Kelty Folding Cooler

Kelty Folding Coolers

Hybrid technology usually applies to cars, but the Kelty Folding Cooler is a hybrid for outdoors enthusiasts. In addition to keeping food and beverages cold, it neatly solves one of the problems many of us face today – where do you store a bulky cooler that only sees occasional use?

The answer to that question is simple, and something Kelty got absolutely right, because the Kelty Folding Cooler does exactly what its name suggests. It keeps things cold when pressed into service, yet folds down to take up very little space in a closet or garage, and can even fit under a bed. Have you ever tried to fit a 55 liter cooler under your bed? Not an easy task. But the largest of the three coolers that Kelty offers is a mere 6 inches tall (and 23 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep) when folded, making it easy to stow when not in use. Undo the toggles, unzip the lid, and pull the walls and liner into place. Bam! You’ve got a 13″ x 23″ x 14.5″ cooler, which is big enough for 60 12 ounce cans, plus ice. If you’re using the Kelty Folding Cooler as a chair-side table, the four drink holders molded into the top of the lid are handy too.

Unlike a typical hard-sided cooler, the Kelty Folding Cooler is constructed from a mixture of 330D Polyester Ripstop, 600D Polyester, and has a PEVA lining. That helps to keep the weight down, with our large model weighing only 5.5 pounds when empty. Although we didn’t load it to capacity, the carry handles were comfortable enough, and have plenty of stitching to ensure they hold up to heavy loads. On the underside, reinforced feet not only protect the bottom of the cooler, but allow for a bit of airflow. This reduces the transfer of heat from the ground to your cooler, improving efficiency.

Find Kelty Folding Coolers on Amazon


Testing coolers does not require a degree in rocket science, so we’re well-qualified. Open it up, throw in some food and beverages, pack a bit of ice around it, and head out for a relaxing spot outdoors. Yes, we could have gotten a bit more technical, and maybe checked to see how well it keeps a block of ice over several days, but that’s not really what it’s designed for. The Kelty Folding Cooler is intended for family outings and weekend getaways, not extended excursions. To that end, it did a great job. Food stayed cold, drinks were icy and refreshing. It’s not so large that one person can’t handle it, but when fully loaded, it’s a two person job, especially if you need to carry it any sort of distance. The handle material is doubled over and stitched, but still wide enough to be fairly comfortable. We found that we had to give up a bit of convenience for only thing – unzipping the lid isn’t as quick as popping a couple of latches, but Kelty made up for that by including large zipper pulls, one of which was a bottle opener on our evaluation cooler.

Here’s Kelty’s own video showing it in action:


If you like the idea of a cooler that doesn’t take up much space when not in use, you can see all three sizes on the Kelty website. You’ll find plenty of other great backpacking and basecamp gear there too.

– Brian

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Kelty Folding Cooler for free from Kelty, in consideration for review publication


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Very cool, and I could really see myself using this! This is going to be added to the Christmas list.

I checked out Kelty’s website and they have WIN A GOAL ZERO X KELTY BASECAMP KIT promotion going on as well. Just enter you email addy.

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