The best coolers keep ice, drinks and foods cold for as long as you’re enjoying the beach, camping, tailgating or grilling in your own backyard. Using insulation within their walls, many of today’s coolers can keep ice, drinks and food cool even when you’re outdoors in 100-degree-plus heat. The lid features PU foam insulation, taking care of the cooling, and four cup holders for housing your bottles and cans, though they don’t have a self-draining design like our next camping cooler does. The best coolers on the market can be found here.
Over the years as we’ve published and updated this article, and the articles it’s based on, we’ve stuck by two testing methods: measuring meltwater over time to illustrate the relative performance of insulation between coolers and measuring temperature change over time to determine the total length of time that ice stays preserved in a cooler. Why it’s great: Most roto-molded coolers are two or three times more expensive than they need to be. Of all the models we tested—which included the wildly popular Yeti Tundra 65 —the RTIC 65 is the best for the price and performance. We start our tour of our top-rated coolers with Yeti’s Hopper Two It’s an upgrade of their original Hopper design that features enhanced cold air retention, easier handling and improved exterior molding for easier storage and retrieval.
The popular favorites like Yeti or RTIC beach coolers can stay in use for a very long time (up to 20 years), so when you think about it like that the price doesn’t seem so high. Times have changed, however, and before you let your family pass down that dinky cooler you took on road trips and beach days , you should familiarize yourself with the new breed of coolers from brands like YETI, Coleman, and Pelican that turn these simple portable iceboxes into off-roading, days-long parties. As a general rule, coolers on the high end of the cooling range have much thicker insulation than those designed to keep ice frozen for just a few days.
Try adding ice packs or bags of ice to your cooler the night before you plan to use it, and make sure your drinks and foods are already cold when you put them in. Even if the bagged ice starts to melts, it will lower the internal temperature to help keep things chilled. If you only need a cooler to use in your backyard, consider a stationary or wheeled patio cooler These coolers have a raised design, which makes it easy to reach in for food, ice and drinks. If you’re camping, boating or hunting, or you’ll be away for days or weeks, look for a large, hard-sided cooler, or chest cooler It will have room for bags or blocks of ice as well as drinks and food.
Yeti’s Tundra model features T-Rex lid latches which fit into a ball and joint type of closure, tie-down slots molded into the body of the coolers for securing the cooler, and a patented Coldlock freezer-quality gasket. To make a long story short, lunch coolers are designed, with respect to both cooling ability and capacity, to keep food cool for about six hours—the typical time between when the lunch is packed and when it’s eaten. This cooler’s specific design features—like an elevated base and UV inhibitors—keep your ice cold for four to five days, while the stainless-steel hardware is rust and weather-resistant to ensure maximum performance.
Yeti coolers also eliminate seams, as well as attaching the lid directly to the body, thereby providing as strong a seal as possible to keep outside air from seeping in. The result is a level of cooling that holds up, no matter how hot it is outside. When used in your YETI cooler, dry ice can keep food and drinks cold and frozen longer than regular ice. When used in conjunction with a YETI hard cooler, dry ice can keep food and drinks cold and frozen longer than regular ice.
The Igloo Maxcold doesn’t have features that make it an alternative to pricey coolers like the Mojecto, and it’s also not cheap enough to compete with our top pick. Evaporative coolers lower the temperature of air using the principle of evaporative cooling, unlike typical air conditioning systems which use vapor-compression refrigeration or absorption refrigeration Evaporative cooling is the conversion of liquid water into vapor using the thermal energy in the air, resulting in a lower air temperature. At just a fraction of the price of the best rotomolded coolers, it will keep your food and drink cold without breaking the bank.
Removable lid and flip-up locking handle – Our iceless coolers are designed to be portable and easy to clean. These coolers are solid, bear-proof and boast of abilities to keep food cold for 5-10 days. The best ice chest or best coolers are insulated boxes to keep your food or drinks cold.
Not every product in our best camping coolers guide features wheels, as Tourit’s design shows: this one is more a record bag-style cooler, with a thick and comfy handle for slinging over your shoulder. You’ll turn heads when you pitch up at the campsite, park or beach with the Big Picknicker: we know because we’ve done it. This beautiful camping cooler has a distinct retro style, but there’s nothing outdated about the tech it uses to keep your beers and food ice cold even when it’s sweltering hot outside. Coleman’s durable and weatherproof design is our pick of the best camping coolers because it’s so rugged, with all-terrain wheels to take you from campsite to park or beach, and easy to pull-along; a telescopic steel handle takes the strain, or grab it by both handles when taking it out of the car.
This 47-litre coolbox on wheels is designed to keep food and drink fresh and cold for up to five days, making it an excellent choice for longer camping trips. There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than an ice cold drink taken straight from your own coolbox or coolbag, and our pick of the best camping coolers are versatile enough to be used in a variety of outdoors scenarios. These top camping coolboxes, including Yeti coolers and Igloo coolers, are also ideal for festivals and hot summer days at the beach.
Cordova Coolers are designed to keep your perishable items cold for many days, but fresh ice always helps. Yeti Hopper BackFlip : For the price, Yeti was outperformed by several other similar models, including our top pick among backpack coolers. We tested the soft coolers and backpacks in Ventura, California, by loading every soft cooler with 9 pounds of pre-bagged ice and left them outside for 24 hours, from noon to noon, over two sunny days with an ambient temperature between 70 and 75 degrees with nearly constant sun exposure.
The cooler’s best design feature is one you will also find in AO Coolers and StrongBags models: When it’s open, the bag stands erect like a grocery bag, which provides easy access for loading and unloading. Matching performance of the latest coolers from Corsair and NZXT, the 240mm CLC costs a fraction of the price while only sacrificing on a few features. Fun fact, the heat capacity of water is about four times greater than that of either air or the copper plates commonly used to draw heat away from your CPU, so AIO coolers tend to be a little more efficient and therefore less noisy.
The MaxCold’s plasticky build and dated design aren’t anything fancy to look at, but it covers the basics by including a drainage spout and a latch for the lid (not every cooler in this price range does).