When the weather gets warm in the days get long and the summer, there’s nothing people love to do more than get outside. Sometimes there’s nothing better than grabbing a couple of fishing rods and live bait coolers and some snacks and heading out to the lake for a day on the water.

That also means people are likely going to be camping. More than 50% of campers in fact stay within a hundred miles of home when they’re camping and millennials and gen-xers are two demographics that love to camp. In fact, they account for three-quarters of all campers.

If camping is one of your favorite pastimes you know there is all kinds of equipment you need for a successful and enjoyable trip. You need tents, a camp stove, camping chairs and plenty of food like marshmallows and s’more material. It also means you’re going to need a cooler. If you’re camping in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like having a cooler full of cold drinks and cold food to keep you hydrated come refreshed and full.

These days, coolers come in all shapes and sizes. You got hard side coolers, soft side coolers, live bait coolers, portable fridge freezers and even insulated tumblers if you’re on the go. If you’re loading up on gear before your next camping trip and you need a cooler, here are some helpful things to think about to help you pick the right one.
What are you using it for?
The most basic question you need to ask yourself is what you’re using your cooler for. If your camping trip also includes fishing and other recreational activities, chances are good you’re going to need more than one cooler; perhaps a live bait coolers for fishing, a cooler for drinks and a cooler for food. When it comes to keeping things cold, you’re also going to figure out what are you trying to keep cold and how will you keep things cold?

Soft coolers
Both hard side and soft side coolers off her plenty of benefits and ultimately comes down to what you need for whatever activity you’re doing. Soft side coolers are versatile and can be used on a daily basis if you’re going for a hike or if you’re taking a trip somewhere and need a cooler for the car.

Soft side coolers mean that they’re not made of hard plastic and it also means they are easier to transport to keep things cold. These days you can buy soft side coolers that are shaped like traditional coolers, but there are also soft side coolers that are shaped like backpacks so you can carry them on your back instead of having to wear your arms out.
Hard side coolers
On the other end of the spectrum, hard side coolers or what you need if you got an extended camping trip. If you’re going fishing and you need live bait coolers for minnows or fish that you keep, hard side coolers have better ice retention and are good for long-term storage.

In many cases, hard side coolers have a greater holding capacity than soft side coolers. Soft side coolers are designed to be portable and carried around easily, which means the capacity could be smaller. Hard side coolers have greater capacity are meant to be stored, which means drinks or food or even live bait can be stored for a while. That also makes them more durable and they can hold a very well against all kinds of weather.

If you got a camping trip coming up and you need to get yourself a cooler, take a look at your local store at all the options you have available. There are plenty of benefits to both soft side and hard side coolers and ultimately it just depends on what you’re using it for and how long you might be camping.

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