Camping is one of the best ways to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature. But to truly enjoy your time outdoors, you need to have the right gear. A cooler is an essential piece of camping equipment, but it can be tough to decide which one is right for you with so many different options on the market. Our article goes over everything you should look for when purchasing the best cooler to make an informed decision. The first thing you need to consider is what size you need. If you plan to use it for long camping trips or days at the beach, you need a larger cooler. However, if you are only going to be using it for short trips or picnics, then a smaller cooler will suffice. We have also written about the best backpack coolers that will make your life easier if you love hiking or spending time outdoors.
If you are planning on using your cooler in a variety of settings, then you might want to invest in a portable cooler. These coolers come with wheels or straps so that you can easily transport them from place to place. Some even have solar panels to keep your food and drinks cold without worrying about ice. We have several best soft cooler options, ideal for specific requirements and budgets. The best part about a portable cooler is taking it wherever you go, whether heading to the beach, the park, or on a long road trip. Here are some shopping ideas to bear in mind when purchasing a cooler.
Our top picks
best overall cooler
RTIC 52 Ultra-Light
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best premium coolers
YETI Tundra 65
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best Small cooler for day trips
YETI Roadie 24
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Quick Shopping Tips:
Cooler Sizes: The size of the cooler is an important consideration. If you plan to use it for long camping trips or days at the beach, you need a larger cooler. However, if you are only going to be using it for short trips or picnics, then a smaller cooler will suffice. They come in various sizes, so choose one that best suits your needs.
Cooling Capabilities: Another factor to consider is how well the cooler keeps things cold. This is particularly important if you live in a hot climate or plan to use the cooler in the summer months. Some coolers have unique solar panels or insulation to keep things cold for extended periods. And if you plan to use the cooler for food, make sure it has an excellent seal to keep things fresh.
Weight: If you plan to carry your cooler around with you, you must consider the weight. Portable coolers come with wheels or straps so that you can easily transport them from place to place. If you are going to be hiking or camping, then a lighter cooler will be easier to carry.
Closure Systems: This is another important consideration, especially if you plan to use the cooler for food. Ensure the cooler has a good seal so that nothing leaks out or gets in. Some coolers have zip-up closures, while others have Velcro or snaps. The type of closure you choose is a matter of personal preference. If you are going to be carrying the cooler around with you, then a zip-up closure will be more secure.
Budget: Finally, you need to consider your budget when purchasing a cooler. Coolers can range in price from under $100 to over $1000. If you are only going to be using the cooler for short trips or picnics, you can get away with a cheaper model. However, if you plan to use it for long camping trips or days at the beach, you will need to invest in a more expensive cooler.
The Best Coolers and Ice Chests : First look
The Best Coolers and Ice Chests: In-depth Review
best overall cooler
RTIC 52 Ultra-Light
Injection Molded Plastic
52 qts. (49.2L)
+Easy to transport
-Longer trips may be tough
-A bit heavy
Meet the RTIC 52 Ultra-Light Cooler is the lightest, most portable hard-sided cooler. Thanks to cutting-edge technology and an innovative injected molded design, this cooler is 30% lighter than premium coolers while still providing the same features and benefits. The RTIC 52 Ultra-Light Cooler includes a removable divider and basket at no extra cost, and with up to 3 inches of closed-cell foam insulation, it’s built for extremes. It is the perfect choice for your next adventure, from portability and durability to long-lasting ice retention. This cooler deserves to be named among the best coolers because it is one of the most popular appliances for informed consumers.
Weighing in at only 31 pounds, with a 52-quart capacity, it can accommodate food and drinks. It is made of Injection Molded Plastic, a type of plastic that is highly durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. The best thing about this particular cooler is its portability. It has a strap on the side which makes it easy to carry, and its small size means that it can be easily transported in a car or on public transport. Before deciding on this product as the best overall cooler for you, we evaluated several goods that meet your requirements. It also has a removable divider and basket, making it even more versatile and convenient.
best premium coolers
YETI Tundra 65
Other sizes28 to 329 qts
+Smooth interior walls
+Sticky rubber feet
+Heavy-duty rubber latches
-Expensive for the capacity
Yeti Tundra 65 is one of the most durable coolers on the market, perfect for your next camping trip or tailgate. With up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design, your ice will stay ice. The T-Rex Lid Latches are constructed of heavy-duty rubber, so you’ll never see another busted latch. The patented keeper technology ensures that your lid stays securely in place. The Tundra 65 dimensions are 30 1/2 in long x 17 1/2 in wide x 16 in high with an empty weight of 29 lbs. All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.
The basket is made of Polyester, and its dimensions are LxWxH 30.63 x 17.25 x 16 inches. It has a 60.9-quart capacity and can hold up to 54 cans of beer. We’ll assist you in selecting the best premium coolers to protect you from unpleasant events that can occur with fragile ones. It is best for fishing, hunting, and camping. It is also great for road trips, sporting events, and backyard barbecues. The capacity is closer to 60 quarts when you put it together, which is plenty for days-long ice needs when you need to keep ice for days.
best Small cooler for day trips
YETI Roadie 24
23.6 qts. (22.3L)
12 lbs. 13 oz
+Good insulation for its size
-Not totally airtight
The YETI Roadie 24 is the perfect cooler for your next road trip or camping trip. It is 10% lighter in weight than the previous model and holds 20% more, so you can pack everything you need for your trip. It also performs 30% better thermally, so you can ensure your food and drinks will stay cold for your trip. The Roadie 24 also has a taller build than its predecessor, so it now accommodates a standard bottle of wine (or 2-liter bottle) upright and is a better fit behind the driver’s or passenger’s seat of a car. The Quicklatch system allows for quick and easy access to your cooler contents, and the rotomolded construction ensures that your cooler will withstand years of use. Its dimensions are LxWxH 20.5 x 14.25 x 15 inches, and it weighs 12 pounds 13 ounces.
We’ll assist you in selecting the best Small Cooler for Day Trips to keep you safe from unpleasant events. The main disadvantage of this product is that there is no drain, so you have to tip the cooler to empty it. Additionally, it is not airtight, so that some ice may melt over time. However, these are minor disadvantages in an otherwise excellent product. We recommend these to anyone looking for a high-quality cooler to keep their food and drinks cold on their next trip. It also has a 5-year limited warranty to be confident in your purchase.
best budget-friendly cooler
Coleman Xtreme 5
70 qts (66.2L)
12 lbs. 4.8 oz
50, 62, 100, 120, 150 qts
+Doubles down as extra seating
Coleman Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels can hold up to 84 cans. That’s enough to keep your favorite drinks cold for the whole party. The insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice for up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F. The have-a-seat cover supports up to 250 pounds, so you can use it as extra seating when the party gets going. And the cupholders molded into the lid keep drinks close and prevent spilling. The telescoping handle and heavy-duty wheels make it easy to roll the cooler back into the car when the fun is done. It has dimensions of LxWxH 22.6 x 17.6 x 17.7 inches and weighs only 12 pounds 4.8 ounces, making it one of the best coolers for the money.
It’s not as heavy-duty as some of the other coolers on this list, but it’s still an excellent choice for your next picnic or camping trip. The cooler is made of plastic and has a capacity of 70 quarts (66.2L). However, there are almost no cons to this product. The main disadvantage is that the handles are uncomfortable, and it is not airtight. We would recommend this product to anyone looking for the best budget-friendly cooler that is still high quality and spacious. Coleman has been in business for over 100 years, so you can trust their products.
best of the rest cooler
Xspec Pro 60 Quart
60 qts. (56.8L)
18 x 22 x 21 inches
-No internal basket
-Not IGBC rated
The t Xspec Pro 60 Quar is an excellent cooler for your next camping trip or road trip. It has good insulation to keep your food and drinks cold, and the rotomolded construction makes it durable. The integrated bottle openers and compass are nice touches, as is the air release valve. It’s a slimline design, and it comes in two colors, red and blue. It measures 18 x 22 x 21 inches, and it weighs 31 pounds. It has many great features, but the lack of an internal basket is disappointing. It is not IGBC rated, so it is not officially certified as bear-resistant. However, these are minor disadvantages in an otherwise excellent product. We recommend this to anyone looking for a high-quality cooler with great features.
When you take a closer look, it will seem to be the best of the rest cooler than its rivals owing to its unique characteristics and noise insulation. Many of the coolers on the market are rotomolded, and for a good reason. They’re highly durable and essential if you’re using your cooler regularly. In addition to the drop in price, there are a few other reasons to consider a rotomolded cooler. They tend to have better ice retention, which is essential if you’re going on a long trip. They’re also much more durable, so you don’t have to worry about breaking if they’re dropped or banged around.
best cooler with wheels
RovR Products RollR 45
45 qts. (42.6L)
37 lbs. 3.2 oz
60, 80, 85 qts
+Simple to move
+Comfortable to pull
-Not amazing insulation
The RovR Products RollR 45 is a high-performance cooler perfect for any outdoor activity. The puncture-resistant tires make them durable and able to withstand any terrain. The large capacity and long ice retention make it ideal for long days at the beach or on the trail. The Deepfreeze dry bin makes it even more versatile, allowing you to store food and drinks in the main compartment and keep them cold for 10 days. The dimensions are LxWxH 25.5 x 17.5 x 17 inches, and it weighs 37 pounds 3.2 ounces. We’ve simplified how to choose the best cooler with wheels in our objective comparison of the top models on this page.
The main disadvantage of this product is that the insulation is not exceptional, so that some ice may melt over time. Additionally, the latches are a bit awkward to use. However, these are minor disadvantages in an otherwise excellent product. We recommend this to anyone looking for a high-quality cooler with great features. Throw in a premium rotomolded build, and it is one of the best coolers on the market that is also comfortable to pull. It’s large enough to accommodate most needs while smaller and lighter than some competition. It also has excellent wheels that make it easy to transport.
best durable cooler
ORCA 40 Cooler
40 qts. (37.9L)
20, 26, 58, 75, 140 qts
-No dry basket included
The ORCA 40 Cooler is a high-quality cooler perfect for any outdoor activity. The puncture-resistant tires make them durable and able to withstand any terrain. The large capacity and long ice retention make it ideal for long days at the beach or on the trail. The Deepfreeze dry bin makes it even more versatile, allowing you to store food and drinks in the main compartment and keep them cold for 10 days. The dimensions are LxWxH 25.5 x 17.5 x 17 inches, and it weighs 37 pounds 3.2 ounces. This article made it easier to choose the best durable cooler with wheels by comparing the full versions in our impartial comparison.
The main disadvantage of this product is that the insulation is not exceptional, so that some ice may melt over time. Additionally, the latches are a bit awkward to use. However, these are minor disadvantages in an otherwise excellent product. We recommend this to anyone looking for a high-quality cooler with great features. It also has a comfortable carrying handle and an exterior pocket for extra storage. It also has rubber feet to keep it in place while transporting it. It has an excellent capacity for its size and is perfect for long days out.
best performance cooler
Pelican 20QT Elite
20 qts. (18.9L)
12 lbs. 8 oz
14, 30, 50, 70, 80, 95, 150 qts.
+Easy to use latches
+Fits very tall objects
+Built-in bottle opener
-Shape difficult to use
We are looking for an elite cooler that will keep your food and drinks cold for hours on end? Look no further than the Pelican 20QT Elite cooler. This tough and durable cooler features 0.78 inches of polyurethane insulation for extreme ice retention and a freezer-grade gasket that ensures everything stays nice and cold. It also features 4 self-draining molded-in cup holders, unique press & pull latches, an anti-shear hinge system, and a reinforced lock hasp with a built-in stainless steel bottle opener. The non-skid rubber feet ensure the cooler stays put, even when things get rough. It has a 20-quart capacity and can hold up to 26 cans.
The dimensions are 14.1 x 6.7 x 12 inches, and it weighs 12 pounds 8 ounces. It is made of Polyurethane Foam, and the best feature is the built-in bottle opener. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an elite cooler with great features. It also has a very reasonable price. When you dig deeper, you’ll discover that it’s the best performance cooler among its competitors, making it an elite cooler. It’s easy to use latches, fits very tall objects, built-in bottle opener makes this an elite cooler. The only drawbacks are the low-quality seal and shape are challenging to use, but they don’t outweigh the pros. If you’re looking for a durable and long-lasting cooler, these are well worth the investment.
The coolers and ice chests will vary depending on your needs, but all of the products on this list are great choices. If you need a durable and long-lasting cooler, we recommend the Pelican 20QT Elite. It has excellent features, is easy to use, and is reasonably priced. You simply need to sift through the best cooler for your options before purchasing. If you need a large cooler for a long day at the beach or on the trail, we recommend the ORCA 40 Cooler. It has a large capacity, great features, and puncture-resistant tires.
Whichever cooler you choose, we hope you have a great time outdoors. The best way to keep your food and drinks cold is to invest in a quality cooler. It will make your time outdoors more enjoyable and save you money in the long run. This list has a variety of coolers to choose from, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. All of the coolers on this list are high quality and keep your food and drinks cold for hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
What cooler is better than a Yeti?
The Pelican 20QT Elite is better than a Yeti cooler because it is easier to use, has a built-in bottle opener, and is made of Polyurethane Foam. It also has a 20-quart capacity and can hold up to 26 cans. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an elite cooler with great features. It also has a very reasonable price. When you dig deeper, you’ll discover that it’s the best performance among its competitors, making it an elite cooler.
What cooler keeps drinks cold the longest?
The ORCA 40 Cooler keeps drinks cold the longest because it has a large capacity, great features, and puncture-resistant tires. It also has a 40-quart ability and can hold up to 50 cans. This is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a large cooler for a long day at the beach or on the trail. It will keep your food and drinks cold for hours.
Is the Yeti Tundra worth it?
The Yeti Tundra is worth it because it is a durable and long-lasting cooler. It has excellent features, is easy to use, and is reasonably priced. It would be best if you simply sifted through them for your options before purchasing. This list has a variety of coolers to choose from, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. And all of the coolers on this list are high quality and keep your food and drinks cold for hours.
How long do Yeti coolers last?
Yeti coolers last a long time because they are high-quality materials. They are also easy to use and have a very reasonable price. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an elite cooler with great features. Many people use them for a long time and are very satisfied with their purchase.