Last Updated on December 17, 2020
I hope you will agree with me when I say:
Literally and practically, living an adventurous lifestyle without a good cooler is not interesting, or is it?
The most un-coolest thing about having a substandard ice chest is the gripe that follows:
It’s either the lids are flimsy.
The latches burst often making it cumbersome to open and close.
The cooler fails at its prime purpose to retain ice for long possible hours.
Even worse, the handles of the cooler are a fragile or the wheel keeps falling out or the sealing efficiency is way below average!
If you’ve been through these problems, we know how it sucks. Do yourself the biggest favor and take this simple step to read further. As sure as hell and taxes, you’ll find the perfect ice chest for your needs.
- 1 Top 10 Best Coolers – Ice Chest Reviews 2021
- 1.1 Pelican ProGear Elite – Best Heavy Duty Cooler on the Market
- 1.2 Coolest Cooler in Blue Moon – Best Cooler with Speakers
- 1.3 ORCA Cooler – Best Cooler For Ice Retention
- 1.4 Engel Deep Blue – Best Value Cooler
- 1.5 Coleman Xtreme 5 wheeled 100 Quart – Best Budget ice chest
- 1.6 Yeti Tundra Product Line – Best Rated Cooler
- 1.7 Coleman Steel Belted – Best Cooler For the Money
- 1.8 Yeti Hopper – Most Portable & Best Soft – Sided Cooler
- 1.9 Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler
- 1.10 Igloo Polar cooler 120QT – Best camping cooler
- 2 Best Cooler Brands – The Leading Ice Chest Companies
- 2.1 Yeti
- 2.2 Pelican
- 2.3 ENGEL DeepBlue
- 2.4 Grizzly Coolers
- 2.5 Canyon Coolers
- 2.6 Coleman
- 2.7 ORCA
- 2.8 Ozark
- 2.9 LifeTime
- 2.10 MAGELLAN
- 2.11 Coolers & Ice chests Buyer’s Guide
- 2.12 Sizing
- 2.13 What is the Technology behind Rotomolded Coolers?
- 2.14 Do You need a cooler?
- 2.15 What cooler size Should I pick?
- 2.16 How much should I pay?
- 2.17 Key Features to Look for when buying a cooler
- 2.18 Insulation Ability
- 2.19 Carrying Method
- 2.20 External Storage
- 2.21 Types Of Coolers
- 2.22 Rotomolded Coolers
- 2.23 Electric Coolers
- 2.24 Backpack Coolers
- 2.25 Stainless Steel Coolers
- 2.26 Small Coolers
- 2.27 Large Coolers
- 2.28 Coolers With Speakers
- 2.29 Floating Coolers
- 2.30 Soft Sided / Collapsible Coolers
- 2.31 Wooden Coolers
- 3 FAQ
Top 10 Best Coolers – Ice Chest Reviews 2021
The best coolers and ice chest are hard to find. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Now, that’s where we come in. After hours of research and test, we’ve created the list of top rated ice coolers in 2021:
Pelican ProGear Elite – Best Heavy Duty Cooler on the Market
- Volume: true 45 quart internal volume; Molded-In handles with built in trolley handle
- Extreme ice retention: 2 inch of polyurethane insulation with a 360 degree freezer-grade gasket that delivers extreme ice retention for up to 10 days
- Features: molded handles, 3 inch locking latches, reinforced lockable hasp, stainless steel bottle opener, anti-shear hinge system, molded tie-down slots
- Features: leakproof drain plug, integrated measuring board on lid in centimeters and inches, non-skid rubber feet. Interior (L×W×D) - 19.00 x 12.00 x 12.00 inch
- Made in the USA: includes Pelican legendary lifetime guarantee - you break it, we replace it...Forever
From making phone and computer cases, pelican has also gotten their hands mixed with coolers. The ProGear elite is a piece of genius from a company that has its hands over multiple ventures.
This beast is armed to the teeth. I can with my heads raised high, say that even a grizzly bear can’t knock the Pelican Progear off its feet. Without a doubt, It holds the credential of being one of the best ice retention cooler over long periods.
With a rugged exterior, the cooler can resist substantial impacts. Thanks to the premium plastic build, the latches and extended handles wouldn’t fail even after continuous use.
With that said, the ProGear utilizes sturdy latches that are simple to use. The mechanism is superb, just push a button to release the latches, take it back by pushing it down.
According to different tests and many users reviews, we can say Pelican ProGear Elite can hold ice for at least 8 to 10 days!
Despite the massive size of this model, the hard plastic handles make it easy to carry. However, the sheer size of the chest means you’ll need a helping hand from a friend especially when filled.
Impressively, the ProGear features a high-end plastic extension on the drain which helps minimize splashing and dripping while it drains quickly.
Overall, the product is built for long ice holding periods, durable parts, efficient insulation, tight seal and ease of use. If you want a cooler that promises all that and more, then this product is for users looking for a rugged, rotomolded ice box which keeps your stuff cold and fresh.
- Good Insulation
- Comfortable Handles
- Easy to drain
- Extremely durable rotomolded construction
- The cooler has a large exterior
- The build materials makes it quite heavy
Coolest Cooler in Blue Moon – Best Cooler with Speakers
- MORE FUN: The Coolest Cooler is the ultimate party-in-a-box with Coolest level innovation and quality you expect and exclusive features no one else dreamed of. Every Coolest includes a splash-proof, shock-proof, Bluetooth speaker capable of streaming a whopping 8 hours of music. Other exclusive features include a magnetic bottle opener, matching corkscrew, and an accessory deck for easily hiding/storing your valuables while you take a swim. Picnic essentials include four plates and a ceramic kni
- GET THERE EASILY: Extra wide rubberized wheels easily roll through sand and rocks, and the Done-In-One bungee lets you haul your other gear in a single trip with ease.
- +++ADD A BLENDER LID: This 20v rechargeable ice-crushing blender is truly amazing, capable of making over a dozen pitchers of your favorite blended drinks and smoothies on a single charge. Plus, you get integrated USB charging for your phone and a built-in lid light. Be the hero of the tailgate or picnic and keep your guest’s thirst quenched and phones charged all day long.
- +++ ADD A SOLAR LID: Opt for the 8.4W solar panel lid and be off the grid for days while keeping your phone powered up for safety and security. Waterproof and removable, it puts out up to 1 full amp of power in direct sunlight through the built-in USB charger. Oh, yeah… it also becomes a bar top table on the Coolest telescoping handle!
- QUALITY AND DURABILITY: 4-5 day ice retention, reinforced rubberized wheels, aluminum handles and stainless hardware throughout.
For millennials, coolers and ice chests with speakers is a common sight, but probably not for Adults that lived in the 1900’s and early 2000’s with large & bulky conventional coolers.
In a stylish fashion, the Coolest cooler comes with a 20-volt ice crushing blender making it easy for you to mix drinks and make smoothies.
Although a bit overpriced, the model justifies the tag by featuring mind-blowing features like built-in opener with a handy magnetic cap catcher, ceramic knife, corkscrew, waterproof USB charger, Bluetooth speaker and many intriguing features.
Furthermore, there’s enough room in the cooler to fit in all the drinks you want. You should know that it works better when its filled with ice.
Coming to the downsides, some users have complained of having problems when charging. One user questioned the reliability of a cooler that hasn’t been in the game for long. Also, a major downside is the weight of the cooler as it is quite heavy even when empty.
Finally, the cooler speakers come in handy for users that want a small party at the beach, or backyard. Of course, the coolest cooler selling points are the speakers and built-in blender.
Regarding ice retention, it’s capacity is low but holds ice for 3 – 5 days. However, it doesn’t mean that the coolest cooler doesn’t perform a decent job like any other ice chest on the list.
- The cooler is a definitive looker
- Comes with innovative features
- It’s compact and can fit anywhere in home or car
- Heavy even when empty
- Handles and hinges are not durable
- The cooler comes with Multiple features making the design over engineered
ORCA Cooler – Best Cooler For Ice Retention
- Roto molded construction
- Integrated insulation
- Lid gasket for perfect seal
- 100% USA Made, Lifetime Warranty
- Lid Gasket to ensure a perfect seal
Worried that the ice in your cooler can’t last in the back of the car during long trips? Even if it does, can it keep out bears and thieves?
Fear not, the Orca cooler has been tested and proven to be a heavy-duty rotomolded cooler that can hold anything you throw at it.
The Orca comes in a 58-quart, there’s enough space to put all you need and still fill ice in. The best part is you can also store food in this cooler as it maintains a staggering 40F for six days.
Designed with durable & hard insulating materials, this cooler ice chest can withstand extreme temperatures. Surprisingly, Orca can keep ice and drinks for up to 7 days, meaning you’ll get a week of cold refreshing beverages and cocktails.
While most coolers can have inefficient drain plugs, the orca is designed to drain water thoroughly, enabling your food to remain dry while decreasing the ice melting period.
The handles make use of a semi-rigid rubber handle with nylon webbings. The result is a handle and amazing flex movement enough to distribute weight and carry comfortably. With that out of the way, the lid is stable, while the latches are hard and durable.
On the downside, some users complained of the lid, which can inadvertently snap shut, this shouldn’t be a problem cause you can always keep one hand on the lid when groping for drinks or beverages.
All in all, Orca coolers have a reputation for high insulation, robust exterior, roomy space and overall quality. Rest assured, this model is no exception.
- Easy to Handle
- The cooler is built with durable materials
- The insulation is top notch and can keep drinks & food for 7 days
- The Lid snap can shut when not attended to
- Price may not allure customers on a budget
Engel Deep Blue – Best Value Cooler
- Best in class ice retention and overall performance, holds ice for up to 10 days
- Rotationally molded with 2 inches of high density closed-cell polyurethane insulation all round and is certified Bear-Resistant - so its vertually industructable and built to last!
- IGBC Certified bear resistant container - when 2 locks used
- Silicone airtight gasket, adjustable recessed marine grade compression latches and UV-Resistant Contruction
- Dry Ice compatable. Non-Marking rubber feet. 10 year warranty
We love the Outdoor lifestyle, a day at the beach, fishing, picnic with friends & family, or a backyard Barbie. But we often forget one needs the right cooler ice chest to keep drinks and beverages cold to enjoy those moments.
If you want these moments to be as memorable as possible, then don’t forget to grab the Engel deep blue when you are out to buy a great cooler. The Engel deep blue comes in different sizes from 20-65 quarts to meet all your demands.
Built with a two-inch insulation with airtight Arctic Vault gasket, it has an impressive insulation performance and can hold ice for up to 7 days; this means your beverage gets to stay cold for a week.
I bet you’ll love this. One of the coolest features is the built-in bottle opener. The handles are made of hard plastic attached with a rope which proved to be ergonomic.
One thing we love about this coolers is the DuoLock security holes which protect the cooler against thieves and grizzly bears.
The tie down points makes it easy to secure the chest to boats, while the Anvil hinge enables the Truhold lid to stay upright even in rough waters.
Engel Deep blue utilize a drain plug which drains rather well. It also features extended rope handles which hangs just above the plug leaving it unobstructed.
That said, the performance of the Engel deep blue on all fronts was impressive. Without a doubt, one of the best coolers on the market.
- Durable parts
- Comes in various sizes
- Laudable ice performance – One of the best ice retaining coolers
Coleman Xtreme 5 wheeled 100 Quart – Best Budget ice chest
- Keeps ice up to 5 days at temps up to 90°F thanks to an insulated lid and extra insulation in walls
- Heavy-Duty Wheels for Easy, Reliable Transport
- Holds 160 cans and has molded cup holders on top of lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling
- Have-a-Seat Lid Supports Up to 250 Pounds so You Have a Place to Sit and Rest
- Leak-resistant channel drain lets you remove excess water without tilting the cooler
Wheels make it easy to roll a Giant Cooler without going through the stress of carrying it, be glad cause the Coleman Xtreme 5 wheeled gives that relief. In fact, check out some of the most mobile wheeled coolers in the open market.
At 100 quart, this is the biggest cooler on the list. But is this budget cooler capable enough of going head to head with most of our top tier coolers?
Let’s find out:
When you set your eyes on this cooler, what comes to mind is the ample interior space and beautiful exterior. As soon as you open the chest, the storage space in it gives you a respite to put all you need for camping trips.
It can retain ice for extended periods thus keeping your drinks cold for 3 – 5 days. It also comes with a two way hinged plastic handle pushing the weight onto your hands. It might get quite uncomfortable when you hold it for a while.
In general, the durability of the cooler is under scrutiny, flimsy plastic handles and hinges are likely to break from sharp impacts. Latches are replaced with a press fit lid you can lift.
For an inexpensive model like this, you shouldn’t expect groundbreaking features but manages to give a respectable performance.
- It comes with wheels for mobility
- Features a plastic anti- rust drain plug
- It can keep ice for up to five days
- Inexpensive for a large cooler
- The wheels aren’t durable
- Fragile body parts
Yeti Tundra Product Line – Best Rated Cooler
- The YETI Tundra 35 is portable enough for one person to haul while still having an impressive carrying capacity of up to 20 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
- Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
- The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the rigors of the journey
- All Tundra coolers feature T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber so you’ll never see another busted latch and has patented keeper technology
- The Tundra 35 dimensions are 20 in long x 16 1/8 in wide x 15 1/4 in high with an empty weight of 20 lbs NOTE: All Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket
Yeti is known for its reputation for robust and high-end coolers AKA Rotomolded and some of the best drinkwares called the Yeti ramblers.
As a matter of fact, the list would have been incomplete without adding a unique offering from Yeti.
Hey everybody, meet the Yeti Tundra – Most popular Yeti cooler on sale.
You should know that the Yeti comes in different sizes. However, Yeti goes against the conventional quart as a measure for their cooler. Needless to say, for every occasion, there’s a special yeti size for it.
The tundra holds the position of having the best insulation period after Orca & Engel.
However, that not the only trick up its sleeve. The interior features a tray to separate food items from drinks and other beverages, keeping your cooler organized.
While its size may be imposing and heavy, the PermaFrost insulation can retain ice for days without melting. In all fairness, the Tundra can cling onto ice for 7 days while it maintains a safe food temperature for 5 days.
Scouring through the comment a user boasted that the Yeti tundra could make you forget it’s an ice chest and not a refrigerator. Exaggerated as it is, you’ll easily see why when you use it.
Regarding durability, the tundra is a top performer and can stand strong impacts. The tundra utilizes the robust T-Rex lid latches that completely seals the lid while the cold stays in.
Although the Yeti Tundra retains ice for long, don’t forget to drain water frequently through the drain spout.
The yeti tundra is easily one of the best ice chests and has made it to the top rated coolers of 2021. While this may not be our first choice on the list, the Tundra is strong, attractive, and it’s more than capable to keep your ice and beverages cold for a week or more.
- The cooler includes a strong insulated lid
- Stellar build quality and excellent aesthetics
- Seals exceptionally well and holds ice for up to 7 days
- The handles obstructs the drain plug
Coleman Steel Belted – Best Cooler For the Money
- High-capacity, heavy-duty cooler features a charming retro design
- 54-Quart Capacity Accommodates Up to 85 Cans; Have-a-Seat Lid Supports Up to 250 Pounds
- Keeps the Ice insulation offers 4-day ice retention in temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Built to deliver years of performance with rust-resistant stainless steel hardware
- Comfort-grip steel handles allow for easy, controlled lifting and carrying
Next up on our list is a best seller cooler from Coleman steel.
For those who don’t know, the company has been producing top-tier coolers and ice chests for more than 60 years and the Coleman steel belted isn’t here to tell a different story.
Now, judging by the look, it’s easy to mistake the cooler build as entirely stainless. On the contrary, the stainless is just an exterior cover protecting the hard plastic inside.
Coming in at 54 quarts the Coleman steel boasts of 85 cans capacity. The handles are made of sturdy stainless steel molded with rubber, while it provides the perfect grip for users to lift and transport.
Testing revealed that the latching mechanism has problems. However, the rust-resistant hinges, easy to clean interior and the tightly sealed lid will make up for the latch shortcomings.
The coolers come in a variety of colors you can choose from. You’ll be happy to know there’s a leak resistant channel which blocks water from entering in or out, while it also allows you to drain water entirely without tilting.
Do keep in mind that the Coleman steel can cling onto the ice for about 3 – 4days. And if you happen to be a consumer who wants the best cooler for camping, tailgate or picnic, then this amazing ice chest will be overkill for you.
- Can retain ice for 3 days
- When compared to the features it offers, this cooler is inexpensive
- Build with high-quality materials that can withstand rugged situations
- Some users complained of the latching mechanism
- Parts of the of the cooler like drain plugs, hinges and handles are made of plastic which may likely break with progressive use
Yeti Hopper – Most Portable & Best Soft – Sided Cooler
- The YETI Hopper Two 20 is our ice-for-days portable cooler and is tough as nails so it can be hauled anywhere you want to take it
- The updated design of the Hopper Two means your contents go in (and out) more easily
- A tapered body makes extended hauling more comfortable
- Features a waterproof DryHide Shell and nearly indestructible straps will stand up to an abundance of abuse in the field
- HydroLok Zipper (a design borrowed from HazMat suits) is completely leakproof, eliminating spills and locking in cold
The next up on our list is a Yeti hooper soft-sided cooler. This cooler comes with a Hydrolock zipper you can find on waterproof drysuits; this makes the cooler leakproof while the cold stay in. Although a bit expensive, its functions can’t be understated.
The hooper soft cooler comes in various sizes of 20, 30 and 40. Choose the size according to your needs.
This soft shell cooler is extremely light and can fit on the back of your truck. You can even carry it on your fishing or hunting expeditions. If you are thinking of putting lots of drinks and food, you’ll be disappointed to know the zipper placement limits the space of items which can fit in.
Impressively, this soft-shell cooler has a tapered body with shoulder straps; you can throw it over your shoulder and hike a considerable distance. One thing feature I love about the Hopper is how everything fits into a compact design.
Reading users reviews and comments the cooler managed to fare well in the majority of tests. Although, few of the reviews stated that insulation period is considerably low compared to its price.
That said, the ice retaining performance is respectable enough to last few days. With a budget to spend on soft coolers, you might be spoilt for choice. One thing is for sure; you can’t go wrong choosing the Yeti hopper.
- Easy to clean
- Compact and durable
- The soft cooler comes with Sturdy hydro-lock zippers
- The cooler has a hitch point grid used to fasten bottle openers and other accessories
- The design is sleek and alluring
- Price might be a cause for concern
- The zipper placement is cumbersome for some
Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler
- Integrated fish keeper scale measuring tool on lid
- Constructed of ultra durable rotational-molded polyethylene
- Raised, textured work surface on lid
- Oversized tethered drain plug for easy draining and cleaning
- Dual lid locks for maximum security
The Igloo Yukon cold locker has the one of the best insulation performance on the list; it only falls behind the ORCA, Pelican ProGear and Yeti Tundra.
Don’t underestimate the performance of this hard cooler; it maintains safe food temperatures for four days while holding ice for about 6 full days.
Coming in 50 and 70-quart sizes, the Igloo Yukon holds an ample space to accommodate all your drinks, beverages and food.
The Yukon scored one of the highest marks in our durability test. Build with rotational-molded polyethylene, expect to use the Yukon for a long time. Also, the rugged body can hold its own against grizzly bears.
It comes with sturdy handles that fixed to the cooler for easy carrying and lifting. Durable and flexible latches lock out air from getting in, a lid that stays open and oversized drain plug for effortless cleaning and draining.
Not only is the cooler aesthetically pleasing but robust and secure. The lid can also be locked with a padlock to keep bears and intruders out.
The best feature about the Yukon is the reversible feet that allow you to slide the cooler on a flat surface or have it tied down on a boat. The only downside is the weight which is heavy even when empty. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best coolers you can find on the market.
Read: Igloo Coolers Review
- Strong and Behemoth design
- Excellent value for money
- High insulation performance
- Efficient drain plug
- The cooler is heavy even when empty
Igloo Polar cooler 120QT – Best camping cooler
- Ultratherm insulated body and lid keep ice for 5 days at 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Reinforced swing-up handles with tie-down loop feature
- Dual snap-fit latches secure lid closure
- Threaded drain plug for hose hook up and easy draining
- 188-can capacity, Exterior Dimensions 38.31" L x 17.38" W x 17.75" D. Top - 34.69 x 14.88 x 13.25 inches. Bottom - 33 x 13.25 x 13.25 inches
Next on the list is the igloo polar bear cooler. As long as you want a large cooler that can fit in all your drinks, beverages, food and still get enough storage space, then this cooler will not disappoint you.
It might not have the insulation performance of the other coolers that we have reviewed, but it inexpensive and should be enough for an average consumer. Capacity wise, the cooler can hold up to 188 cans.
The cooler comes with dual snap-fit latches which seal the lid completely, the lid shuts out air from entering and keeps the cold in. Flexible handles are attached on sides of the coolers allowing users to easily lift the polar bear around.
Although inexpensive, one would fear for the insulation and ice retention period of the cooler. However, it is decent enough to keep ice frozen for five full days at 90- degrees Fahrenheit.
The cooler parts aren’t as strong and durable as other ice chests and coolers on the list. Considering the low price you can purchase the Igloo polar cooler for, I don’t think there’s any cause to be worried.
So is this is cheap ice chest good?
Well apart from some minor flaws like the fragile parts, and low-quality build, there aren’t many downsides to write about this product.
Finally, if you have the money, you can get one of the best coolers for a ridiculously cheap price. Trust me on this one!
- The cooler is inexpensive
- The cooler has a large storage space
- Keeps ice frozen for quarts days
- Low quality build – Fragile body parts
Best Cooler Brands – The Leading Ice Chest Companies
What cooler Brand is the best? Coolers are getting popular than they once were. Thanks to Technology, you can find portable electric coolers, which means you can literally carry your cooler everywhere you go without restrictions. What’s more? you’ll never run out of ice.
It is point worthy that the top ice chest comes at a high price as such should be treated as a long-term investment. Cheap Products wouldn’t suffice, not when you use want to keep your catch fresh for days or your drink cold.
Most of the top brands are available in different styles and sizes, each designed to suit a customer’s specific needs.
This list of cooler manufacturers includes the most robust and ice retaining cooler ranked by users with actual experiences with these brands. From Yeti to Pelican to Engel, there’s no doubt potential buyers would make a choice from our collection.
Yeti is the most popular Brand. However, even the most famous comes with its demerits, for Yeti, the steep price poses a significant reason why some consumers boycott their coolers. Aside from that, Yeti is revered to be a standard most coolers are measured against. As some of our comparisons reveal:
Yeti has a large portfolio of coolers which we’ve compiled in our Yeti cooler sizes.
What makes Yeti special? First is build quality which influences durability and ice retention suitable for outdoor use; like fishing and hunting.
Looking for a buy for life cooler that can take a beating over years of rigorous use and still maintain its aesthetics? The Pelican is a lifetime cooler. It features impressive features like the ruler in the lid for measuring your catch, and wheeled models. The press latches mechanism allow for effortless locking and opening, while it also ensures a tight seal.
Pelican produces ample cooler sizes ranging from portable to giant options. Prices of Pelican are slightly close to Yeti, but cheaper.
Utilizing rotomolded construction, they feature an Elite model that’s exclusively strong and retains ice over long periods. To your pleasure, we’ve created a comparison review of pelican coolers on sale Vs Yeti.
ENGEL DeepBlue is among the first cooler manufacturer to inject molded plastic into their cooler walls, resulting in high ice retention and unprecedented quality. In fact, the hunting and fishing community revere the Engel cooler as a better substitute to Yeti.
Some major highlights of the DeepBlue are the freezer grade silicon gasket, UV resistant construction, and marine grade compression latches.
Although cheaper than Yeti, the price is on the high side compared to conventional coolers. For what it’s worth, Engel is worth every dime you spend on it.
Bear resistant, Check. Ice retention, Check. Grizzly coolers tick all the boxes for cooler great for camping, hunting, tailgating and much more. Their rotomolded line of coolers is certified grizzly proof.
They even conducted a real-life test, in which a bear knocks down and rolls the chest, while the lid seemed it would shatter and succumb to increased pummeling, it remained sealed until the end. However, grizzly resistant coolers can’t hold out animals for long. Adding a robust cooler lock will make the cooler is impregnable to attack.
Added features like the drainage spout provide efficient draining of water, non-skid feet prevent your floors from scratches. Unlike Yeti, all production of their rotomolded ice chests are made in the USA.
It’s one of the best cooler manufacturers, yet underrated. It comes in two models; Canyon Outfitter series, Canyon Adventure Series.
Contrary most cooler designs, it features a more rugged than sleek design. In fact, it features a unique attribute as different models have an altered aesthetic making it almost different from the next model.
Regarding insulation, they utilize HUNTX foam thick walls on all sides. With many awesome features and cheaper price, we compared the Canyon Vs Yeti in this post.
The Coleman Coolers has a gust of nostalgia. It has a reputation for producing top of the line products for almost 100 years.
They have a wide range of affordable ice chests, so much that we’ve included it in our budget cooler roundup. For less than $100, you’d find a great option for camping, fishing, tailgating and many more.
If you are a cooler fan, then you’ll know ORCA cooler can come up against any company product. The ORCA brand has disrupted the cooler space with alluring cooler designs. It prides itself with robust quality with beautiful aesthetics.
In addition to durability, there’s a Lid gasket to ensure a perfect seal, Extendable flex-grip handles for comfortable grip, Cargo net attachment for added storage, Easy-flow drainage spout for quick water draining.
The Ozark trail is easily the most cost-efficient cooler on the market – they have a series of coolers that can hold ice for long. Compared to the Yeti which costs twice the price of an Ozark, we compared the Ozark Vs Yeti here and there to be honest – Yeti edged the Ozark slightly in all categories. Is the Yeti superior? Yes! But if anything the Ozark trail has shown that even on a budget you can clinch a high-end cooler without breaking the bank.
Lifetime and Ozark are bed of feather – both are (Cost efficient). While top brands used rotomolded to create rugged and long ice retaining ice chest – significantly increasing the cost in the process. Lifetime sprung with an idea to use polyethylene cutting down production costs and market price. Check out all the lifetime coolers.
Magellan coolers are also budget chests with unique features and sticks out different compared to the ample yeti competitors. Sure, it is rotomolded but I can assure you that it’s one of the most affordable right now. Check the list of magellan coolers here.
Coolers & Ice chests Buyer’s Guide
Okay, coolers are all the same, the only difference is size.
Have many times have you been lied to that all coolers are the same?
In fact, categorization of coolers goes beyond their sizes and it’s more of the material build and the purpose it’s used for.
For starters, there are two widely known coolers:
Hard-sided coolers – like most of the ice chests we’ve reviewed above. They are best suited for tough situations and tend to hold ice for extended periods. The basic features of this type of these chests are high insulation performance and overall strong construction.
Soft Sided coolers – the main feature soft-sided chest is the lightweight built making it incredibly easy to carry around. +Compared to the hard-sided coolers, they have little insulating value. Soft sides are suitable for short use like a day at the beach, not camping trips.
Coolers come in different shapes and sizes. Here are some few tips to know the perfect cooler size for your needs.
Small cooler – Usually between (20-25 quarts). It is best for a day’s use
Medium cooler – ( between 25-45 quarts) best suited for short camping trips of no more than 3 days.
Large cooler – (40-75 quart) best suited to a week camping trip. It has enough space to fit in the supplies that’ll suffice friends and family.
What is the Technology behind Rotomolded Coolers?
A Rotomolded (aka) rotationally molded coolers are known primarily for high insulation performance keeping your food and drinks ice cold for a long time. Most of these coolers are built to take a tough beating and still stand.
Made from rotationally molded plastic, the process involves an even distribution of rubber in the around the cooler during production, providing some sort of thick wall.
As I’ve said earlier, a useful criterion for choosing Rotomolded coolers is its ability to keep out wild animals like grizzly bears. There are currently excellent grizzly bear resistant coolers on the market. However, they come with a steep price tag.
Some notable companies that produce the best-rotomolded coolers are Yeti, igloo, pelican & Engel.
Do You need a cooler?
Obviously, a cooler helps preserve perishable foods and keeps your drinks and beverages ice cold. So yes, if your trip is more than a day, do carry a hard cooler along.
But in situations where you’ll like to spend a day at the beach or enjoy a steak with friends at the backyard, a soft cooler will do.
What cooler size Should I pick?
I get this question more times than I can remember, and I’ve always given the same answer:
There’s no one size fit for all.
If you check the sizing range above, You will figure out sizes differ according to their quart(s).
Usually, If you are going on a lone trip, the small cooler is your best bet. They are also easier to carry around even with no assistance.
Are you going a companion or two? I’ll advise you to pick the medium size. The range is usually between (25-45 quarts)
While the big coolers are ideal for a good number of people going on weeklong trips, these coolers give consumers ample storage space; it even allows you to store bottles upright.
Also, don’t forget to purchase a cooler that can fit in your car without hassles.
How much should I pay?
Well, this depends on multiple factors:
First off is your budget. How much are you willing to spend on top-tier coolers?
If you are on a tight budget, you can always have a shot at inexpensive coolers. However, you should ask yourself if entry models can give you what you really need.
If you need something dispensable after use, styrofoam coolers would be fitting.
Key Features to Look for when buying a cooler
Congratulations, you’ve scoured the market and found an adorable ice box, excellent aesthetics, and alluring.
But Wait, choosing the best ice chest more than meets the eye. I’ve always advised people to choose function over beauty. The most important thing is to find coolers that can stand the test of time.
Also Read: best Ice Packs
You can’t get this step wrong because it’s telling how well the icebox executes its job, which is: keep foods and drinks cold.
High-end Models (Rotomolded Coolers) should at the very least eek out more days of preserving food and drinks at safe temperatures than traditional models.
Hunters and fishers will find the top rated models suitable. Since they are likely going to pack fresh meat, in this situation, much weight is given to the insulation performance.
While regular coolers insulation performance is low, they can meet the needs of consumers who need just a box which can keep their stuff cold for a day or two.
How many times have you tried carrying a cooler filled with ice and drinks? Probably more times than you can count?
Then you must have noticed how different the comfortability of these coolers are. Choosing are carrying method will not only give you comfort but give you a stress-free experience when lifting or moving the cooler around.
Lid Handles – This is a single handle fixed on the top, it’s best suited for a single person to transport especially when you stuff items in the cooler.
Side Handles – side handles are conventional handles found on coolers. The side handle gives you the liberty to either carry alone or get a helping hand from someone.
Shoulder Strap – A shoulder strap is mostly attached to soft cooler bags. Because they are light, you can throw the shoulder strap over your shoulders and walk a considerable distance.
Wheels – I don’t know about you, but I prefer a wheeled cooler especially when it’s large. The fact is utilizing wheels to move massive coolers, and ice chest is more convenient than lifting or carrying.
Usually common with soft-sided box, external storage provides a space where you can store away accessories away from the chilled room.
A good external storage should be easily accessible so that you don’t have to open the lid. Outer compartments should someplace away from the insulated area.
Types Of Coolers
t’s ideal you know the type of cooler you want to purchase, which is totally reliant on the function you are buying it for. To give you a better insight into coolers with different and unique functions, we’ve curated a list of the most common cooler types.
The name high end cooler is almost saying Rotomolded. Rotomolding process of construction is a process of injecting plastic into the walls of the cooler. This results in a thick layer which adds durability and increased ice periods. It should be able to keep items cold for up to a week.
Tired of relying on cooler packs to get your drinks cold? You have a perfect solution in Electric coolers.
If you are always on the road, then I see no reason why you shouldn’t have an electric cooler sitting in your car. To get it working, you simply have to plug its cable to a power-source, wait for some minutes for your drinks to get cold and enjoy the sensation of savoring cold drinks. When it’s out of battery, you can use electric mains or a generator to charge the battery.
This cooler type provides you with endless options to get your items cold, unlike conventional coolers were you have to fill it with dry ice or ice sheets. Some electric coolers are controlled using smartphones.
Backpack Coolers provide convenience and mobility especially when you want to pack enough beverage or snack for a day out or for events that don’t require many supplies. Utilizing insulated materials, it retains ice and doesn’t sweat.
It comes with shoulder straps used to reduce strain on the user especially when you are walking considerable distance too. These models are relatively cheap compared to rotomolded options.
Stainless Steel Coolers
Stainless steel coolers are made with stainless steel which requires little maintenance. These models are also coated with special layers making it resistant to rust. The material build enables the chest to retain cold for long.
Packing supplies for your needs should be relative to the cooler size. Short trips or events like camping, picnicking where little supplies are needed, small coolers are suitable options.
Also, people that use ice chests occasional would likely choose a small cooler which is considerably cheaper than large ice chests. Owing to their portable size, it’s easy to fit in the back of your car, SUV or truck.
Generally, a large cooler is fitting for functions like hunting, fishing & parties which requires a sizeable storage space. They are quite bulky and heavy when filled, you might need a helping hand to successfully move the chest around.
However, there’s a solution to the aforementioned issue. When choosing a giant cooler, go for the rolling coolers or you can buy fabricated wheels compatible with the model.
Coolers With Speakers
There are times when a drink alone cannot set the mood, you need music to make set if off. That’s where coolers with speakers come in. Purchasing it means not only do you get a cooler to keep your items cold but a boom box. It’s like using a stone to kill two birds.
Summer is just around the corner, pool parties are more frequent around this time. Getting out of the pool to get drinks is perhaps cumbersome for many. Floating cooler models are the perfect requisite to enjoy yourself while still inside the pool with little distractions.
They come in different sizes and shapes, some models even allow you to sit in them. Also, kayaks with limited space usually employ these models for extra storage. Floating chest are cheaper. Unlike Rotomolded chests, don’t expect it to hold cold for more than a day.
Soft Sided / Collapsible Coolers
Tired of carrying hard coolers? You probably should go for a soft sided coolers. Made with lightweight materials, it makes carrying your items a breeze. It comes with leak-proof materials which are suitable for keeping your drinks cold everywhere you go. Also, they appeal to budget users as they are cheaper than most models on the market.
Collapsible Coolers are mostly soft coolers, made of lightweight materials, it’s easy to fold or collapse when not in use. This makes storage easier and more convenient than hard models.
Wooden coolers might be old-fashioned, a friend once said “old-fashioned is the new fashion” I guess it all depends on perspective. If you want to add beauty to your courtyard, these Antique Ice chest will go a long way.
While wooden cooler might appear the least in holding ice, it integrates a hard cooler on the inside which means you can store drinks for extended hours. The hard cooler is protected from UV rays and rigors of outdoor environment enabling it to stay in tip-top condition for years to come. There are also DIY methods to construct these type of coolers.
Final Words – Wrapping it up.
Considerably, as you can from these best coolers & ice chest reviews, you’ll notice that there are so many types of great coolers that you’ll be spoiled for choice. Whether you want the best coolers for beach, Camping fishing, picnic, hard & soft-sided coolers, we’ve made some valuable suggestions for you.
Yes, the ice chest market is quite saturated, finding the perfect icebox is not easy. But you don’t have to worried cause our list has that taken care of.
Whatever you choose, follow our buyer’s guide and remember that there’s no such product as perfect. Just pick the best ice chest which bests suits your needs, and you’ll be fine. Check out our homepage for more amazing contents on coolers.