Do you have plans to go camping this weekend? Maybe spend the night on the mountains? Perhaps going island hopping in your luxurious yacht? Then you’ll definitely need something that will keep food and beverage cold – This is where the best coolers come into play. Coolers aren’t only trends, but they can offer more comfort and ease to your leisure. However, due to lots of available options choosing the best coolers can be a daunting task. To help you find the best cooler to fit your needs, we will review some of the best coolers that are currently available on the market. We will also include a comprehensive buyer’s guide so that you’ll be able to choose the model that suits your needs with ease!

Types of Coolers

Soft Coolers

This type of cooler is perfect for on the go outdoor activities. Actually, soft coolers are built with portability in mind. However, shoulder straps allow users to carry this cooler with ease and comfort. Nevertheless, you can fold it after you are finished chilling your ice and food.

Hard Coolers

Hard coolers are commonly used for boats, camping, and parties. Furthermore, they are normally made of steel or plastic. These types of coolers have side handles or wheels for ease of transportation. Without a doubt, hard coolers are more durable than soft coolers.

Features To Consider When Buying A Cooler

  • Insulation

The main purpose of a cooler is to keep food edible and beverage cold. For the best ice or cold retention, you will want to acquire a cooler with a tight seal and thick insulating walls. Even if two coolers have a similar inside volume, the model with a thicker insulation will consume more space in the car.

  • Capacity

For you to determine the right carrying capacity, you have to identify what purpose do you want your cooler to serve. Is it a beach day cooler, camping cooler, or picnic day cooler? However, a 50-quart model like the Igloo MaxCold can accommodate 72 cans. While the Arctic Zone Titan which is a 32-quart model can hold 48 cans.

  • Portability

When buying a cooler, make sure to go for a model that is light in weight and comes with a comfortable shoulder strap.  However, if you prefer a cooler with wheels, then you can still purchase a Pelican cooler that has wheels or Orca wheel add-ons. Either way, when it comes to handles, choose a handle that is stationary or swinging.

  • Overall Size

Considering the overall size of your chosen cooler is also important so that you will be able to know how much space it can take.

  • Durability

This is when the materials are weighed. Actually, the hard cooler is more resilient then soft coolers. However, cheap plastics can crash with rigid use or storage under the sun. Nevertheless, soft coolers like AO Coolers are proven tear resistant.

  • Drainage

Having a cooler with excellent drainage system is handy. In fact, this feature is useful when heading out on longer trips. Either way, this allows you to replace the ice once it melts with ease.

Best Coolers to Buy In 2018

Top Pick for Best Coolers: Orca ORCW040 Cooler

This 40-quart and smooth cooler have a glowing simplicity. Even so, the Orca ORCW040 Cooler can keep ice for five days in more than 90-degree weather. If you love camping, then having this white cooler is a good idea.

Moreover, this cooler is loaded with an impressive feature such a Velcro pouch that is located at its back. This pouch is intended for storage and it is not present in other models. When it comes to performance, there is no doubt, you can count on this cooler from Orca.

The Orca 40-Quart Cooler is very easy to clean. Plus, it comes with smooth surfaces. In fact, you don’t have to use a special cleaning brush to reach its nooks and crannies. Furthermore, this model utilizes one-inch heavy rubber swipe handles which hang inches on every side. This cooler is also built with portability in mind. Even so, its handles have an ergonomic curvature so that your hand will perfectly fit when you’re carrying it.

Key Takeaways
  • This cooler can hold ice in blistering heat for about four hour which is longer compared to others.
  • It is equipped with durable yet flexible handles which make carrying heavy loads easier.
  • The Orca 40-quart Cooler also comes with a drainage system that is flawless.
  • It is made of high-quality materials

The Runner-Up for Best Coolers: Pelican Elite

When it comes to hard-sided storage cases, undeniably, Pelican is a very famous name. Either way, this 50-Quart cooler cam kept twenty pounds of ice for 5 hours. In fact, the Pelican Elite is bigger and heavier than Orca. However, when it comes to warranty, Pelican drops a bit short.

Notwithstanding the warranty, the Pelican Elite comes with a durable lid as well as 4 cup holder. Not only that, it also has a cutting board and angler’s ruler which allows the user to measure the freshly caught fish and clean it.

This cooler is also top-notch when it comes to security. As a matter of fact, Pelican equipped their cooler with not one but three lock-down cables and padlocks.  Similar to Orca, the Pelican Elite is quite easy to clean. However, it has plenty of unsmooth surfaces which makes washing it longer. When cleaning this cooler, make sure to use a flexible two inches bristles.

Either way, when Pelican Elite is empty, it weighs 35lbs. But the good thing is it is equipped with firm and wide handles to pay off for this. Though, Pelican Elite does not swing out, unlike Orca.

Key Takeaways

  • Can keep 20lbs of ice for more than 100 hours.
  • A fishing and mountain cooler.
  • The Pelican Elite is equipped with three padlocks.
  • Comes with a built-in bottle opener and angler’s ruler.
  • It is tougher to clean especially when compared to Orca.

Polar Bear Coolers: Best Soft Cooler

This cooler is made of high-quality materials and double-coated using an 850-denier nylon. A material that is commonly used in making boat skins and motorcycle jackets.

The Polar Bear, on the other hand, can offer its users a wide opening for easy access. This cooler comes with a sturdy shoulder strap and it is very comfortable on the shoulder. Even so, this cooler comes only with small pockets. Nevertheless, the manufacturer of this cooler allows their consumers to customize their coolers at their custom embroidery shop. Cool bonus, isn’t?

Key Takeaways
  • A top-notch cooler when it comes to ice retention and durability
  • A great and inexpensive soft cooler.
  • Its thick insulation can hold the cold for more than 75 hours efficiently.
  • Comes with a wide opening which allows the users to access their things with ease.

Igloo MaxCold Cooler: Best Cooler For The Money

The Igloo MaxCold is equipped with thick walls which kept your foods and drink cold for about 90 hours using 20lbs of ice. Actually, it is a simple cooler for a worthy price. Its 5 inches swivel handles can offer you ten inches wiggle room when you’re transporting the cooler. Meaning to say, whether you’re heading to the park or beach, the Igloo MaxCold offers great cold for its weight. Furthermore, it is very portable as wear as offers a great seat.
Key Takeaways
  • It is an affordable yet durable cooler
  • This cooler is rough enough to throw in the truck
  • Can store ice for four days.
  • Equipped with well-designed and sturdy handles.

Other Best Coolers to Buy In 2018

Yeti Hopper

A good-looking cooler that has a hard-won name recognition. Nevertheless, compared to other soft coolers, the Yeti Hopper can hold 20lbs of ice for four whole days. With this cooler, you will be able to get your food or drink with ease. But if you are trying to look for some ingredients and you’re in a dark place you need to use a flashlight.

However, because of the zipper that runs down the center, undeniably, packing and unpacking become harder.  Sad to say, the Yeti Hopper doesn’t come with a bottle opener, unlike Polar Bear Coolers. But, you can buy the YETI bottle opener separately if you wish to have one. Either way, you can wear its strap in multiple ways.

Coleman 54-Quart Steel Belted Cooler

This cooler from Coleman looks really great and holds ice very well. However, this cooler is 8lbs heavier than the Igloo MaxCold. Even so, the Coleman Steel Belted Cooler has an impressive drain system which allows you to remove water without tilting it.

Another great feature of this 54-quart cooler is that it comes with smooth overall results. It simply means, cleaning this cooler is much easier. As matter of fact, you can also dry and wipe its surfaces using a clean towel.

Moreover, its metal swivel handles are also great, however, they are only 3-inch thick, which is quite small for an at ease carry. Either way, the Coleman Steel Belted Cooler is backed with six years limited warranty is pretty for a hard cooler in this price range. More importantly, it has total dimensions of 22.5” by 14.5” by 16.2”.

AO Coolers

A vinyl fishing cooler that isn’t quite as rough as the nylon. However, the AO Coolers has only less insulation, but it can still retain ice for about three days. This cooler features a full horizontal zipper which goes midway up and goes across one whole side.

Even though it has no bottle opener on its zipper, does open up a little better than the Polar Bear Coolers. Another good feature of this cooler is that you can fold it into a smaller one with ease. Even so, the AO Coolers is ideal for people who love staying on their fishing boats for a couple of days.

Coleman 40-Quart Wheeled Cooler

Another cooler from Coleman that comes with a big handle, wheels, white top, and red base. Actually, if you’re always hosting a pool party having a cooler like this is a great idea. Even so, the Coleman 40-Quart Wheeled Cooler can hold foods and ice below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for about 85 hours in more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit weather.

You can also count on this thick cooler when it comes to performance. On top of its impressive ice-retention, it comes with four drink holders that are molded into a plastic. Since it is equipped with sturdy wheels, there is no doubt you can transport it with ease. In fact, you only need one person to move it from one place to another.

The main drawback of this cooler is that the top does not stay open without difficulty. Either way, Coleman support representatives say that this cooler does not technically have any warranty. Although they will often perform a “courtesy replacement” in the first 12 months of possessions. But hey, it is only $50.

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

A picnic-kind cooler that comes with five pockets and a shelf which keep things away from the ice. However, the shelf was not totally waterproof, but it won’t stop you from cooling a 12-ounce bottle standing vertically. Either way, when it comes to ice-retention it doesn’t perform well compared to the other models in this list. But, you can still store a raw meat for one day.

The Arctic Zone Titan, on the other hand, comes with ad shoulder strap that is nicely attached. With that said, carrying this cooler is quite easier. Furthermore, this product doesn’t come with a drainage system. Meaning to say, you need to remove the water manually. Also, its black fabric will fade when exposed to the sun. Thus, if you don’t want to own a cooler that comes with a fabric that fades easily, then the Polar Bear is for you.

Bottom Line

When heading for a casual outing to the park or weekend trip and looking for a cooler that is easy to transport and has a good ice retention then the Orca 40-Quart Classic is for you. In fact, this cooler can keep ice for over 110 hours. Also, it is very easy to clean and handle.

However, if you are heading to a salmon stream or bear county, then the Pelican Elite will surely satisfy your outdoor need. This cooler is made of high-quality materials and comes with a triple locking lid and a built-in ruler.

But, if you’re looking for a cost-effective cooler, then the Igloo MaxCold is a good option. Nevertheless, if you prefer a soft cooler, why not give Polar Bear Coolers a try? Actually, this 48 quartz cooler can keep your foods and drink for 75 hours.