In the summer, there are few things more important than staying hydrated. Whether you're engaging in vigorous exercise, spending a day at the beach, or exploring the wilderness, it's easy to forget to take a drink of water and wind up getting overheated. Ice cold water is refreshing and has the double effect of keeping you hydrated and lowering your body temperature. That's why you need a high-quality cooler that will keep your water cool on even the hottest days.

young people gathering and having fun

Product FAQ

1. What Is a Cooler?

2. What Do I Need to Know to Use Coolers Properly?

3. What Sets the Best Cooling Products Apart from the Rest of the Options?

4. Are These Products Easily Portable on the Go?

5. Where Can I Find the Best Cooling Products?

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on affordability, capacity, portability, durability, and how long they'll keep your drinks cold.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

These products range in price from around $$ on the low end to $$$ on the high end, with some models reaching $$$. The main feature you'll get with high-end products is rotomolded plastic, which helps to increase insulation and lengthen the effect of the cooling.

What We Reviewed

  • ORCA BW058ORCORCA 
  • Igloo 49271 Party Bar 
  • Yeti Tundra 45 
  • Lifetime High Performance 
  • Caterpillar Cat 
  • Bison Coolers 50
  • OtterBox Venture
  • Pelican Elite Soft 
  • Coleman Steel-Belted 
  • Big Frig Sea Foam Denali
ORCA BW058ORCORCA Cooler, White, 58-Quart
  • ORCA root-molded cooler, 58 qtr. capacity, up to 10 days ice retention, premium insulation, 27
  • SELECT propellants that deliver consistent accuracy and performance
  • The product is manufactured in United States

Features

The Orca benefits from rotomolded plastic. Rotomolding is short for rotational molding, a manufacturing technique that results in the most durable plastic anywhere. For cooling products, rotomolded plastic ensures better insulation. Coming with a lifetime warranty and rubber tabs that help keep the lid firmly in place, you'll find that this high-end device is excellent at keeping heat and moisture out and cold in. Comes with handles to carry the container and a drainage spout at the bottom to get rid of melted ice.

Pros

  • Rotomolded plastic is highly durable and great at insulation
  • Includes a drainage spout for easy cleaning
  • Lifetime warranty ensures satisfaction
  • Highly effective rubber seal keeps it sealed up tight

Cons

  • Large-capacity products can be heavy
  • One of the more expensive products on the list

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$. 

Size (in Quarts)

58 Quarts


Igloo Trailmate Liddup Wheeled Lighted 70 Quart Cooler, Silver/Red...
  • LED lights - keep the good times rolling from day into night with 360 degree lighted interior powered by LiddUp
  • Oversized wheels - tackle Sand and other challenging terrain with the superior traction and ground clearance of 10-inch,...
  • Comfortable Glide handle - pull your load 50% easier thanks to the comfort and leverage of our locking, telescoping,...

Features

The Igloo Party Bar isn't just a cooling container; it's a mobile bar. With a massive 125-quart capacity, this product is designed to be wheeled around when full and comes with heavy-duty locking casters to ensure mobility. Its fully insulated body is designed for long-lasting ice retention, and it comes with sixteen water-resistant heat-free LED lights to keep your party bar illuminated at all times. Serve up drinks and snacks away from Sand and dirt on our removable butler tray, which stores easily under the cooler's lid when not in use.

Pros

  • Comes with all the accessories you'll need for a large gathering
  • Heavy-duty wheels make it easy to transport
  • Low price compared to other large-capacity products

Cons

  • Very Heavy
  • Doesn't keep ice very long

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Size (in Quarts)

70 Quarts  

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler White
  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1...
  • Will keep your ice... well ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is...
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to...

Features

Coming in five colors – charcoal, desert tan, ice blue, coral, and white – the Yeti Tundra 45 provides both versatility and durability in its mid-sized package. Its thick 2.75 inch walls provide better insulation than any other product here. You only need three pounds of ice–not even enough to cover a bottom layer–and this product can create a dramatic drop in temperature for over twenty-four hours. It can hold 26 cans of beer and keep them ice-cold for a full day.

Pros

  • Best insulation of any product on the list 
  • Comes in five varied colors
  • Needs less ice, leaving more room for drinks
  • Keeps cold for a full day

Cons

  • Smaller capacity than most products of its price range
  • One of the most expensive products on the list

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$ for most colors, with some being up to $$$.

Size (in Quarts)

38 quarts

Sale
Lifetime 55 Quart High Performance Cooler, Grey, 90820 (55-Quart)
  • 7-day ice retention
  • Heavy-duty polyethylene construction
  • 2 rubber latches; easily opened with one hand

Features

Lifetime produces a high-quality product for a fraction of the price of competitors. While its plastic isn't rotomolded, its solid construction still competes with high-end models. It's designed similarly to top-of-the-line models, offering a pair of roped handles, dual-locking latches, and a built-in bottle opener for convenience. One of the largest portable models, it is an ideal choice for a family trip to the beach.

Pros

  • High-quality performance for a lower price
  • Comes with high-end accessories including a bottle opener
  • Latched top helps to lock in cold
  • One of the portable models with the largest capacity

Cons

  • Only available from third-party sellers
  • Lacks rotomolded plastic in construction
  • Large product can be heavy

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$ from third-party sellers.

Size (in Quarts)

62.4 quarts


Caterpillar Cat Cooler with Bulldozer Lid Graphic, Cat Yellow, 27...
  • Hard no break Polypropylene plastic with antimicrobial additives and R5 insulation to keep your food and drinks colder...
  • 27 quart cooler measures 23 inches x 15.5 inches x 15 inches large enough to fit 24 cans and one bag of ice but small...
  • Variety of personalized vinyl lid graphics to choose from including American and Texas flag designs or your own custom...

Features

This easily portable cooling container is made from no-break polypropylene plastic and is treated with antimicrobial additives and R5 insulation. This helps to keep your food and drinks cold for longer. Able to fit 24 cans of beer and a bag of ice, it's still small enough to be easily transported in a car. Designed to be customized, it comes with a variety of vinyl lid graphics to add your own spin on the design. A leak-proof seamless lid helps to keep it tightly sealed and traction feet at the bottom keep it stable in your car.

Pros

  • Treated to ensure it stays sterile
  • Easy-to-transport product for small parties or families
  • Comes with customizable designs
  • High-performance design stays sealed and stable

Cons

  • Smallest capacity on the list; not ideal for big parties
  • High-priced for its size

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Size (in Quarts)

27 quarts


BISON COOLERS Medium 50 Quart Rotomolded Cooler Box for Beer, Liquid...
  • PREMIUM COOLING: Pressure-injected 2" thick lid and insulated walls for maximum ice retention. Double-wall silicone...
  • HEAVY DUTY DURABILITY: Durable, roto-molded construction. You can drive a truck over this cooler...seriously. Two heavy...
  • SERIOUSLY PORTABLE: Open, ergonomic grab rails make it easy to carry, tie down, and secure. Oversized anti-skid rubber...

Features

This American-made heavy-duty model is roto-molded, which gives it pressure-injected insulated walls that can keep ice solid for days. Featuring a double-walled silicone gasket, it's easy to drain thanks to two large drain plugs. This makes it easy to empty the container from either end. A pair of heavy-duty latches keep the product sealed-up tight. This model even comes with a five-year warranty. This is an ideal heavy-duty cooling container to take with you on your next fishing or hunting trip, thanks to its hardy exterior.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty exterior ensures security
  • Easy clean-up thanks to dual plugs
  • Five-year warranty included
  • Keeps ice chilled for days

Cons

  • One of the most expensive items on the list

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Size (in Quarts)

50 quarts

Sale
OtterBox Venture Cooler 65 Quart - Shoreline (Citadel Blue/Patriot...
  • The OtterBox Venture 65 Cooler is designed and made in the U.S.A., can keep ice up to 16 days (to maximize ice...
  • Mounting system: attach accessories for every adventure. Included accessories are Bottle Opener and Dry Storage Tray -...
  • Tough latches: lock in contents, keep critters out and drop down out of the way. Anti-slide rubber feet help keep...

Features

Coming in three sizes, the OtterBox Venture comes with an attached handle and wheels for easy transport by hand. Combining injection-molding and high-grade cooling technology, this model comes in three sizes ideal for any size of gathering or length of trip. Anti-slip rubber feet keep it stable on any surface, and a slanted bottom is ideal for training. Its defining feature is an array of customizable attachments. You can clip a bottle opener, cup holder, or utensils onto the outside clips. This is one of the most versatile items on the market.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, tested exterior 
  • Comes in three sizes ideal for any size party
  • Easy to transport with wheeled cart
  • Exterior clips are ideal for transporting needed accessories
  • Stable and easy to drain

Cons

  • One of the most expensive items on the list

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$ for 25 quarts, $$$ for 45 quarts, and $$$ for 65 quarts.

Size (in Quarts)

Comes in 25 quarts, 45 quarts, and 65 quarts.


Sale
Pelican Elite Soft Cooler (48 Can)
  • High density closed-cell foam insulation for extreme ice retention. 55% lighter than premium hard coolers
  • 100% leak-proof zipper with quick access dual-lock buckle system
  • Durable double-coated TPU outer fabric with stainless steel tie-down and bottle opener

Features

Soft cooling containers are often seen as lesser quality than hard models, but that's not the case with the Pelican Elite. It's sealed with a TIZIP zipper, the brand used on everything from dry bags to hazmat suits. With a slip-resistant compression base, this soft cooling container is guaranteed to stand up to pressure and stay stable in transport. The Pelican comes with a pair of compression strap buckles that serve as a backup for the sturdy zipper.

Pros

  • Lots of safety features to prevent a spill  
  • Easier to carry than hard models
  • High-quality zipper keeps your drinks safe

Cons

  • High-priced item, especially the smaller options
  • Largest size is smaller than most alternatives

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$ for 8 quarts, $$$ for 18 quarts, and $$$ for 38 quarts.

Size (in Quarts)

Comes in 8 quarts, 18 quarts, and 38 quarts.


Sale
Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart, Black
  • High-capacity, heavy-duty cooler features a charming retro design
  • 54-quart capacity accommodates up to 85 cans
  • Keeps the Ice! insulation offers 4-day ice retention in temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit

Features

Coming in seven colors (black, red/black, green, silver, stainless steel, rose pink, turquoise) this classic steel-belted model is a reasonably priced alternative to the high-end cooling containers while still delivering peak performance. Coming in at 54 quarts but only weighing 21 pounds before loading, it features a tough stainless-steel exterior and a no-tilt drainage system that makes it easy to load and unload. Insulation offers four-day ice retention and comfort-grip handles make it easy to carry.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced but sturdy model 
  • Comes in seven appealing colors
  • Four-day ice retention is among the best
  • Easy to carry thanks to low weight and handles
  • No-tilt drainage system for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Lacks the high-end features of alternatives

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for between $$ and $$$ depending on color.

Size (in Quarts)s

54 quarts

Big Frig Sand Denali Cooler (75 Quart) Bundle includes Cutting...
  • Affordable price, double the features and proven quality is what makes Big Frig coolers a "BIG FRIGGIN DEAL". These...
  • All Big Frig Denali Coolers are roto-molded for durability, made from polyurethane foam to provide superior insulation,...
  • UV Protection on ALL exterior and interior surfaces, and includes a freezer style sealing gasket to lock in the COLD. ...

Features

The Big Frig brand of cooling container is one of the strongest all-around brands, roto-molded for durability, and insulated with polyurethane foam for superior insulation. Every model is treated with UV protection on interior and exterior surfaces and includes a freezer-style sealing gasket to ensure the cold doesn't escape. Skid-free feet ensure stability on any surface. Constructed from food-grade materials, this is one of the few items on the list that is dry-ice compatible. Comes with a hose-compatible drain plug, a pressure release valve, and two built-in bottle openers.

Pros

  • One of the most durable and best-insulated models
  • High-tech product can handle dry ice
  • Comes with a pair of bottle openers
  • UV protection and sealer gasket make it easier to keep drinks cool
  • Drain plug is hose-compatible

Cons

  • One of the more expensive items on the list

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Size (in Quarts)

75 quarts

The Verdict

drinks submerged on ice

All ten of these cooling containers provide top-tier performance, keeping drinks cool for hours or even days. Where they distinguish themselves is in capacity and in added features. The big decision for you when picking the right model is if you're looking for a top-of the line model. If you're happy with a sturdy model that doesn't have all the bells and whistles, you'll be highly satisfied with the Coleman Steel-Belted. But if you want the best experience and cost is no object, the Big Frig Sand Denali is the new model with the most going for it. We give it our endorsement as the best cooler on the market.

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