Best Coolers Reviewed for 2018 (Top 11) - Buying Guide & Tips

Best Coolers in 2018 That You Need To Consider Right Now! (Top 11) Buying Guide

Summertime has arrived and you will need to have an effective solution in the form of the best coolers in order to fight the intense heat and to keep your food fresh and your drinks cool right?

best coolers product reviews and buyer's guide

Our quick product reviews & buying guide of the top 11 best cool box that you need to consider right now that are suitable for every occasion!

Top 11 Coolers Comparison Table (Editor’s Choice):

Cooler NameDimensionsWeightIce Retention 
1. Pelican Elite Progear 20QT20.1 x 15.1 x 14.1 in16 lbs7-10 days
2. Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler18.19 x 13.13 x 15.5 in11.5 lbsn/a
3. Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted25.4 x 17.8 x 17.4 in18.4 lbs4 days
4. Engel Roto-Molded18 x 18.8 x 41.7 in45 lbs8-10 days
5. Coleman Esky19.5 x 24 x 19 in29 lbsn/a
6. Orca Heavy Duty Icebox23.8 x 18 x 14.2 in19 lbsseveral days
7. Yeti Hopper 2016.5 x 24.5 x 12.5 in6 lbsn/a
8. Yeti Tundra 11037 x 18 x 20 in20 lbsunmatched
9. Reuseit EarthTote Shopping Bag12W x 16H x 8DN.A.n/a
10. Ice Mule Pro17 x 8 x 7.5 in2.7 lbsn/a
11. Blackburn Local Cooler5 x 18 x 16 in3.4 lbsn/a
There are plenty of options available in the market but we do have a list of the best ice chests to share to with you and to guide you out!

There is nothing better than enjoying chilled beer and soda with your friends during summers right? but for this, you need to buy a quality cooler or the best portable ice chest.

More often than not, we do plan vacations and think of carrying a cooler to meet demands of activities like fishing, camping, going to the beach and a lot more.

In simple words, as a user, you are required to follow a calculative and selective approach when it comes to choosing the best cooler for all occasions!

Top 11 Best Coolers You Need To Buy Today!

Best Beach Ice Chest

1. Pelican Elite Progear 20QT – Perfect For Your Beach Activity

The 20QT is an exceptional cooler for the individuals who love to party hard at beaches. As a beginner, you will find the product constructed like a tank but surely it is one of the tougher coolers available on the market.

Now an important question arises, how long the ice will last? According to the company Pelican, the product can easily retain the ice for 7 to 10 days and even many true reviews prove the claim.

Pelican Elite 20QT has many military grade features to offer like metal locking hasp and thick rubber feet but the most exciting one is built in bottle opener.

  • Keep in mind that no cooler will hold ice for a long time when the lid is open a lot.

Best Road Trips Icebox

2. Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler – Made For Your Road Trips

Igloo is definitely a top rated brand when it comes to the world of portable ice chests. Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler is one of the best cool box that come with huge capacity of holding 32 12 oz. cans.

With this 12v product you will enjoy 36F inside and there is no need of ice for cooling beverages and food.

It is basically the presence of cooling fan as well as motor that makes the product quiet and efficient.

The company has paid special attention to ergonomic design in order to make the cooler perfect for many occasions like camping trips, road trips, fishing trips, truck drivers and many more.

Best Picnic Ice Chest

3. Coleman Stainless Steel-Belted Cooler – For Your Picnic Trips

If you love to enjoy Patio grill parties and BBQs but with ice cold sodas and delicious beers, there is no other better option than buying Coleman Stainless Steel Belted Cooler.

The cooler comes with complete steel base along with lid cover.

With 85 can loading capacity, you will never be short of beer and sodas while spending quality time outdoor with your friends and family members.

Users will not find any problem whatsoever in carrying the cooler due to stainless steel handles and rubber grip.

Manufacturers have added leak-resistant channel in order to seal the unit and prevent any leaks.

Further Reading: Coleman Steel Belted Cooler Full Review

Best For Boat Trips

4. Engel Roto-Molded Cooler – Make Your Boat Trips Special

Guys, who don’t desire to create huge hole in their pocket but think of buying one of the best ice chest, must opt for Engel Roto-Molded Cooler.

The cooler is surely not an expensive one as compared to models like Yeti cooler, but you are guaranteed with high performance.

Product is good enough to take 5 Day ice challenge and according to many true reviews, the ice can last for 10 days.

It comes with 2 inch insulation walls made up of polyurethane along with plastic interior.

The presence of quality gasket seal and amazing air-tight freezer will make you fall in love with this portable fridge.

Best Camping Cool Box

5. Coleman Esky Cooler – Make Your Camping Activity Lovely

Coleman Eksy series cooler is ideal to keep your beverages and tasty food cold for many days.

The product contains thick walls that are good enough to withstand summer heat, sand, rocks and time. Outer material is UV resistant and textured.

You will not face issues like scratches and scuff marks and the cooler will remain durable even when it is loaded and unloaded many times in a season. Manufacturers have added a special storage basket good enough to hold energy bars, cell phones and other utensils.

Bottle opener is present under the handle and with gasket and rubber latches the river water remains out and cold one in!

Best Hunting Ice Chest

6. Orca Heavy Duty Cooler – Enjoy Hunting With Cold Beverages

Guys who treat themselves as an avid outdoorsman and don’t love to spend money on a new cooler, again and again, should consider Orca Heavy Duty Coolers at top of the list.

Orca Heavy Duty Coolers will always stand out better than other products for the individuals who love to enjoy rough lifestyle.

These coolers are available in different sizes ranging from 26 quarts to huge 140 quarts.

The product is available in different colors thus allowing you to select the one which matches your taste and style.

These type of coolers are virtually indestructible and able to handle extremely highly temperatures without any effect on cold beverages inside.

For Anglers

7. Yeti Hopper 20 – Ideal For Anglers

These coolers are only designed by few brands and Yeti will always come at top of the list.

Yeti Hopper 20 is yet another fine example of top-notch cooler that has the potential to hold the ice for a long time even during extremely hot conditions.

Yeti Hopper 20 comes with soft sides and the product will cost you around $300. It is worth to spend huge money on the cooler as it will last for many years and without any downfall in the performance. This product is ideal for true outdoorsman as most of the other soft sided coolers are not reliable.

Yeti Hopper 20 doesn’t sweat when you carry it thus making it an incredible product!

Best For River Rafting

8. Yeti Tundra 110 – Enjoy Your River Rafting Freely

Yeti Tundra 110 has been perfectly designed for the people belonging to river rafting community. The product will last trip after trip and you can easily treat it one time investment.

It contains 3 inches thick PermaFrost insulation along with ColdLock Gasket thus making it possible to last ice for a pretty long time.

The model also comes with dry goods basket thus allowing you to store important utensils, cell phones and other products. The cooler has already been tried and tested by different adventurer organizations and became extremely popular for offering renowned quality. You must not compare it with cheaper counterparts as the cooler is highly resistant to rough payments, extreme heat and UV rays.

When you buy this cooler, you have nothing to worry in terms of hinges and latches breaking in this cooler!

Best Grocery Container

9. Reuseit EarthTote Insulated Shopping Bag – Perfect For Your Grocery Needs

This particular large-sized bag is ideal for grocery shopping as it will not only deliver high-performance but offers exceptional features like lightweight.

Reuseit EarthTote Insulated Shopping Bag comes with zip-top closure that will assist in attaining extra space for the items you desire to carry. With the bag, you can keep your contents in hot or cold condition for at least 3 hours.

Interior is lead-free or in simple words your food will remain safe from all perspectives.

The bag is most liked by the individuals who prefer the option of easy packing and are not willing to spend huge on cooler.

Best Hiking Cool Box

10. Ice Mule Pro – Take Your Hiking Experience To Another Level

When we discuss about coolers it is worth to mention Ice Mule Pro at top of list for people who love hiking.

Ice Mule Pro is basically a glorified backpack that will not only hold the ice but keeps your beverages cold for long duration (24 hours max).

As a consumer, you must not compare the product with traditional hard coolers as it has lot more to offer in terms of design, performance, construction and innovation.

Best Biking Food Container

11. Blackburn Local Cooler Saddlebag Pannier – Fall in Love With Biking Activity

When you have the bag available at your end, it is all about loading the party in your home and open the party at a distant place with your friends.

It is perfectly insulated and comes with features like lifetime warranty and waterproof.

Being compatible with most of the standard racks, you will not face any problem whatsoever in carrying the bag.

The product also contains interior mesh pockets ideal for carrying supplies.

With a bottle opener mounted, enjoying gold beer anytime and anywhere will not be a dream!

Buyer’s Guide

best coolers buying guide

best ice chest buyer’s guide

Are you the type of person who loves to go on a picnic? Do you go on a lot of camping trips? If so, you must buy an ice chest cooler to take with you on the go. These coolers are savior in the summers as they help you keep things cold outside the freezer for a long time, especially when you are out.

However, do you know which one is perfect for your adventure? Coolers are available in a variety of sizes and types, and you can get them from any hardware store or supermarket easily. Some coolers can cost you a lot, even as much as a high-end TV screen, so it is important to do some research before making a decision.

Before buying an ice chest for yourself, you must consider various brands and types of the best coolers available on the market. This comprehensive buying guide will help you choose the perfect chest cooler.

How Are You Going to Use This?

If you go camping only for a few days in a year or seldom go on picnics, you should not buy expensive coolers such as the Yeti coolers or the Grizzly coolers. These coolers are quite expensive, and spending so much money on them only for a few days in a year would be useless.

Take note, the lighter and cheaper coolers will not be suitable for long trips and visits because they will not be able to hold the ice for a long time like heavy-duty ones can. However, if you want to keep perishable food items and drinks cold and fresh for just one day, buying a heavy- duty cooler would be a waste of money and will take up a lot of space.

Soft coolers are perfect for short trips and excursions as they take less space and are very portable. These coolers have enough capacity and keep items cold and fresh easily for a day.

Therefore, heavy-duty coolers are for those who go on long excursions and trips and need a very high capacity to store items for many days.

What to Consider Before Buying One?

Purchasing a cooler can be a challenging task if you are a first-time buyer because there are so many options available. There are hundreds of types and sizes and thus, it can get very confusing if you have not already determined your needs.

Coolers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, so if you have not yet determined your requirements, you will end up buying the wrong product. All coolers are not same and thus, it is important to differentiate them before you buy one. For example, Pelican coolers can retain ice for up to 10 days.

However, these heavy-duty coolers are only suitable for long trips and excursions but not for your backyard parties and cookouts.

Hence, whether you are going to buy marine coolers, ice chest coolers, beverage coolers, or personal coolers, following are some factors that you should consider before buying them:


Size is one of the most important factors that you should consider before buying an ice chest. It is also the first thing which catches the buyer’s eye at a shop. Some people just buy large coolers because they think they have a large capacity and can hold lots of things. However, these coolers also occupy a lot of space and are hard to carry. Large coolers can become useless and impractical if you only go on short trips, picnics, or overnight camps.

If you are going to be away from your refrigerator for more than one or two days, you can consider investing in large ice chest coolers. A 100-150 quart range is perfect for such trips, especially if you do not want to take the things out of the container frequently. However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that large coolers should not be left with empty spaces. These coolers lose the cooling effect if there are empty spaces, so it is important to fill them with ice packs.


No matter which type of cooler you are going to buy, it is necessary to evaluate its construction. For this purpose, lift the cooler in your hand and knock its material. If you feel it is a bit hollow and cheap and not properly insulated, don’t buy it. You can also inspect the construction of the cooler by opening and closing its lid and making sure it closes tightly and is insulated properly. Lids with metal hinges are perfect as they keep the contents sealed tight and are a proof that the cooler is durable and sturdy.

Design and Material

parts of the best coolersCoolers are available in a variety of materials and designs. You will be able to find coolers made up of plastic, metal, fabric and Styrofoam. Styrofoam coolers are cheap and are good for one- or two-day camping trips. If you are looking for a long-term investment in an ice box, you should consider plastic or metal coolers.

Fabric coolers are made up of synthetic materials and are lightweight. These coolers can carry only a few items and are perfect for a picnic at the beach. Plastic and metal coolers are the most popular ones because they are the most durable and have amazing cooling properties. However, they are the most expensive ones too. Plastic coolers are more durable as compared to metal coolers, but the latter is more insulated.


Coolers are durable, but even the most expensive ones can lose their functionality if they are used vigorously for a long time. Camping trips, hiking, and excursions require durable and portable coolers. If you want a cooler for such trips and excursions, you must invest in a cooler that is durable and sturdy enough to accompany you everywhere. A Pelican cooler is bear resistant and it is certified for that, so if you want to make one investment in a good quality cooler, you should consider buying it.

Metal coolers are well insulated and look beautiful, but they are not very durable. If you are going for hiking or camping, these coolers will not be suitable because in spite of looking sturdy, they can’t handle shocks and can dent easily. On the other hand, plastic coolers can absorb shocks and even if you drop them, the contents will remain safe and cool.


An ice chest cooler acts as a moving refrigerator. Thus, another important factor to consider before buying a cooler is that it should be portable. If you are going to spend a day on the beach, you will not be troubled by its size and portability because all you have to do is to carry the cooler in your vehicle and then take it out or perhaps let it be there. However, if you are going for hiking or camping, you will have to carry it with you all the time and for this purpose, you must consider a lightweight cooler.

A wheeled cooler is perfect for taking on long excursions and trips because of its transportability. If you want to buy a large cooler to accommodate more food and drink items in it, you must consider a wheeled one or else it will get too difficult for you to carry it along with you. Hence, even if you are considering a large cooler, do not let your ice box bother you all the way.

What Are the Different Types Available?

+ Traditional

Traditional chest coolers are the most commonly used ones and offer an economical way to keep things cool. These coolers are easily available at any supermarket or hardware store and can be bought at a low price. They have foam insulation between the plastic shells, and the lids have screw-like hinges to stay tight and well-insulated. They provide good insulation and are tightly fitted too.

Most people prefer buying traditional coolers such as the marine cooler and the Coleman Xtreme. These coolers can keep food and drinks safe for around 5 days and thus, they are ideal for taking along with you when you go on long trips. The Rubbermaid Xtreme model also fits into this category and can keep food at a good temperature for around 5 to 6 days. Coleman Xtreme and Rubbermaid Xtreme are perfect coolers if you want to buy a traditional cooler.

+ Advanced

The high-end coolers follow a policy of maximizing durability and insulation capability. These coolers are very advanced and expensive because they are equipped with numerous features to help travelers. Some high-end coolers worth mentioning are the Yeti, Grizzly, Pelican, Igloo Yukon, Engel, and ORCA. These coolers are designed using a special molding process through which insulating foam is injected into a piece of plastic shell. These models are more durable because they have pin-style hinges and external latches which help them keep things cool for a long time.

The advanced coolers have rubber gasket-sealed lids and thick walls to keep the contents cool and well- insulated for long periods. These thick walls are the main reason why these coolers are so expensive. If you have a good budget and think investing in this type of cooler can help you in the long run, you must go ahead. These are the coolers that have been designed to last for a long time, and some are even guaranteed to last a lifetime.

If you are looking for good cooling performance, insulation, and durability, these coolers are the best choice. These high-end cooler models are more durable than the traditional ones. These are perfect for you if you want to store food and drinks for more than 6 days and want something that will be durable enough to withstand the rigors of daily use.

+ Specialty

Specialty coolers are designed to meet a specific purpose or usage. There are many specialty designs available on the market, but the most common ones are the soft coolers and electric coolers. Specialty coolers serve a particular niche and you can buy them if you have such requirements or needs. You will just have to look around to find one to meet your particular needs.

+ Soft-Coolers

The soft models are easy to carry and take up very less space. These are the cooler bags which can be carried over the shoulder or taken along as a backpack. They occupy less space as compared to hard coolers and thus, they are ideal for you if you want coolers to carry for hiking or camping. They are perfect for a picnic at the beach or a short trip as they are better than carrying cans.

+ Electric

Some coolers also use electricity to keep the contents cool, just like refrigerators do. For example, the Igloo Iceless 28 can be plugged into a car cigarette lighter or a socket to work.

The good thing is that these coolers don’t require ice and can work perfectly as long as you have electricity available.

These are perfect for staying at huts or camps but not for hiking and continuous travelling as you will not be able to provide electricity to the cooler in such conditions.

Final Words:

To get the best cooler for yourself, you must consider the factors stated in this review and determine your needs. It is important to consider your requirements and determine the length of time or duration for which you want your food and drink items to remain cold.

Always consider your budget before buying a cooler as some coolers can be very pricey. If you are a traveler and go on long camping or hiking trips on a frequent basis, you must consider buying a high-end cooler.

If you go to short trips and picnics often and just spend a day or two outside your house, the traditional ones are a good choice as they are very affordable.

Buying one of the mentioned coolers or portable ice chests will easily turn into the best decision of your life.

Our lifestyle is getting hectic day by day and we do need unique and effective ways of spending quality time with friends and family members.

There is nothing better than carrying out your favorite activity (hunting, boating, hiking or biking) and drinking beers and partying hard.

In order to buy an ice chest, you need to consider your own demands at top of the list and check out reviews from top-notch sources.

10 Total Score
Top 11 Best Ice-chest Reviews & Buyer's Guide

We reviewed the top 11 best cool boxes to use on every activity. We hope that this list will help you decide on which cooler you want to purchase.

User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

Jerry Boyce

Jerry Boyce is an Executive Editor of He is an incurable writer and an award-winning web scholar who loves to travel. He is fond of ice making products and love drinking coffee & beer more than anything else. Read more >>

  1. Reply
    christopher adams May 9, 2018 at 8:31 am

    hey, how many beers will the orca cooler hold?

    • that will be 24 cans and some ice. Some people say it will hold non-alcoholic beverages also, but I wouldn’t know.

  2. Used this portable Igloo cooler on an eleven hours road trip and it worked pretty great. So nice to not have sandwiches get soggy from melting ice. Our drinks stayed nice and cold as well. Overall it is a great product!

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