If you love spending time outdoors, you probably already have a cooler, even if it is a simple white foam box. There isn’t much that beats a nice cold drink on a hot day. If you want to BBQ or grill out you will need to keep food cool until you cook it. Activities like hunting or fishing require a cooler to keep the catch fresh until it can be cleaned. What makes the best outdoor cooler?
Whether you want a fun, portable cooler to go to the beach with you, a serious cooler for longer trips, or a large cooler for big parties, there is a cooler to match your needs. Perhaps you really enjoy the time you spend on your porch or in your backyard and want a cooler that can remain outside and be filled with ice when needed.
Soft-side coolers are usually meant to be carried with a strap and some are collapsible for easy storage when not in use. Such coolers can be loosely formed boxes or bags. Soft coolers can even come as backpacks so you can transport your cold goods for long hikes over rough terrain easily. Most soft-sided coolers are not entirely sealed and will not keep cold for more than several hours.
Basic coolers are usually hard rectangles or squares, and often have handles and wheels for pulling, or may just have handles for lifting. These coolers are often equipped with extra features like cupholders in the top or built-in bottle openers.
Heavy duty coolers are able to keep cool for long periods, even days at a time. These effective coolers come at a high price tag but are durable and long lasting so they can offer incredible performance for the long term. Consider some of the best coolers available to decide what cooler will be right for you.
Table of Contents
- 10. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
- 9. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler
- 8. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
- 7. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart, Olive Green
- 6. Igloo Profile 16 quart Cooler
- 5. Coleman Xtreme Cooler
- 4. CleverMade SnapBasket 50 Can, Soft-Sided Collapsible Cooler
- 3. Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler (60-Quart, Ocean Blue)
- 2. YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
- 1.YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler
- Which should you buy?
10. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
If you want to take your soft drinks or cans of beer with you tailgating, camping, or out to the backyard for ice cold drinking for hours, this affordably priced Coleman might be perfect for you. This cooler can hold an incredible 42 cans. It features a telescoping handle that pairs with durable wheels to let you pull this cooler conveniently like a suitcase. For very rugged terrain, side handles allow for easy carrying.
- Removable hard plastic liner for flexibility when carrying
- Front zippered pocket, side mesh pockets, and lid bungees for added storage
- Easy to clean soft PE VA liner.
- Exterior pockets are very small
- Does not roll well over rugged terrain
9. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler
This clever little cooler has a patented, easy access lid that does not require a zipper to maintain a cold seal. The insulation is deep freeze high performance and has a radiant heat barrier in case you leave your cooler in the sun. Exterior pockets are insulated as well for additional cold storage. An adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to carry this cooler with you.
- Easy access lid that doesn’t use a zipper
- Insulated pockets
- Adjustable padded shoulder strap
- Only works well for cans
- Any pressure from within breaks the seal
8. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
This fun little cooler can hold up to 16 cans in a convenient design that is easy to transport. The hard plastic liner is removable for flexibility when packing. An adjustable shoulder strap makes this cooler comfortable to carry for long periods even when fully loaded. A front zippered pocket and side mesh pockets, as well as an inside top mesh pocket, give you room to store condiments.
- Compact, easy to transport design
- Zippers offer a tight seal
- Exterior storage
- Not as big as you might expect, can’t fit 16 cans with ice
- Exterior pouches are not insulated
7. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart, Olive Green
If you love the classic look of old-fashioned coolers, you will love this traditional looking Coleman. This heavy-duty cooler with a retro design offers a high capacity of 54 quarts to accommodate up to 85 cans. This cooler is insulated to retain ice for up to four days, so you can have ice for your entire camping or fishing trip. Rust-resistant stainless steel hardware will give you years of high-quality performance
- Comfort grip handles for controlled lifting and carrying
- Fun, retro design
- Rust-resistant stainless steel
- Very heavy to carry when full and no wheels
- Handles, which lack padding, can hurt hands
6. Igloo Profile 16 quart Cooler
If you are looking for a highly portable little cooler than can withstand a few bumps during your trip or workday and don’t want to spend a fortune, this Igloo might be just the right cooler for you. The convenient bail handle folds neatly into the liner so you can store this cooler easily. A media slot is molded into the lid to hold your phone or notebook for hands-free viewing.
- Cool riser technology keeps inside cool if the cooler is placed on hot surfaces
- Convenient fold-away handle
- Comes in several fun colors
- Doesn’t have much room, only really enough for lunch
- The design makes carrying for any time awkward
5. Coleman Xtreme Cooler
This efficient cooler can hold up to 100 cans or four cases, for as much room as you are likely to need. The outer casing is stylishly designed and the top features cup holders. The no-crush handle is designed to prevent pinches when you are carrying this cooler. This cooler can support up to 250 pounds so you can sit and rest on it as well. The texture is designed to be easy to clean.
- Keeps ice for up to five days
- Holds up to 100 cans
- Cup holders in the lid and you can sit on the lid
- No wheels so very heavy to carry if full
- Wide design makes it awkward for one person to carry
4. CleverMade SnapBasket 50 Can, Soft-Sided Collapsible Cooler
This attractive cooler looks like a good-looking handbag or toolbag for a woman or man. Four fun colors further customize your choice. This cooler is collapsible so that it is easy to store. It can hold an incredible 50 cans with ice. The interior is leakproof. Rip-stop fabric offers excellent water resistance and durability. This bag cooler is designed not to flop so you’ll never spill your groceries when you put down the bag.
- Attractive design
- Holds 30 liters
- Front zippered pocket
- Built-in bottle opener
- Lack of shoulder strap makes it difficult to carry for long periods
- Heavy when fully loaded
3. Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler (60-Quart, Ocean Blue)
This sturdy and convenient cooler comes at a very affordable price of under $65 and packs a lot of features. A push button operates the locking telescopic handle so you can collapse it for easy storage and choose the ideal height for you. The durable wheels allow you to pull this cooler over a variety of terrains. Molded side scoop handles make it convenient to lift this cooler into your vehicle.
- Generous 60-quart capacity
- Molded side handles for easy carrying
- Durable wheels
- Cannot hold weight but people will want to sit on it
- The top is not insulated
2. YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
YETI is a well-known name in coolers. These incredible coolers can keep your food and drinks cold for days. This little cooler can hold up to 14 cans with sufficient ice to keep them cold. Three inches of PermaFrost insulation and an extra thick FatWall will keep your things cold and safe from bears. This cooler is indestructible, so while you may not want to open the cans after it falls out of your truck, you won’t have to worry about the cooler.
- T-Rex lid latches are constructed with a patented technology that won’t break
- Indestructible design can hold up to whatever happens to it
- Well insulated for long-term ice
- Expensive, at nearly $250
- Small capacity for the price
- No exterior features or pockets
1.YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler
This tough as nails portable cooler by YETI can keep your ice frozen for days in a convenient design that makes it easy to take with you. This hopper has been updated so things go in and come out more easily. The tapered body makes it easy to carry this cooler for long periods. A DryHide shell is waterproof so it won’t matter what weather conditions this cooler encounters.
- HydroLok Zipper is completely leakproof
- Weatherproof design
- Nearly indestructible handle
- Price is high at nearly $250
- More side pockets would be nice.
Which should you buy?
If you are looking for the highest quality in outdoor coolers, YETI is the maker to go to, and the YETI Hopper TWO Portable Cooler offers convenient features that make it a great pick for your outdoor adventure. This cooler is nearly indestructible so you know you will have it for years to come. It is designed to be very easy to carry so you won’t mind carrying it for hours on your next adventure.
Exterior pouches give you a convenient place to pack whatever you might need. The fully weatherproof design means you won’t have to worry about having your cooler out in the rain or even dropping it into the water.