The Best Travel Ice Chest In 2022: Purchasing Guidance

Scott Nelson By, Scott Nelson
Updated
CleverMade Collapsible Leakproof 50 Can Soft Sided Portable Cooler Bag
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Of The Best: CleverMade Collapsible Leakproof 50 Can Soft Sided Portable Cooler Bag

"This soft-sided portable cooler is made of sturdy, super-soft neoprene. It features a patented SnapHinge that makes it easy to open and close, making it perfect for camping excursions or a day at the beach. With a weight capacity of 55 pounds, this bag is perfect for keeping your food and drinks cool while you're out and about." Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

"With the YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, you'll enjoy peace of mind knowing that your drinks and food will stay cold for hours. The Roadie 24 cooler is 10% lighter in weight, yet still offers a 20% larger capacity than the original Roadie 20 cooler. ROTOMOLDED construction makes it ultra-thin and lightweight for easy transport, while still providing superior strength, to keep you cool on the go." Read Review

3. Best Performance: Koolatron Thermoelectric Electric Portable Car Cooler

"Keep your refreshments cool with the Koolatron Thermoelectric Electric Portable Car Cooler for Travel Camping Fishing. With its large 29-quart capacity, this cooling car cooler can hold up to 48 standard soft drink cans. This durable and versatile two-way design is perfect for use in your car, truck, or boat. Whether you're on the go or indoors, the Koolatron Thermoelectric Cooler is an eco-friendly iceless technology that efficiently cools." Read Review

4. Best Energy Efficient: Goplus 16 Quart Cooler Portable Insulated Ice Chest

"Goplus 16 quart cooler is designed for outdoor activities such as tailgating, camping and backyard parties. This cooler features a premium PU exterior with a high-density insulation that keeps ice cold up to four days. Its all-in-one design maximizes insulation and makes it easy to clean." Read Review

If you are planning on going away with your family or friends for a few nights at a hotel or cabin, you will likely want to bring along some snacks, drinks and maybe some extra clothes. With that in mind, the best travel ice chest is one of the most important things you need to think about. Why? Because not only will it keep your food cold for as long as possible, but also because it needs to be durable and easy to carry.

In addition to that, there are many other factors we need to assess before making our final decision on which one is the best travel ice chest for us. To know more about these principles and the different types of ice chests available on the market today, keep reading! The following article will take you through everything you should know about the best travel ice chest so that you can make an informed choice when purchasing yours.

Before making our recommendations, our specialists spend substantial time researching and analyzing your requirements. Then we found the CleverMade Collapsible Leakproof 50 Can Soft Sided Portable Cooler Bag is the greatest choice for its high-quality performance. If you're looking for another one, consider YETI Roadie 24 Cooler.

Our Top Picks

  • Measures 18.25"L x 12.25"W x 11.5"H when open and collapses flat to 3"; weighs 2 pounds when empty; lightweight bag holds 30 liters (8 gallons) by volume with a load capacity of 50 pounds
  • The perfect size for food delivery services and a great solution to haul groceries from the store or farmer's market to your kitchen at home; comfortable handle and duffel bag handles make toting heavy loads easy
  • Large capacity SnapBasket Tahoe Coolers can hold up to 50 cans of your favorite drinks plus ice; perfect for use at the beach, while camping or to load up full of snacks for youth sports games outdoors
TOP Choice #2 YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
Our Score:
9.5
YETI
  • ROTOMOLDED CONSTRUCTION - Evolved to be thinner and lighter-weight for easier transport, while still incredibly tough
  • 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
  • The Roadie 24 holds 18 cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio or 24 lbs of just ice. It measures 16 1/2” L × 14 1/2”W × 17 1/2” H
TOP Choice #3 Koolatron Thermoelectric Electric Portable Car Cooler
Our Score:
9.4
Koolatron
  • Warming and Cooling Functions: Eco-friendly iceless technology efficiently cools to 40°F (22°C) below surrounding temperature or warms to 140°F (60°C), using less power than your vehicle’s tail light
  • Versatile Two-Way Design: This unique cooler’s secure sliding door lock lets you use it either as a classic chest-style cooler or placed on its side as a portable front-opening mini refrigerator
  • 27.5 L (29 qt) Capacity Travel Cooler: With its large 27.5 liter (29 quart) capacity, the 12V powered Voyager cooler/warmer can hold up to 48 standard soft drink cans
  • 【Durable Enough for Outdoor Activity】This cooler made up with premium PE and PU which is shatter-resistant and provides superior insulation and strength. Besides, integrated khaki body with padded stainless steel handle, our outdoor cooler is aiming to an in-style and practical use. Besides, comes with drain plug to empty out water.
  • 【Excellent Insulation & Keep Cool】Premium PU insulating materials plus all-in one structure which maximize insulation and keep ice cold for up to four days. More, the sealing design ensures that there is no leakage. Besides, this cooler is dual use, it can not only refrigeration but also keep warm.
  • 【Lightweight and Portable Design】The comfortable padded stainless steel handle allows you to take it hither and thither, which makes instant fresh food can also be come true during your outside activities and lightweight design for easy carrying. Its sturdy construction can also stand up to the rigors of your journey.
  • ✔3 USEFUL CARRIER WAYS: Soft pack cooler come with a soft and wide shoulder, you could carry the food and drink easily, also suitable for fishing in the lake. One reinforced top strap and two reinforced side handle straps design, if the ice was too heavy, two person could easily take the sides straps, start your weekend right now.
  • ✔ROCK SOLID GUARANTEE: We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. In next 3 years, if any issue or questions about our soft coolers, contact us anytime you want, we will be glad and pleasure to service you.
  • ✔SUPER PERFORMANCE OF COLD HOLDING: ROCK BROS leak proof soft cooler designed with 3 special insulation layers. 1- 420D Nylon TPU material inner with FDA identified, clean and healthy. 2- more than 28mm high density insulation foam in the middle, provide a excellent cold protection. 3- 840D hardest Nylon TPU outside. 3 unique material support up to 48h--32°F cold holding.
  • 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.
  • Lightweight Yet Durable: The Soft Pack is prepared to take on every adventure with a heavy-duty nylon shell.
  • A GREAT GIFT IDEA - Surprise Your Friends and Family - Great for Housewarming, Engagement, Wedding, Anniversary, Retirement, Birthday, Christmas, Holiday, or Hostess Gift!
  • LEAKPROOF - Heavy grade, thick puncture resistant food safe liner- HEAT SEALED to prevent leaks
  • 24 HOUR COOLER - High density foam insulation with ice will keep food or 32 cans icy cold for up to 24 hours. Great for trips to the Beach, Park, Tailgating, Road trips and will fit into the overhead compartment on aircraft.
  • 24 HOUR COOLER - High density foam insulation with ice will keep food or 32 cans icy cold for up to 24 hours. Great for trips to the Beach, Park, Tailgating, Road trips. Fits into the overhead compartment on aircraft - Pack it with vacation clothes and later use as a cooler for drinks and snacks around the pool/beach.
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN - Sewn in steel rim and flexible side supports provide instant structure preventing sagging and water spills - a frequent problem with soft coolers when ice melts.
  • RUGGED - 600D Polycanvas exterior construction provides for a long life. Carry handles & shoulder strap for heavy lifting when full. LIFETIME WARRANTY from Picnic at Ascot a California brand for 25 years.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY: ‘BUILT FOR LIFE’. Since 1913 we’ve promised to provide rugged, capable gear for food and drink, built to last a lifetime. It’s a promise we still keep. Stanley products purchased from Stanley Resellers come with a lifetime warranty.
  • LEAK PROOF: The silicone gasket on the lid ensures superior insulation and makes this completely leak proof when the latches are locked.
  • STAYS ICE COLD: The adventure cooler has double-wall foam insulation that keeps this ice box cold for up to 36 hours - longer than your typical coolers. It's ideal for camping, fishing, picnics, or your everyday work lunch box.
  • Imprint: on front pocket approx. 6"w x 6"h (bulky)
  • Embroidery: on front pocket approx. 5 1/2"w x 5 1/2"h (bulky)
  • 14" wide with organizer pocket in font
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a best travel ice chest?

You may know that shopping is one of the essential activities in a human being’s life. Selecting the best product will affect your daily life. However, which factors can make this purchase effective? If you are looking for best travel ice chest for your demands, you will waste your time with the incorrect data. But it would be best if you weren’t so nervous about that. We have a group of experts to research best travel ice chest, and they’ve given reliable information.

The description in our article is reliable. This is because of some reasons. The first and foremost reason is that high-qualified experts conduct it with many years of experience in the market. Moreover, we are supported by AI tools and Big Data so that the data you read here is authoritative and precise. 

There are lots of essential things you should keep in mind. On the other, just some of them are most focused. Here are the critical factors related to buying best travel ice chest you may want:

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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 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 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 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.

Overall, the statistics we described here are not all of them. Instead, we always freshen it up continually as the data is updated and available. It would be best to remember things we mentioned above, including brand’s value, product’s value, product’s highlights, important specs, customer ratings & reviews. 

Our readers, you guys, are always respected and treated with top priority so that you are supposed to receive the most up-to-date information on our site. You should feel free to contact us for support with the product’s problems. Thanks for reading, and we wish you a happy shopping.


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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