If you are in the process of finding the top coolers for camping and find yourself wondering what to buy, use our list of advantages of soft and hard sided coolers.

A Soft Sided Cooler

  • Less heavy
  • A soft cooler is much lighter than a hard sided one. However strong or weak you are, you’ll be able to bring it with you without difficulty. That is generally the reason why many campers prefer it.

  • Portable
  • It can be easily transported so you won’t face any trouble in that department. But the ultimate weight will be up to you since you hardly ever need to carry an empty cooler. The more you stuff it, the heavier it will be. The benefit here is in the fact that the cooler won’t add weight to your food and beverages.

  • More efficient for storage
  • When you are done using the cooler, you can empty it and fold it. Soft sided coolers don’t require much storage space. You will easily find a place to fit it in as opposed to its counterpart.

  • Safe for children
  • A soft sided cooler won’t flip over and hurt anyone’s toes or fingers. Material they are made of won’t scratch the skin and corners are safe to bump into. You should still be cautious because once loaded, even a soft cooler can cause injury due to its weight. However – much safer that a hard sided cooler.

    As a bonus, you can be sure you won’t damage your car or storage space. It can be very annoying finding new scratches every time you go camping.

A Hard Sided Cooler

  • Does the cooling best
  • The materials and engineering breakthroughs make it possible for hard coolers to keep produce and drinks cold for a long time. Some models have extremely stiff lids and impeccable seals to do the job as good as it can. The insulation components have become more advanced recently leading to outstanding performance in coolers that can keep it cold up to a week.

  • Fits larger volumes
  • Unlike soft coolers, hard sided models tend to be far more spacious. If it is something you are particular about, opt for those. Although soft ones come in large sizes as well, you’ll be better off with a hard sided cooler. Thus, you won’t have to make tough choices of what to leave behind.

  • Proven to be long-lasting
  • In terms of sturdiness; hard coolers demonstrate better results. They can be used for quite some time without it changing its capabilities despite scratches or marks. They are designed to endure harsh outside conditions. The outer structure of a cooler is stiff that also has UV-stable characteristics.

Our verdict

Ultimately, we think it comes down to size. If you need a lunchbox style cooler for small quantities, your obvious choice is a soft sided cooler. If you plan to carry more than that, you need a hard one with larger capacity.