After 12 hours of research evaluating 75 products, we picked Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler as our top choice.
When hitting up a tailgate party, going camping, planning a game day BBQ, or spending the day at the beach, a cooler is a must-have!
Not only do coolers provide an airtight place to pack food that needs to stay cool, cold, or frozen, they give you plenty of space for all the ice required to maintain the precise temperature. It’s critical to have when planning any outing that requires bringing along raw food or chilled drinks.
We’ve done the research of all the top-rated products on the market to bring you the best coolers for you to use at home, in your backyard, at the beach, or anywhere you go. Our list of the best coolers will ensure you can find the perfect product for you according to your specific needs.
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Soft-lined for maximum portability, removable hard liner, 16-can capacity, adjustable shoulder strap, built-in side and top pockets, easy-cleaning design, soft PEVA liner, and great for day or overnight trips.
Not the best insulation quality.
Capacity: This soft cooler can only hold 16 cans, plus a bit of ice to keep them chilled. However, it comes with two built-in mesh side pockets to give you extra carrying space, plus a zippered front pocket and a top pocket on the inside of the cooler. Not a lot of additional space, but enough for a few important extras.
Construction: This cooler comes with a hard plastic liner that gives you solid, sturdy storage space for all your cans. However, the liner can be removed and the soft shell can be folded/rolled up to fit in your camping, hiking, or beach day gear. You get full flexibility with this soft-shelled cooler!
The interior is lined with PEVA plastic that is waterproof and easy to clean. Though the insulation isn’t top notch—the cooler won’t keep ice from melting or drinks cold for more than a few hours—you’ll find it’s suitable for a short day trip or a hike up the mountain. The addition of adjustable shoulder straps makes for comfortable carrying.
Price: $16 is a great price to pay for this little soft-shelled cooler. Though it’s not the best-insulated cooler on the market, it’s perfect for carrying food for your BBQ, beach day, or hike.
20-can capacity, no-leak design, handy side and front pockets for extra storage, padded straps, comfortable to carry, slim, excellent quality insulation, lightweight, and compact.
No waist/hip support to spread out the weight and no internal structure.
Capacity: This backpack cooler only fits 20 regular-sized cans, so it’s not the largest cooler on our list. However, if you want to pack a romantic picnic, you’ll find it’s tall enough for full-sized (750 ml) bottles of wine or champagne. Thanks to the built-in side, front, and top pockets, you have extra storage space for additional packaged food, napkins, utensils, and so on.
Construction: This is built like a backpack, complete with adjustable padded straps that make it comfortable to carry. The pack doesn’t have straps around your waist, so all the weight will rest on your shoulders and upper back. However, thanks to its small size, you won’t ever end up carrying too much at once.
The insulation of the backpack is well above par for this type of cooler, and you’ll find it can keep food chilled for hours even without ice or ice packs. Using ice will ensure at least 8-9 hours of very cold temperatures. The interior is leak-resistant, easy to clean, and odor-resistant. When empty, the backpack itself is wonderfully lightweight.
Price: At less than $20, this cooler backpack is a total steal! It’s just what you need to keep your food and drinks cool on a romantic picnic, a park trip with your kids, or a hike up the mountain.
Motorized cooling system, no need to use ice, ergonomic design that makes for easy carrying, runs on 12V DC power supply, 26-quart size, convection cooling system ensures even temperature within, and includes an 8-foot power cord.
The cooler won't really cool items, it will just maintain the current temp. Additionally, condensation often pools in the bottom of the cooler.
Capacity: This cooler is able to hold 26 quarts of liquid, so up to 30 or so regular-sized cans. Sadly, at 18.19" long x 13.13" wide x 15.5" deep, it’s not quite tall enough to store 2-liter bottles standing upright.
Construction: The insulation on this cooler is about average, and you’ll find it can keep your food cool for up to 24 hours. However, the truly amazing thing about this cooler is that it can be plugged into a power supply (12V DC car battery or battery pack) to keep your food chilled for days at a time. The built-in convection cooling system will spread the chill evenly throughout the interior to ensure that everything stays cool.
It’s important to note the cooler WON’T chill your food for you—you have to put pre-chilled foods into the cooler, then the motor will maintain the low temperatures. However, it can keep the contents up to 36 degrees cooler than the temperature outside. If you’re on a long-haul road trip, trucking cross-country, or taking your RV for a spin, this is your simplest solution for keeping food cold.
Price: $95 is more than you’d pay for a regular cooler, but the addition of a motorized chiller makes it worth the price. Once your food is cold, it will stay that way thanks to this thermoelectric cooler!
Large size, solid wheels, easy to carry, cleaning is a breeze, stain-resistant interior and exterior, made in the USA, excellent insulation, sturdy rolling handle, no leakage, secure closure, and durable construction.
Can be tough to open when securely closed; design of built-in carrying handles is iffy.
Capacity: This 60-quart cooler is sized for larger gatherings, fitting anywhere between 90 and 100 regular-sized cans. It’s 16.25" long x 29" wide x 18.25" tall, so it will easily fit in with the rest of your camping, beach trip, or hiking gear.
Construction: The solid plastic exterior can take a beating without showing scratches or damage, and you’ll love how tough it feels. The lid is designed for a very airtight seal, and you’ll love how you can open one half of the lid at a time for easier access to your food without letting the cold air escape. The insulation is reliable, giving you at least 2-3 days of cold (not freezing) temperatures.
The interior of the cooler is both stain and odor-resistant, and it’s designed to be super easy to clean. The plastic wheels will make carting this cooler around a breeze. Sadly, the design of the carrying handles makes hauling it around a bit uncomfortable.
Price: $55 is a good price to pay for this wheeled cooler. It delivers value, a good size/storage capacity, and a durable design that will last for years to come.
204-can capacity, leak-resistant drain, UVGuard sun protection, Have-A-Seat lid, built-in cup and can holders, easy to clean, comfortable carrying grip, very durable, and great price tag for the size/value.
The insulation is not up to par with other top-rated Coleman coolers.
Capacity: This is the large-capacity cooler you’ve always wanted for your BBQs, tailgate parties, and week-long camping trips. It’s sized for 120 quarts, so up to 204 regular-sized cans. You’ll find it’s more than tall enough for 2-liter bottles, and you’ll get more than enough storage space for all the food and drinks you want to pack.
Construction: The hard plastic exterior is resistant to damage, scratches, and wear, plus the UVGuard coating keeps it resistant to sun damage. The stainless steel hinges are rust-resistant (though some users said they aren’t as resistant as they claim), and the handles will be easy to carry without damage or crushing.
The cooler claims to have 5 or 6-day ice retention, but many users say it’s more like 1-day retention. The lid isn’t fully airtight (or quality control issues lead to faulty seals), so you may go through a few bags of ice to keep the contents cool. However, given its size, you can see this is an ice chest that’s worth having if you’re planning a large-scale event.
Price: At a little over $60, this is a fairly well-priced option. Though it’s not the best for long-term cold storage, it’s everything you need to keep food and drinks cold for your BBQs, beach trips, or tailgate parties.
With this cooler you have the option of cooling or warming up contents. It's sized for 2-liter bottles, features a 27 can capacity, powered by 12V power supply (from car or portable battery pack), and comes with a 7.5 foot long cord.
Maintains cold temperature, but doesn’t cool contents; drains car battery.
Capacity: This cooler has a 27-can capacity and is tall enough to hold (four) 2-liter bottles standing upright. The fact that it’s just 11” x 8” x 12” means it’s perfect for storing in your car on long road trips or packing along with the rest of your camping gear.
Construction: The cooler is made with a simple plastic exterior and decently thick insulation, with a lid that seals it airtight when closed. On its own, insulation and temperature maintenance is average at best. But when you plug it in (to a 12V DC power supply, from your car or portable battery), this thing becomes a dream!
The cooling mechanism will help to maintain a temperature of pre-chilled food and drinks as low as 32 F. Add your drinks and food, pour in some ice, and switch it on, and the built-in motorized cooler will ensure your food stays cold.
But wait, that’s not all! Want to store breast milk, bottled tea, or water at a higher temperature? Place the pre-heated items into the cooler and switch on the “warming” setting, and you can heat those items up to 140 F.
The built-in indicator lights and switches make it easy to see which setting the cooler is on, and you’ll find this combination of warming and cooling makes for one heck of a handy travel accessory!
Price: $80 is a high price considering how small this cooler is, but it’s so worth it to have the motorized cooler and warmer combo working for you. Just be careful not to run the device when your car is turned off—it will drain your battery quickly!
Solid stainless steel exterior, 54-quart capacity fits up to 85 cans, sized for two-liter bottles, retro look, easy cleaning design, rustproof, durable handles, Have-A-Seat lid, excellent insulation, and built-in drain.
Quality control issues; could possibly arrive leaky/defective.
Capacity: Though it’s not the largest cooler on our list—just 17.5” x 17.5” x 21.5”—this cooler comes in a 54-quart size and it can hold up to 85 regular-sized cans. It’s all tall enough to store 2-liter bottles standing up, so you can pack anything you want to bring in the cooler.
Construction: This is where the cooler truly shines! It’s made with a stainless steel exterior that is very durable, fully rustproof, and all but impossible to damage. The Have-A-Seat lid is designed to provide you an extra seat, so it won’t bow beneath the weight of even heavier users. The comfort-grip handles will make for easy carrying, but the fact that they’re stainless steel means they’ll last for years to come.
The interior comes with 4-day insulation, meaning ice will last for four days in temperatures as high as 90 degrees. The airtight seal ensures the contents of your cooler stay nice and chilly for as long as possible. Thanks to the built-in drain, you can empty the water without tipping over the cooler.
Price: $110 is a high price to pay for an average cooler, but this is anything but average. Durable, comfortable to carry, with good storage capacity, it’s a camper and tailgater’s best friend.