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Best Small Coolers for Camping, Fishing, Beach, and More


Whether you are planning to take long trips by car or camper, or that intense weekends on the road await you, with summer fast approaching, you will certainly need a portable fridge that accompanies you, that is reliable, that can withstand the outdoors, and above all that it can keep food and drinks cold enough not to ruin them and ruin your long-awaited trip or your weekend.

We have analyzed the portable camping refrigerators of the most famous brands. We have selected the five which, evaluated overall, seem to us the best currently on the market.

Browsing online and having to compare prices and features of the various refrigerators on sale can be frustrating and time-consuming. We have therefore decided to make your search easier by compiling this list.

Part 1: Small Cooler Bags

1. AKASO 12 Can Small Cooler Bag

If you're just heading out to the beach in the afternoon or going for work, a bag-shaped cooler is a convenient way to keep food and drinks cold, without the burden of lugging a wheeled cooler on the sand. We love that this small cooler from AKASO has a wrapped tie strap to keep it from annoyingly falling off your shoulder when you're carrying lots of beach accessories. Rather than a traditional slanted tote bag shape, the cooler’s vertical walls are cleverly designed to maximize interior volume with cell NBR foam insulation. 

It's large enough to carry 12 cans, so there's plenty of room for an afternoon or evening of food and drink. The bottom is also stiff and flat, so the bag won't tip over if it's not balanced and you can easily adjust the size by sliding the closing hook. There are also two exterior pockets to carry accessories like a kitchen knife and a wine opener in the sides. We like that after an afternoon on the sand, you can clean the bag with a damp cloth or towel and fold it up.

2. YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler Tote Bag

Look, we're not saying $300 isn't an obscene amount to buy a little fresher, but if you're out all weekend, every weekend, it might be worth the investment. The Yeti Hopper M30 holds 20 cans, plus ice, which is perfect for an afternoon at the beach, and they'll keep cool with Yeti's ColdCell closed-cell foam insulation. 

We also love that the company's proprietary DryHide Shell delivers; It is both water and mildew resistant and constructed of HazMat suit material to prevent any abuse that may be necessary (we're talking punctures). The only thing worse than a cooler that doesn't cool is a cooler that leaks, but don't worry, this one is specifically designed to protect you. Yeti's Hydroshield closure is billed as 100% leakproof.

3. AKASO 24 Cans Leakproof Cooler Bag for Camping

Smart construction and inexpensive price make this cooler a winner. AKASO is known for offering value-oriented products, and this soft, collapsible cooler is ideal for afternoon or evening trips (and round-trip road trips).

With a host of great features, it's easy to see why customers love AKASO's large Insulated Cooler. The cooler is fully lined to keep what you pack cool with NBR foam insulation, while the 840D nylon holds up after years of trips to the woods or the beach. It's also quite large, holding 24 cans. 

Once you have what you have packed, it is easy to store; it simply folds into a flat pack to store your beach bag or car trunk. But do not think that it has few functions. The refrigerator has a metal bottle opener attached, 2pcs zipper lubricant, towing padded shoulder straps for changing transport, and a leakproof zipper for water leakage prevention.

Part 2: Hardshell small cooler

1. Igloo Playmate hard shell mini cooler

It is a model of "Igloo", an American cooler box brand that develops reasonable products with many color varieties at affordable prices. The unique design with a triangle on the top creates a fashionable atmosphere and keeps your food and drinks cool up to 24 hours. The push-type open/close button is easy to operate with one hand, and it is convenient because it can be taken in and out from either the front or the back.

Although Igloo Playmate hard shell is a small cooler box with a capacity of 6L, it can store 9 350ml cans and 4 500ml PET bottles. It is recommended for outdoor use such as picnics, hiking, and support for children's club activities, as well as a lunch box to take to work.

2. Stanley Leakproof 10qt Small Cooler

This is defined by the manufacturer Stanley as a real icebox and technically it would not be a refrigerator, but we insert it as a possible alternative because it has a large capacity with a heavy-duty top handle.

Food and drinks can be kept fresh for up to 27 hours and can hold up to 21 cans. In practice, the contained ice can last up to 27 hours if the outside temperatures do not exceed 32 degrees.

The insulation takes place thanks to a layered wall in which there is a special and double-wall foam that prevents the entry of heat from the outside, but the outside is made of polyethylene, a resistant and BPA-free material.

The price is affordable since it is not a real refrigerator, having no power supply, but it is an alternative solution that can be considered in different contexts weighing 3.9lbs when empty. However, the storage capacity of this particular camping object is also great.

3. Arctic Zone Titan 20Qt Ice Cooler box

Practical, efficient, and performing. These are the characteristics of this portable camping ice cooler with corrosion-resistant T-latches for the tight seal that lasts the ice up to 4 days.

According to many, this Arctic product is one of the best of the year as it is capable of giving freshness with a performance worthy of a top of range, with the right footprint, and with a decent content capacity.

Thanks to good insulation obtained with rigid and sturdy walls filled with thick polyurethane foam that involve great thermal insulation, protecting your beers, drinks, and foods, even if it is more intended for liquids than for dishes.

The opening is smart because it allows you to fill the compartment with an entire pack of water and the grip handle is sturdy. Intelligent positioning of a small drain valve located in the lower part to avoid accumulating liquids or condensation inside.

Part 3: Small Cooler on Wheels

1. REYLEO 21 Quart 5-Day Rotomolded Cooler with Cup Holder

Customers love this Reyleo icebox cooler for beach and camping trips - it is extremely well built and very effective when it comes to keeping beers cold and soft drinks cold, even in the heat of summer. It is also a comfortable seat around the fire pit, with its flat top. 

We love the front of the rubber tap lock to keep mixed drinks cool and easily refillable on the beach, and there's a built-in stainless steel bottle opener too. This cooler can take a beating over and over again - even T-Rex lid latches will last for years thanks to their sturdy rubber construction - so this is a one-time buy, keep it forever.

Equipped with a handle on the side and wheels on the opposite side, transport is always easy, even when loaded to the maximum. 

For those who like convenience, the fridge is built with polyurethane foam for superior insulation. At 16.8 pounds, it's not exactly light - and it will only get heavier with drinks, but that's about the only downside.

2. Pelican Elite Coolers with Wheels

Those looking for portable icebox coolers that are also versatile can orient their choice on this Pelican model. The available internal volume is 45 or 80 quart and both versions are sold at a cost in line with the quality of the product.

Pelican Elite cooler is a blast for camping on long weekends up to 10 days for ice retention. It's the only cooler of its size that can store dry ice, thanks to its UV-resistant construction - and it also keeps drinks cool for a day in the sun. 

We also love the Interlocked lid system, which prevents liquids from escaping and inclement weather from entering. Convenient both the carrying handle and is facilitated by two wheels and a handle. 


When buying a small cooler, you should always consider the capacity so that you can accommodate everything according to your needs. All 8 best small coolers mentioned above have excellent prospects. If you have an older refrigerator, you should consider replacing it as they are highly energy inefficient and there are various new features available in the newer models to help you get the best value for your money.

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