It may seem simple, but a lot goes into choosing the perfect cooler. What size do you need? Do you want a hard or soft cooler? What about the insulation quality and cold time? These are just a few of the major factors to consider.
If you regularly pack your cooler to the brim, look for a large capacity option. If you know you need something that’s easy to grab and go, consider something on wheels or a backpack style. Whatever your needs may be, we’ve rounded up some of the best coolers to help you make sure your drinks are always iced and ready to serve.
Best Overall: Igloo MaxCold Roller Cooler
High performance, convenience and durability — those are three very important qualities to consider in a cooler. The Igloo MaxCold 40-quart roller cooler provides stellar cold retention with Ultratherm insulation that thoroughly impressed reviewers, who agreed it kept things chilled for up to five days. It features a snap-fit latch for secure lid closure, while the sturdy wheels, swing-up handles and tow handle provide convenience for carrying or rolling.
Best Value: Coleman Performance Cooler
Just because reviewers called this a "great cooler for the price," doesn’t mean that’s the only notable thing about the 48-quart Coleman Performance Cooler. In fact, its heavy-duty construction and ample size holds 2-liter bottles inside standing upright, while the two-way handles provide comfortable carrying capabilities. Plus, emptying excess water from melted ice is easy with the leak-resistant drain.
Best Quality: YETI Tundra 45
When it comes to superior insulation and durability, it's hard to top the quality of the Yeti Tundra 45. The walls of the cooler contain 3 inches of PermaFrost insulation and a FatWall design to deliver reliable performance — something many owners noted. This quality cooler features rotomolded construction, rendering it nearly indestructible and making it a durable choice in any setting. Users also praised the rainbow of colors the Yeti comes in.
Best Design: Lifetime High Performance Cooler
Here’s proof that you don’t have to pay a fortune to get a great looking cooler. The Lifetime High Performance Cooler boasts a modern, upscale design featuring comfort and style-minded rope handles, dual-locking latches in contrasting hues and an integrated bottle opener. Not only does it offer an attractive design, it’s also well insulated and capable of retaining ice for up to seven days. Reviews praised Lifetime’s excellent customer service and the fact that the company stands behind its products.
Best Mobility: Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler
Hit the trails without feeling like you’re weighed down with mobility-minded coolers like the Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler, which features oversized wheels that can handle any terrain. The telescoping handle makes it easy to pull this 70-quart cooler along, and the Ultratherm insulation provides ice retention for up to four days. The large capacity is roomy enough to handle 112 cans that are 12 ounces each, yet reviewers didn’t find it excessively bulky — impressive considering its capacity!
Best Backpack Cooler: Coleman Soft Cooler Backpack
Perfect for anytime you need a cooler you can grab and carry hands-free, the Coleman Soft Cooler Backpack is an ideal option for commuters and adventurers alike. It features a leak-resistant, insulated interior that can hold up to 28 12-ounce cans. The padded straps are adjustable for custom comfort, and the added storage pockets let you conveniently stow everything from napkins to utensils and more. Reviewers raved, saying "This bag is bad a$$," and it was their "best summer purchase."
Best Personal Soft Cooler: YETI Hopper Flip Cooler
Closed-cell foam insulation, a leak-proof zipper and a waterproof shell are just three of the features that make the YETI Hopper Flip Cooler the best choice for anyone looking for a personal soft cooler. Large enough to hold up to 12 12-ounce cans but light enough to carry just about anywhere, this 3-pound, upscale pick is a great option for going on vacation, going fishing or pursuing other adventures. Reviewers found it to be sturdy, well-built and even stylish.
Best Large Soft Cooler: Engel Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag
Soft sides, hard performance — the Engel Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag retains ice for up to four days. Value-added features include a waterproof zipper, built-in bottle opener and a vacuum valve that removes air from the insulation so the soft cooler can provide maximum performance. Reviewers praised its value for the price — not cheap, which is telling — and loved its versatility. Choose from a padded shoulder strap, side handles or a top handle.
Best Steel Belted Cooler: Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler
When you’re looking for a cooler that can withstand some heavy wear and tear, look no further than the Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, which is built to last. It features a retro design, spacious 54-quart capacity and insulation that provides four-day ice retention, even in 90-degree weather. More than a few buyers noted how this model’s good looks and performance won them over compared to pricier, posher options.
Best Cooler Tote: CleverMade Cooler Bag
Pack a picnic or keep your grocery haul cold. The CleverMade Tote Bag offers large capacity that can hold up to 50 cans in addition to ice, making it an easy option for toting to the park, beach or campground. Users loved the cute style and "clever" collapsible design that makes it easy to store.