We cover tons of activities on this site, and many of these get better with a drink or cold snacks. One of the best additions to active gear or camping packing lists is a backpack cooler. Having things in a backpack makes it much easier to carry, especially over non flat terrain. The Titan Deep Freeze, which we picked up at Costco, does a great job of holding plenty of food and drinks, keeping it cold, and being easy to transport to all sorts of activities. So what makes a good backpack cooler? This backpack cooler review covers some of the basic features to consider when shopping for a new cooler.
What Backpack Cooler Keeps Ice the Longest?
The short answer to this type of question is, it depends. At a basic level, how long any cooler keeps ice will depend on how quickly it absorbs heat from the surroundings, but more often than not that has everything to do with the surrounding air and what is in the cooler. To take a backpack cooler for camping it is important to know how to make it work well.
If you put ice into a cooler, then add a bunch of warm beers and close it the ice will melt much faster than if you add cold drinks. Similarly if you take a cooler out and leave it open in the sun while sitting on a black surface it will not be as effective it otherwise would be. The Titan backpack shown above suffers one major issue in that it is entirely a dark color. Dark colors absorb more heat than lighter colors, so if you are simply going to for extending the time a cooler will keep things cold then it is best to select a lighter color.
Really want to keep things cold in a cooler? Try using some of the slush and ice packs that come in shipped frozen goods. These adhere to the same idea as adding salt by using gel and materials that freeze at a lower temperature than water to make sure things are really cold.
How To Pack A Cooler Backpack To Keep Things Cold
Drinks and food first, ice second. Allowing drinks or food to be at the bottom of a cooler will help them stay cold. That’s because as ice melts it is still very cold and a can sitting in cold water is going to get and stay cold longer than one that is held aloft by a bed of ice. This also helps make packing a cooler with tons of stuff easier since you will not be using as much space on ice.
If you plan to use drinks quickly, and they are going to be poured into something else, add salt to make them cool even faster. Adding salt to a cooler with ice will lower the melting temperature of the ice and make it water. This gives more surface area that the drinks can sit in, while still having cold temperatures.
The soft sided backpack cooler makes it much easier to pack than a rigid hard sided cooler. That’s because it can flex a bit if you are packing it with a variety of items. Nothing is worst than pulling out a “5 bottle cooler” only to realize that the marketing for that cooler used some random size to determine what a bottle is and your bottles are 1 inch too large to close.
Will A Cooler Keep Drinks Cold While Camping?
The answer to this is it depends. If you take the right approach, pack a cooler well, and don’t open it often, then it is possible especially in good weather to keep ice in a cooler for more than a day. The Titan backpack cooler has an independent lower pocket that makes it easy to store all the really important stuff in the bottom and avoid having to open and close the cooler too much.
If you are already heading out camping and looking to keep things cold, these other articles may be interesting for you.