A quality cooler is essential for an overnight rafting trip. Whether you are keeping your food or beverages cool, a cooler that is not well insulated could ruin your trip. Rafting offers the ability to bring along large amounts of weight perishable weight, while leaving you stranded during the nighttime (as opposed to car camping), which makes having a quality cooler all the more important. Here are some excellent coolers to have on your trip, rated for durability and insulation.
1. Yeti Tundra 65
Yeti is the original high end cooler manufacturer, and always a safe bet when purchasing a quality cooler. These coolers will last you a lifetime if taken care of properly and will keep ice for upwards of 72 hours. The 65 liter is a great choice for a rafting trip, as it will not take up too much space on the raft yet also hold enough food and beverages for your group to have a good time. Yeti sells coolers in many smaller and larger sizes as well. Yetis make some of the few coolers that are certified “bear resistant” for those long excursions into bear country.
2. Coleman Xtreme 5-day 70qt
This cooler is probably the best bang for your buck currently on the market. Marked at a reasonable $66.99 on Amazon, this option is far more affordable than any other high-end cooler on the market, while offering similar insulation quality for the price. Its primary downfall is its uncomfortable handles, but when camping riverside this should not be a huge issue. With quality durability and insulation, especially for the price, this is one of the best coolers currently out there.
3. Orca 75qt Cooler
This top of the line cooler will hold ice for up to ten days! You will never have to worry about drinking a cold beer or spoiling meat on a rafting trip with this cooler along for the ride. Durability should never be an issue with this cooler, and its sturdy lock and handle design should keep unwanted creatures out of your food and beverage supply as you sleep.
4. Engel 65 DeepBlue Roto-Molded High-Performance
This is another quality option that will save you some money as compared to a Yeti. While not quite as bomb proof as a yeti, its ice retention and carrying capacity will take you a long ways. With two inches of insulation, this cooler should have no issue keeping your supplies nice and cool.
5. Rubbermaid Marine Cooler
Rubbermaid has been a name in the cooler industry for many years. They are a great affordable option for anybody looking for a standard cooler that will keep your drinks and food cool for a few days, but do not expect them to last you longer than a few years. These are simple, reliable coolers great for casual outdoorsmen.
6. Huskee Collection Styrofoam Coolers
What they may lack in durability and in insulation, to an extent, Styrofoam coolers make up for in their lack of weight and affordability. The Huskee collection will last a year of solid use, for the low price of about thirty bucks (depending on the size that you need). If you are a person that thinks that it is silly to pay top dollar for a cooler, this is a great way to go.
7. Polar Bear Soft Cooler
Soft coolers are much easier to pack onto a crowded or small raft. While many complain about capacity and/or insulation on soft top coolers, the Polar Bear Soft Cooler has the capacity and insulation to compete with the hard-top coolers. This can also be a great option alongside a hard-top cooler filled with food, while keeping your soft tip filled with beverages.
8. Icehole Coolers
These are the most durable coolers on the market. Made with military technology, these coolers are perfect for an overnight trip involving advanced rapids. If you are worried about launching your cooler on some gnar, or flipping your raft, this could be a great choice that will not be compromised by impact.
Don’t have a cooler and don’t want to throw the money down for one that will last long on your overnighter? Colorado River Rentals rents coolers for your excursion, so your food stays fresh and beverages stay cold!