for camping, there are a few options for you to consider. Which one you choose will probably depend on where you are going, how long you need to keep food and drink cold for and how portable you want it to be. Here is a quick guide to the options available:
- Cool bags - these lightweight bags need a freezer block and are small in size
- Passive cool boxes - these are hard box coolers that require freezer blocks or ice to keep cold inside
- Electric cool boxes - by running off your car’s cigarette lighter or a mains supply, these electric-powered hard box coolers are like a mini fridge
If you have a long camping trip at a site with an electricity supply, an electric cooler box is great. If not, a traditional passive cooler box can still keep your supplies cold without the need for power - some campsites also have a freezer for you to refresh your ice packs with. If you’re planning on heading out on a few picnics, it’s always good to have a cool bag, too.
How Do You Use a Cool Box?
You use an electric camping cool box slightly different to a normal one. It’s best to cool it at home before you pack it up and leave, using your car battery or electric supply at the campsite later to give it a boost if it needs one. If you want to connect it to the mains, you will need a mains adapter to do so. Also, be wary of leaving an electric cooler box plugged into your car overnight - you could end up with a flat battery in the morning!
For a traditional ice pack cooler box, all you need to do is freeze your ice packs and place them inside. To make them last longer, you could also chill the whole cooler in the fridge the night before. Frozen food and drinks also stay cold longer and help keep temperatures down, so think about freezing things if you can. Some people also swear by adding a layer of bubble wrap over the contents and ice.
Find out more with our cool boxes & camping fridges buying guide.
How Long Does a Cool Box Stay Cold?
How long a cooler box lasts for depends on a number of factors. If used correctly and kept refreshed, you can easily make one last the course of a week long camping trip! A good quality camping cooler box will have good quality insulation - the key to keeping your food and drink cool. Of course, the outside temperature will also decide on how long your cool box stays cold. Many will state how many degrees below the ambient temperature they cool to. Opening and closing the lid more often will also affect how long a cool box will last for.