A cooler box is a must-have for anyone who loves spending time outdoors. Whether you’re going on a camping trip, picnicking in the park, or simply enjoying a day at the beach, a good cooler box will keep your food and drinks chilled for hours on end.
But with so many different cooler boxes on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is right for you.
To help you make the best choice, we’ve put together a list of the best cooler boxes on the market right now.
We’ve also included a handy buyer’s guide to help you choose the right model for your needs.
|Yeti Tundra 35||Best Overall||Check Price|
|Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme 5||Best Budget||check Price|
|YETI Hopper Backflip 24||Most Versatile||check Price|
|Dometic CFX3||Best Electric||check Price|
Benefits of a Cooler Box
There are many benefits to using a cooler box, including:
1. They keep your food and drinks chilled for hours.
2. They’re great for picnics, camping trips, and days out.
3. They’re usually very durable and long-lasting.
4. They’re usually very easy to carry.
5. Some models come with handy features, such as wheels and built-in handles.
Top Picks for the Best Cooler Box
Now that you know the benefits of using a cooler box, let’s take a look at some of the best models on the market.
The Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme is our favorite inexpensive option.
It’s reasonably priced, easy to carry (with its comfortable handle), and performs well in tests for ice retention.
It doesn’t have a drainage system, so you’ll need to empty it often if you’re using it for camping or fishing, but that’s a small downside.
Weight: 13.4 lbs.
What we Like: Affordable, Comfortable handle, Good ice retention.
What we Don’t Like: Lacks a drainage system.
The Coleman 54-quart steel-belted cooler is a classic design that has been updated with modern features.
It’s stylish, durable, and has an endurable steel handle that is both comfortable to use and sturdy.
This model can keep ice for up to four days, making it a great choice for long camping trips.
It has a large storage capacity and is a bit heavier than some of the other options on this list, but it’s still easy to transport.
Type: Quart Cooler.
Material: Alloy Steel.
Weight: 15 lbs
What we Like: Classic Design, Large storage, Good ice retention
What we Don’t Like: Heavier than other options, No drain.
The IceMule Classic Cooler is perfect for anyone looking for a versatile and easy-to-use cooler.
It doesn’t have the insulation of a regular cooler, but if you’re looking for something that’s easy to carry with one hand or put in your backpack then the IceMule is a great option.
Type: Cool Bags.
Weight: 1.93 Pounds.
What we Like: This cooler is versatile and perfect for a day out.
What we Don’t Like: Its lack of insulation means that it is not ideal for long-term storage.
The Dometic CFX Portable Refrigerator and Freezer is a top performer and comes with some great features.
The Smart Display allows you to control all of the functions of the refrigerator with ease, and it’s tough enough to handle any outdoor activity.
The only downside is that it’s a bit pricey and has a low capacity.
Type: Cool Box
Weight: 48 pounds
What we Like: High-performance, Durable, Smart Display
What We Don’t Like: High Price, Low Capacity
The YETI Tundra 35 is a high-end cooler that is well worth the investment.
It has excellent insulation capabilities and a durable design.
It is fairly pricey compared to other models, but the YETI Tundra 35 is well worth it if you can afford it.
Type: cooler box.
Insulation material: Polyurethane Foam.
Weight: 29 lbs.
What we Like: Durable design, Excellent insulation, Well made.
What We Don’t Like: Expensive compared to other coolers on the market.
The YETI Roadie is a great option for those looking for a lightweight and durable cooler.
This model has excellent ice retention, making it perfect for long trips or hot days.
It’s also very easy to transport, thanks to its compact size and lightweight.
While this is a great lightweight option for shorter trips, there are some drawbacks – This cooler can be a little pricey compared to some of the other options on the market.
Type: Cooler Box.
Insulation material: Plastic and Metal.
Weight: 12.8 Pounds
What we Like: Lightweight, High Ice retention, Durable
What we Don’t Like: Pricey for a small cooler, Can be tricky to drain without tilting the cooler on its side.
The YETI Hopper Backflip is a durable and portable cooler bag that is perfect for short trips.
It has great insulation capabilities, making it ideal for keeping food and drinks cold for long periods of time.
The design is also very durable, which makes it a good option for outdoor activities.
The only downside to this product is that it is quite expensive and can only hold a relatively small amount of food.
Type: Cooler bag.
Insulation material: Dryhide Shell.
Weight: 7.5 pounds.
What we Like: Good insulation, Durable Design, Portable, easy to clean.
What we Don’t: Expensive, Low Capacity.
This Pelican model has some of our favorite features on this list with its drainage system to make it easier for you to empty melted ice from your cooler box, as well as four cup holders built right into the lid.
It’s a stylish choice that comes in a wide array of colors.
The Pelican 50 Quart Elite Cooler is one of the most popular models on the market for a reason – it has everything you need and more.
The insulation is incredibly effective at keeping things cold, even in extreme heat, and there are several features that make this cooler perfect for those who will be outdoors for extended periods of time.
Type: Cooler box.
Weight: 26.39 lbs.
What we Like: The insulation is top-notch, has Built-in 4 cup holders, a drainage system, and a good warranty.
What we Don’t Like: Heavy and the drain plug is a little flimsy.
The Igloo BMX cooler is perfect for those who are looking for a smaller cooler that is easy to transport.
It’s an excellent option for picnics, fishing, and other outings where you don’t need to bring a lot of food and drinks.
This cooler is well insulated with a good seal and comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your style.
Type: Cooler box.
Insulation material: Plastic, Polypropylene
Weight: 11 Pounds
What we Like: Low Price, Lightweight and easy to transport, Well insulated with a good seal, Comes in a variety of colors.
What we Don’t Like: The size is relatively small and might not be suitable for larger outings.
How To Choose a Cooler Box
There are a few things you need to consider when choosing the perfect cooler box for your needs.
Type of Coolers
- Cool bag / soft cooler – This is the cheapest type of cooler and it’s generally used by people for day trips. It’s lighter in weight and easier to carry around, but they don’t usually keep things cold for very long.
- Hard Cooler / Ice Chest – These are made from a tough material that won’t break easily. They have a higher storage capacity and can keep things cold for longer periods of time. The downside is that they are usually quite heavy and not very portable.
- Thermoelectric Cooler – This is the newest type of cooler and it works by using electricity to create a cooling effect. It’s lightweight, easy to carry around, and doesn’t require any ice at all. It’s also very quiet so you don’t have to worry about it making a lot of noise.
What to Look For
Once you’ve decided on the type of cooler box that’s best for you, there are a few other things you need to consider.
- Storage Capacity – The most important thing to consider is how much stuff you’re going to be carrying in your cooler box. If this is just for a day trip with friends, then the size isn’t that big of an issue but if it’s going to be a weekend camping trip or even a week-long hike into the wilderness, then you need something around the 20-30L mark at least.
- Ice Retention – This is especially important if you’re going to be using your cooler box for things like food and drinks. Higher quality coolers will keep everything cold for much longer than cheaper ones, so it’s worth investing in a good one.
- Portability – You don’t want to be carrying around a huge, heavy cooler box all day. It’s not practical and it’ll just annoy you after a while. Make sure to choose one that is lightweight and easy to carry around.
- Price – This obviously varies depending on the brand, size, and type of cooler box you choose. But as a general rule, you should expect to pay anywhere from $150-$300 for a good quality one.
- Extra Futures – Some cooler boxes come with extra features like a built-in bottle opener, carrying straps, or even a USB port to charge your devices. If these are things that you think you might need, then make sure to choose one that has them.
- Durability – Last but not least, you want to choose a cooler box that is going to last. Make sure the material is tough and that it has a good warranty in case something goes wrong.
How To Pack A Cooler For Best Performance
Once you’ve got your cooler box, it’s important to pack it correctly so that you can make the most of its cooling abilities.
- Pre-Chill – If you can, try and pre-chill your cooler box before you fill it with food and drinks. This will help to keep everything cold for longer.
- Pack in Order – Don’t just throw everything into the cooler box willy-nilly! Make sure to pack things in order of importance so that you can easily find what you need when it comes time to eat or drink.
- Choose The Ice Type – A lot of people just use regular ice cubes for their cooler boxes, but you can actually get special types of ice that stay colder for longer. If this is something you think would be useful to have, make sure to choose a box with the right type of ice before buying it.
- Pack it Full – Make sure to pack the cooler box as full as you can. Less air means less heat, so it’s important that there isn’t a lot of empty space inside for your food and drinks.
- Keep it in Shade – The sun is hot and it’s going to heat up the cooler box a lot. If you want your food and drinks to stay as cold as possible, make sure that the outside of the cooler box isn’t exposed to direct sunlight for too long.
- Keep it Close – You also want to make sure that the cooler box is always close by. It’s not going to do you any good if it’s sitting at home while you’re out hiking, so take care of your cooler and bring it with you on all your adventures.
How to clean your Cooler Box
Once you’ve come back from your trip and the cooler box is full of dirty, icky water, it’s time to clean it out. Here are a few tips on how to do that properly.
- Empty The Contents – The first thing you need to do is empty all the food and drinks out of the cooler box. This way, you can clean it properly without any messes.
- Clean The Outside – Use a wet cloth to wipe down the outside of the cooler box. This will get rid of any dirt and grime that has built up over time.
- Clean The Inside – Once the outside is clean, use a sponge or brush to scrub out all the junk that has accumulated inside the cooler box. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies so that it’s completely clean.
- Rinse It Out – Finally, rinse everything out with cold water to make sure there is no leftover soap or dirt. Let it air dry before putting any food or drinks back in.
Which Type of Cooler box is best for me?
There are a few different types of cooler boxes on the market, but the most popular ones are the hard-sided coolers and soft-sided coolers.
The hard-sided ones tend to be better at retaining ice for longer periods of time, while the soft-sided ones are more portable and lightweight.
Do I need anything extra with my cooler box?
Some of the more expensive, high-end coolers come with extra features like a built-in bottle opener or USB port for charging your devices while you’re out and about.
If these are things that you think would be useful to have, then make sure to choose one that has them before buying it.
What’s the best way to pack my cooler box for maximum performance?
Pre-chilling your cooler box before filling it up is a good start, as well as packing everything in order of importance and using special ice types if necessary.
Make sure to fill up the cooler box as much as possible so that there isn’t a lot of empty space inside, and try to keep it in the shade as much as you can.
What cool box size do I need for camping?
This really depends on how many people you are camping with and what types of food and drinks you plan on taking with you.
As a general rule of thumb, aim for a cooler box that is at least 20-30 quarts in size.
Are cool boxes more efficient than cool bags?
It depends on what you’re looking for and your budget. Cool boxes tend to be more efficient at retaining ice, but they are also much heavier and bulkier than cool bags so it really comes down to personal preference as well as how much money you can spend.
How long does a cool box stay cold?
This really depends on the cooler box that you buy as well as how well it is maintained. But in general, most coolers will keep food and drinks cold for around 24-48 hours if used correctly.
Are electric cool boxes any good?
Electric cool boxes are definitely an option if you want quick and easy access to ice-cold drinks at any time, but they tend to be more expensive than other types of cooler boxes so it really depends on your budget as well as what else you’re looking for in a cooler box.