An ice-cold cooler is the icing on the cake for your outdoor adventures. Whether you are camping, taking part in a backyard get-together, or just participating in tailgating excursions, a dependable cooler has you covered.
These cooling appliances will enable you to have fun in the most unique way you’ve never thought of before.
They will let you enjoy frosty beverages away from your home without compromising your time or fun moments. This is especially the case when you land the best coolers that can accommodate enough stuff for your entire crew of adventurers and fun lovers.
You can choose between the traditional coolers and heavy-duty coolers designed to deliver superior insulation. Whichever choice you take, ensure that you get the best out of these outdoor cooling appliances.
With many brands on the market today, finding the right product can be a real hustle for you if you do not know what you are looking for. Gladly, we have compiled a list of top-ten coolers and their buying guide so you may have an easy time when shopping for these products.
Best Overall: YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler
YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler is a fantastic appliance for those planning to take part in outdoor activities away from their homes. This stylish cooler is designed with you in mind. This is to say that it will keep your stuff chilled for a considerable amount of time.
This cooler is unique such that it is 100 % leak proof. Even if you flip it upside-down it will still hold on to its contents. This is because it uses materials like Hazmat suits or whitewater rafts.
The dry hide on this cooler is another feature of great importance. It resists mildew, ultraviolet rays, and punctures. Its inner liner is designed from FDA approved food grade-materials to keep your stuff and drinks safe.
Another feature of interest is the hitch point grid that is carefully fixed on the cooler. This feature allows you to clip other stuff like bottle opener to the cooler. You can use it to hold a YETI Sidekick Dry bag in place while on the move.
The cooler has also different handle configurations to make it easy to lug around. The additional grips on its side add some aesthetic value to this product. Despite its small size, YETI Hopper Flip Portable is not cheap. But its warranty lasts for three years, which is enough time to make good use of this item.
- Dry hide shell to provide the high-density fabric for the cooler
- Cold cell insulation to offer superior cold-holding for quite some time
- Hydro lock zipper for best performance; waterproof and leakproof
- Hitch point grid for attaching other accessories
- YETI sidekick dry for keeping important items
- Brand: YETI
- Product Weight: 4.5 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 12.6x 10.0×11.5 Inches
- Color: Tan, Charcoal, Coral, Fog Gray, Navy, River Green, Blaze Orange, Tahoe Blue,
- Cooler Size:30 Quart
Best Value: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler is a budget-friendly product for those who simply value adventure. Featuring three earthly colors and four different sizes, this great companion appliance gives you more than one option. This means that you can choose the size and color that suits your needs and desires.
The flip-up lid is included to give you easy access to drinks and food. The FDA-compliant Hardbody liner comes with a removable shelf for the safe-keeping of your foodstuffs. These two features make the Titan Freeze cooler a suitable appliance for food couriers and city dwellers. Also, they make it easy for you to keep the cooler clean when necessary.
When it comes to moving perishables around, the adjustable strap comes in handy to help you accomplish this task effortlessly. As if this is not enough, there is a detachable bottle opener that saves you time whenever you want to enjoy your bottled drinks with friends.
The sipper or mesh pockets located outside the cooler are a great addition to other features that make this appliance attractive and functional. With the limited lifetime warranty, Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler is quite a deal that you shouldn’t ignore.
- High-performance insulation to keep foodstuff cold for long
- Radiant heat barrier to reflect heat instead of absorbing it
- Zipperless lid for quick access to drinks and food
- Ultra-safe leak-proof for easy interior cleaning
- Adjustable back saver shoulder-strap for convenience
- Brand: Arctic Zone
- Product Weight: 2.2 Pounds
- Product Dimension:12.2×8.0x12.2 Inches
- Color: Blue, Moss, and White
- Cooler Size: 12 to 55 Quart
Best Portable: Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler With Cool Riser Technology
Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler boasts great features and excellent performance. In spite of all this, this cooler is affordable. It does not make you break your bank to take it home with you.
This 25-quart portable cooler features heavy-duty blow-molded design complete with a reinforced base to withstand mishandling. This means that if you drop it accidentally it will remain intact and serve you better as if nothing happened.
The cooler has rust-resistant, stainless steel hardware to provide you with extended performance. This feature alone gives you peace of mind as you use the cooler in different climatic conditions. In other words, you won’t have to worry about its safety when using it outdoors.
For cooling performance, Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler takes the first slot. This is attributed to the Cool Riser Technology that comes with this appliance to enhance its working capability. Technology plays a significant role in elevating the molded base to improve cooling ability.
That is the reason this great cooler has ice retention of up to five days. This process is facilitated by the insulated lid in conjunction with extra-thick foam walls that make up a vital Section of the entire cooler.
- Heavy-duty blow-molded design complete with a reinforced base to provide extra strength and protection
- Proven four to five-day ice retention
- Ultraviolet rays inhibitors to shield the cooler against sun damage.
- Rust-resistant stainless steel hinges and hardware for extended performance
- 0% thicker foam with insulated lid for advanced cooling performance
- Brand: Igloo
- Product Weight: 11.28 Pounds
- Product Dimension:19.6×15.7×13.2 Inches
- Color: Carbon, Green/orange
- Cooler Size: 25 Quart
Best Easy storage: Igloo Polar Cooler 120 Quart, White
Polar Cooler from Igloo gives you a reason to smile while getting out to some outdoor activities. This is because the cooler provides you with enough capacity to stock all your foodstuff and drinks for you and your guests.
The cooler has a capacity of 188 cans or 120 quarts, which is enough to accommodate enough drinks and edibles to keep you full all day long. Besides, this cooler can maintain the temperature at 90 ℉ for five days.
Igloo Polar Cooler has reinforced swing-up handles and tie-down loop which combines with the dual snap-fit latches to give you a secure lid closure. With the lid secured in place, you can rest assured that your foodstuff and drinks will remain safe for as long as you want.
The threaded drain plug is another feature of great importance on this cooler. It facilitates hose up as well as easy draining to enhance the cooler’s performance. The snap-close lid coupled with tie-down loops is included for convenience.
In some cases, you may use the cooler as your seat if you are not in the process of taking a few refreshing, cool beverages for yourself. Igloo Polar Cooler is indeed a perfect choice of the best coolers designed for long-haul and adventure that awaits.
- Can accommodate a maximum of 188 cans
- Insulated body and lid for ice retention to up to five days
- Reinforced swing-up handles to withstand the weight
- Threaded drain plug to hook up the hose and for easy draining
- Convenient tie-down loops and snap-close lid to keep the cooler safe while in the car
- Brand: Igloo
- Product Weight: 19.9 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 38.19×17. 32×17.72 Inches
- Color: White
- Cooler Size: 120 Quart
Best Easy Movement: Coleman Rolling Cooler-62 Quart Xtreme Five-Day Cooler with Wheels
Coleman Rolling Cooler is a must-have appliance if you love adventure, outdoor activities, or road trips. This cooler provides you with 62 quart which is spacious enough to keep lots of drinks and foodstuff for your enjoyment all day long.
Also, it can keep your food and drinks filled for quite some time and make your fun last longer without running out of basic needs.
This wheeled cooler uses extra insulation in its walls and insulated lid to preserve your foodstuff cold for five days. This is the ice retention time that this product takes to ensure that your items don’t go bad or get warm.
Since it has a large capacity, this cooler can hold up to 95 cans. At least you will have enough space for refreshments to serve a group of friends or guests while enjoying outdoor activities away from your home.
The heavy-duty wheels on this cooler and large tow handle allow you to move in any terrain without straining much. The other 2-way handles enable you to take the cooler in or out of your car with ease. And if you don’t have a place to sit you can use the Have-A-Seat lid as you enjoy your cold beverage.
The cup holders fixed on the lid will ensure that your drink stays safe and accessible at any given time of the day. Once you are done with your adventure, you can turn to the leak-resistant drain to empty excess water.
- Holds up to 95 cans
- Five days of ice retention
- Extra insulation in the walls and insulated lid ice retention
- Leak-resistant drain to remove water/moisture without turning the appliance upside down
- Low carbon dioxide insulation to lower carbon emissions (from foam manufacturing).
- Brand: Coleman
- Product Weight:13.9Pounds
- Product Dimension:29.4×15.5×19.9 Inches
- Color: Blue
- Cooler Size:62 Quarts
Best Easy to Use: Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler
Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler has enough capacity to keep up 3 bottles of wine or 15 cans of beer. On top of that, this stylish cooler can keep your beverages and foodstuff cold for three days. It is a great choice of coolers if you are going on a fishing trip, taking a trip to the beach, a weekend getaway, or camping.
The cooler is designed and built just like a tank. It has rugged durability to last you a lifetime. Additionally, the cooler is leak proof and waterproof even if you hold it upside down.
It is built with a lot of care and uncompromising quality to give you value for your money. Pelican coolers are known the world over to withstand the most demanding and difficult environments you can think of. You can use them anywhere and at any time as long as they are in good working condition.
Pelican Elite is built with a capacity of 20 quarts. Compared to some other brands, this capacity is way too small but for you, it is more than enough. You can comfortably keep all your stuff there and still enjoy your outdoor activities without running out of anything.
The cooler comes fully equipped with an over-molded carry handle to ensure that you have a great balance of space as well as portability. All you have to do is to arrange your items inside, cover it and you are good to go.
It also features an integrated bottle opener, cup holders, a lockable hasp, molded tie-down slots, and two inches of insulation. All these extra features enable you to enjoy your adventure throughout without missing out on anything.
- 0-quart internal volume to hold 15 cans
- Two inches of polyurethane insulation to deliver extreme ice retention
- Four self-draining cup holder for convenience
- Spacious and portable to provide a great balance of space
- Three-inch locking latches to keep the contents inside the cooler safe
- Brand: Pelican
- Product Weight:13.9 Pounds
- Product Dimension:18.8×12.6×17.7 Inches
- Color: White/Gray
- Cooler Size:20 Quart
Best Classic: Coleman Rolling Cooler-50 Quart Xtreme 5-Day Cooler with Wheels
Coleman Rolling Cooler is one of the few products that use Xtreme Technology to deliver amazing results. The cooler comes with an insulated lid to maintain the conditions inside cold for a certain period. Also, it has extra wall insulation to keep beverages and foodstuff ice-cold for up to five days at 90℉.
This compact cooler is spacious and able to hold more items for your adventure. Its capacity can accommodate up to 84 cans of your favorite beverage. This amount of beverage is just enough to keep you hydrated for more than one day.
With its heavy-duty wheels, this cooler from Coleman makes your work easier and timeless. Meaning that you can lift or roll it over any terrain, path, or road without straining much.
Besides keeping your foodstuff safe and cold, this cooler can also serve as a seat. It has a have-a-seat lid that is sturdy enough to support up to 250 pounds. So you can sit there and still cause no damage as you enjoy your drink.
Cup holders on this product are other features that make it unique. Molded skillfully into the lid, cup holders keep your drinks close to you in addition to preventing spillage. The telescopic handle is another feature that makes this cooler a must-have if you love outdoor activities. The handle helps you to pull it along as well as aiding in compact storage.
- EZ-Clean lid that wipes clean easily to make the cleanup process a breeze
- Sturdy lid that can support up to 250 pounds of weight
- Build-in 2-inch deep cup holders to conveniently hold drinks and avoid spills
- Locking telescoping handles for easy opening of the cooler
- Heavy-duty wheels to move the cooler easily even when it is fully loaded
- Brand: Coleman
- Product Weight: 2 Pounds
- Product Dimension:23.0×18.0x18.0 Inches
- Color: Brown
- Cooler Size:50 Quarts
Best for Customizable: ENGEL Cooler-Dry Box 19 Quart
If you love boating and other outdoor activities, ENGEL Cooler Dry Box is the best choice for you. The cooler is built with a capacity of 19 quarts which is just enough to keep your items cold.
It can keep your drinks and food cold for a considerable amount of time. This ultimate leak-proof cooler can also double as a dry box. It means that you can use it to put out moisture or dust from reaching your valuable possessions such as cameras, electronics, or emergency kits.
Compact and lightweight, EGEL Cooler provides you with four perfect sizes, each weighing at least 3 or 7 lbs. These dry boxes are convenient, especially when you are out boating or fishing.
In addition to that, they are airtight and they come complete with marine-grade stainless steel latches in four convenient sizes. The sizes include 7.5 quart, 13 quart, 19 quart, and 30 quarts.
There are also six different colors that you can choose depending on your taste and preference. Most importantly, everything is included in these dry boxes. They include a hanging accessory tray and shoulder strap to help you go about your activities without missing anything important.
- High-grade molded polystyrene foam to offer much-needed insulation
- Integrated shoulder strap and carry handles for easy lifting and carrying of the cooler
- Self-stopping hinge for convenience
- Four perfect sizes to make the cooler dry boxes compact, lightweight and convenient
- Six color options to choose from
- Brand: ENGEL
- Product Weight: 5.9 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 16.6×11.0x13.0 Inches
- Color: White
- Cooler Size: 19 Quarts
Best Easy to Transport: Coleman 42-Can Soft Cooler-With Remove Liner and Wheels
Coleman 42 Can Soft Cooler features heat-welded seams to make it leak proof. So there is no need for you to worry about melting ice seeping out and messing up everything. Your items will certainly stay safe in the main compartment as you move from one place to another.
Apart from the main compartment, there are also additional multiple pockets designed to keep dry goods. The pockets are located outside the main compartment, saving room inside to stash more items that need controlled temperatures. This gives you an option to keep your electronics, camera, or other simple items in the outside pockets.
The cooler also features a germ-resistant liner made of flexible plastic materials. This liner is treated with antimicrobials to discourage the formation of mildew, mold, and bad smell. Additionally, the cooler boasts ultra-portable design for easy movement.
- Heat-welded seams to make the cooler leakproof
- Multiple pockets to stash dry goods or personal items
- Germ-resistant liner to discourage the formation of mildew, mold or odors
- Ultra-portable design for convenience when moving from one location to another.
- Brand: Coleman
- Product Weight:2.2 Pounds
- Product Dimension:19.0×13.5×11.0 Inches
- Color: Gray
- Cooler Size: 42 cans
Best Insulation: AO Cooler Original Soft Cooler-With High-Density Insulation
AO Cooler Original Soft Cooler is a perfect choice for you if you love fishing, boating, hunting, picnics, parties, and sporting events among others. This cooler keeps items warm or cold for 24 hours. Although it is simple in design, this cooler will serve you just right.
The cooler comes with high-density insulation to help you keep your stuff colder or warmer the whole day. Besides, it has a side pocket and a removable shoulder strap for convenience.
For durability, this cooler has what it takes to serve you longer. It is made of canvas materials that give unmatched durability.
There is also a high-quality leak-proof TPU liner that prevents spilling. Certainly, AO Cooler Original Soft Cooler is a must-have item if you want to enjoy your outdoor activities simplistically.
- High-density insulation to keep content inside the cooler cold
- 4-hour ice retention at 120 ℉ conditions
- Has the capacity to carry 24 cans of beverage
- Made of canvas materials for durability
- Leakproof TPU liner to prevent spelling
- Brand: AO Coolers
- Product Weight:2.6 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 17.0×10.0x12.0 Inches
- Cooler Size: 24 cans
Best Coolers Buying Guide
Do you want some help with the best cooler for your needs? If yes, here are factors to consider when looking for the best cooler that can serve you better:
The first thing to consider is the purpose with which the cooler is going to perform. There are many coolers on the market today but each type has a different purpose. Some are designed for hunting while others are made for family picnics and so on. There are also motorized cooler scooters for those who want to spend extra coins on these appliances.
Coolers come in different designs, sizes, prices, and functions. This diversity makes it possible for everyone to find a cooler that suits their needs. So before settling on a particular brand of coolers, you should ask yourself what you will be using this appliance for.
Whether you will be using it for day trips or whole week-long ice retention, make sure to choose the brand that serves the purpose at hand.
In this case, you may go for something smaller and simpler or take a huge ice chest designed with the thickest insulation for heavy-duty cooling. A rotomolded design will most likely work best for you if you are looking for coolers with a longer ice retention time.
When shopping for your best cooler, ice retention should come into your mind. In fact, this should come as the key parameter for all coolers.
Ice retention is always expressed in days. It is usually used to determine the functionality of the cooler. In simple terms, it is a parameter that checks if the cooler is capable of keeping the ice-cold for a certain duration.
In this regard, a bigger ice retention number means that the cooler can keep ice for a long time. Many factors affect the ice retention time of a given cooler.
These factors include the insulation materials, wall thickness, the process by which a cooler was made (rotomolded coolers have longer ice retention), the size of the cooler, gasket quality, how frequently the cooler is opened, and many more. All these factors will guide you in determining ice retention of the cooler you want to buy.
A lot of things determine the design of a cooler. But the most common ones include the way the cooler was constructed, the technology used, materials used in its design, durability, and quality of the final product among others.
All these factors play a critical role when it comes to the design and model of coolers. Since there are so many designs on the market, you can go for the option that you think will serve you better.
You cannot overlook the features of the cooler you want to buy. These are guidelines that show you how a cooler works, its design, and its value. Each feature plays one or more roles to make the product perform its functions.
Coolers have revolutionized from simple ice boxes to sophisticated, fully-fledged technologically advanced appliances. These modern coolers come with accessories that give them an edge over the traditional ones.
Even though many features come with the modern coolers, some are a must-have on your cooler of choice. Features like handles, latches, straps, and drain plugs are necessary for this product to serve its purpose.
Additional features such as bottle openers, fish rulers, dividers, baskets, and extra pockets act as an added advantage to some coolers. They are not a must-have although they are somehow useful.
Popularity in coolers has seen rapid growth in the production of these appliances. That explains why there are dozens of brands on the market today.
Also, new manufacturers are coming to the scene with their breathtaking innovations that seem to make the latest coolers high-tech. Such new companies have come to rival traditional industry leaders such as YETI by manufacturing top-notch coolers.
The brand of coolers you purchase may depend on your preferences. Also, it may depend on whether that product matters to you or not. In most cases, the brand doesn’t play a huge role in choosing the cooler you want to buy. What matters the most is the functionality of the product of your choice.
The price will dictate the type and size of the cooler to buy. If you need a heavy-duty appliance then you will have to go deeper into your pockets to afford it. If not, then you must look for mid-range rotomolded coolers from brands such as Pure Outdoors, Palm, Vibe, or even Seavilis.
The size matters the most when shopping for a cooler. The size will determine the number of items or stuff you can keep in that particular cooler.
Sizes for different coolers are measured in quarts. One quart is equal to almost 946 milliliters (ml). This is slightly less than a liter although you can say that one quart is approximately one liter in terms of capacity.
Most cooler sizes start from lower quarts going up to 500 quarts for larger appliances. However, the size of the cooler you choose depends on what you are going to keep in your cooler, the reason you are buying the cooler and the time you will spend away from home while on your travels.
Mobility & Ease of Use
Mobility and ease of use are other factors to keep in mind when buying a cooler. A large cooler may have the advantage of space but mobility could be its major hindrance.
In this case, a smaller appliance will do better than a large one when it comes to moving around. If you are going for a larger cooler, consider acquiring a wheeled one to make your move effortless.
Other Considerations may include the following:
- Handles and carrying methods
- Availability of wheels
- The durability of the cooler
- Weight-bearing capacity
The duration and type of warranty given
Despite all these factors, one thing remains certain as far as the buying habits of consumers is concerned. Their faith and trust in the same type of product increase as they keep using them on their usual activities. As a result, they end up buying the same brands or products knowing that they will serve them accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the best cooler?A: This is a common question from different users in different regions. Understandably, everyone is out there to look for only the products that are best for their needs.
Many factors come into play when deciding which cooler is good for you. The size, purpose, ice retention time, and many others will help you determine how best a certain brand of coolers is.
Even though the brand may play a crucial role, just know that this is not always the case. Any cooler can become the best depending on how it works to fulfill your desires.
Q: Which type of cooler keeps the ice-cold for the longest time?A: This also depends on several factors that include the brand of the color or the design. Overall, hard-sided types of coolers are known to retain ice longer than soft-sided coolers.
Likewise, rotomolded coolers have a long ice retention period due to their superior insulation.
But it remains hard to objectively determine the type of cooler that can retain the ice status the longest because of certain underlying factors. These are frequency of use, ambient temperature, the quantity of ice used, and many more.
Q: What size of the cooler do I need?A: It all depends on your needs and budget. But it is advisable to go for something larger just in case your needs become more.
Q: How much can I fit in a 20-quart cooler?A: Since one quart is approximately 0.946 liters, you can fit at least 24 cans of beer or equivalent of that in a 20-quart cooler. Keep in mind that the same space will also accommodate some ice to keep the content in the cooler cold. So you will definitely fit less than 24 cans in a cooler with a capacity of 20 quarts.
Q: Which is the best alternative to the YETI brand of coolers?A: It is not easy to point out an alternative brand of coolers to YETI. This is because YETI has always been used as a yardstick to determine the quality of other brands in terms of features and important parameters.
Q: Which cooler should I buy this summer?A: It depends on your needs, budget, and preference for the cooler that works best for you in the summertime. Any brand can do better as long as it serves the purpose of keeping your items cold for some time.
Q: Does the durability of the cooler matter when it comes to performance?A: Yes! Durability is one of the factors that determine the performance of your cooler. A good cooler should serve you for a very long time to give you value for your money.
Q: Where should I store my cooler when not using it?A: You can store your cooler in the trunk of your car or in the garage. If it is soft, you can collapse it for easy storage.
Q: What are the major types of coolers on the market today?A: There are rotomolded coolers, backpack coolers, and soft coolers. The choice of each type depends on what you are looking for in a cooler.
Q: What is the difference between hard-sided and soft-sided coolers?A: Hard-sided coolers are great for outdoor adventures that take more than a day. They are also ideal for keeping more items. They are made of long-lasting double-walled plastic or foam insulation.
Soft-sided coolers, on the other hand, can keep items cold for just a day. This makes them suitable for work, picnics, and day-hikes. They are designed from easy to clean shells which are lined with insulating nylon.
Best coolers can keep your beverages and foodstuff cold for some time. That’s why they are a perfect choice for those who love outdoor activities. Depending on your needs, budget, and preference, you can go for soft-sided or hard-sided coolers from those highlighted in this review.