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Take Out those Refreshing Drinks Outdoors with the Five Best Camping Coolers

Updated on November 8, 2010

If you're the kind of camper who likes to make your campsite your home away from home, you'll definitely want to consider taking along a cooler. You'll be able to keep your drinks cold and refreshing; something everyone will appreciate on a hot day. Who doesn't enjoy an ice cold soda, juice or beer?

The great outdoors means fresh air, but if the air is dry or you've been exerting yourself, a camping cooler can provide drinks to seriously quench your thirst unlike the lukewarm water in your water bottle. Children can quickly get dehydrated and cold drinks can be much more appealing to them.

Camping coolers are obviously also a good idea to keep your food fresh. If you want to grill out there just bring along your portable grill or camping gas stove and then you're ready to enjoy a fantastic meal in the wild.

There are many kinds of camping coolers that you can buy online but there are only few of them I think are worth buying. Personally I prefer the ones that have a backpack style because carrying a large plastic cooler in one hand while hiking seems totally impractical. So, here are some ultra-light backpack type coolers that are handy, light and durable.

Upscale OGIO Freezer Cooler Pack Backpack Bag
Upscale OGIO Freezer Cooler Pack Backpack Bag

Upscale OGIO Freezer Cooler Pack Backpack Bag

This is an easy-to-carry, spacious backpack cooler that is made of denier polyester and diamond dobby nylon. It has a dry storage area on the top and its base houses the large cooler area with the capacity to hold 10 cans. It also has two exterior water bottle pockets. A very durable bag, people love the front pockets and the handy side mesh pockets. One minor design issue: items on the bottom can get a bit squished if you put heavier items on top. So, it's best to put cans and other sturdy things on the bottom. From the outside appearance, this backpack actually looks like a regular one, which some people prefer. This bag can carry enough food and drinks to keep you full and hydrated for few days.

Picnic Time Turismo Insulated Backpack Cooler
Picnic Time Turismo Insulated Backpack Cooler

Picnic Time Turismo Insulated Backpack Cooler

A favorite among campers, hikers, hunters and anyone else who spends a lot of time outside, this cooler is constructed from durable 600D polyester with nylon. It has non-slip, comfortable large backpack straps as well as two insulated interior compartments that will remain cool for hours. It also has multi-mesh pockets with drawstring closures and it has a reinforced base. It also comes with a 1-liter water bottle that is stored on the outside of the bag. And if you're not the roughing-it type, this is a great bag for day trips like going to the zoo, trips to the amusement park, and going to the beach. It's a good size, but not too big, and it's really durable. It can carry enough food for two people for an entire day. 

Insulated Waterproof Picnic Backpack - Separate Sections for Food & Gear
Insulated Waterproof Picnic Backpack - Separate Sections for Food & Gear

Insulated Waterproof Picnic Backpack - Separate Sections for Food & Gear

As its name says, this bag is perfect for a day out being active because the food and gear are stowed separately. There's a mesh section for storage where you can keep your clothing, towels and other camping necessities, and the bottom section is where the thermo-guard compartment is. This is where you can keep your food cold or hot. Because it has a heat-sealed waterproof lining, it prevents air from getting in and effecting the temperature inside, so cold things stay cold and hot things stay hot. This backpack cooler is excellent for any outdoor activity really - camping, hiking, watching sporting events, the beach, fishing. And, it has a stylish and rugged design.

Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack
Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack

Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack

This Zuma cooler backpack is made from durable polyester and it also has two sections, one for your personal belongings and the other for food. The food storage area is insulated so it will keep your food and drinks cold (or hot if you want them to be hot). The insulated thermo-guard section is leak-free and sealed so your drinks can stay cold for hours or your cooked food stays warm until you arrive at your campsite. It also has a water-resistant lining that will prevent water from seeping into the interiors and a large zipper pocket for your personal items. This insulated backpack is really good for camping, but it's nice for taking food and drinks just about anywhere.

Custom LeatherCraft 1540 15-Inch BigMouth Cooler Bag
Custom LeatherCraft 1540 15-Inch BigMouth Cooler Bag

Custom LeatherCraft 1540 15-Inch BigMouth Cooler Bag

This cooler is large enough to carry ice and about 12 cans of beverages. The quick grab top hatch is very easy to close and open and it means you don't have to unzip the whole thing to get a drink. It was designed to be sturdy: it's a sealed, insulated cooler bag but it has a reinforced bottom panel so it's really durable and stiff enough to retain its shape. It also has a tough handles and an adjustable shoulder strap so a small or large person can hang it on their shoulders. It has outside pockets where you can store your keys, wallet and whatever other small items you want to keep secured. This is really a very lightweight cooler bag and can keep beverages cold for hours. One thing though: it's designed to be used with cold packs or ice in bags as it's not waterproof.

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