Full Guide to the Best Cooler for Your Outdoor Activities!

best cooler

Choosing the best cooler for your outdoor activity is no walk in the park. In fact, there are all types of coolers for your every need. So which one is the best cooler for you?

Without a doubt, the top coolers are those from the best brands. All will provide you the same function, but not everyone offers the same quality that comes from top cooler brands. Some coolers allow you to use dry ice. Others only allow you to use regular ice with the added salt to make it last longer.

Some coolers are made with military-grade plastic and thicker walls for better ice retention. Others have better features to offer. Some very quality coolers have both. Since it looks like choosing a cooler is a difficult task, we did the job of comparing the best coolers out there to help you choose the right cooler for you.

If you're Not Sure Why Anyone Would Pay 200 Dollars for a Yeti Cooler?

Different Types of Coolers

Coolers may all look and work like the same. But there are specific coolers that you can choose for your specific needs. These coolers are:

Traditional coolers – this type of coolers are the coolers you see on hardware stores or groceries. Usually, this type of cooler has foam insulation and is made of glued or epoxied plastics. This is to focus best on insulation performance. Coolers of this kind have screw-on hinges. They also have tight fit to stay closed and rely on friction. Compared to other type of coolers, traditional ones are more affordable. They are also able to efficiently keep ice and stay cool for as much as 5 days depending on the brand.

High-end coolers – this type of coolers are your best choice when it comes to performance and durability. Usually, high-end coolers are made with a roto-molded construction. This makes this type of coolers very durable. It’s because roto-molding makes a single plastic injected with insulated foam. They also incorporate thicker walls for better insulation. This allows high-end coolers to retain ice much more efficiently. The only downside to this is that interior space is slightly smaller than the advertised size of the coolers. They are also pricier compared to other cooler types. High-end models also have hinges and latches built on the lid. This makes their design looks like an integrated single piece which is more durable compared to traditional coolers.


Specialty coolers – These are coolers that are specialty made for or with special purposes in mind. Two of the most common specialty coolers found on the market today are soft coolers and electric coolers.

Electric coolers – this type of coolers use electric cooling mechanisms for cooling efficiency. Because of this, electric cooler do not use ice but rather requires to be plugged to an electrical source. Coolers of this type are ideal if you’re going to stay in hotels and want your own stash of food or drinks. However, electric coolers are not the ones you should go for if you’re going to camp out on the wild outdoors. Simply because you won’t have any way to power it up – unless you bring up your own generator, too.

Soft coolers – unlike other types of coolers, soft coolers are more portable so they are easier to carry. This is because soft coolers often come in backpack style or like a shoulder bag that you can carry around. It’s the perfect cooler choice if you’re looking for a personal cooler especially when you’re on a picnic or want to spend a day at the beach. Most manufacturers of soft coolers design models which are tailored-fit to carry certain amount of cans. Of course, given the portability that they offer, soft coolers have smaller capacities than the regular ice chests.

Cooler Brands

If you want the best rated coolers, then you should know the top cooler brands you can trust that makes the best coolers.

Yeti

Yeti undoubtedly set the bar for high-end coolers. When it comes to the best coolers, Yeti almost always pick up the top spot. Thanks to their durable build and long-lasting ice retention performance. What makes Yeti one of the best – if not the best – brand is that they make coolers meant for the outdoor. Yeti coolers might be priced higher but you get more than what you pay for with their sturdy and rugged roto-molded build. They’re very efficient at ice retention, too. Thanks to their very own PermaFrost injected insulation, Yeti coolers are able to keep ice for as much as 10 days. A feature that only Yeti can definitely provide.

Pelican

Next to Yeti, Pelican is another brand to reckon with in the cooler industry. Pelican started out by making protective cases. Later on, they competed with Yeti and become one of the best producers of high-end performance coolers. Pelican is the brand you should look for if you’re looking for the best coolers with wheels. They employ the same roto-molded construction with their coolers so you can be sure that their cooler products are really durable. When it comes to features, Pelican does not have a lot of trademark features to offer compared to Yeti. Nevertheless, they offer a lifetime warranty and more affordable prices.

Coleman

If you’re on a tight budget but you need a cooler durable enough, Coleman is the right choice for you. Coleman makes the best coolers with wheels so they’re your brand if you’re looking for a cooler that is portable. Coleman started out as a company selling gas lamps but they soon evolved by producing outdoor gear and equipment. One of their product innovations is their cooler which they designed for fishing and hunting activities. The Coleman cooler brand is your best choice if you’re a conscious buyer. Coleman makes durable coolers that fits best to your budget, especially a limited one.

Igloo

Igloo is a brand well-known for making the best marine cooler among all the cooler brands on this list. Just like Coleman, Igloo is a popular cooler brand starting out late into the 1940s. Given the name, Igloo is a brand that stands out when it comes to delivering coolers with the classic features and high-end performance. Another good point of Igloo is that they make their coolers portable so you can carry it out anywhere you want to go. Their marine coolers are also the best buddy you could choose if you wish to spend days fishing out in the waters.

Grizzly

Grizzly is the cooler brand which has almost all of Yeti’s qualities. But not quite.Quality and performance wise, Grizzly coolers is as good an option as a Yeti cooler. Grizzly makes their cooler to suit you every outdoor activity. With them, you can choose a cooler that you might need for your camping, fishing, or hunting activity. This is one brand that not only uses quality materials but also offers more affordable coolers to its clients. In fact, Grizzly coolers are tried and tested to stand the brunt of travel that you don’t have to worry about them getting premature wear and tear.

Orca

Right now, you might be thinking that Grizzly, Yeti, and Orca are getting the battle tough on big animals. But just like Yeti, Pelican, and Grizzly, Orca is a top rated cooler brand that you might want to consider. What makes Orca a good choice is that their coolers are certified bear-proof. You’d definitely don’t have to worry about your stuff getting attacked by bears. On top of that, they offer a lifetime warranty with their products. Orca is also a blend of stylish strength and excellent cooling performance.Enough reasons why you should consider them for you cooler shopping next time.

Overview of the Top 5 Product Models & Selecting the Best Products

Finding the Top 10 Products

Overview of the Top 5 Products

Since you’ll need an ice chest or cooler one way or another, it’s best that you know what is the best cooler on the market. Our top ten coolers are those which got the highest and best coolers reviews. Each of our best cooler choice is rated by the following:

  • sizes available,
  • rotomolded construction (which makes cooler as strong as whitewater kayaks)
  • ice retention features, and
  • prices

Yeti Tundra Cooler

Our pick for the best cooler is the Tundra cooler series by Yeti. The Tundra series wins the battle against the ultimate question: what is the best cooler? With an almost perfect 5-star point rating, the Yeti Tundra cooler got the best coolers reviews from customers. Available in various sizes, the Tundra can hold itself well in the cooling department. Thanks to Yeti’s very own PermaFrost insulation that makes ice lasts up to 10 days!

Aside from that, the Tundra also has a very durable construction. It’s as strong as a whitewater kayak with its roto-molded build. More than that, Yeti also added thicker walls for insulation to ensure optimum cooling performance. Yeti also added a lot of extra features. Some of these is the ColdLock Gasket for an airtight seal.

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Next on our best list is the ProGear Elite Cooler by Pelican. This is the best cooler choice for you if you want the almost efficiency of Yeti coolers without the expensive tag price. This is because the Pelican ProGear is more affordable than Yeti. But it holds almost all of the same features that Yeti provides.

The Pelican ProGear has the same roto-molded construction. So it’s very strong and is fit for rugged use. One very satisfied customer also attested to the fact that the ProGear can hold up ice for a week or as much as 10 days. Almost as long as Yeti coolers can hold it. What makes the Pelican ProGear another good choice is their ice retention feature. Theirs has been tested to hold up well even amidst extreme temperatures. The coolers are also very functional. They come with a lightweight and durable hardware made from stainless steel and is thief-proof with tie downs and locks.

Next up is the High Performance Engel DeepBlue Sea cooler. When ice melts in your cooler, you need to do something to get it off efficiently right? For small coolers, this is not a problem. But what if you’re dealing with a cooler that is heavier? The Engel DeepBlue High Performance cooler do not have such problems.

This cooler comes with a pitched floor so it self-drains. More than that, it comes with two inches thick of insulation made from polyurethane plastic for excellent ice retention. This also makes the Engel DeepBlue very durable to last you a long time. If you frequently get out on the water to fish, you’d love this cooler with its non-marking feet. Engel also offer various sizes for their coolers so you can get which one you might need depending on your outdoor activity.

Coleman 6201A748 100 Quart Xtreme 5

Coleman coolers offer customers with quality coolers for just a fraction of a price. A perfect combination for the price and budget-conscious consumer. Their Xtreme 5 cooler which has a capacity of 100 quarts easily takes the spot for the best wheeled cooler on this list.

You can consider the Xtreme 5 Coleman cooler as a good beverage cooler. It can accommodate several cases of cans of drinks to get you for days on end into the wild or the waters. You can bring as much as six cases with the 100 quart-sized cooler which can carry about 160 cans. Since this cooler has wheels, bringing it anywhere you want to go is very easy. It’s also the ideal cooler to choose if you want to spend the day with your many friends or your family. Just like Yeti, Coleman has their owntechnology to be proud of. One of these is the ThemOZONE Insulation which helps keep drinks cool for a long time.

Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler

Last, but not the least, is the MaxCold Ultra Roller Cooler by Igloo. Just like Coleman, the Igloo Maxcold is one of the best coolers with wheels that you can buy on the market. It’s not the best cooler made but it’s definitely one that you should consider if you are on a budget.

Of course, Igloo didn’t just make theMaxCold convenient. They also built it to be durable. The added roller wheels is just an added bonus so handling and towing is a breeze for you. One of the best points of the MaxCold is that Igloo used an ultratherm body insulation to keep ice for as long as 5 days even at extremely hot temperatures. This cooler has been tested to keep ice for that long at 90 degrees Fahrenheit and it did perform according to promise.

Cooler Buying Guide

Aside from the types, brands, and top products we reviewed, there are also other things that you need to consider when you’re buying a cooler. These are:

  •  Location – some coolers are made for rugged use while some are made for portability. If you often fish or camp out, the durable roto-molded coolers should be your choice. If it’s just about having a cold drink on a picnic or you don’t really need a cooler for tough activities, then you can go for soft and portable coolers.
  • Size – ask yourself whether you’d need a large cooler, a very large one, or just a small one for yourself.
  •  Extra features – do you want your coolers to have other added features like handles, wheels, or locks?
  • Price – if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider Coleman and Igloo coolers. If you want a middle-range cooler – something not too pricey but still expensive for most – go for Pelican. If you want the ultimate best cooler, Yeti would be a good brand to choose.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why you might need a cooler. You might have no refrigerator available yet. So a cooler is the most practical choice that would work for you. It could also be because you camp out, hike, or fish a lot. Keeping your drinks and food cold or your catch fresh is a must so a cooler is somewhat a necessity. But whether it’s a picnic, a day lounging in the beach, or doing your favoriteoutdoor activity, having a cooler makes life more convenient. With it, you can keep a cold drink at hand when it feels too warm and you need some refreshment. Just remember to pick out the cooler that is best suited for your needs and your budget.

Happy cooler shopping!

Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com

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