Accessories - cooler and canopy


Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
Webster, NY
Just got back from our first long trip and realized need new cooler and canopy for providing shade and bug screening around the picnic table. Our current cooler is on the last legs and so big it only fits in one location in the camper (the one where you have to fully open the camper to get to). So looking at a smaller cooler (about 30" long) and for a canopy to go over the picnic tables, etc.

What are peoples preferences?



Active Member
May 19, 2016
We have our 12 foot Z Shade. Best $50 we've spent for camping equipment. :D

As far as coolers go, I'm with you. For our purposes, I see no reason to spend several hundred bucks on one.


Super Active Member
Apr 13, 2015
LaLa land (SoCal)
I bought an Igloo sportsman cooler $199 from Sam's Club end of last year. Finally got to use it father's day. Camped four days 100 + temps and didn't have to add ice. Very impressed. Also bought a Coleman 70 qt extreme cooler $42 used that weekend not as impressed with it but better than a standard cooler. To be fair the Coleman was the cooler that got opened most.


A short run will get you within walking distance.
May 17, 2014
Boulder, Colorado
The pop up canopy is one of the best accessories we have acquired. The one we got spans over a USFS picnic table just right. I trimmed, sewed and added more grommets to two inexpensive poly tarps to make wind blocks. They attach with ball bungees. Caution: canopy must be staked down well when using wind panels.

We have several coolers, and the best is the newest, a Coleman 5 Day model. I think this model is now called Extreme. Take your tape measure along when shopping. Yeti coolers are exceptionally stout, with good seals. My friends who run raft trips through Grand Canyon and on other big rivers swear by them. My opinion is they are substantial overkill for popup camping.

Another item we are glad to have is an Astroturf door mat. It sits at the bottom of the entry steps, and doubles as a duckboard when we use the outside shower.


Super Active Member
Sep 27, 2010
For bug screening and shade, you need something like a screen room without a floor. To provide shade for afternoon sun, you can add a dark shower curtain to any sun facing side. Secure it with 2 Tekton tarp clips on top and 2 stakes with ball bungees on the ground.


Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
Webster, NY
Thanks for the replies. Currently looking at the Camco Caribou 55lt cooler, found it for $230 delivered so far, will also check out the igloo extreme, have a plain cheap 120qt igloo now but tired of the cheap hinges and clasps on it, plus it doesn't fit where I want it to and it was more than ample for a week's worth of food :)

We have an ez-up canopy, but collapsed I think the metal frame is still about 48" long and pretty hefty, was hoping for something that packed smaller and lighter. When back-packing I use a hammock so also started looking at just tarps to pole and many choices [LOL]


Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
Webster, NY
Nifty. Also found an interesting video where someone used the foam insulation board and silicon caulk to line a cheap cooler. Figure can get a 48 quart on sale for $20, have an abundance of the 1" blue foam board lying around and plenty of silicon caulk. Dedicate one of my ratchet straps and have an semi-animal proof cheap alternative. Even if it only lasts a couple seasons, worth the price and experiment...


Super Active Member
Jun 29, 2010
We have a lot of coolers. All are similar to what you buy at Walmart. All work well and hold ice for days. Popup gizmos makes a cooler cover. We use hem religiously. Spending more than 50-60 bucks in a cooler doesn't buy you anything other than nifty features and a smaller wallet. A no frills cooler is perfect. The problem for everyone is opening and closing.

We recently started freezing a gallon jug. Keeps ice 5 days that way. Also don't drain the water. It actually helps. Air is the enemy.

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Active Member
Jul 27, 2014
I have two Coleman extremes which I abuse in New england, I have left them to freeze outside and inside. The have sat out all summer on a Cape cod porch. They still keep ice 3 days or so.
as for the canopy, I buy which ever is on sale, last about two years.


Super Active Member
Feb 7, 2013
Anchorage, AK
For three years we used a pop-up canopy. It was a pain.

This year, I made a "cheapskate awning" and it works wonders. Cost me about $35.

Search the forum for "cheapskate awning" and you can find the plans for it.


Active Member
Jan 10, 2014
Look at the Coleman Extreme series.

We have two rectangular ones we got used off Craigslist, then got a square on with wheels and an extending handle.

We just stayed at Fort Wilderness at Disney for 8 days around the 4th of July. Temps were in the 90s with feel likes over 100. we use one for long term frozen items (we freeze jugs and containers of ice and a lot of our foods start out frozen), one for day to day items, salads, lunch meat, etc, and one for drinks.

After 6 days, we still had ice in the frozen food one, and some of the food was still frozen.

They are well made and a decent price. Cover them with some reflective material and keep them out of the sun. No reason to spend $300+ on a cooler.


Morris County, NJ
Sep 11, 2008
Morris County, NJ
We have a Quest canopy we picked up at Dick's Sporting Goods that was on sale for $99. That was at least 5-6 years ago. We have the screens and walls for it. It's perfect for over the picnic table.

As for coolers, if we had money burning a hole in our pockets we would get a Yeti. But we don't have burnt pockets...We use an Igloo 5 day cooler and it seems to work well. But, the latch and hinges did break. I replaced them with Igloo replacement parts (stainless steel hinges and latch). Works good and not too big.


Active Member
May 16, 2016
We've used all kinds of coolers. Finally settled on a Pelican due to its reputation and lifetime warranty (better warranty than Yeti). The Pelican did not disappoint. Three days in 90-degree sun and frequent openings and it still had 75% of the ice left. Well worth the money.


Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
Webster, NY
Went with a cheap experiment for now. Purchased an on-sale $20 for 48 quart cooler and lined it with 1" solid foam insulation using silicon to hold the pieces in place. Also planning on spending the $20 for the gizmo cooler cover. Going to take some left over web strap and a buckle set to make a latchable strap for it. I'm sure the hinges will not last for long but have a plan for that as well.

First real test will be August when we go for another week for a kids' trip to a Jellystone.


New Member
Jul 28, 2016
We have a Eureka screen house we have been using for years. Paid under $200 for it and it's held up quite well. We always put it up for family get togethers for the little ones to play in. Then its the "scream house".

As for a cooler, we had a Themos that we wore out. Last 8-10 we have been using an Igloo Cube. I like the shape and it doubles as our cocktail stand round the fire since it has 4 cup holders on top. We always have frozen Qt jugs of water in the freezer, strickly for the cooler. Other large water bottles are frozen too, we take those and use for hiking .


Active Member
Jun 19, 2016
For the cooler, do yourself a favor and check out rtic coolers online, they are the same as yeti at half the price..also designed to last FOREVER, hinges will never break, and latches are as bear proof as you will ever get...I have tested both yeti and rtic, and they are both amazing..