Out There: 10 Best Rugged Coolers For Adventuring

Let’s be honest, not all coolers are created equal. Yes, the purpose remains the same – keeping perishable food and beverages cold for an extended period of time – but the execution of this purpose for the majority of options out there are lackluster at best. It’s tragically too often we find campers, beach goers, and tailgaters watch perilously as their micro arctic ecosystems melt away in a matter of hours due to poor insulation. We also find that said poor construction leads to dents and cracks after just the second or third go-round with these budget options.

Instead, let’s not concern ourselves with this sub par lifestyle. Instead, let’s focus on the options that are going to last a lifetime, keep your perishables safe, secure and refrigerated for hours (even days) upon end. And sure, we’ll admit it, the upfront cost for these rugged coolers is a little steep, but when you consider the quality, longevity, and reliability each one of these options bring to the table, the pill is much easier to swallow – especially when you can wash it down with a beer that hasn’t warmed up in only a few hours.

Igloo Sportsman

Igloo Sportsman

From a well-known brand just about everyone recognizes comes a 55-quart cooler outfitted for the fisherman, the hunter, or backcountry camper. It’s virtually indestructible thanks to its rotational-mold construction complete with a two-inch minimum foam in the lid and 15-20 inch foam in the body. It also comes equipped with a three-point-grab handle with a comfort grip, and anti-skid feet on the base of the cooler. Additionally, an oversized drain plug allows for quick draining and cleaning on the spot.

Purchase: $168

Orca 20 Quart

Orca 20 Quart

Built right here in the USA, Orca’s 20-quart cooler was built specifically for rugged outdoor excursions. For this, we can thank the cooler’s roto-molded construction and an integrated insulation to keep your stored items fresh for up to 10 days. Additionally, a cargo net attachment comes in handy for added storage, a lid gasket ensures a perfect seal every time, and its single flex-grip stainless steel handle makes it as portable as ever.

Purchase: $190

Bison 25 QT

Bison 25 QT

Ideal for shorter trips, this is the beer cooler to end all beer coolers – as well as an ideal travel cooler for weekend trips, tailgating or early morning hunts. It’s made right here in the USA, comes complete with a two-inch lid and 1-5/8” thick insulated walls for premium ice retention, boasts oversized rubber feet, grab rails for easy carrying, and tie down slots to keep everything secure. Finally, a rubber gasket helps keep a tight seal ensuring that Arctic environment remains intact as long as possible.

Purchase: $229

Canyon Outfitter 35 Quart

Canyon Outfitter 35 Quart

Be it a day trip out in the field or multi-day fishing expedition, the Canyon cooler is a reliable traveling counterpart for wherever you may roam thanks to an ice retention for up to 14 days. It also boasts rubber non-skid feet, truck-friendly skid plates, and is built with food-grade UV-resistant kayak plastic and HUNTX foam for insulation. Also, with a lifetime warranty, you can trust the integrity of this handy cooler for years to come.

Purchase: $250

Grizzly 40

Grizzly 40

With a name like Grizzly, odds are this cooler is positioned to stand up to just about any obstacle thrown its way. And with an IGBC certification, meaning it is – in fact – bear proof, you’d be correct in that assumption. Additionally, this durable cooler boasts a Rototough rotationally molded construction, non-slip rubber feet, two-inch tie down slots, a dry goods tray, and a molded-in hinge with a stainless steel pin. Finally, BearClaw latches also allow for a secure grip and easy transport no matter what.

Purchase: $315

Engel Roto-Molded Cooler

Engel Roto-Molded Cooler

Boasting the ability to hold ice for up to 10 days, it’s clear that Engel isn’t here to mess around. In fact, this option is their best in class for ice retention and overall performance thanks to up to two inches surrounding polyurethane insulation. It’s also an IGBC bear resistant cooler, boasts a rotationally-molded construction and comes with marine-grade compression latches, and UV resistance for good measure. No matter where your journeys make take you, rest assured your food and beverages will remain cool and safe.

Purchase: $340

Yeti Tundra 45

Yeti Tundra 45

With versatility and durability comes the famed Yeti Tundra 45 infused with what Yeti has made a name for themselves over the years. Yeah, we’re talking toughness, brawn, and grit. Each Tundra is made up of two inches of PermaFrost Insulation and is UV resistant in addition to its near indestructible nature. Each cooler also comes equipped with a marine-grade polyester rope with textured grips for an easy haul along with tie down slots and non-slip feet. No questions here.

Purchase: $350

Pelican 45 Quart

Pelican 45 Quart

If you’re the person who enjoys a weekend tucked away in bear country, but are worried about the integrity of your food and drink, rest assured that this Pelican cooler has received a resistant certification from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. In addition to this meaningful rating, the cooler also boasts up to 10 days of ice retention, press and pull latches, molded-in tie downs, a built in bottle opener, integrated fish scale on the lid, and corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware. Oh, and it’s made right here in the USA as well.

Purchase: $380

Otterbox Venture 45

Otterbox Venture 45

Keep your friends and family fed and quenched with the help of this handsome yet rugged 45-quart cooler from Otterbox. Thanks to their polypropylene inside and outside shells along with a silicone seal and latches this bad boy can retain ice for up to 14 days. It also comes equipped with a nylon drain plug, TPE feet, a dry storage tray, bottle opener, is IGBC bear resistant, designed in Colorado, and made here in the USA.

Purchase: $400

Orion 45

Orion 45

No matter what the occasion or where you’re heading, Orion wants to be the cooler you carry with you at all times – through thick and thin. Here, it’s your multi-day hunting, fishing, and camping essential, available in a handful of color options and styles based on your individual preference. It comes equipped with a rotomolded polyethylene shell, two inches of insulation, six tie-down points, is lockable, and features some camming latches as well.

Purchase: $450

Looking For A Place To Set Up Camp?

Now that you got the means to keep perishable food from spoiling for a few days, best get gone now. And if you’re looking for some of the best camping sites in California, we definitely got you covered in that department as well.

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