How Big Of A Cooler Do I Need For Camping? (Detailed Answer)

  • 20 Oct 2022 20:02
  • 370
How Big Of A Cooler Do I Need For Camping? (Detailed Answer)

Preparing camping equipment can take a lot of your time, especially coolers. The ideal cooler needs good performance but a compact size with high portability.

So how big of a cooler do I need for camping? If you're having difficulty choosing one, the guidelines below should help.

How Big Of A Cooler Do I Need For Camping? 

25-45 liters is ideal for half-a-week solo camping trips. With larger sizes, 45-70 liters, it will usually be suitable for 1-week trips for larger families.

You'll want to enjoy the ride and not worry too much about the weight of your belongings. So the best cooler for camping should be as small as possible.

For individuals


Small cooler

For personal camping trips, you won't want to carry small coolers with you. Large capacity models are redundant and entangled for your trip.

Compact personal coolers will usually be about 8 - 20 liters. These units can hold 5 pounds of ice and eight cans. Therefore, they are especially suitable for short weekend trips.

If you prepare coolers for long trips, look for devices with larger capacities. I think the 20-liter models are just enough for you to store 18 cans and 12 ice ponds for a few days.

For two person

Camping outdoors with someone you love is a beautiful experience. You need to prepare all the necessary items for this camping trip. With these two-person camping coolers, you'll need to keep champagne, ice, soft drinks, or snacks cold.

The ideal option, in this case, is cooling models with a capacity of 20 - 40 liters.

The 20-liter one is great for short weekend camping trips. It will hold about 20 cans and 14 ponds of ice.

Meanwhile, 40-liter devices can also store more food inside. Yet, these bulky devices wouldn't be so ideal for use in a drive-free campsite.

For a family

Large cooler

In family camping trips, coolers are indispensable. You can take advantage of the couple's 20-liter capacity coolers for family use. However, these devices are often insufficient to hold all the food and drinks for a family day camping trip.

I recommend looking for 25 - 35 liter models. This device will meet the needs of a family on a one-day outdoor camping trip.

For longer trips, 35 - 65 liters is a more reasonable choice depending on the number of members. In particular, the 65-liter capacity devices can hold enough food for an entire family for a week.

However, the larger the device, the higher the weight. You'll need the proper transportation to carry these 30 lbs high-capacity coolers.

Things To Consider 

The number of participants is not the only factor you must consider when choosing a more relaxed camping size. You also need to consider budget, vehicle size, and some extras to know: 'what size cooler for weekend camping".

  • Budget: Large capacity coolers, from about 45 liters, often cost over $400. In contrast, budget-friendly devices will come in smaller sizes from less popular brands.
  • Vehicle size: Large-capacity coolers that come with insulation will be pretty bulky. Sometimes, they will take up too much space in your vehicle. And there will be no room for other camping essentials.
  • Extras: In addition to a snug fit, camping coolers should have smart features to meet advanced needs better. Some useful integrations might be cup holders, straps, and portable handles.


Is a 65-quart cooler big enough?

The 65-quart cooler model will meet the family's needs for a whole week.

How big of a cooler do you need for a 3-day camping trip?

The 25-45 quarts capacity cooler will be enough for your three-day camping trip alone. If your trip has more participants, the perfect option will have a 45 - 70 liters capacity.

How much can you fit in a 60-quart cooler?

The 60-liter cooler can hold up to 90 beverage cans.


The right cooler size will depend on the number of participants, your budget, and your requirements. Through the above sharing, you have answered the question: How big of a cooler do I need for camping? Thank you for reading!

0 ratings
Sara Ryan By, Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan is a freelance writer for CampFireHQ and avid diver. She first discovered her love for diving while on vacation in the Caribbean and has been hooked ever since. Sara loves exploring new dive sites and observing the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. As a native of Colorado, Sara enjoys spending her free time hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She also enjoys writing about her adventures in diving and wildlife conservation.

Prev Post
How Do Wireless Trail Cameras Work? Let’s Read to Get the Answer
Next Post
What To Do While Camping? A Complete List in 2023