The Best Ice Coolers: Greatest Buying Guide In 2022

Sarah Combs By, Sarah Combs
Updated
YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Of The Best: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

"YETI Hard Coolers are over-engineered to outperform and sized for all adventures. The new-and-improved Roadie 24 Hard Cooler is ideal for a road trip, the YETI V Series Stainless Steel Cooler stands apart in its ground-breaking thermal performance, and if you’re looking for our legendary, nearly unbreakable cooler, look no further than the Tundra line." Read Review

2. Runner up: 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

3. Perfect For Any Activity: Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt

"The perfect cooler for camping, hiking or just taking to the beach. Keeps food and drinks cold and doubles as a dry box. Features a unique airtight EVA gasket around the lid - for excellent ice retention and a water proof seal. Camping and Hiking will be perfect with Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt. It also has a center handle recessed into the cap & a built-in adjustable shoulder strap." Read Review

4. Upgrade pick: Igloo Gray Polar 120Qt cooler

"Take your icy cold beverages and take care of them too with the Igloo Gray Polar 120Qt cooler. UV inhibitors in the lid protect against sun damage, while our stain- and odor-resistant liner can keep your ice from getting dirty or smelly. The included drain plug makes hose hook up easy. Reinforced, swing-up handles with tie-down loop feature make carrying this cooler a breeze." Read Review

Do you find summer heat unbearable? Well, summer is the peak season for getting outdoors and spending time with friends and family. But with the scorching heat, it can be a challenge to stay cool.

You can tackle this problem by purchasing an ice cooler. These household appliances help to keep your drinks cool by freezing them inside a separate compartment that is filled with lots of frozen water.

Here are some of the best ice coolers in the market right now. Let's read and learn their functions

After spending 18 hours researching and assessing, our specialists have identified the models that would best meet your needs, particularly YETI Roadie 24 Cooler. We've put up a buying guide as well as additional good alternatives to help you find the perfect one.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
Our Score:
9.9
YETI
  • The Roadie 24 is 10% lighter in weight and holds 20% more than a Roadie 20, it even performs 30% better thermally
  • 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
TOP Choice #2 RTIC Hard Cooler
Our Score:
9.8
RTIC
  • Temperature Retentive: The 3-inch foam insulated walls plus the cool-lift design feature will make worrying about your ice melting a thing of the past.
  • Heavy-Duty Protection: The combination of durable rubber T-latches and molded tie-down slots will keep your food and beverages secure.
  • The Perfect Size: The 45 is small enough to carry alone but big enough to store drinks for the whole group.
TOP Choice #3 Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt
Our Score:
9.7
ENGEL
  • Non-Absorbent Surface Easy to Clean
  • Features a unique airtight EVA gasket around the lid - for excellent ice retention and a water proof seal.
  • Features a recessed central carry handle in the lid & integrated adjustable shoulder strap. Also includes a removable hanging tray - for storing dry goods.
4 Igloo Gray Polar 120Qt cooler
Our Score:
9.5
Igloo
  • Reinforced, swing-up handles with tie-down loop feature.
  • Threaded drain plug for hose hook up.
  • UV inhibitors in lid guard against sun damage.
5 Igloo Sportsman 30-150 Qt
Our Score:
9.3
Igloo
  • UV inhibitors and infrared technology protect cooler against sun damage.
  • Soft-ride wheels for easy transport & smooth ride.
  • Thick Ultratherm foam in body and lid provides MaxCold 5 Day performance.
6 Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze
Our Score:
9.1
Arctic Zone
  • Rhino-Tech water and stain resistant, wipe clean exterior is abrasion and puncture resistant and will not crack over time
  • Features an Ultra Safe leak proof, easy clean interior lining; Adjustable Backsaver shoulder strap with shoulder pad for convenience and usability
  • Patented, "flip open" Zipperless lid allows for quick accress to food and drinks; Features FDA compliant HardBody liner with removable SmartShelf
7 Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt
Our Score:
8.9
Igloo
  • Rust-resistant, stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware provide extended performance.
  • UV inhibitors protect the cooler against sun damage for extended life.
  • Rubberized T-grip latches keep lid secure.
8 Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler
Our Score:
8.7
Igloo
  • Rust-resistant, stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware provide extended performance.
  • Heavy duty blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection.
  • Rubberized T-grip latches keep lid secure. Threaded drain plug is garden hose compatible and features a non-slip, easy-grip stainless steel tethered cap
9 Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze
Our Score:
8.1
Arctic Zone
  • Meets the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee standards for Bear-Resistant containers when used with the appropriate locks (sold separately); Keeps ice up to 4 days
  • Seamless, one-piece, roto-molded construction is built to last; Includes anti-skid feet, an oversized drain, and an integrated fish ruler
  • Constructed with a premium blend of thick polyurethane insulation that maximizes ice retention; Perfect for outdoor adventures and camping
  • 🍺【ICE RETENTION】EchoSmile Rotomolded cooler keeps cold up to 5 days with recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents. The intermediate insulation layer is made of polyurethane so as to provide superior insulativity and high strength.The silicone sealing ring seals the whole space to avoid heat convection and prolong the cryopreservation time.
  • 🍺 【FULL MONEY BACK GUARANTEE】We offer a 2-year warranty for this cooler. If you have any problem, please feel free to contact us. If we can't solve your problem or you are not satisfied with the result, we will provide you a full refund.
  • 🍺【SIZE&WEIGHT】35 qt ice cooler can hold up to 40 aluminum cans (12 FL oz). It will be a perfect tool to cool your drinks, such as beer, beverage and juice etc. Weights 19.84lbs. The internal size is 18” x 10” x 11”. The external size is 23” x 14” x 15”. The cooler can withstand more than 310 lbs. You can sit or stand on the lid without worrying that it will be broken.
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Are the Key Factors for Customers to Follow to Pick best ice coolers?

A range of influences contributes to the best ice coolers. Depending on the product, there are several ways to study it. As a result, we've come to lend a hand, offer advice, and offer answers to these issues.

A thorough search of trustworthy websites should be conducted using as many resources as feasible. Our experts use high-tech tools and a well-tuned product listing system to provide a sort of service.

It'd also be fascinating to go more into the development and analysis of these aspects. Consider the following tips in mind:

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

FAQs

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We decide facts since we are product consulting professionals with extensive expertise. Even so, we maintain and update the list of best ice coolers so the information is correct and up to date.

After reading this article, you should discover that selecting a best ice coolers that is both handy and economical to you is not difficult. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you require assistance.


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About Sarah Combs

Sarah Combs

Sarah Combs is a visual editor who loves to travel and hike. She enjoys taking photographs of her journeys, which help her to remember the beautiful places she's been to. Sarah is grateful for the opportunities that she has had to see the world and looks forward to continuing to explore new places in the future. Sarah is the editor of CampfireUSA since 2021 and has written on a variety of topics, from camping, and hiking to other outdoor guides.

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