Last Updated on March 24, 2021

Extreme outdoor adventures require the best performing coolers. Bear proof coolers made for heavy-duty use seldom miss the mark for bringing the ultimate outdoor experience you and your company will cherish for a lifetime. The best bear proof coolers of 2021 are no different. These products have durability built into their DNA and are engineered for unparalleled performance even when subjected to harsh outdoor conditions — even when a hungry grizzly bear is out to take its contents.

So, maybe you’re already sold to the idea or just beginning to contemplate on getting a bear proof cooler. However close you are in making a purchase, stop before you click that button. Find out more about how to shop this category of coolers and what products meet this absolutely high standard in coolers. Freeze that click for few moments and you just may save a few thousand bucks or earn yourself several notches of level-up features.

BEST OVERALL
Lifetime 90820 55 Quart High Performance Cooler, Grey
PREMIUM PICK
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
BEST VALUE
Igloo BMX 72 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 18.70 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
Engel ENG35 High Performance Cooler - Tan
Cascade Mountain Tech Rotomolded Cooler - Heavy Duty for Camping, Fishing, Tailgating, Barbeques, and Outdoor Activities - 45 Quart , White
Name
Lifetime 55-qt 90820
YETI Tundra 45-qt
Igloo BMX 72-qt
Engel ENG 35
Cascade Mountain Tech 45-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 27 x 17.6 x 17.3 in.
● Weight: 23.4 lbs.
● Up to 7 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 25.75 x 16.13 x 15.38 in.
● Weight: 27.22 lbs.
● Up to 10 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 32.19 x 17.34 x 16.82 in.
● Weight: 18.7 lbs.
● Up to 5 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 19.5 x 9.75 x 10.25 in.
● Weight: 22 lbs.
● Up to 10 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 27.7 x 16.9 x 17.3 in.
● Weight: Not specified
● Up to 7 days ice retention
BEST OVERALL
Lifetime 90820 55 Quart High Performance Cooler, Grey
Name
Lifetime 55-qt 90820
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 27 x 17.6 x 17.3 in.
● Weight: 23.4 lbs.
● Up to 7 days ice retention
Buy Now
PREMIUM PICK
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White
Name
YETI Tundra 45-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 25.75 x 16.13 x 15.38 in.
● Weight: 27.22 lbs.
● Up to 10 days ice retention
Buy Now
BEST VALUE
Igloo BMX 72 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 18.70 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
Name
Igloo BMX 72-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 32.19 x 17.34 x 16.82 in.
● Weight: 18.7 lbs.
● Up to 5 days ice retention
Buy Now
Engel ENG35 High Performance Cooler - Tan
Name
Engel ENG 35
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 19.5 x 9.75 x 10.25 in.
● Weight: 22 lbs.
● Up to 10 days ice retention
Buy Now
Cascade Mountain Tech Rotomolded Cooler - Heavy Duty for Camping, Fishing, Tailgating, Barbeques, and Outdoor Activities - 45 Quart , White
Name
Cascade Mountain Tech 45-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 27.7 x 16.9 x 17.3 in.
● Weight: Not specified
● Up to 7 days ice retention
Buy Now
Snowball Coolers, Rotomolded Insulation Ice Chest for Camping, Fishing, Hunting, BBQs & Outdoor Activities, Tan, 37QT(35L)
Aoodor Roto Molded Cooler 55 Quart Grizzly Bear Resistant with Basket - TAN
Pelican Elite 70 QT Cooler (Dark Gray/Green)
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55Q Premium Ice Chest Roto Cooler with Microban Protection, Gray
Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler | 70 Quart Day Cooler | Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days, Black
Name
Snowball 37-qt
Aoodor 33-qt
Pelican Elite 70-qt
Arctic Zone Titan 55-qt
Coleman Xtreme 70-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 18 x 11 x12 in.
● Weight: 20.9 lbs.
● Up to 10 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 23.4 x 19.3 x 18.2 in.
● Weight: 28.15 lbs.
● Up to 7 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 36 x 20.3 x 21 in.
● Weight: 33 lbs.
● Up to 9 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 30.32 x 17.72 x 17.13 in.
● Weight: Not specified
● Up to 4 days ice retention
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 28.25 x 15.75 x 18.25 in.
● Weight: 12.3 lbs.
● Up to 5 days ice retention
Snowball Coolers, Rotomolded Insulation Ice Chest for Camping, Fishing, Hunting, BBQs & Outdoor Activities, Tan, 37QT(35L)
Name
Snowball 37-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 18 x 11 x12 in.
● Weight: 20.9 lbs.
● Up to 10 days ice retention
Buy now
Aoodor Roto Molded Cooler 55 Quart Grizzly Bear Resistant with Basket - TAN
Name
Aoodor 33-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 23.4 x 19.3 x 18.2 in.
● Weight: 28.15 lbs.
● Up to 7 days ice retention
Buy now
Pelican Elite 70 QT Cooler (Dark Gray/Green)
Name
Pelican Elite 70-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 36 x 20.3 x 21 in.
● Weight: 33 lbs.
● Up to 9 days ice retention
Buy now
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55Q Premium Ice Chest Roto Cooler with Microban Protection, Gray
Name
Arctic Zone Titan 55-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 30.32 x 17.72 x 17.13 in.
● Weight: Not specified
● Up to 4 days ice retention
Buy now
Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler | 70 Quart Day Cooler | Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days, Black
Name
Coleman Xtreme 70-qt
Features
● Dimensions (l*w*h): 28.25 x 15.75 x 18.25 in.
● Weight: 12.3 lbs.
● Up to 5 days ice retention
Buy now

1. Lifetime 55-qt 90820

BEST OVERALL
Sale
Lifetime 90820 55 Quart High Performance Cooler, Grey

  • Colors: Blue, White, Grey
  • Replaceable handles
  • 5-year limited warranty

With a 5-year warranty cover and ice retention that lasts up to 7 days that comes at an inexpensive price tag, this product deserves the Best Overall spot in this list of bear-proof coolers. In addition, heavy-duty construction makes this product perfectly capable of withstanding the harshest outdoor conditions.

Although, this cooler may not be able to give you the same top level of performance as YETI Coolers or Pelican Coolers can give. But, that really matters only when you’re planning to be outdoors for several days. Otherwise, it’s perfect for entertaining in your backyard or for overnight camping. That’s what makes this Lifetime Cooler definitely a standout among coolers.

Pros:

  • Designed with drain spout which simplifies cleaning.
  • The unit comes with a built-in stainless steel bottle opener.
  • This product is presented with 2 rubber latches.
  • Under ideal conditions, it can retain ice for up to 7 days.
  • This unit has received certification for withstanding bears for 1 hour at most.

Cons:

  • The duration of the warranty is not specified.
  • Warranty covers manufacturing defects only for varying periods.

2. YETI Tundra 45-qt

PREMIUM PICK
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, White

  • T-Rex lid latches
  • Comes with 1 dry goods basket
  • Polyurethane foam insulation

The YETI Coolers tagline says it all: “The cooler you’ve always wanted. The last you’ll ever need.” This cooler is made for heavy-duty use. Whether you’re barbecuing with your best buds in your backyard or taking it on an off-trail hike, this cooler isfor you. That way, you can be careless and worry less about scratching it or breaking it whenever, wherever you’re headed.

YETI Coolers are engineered to last, using rotomolded construction that guarantees every square-inch is reinforced with high-quality plastic. In addition, this cooler is also lined with a fat wall design and permafrost insulation that dramatically enhances its ice retention capability.

However, this kind of quality comes at a higher price than other hard coolers. Nonetheless, it’s an investment of a lifetime if you’re a big fan of the outdoors.

Pros:

  • This ice chest is designed with a 3-inch PermaFrost insulation.
  • It can hold up to 26 standard-sized cans under a 2:1 ice to contents ratio.
  • Lid latches are built to last and withstand carefree use.
  • Weather-resistant make and model.

Cons:

  • Given its heavy-duty construction, expect it to be heavier than its competitors.

3. Igloo BMX 72-qt

BEST VALUE
Igloo BMX 72 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 18.70 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue

  • Colors: Canal Blue, Bluish Grey, Aquamarine, Green, Sandstone
  • Rubberized T-latches
  • Stainless steel-reinforced handles

This ice chest from Igloo gives other brands a good run for their money. First, it delivers quality performance that comes at an inexpensive price tag and a stylish oomph — period! Secondly, it gives you style choices made from two- and three-color combinations that add a trendy perspective to your outdoor adventures.

Take it on a solo road trip or a family outing. Either way, you get to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing there’s plenty of room to store everybody’s favorites. It gives you the ultimate bang for the buck among the best bear proof coolers in this roundup.

Pros:

  • Rubberized latches provide protection from smashing the lid.
  • Drain plugs make draining water and cleaning easy.
  • Skid pads keep the cooler from slipping while also protecting bottom corners from bumps.
  • The unit comes with a built-in fish ruler.
  • Elevated construction keeps the ice chest off the ground for enhanced ice retention.

Cons:

  • Some users have complained of handles coming off or breaking.
  • The lids are not water-tight and may cause leaks.

4. Engel ENG 35

Engel ENG35 High Performance Cooler - Tan

  • Colors: Tan, Arctic Blue, Coastal White, Haze Gray, Pink, Seafoam
  • Sizes available range from 35-qt to 320-qt coolers
  • 2-inch foam insulation

You must know that the Engel brand of coolers pioneered rotomolded cooler construction. That’s why you can only expect top-quality performance if you decide to shop this brand. In addition, you enjoy both a satisfying performance and a product design you’ll be proud to show off.

It’s definitely premium quality that comes at a price so that it’s important that you think through whether or not you really need one and where you plan on using it. However, if you’re not going on rugged outdoor trips anyway, maybe you should consider other brands.

Pros:

  • Engel coolers are designed to be built for rugged, heavy-duty use.
  • Stainless steel latches keep lids secure.
  • Tie-down points are provided to stabilize the unit during transport.
  • Flick drain plug makes it easy to clean up after use.
  • Weather-resistant casing keeps cooler looking new for longer.

Cons:

  • A wide range of accessories are sold separately and require extra spend.

5. Cascade Mountain Tech 45-qt

It may not be the only brand of best bear proof coolers founded  by outdoor enthusiasts. But, you can expect this cooler to take that invaluable experience into product design and engineering. After all, it’s just as expensive as other top-rated brands. That’s why you shouldn’t expect anything less but quality performance.

Pros:

  • Hinges and latches are made for heavy-duty use.
  • Insulated body and lids enhance ice retention.
  • Hard casing makes the unit sturdy and can be expected to last.
  • It comes with non-slip feet that keep it in place.
  • Two bottle openers are built into the design.

Cons:

  • This cooler is significantly more expensive than other cooler brands not also in the top-tier options.
  • Warranty and return policy are not specified.

6. Snowball 37-qt

Snowball Coolers, Rotomolded Insulation Ice Chest for Camping, Fishing, Hunting, BBQs & Outdoor Activities, Tan, 37QT(35L)

  • Heavy-duty, rubberized t-latches
  • 2-inch polyurethane foam insulation
  • 2-year service warranty

For a product that performs just as you would expect an ice chest should, Snowball is definitely lagging behind. However, even in terms of pricing, it may not be as costly as top-tier cooler brands but, it also requires a significant amount of investment.

Leak-proof drain plugs keep interiors cold for longer. In addition, silicone seal lining keeps heat out too. Snowball is a must-see when you’re shopping for the best bear proof coolers.

Pros:

  • The silicone seal ring around the lid keeps heat out.
  • This ice chest is manufactured with food-grade material only.
  • UV and weather-resistant make keeps the unit looking new for longer.
  • Drain plugs make cleaning hassle-free.

Cons:

  • The unit can be heavy even when empty.
  • Ice retention can vary widely depending on use and conditions of storage.

7. Aoodor 33-qt

Aoodor Roto Molded Cooler 55 Quart Grizzly Bear Resistant with Basket - TAN

  • Silicone seal gasket
  • 36-inch polyurethane foam insulation
  • Replaceable handles

Unlike other best bear proof coolers brands, this cooler is not designed to have a wider width but a deeper height. This way, it’s so much easier for one person to handle. Like other top-tier cooler brands, Aoodor coolers are made with PU foam insulation, although this one has just over 2 inches thickness compared to 3 inches offered by brands like YETI.

Everything else such as silicone gaskets and heavy-duty rubberized latches are comparable to more expensive ice chest brands. That’s what makes this ice chest such a great value for money. On one hand, in terms of performance, it is built to last. On the other, in terms of cost, it offers absolutely great value.

Pros:

  • Slim construction makes it easier to carry and transport.
  • The cover is constructed with two standard-sized cup holders.
  • Two bottle openers are built into the unit.
  • Raised bottom keeps the unit off the ground.
  • Non-slip feet keeps it in place when set down.

Cons:

  • Limited color options in Tan or Desert only.
  • Pressure can build up inside, making it harder to open the lid.

8. Pelican Elite 70-qt

Pelican Elite 70 QT Cooler (Dark Gray/Green)

  • Available colors: Grey/Green, Lime Green/Grey, Orange/Tan, Pacific Blue, White/Grey
  • 2-inch polyurethane foam insulation
  • 3-inch latches

If you like having peace of mind that contents will stay secure throughout your trip, the press and pull latches of this Pelican Cooler can give you that. Moreover, knowing that it can hold up to 48 standard-sized beverage cans at a 2:1 ice to contents ratio should definitely make you feel happy. And, that means there’s plenty of room inside to stock on everybody’s favorite refreshments. Finally, this is one cooler that will keep everyone happy with ice retention that can last for several days.

Pros:

  • Rubber feet keep the cooler from slipping away.
  • It includes built-in features such as bottle openers that add convenience.
  • Ready tie-down slots are built-into the unit.
  • All units sold under this brand are made in the USA.
  • All purchases are covered by a lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Accessories such as tie-down ropes are sold separately.
  • Pelican Coolers are more expensive than other brands.

9. Arctic Zone Titan 55-qt

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55Q Premium Ice Chest Roto Cooler with Microban Protection, Gray

  • Available Colors: Blue, Grey
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Microban antimicrobial protection

Unlike other brands of bear proof coolers in this list, the makers of Arctic Zone Titan went beyond building toughness and durability into this cooler, they also thought about maintaining hygiene.

Patented technology, Microban antimicrobial protection is built into the PU foam insulation. Thus, the result is nothing less than your maximum satisfaction that goes beyond the basic functionality. . Furthermore, this cooler scores for minding your health and safety.

Pros:

  • T-latches are corrosion-resistant, made to last, and keep heat out.
  • Each purchase comes with a free dry wire basket.
  • Drains make cleaning easy and hassle-free.
  • Padded side handles make carrying and transport comfortable.
  • Advanced antimicrobial technology inhibits bacterial growth.

Cons:

  • Arctic Zone Titan hard coolers are available in 20-qt and 55-qt only.
  • It’s just as expensive as top-tier cooler brands.

10. Coleman Xtreme 70-qt

Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler | 70 Quart Day Cooler | Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days, Black

  • 4 cupholders molded on the lid
  • 100-can capacity
  • Pinch-free side handles

Household brand, Coleman, may have everything you need in a cooler when you decide to buy this unit. For buyers looking for a practical option that finds a sweet spot where functionality, design, and price converge, this Coleman cooler is it.

If you’ve ever used any Coleman product before then you know you can trust this cooler too. Trust is important when you’re outdoors. So, you need a cooler you can rely on, like a Coleman.

Pros:

  • This unit can hold up to 100 standard-sized beverage cans.
  • Heavy-duty build supports seating for up to 250-lb person.
  • Smooth surface and drain plugs make cleaning up easy and hassle-free.
  • Heavy duty handles make transporting and carrying easy.
  • Coleman coolers are available in wheeled variants too.

Cons:

  • Non-leak proof lid may cause spills.
  • It’s a huge cooler without wheels so at least two people may have to carry it around when full.

bear proof coolers

The Best Bear Proof Coolers of 2021: Buying Guide

Different buyers searching for the best bear proof coolers will have very different reasons for buying one. When you shop blindly, the probability of splurging on a poor product can be a costly misadventure. That leaves you with a junk and an empty pocket.

So, what factors do you need to consider when shopping for this class of coolers?

IGBC Certification

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) is the only authoritative body that grants a bear-proof certification to products such as coolers. The certification is awarded only to products that pass a stress test that it conducts for brands applying for this type of certification.

Without an IGBC Certification, a cooler is not really a bear proof cooler, it’s just an ordinary cooler. Thus, if you’re specifically looking for one, the first thing you have to look for and ask about is an IGBC Certification.

Purpose

Make your shopping experience meaningful by thinking carefully about what use do you have for a cooler. If you’re buying for a one-time adventure and rarely do any camping or other outdoor activity then, you should reconsider spending more than a few hundred dollars. After all, high performing brands that come at an inexpensive price like Coleman are available.

Insulation and Materials

The most basic cooler feature you want to check if you want maximum ice retention is that your hard cooler is rotomolded. Coolers manufactured using rotomolded construction are made with evenly distributed plastic. That way, every square inch of your cooler is well-covered by insulation material so that heat stays out while cold stays in over a longer period of time.

Drain Plugs

The best bear proof coolers are also easy to clean and maintain. In general, hard coolers cost a lot of money. With their sturdy construction and with regular maintenance, however, these coolers are built to last. Making sure there’s a drain plug is one of the best ways you can clean up hassle-free and stress-free so make sure you’re buying one that has this feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bear proof coolers worth it?

Coolers that belong to top-tier cooler brands can be very costly. But, these are not the only ones that can give you the optimal value for your money.

When you can match your intended use with your budget, that’s when you can get the best bang for your buck. After all, you don’t need a cooler built for off-grid hiking if you’re only going to use it to entertain in your backyard!

Are ice retention estimates accurate?

Results are based on many factors, including the conditions of the tests made. In general, ice retention varies widely, usually depending on various factors such as follows:

  • Cooler insulation
  • Frequency of opening and closing
  • Ice to contents ratio
  • Prevailing environmental conditions
  • Preparations that have been taken, such as freezing contents before storing in the cooler
  • Whether ordinary ice, dry ice, or reusable ice blocks were used

Conclusion

Extreme outdoor activities require high-performing gadgets and accessories. Therefore, to keep satisfying your appetite for the outdoors, the best bear proof coolers are necessary to stay hydrated with the thirst-quenching coldness of water and refreshments. You should carefully weigh your options against your intended use to get the best value for your money. Bear proof coolers will hardly leave your heavy-duty use and carefree lifestyle choices unmet. So, if you want an outdoor gear that keeps giving, these coolers will always be worth the investment.