9 Best Eskies for Camping and Barbeques in Australia

When warm weather arrives in Australia, you might be ready to have a barbeque party or camp in the mountains. As you prepare, you likely want a place to keep your beers cold and food fresh. For this reason, eskies are a must-have for outdoor-loving Aussies.  

Although the word “esky” originates from the Esky brand, Aussies have since embraced this term at home and use it to mean any cooler brand. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to nine of the best eskies in Australia from various brands.

The Best Esky Australia Has to Offer

Esky ice coolers may be as native to Australia as the kangaroo, but we’ve put together this detailed review on nine amazing eskies from several different brands.

1. Igloo BMX Family

Available in both 25 and 52-quart varieties, the Igloo esky is an excellent cooler for heavy-duty camping and barbeques. It has blow-moulded construction and a reinforced base for added durability.

Pack your hiking rucksack for a multi-night trip; the Igloo has impressive ice retention of up to four days. Igloo expects that you’ll be spending lots of time under Australia’s sun, so the cooler has UV inhibitors and 20% thicker foam than others.

By encompassing Cooler Riser Technology, this esky keeps the bottom of the cooler protected from hot surfaces. To round it all off, it contains heavy-duty and rust-resistant hinge rods.

Pros: 

  • Prevents ice from melting for up to 4 days at temperatures up to 90ºF
  • Contains skid pads and diamond plates to increase longevity
  • Tie-down points for securing to a vehicle or boat

Cons

  • Rubber around the latches may break

2. Landworks Rotomolded Enhanced Ice Cooler

If you thought Igloo’s four-day ice retention was impressive, you might not believe this—the Landworks esky retains ice for a minimum of ten days. However, if you pre-cool it and keep the cooler away from UV rays, it can keep your food and drinks cold for even longer.

The magic behind this Enhanced Ice Cooler is in its Commercial Grade Insulation. Of course, excellent insulation comes with added weight. You’ll be lugging around 16.7 pounds, plus the weight of your food and drinks. Thankfully, the steel handle has a lock-in-place feature and has an ergonomic grip to make the load easier to carry.

If awing your camping friends is on your bucket list, the Landworks’ built-in bottle openers, airtight seal with a pressure relief valve system, and no-leak drain plug will likely do the trick.

Pros: 

  • Capacity to hold 23 units of 12-oz bottles
  • 3-inch insulated walls and a 360° D-Seal for outstanding insulation 
  • Non-skid feet and moulded tie-down slots

Cons

  • One of the more expensive eskies

3. Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler

The Coleman Xtreme packs a punch with balancing an affordable price and excellent cooler volume. It measures a whopping 74.6 x 39.4 x 50.6 centimetres and has two sturdy wheels as well as a large handle for totting it around.

Using Xtreme technology, this esky can retain ice for up to five days at temperatures up to 90ºF. Despite its size, you don’t have to worry about awkward moments of trying to dump out melted ice; it has a leak-resistant drain. 

Once you’ve found a home for your cooler at your barbeque or campsite, you can use four cup holders moulded into its lid. To top it all off, environmentalists will love that the Coleman Xtreme has low Co2 emissions from its foam insulation.

Pros: 

  • Has small handles for lifting and a large handle for pulling it on wheels
  • 58.7-litre space offers outstanding storage volume
  • Channel drain that’s leak-resistant and rustproof

Cons

  • Might be too bulky for some camping and barbecuing needs

4. Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

The original eskies had hard, bulky frames, but Titan changed that with their classy deep freeze cooler. The fabric around this esky allows you to wear it over your shoulder as if you were carrying a large briefcase. 

However, don’t let its stylish design fool you—this cooler has a radiant heat barrier so that it deflects heat from your body, keeping the contents of your bag cool. If you can’t wait to take a sip of your next drink, you’ll be happy to know that the Titan has a patented zipper-free lid. 

Cleaning the Titan is easy with the support of Rhino-Tech, which is resistant to stains and water. It also has a lining with Microban, which deters odour from bacteria.

Pros: 

  • Durable material that’s resistant to punctures
  • Insulated front pocket to store small snacks or a beverage
  • Four esky size options: 9, 16, 30, and 48-can capacity

Cons

  • Only keeps items cold for 2 – 3 days, depending on the cooler size you purchase

5. Picnic at Ascot

Ideal for a romantic barbeque or a one-night camping trip, the Picnic at Ascot esky will “wow” your partner with its presentation. In case you want to bring your kids, it has enough compartments to carry four settings—that’s right, you can pack plates, silverware, drinks and food in this soft-sided cooler. 

As if it couldn’t get better, this cooler comes with colour-coordinated plates and napkins, stainless steel flatware, and wine glasses. Speaking of wine, it has enough room to carry (and keep cool) two wine bottles along with spaces for food.

Thanks to 600 denier polyester, you can be sure that your cooler will be around long enough to create many memories for you and your loved ones.

Pros: 

  • Shoulder strap and carry handles
  • Includes a lifetime warranty and an additional wine tote cooler
  • Lightweight to carry at only 3.18 kilograms when empty

Cons

  • Best for day trips 

6. Techni Ice Compact Series Ice Box 

Minimalists will love Techni Ice’s cut-to-the-chase esky design. Weighing only three kilograms for an 18-litre volume, high-density PE, and stainless steel compression metal clips ensure your food and drinks stay cold for up to three days.

Techni Ice’s design makes it ideal for setting it in a place and leaving it there for the duration of your camping or barbeque experience. It’s an excellent insulator, as it’s foolproof against dust, air, and water. In fact, some people use it to store weather-sensitive equipment when they’re not using it as a cooler.

If 18 litres sounds like too much or not enough room for you, the affordable Techni ice also comes in 12 and 28-litre options.

Pros: 

  • Simple, easy-to-use design
  • High density moulded PS foam keeps items cold for up to three days
  • Among the lightest weight eskies on the market

Cons

  • Bulky to carry around if you’ll be traversing long distances

7. Hap Tim Soft Cooler Bag

The trendy Hap Tim esky will make your friends think you forgot the cooler when you show up to their barbeque. It looks more like a fashionable gym bag and has waterproof linen. Although it’s soft-sided, it has an insulated-wrapped bottom board, offering more structure than traditional collapsible coolers.

If you didn’t think a cloth cooler could carry much weight, this might surprise you—it has a 30-litre volume and can hold more than 40 pounds. 

A Velcro flip open top makes it easier for you to access your food and drinks from the Hap Tim. After your barbeque, simply fold it down where it’ll take up less than five inches of space in height.

Pros: 

  • Stylish design with three fabric colour options
  • Weighs only 998 grams but can carry over 40 pounds
  • Sturdy bottom and collapsible top for easy storage

Cons

  • Doesn’t keep items cold for long in warmer weather

8. Coleman 42-Can Soft Cooler

You’ll do a double-take when you see the Coleman soft cooler because it looks more like a piece of luggage than a cooler. However, the PEVA liner will keep an impressive 42 cans cold. It has strong wheels to hold all that weight and, like a suitcase, has a telescoping handle.

A unique feature of this Coleman esky is that you can remove the hard plastic liner if you need to store your cooler in a more compact area. Additionally, the flexible PEVA liner is easy to clean.

If you can picture the outer and inner pockets a suitcase has, this cooler is similar; it has a zippered pocket in the front mesh pockets and a lid bungee. 

Pros: 

  • Has a telescoping handle, so it wheels like a suitcase
  • You can remove the hard plastic liner
  • Extra pockets for storing items that don’t need to stay cold

Cons

  • The wheels are on the small side, considering the size of the cooler

9. CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag 

If you’re looking for the best esky in Australia for short camping trips or small barbeques, the CleverMade bag just may win the prize. Despite only weighing two pounds when empty, this fabric cooler can hold up to fifty 12-ounce cans.

You can carry the cooler around using two side handles or a single top handle. When you’re browsing through your food and drinks, the patented SnapHinges ensure that the bag stays supported. 

Its durable material allows you to carry up to 50 pounds of chilled food and beverages. After you return from your camping trip or barbeque, simply push in the side hinges, and the bag will collapse down for storage.

Pros: 

  • 30 litres of volume with a capacity to carry up to 50 pounds
  • Steel wire top frame to maintain its structure
  • Three layers of insulation using PEVA

Cons

  • PEVA material may fuse together if stored in hot conditions

Selecting the Best Esky 

Let’s round off this review with important esky features to consider before you make your purchase—after all, the last thing you want on your holiday is your beer getting cold!

Size

Would you like to keep a few beverages cold, or do you need to carry enough food to feed a family? Eskies range in size, so make sure to choose a cooler that corresponds with how much you plan to carry. Some brands even offer multiple size options for the same model.

Material 

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a popular material in constructing durable eskies because it’s lightweight with high-tensile strength. It can also withstand exposure to high outside temperatures. Generally speaking, the thicker the material, the better insulated the esky.

A combination of polyester and plastic material is a common option for soft-sided and hybrid coolers. Keep an eye out for soft-sided eskies with 600 Denier polyester, as they contain a PVC coating to keep them waterproof.

Handles and Wheels

When it comes to moving or transporting anything heavy, high-quality handles are a must, and wheels are an added touch. Make sure to test out the handles before buying them—you want to ensure they offer excellent grip and sit comfortably in your palm. 

Some eskies—particularly soft-sided ones—offer a shoulder sling as well. As for wheels, if you plan on purchasing a larger cooler and packing it full, be on the lookout for a cooler that’s easy to push around and one with collapsible handles. 

Lids and Hinges

Accessing your food and beverages is undoubtedly important to you, so make sure to test out how easy it is to open the lid. Some lids snap into place while others use Velcro. Similarly, you’ll want to ensure the hinges move smoothly and hold the lid up well while you’re digging out your goods. 

Other Esky Features

Some of the best eskies in Australia are those with extra features. Below are some options that can add to your camping trip or barbeque experience.

Easy to Clean

Ease of cleaning is a feature of nearly every esky. That said, plastic eskies are easier to wash than cloth ones since they get clean with a quick hose down and aren’t prone to moulding.

Drain Plug

Some eskies come with a drain spout. Drain spouts serve a dual purpose—they can be a dispenser for an ice-cold beverage or drain excess water that builds up from slow-melting ice.

In Closing

Ready for your barbeque or camping trip? By purchasing one of the eskies on this list, you’ll be able to focus on enjoying time with your friends and family instead of figuring out how to keep your food and drinks cold during hot Australian summers.