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Coolers, a Necessity for Summer Camping in Japan

Summer in Japan is characterized by strong sunlight, high temperatures, and excessive humidity. Compared to spring and fall, which are quite pleasant, it's important to be careful of heat stroke and food poisoning during summer. Therefore, we'd like to introduce a video on coolers, a necessity for enjoying outdoor activities and camping during summer in Japan.

Video Comparing Coolers

This video, titled "My Recommended Coolers [Comparing 4 Types] (For Camping BBQ Outdoor Use) Coleman, Logos, Daiwa, and AO, Four Popular Brands" (おすすめクーラーボックス【4種比較】(キャンプ BBQ アウトドア用)コールマン・ロゴス・ダイワ・AOクーラー人気ブランドを一挙に紹介します!), was uploaded by "solo camp & camp cooking in Japan TANA channe."

What Should You Look for When Buying a Cooler? Material? Cooling Ability? Style?

Image of a cooling bag
Photo:A cooling bag

Outdoor activities, such as BBQ and camping, are very popular in Japan as of late. Many people are in the process of planning outdoor leisure activities for the hot summer ahead. You might be one of them and are even considering buying a cooler.

What are the most important things to consider when purchasing a cooler? Size, cooling ability, whether it's hard or soft, design... these are all important factors to think about. You should first decide on what it is that you want your cooler to accomplish.

In this article, Tana, a solo camper in Japan, compares the usages, features, and storage capacity of four different coolers for campers having trouble choosing the right cooler. In addition, the cooling ability of three coolers of different sizes, designs, and materials are evaluated based on hourly temperatures and ice retention.

This article is especially for those looking for a cooler for camping, festivals, picnics, etc., but aren't sure which one is best. We think this will help you choose the one that's right for you!

AO Coolers 12L Canvas Soft Cooler

The first cooler on the list is the AO Coolers 12L Canvas Soft Cooler. As its name suggests it's a soft cooler. At first glance, the bag is so well designed that it doesn't look like a cooler. The outdoor pattern is quite stylish.

The bag, which looks like a bucket, can be made into a square shape by buckling the clips on the sides. In this shape, it is almost as large as the DAIWA Cool Line 800 8L Cooler introduced next.
The capacity is 11.35 L, and it can hold 12 350 ml cans plus 2.2 kg of ice. The video shows how different sized bottles fit in the cooler.
[Video] 0:26 - Features of the AO Cooler

DAIWA Cool Line 800 8L Cooler

The DAIWA Cool Line 800 8L Cooler comes from a fishing equipment manufacturer. Check it out if you're looking for a compact cooler for solo camping, fishing, or other outdoor leisure activities.

It comes with a carrying strap and can be carried over the shoulder. The compartment is large enough to just barely hold a 1.5-liter bottle. It's a great cooler if you're only planning on bringing a few items.
[Video] 6:10 - Daiwa Cooler Features

LOGOS Hyper Subzero Cooler M 12L

The LOGOS Hyper Subzero Cooler M 12L is another soft cooler. This cooler has a cool silver design and can hold a 2L plastic bottle horizontally. The long sides are made of a hard material, so it can't be broken down into a smaller size, but it is designed to be thinner. It can be used for a variety of activities, including camping and festivals, making it quite attractive. Because of its stylish appearance, this product is also recommended for those who are particular about the appearance of their camping equipment.
[Video] 8:04 - Features of the LOGOS Cooler

Coleman Extreme Ice Cooler 25L

The Coleman Extreme Ice Cooler 25L is the largest cooler shown in the video, but it's a soft cooler and can be folded. It's a bit large for a solo camping cooler. Tana, the solo camper in the video, utilizes it to hold other items as well. The metal fittings on the side are plastic, so you need to be a little careful when carrying heavy items inside it.
[Video] 9:06 - Features of the Coleman Cooler

Comparing Cooling Ability - AO, Daiwa, and Coleman

The cooling ability of coolers is important when camping in the summer. But do size and shape determine a cooler's cooling ability?
Check out the video for a comparison of the cooling ability of different coolers from AO, Daiwa, and Coleman.
The indoor temperature is 26.6 degrees Celsius, and one bag of ice is put in each cooler to test the temperature and ice retention over time.

・After approx. 1 hour
Coleman: 14.5°C, 20% of ice melted
AO: 9.4°C, 10% of ice melted
Daiwa: 13.6°C, 15% of ice melted

At this point, we can say that the ice retention is AO > Daiwa > Coleman.

・After approx. 4 hrs.
Coleman: 13.5°C, 40% of ice melted
AO: 14.9°C, 20% of ice melted
Daiwa: 15.7°C, 30% of ice melted

At this point, the ice retention is still the same - AO > Daiwa > Coleman.

・After approx. 6 hours
Coleman: 13.5°C, 80% of ice melted
AO: 14.1°C, 70% of ice melted
Daiwa: 15.4°C, 70% of ice melted

At this point, AO and Daiwa are about equal.

・After approx. 8 hours
Coleman: 19.3°C, 90% of ice melted
AO: 14.2°C, 80% of ice melted
Daiwa: 13.9°C, 80% of ice melted

After more than 8 hours, the Daiwa cooler maintained the coolest temperatures.

[Video] 10:16 - Comparing three different coolers
[Video] 17:11 - Results after 4 hours
[Video] 22:09 - Results after 8 hours

The Coleman is the largest of these coolers, so it's not possible to make a blanket judgment, but as an example, this test may be useful for those considering replacing or buying a new cooler in the future.

Tips for Keeping Your Cooler Cool

Image of a cooler
Photo:A cooler

Here are some tips for keeping your cooler cool that aren't related to the characteristics of the cooler.
・Make sure that the items to be placed in the cooler are cooled in advance. If possible, cool the inside of the cooler box as well.
・Place refrigerants on the top and bottom of the cooler.
・Use a combination of large and small ice cubes.
・Don't drain the water after the ice has melted.
・Minimize opening and closing of the cooler.
・Avoid hot ground and place in a cool place out of direct sunlight, such as in the shade.

Find the Cooler That Works Best for You and Enjoy Your Time Camping!

Coolers are useful outdoor equipment for storing food for camping and BBQs and drinks for picnics. In summer, use coolers to prevent heat stroke and food poisoning, but be careful when handling drinks and food.

There are many beautiful campgrounds in Japan. To enjoy the summer outdoors to the fullest, choose a cooler that suits your individual style and that will keep your food and other items cold.

Written By
Last Updated : Jun. 2, 2022
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels

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Choose the Right Cooler When Camping in Japan! Comparing Usages, Size, and Cooling Ability! AO, Daiwa, and Coleman
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