Written by 8:29 pm Camping, Storage

Best Coolers

Photo of a cooler on the sand at the beach

With the camping season approaching and the best time to go fishing, you may be considering purchasing yourself a new cooler. Whether it’s to store your day’s catch or to keep your beverages cool at a campsite, coolers offer an incredible way to provide constant cooling to a host of items. However, finding the right cooler can be a pain, what with so many incredible options available, which is why we have done the hard work for you.

Below you will find our selection of the best cooler you will find anywhere today. Whether you are looking for a soft-sided cooler or a more traditional hard plastic one, we have you covered. We have also included both a breakdown of the types of ice chests you will come across alongside any considerations you will need to keep in mind to help you find the best cooler for you!

Types of Cooler

In the world of coolers, there are a variety of different types you may come across when browsing the many options on the market. Whether you are looking for a portable wheeled option or a camping style backpack cooler, each one has it’s own individual use and benefits. Below you will find a brief breakdown of the different coolers you may come across alongside a rough guide of what they are most commonly used for. Be sure to read our guide to the different types before deciding on a final purchase.

Hard Coolers

These are perhaps the most common and popular type of cooler that most people have seen once or twice. They usually resemble a hard rectangle-shaped box and have enough room for a few drinks or your fish after a fish expedition. Hard coolers also come in much larger variants where they are used as backup freezers in your garage or other storage location in your home. These are potentially the best overall coolers so it is a good idea to add these to your potential list. Those of you who are wanting a more portable variant may want to check out wheeled coolers as they offer all the benefits of a hard product, but with the added portable layer. The price will increase due to the added portability but it can be a worthy investment for buyers seeking a portable cooling option.

Soft Coolers

Soft-sided coolers are perhaps most noticeable as lunch boxes or other similar food containers. They are made from much softer materials than hard cooler models and will be most commonly used to either transport soft food or to keep your sandwiches cool for work. If you are looking for constant static storage then these may not be the best shout as they are usually designed for short time storage. If, however, you are wanting a smaller more portable offering, then soft-sided coolers are an ideal choice.

Cooler Backpacks

A slightly newer and more modern variant of more traditional soft-sided ice chests, the cooler backpack is an incredible option especially for those looking for the most ideal camping coolers. Cooler backpacks are used to keep things cool while on the go, which makes them especially useful for hikers and campers alike. They are basically larger variants of soft coolers that you can carry on your back. Those of you looking for portable options that offer a shoulder strap for you to carry them with may want to consider a backpack variant.

Disposable Coolers

Far less durable than other traditional soft coolers, disposable coolers are typically one-time use coolers that are best used when in a hurry for a cooling option. These are most commonly used for carrying groceries from the shop back to your home due to their food-grade liner. If you are looking for a unique version of a cooler tote bag and you aren’t planning on using it too frequently, then a disposable cooler may be what you need.

Wheeled Coolers

Wheeled coolers are typically just a version of hard-sided coolers that feature a wheeling system so you can move them around far easier than the static variant. They typically feature the heavy-duty design that hard coolers are known for whilst offering a more portable cooler design. Wheeled options are especially useful when it comes to backyard barbecues and similar events as they can be easily moved around the house offering your guests a portable drink cooling option. Potential buyers who are looking for decent storage capacity that doesn’t compromise on portability may be interested in purchasing a wheeled cooler.

Top 15 Best Coolers

1. Coleman Xtreme Rolling Cooler

Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 18 inches | Weight: 2 lbs | Capacity: up to 84 cans

First, on our list of the top coolers you can buy today, we have the exceptional Coleman Xtreme Rolling Cooler. An extremely well insulated wheeled cooler that has a whopping 50-quart storage capacity, which is more than enough for any food and beverages you may wish to store. The heavy-duty wheels can easily pass over most terrains, making this an ideal ice chest for any road trip you may wish to bring it on.

The outside material is extremely sturdy with the lid itself boasting a 250lb threshold. When fully loaded the cooler is just as easy to wheel along with you due to its telescoping handle offering an easy way to pull it wherever you go. If you are after a sturdy but portable rolling cooler then the Coleman Xtreme is easily a contender for the best cooler pack you will find.

Pro's:
  • Extremely sturdy design with a 250lb lid threshold
  • Internal cup holders prevent your beverages from spilling
Cons:
  • The larger size means it may not fit in every car trunk

2. Igloo Island Breeze

Dimensions: 21.5 x 12 x 11.5 inches | Weight: | Capacity: 

With a stain and odor resistant internal liner and an impressive 48-quart capacity, the Igloo Island Breeze is a top tier cooler perfect for any camping trip. Swing-up side handles on either side of this cooler offer an easy way to carry it around your camping site without the usual fuss associated with harder cooling options. This cooler also features an easy stacking lid that allows buyers to stack multiple chests together saving you space within your garage or shed.

The red design stands out as well as offers added functionality. Due to the bright colors used, heat will be reflected away from the cooler which will keep ice frozen and your drinks chilled. Buyers who can appreciate a low price cooler with enough storage capacity for a variety of items will struggle not to love this product.

Pro's:
  • The internal liner is both odor and stain resistant
  • Easy stack lids stop multiple chests from taking up too much storage space
Cons:
  • Lack of wheels makes it less portable than some others on this list

3. Igloo Latitude Roller Cooler

Dimensions: 21.72 x 19.75 x 18.27 inches  | Weight: 1 Kilogram | Capacity: 

 Featuring an innovative riser design that keeps the cooler off the ground improving its cooling capacity, the Igloo Latitude Roller Cooler is one of the best-wheeled coolers you can find. Four self-draining cup holders adorn the lid of this cooler offering you a portable option to store your drinks, with no worries of them spilling. This is also reinforced by a triple-snap drainage plug that can be used to drain the many pounds of ice that has melted during use.

With a 60-quart storage capacity, this is one of the largest ice chests on this list, you will struggle to find a portable option that can fit as many items within it as this roller cooler. But even when fully loaded, this cooler is a joy to wheel thanks to high-end wheels offering a mobile design. Few wheeled coolers offer as much bang for your buck as the Igloo Latitude does!

Pro's:
  • Innovative draining cup holders and drainage plug
  • High rise design keeps your pounds of ice frozen
Cons:
  • Popular choice so it sells out pretty fast

4. Orca Hard Sided Cooler

Dimensions: 28 x 21 x 20 inches | Weight: 34 lbs | Capacity: 

Much like the name might suggest, the Orca Hard-Sided Cooler provides impressive storage capacity secured inside a durable design. This incredible aluminum cooler can easily store any items you may need to keep cool such as a hydro flask or ice pack, your goods will remain ice cold.

The white painted design may not look as eye-catching as some others, but it does have a practical use. White designs reflect the sun and other heat-inducing lights to offer a premium cool design that is perfect for ice chests. With the summer season coming up soon, the Orca Hard Cooler is an excellent option for any backyard barbecues or other social events.

Pro's:
  • Practical white-based design
  • Secure rubber latches prevent unwanted access
Cons:
  • Hard to find available as it is a popular option

5. Igloo Maxcold Cooler

Dimensions: 25.5 x 15.25 x 17.38 inches | Weight: 11.13 lbs| Capacity: 47 Liters

An extremely well-insulated lid as well as a handy threaded drain plug, are just a couple of the ways the Igloo Maxcold Cooler ensures impressive cooling capabilities. Superb cold retention keeps your food and beverages cool for extended periods of time so you can focus on your camping trip instead.

A reinforced swing-out handle offers you the means to carry this cooler around with you with ease, which is an excellent addition to a cooler with such a low price tag. If you are wanting a new way to store your water bottles while fishing or just want an additional freezer for the house, then the Igloo Maxcold Cooler is an ideal option for you.

Pro's:
  • Extremely impressive cold retention design
  • Sturdy snap-latch keeps the cooler secure when not in use
Cons:
  • Lack of different color options may dissuade some buyers

6. Pelican Elite Cooler

Dimensions: 30 x 20.3 x 20.4 inches  | Weight: 26.39 lbs| Capacity: 38 cans

With 2 inches of polyurethane insulation, all but the hottest of temperatures will pierce the Pelican Elite Cooler’s exterior. An over-molded carry handle alongside 3-inch latches makes this one of the most secure coolers on this list. If you are tired of your children sneaking into the cooler to get that last Pepsi then this is the perfect ice cooler for you.

Non-slip rubber feet stop this cooler from shifting around in the back of your trunk when on your road trip offering portability not often found on non-wheeled coolers. That’s not all however as the Pelican Elite comes with a lifetime guarantee provided by the manufacturer, stating “You break it, we replace it forever”. Security and durability are what comes to mind when thinking of this cooler, if those are things you can appreciate then this is without a doubt a suitable choice.

Pro's:
  • A wide variety of different colors to choose from
  • Lifetime repair guarantee provided by Pelican
Cons:
  • Lack of top handle means this can sometimes be tricky to carry

7. RovR Rollr Cooler

Dimensions: 27 x 22 x 21 inches | Weight: 54.4 Pounds | Capacity: 60 cans and 20lbs.

This wheeled RovR Rollr cooler features a fantastic 10 days of ice life, keeping your drinks chilled and your goods cool. Few coolers featured today offer as much cooling prowess as the mobile option does and at an extremely affordable price. High-density foam insulation is partnered up with an airtight gasket to offer unsurpassed security and insulation, which is why ice can last so long within this cooler.

Two high-grade wheels adorn the bottom of this movable ice chest and thanks to their use of all-terrain tired, this cooler can be taking with you across a range of different outside environments. This product also features 2 separate compartments giving you options and a way to separate any stored goods. The RovR Rollr Cooler could very well be considered the best overall wheeled cooler available today!

Pro's:
  • Foam insulation prevents cold temperatures from escaping
  • All-terrain rubber tires offer an extremely mobile ice chest
Cons:
  • The larger size may be difficult to store

8. Rubbermaid Cooler

Dimensions:  14.3 x 23.8 x 15.9 inches | Weight: 10 lbs| Capacity: 

If more traditional coolers are your style without all the additional features found in a lot of products today, then the Rubbermaid Cooler may be what you are looking for. A classic hinged lid sits alongside soft ergonomic handles giving you what you need to move your cooler around the campsite with you. This is perfect for those of you who are camping with friends.

Inside the red colored chest, you will find a mix of stain and odor-resistant liners that will stop your food from leaving a mark. The plastic used is also BPA free meaning the plastic is safe for both kids and adults alike, so you can leave this with your young toddler without worrying about them chewing toxic plastic. Traditional coolers are still one of the best options you can go for and the Rubbermaid is one of the best coolers you can find.

Pro's:
  • High storage capacity for all your water bottles and food
  • The simplistic traditional design is aesthetically pleasing
Cons:
  • Lacks wheels which makes it slightly less portable

9. Yeti Tundra Cooler

Dimensions: 25.75 x 16.13 x 15.38 inches | Weight: 0.06 Pounds | Capacity: 26 cans

 Versatility and portability are exactly what the Yeti Tundra Cooler specializes in, what it lacks in size it makes up for in durability. With a max capacity of up to 34 pounds of ice or 28 cans of beer, the Yeti Tundra cooler is an ideal option if you are a wanting a smaller sized ice chest perfect for barbecues and other social gatherings. Those of you who can appreciate color options will find a lot to like when it comes to the Yeti Tundra. From coral to river green, there is a multitude of aesthetics for you to choose from.

Inside this cooler you will find Yeti’s innovative PermaFrost insulation which has been reinforced with an extremely sturdy FatWall design, even a bear would struggle to get within this high-end chest. The latches securing the lid in place are crafted from the toughest rubber materials, broken latches are a thing of the past. Coolers of such a sturdy design are far and few between. If you are the sort of person who can appreciate durable but functional models, then be sure to keep your eye on the Yeti Tundra!

Pro's:
  • A vast array of color options to choose from
  • Resistant and durable bear-resistant exterior
Cons:
  • The smaller design means it may not be suited for larger functions

10. Bison Cooler

Dimensions:  18 x 10 x 11 inches | Weight: 3.29 lbs| Capacity: 4 liters

So far, all the products featured today have been a variety of wheeled and hard-sided options. If, however, you are looking for a far more portable cooler then this Bison Cooler may just be the best soft cooler to date. Consisting of 1000 denier vinyl, this product offers superb tear-resistance and UV protection not commonly found in soft-sided cooler models.

Beer lovers can rejoice as this cooler has enough for at least 10 of your favorite drinks alongside a free bottle opener provided by Bison. This makes it perfectly suited for fishing trips with your friends or family. Buyers of this product are covered by an impressive 2-year warranty alongside a 30-day trial. If you try the Bison Cooler out and you just aren’t a fan, then return this product with ease for a full refund. Those of you looking for a soft-sided cooler will struggle to find an option as brilliant as this.

Pro's:
  • Comes with its own free bottle opener
  • Highly resistant vinyl material is surprisingly durable
Cons:
  • Not suited for week-long camping trips

11. RTIC Soft Cooler Bag

Dimensions:  | Weight: | Capacity: 

Another incredible soft-sided cooler, a smaller but versatile design, the RTIC Soft Cooler is ideal for shorter camping trips of family days out by the beach. With a maximum capacity of 8 cans, what this cooler lacks in size it makes up for with pure cooling prowess. Unlike a lot of soft-sided options, this cooler won’t leave you with a sodden mess due to constant leaks and melting ice.

Secure zippers found on the top of the cooler lock the bag up tight, so much so that even water and leaks will fail to pass through it. That’s not all as the heavy-duty vinyl shell will prevent heat from entering the bag and cool temperatures from leaving keeping your goods cold for extremely long periods of time. If you are after a smaller soft-sided option then the RTIC Cooler Bag is an extremely worthy investment.

Pro's:
  • Anti-leak zippers stop this soft cooler causing a mess
  • The antimicrobial liner prevents mold and mildew from building up
Cons:
  • Lack of aesthetic options to choose from

12. HydroFlask Cooler Tote Bag

Dimensions: 21.02 x 15.16 x 4.92 inches | Weight: 1.12 lbs| Capacity: 20 liter

 Tote bags are extremely common in today’s society, so why not add a whole new layer to yours by upgrading to this HydroFlask Cooler Tote Bag. Carrying your groceries from your store to back home can be stress-inducing, especially when it comes to frozen goods. If you tend to walk as opposed to using your car, this bag is a perfect idea for you. Offering up to 4 hours of cold storage, any frozen food will remain frozen no matter how far you plan on walking.

Buyers who can appreciate different aesthetic options will find a lot to like here as there is a choice of 4 different colors for you to choose from. The bag itself can be easily stored thanks to a foldable design so you no longer have to worry about finding enough space to store your cooler. Those of you who are looking for an affordable way to keep your chilled goods cool from the store and you don’t want to keep using a disposable cooler then you will appreciate this incredible product.

Pro's:
  • Easily stored thanks to a foldable design
  • The lightweight model makes it suited for grocery shopping
Cons:
  • Tote bag design may not be suited for extreme camping trips

13. Yeti Portable Tundra

Dimensions: 28.25 x 18.63 x 19.5 inches | Weight: 32 lbs | Capacity: 52 liter

Yeti are one of the biggest names in the world of cooler storage, you just have to check out the other Yeti item on this list to see why. If you are wanting a portable variant of the tundra already featured on this list, then this Yeti Portable Cooler is ideal for you. Although slightly pricier than others featured today, this cooler is more than worth thanks to its incredibly high quality.

Featuring the durability the tundra is known for but now with an added portable method, there are few things to not love about this incredible ice cooler. The featured tired are both suited for all-terrain types as well puncture-resistant, so you can drag this along with you with minimal fuss. Much like the previous yeti offering, there are a host of design options to choose from as well as adding a layer of customization that is not commonly seen in the world of ice chests. The Tundra was already a strong contender for the best cooler available, but with the added wheeled functionality it can easily be considered the best cooler in this article.

Pro's:
  • Tundra cooler but with a wheeled addition
  • The extremely sturdy design suited for all environments
Cons:
  • Slightly pricier than other options featured today

14. IceMule Sand Boss Portable

Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 16 inches | Weight: 1.7 lbs | Capacity: 10 liters

Although the only backpack cooler featured today, the IceMule Sand Boss Portable is easily one of, if not the best backpack cooler you will find for purchase anywhere. This lightweight backpack can be easily carried around with you, whether it’s hiking up mountains in the wilderness or trekking across the prairie, this backpack has you covered. An incredibly spacious design, this soft cooler features impressive foam insulation that will keep any goods stored within as cold as ice.

Each shoulder strap has been handcrafted to ensure the highest quality so you can be sure that this will survive any environment. Its large capacity has enough room for a whopping 60 pounds of ice, trying to find room for your goods has never been easier. Without a doubt, the IceMule Sand Boss is the best backpack cooler on the market today.

Pro's:
  • Highly spacious, can store up to 60 pounds of ice
  • Remarkable insulation provides 24 hours of ice cooling
Cons:
  • Popular backpack option sells out pretty quickly

15. Igloo Marine Ultra

Item Dimensions: 35.01 x 16.75 x 17.63 inches | Item Weight: 8 lbs

 Last but by no means least, the Igloo Marine Ultra provides the largest storage capacity of any cooler featured in our top 15 list. This 94-quart cooler is incredibly large, making it ideal for larger family events such as parties or weddings. A hybrid latch system will keep your ice goods secure and can protect anything stored within for long periods of time.

Ultratherm insulation has been used throughout to prevent heat from getting inside and melting your stored ice. It is also suited to outside use thanks to its superb UV inhibitors used externally to lower the risk of the sun wearing the box away. Those of you who are looking for a perfect fishing option will find a superbly suited option for you. A threaded channel drain plug can be found at the bottom of the chest with space for a fish ruler to be hooked up allowing you to measure your catch. Whether you are wanting to crack open a cold drink with a bottle opener or store your catch away, the Igloo Marine Ultra is one of the best all-round ice coolers you can get.

Pro's:
  • Extremely large capacity suited for all sorts of buyers
  • Can easily compete with the best coolers on the market
Cons:
  • The larger size means it may require two people to carry it

Considerations When Choosing Coolers

When trying to find the right storage cooler to keep your drinks and any essentials cool, there are a variety of different considerations you want to factor into your purchase. Whether it’s how large the cooler is or what it’s ice retention rating is, each consideration has its own role to play. Below have broken down a few of the most important factors you should take into consideration when choosing a new cooler – as well as roughly how much each aspect will set you back.

Type

There are a variety of different types of cooler that you will find on the market today. Whether it’s a wheeled cooler or a more traditional static style, deciding on what cooler is right for you is an important part of the process. We have already broken down the different types of coolers you may come across so be sure to check that out for some guidance.

The type of cooler will have a slight effect on the price, but this is hard to directly measure as different brands will alter their price quite rapidly. Decide on what type of cooler best suits your needs, then compare prices between the different brands to make sure your purchase is comfortably within your chosen budget.

Size

Perhaps the most popular consideration when it comes to storage coolers, the size of your new product has a massive part to play. Nobody wants a cooler that is simply too small to fit all of your important drinks and essentials within. Whether it’s storing your beers during a fishing trip or your insulin on a weekend camping adventure, ensuring your cooler has enough space is extremely vital.

The size of a cooler is most commonly measured using liters or quarts as a way of deducing its capacity. Some products may mention physical measurements such as the height and width of the cooler box itself, but it’s always best to look out for its liter or quart capacity. Ideally, you want your cooler to be at least 15 liters/ 16 Quarts so you will be able to fit most of your essentials inside it.

Before you being browsing the many coolers available for purchase today, sit down and make a note of anything you may want to store within a new cooler. This will help you get an idea of how large your cooler needs to be and what size you want to be looking for. The cost of your cooler will increase as the size does, due to more parts being used. Size is one of the most important parts though, so it is perhaps worth paying a little extra for a larger cooler.

Ice Retention

Ice retention is a measurement used to deduce how long a cooler can contain ice before it melts. As you will want your goods stored within the cooler to remain cool, longer ice retention will be ideal. This of course depends entirely on how long you will need to use your storage cooler before you will be emptying it or changing the ice within.

If you only need your cooler for a brief 2-day camping trip, then 10-day ice retention isn’t really necessary. The price of your cooler may also increase if it has a higher ice retention rating, so again this is something that you need to fully consider before making a purchase. Deciding on how long you will be using your cooler and whether or not you need a high ice retention rating may save a lot of money and hassle down the line.

FAQs

How to Pack a Cooler?

It may seem as simple as putting in some ice and storing your goods within, but if you want to get the most out of your cooler there are some other steps you can take. Firstly, it is a good idea to ensure your cooler is stored inside the day before you plan on using it to keep it as cool as possible. You also want to clean your cooler throughout to get rid of any lingering odors and to make sure that the ice is keeping everything equally cool.

To get the most out of your cooler during use, you want to use large blocks of ice or freezer packs as opposed to smaller ice cubes, This is due to the fact they will offer more cooling power across a larger area and are easier to store within your cooler. When putting your cooler in the trunk of your car you want to put it on the top to prevent heat build-up caused by other items, you can also put one large block of ice in the bottom as the best coolers will have a slot for one.

What Size of Cooler Should I Buy?

This depends entirely on what you plan on using your cooler. A larger cooler will tend to cost you more than a smaller one, but you may need one to store all the goods within your cooler. Campers will tend to require a medium-sized one as you will usually only be storing your food and drink within it. If you need one for additional storage at home, as a backup freezer, then you may want to invest in a larger one. The size of your cooler should completely depend on what you need one for.

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