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Best Coolers Ultimate Buying Guide in 2017

When it gets close to summertime, everybody start itching to get out of the house and head to the beach or have a cookout at their house, but none of those things are complete without a great cooler that you can use to keep your drinks cold for the entire day.

It shouldn’t be difficult, but there is actually a lot of thought and consideration that needs to go into choosing a cooler because you want to make sure that you choose the best cooler to fit your needs. The following information is going to provide you with a great list of things to look for in a cooler along with plenty of product recommendations so you have no problem choosing the cooler that is going to suit your needs best.

Best Coolers

Things To Consider Before Buying - Best Coolers

Capacity

You’re buying a cooler to hold your drinks and your food so you want to make sure you find a cooler that is big enough to hold everything you need to bring with you. In this particular instance, I would recommend going bigger than what you think you need because it’s always nice to have some extra room but it is a killer to run out of room. If you happen to be restricted by size or budget, then I would go with the cooler that maxes out your restriction as much as it can before going over.

External Size

In addition to the inside capacity that talks about how many cans or drinks or food items you can fit into your cooler, you want to make sure that you are paying close attention to the external size of your cooler. You want to make sure that the size is relatively small and can fit into your car or truck with no problem.

Of course, you still need to make sure that the internal capacity is going to fit your needs. If you need a more insulated cooler to last a long time, then you’ll find that the external size is much larger than the internal capacity because of the thick insulation.

Ease Of Use

You want to make sure that your cooler is going to work well for you and is easy to use in all areas. For example, make sure that the lid of the cooler is easy to open and you have no problem doing so with one hand. Additionally, one of the more overlooked conveniences is in the draining aspect of the cooler. If you can find a cooler that drains with ease and doesn’t get the user wet when they go to drain it, then you’re in great shape because it is much more convenient for you.

Durability

No matter what you think, chances are good that you’re going to put your cooler through some tough times. Whether it be a couple accidental drops, something runs into it or you slam the lid too hard, you want to make sure that the design of your cooler is built to last you for a long time.

The majority of coolers you find will be made from a plastic material so make sure you find one with a heavy duty plastic that won’t chip or crack at the slightest drop. The stronger the plastic, the heavier it will be, so don’t forget about the weight of the cooler.

Portability

There’s no point in buying a cooler if it isn’t portable enough to bring with you no matter where you go. You can get a cooler as portable as you need it to be because you can find options with handles for carrying or even wheels for rolling it around.

Of course, if you choose to go with some of the smaller coolers on this list, it will not be as big of a deal since they are manageable in size. I would recommend that no matter which cooler you choose to buy, make sure you are able to carry it when it is full. If you can’t move a full cooler, you’re going to be at a serious disadvantage.

Performance

The cooler needs to be able to keep your drinks and other items cold or else you shouldn’t have bought the cooler in the first place. This is going to be one of the areas where you see the biggest discrepancy between coolers because there are some coolers that will last you for a week with ice while others might struggle to get you through a full day. This is one of those considerations that you want to keep in mind depending how you want to use your cooler. The longer you need the ice to stay in the cooler, the more expensive it is going to be.

Price

When it comes to the price of coolers, you’re going to spend just about anything you want to spend because the price range is incredibly widespread and you can opt for a cheaper cooler or you can go for one of the high-end Yeti coolers that you see reviewed below.

No matter what you decided, remember that you don’t need to spend money on something that you don’t necessarily need. If you only plan on using it for a cookout or a day at the beach, purchasing a Yeti cooler that holds ice for five days might be a little overkill. Find a cooler that matches up with your budget and offers that features you are looking for and you’ll be ready to go.

Bonus Features

When it comes to a cooler, you might not think that there is really anything special you need to look out for, but you really should keep an eye out for some of the bonus features that can help make your experience with the cooler a lot better.

For example, you’re going to find some coolers that have cup holders on the top, a bottle opener on the side or maybe a compartment on the inside of the cooler to hold things you don’t want directly in the ice and water. While they are not necessities, they can be nice to contribute to a better overall experience while using the cooler.

10 Best Coolers Review in 2017

1. Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler

In case you’re the type of person that cares about looks and you’re hoping to find a great performing cooler that also comes in a couple different colors you’re going to love, this is the cooler for you.

When you purchase this cooler, you’re going to have your choice of five different colors so that you can get whichever one will suit you best.

In terms of the performance of the cooler, you’re going to find that it offers up to 10 days or ice retention thanks to the freezer grade gasket and two inch polyurethane insulation around the entire cooler. The dual molded-in and hinged handles also help to give you superior results when you carry the cooler to your destination.

You’ll have no problem opening this cooler even if you have gloves on thanks to the wide press and release handles that are suitable to just about anyone who needs to use it. You’ll also enjoy the molded-in tie downs and hasp with steel plate for enhanced durability. The sloped drain comes with a threaded plug that can easily be attached to a garden hose if you would prefer that method of draining.

Pros:

  • 10 day ice retention
  • Dual molded-in and hinged handles
  • Wide press and pull latches
  • Sloped drain with threaded plug

Cons:

  • Pretty heavy

2. Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler

Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler

If you’re a fisher and you’re simply looking for a cooler that you can use to keep all of your fish cold and on ice while you are out on the boat, then this is going to be the cooler you strongly want to consider.

Of course, this cooler can work just fine if you aren’t a fisher but it has an integrated fish keeper scale measuring tool on the lid for convenience at all times.

The cooler is constructed of a durable roto-molded polyethylene. The lid comes with a raised and textured work surface to help accomplish anything you might need. Furthermore, the tethered drain plug is great for easy cleaning and draining at all times.

The dual lid is going to help lock the cooler twice as well so that you have maximum security and freshness for your food at all times. Lastly, the three inches of polyurethane insulation in the lid and two inches in the bod helps to keep everything as gold as you need it for as long as you need it.

Pros:

  • Integrated fish keeper scale measuring tool
  • Durable roto-molded polyethylene- Textured work surface on lid
  • Dual lid locks
  • Oversized tethered drain plug
  • Three inch insulation on lid, two inches on the body

Cons:

  • Slightly more fragile than expected

3. Grizzly Hunting Ice Box 150qt Cooler

Grizzly Hunting Ice Box 150qt Cooler

If you’re looking to find one of the most heavy duty coolers that you can find that will allow you to add in just about anything you want, then you’re going to love this cooler.

The capacity of this cooler is second to none because it can hold up to 162 cans of your favorite beverage while also keeping room to store up to 122 pounds of game that you catch while out on your hunting trip or even on a boat fishing.

This has everything you could possibly need with a dense insulation, a rugged gasket seal and even an extra large two inch drain to use at all times. This cooler is roto-molded and has double-wall poly construction. It has been tested with an ice retention time of 11 days and 4 hours thanks to the insulation and other technology so you can keep your stuff cold even when you are away from everyone else.

The latching system of the cooler is combined with two shackle padlocks and is certified bear resistant according to the testing protocols set forth by the IGBC so you never have to worry about any animal getting into the cooler. Even if you aren’t hunting, this makes for a great cooler for tailgating, picnicking or even just having a cookout in the backyard! Lastly, the product is full manufactured in the USA for superior results when it comes to performance.

Pros:

  • More than 11 hours ice retention
  • rugged gasket seal
  • Two inch drain plug
  • Bear resistant
  • Made in the USA
  • Designed for lifetime of use

Cons:

  • Not able to be moved by yourself

4. Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series Cooler

Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series Cooler

Sometimes you aren’t going to need a massive cooler such as the one reviewed above and if you don’t need a massive cooler, then there’s no point in spending a lot of extra money in order to get one.

This particular cooler is about 1/3 of the size and it still offers some of the better features you will find. It can be used for anything a cooler might be needed including hunting, fishing, tailgating and camping and it is the perfect choice for long trips thanks to the ice retention that ranges from 5 to 14 days.

The tough and durable roto-molded cooler shell helps to keep everything cold for a long time while you won’t ever have to worry about any animals getting into it because it is IGBC bear resistant certified. Lastly, the product comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it in most cases.

Pros:

  • Works for just about anything
  • Perfect for long trips
  • 5 to 14 day retention
  • Tough and durable roto
  • molded cooler
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Not as high-end as other brands
  • Can warp in the sun

5. Yeti Tundra Cooler

Yeti Tundra Cooler

When it comes to high-end coolers that are going to hold ice for a long time, one of the most well-known and talked about brands is Yeti because so many people have used their products.

When you figure the price compared to the size of the cooler, they are one of the more expensive options on the list but they come in four different color choices and they have a ton of great features that make them easy to use.

In addition, they are built to be strong and durable so that they last as long as you need them to. The roto-molded construction of the outside of the cooler helps to ensure that you don’t have to worry about the cooler falling apart on you and the insulation consists of pressure-injected polyurethane foam that goes in both the walls and the lid to help ensure the ice in your cooler remains ice for as long as it should. Lastly, the interlocking lid system helps to create a tight barrier against the heat to keep it cold.

Pros:

  • Strong hinge system to prevent breaking
  • Roto-molded construction
  • Excellent insulation
  • Non-slip feet prevent sliding

Cons:

  • Expensive when you consider the size

6. Engel Coolers High Performance ENG65 Roto-Molded Cooler

Engel Coolers High Performance ENG65 Roto-Molded Cooler

Sometimes you just want a simple cooler that isn’t flashy and doesn’t seem like anything too sophisticated. If that sounds like you, then this is going to be the cooler you want to strongly consider.

While it does come in four different colors including camouflage, none of the colors are flashy or bright so they won’t stand out like crazy when you take the cooler with you.

This cooler is the perfect option for anyone who needs a cooler to hold ice for a while thanks to the 10 days of ice retention that this cooler allows for. It is best in its class when it comes to ice retention and the two inches of polyurethane insulation around the entire cooler help make it so.

You won’t have to worry about any animals or anything breaking into your cooler while you are out camping thanks to the IGBC certified bear resistant technology using in the cooler. Additionally, the rear lid of cooler is molded on so you never have to worry about losing it. With the durable seamless molded construction and the silicone airtight gaskets with marine grade compression latches, this is a great option for anyone looking for a simple, yet superior design.

Pros:

  • Ten day ice retention
  • 2 inches of polyurethane insulation
  • IGBC certified bear resistant
  • Silicone airtight gaskets
  • Marine grade compression latches

Cons:

  • Very heavy
  • Drain plug is not attached

7. Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

When it comes to camping and outdoors, there are few brands that are better recognized than Coleman and in the case of this cooler, it does a great job at one of the more affordable price points you will find.

It comes in about seven different colors so you can easily choose the best one for you and you’re going to enjoy the stainless steel handles with a rubber grip for easy carrying no matter where you need to bring it.

The solid steel latch is going to help make sure that the contents are sealed and your ice will remain frozen to keep all of the contents cold. The channel drain on the cool ios rustproof and leak-resistant and allows for no-tilt draining. Last but not least, the material and construction of the cooler helps to ensure that the entire thing is easy to clean at all times.

Pros:

  • Holds 85 cans
  • Stainless steel handles with rubber grip
  • Strong steel latch system
  • Leak-resistant and rustproof

Cons:

  • Not as durable as some others

8. Rubbermaid 75 qt 5-Day Wheeled Ice Chest

Rubbermaid 75 qt 5-Day Wheeled Ice Chest

If you’ve noticed anything by now, it’s certainly that the coolers that have been reviewed so far are some of the more expensive options and they might be out of the budget for some people.

In case you don’t need a cooler to last nearly ten days and you would rather find an affordable option that lasts for five days of cold, then this might be one of the better options for you.

Despite the lower price, this cooler still has plenty of great features including the best portability thanks to a large handle and two wheels located on the side of the cooler.

In addition to that, you’re going to enjoy the dual lid that can be opened from just one or both sides of the cooler and on the top of the cooler, you’re going to find four different cup holders to hold your drinks at all times. This cooler has a capacity to hold around 130 cans with plenty of extra room for ice to keep them cold at all times. The extra thick insulation will keep everything cold for up to five days at hot temperatures.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Handle and wheels for portability
  • Cup holders on lid
  • Dual lid
  • Five days of ice

Cons:

  • Not as strong and durable as some of the other coolers reviewed

9. 58 Quart Cooler

58 Quart Cooler

If you’re looking to find one of the more high-end coolers and you want to ensure that everything you put into the cooler is going to stay cold for a long time, this is going to be a great choice for you.

You’re going to find that this cooler has a durable roto-molded construction and the integrated insulation helps to maximise the ice and cold retention.

This means that you will enjoy cold and fresh drinks and food for up to 10 days when using this cooler. In addition the insulation, your items remain incredibly cold for a long time thanks to the lid gasket that gives the cooler a perfect seal at all times.

In addition to the construction and the strong insulation to help keep everything cold, you’re going to enjoy the cargo net attachment that allows for added storage and the ability to bring just about anything you need to bring with you when you have the cooler. Last but not least, the cooler is made in the USA so you know you are supporting products made on American soil.

Pros:

  • Durable, roto-molded construction
  • Integrated insulation for up to 10 days fresh
  • Lid gasket ensures a perfect seal
  • Cargo net attachment
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Costly

10. Coleman 3000001845 Xtreme Marine

Coleman 3000001845 Xtreme Marine

This is perhaps one of the nicer looking coolers that you are going to find on this entire list of coolers and it has some great features that will help just about anybody fall in love with the cooler.

The capacity of the cooler can hold up to 100 cans, which means you can fit more than four cases of soda in the cooler and still have some room left over.

In terms of the looks, the new outer casing gives off a great look while the lid supports up to 250 pounds so that it can easily double as an extra seat if you need one. The hinged lid also has four molded cup holders so that you can easily set your drink in there.

The comfort handles are incredibly easy to use and they make carrying the cooler a breeze because you don’t have to worry about punching your hands. While there is stainless steel hardware in on the cooler, it is all completely rust free so you don’t have to worry. This technology can help to keep the ice in the cooler for up to five days at temperatures of nearly 90 degrees.

Pros:

  • Holds up to 100 cans
  • Lid doubles as a seat
  • Comfort handles for carrying
  • Keeps ice for five days

Cons:

  • Might need lid straps to help keep a tight seal

Final Verdict

As you can see, there is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into choosing the best cooler for you and you want to make sure that you consider all of these things when you go to buy one. By following the information provided above or choosing to go with one of the product recommendations outlined above, you’ll have no problem finding the best one to meet all of your needs so that you can have the best cooler the next time you head to a cookout or a day trip to the beach.

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About the Author Kevin Fox

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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