Gear Review: Kelty Folding Cooler

How could you not love a cooler you can actually fold up flat and store easily? As for me, it was love at first sight. I had wanted a cooler for camping, but as I still live with my parents really wanted something I could store in the trunk of my car. Also, that scenario has the added bonus of being able to store perishable items (*cough* beer *cough*) whenever a wanderlust whim might overtake me.

Official Stuff:

  • PVC-free
  • Dual carry handles
  • Waterproof cooler lining
  • Reinforced bottom
  • Molded top with 4 cup holders
  • Small cooler comes with shoulder carrying strap
  • Interior foam structure folds flat for easy storage
  • Body Fabric: 330D Polyester Ripstop, 600D Polyester
  • Lining: PEVA
Size Medium:
  • Volume: 1647 in3 / 27L
  • Weight:4 lbs 3.5 oz / 1.9 kg
  • Height: 10.5 in / 26.7 cm
  • Width:19.3 in / 48.9 cm
  • Depth:14 in / 35.6 cm
  • Appox. number of cans with ice: 36 with room for ice

How I Tested It:

Trip: Camping in Cuddebackville, NY
Duration: 2 nights, 3 days
Conditions: Almost hurricane that avoided us, and lots of rain
Temperature: Average of 43 degrees

This cooler sat on a picnic bench partially covered by a canopy, partially being rained on during the two nights we were there.

Overall Thoughts:

I think the Kelty Folding Cooler is a great choice for weekend and car camping. Since I have only been able to test it out once so far, I’m going by that experience. The cooler held up against getting wet, kept everything cold the entire trip–including a 2 hr drive to get there. It was easy to put together and take apart. This cooler did exactly what I was looking for it to do. I look forward to taking it on many more trips.

Details, Details:

They say the devil is in the details. This cooler has handles on the side, a bottle opener attached to one of the zippers, and comes with 2 cozies. Win.

Fabrics and Materials:

Everyone has heard of Ripstop, and almost everything is made with it these days. From this cooler, to my latest hard shell from La Sportiva, to my Jiu Jitsu Gi. Ripstop is tough. Or at least, I am going to go out on a limb and assume all these things wouldn’t be made with it if it wasn’t. Wikipedia defines Ripstop as:

“Ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics, often made of nylon, using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, (thick) reinforcement threads are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern.”

What’s magical about material made this way is that it can be very tough, but yet very thin and lightweight.

However, I’m not a really huge fan of the material on the top and bottom of the cooler. Dirt, ashes from the fire, and more easily gets stuck on it, and it’s hard to remove.  I like taking care of the things I buy, and this material is not easy to clean.

Waterproof Lining:

The lining is of course the most important part of this guy, and as far as the trip I took it on, it handled great. I was worried that since this cooler wasn’t made with any hard material, it wouldn’t be able to stand up to its job. But Kelty came through with this one.


If you are looking for a really great car camping, concert going, or tailgate party cooler that packs a big punch, but doesn’t take up a ton of space this is definitely a great option.