The Best Work Coolers Of 2022: Buying Guide & Reviews

Scott Nelson By, Scott Nelson
Updated
YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, White
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Of The Best: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, White

"The Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler is 10% lighter in weight and holds 20% more than a Roadie 20, it even performs 30% better thermally. Contoured shoulder strap makes for one-handed cooler access with added comfort. The Cooler comes with QuickLatch, a simple, flexible and built-in latching mechanism that allows quick and easy one-handed access to the coldest part of your Yeti." Read Review

2. Runner Up: ENGEL UC19C1 19 Quart Leak-Proof air-Tight drybox/Cooler, Camouflage

"Take your fishing and boating adventures to the next level with ENGEL. This leak-proof drybox is perfect for keeping your gear dry while on the water. The airtight seal keeps out water and light, so you can put it to work in any outdoor activity." Read Review

3. Best Versatile: Pelican 14 Quart Personal Cooler (White/Grey) | Holds 6 Cans with Ice

"See the light! Hold your drinks and make your party a success with the Pelican 14 Quart Personal Cooler. This cool, white and grey cooler boasts a carry handle, molded-in cup holders, and ice-carrying capability that will keep your drinks frosty for hours. You'll love its built-in bottle opener, press and pull latches, and stainless steel bottle opener with a cap-catching magnet." Read Review

4. Best Quality: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 16 Can Zipperless Cooler, Blue

"The Arctic Zone Titan 16 Can Zipperless Cooler is a patented, top-load cooler that's ideal for tailgating, camping, and long road trips. This cooler features a "flip open" lid that allows for quick accress to food and drinks. It has a SmartShelf Rhino-Tech liner with removable HardBody liner, which can be easily wiped clean and abrasion resistant so it will not crack over time." Read Review

Coolers are an essential piece of any restaurant, cafeteria, or catering service. They ensure that the food is kept at the right temperature for extended periods of time. Coolers also protect the food from direct sunlight and other outside elements, keeping your inventory fresh. But choosing the right cooler can be a daunting process. Which coolers should you buy? How do you know they’re worth it?

Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you so you don’t have to! In this article, we’ll cover everything about your best ice-cooler options for restaurants: ice-coolers vs freezers, interior vs exterior coolers, built-in vs portable coolers, and more. Keep reading to learn what you need to know to get started in your search for the perfect cooler.

You are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to the YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, White as our top product. Or you can check the ENGEL UC19C1 19 Quart Leak-Proof air-Tight drybox/Cooler, Camouflage as the other great option, even if the first option didn't meet all of your requirements.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, White
Our Score:
9.7
YETI
  • 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
  • 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 is 10% lighter in weight and holds 20% more than a Roadie 20, it even performs 30% better thermally
  • Sport Type: Boating
  • INCLUDES: Inner try for non-perishables to stay cool and dry, and a snap-in, flexible lid organizer
  • FEATURES: Carry handle, molded-in cup holders, press and pull latches, stainless steel bottle opener with cap-catching magnet, and molded-in tie-down slots
  • MADE TO LAST: 3 year warranty
  • Patented, "flip open" Zipperless lid allows for quick accress to food and drinks; Features FDA compliant HardBody liner with removable SmartShelf
  • Exterior Dimensions: (L x W x H) 12.25" x 8" x 12.25"; Interior Dimensions: (L x W x H) 9.8" x 4.75" x 10.25"
  • Features an Ultra Safe leak proof, easy clean interior lining; Adjustable Backsaver shoulder strap with shoulder pad for convenience and usability
5 Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler
Our Score:
9.3
Igloo
  • Comfort grip, 3-point-grab handle for easy one-handed carrying.
  • Rubberized T-grip latches keep lid secure.
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash
  • FDA compliant, recyclable, and removable HardBody liner with SmartShelf
  • ThermaCool high performance insulation; Features Ultra Safe leak proof, easy clean interior lining
  • Patented, "flip open" Zipperless lid allows for quick access to food and drinks; 22 can capacity
  • 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.
  • EASY TO TRANSPORT: The heavy-duty top handle makes this cooler easy to grab and carry. The strings along the top can hold down a bottle or thermos giving you an extra free hand. It's large yet light, weighing only 3.9lbs when empty.
  • LEAK PROOF: The silicone gasket on the lid ensures superior insulation and makes this completely leak proof when the latches are locked.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & DURABLE & COMFY: The exterior of the backpack with cooler is made of high-density, water-resistant fabric which is durable enough. Padded back panel with Airflow ventilation technology for added support and comfort. Breathable and adjustable shoulder straps relieve the stress of shoulder. Foam padded top handle for a long time carry on
  • MULTIPLE POCKETS: 1 large main insulated compartment on the bottom for your drinks or food, 1 top storage compartment can be used to organize your dry items, 3 medium zipper pockets in front for your quick essentials, 1 mesh pocket and 1 zipper pocket on both sides are perfect for your water bottle or other valuable items, 1 anti-theft pocket on the back is safe enough for protecting your valuable items, plus the hidden pockets in the shoulder straps can be used to hold your cards
  • LARGE CAPACITY: This backpack cooler leakproof own roomy capacity to pack all your necessities, which is made of one 15 liters collapsible leak proof insulated compartment on the bottom, plus a 10 liters packable storage compartment and 6 medium durable pockets for your quick access essentials. Dimension: 17.1"*12.2"*6.1"(L*W*H), Weight: 1.68 pounds / 760 g
  • Rugged latches + handle
  • Leak-resistant gasket
  • Color: Sand Capacity: 5 Gallons
  • External Dim: 16" Diameter on Top, 14" Diameter on Bottom x 17"H
  • Holds 29 Cans, Textured Padded Lid and Non-Slip Feet
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a best work coolers?

Some of you may be reluctant to select one of the best work coolers, to be honest. The main reason is that you didn’t study that before. There are pretty lots of factors that must be considered when investing in best work coolers. You are expected to count on our expertise in best work coolers to make the right choice. 

So now we move on to the significant factors related to best work coolers you must keep 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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

The list of best work coolers is frequently updated whenever new data becomes available. Please take more time to visit our website to stay up-to-date with changes in the product.

You are supposed to be free to get in touch with our customer support. All of your problems or challenges with the best work coolers will be carefully considered.


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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