The Best Ice Chests: Suggestions & Considerations

Scott Nelson By, Scott Nelson
Updated
Best ice chests
Best Ice Chests

The Rundown

1. Best Of The Best: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

"YETI Hard Coolers are over-engineered to outperform and sized for all adventures. It stands apart in its ground-breaking thermal performance, and if you’re looking for a legendary, nearly unbreakable cooler, look no further than the Tundra line." Read Review

2. Best For The Price: Igloo Ice Cube 60 Quart Roller Cooler

"The Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler is an easy-to-transport, easy-to-store and easy-to-clean blue cooler. It is designed for convenience so you can roll it around with ease, or take it down to the beach and set it up in the sand. It features molded side handles that allow for comfortable carrying and lifting." Read Review

3. Best Capacity: RTIC Hard Cooler

"RTIC 45 is the perfect size for carrying on your own but big enough to hold drinks for the whole group. Durable T-latches and tie-down slots ensure your food and drinks are secure. Don't waste your time worrying about ice melting - this hard cooler maintains a steady temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit with 4-quart ice capacity." Read Review

4. Best For Party: Igloo 110 Qt Glide Pro Portable Large Ice Chest

"Bring your party to the next level with Igloo 110 Qt Glide Pro. With UV inhibitors and infrared technology protecting cooler against sun damage, this Igloo industry First includes thick Ultratherm foam in body and lid providing MaxCold 5 Day performance." Read Review

Investing in the right outdoor refrigerator can make all the difference when you’re hosting family and friends for picnics, parties or just storing leftovers from your favorite meals. If you plan on keeping drinks cold, food frozen or keeping your ice for longer than a few hours, then an ice chest is your best bet.

The best ices chests are ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. They are perfect for weekend getaways, camping weekends, tailgating events and more. Many people even keep a removable ice chest in their garage or driveway so they always have access to fresh, clean drinking water.

Come to our article below to find out the best ice chests available today. It will be a cool summer for you and your family.

In the end, we concluded that YETI Roadie 24 Cooler was the most highly recommended. Other options presented here are certainly worthy of your attention, and in order to assist you in making an informed choice, we have compiled a helpful shopping guide.

 

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
Our Score:
9.8
YETI
  • It's got a taller build than its predecessor, so it now accommodates a standard bottle of wine (or 2 liter bottle) upright, and is a better fit behind the driver's or passenger's seat of a car
  • QUICKLATCH - Flexible, simple, and built for quick, one-handed cooler access
  • ROTOMOLDED CONSTRUCTION - Evolved to be thinner and lighter-weight for easier transport, while still incredibly tough
TOP Choice #2 Igloo Ice Cube 60 Quart Roller Cooler
Our Score:
9.6
Igloo
  • Durable wheels and reinforced tow handle make transporting a full cooler easy
  • Wipe interior and exterior surfaces clean before storing and between uses. To prevent stains and odors, empty cooler of contents after use
  • Push button and locking telescopic handle
TOP Choice #3 RTIC Hard Cooler
Our Score:
9.5
RTIC
  • The Perfect Size: The 45 is small enough to carry alone but big enough to store drinks for the whole group.
  • Mobile And Multifaceted: Use the heavy-duty rope handles to take the 45 anywhere and when you need an extra hand—this cooler doubles as a step stool, tabletop, or cutting board.
  • Heavy-Duty Protection: The combination of durable rubber T-latches and molded tie-down slots will keep your food and beverages secure.
  • Threaded drain plug allows for easy draining of melted ice and option for hose hook-up
  • Thick Ultratherm foam in body and lid provides MaxCold 5 Day performance.
  • Virtually indestructible stainless steel hinges.
5 RTIC Soft Cooler 30 Insulated Bag
Our Score:
9.1
RTIC
  • Handles Any Terrain: Every RTIC Soft Pack Cooler floats in water, so your drinks and snacks can go wherever you go, whether that’s swimming in Lake Tahoe or hiking in Glacier.
  • Make Adventures Portable: This generous cooler will hold up to 30 cans of your favorite beverage plus ice — fitting for a road trip or a week out in the desert.
  • Sweat-Free: Keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours while avoiding the mess thanks to 2 inches of closed-cell foam and puncture and tear-resistant liner.
6 Driftsun 70qt Insulated Ice Chest
Our Score:
9.0
Driftsun
  • FEATURES: Two large rear cooler wheels, Military-grade nylon rope handles, non-slip rubber feet, molded tie-down slots with steel lock plates, recessed no-leak drain plug, pressure release valve, 2 built-in bottle openers, and more!
  • SERIOUSLY TOUGH: All Driftsun Ice Chests are virtually Indestructible. These portable coolers are made with Rotomolded Thermoplastic Construction with Heavy Duty Rubber ColdSeal Latches and Exterior UV Protection. No matter where you travel or how you travel, the Driftsun Cooler will come back for more.
  • SERIOUSLY PORTABLE. The Driftsun 70 Quart Wheeled Ice Rolling Cooler is made for easy transportation. With two wheels, it's a roadie cooler you can take camping or at the beach. Never worry about filling your cooler too heavily again!
7 Coleman Rolling Cooler
Our Score:
8.8
Coleman
  • Cup holders: Molded into the lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling
  • Xtreme Technology; Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
  • Telescoping handle: For easy pulling and compact storage
8 Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler
Our Score:
8.7
Igloo
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash
  • Extremely durable yet lightweight with proven 4-5 day ice retention
  • Integrated ruler on lid easily estimates your catch.
9 Coleman Ice Chest
Our Score:
8.3
Coleman
  • EASY TO OPEN: Recessed lip for easier access to contents
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Holds up to 160 cans
  • FULLY INSULATED: Lid and body Keeps the Ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F; logo color on cooler may vary
10 Driftsun 110qt Insulated Ice Chest
Our Score:
8.2
Driftsun
  • SERIOUSLY COLD: The 110 Quart Driftsun Cooler has 3 inches of commercial grade insulation. The molded freezer rubber gasket keeps your water jug, lunch bag, or food items colder for longer!
  • FEATURES: Every Driftsun Cooler is packed with features that make camping and the outdoors even better. It comes with Military-grade nylon rope handles, Non-Slip Rubber Feet, Molded Tie-Down Slots with Lock Plates, Recessed No-Leak Drain Plug, Pressure Release Valve, and 2 Stainless Steel Lock Plate Bottle Openers! This is the optimal beach, fishing, and camping cooler!
  • INSULATED COOLER: Driftsun Ice Chests hold ice for days on end with up to 3” inches of commercial grade insulation, freezer grade gasket, and ColdSeal Latches. Keep your beverages, meal, catch or ice packs cold for days.
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Do You Know Which Among best ice chests Here Satisfies Your Tight Criteria?

Consumers are frequently hesitant to purchase best ice chests. Several factors should be considered while making a significant purchase. Our understanding and expertise with the best ice chests will assist you in making the right decisions.

Today's best ice chests has been substantially upgraded with greater functionality and offers more safety for users than older-generation devices.

Before deciding on a best ice chests for your life based on your desire or the product's qualities, there are a few things to consider. We hope the information provided here will assist you in locating the best option. Let's see what we can do.

Ice Retention And Cooling Capabilities

Ice retention is one of the most difficult things to determine when researching coolers. This is largely due to external factors. The temperature of the air and direct sunlight have a significant impact. Ice quantity is also important. Most brands suggest a ratio of 2:1. You should also open the lid as often as possible to let warm and cold air into your cooler. Pre-chilling your cooler before loading it is a good idea to ensure maximum efficiency. To reduce the cooler's interior temperature, you should fill it with ice at least for a couple of hours. Once you are ready to go, add fresh ice in the right ratio. You can also expect your cooler to become pre-warmed if it is left out in the sunlight before you load it up.

Cooler Sizes (Capacities)

A few things to consider before we get started: Size. Importantly, coolers do not measure the interior capacity of all models. Some coolers use cans to measure interior capacity, others use liters or quarts. However, most manufacturers use quarts as a unit of measure. We've used that measurement in this article when it was possible. A final point: Don't let the product name fool you.

Weight And Portability

Weighing your cooler is an important factor for those who will be carrying it or moving it around regularly. For models with less capacity, they can weigh as little as 10-15 pounds and up to 50+ for those that have 75+ quarts storage. This number goes up dramatically when you load it down with food and drinks. Even though the handles are made of rope, some are plastic and others are nylon. They are too heavy to be carried for extended distances. We recommend wheels if portability is important. They are easier to carry for longer periods of time and more convenient for one person, so they're less burdensome.

Bear-Resistant Ratings

Many top-rated hard-sided coolers can be listed as being bear-resistant. This is an important consideration if you are camping in bear territory. You should specifically look out for IGBC ratings. This indicates that a cooler has been tested and is in compliance with their regulations. You should ensure your cooler is included if you plan to travel in bear-proof gear or frequent backcountry areas.

Cooler Latch And Closure Systems

The cooler's closure or latch is a key feature of premium models and will play a major role in cooling performance. Two rubber T-handles are a common feature on high-end, hard-sided coolers. They keep the lid in place and prevent it from opening. They are extremely sturdy and user-friendly.

Cooler Construction

There are two main types of construction techniques used to make premium hard-sided coolers: injection molding and rotational molding. Yeti popularized rotomolding (even though they weren't technically the first company to do so) and is the dominant market at the top end. This type of cooler is made from a single, continuous piece of plastic which is then rotated to form the desired shape. These coolers have fewer stress points, so they are more likely to break under pressure. They also feature a thicker outer shell that ensures exceptional durability. Cost and weight are the main drawbacks.

Cooler Drain Systems

Many of our hard-sided coolers have drainage systems that allow you to drain the water out once the ice is melted. This is usually a pop-off or screw-on cap located at the bottom of cooler. Simply remove it and let the water flow out.

Wheeled (Rolling) Coolers

We mentioned above that if you have cooler needs such as mobility and large capacity or maximum ice retention it is a good idea to look into a hard-sided rolling model. These wheeled monsters can still be difficult to maneuver on uneven terrain, and will need assistance if there is no clear path. A rolling cooler is a good choice for camping, tailgating or days at the beach.

FAQs

How Do I Clean My Cooler?

Warm water and dish soap will generally clean your cooler. You can also use warm water and bleach to remove stubborn stains or odors.

Which Size Cooler Do I Need?

Although you might feel compelled to buy a large cooler, make sure it fits in the car. Smaller coolers can be lifted without the need for assistance. However, coolers with larger capacities can hold more ice and so tend to stay cool longer than smaller models.
Higher coolers can store bottles more upright. Models with recessed lids are better for loading items higher, but they may become warmer.

How Much Do Coolers Cost?

Consider what your cooler will be used for. If you need it to store food or drinks for several days or at extreme temperatures then more money is an investment in food safety. A cooler that is cheap and cheerful may suffice if you just need to chill a handful of drinks for an afternoon barbecue.

How Long Does A Cooler Stay Cold?

It all depends on how efficient the cooler is at insulation. This includes the temperature outside, initial temperature of food and its stacking. Food can be kept cold for up to 4 days with ice (the best), in ideal conditions. A high-end cooler may even keep it chilled for as long as 10 days.

Does Food Stay Cool In A Portable Cooler Without Ice?

But it will take longer than if you put ice inside the cooler. Insulation in the cooler stops food from heating up faster than if left out. The temperature of the cooler and how chilled the food were at the beginning will determine the time it takes to cool down. Even frozen foods will heat up faster if they are kept cool in a trunk compartment of a vehicle.

What Is The Best Hard Cooler?

There are many coolers. It really doesn't matter which cooler you choose. A cooler that is more resistant to damage will be the most suitable if you intend on using it every week.

How Does A Portable Cooler Work?

Combining the insulation of the cooler with the ice you put inside, either ice cubes, ice packs, or foam, slows down warm air circulation and helps keep things cool.

Can I Use Dry Ice In A Cooler?

Most times, the answer is yes. Some coolers can be damaged by dry ice, but the majority should work fine. However, you will need to cover dry ice with blankets or other insulators. A cooler designed for dry ice is best if you plan to use it every day. You won't have to do any special tasks because the cooler has compartments to store dry ice.

There are numerous points to pick from in general, but doing so well may help you be more convenient and save time! When selecting a best ice chests, pay close attention to the elements listed above, and don't forget to verify the safety.

Have you picked a product like that after reading our article on how to choose and top the best ice chests? Hopefully, the information provided will assist you in selecting the best option for you.


0 ratings

About Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a freelance writer who specializes in camping and wildlife topics. He has written for several outdoor magazines and websites, and he enjoys nothing more than spending a weekend in the woods with his family. Scott is an experienced camper and backpacker, and he has also spent considerable time studying the behavior of bears and other large mammals.

Read Scott's full bio