Do you ever take one day outings such as a picnic at a park, a day at the beach or camping? One of the first questions people think about when going on a trip is how can we bring food and drinks? And also how to keep it safe, fresh, and cold during the day. I’m sure that the thought of carrying a big cooler just for the day seems like a lot of work. However, carrying food and drinks during trips nowadays has never been easier because of small coolers. In this article, I will show you the best options for small travel coolers, their pros and cons, and how to choose a small cooler that best meets your needs. Traveling alone? Small coolers are a great choice.
Small coolers and their benefits
For people who like to travel, especially go camping, small coolers are one of their favorite items. They have some bonus features that really give them an edge over normal coolers. Small coolers can help you keep drinks cold or your foods fresh for up to dozens of hours. Then, just hang out and cheer!
The small coolers are light-weight and available in small sizes so they are very portable. For a short trip, it is very easy and convenient to bring along. Sometimes it can be a lunchbox when going to a park as well. Small coolers are still a little bit bigger than a lunchbox so there is more space to pack your food. You can fit it into your car or carry them over your shoulder or even by hand.
A small travel cooler doesn’t always require extra ice. If you just need to pack your lunch or go somewhere for half of the day and prefer not to deal with ice that will melt, you don’t need to worry about it.
Aside from that, some small coolers are made from softer materials that are durable but easier to store when not in use. People often refer to them as small cooler bags.
Now, it’s time to choose the best small cooler for you. Let’s go to the next part and I will share some important information that will surely help!
Top 6 best small coolers for camping
Top Rated Cooler – Which is the best cooler for camping? The following information has all the details you need. We have spent months testing and researching the outstanding small coolers on the market. Each type of small cooler has different features, as well as different pros and cons.
Capacity: Up to 16 cans plus ice
Dimension: 15.8 x 10.2 x 12.6 Inches
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Well, I can say that the YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler is one of the top high-quality products in the cooler marketplace. This premium small cooler comes with all he best features of small cooler bags. This soft-sided cooler has ColdCell insulation and closed-cell rubber foam that offers better insulation than normal soft coolers. It can retain ice up to 3 days when sealed. The Hopper Flip can hold up to 18 cans plus ice. In addition, it is designed with a DryHide Shell which is waterproof and especially resistant to mildew and abrasions. Therefore, it is very durable and designed to be used outdoors. This small travel cooler is well suited for any adventures such as biking, hiking, and picnicking including kayaking trips. Aside from that, it is very easy to attach items such as MOLLE Zinger, MOLLE bottle opener, and SideKick. The soft cooler accessories that come with this cooler are also awesome which helps you save more energy when cooling drinks inside the cooler.
About the cons, some buyers said that the price is higher than others and also mentioned zipper malfunctions. The price might be a little bit higher than the others but if you are a person who likes taking adventures every weekend, it’s really worth the investment.
Related article: How to Clean and Deodorize Ice Chests and Coolers
Capacity: Up to 6 Cans
Dimension: 8.1 x 7.2 x 10.7 Inches
Weight: 1.54 Pounds
If you have a personal trip planned, Coleman FlipLid will be an ideal small cooler for personal use. This small cooler is designed ergonomically for carrying easily. It weighs only 2.8 pounds and the bail handle is a plus, no matter if you want to bring lunch or take a picnic on a day trip it is really convenient. You can carry it in one hand. The Coleman FlipLid Cooler can hold up to 6 cans and also has plenty of space if you want to pack a full meal. Moreover, one of the favorite features of this cooler is that it can turn into a tray with molded beverage holders. You just need to open the FlipLid lid top and reverse it. After use, you also can easily wipe off its lid (EZ-Clean lid) thanks to its smoother texture.
However, several people complained that the material of the lid and handle is not as expected and it lacks insulation to keep food cool long enough. Other people said the size is also quite small so these things are helpful to know before buying it. Although there are some small negative points, many customers enjoy using it.
Capacity: Up to 16 Cans
Dimension: 11.8 x 11.8 x 6.7 Inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces
Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler comes with smart construction. It can hold up to 16 cans inside, with enough room to pack food too. The Easy-Carry straps & handles can be adjusted for comfort so you can carry it easily for trips such as picnics, BBQs, camping, and sporting events. The multi-pocket feature provides more space, there are a front zippered pocket, side mesh pockets, and a mesh pocket in the lid. Moreover, it arrives pre-treated with antimicrobials to resist odors and mildew buildup. Because the liner material is removable it is also very easy to clean.
Someone complained about the quality of this small cooler such as the inner pocket was sewn at an angle and is very loose and the bag lining is quite slippery. However, if you have a limited budget, this small cooler bag can be one of the best choices.
Capacity: Up to 12 Cans
Dimension: 14.2 x 19 x 11.5 Inches
Weight: 11.25 Pounds
The Grizzly small cooler is outstanding because of its durability and insulation ability. With extra-thick walls and pressure-injected insulation, this cooler offers long ice life. There are some added features such as a molded handle with the tie-down point, non-skid rubber feet, and rubber gasket in the lid which optimized construction which is perfect for the avid hunter or camping trips.
However, the Grizzly cooler is a little bit heavy in comparison with the same size small cooler and some people consider it expensive.
Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.6 x 3 Inches
Weight: 11.2 Ounces
Capacity: four wine bottles or a six-pack
The SCOUT Pleasure Chest Soft Cooler is designed to be tote-shaped. If you plan to head out for an afternoon at the beach, sporting events, or a wine night, it is really convenient to keep food and drinks cold. It’s large enough to fit four wine bottles and easy to hold by hand. There is also some extra space in two exterior pockets to carry napkins or other accessories like a knife or wine opener. It is constructed with a three-layer fabric, water-resistant exterior, and foam-insulated middle to keep things inside cool and prevent leaking. Aside from that, this small cooler bag is easy to clean with a towel. There are 19 options for colors available.
Dimensions: 18 x 14 x 20 Inches
Weight: 9.4 Pounds
Capacity: upto 21 cans
Stanley Adventure Cooler offers incredible performance, it can hold up to 12 cans and keep them cold up to 36 hours. How can it do that? The double-wall foam insulation, the leak-resistant lid locks, and in addition, double-wall foam, all make the Stanley Adventure Cooler high performance. Rugged latches and handle make it easy to carry.
This small travel cooler comes with lots of features but there are some negative points that I must mention. In comparison with other small travel coolers, it weighs more. Some people complained that it doesn’t stay upright and they have experienced problems with it tipping.
Buying the best small cooler for camping will become an easy task if you keep the following tips in mind. Read on for helpful informaiton.
Size and weight
Choosing a suitable size of small camping coolers is a smart tip. For example, if you go camping or on a trip which isn’t too far from your home or a food store, a large cooler is not necessary. Packing a lot of ice will make it heavy and difficult to carry. Carrying a large cooler that is only partially full is less efficient because with more air space, the food will not stay as cold and the ice will melt faster. Small coolers are light weight and have a smaller capacity. So, choose the right capacity to hold the amount of food and drinks that you will need on your outing.
Which I should choose: Hard or soft-sided small coolers? The hard-sided coolers often preserve cold temperatures longer and are more durable. While the soft-sided coolers are lighter weight and easier to fold because of their convenient construction so that you can save space when storing it. However, now you also can find the lightweight hard-sided coolers in the market that weigh less than 10 pounds.
How long they keep things cold
The main purpose of a small cooler is to preserve or keep things inside it cold and fresh. Most of the small coolers normally just are able to keep the food or drinks cold from 1-2 days so you should know how long you will be traveling to determine which cooler you should buy. The insulation parameter value is an important factor that decides how long the cooler keeps food and beverages cold.
Strap or handle
What about a small portable cooler with a strap? This style is definitely portable. It is easy to carry it from one place to another. Then, the strap or simply a handle will help you carry it with one hand stress free.
Easy to clean
Because of the portability, if you don’t carry it properly the liquid can spill. Also, after a long time using it, the cooler may smell so you will need to clean it. Before buying the cooler you should the design and material to know if it is easy to clean.
The above are the top best small coolers for camping. I hope at the end of this article you can find the best one for your trips. Nowadays, small travel coolers are popular. Sometimes they are used for lunches which has replaced paper bags for everyday use. They are also handy to have for trips on weekends. However, not only small coolers but also coolers in general, come in many types, sizes, and features that might fit your needs or not. Therefore, you should consider the options thoroughly. However, don’t forget if you still have any questions about the small travel coolers, feel free to ask me.