We have all seen them, in different colors, sizes, and designs, probably around our homes or somewhere in town. Cooler boxes or ice chests as some call them are useful when we want to keep food or drinks frosty cold.
Well, the plain truth is that we all, at a given point, need them. If you think you don’t need them you better ask those who love spending the weekend in the outdoor world. These rugged heavy-duty coolers are your best friends when you are properly geared up for that fishing, hunting, tailgating, sports, picnic, pool party or any other party. Coolers are equipped with superior insulation that keeps your drinks or food cold and fresh.
Want to rock your two to five days trip?
If the answer is yes, then you definitely need a cooler to preserve your beverages and food. Don’t risk the boredom of a trip all gone wrong. Well, with that said, there is something else you need to prioritize – making the best value for your bucks.
One thing is for sure: getting the best cooler for your camping season is not as easy as you may think. To make it worse, there are so many of them out there, with their prices exponentially rising! Reading this post? Count yourself lucky for we have done the hard work for you.
By the end of this post, you will have enough information to make the right decision. We have spent several days putting together the list of the top 10 coolers. Here we go.
Ready to check them out?
Here is the list of coolers you can find out there. Look no further.
|Product Name||Image||Capacity||Overall Rating||Details|
|Coolest Cooler in Classic Orange||55 Quarts||8.5||Check price|
|Pelican Products Pro-Gear Elite Cooler||20 Quarts||10||Check price|
|K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler||20 Quarts||8.5||Check price|
|Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Cooler||120 Quarts||9.5||Check price|
|Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler||60 Quarts||9||Check price|
|RTIC Cooler||20 Quarts||8.5||Check price|
|ENGEL USA Cooler/Dry Box||19 Quarts||8||Check price|
|Wagan 12V Cooler/Warmer Capacity||20 Quarts||8||Check price|
|Stanley Adventure Cooler||16 Quarts||7.5||Check price|
|RTIC Soft Pack||30 Quarts||8.5||Check price|
Ready for the breakdown? It gonna be interesting…
Fun is fun when it is outside with the Coolest Cooler. Honestly speaking, this rugged cooler is awesomely engineered. If we were to hold a competition, I bet this would emerge as the winner.
It is an amazing multi-functional device that will leave you with the longest memories ever when given a space in your tailgater, birthday, fishing expedition, hunting, camp trip, or any other outdoor party.
Why don’t you just see for yourself?
Take a look at the prominent features of this awesomely engineered cooler. It can’t miss out on my next Christmas shopping list.
- Comes equipped with an ice-crushing blender. It is time to rock your party with blended frozen cocktails or smoothies. The 20V rechargeable battery is very powerful, you won’t have an excuse.
- Awesomely engineered. It only takes a single glance to appreciate the unique design of the Coolest Cooler. Nothing will hinder you from having a great day away home.
- 21st-century innovative cooler. Avoid regular coolers that can be nasty and boring. The Coolest knows how to do its thing – Taking fun outside.
- Built-in USB charger. Your phone and/or tablet are never going out because the Coolest has the coolest features. Charge your devices with the waterproof USB port. Keep the tunes streaming in while the Bluetooth speaker blasts your outside world.
- Powerful Bluetooth Speaker. The workmanship used here is just top-notch. Dual drivers plus a resonator plate pumps much bass with clarity. The party is never getting boring.
This may be hard to believe…
The Coolest, being one of the best models built to offer fun, also comes with the following:
- LED light to help you fetch drinks when it gets dark
- Bottle opener with magnetic cap catcher
- Built-in plates
- Removable cutting board
- Ceramic knife
Coolest is everything you need to maximize fun when having a good time with friends or family. It is your best friend when you want a refreshing day. The built-in blender will do an amazing job with a single charge. You will definitely have enough of smoothies and cocktails. The superior insulation makes up to 5 days of ice retention. Think of drinking cold drinks, charging your phone and listening to cool music, all from one single rugged cooler.
Isn’t that amazing? We honestly can’t ask for more.
It includes double-wide rubberized wheels that easily roll across any surface and aluminum telescoping non-slip handles. Want to have the best moments when adventuring the outdoor environment? Then you better have the Coolest Cooler by your side. Wherever there is this cooler, fun must be there!
- Features a clever unique design
- Multipurpose cooler
- Holds a lot of gadgets
- Can carry over 600lbs
- Has locking tie-downs to make your travel a breeze
- Heavier than others
Coolest Cooler in Classic Orange
The Pelican Products 20 Quart ProGear is another impressive cooler that fulfills its claim. This rugged unit is one of the best models with extreme ice retention capabilities. Being a heavy-duty wheeled cooler, the Elite ProGear Elite Cooler not only preserves your food and drinks but is also bear-resistant. Well, I guess hunters are the only ones who will be happy to hear this.
But this is the kick-starter:
This cooler is not called “Elite” for no good reason. It is equipped with high-grade 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation. Well, it takes a single opening to appreciate the incredible workmanship.
Are you ready for more information regarding this cooler?
If you are not convinced of the authenticity of this cooler, go through its robust features:
- Extreme ice retention. The thick molded polyurethane insulation keeps the temperatures as low as possible.
- Press and pull latches. Easy-to-use latches tightly lock the unit for optimal security. They also prevent accidental openings.
- Quality stainless steel hardware. This unit is built to last
- Ergonomic single non-crush handle. Makes carrying easy even when the cooler is full
- Molded-in tie downs
- The capacity of 20 quarts. This cooler can hold up to 15 cans.
- 4 integrated cup holders. Secures bottles and mugs in the right place.
- Molded-in locks secure the content of the cooler
Whether you are set ready for a weekend beach excursion or just want to hold a camp trip a mile away, the Pelican Products 20 Quart ProGear has everything it takes to rock your party. Equipped with an airtight seal, this unit will lock in the cold and keep away any contaminant.
But this is what drives me crazy:
Unlike its competitors, the Pelican ProGear Elite Cooler features a lifetime guarantee which is a solid proof that this cooler is built to last. Being a small model compared to other larger Pelican coolers, this unit is perfect for short trips. It is also easy to pick up and empty. Overall, it is designed to make your transport a breeze and give you refreshing moments out there.
- Durable and reliable cooler
- Highly insulated
- Easy to carry because of the many handles
- Long ice life considering its size
- Easy to use
- Quite heavy and bulky
Pelican Products 20 Quart Pro-Gear Elite Cooler
The K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler s a professional unit that is engineered to make your outdoor experience great. Get this right. This cooler outperforms many other high-end models and yet it is reasonably priced.
But this is the real kick-starter.
What we all love about the K2 more than any other cooler is its padded straps. If you happen to be among those obsessed with the outdoor adventures it is your best friend then. When it is time to get home, make use of the shoulder straps. They ease your carrying. I guess this makes your journey easier compared to models with handles.
That is not the end of it, this unit boasts of other incredible features.
- Superior construction. The K2 Summit 20 Cooler is a roto-molded ice chest that boasts of reliable durability.
- Extra-thick insulation. This is why this unit offers superior ice retention. Another robust feature that aids to high-end insulation is the unique gasket that is installed on this cooler.
- Padded shoulder straps. Unlike other coolers that feature non-slip ergonomic handles, the K2 Summit 20 Cooler has a well-padded shoulder strap for easy transportation, especially when one is exhausted.
- Good performance. K2 has superior insulation that perfectly blends with polyethylene construction to maximize ice retention. It can last for more than 2 days.
To be honest with you, sometimes you do not need to break the banks in order to have the best product. K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler is an ideal choice that knows how to do its work – keeping ice and drinks cold.
Get this right! You do not have to necessarily run for models like Yeti when K2 is engineered to deliver fun in the outdoor parties. I personally love the unique design that fits any setting without taking much space. The 7-year warranty is a solid proof that this cooler has much to offer. Other prominent features of the K2 include POSITRAC lid latches, sure-grip rubber feet, ENDURA integrated hinge system, and the ICE vault lid gasket.
Can’t go for a week without going to the lake? Well, I guess this is the right choice for you. Outside partying or camping will always be great with K2 Summit 20 Cooler.
- Superior roto-molded polyethylene construction. It is built-to-last and extremely reliable.
- Premium quality yet budget-friendly
- One-piece roto-molded design
- Has a remarkable ice retention capability
- Small and portable
- Slightly bulkier compared to other models
- It is not the best insulation you can get
We can’t deny the fact that the Coleman 120 Quart Xtreme Cooler has way far outperformed its competitors. Talk of the fantastic insulation, a high capacity that is capable of holding tons of cold beer (or 190 cans), comfort grip & non-slip handles and much more.
Honestly speaking, this unit boasts of several above-average features more than anything else in the market. Whether you are prepping for a camping or fishing expedition, this cooler makes the fun last longer and longer.
And not just that.
As if that is not enough, the Coleman 120 Quart Coastal Xtreme Cooler offers protection from damaging UV rays. It is equipped with quality UV-guard materials to keep everything outside and under the covers protected.
Not yet convinced? See why this cooler tops the list:
Coleman Coastal Extreme has other robust features that will make you get off the sofa and run to the bank.
- Extra ThermOZONE Insulation. If there is nothing else you can appreciate in this unit, I bet the optimal ice retention is what will pull you in. This cooler can keep your food and beverages cold for an entire week. Additionally, it can maintain its temperature at 32.22 degrees (90⁰ F) even in much hotter days. Well, I guess you won’t have an excuse for not having fun.
- UV color additive. In order to protect the cooler and prevent weakening and yellowing of the case, this cooler is treated with UV color additive.
- Amazing capacity. There is more than enough room for all your drinks and food. You can set out for your fishing expedition knowing you won’t run out of soda, ice coffee or beer no matter how hot it gets. This cooler can accommodate up to 190 cans.
- Comfort-grip & non-slip handles. The Coleman Coastal Xtreme also boasts of top-notch two-way handles that make your carrying easier. You will appreciate the workmanship.
- Antimicrobial additive. Well, the truth is, some coolers sucks because of the strange odors that set in within a few days into use. Get this right! That does not happen with Coleman Coastal 120 Quart Cooler. It has an antimicrobial additive that keeps away odor-causing bacteria.
- Rustproof and leak-resistant channel drain. No more tilting, this feature will keep everything neat and also extend the lifespan of your cooler.
- High-end construction. The cooler boasts of stainless steel hardware.
- Xtreme technology. Coleman Xtreme has both an insulated lid and features superior wall insulation, the reason it is capable of keeping ice up to 6 days.
I am not gonna sit here and mention all the robust features of this cooler, that would take days. This is a tough cooler that will never disappoint you, whether you decide to go for a whole week fishing expedition or one-day picnic. Needless to say, where this cooler goes, people must be loving the fun out there. When you are tired after a long day of fun, you have a place to sit and rest.
Coleman 120 Quart Xtreme Cooler has an A-Seat lid that is capable of supporting 250 lbs. I guess you are not going out for a 5-day boating experience with folks weighing more than 250lbs? Well, if that happens to you, I rest my case!
As if that is not enough…
This unit is also free from HFCs, HCFCs, and CFCs. Whether you are bringing lunch for your camp trip or headed to your favorite fishing spot, the Coleman 120 Quart Xtreme keeps everything at the right temperature. Do not forget the no-crush handles that make your carrying a breeze.
In addition, the cup holders of this unit are uniquely molded into the lid so as to keep your beer or soda close. In a nutshell, this cooler is worth taking home.
- Incredible long ice life
- Relatively tough
- Quality construction; higher quality materials
- High capacity for your drinks and food
- Comfort no-crush two handles enhances mobility
- Quite heavy
- Quite expensive
Featuring superior functionality and a unique cube design, the Igloo 60 Quart Ice Cuber Cooler has reshaped the cooler industry. Apart from having a revolutionary attractive yet simple design, it boasts of molded-in side handles that makes the lifting in/out of a vehicle hassle-free. This is a great feature which lacks in other pricier models, especially if you want to decorate it additionally.
But this is what we all find interesting:
The Igloo 60-Quart Cooler has push-button release telescoping handles making transport of this cooler easier and more convenient. Perfectly luggage-style, I love it!
- Lockable telescoping ergonomic handles. Transport has been made easier than ever with the Igloo Ice Cuber Cooler.
- Recessed drain plug. It is also leak resistant and makes it easy to drain melted ice.
- 4-convenient drink holders. They will keep your drinks secure wherever you go.
- Durable and easy-rolling wheels. Being easy-rolling, these wheels will make your transport a breeze regardless of the ground surface.
- Ergonomic cube design. Extremely appealing and stylish for a fishing expedition.
On a final word, the Igloo 60 Quart Ice Cuber Cooler unit is another awesome cooler. Whether you are rolling from that tailgate or headed to a camp trip, this unit will hold up to 90 cans and keep everything at the desired temperature. Equipped with deep foam Ultratherm insulation and polyethylene, this cooler maximizes ice retention.
But here is the kick-starter:
Of all the features that the Igloo cooler prides in, there is one thing that stands out from the rest – Luggage-style design. To be honest, this cooler has everything you would want in a cooler that makes transport easier. Talk of the ergonomic lockable handles, the molded-in handles, and the unique cube-like design.
They all make the Igloo Ice Cuber Cooler the ultimate companion when prepping for those camp trips, tailgating, fishing expeditions, and more.
- Makes transport easy with the adjustable handle and the molded-in handles
- Got plenty of space inside
- Great-looking cube design
- Space-saving cooler
- Ideal for tailgating, camping, parties and more
- The wheels are only easy-rolling on hard surface
- Not sturdy enough to sit on.
The RTIC 20 is a personal cooler that is ideal for a weekend trip, just golfing with a few friends or just for you alone. Featuring a seamless Roto-molded construction, this cooler is for sure durable. It is a suitable choice for campsites, canoe ATV, golf carts, fishing or hunting.
Ready for more information?
Apart from keeping your drinks and food cold, this multipurpose cooler can also serve as a non-slip stool, bench, and cutting board. With a capacity of up to 24 cans, this unit is your best friend when you decide to go it alone. It is a one-hand carry cooler which can be taken anywhere.
- Long ice life. RTIC beats its competitors like Yeti when it comes to ice retention. It can keep ice up to 10 days. Sounds unbelievable yet factual!
- Seamless Roto-molded construction. High-end workmanship makes the unit virtually indestructible
- Perfect size (20 Quarts) makes it suitable for short trips, weekend barbecues, campsites and kayak.
- Integrated locking system. Keeps everything intact and safe
- Heavy duty rubber T-latches. These enhance trouble-free and smooth closure
On a final note, the RTIC 20 is a great performer. Compared to several premium coolers, it keeps drinks cold for longer and is a great option for personal use. Despite being the smallest amongst the RTIC models, the RTIC 20 turns out to be the best weekend gear because of its awesome cooling retention.
- Amazingly long ice life
- It is durable and reliable
- Similar to yeti which means parts are exchangeable
- Great design and excellent finish
- Easy to tote around
- Cannot keep food and drinks for 10 days as advertised.
The ENGEL Cooler/Dry is another great unit that will provide excellent thermal preservation for your drinks or food. I guess we are all different and sometimes like things our own way. If you are looking for a unit that can keep things cold, dry or hot, then look no further. The ENGEL insulated cooler box is the most preferred choice.
But this is what drives me crazy:
Of all the coolers, expensive, budget-friendly or sophisticated, it is the ENGEL cooler/dry box that is completely airtight. Even if this box is tipped over in your car, nothing will leak out. To be honest with you, it is a dream come true for many of us that love adventuring the outdoor world.
But there is still more to add to this story.
We aren’t done here, the ENGEL cooler/dry box has other features you should check out.
- Airtight EVA gasket O-ring seal. Makes the unit completely water and airtight. It can be submerged to a 3ft depth. Quite incredible!
- Molded polystyrene insulation. ENGEL is equipped with high-grade molded polystyrene foam, the reason it can keep things the way you want.
- Rotatable top handle and shoulder strap. The recessed handle and the comfortable straps make carrying this box a breeze.
- Stainless steel latches. Secures everything in place and prevents accidental openings
- Quality hardware. The unit boasts of exclusive polystyrene insulation, stain and odor resistant material, and non-absorbent surface.
- Lightweight, rugged and polypropylene box. It is a great option when you want to carry all your favorite drinks and food but can’t stop thinking about lifting the heavy cooler/dry box.
Admittedly, ENGEL Cooler is equipped with above average features. I bet those who love to go for fishing or swimming expeditions need something like this. They will store sensitive electronics such as cameras, smartphones, and medical supplies and dive in water stress-free.
I personally heart the self-stopping hinges and the elevated feet. I guess it is because am one of those crazy guys who are health-conscious. This feature prevents heat or dirt exchange with the ground.
Sincerely speaking, the ENGEL cooler/dry box is an incredible companion regardless of the nature of your expedition. If you don’t like it, simply try it out and you will surely love it!
Not to forget!
It keeps ice longer compared to other premium coolers. Additionally, it has one of the best construction.
- Quality hardware
- Can be submerged in water and cause no mess
- Compact and lightweight design
- This cooler/dry box has floating capability
- An excellent one-day cooler
- The storage space is slightly limited
ENGEL USA 19-Quart Cooler/Dry Box
When you set out for a family road trip and don’t want to run out of food, drinks, or snacks, the best companion you can carry along is the Wagan 12V Cooler/Warmer. It is an excellent model, with extra sophistication, that features a classy look. Actually, this unit functions both as a cooler and a warmer.
Ready to learn more?
The greatest and most important difference that the Wagan 12V 24L Cooler/Warmer makes is handling all the needs of a family. If you spend a lot of time in your personal car, especially on a long drive, this unit will keep the family’s entire lunch and dinner at the desired temperatures.
Not convinced enough? What about this:
Well, let’s not waste time and go straight to the prominent features of this cooler/warmer.
- Family-sized cooler/warmer. When engineers designed the Wagan Tech 24L unit, they must have had family interest at hand. This unit is designed in a way that best suits an entire family on a road trip. It will keep all your food warm or cold, it all narrows down to how you want it.
- High-grade versatility. This cooler/warmer has two temperature settings. You can cool up to 32 degrees or warm up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You simply toggle the hot/cold/off switch and let this amazing machine do its thing.
- 24 Liter capacity. There is plenty of room for the family’s snacks, drinks, food and any other essential. The cooler/warmer can fit up to four 2L bottles or 27 cans.
- Operates on either DC Car adapter or AC adapter. When traveling in your car, you can plug this unit into the DC adapter using the long power cord. Alternatively, use the AC adapter at home or office.
- Multipurpose unit. Apart from being a reliable cooler/warmer, the Wagan 24L EL6224 can be used to store medicine or act as a fridge to keep breastmilk cool.
- CFC-free cooling.
To be honest with you, the Wagan is a family-friendly unit. A family trip or picnic away from home is considered incomplete without this versatile unit. Featuring a diminutive size, this cooler/warmer will store all the road trip necessities. When wrapping up everything at the end of the trip, you can unplug the unit so the inside temperature gradually equalizes the external one.
Other robust features of the Wagan include the heavy-duty handle that makes carrying a breeze and the LED light indicator. Its height is also suitable for storing sodas and wine bottles in an upright position.
On a final word, this cooler/warmer is the way to go when you don’t want your family to get hungry or thirsty when away for a long road trip or any other vacation.
But here is the kick-starter:
If you love using the back seat, this cooler/warmer has you sorted. It will serve you during summer and winter. It has an extra-long power cord to allow you use the unit at the back of the car.
- Extra tall design allows storage of soda and wine bottles
- CFC-free; earth friendly
- Double-functionality; both a warmer and a cooler
- Multipurpose unit
- Removable lid makes cleaning quick and easy
- Highly versatile
- Plenty of room for storage
- High-grade construction
- Consumes a lot of power; extra cost
- The AC adapter is sold separately
The Stanley Adventure Cooler is another legendary performer in the cooler industry. Apart from being durable, it is engineered to meet the tough demands of cooler enthusiasts. It can store 21 cans and keep them cold for up to 36 hours.
But here is the interesting thing:
The Stanley Adventure 16 Quart Cooler has a leak-resistant gasket that locks in the cold keeping your drinks cold for long.
There are more reasons as to why this cooler is worth taking home. Let’s go through its features:
- Double wall foam insulation. The high-density polypropylene helps keep its content cold for longer than standard coolers
- High-grade construction. The unit has double wall form plus rock solid hinges and latches. All these features add to the durability of the Stanley Adventure Cooler
- Capable of storing 21 cans. Regardless of the nature of your adventure, this cooler will keep 21 cans sold. It is spacious enough for all your food and drinks.
- Adjustable tie-downs. You can secure your bottle/mug in place
- Foamed lid and body. This not only optimizes ice retention capability but also makes the unit sturdier.
Whether it is the long road trip, camp trip, endless nights in the garage, or whatever adventure, the Stanley Adventure Cooler is a tough tool that will have you sorted with the coldest drinks, snacks and other foods.
When it is blazing hot during summer, you know what to do. Keep all the 21 cans of your favorite beverages, fruits and veggies and let this cooler do its thing. For up to 36 hours, the drinks will remain at the optimal refreshing temperatures.
Overall, the Stanley Adventure Cooler gives all your trip necessities a firm hold and longer cold retention. Prominent features of this cooler include leak-resistant gasket locks, strong locking latches, and the adjustable tie down.
- Exclusively high-end construction
- Protects the content from heat with double walls
- Nice ice life considering its compact design
- Easy to transport
- Locks securely
- Quite expensive
- Users have complained of the lid getting stubborn
Stanley Adventure Cooler
Capable of 10 days of ice retention, the RTIC Soft Pack is another beast of a cooler filled with adventurous spirits. The fact that it is mid-sized makes it a perfect for travel. There are many models from RTIC but the Soft Side 30 perhaps made the best shot in the market.
But this is even better…
The RTIC Soft Pack is puncture-resistant and 100% leak-proof. Well, that is not all, this adventurous cooler has other robust features that push it up the ranks:
- As hard and tough as nails. The Soft Pack 30 Cooler is puncture-resistant. The bears won’t have an opportunity.
- Antimicrobial liner. Keeps any harmful bacteria away and also prevents the development of mildew.
- 2-inches closed-cell foam insulation. This unit boasts of high-end cooling technology. It can keep ice up to 5 days. With enough frosty cold drinks, your party gonna rock than ever before!
- Heavy duty vinyl shell. The Soft Pack 30 has proven to be tougher and stronger than most soft-sided coolers. It is also tear-resistant.
- UV Protection. Ensure the entire cooler doesn’t lose its color. This helps maintain the new original look for longer.
- Plenty of room. This unit can hold up to 30 cans. This is amazing given that it doesn’t have a bulky design.
- Non-sweating exterior. You can use the exterior to store dry items.
- Leak-proof. When it is time to set out for that tailgating, camp trip or boating expedition, fill this unit with as much ice and water as you want. It is totally leak-proof. No mess!
The RTIC Soft Pack is a perfect companion that will ensure you never run out of frosty cold drinks. Whether you are rolling out for that boating expedition or just want to hold some tailgating party, this cooler will never disappoint you. With 2-inch closed-cell foam insulation, this unit can preserve your drinks, food, and snacks for up to 5 days.
It would also be a great option for hunters as it boasts of solid rock construction. Apart from being 100% leak-proof, it is tear-resistant and wrapped in heavy duty vinyl shell. What else could we ask from the RTIC producers? For years, they have been hitting the market with incredible coolers such as the Soft Sided 30 Cooler.
But here is what we love the most…
This unit strikes a balance between capacity and ice life. It can hold up to 30 cans plus ice and preserve its content for up to 5 days. Admittedly, that sounds amazing, thanks to RTIC.
- Rugged and extremely durable
- Plenty of room for your drinks and ice
- Plenty of attachments for small items
- Keeps ice for several days
- Users have complained of a very strong scent after purchase
How to Choose the Best Cooler
To be honest with you, not every cooler out there is worth taking home. There are so many online scams, dishonest reviews and biased websites that advertise coolers. To make it worse, so many products claim to achieve the impossible yet they are some disappointing pieces of plastic.
Get this right, it is not the most expensive unit that always turns out to be the best. In fact, some units are fairly priced yet are amazing performers. To help you get out of the trap, we have done the hard work for you. Here are the factors you should consider before spending a single penny. Who knows, maybe some of you are just about to waste money you haven’t worked for.
There are several sizes of coolers, ranging from pack coolers, 20 Quart, 50 Quart or even larger sizes. The size you chose definitely depends on the type of adventure you partake and how long it is going to last. If you are the type of folk that just goes for a one-day boating expedition, you need a smaller lightweight cooler.
On the other hand, if you are the type that loves going on a road trip with the entire family, you better opt for the larger models, especially the electric type.
Some coolers are solid sturdy to the extent of being able to support 250 b folks while others will break down after the slightest abuse. If you rarely go for adventurous events apart from a few picnics, do not buy a solid sturdy unit. Remember you pay for what you get.
On the other hand, if you for long trips lasting for more than 5 days, go the expensive models that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Needless to say, you don’t’ a situation where your drinks and food goes bad when you are hundreds of miles away from home.
Additionally, if you plan to spend the entire week at the camping site, also remember to opt for coolers with the following features:
- Strong handles
- Properly fitting lids
- Tough and durable wheels
Just like any other product, you have to buy a product that suits your needs without exploiting you financially. Even though you pay for what you get, some coolers are unreasonably overpriced. It is advisable to go for a cooler with a good standing record.
However, if you intend to put your cooler to frequent use you should opt for pricier models. Tough, tear-resistant and high-grade coolers are generally expensive.
Some coolers are more effective than others in regard to maintaining reasonable temperatures. This is an important feature, especially when you are away for a whole week trip. Nothing disappoints like arriving at your destination only to realize all ice has melted. Some models are equipped with superior insulation than others.
- Ease of using and cleaning
Some units are equipped with features that add convenience more than others. A cooler should be practical to make your travel easy. It should have easy-to-roll wheels, adjustable handles, molded-in handles for easy lifting, carrying padded straps, and more.
More sophisticated models feature a control panel where you can customize the cooler to your personal preference.
Most importantly, a cooler should have a rust-resistant channel drain. This helps a lot when draining the melted ice and in cleaning the unit.
- Other considerations
There are other factors you may also need to consider before buying a cooler. Depending on the way you intend to use your cooler, some may turn out to be very crucial.
- Easy to lock latches
- Self-stopping hinges
- Raised wheels
- Ease of opening/accessing the lid
- Design/number of handles
- Cup holders
- Section dividers
- Airtight seals
All Types of Coolers
I guess it is important you also get to know this…
We all grew up seeing the basic coolers at family outings and the few picnics we had the opportunity to go. However, with development in technology, other varieties of coolers have emerged. Today, we have the soft-side coolers and the heavy-duty coolers.
Nevertheless, coolers are very important in effectively preserving food and beverages when we go out for hikes or overnight trips. Coolers are categorized into various types based on the material used in construction.
Let’s take a look at a few ones:
- Plastic Coolers
These are the most common type of coolers we all come across. They are made of tough molded plastic. Generally, they come in different sizes and have plenty of room for storing large amounts of food. They are equipped with tough insulated lids and have sturdy plastic handles. Plastic coolers are supposed to be filled with both ice cubes and food.
- Metal Coolers
If you happen to know a few fishermen and hunters, you probably should have come across this kind of coolers. Needless to say, these are the most durable. I also can’t forget to mention that they are expensive compared to the rest of the models. Be prepared to spend more when you decide to buy one.
However, they are the best options when you want something durable and one that can withstand harsh weather conditions and all forms of human abuse.
Additionally, metal coolers are heavy and overall inappropriate when going for a short trip.
- Fabric Coolers
Also referred to as collapsible coolers, fabric coolers were designed to enhance user convenience when carrying small packages. Being collapsible and lightweight makes them the perfect option for carrying a few beverages and other small items. They are made from canvas-type synthetic materials and also reinforced with an insulating foam layer.
Even though they are not able to keep items cold for long, they are practical for a one-day trip.
- Styrofoam Coolers
These are box-like and are lightweight compared to plastic coolers. They are an excellent option when one is storing lightweight items. They are cheap and rarely used for camping and other outdoor adventures.
- Electric Coolers
Electric coolers are like portable fridges. They use electricity and are, therefore, used in a personal vehicle or at home. You can either use AC adapter or DC car adapter. Even though they are expensive, they are more effective in preserving large amounts of drinks and food. Remember, you do not have to fill them with ice. This implies they have more storage space.
Want to know more?
Some coolers are designed to suit certain adventures. For instance, coolers suitable for camping trips are designed to make transport easy and convenient.
Additionally, you need to get some basic knowledge about some few items or accessories you may need when setting out for that camping trip, picnic, tailgating, fishing expedition or any other outdoor party.
Cooler for Camping
There is no better way of making your camping trip pleasurable other than carrying along a cooler that ensures your food remains fresh and great-tasting. However, not all coolers are designed the same. If you are hiking overland, you definitely need a cooler that is hard-walled. There is more than just picking a tough tear-resistant cooler.
Get this right!
It is the journey that dictates the right type of camping cooler. For instance, if you set out for a 5-days trip, you need a camping cooler with plenty of room, long ice life, and quality construction because of the risks out there in the wild.
Cooler With Wheels
When you finally arrive at the camping ground, your journey doesn’t end there. You will need to move your cooler, the reason you may be better off with a cooler with wheels, especially if it is larger than 30 Quarts.
However, some models only feature cheap-feeling plastic wheels that can’t withstand rough ground. In fact, most campers are forced to modify the coolers or opt for the rock-solid models which happen to be expensive.
Backpack coolers can make your life easier when prepping for one-day hikes, beach outings, picnics. They are convenient when carrying packed lunch and a few drinks. Not to forget, some backpacks are designed for specific cooler models. For a one day outing, you can choose to carry your cooler in a backpack, especially smaller sizes less than 33 quarts.
When choosing a cooler backpack, kindly take care of the following factors:
- Design – Buy a cooler backpack that will carry the things you need. The shape of the things you intend to carry definitely defines the design you finally choose.
- Size – Choose the size that will accommodate everything you need for the camp trip, picnic or whatever party.
- The material used – Bags made from stronger materials are more likely to withstand heavy items and abuse.
- How does the bag open – it is easy to load and offload a bag that opens wide at the top.
When you go to a camping site and it is summer time, it can terribly get warm. In such a situation, you need more than just a cooler to keep your beverages, food, and snacks frosty cold and fresh.
The handy device that comes to your help when it gets warm around is an evaporative cooler. It can reduce the surrounding temperature by 20 to 30 degrees. It simply cools the surrounding through evaporation of water. Surprisingly, there are many ways you can come up with a DIY cooler. Some use the ordinary homer’s all-purpose bucket while others modify the common camping coolers.
The only problem is, an evaporative cooler cannot be relied on when camping in a high-humidity area. Overall, evaporative coolers are the best way you can beat the summer heat without spending much.
Cooler Ice Packs
Admittedly, it is really disappointing when you reach for your snack only to realize it is more messed up than a wet tissue paper. Well, that is what happens sometimes when you use ice cubes or crushed ice instead of ice cubes.
Thanks to modern innovation for coming up with convenient sizes of ice packs. Compared to ice cubes, it is easier to eliminate melted ice when using ice packs. They also decrease the interior temperature of your cooler thereby keeping your drinks and food frosty cold.
However, kindly note that ice packs are a more suitable option when your cooler holds more food and less cans. If your cooler carries more cans than food, crushed ice will work great.
Needless to say, each cooler has its own warranty policy. Generally, what is of uttermost importance is to buy a product from a genuine dealer so that you remain covered within the warranty period.
For instance, Amazon provides a one-year warranty against for workmanship and defects in material counting from the date you make the original retail purchase. In any case, the cooler you bought proves to be defective within the warranty period, the company can:
- Replace the cooler with a new one or refurbished one
- Repair the product
- Refund you the purchase price of the product bought
Therefore, as a buyer, you are highly advised to be careful not to tamper or do anything that may disqualify you from compensation.
Additionally, go through both the manufacturer and the genuine dealer warranty terms before buying any product. Warranty policies are prone to unexpected changes and sometimes, if you are not careful, you may fall into a trap. For instance, manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t apply in all cases.
Generally, it applies depending on the following:
- Use of the purchased product
- Who you purchased the product from
- Where the product was purchased
Let me be honest with you!
Undoubtedly, each cooler is unique in its own way. Each single cooler has something special and unique to offer. Nevertheless, choosing the best cooler really narrows down to your personal preference.
However, where this is a race, there is always a winner. After long hours of testing, evaluation, and analysis, we settled on the Pelican Products ProGear Elite 20 Quart Cooler as the winner. This unit offers superior functionality, tie-downs, and high-quality stainless steel hardware. Even though YETI inches close, the ProGear Elite Cooler still stands out from the rest.
But here is the kick-starter:
The reason as to why this cooler came out as the best is due to its record-breaking extreme ice retention and durability. Press and pull latches, non-slip handles and the draining spout are some of the robust features that give this performing cooler a leg-up in the competition. I personally love it and I firmly believe is a cooler worth taking home.