The best coolers
- Whether you're heading out for a weekend camping trip, an afternoon in the park, a tailgating party, or you're grilling in the backyard, you'll need a cooler if you like cold drinks and fresh food.
- The Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler is our top pick because it's a true classic that stands the test of time with its incredibly low price and three-day ice retention in 90-degree temperatures.
To the fisherman, a reliable cooler makes the difference between bringing home fresh fillets or wasting the catch as it spoils in the heat. At the tailgate party or picnic, a good cooler means cold beer and soda instead of warm swill. For the campers, a cooler keeps food chilled and safe for days on end even when the nearest refrigerator is a three-day hike back out of the woods. And so forth. Frankly, I feel confident that you know plenty about using coolers. When it comes to choosing a cooler, however, I think I can help.
I own four coolers, which I readily admit is a bit excessive. But they're just so damn handy, right? I only use two of them all that often, these being a large hard-shelled classic and a soft-sided compact cooler. There's nothing wrong with the other two coolers, one is just a bit small for the family and the fourth is simply redundant, yet I can't bring myself to part with it.
It's probably going to surprise you just how much some coolers cost. But what also might be a surprise is the fact that a great cooler can be a lifetime purchase. No, buying a cooler is not as important or complicated a decision as selecting a car or a major appliance, but you will almost surely have the cooler for many years more than any vehicle, fridge, or washing machine, so you owe it to yourself to choose wisely. Be ready to spend a few bucks if it turns out the cooler that best suits your needs happens to be pricey.The coolers on this list are all distinct from one another in multiple ways. There's a good chance that a few of them will be the outright wrong choice for some people, but there's a great chance that at least one will be the absolute best cooler for you. Read on to see which of our picks fits your needs.
Here are our top picks for the best coolers you can buy:
- Best overall: Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler
- Best backpack cooler: Igloo Marine Backpack Cooler
- Best for longterm use: Yeti Tundra 75
- Best soft cooler: Pelican Elite Soft Cooler
- Best cooler bag: CleverMade Cooler Tote
- Best cooler with wheels: RovR RollR cooler
Updated on 10/29/2019 by Owen Burke: Updated formatting, prices, & copy. We're currently testing new coolers from Pelican, Yeti, Igloo, Coleman, Orca, Cabelas, Rtic, and Engel for consideration in our next update.
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.