Ranking The 10 Best Coolers of 2021

Matt Lewis
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Everyone’s got one, but a good cooler doesn’t come cheap. If you’re serious about keeping your drinks/food cool and you’re planning to celebrate the next can’t-miss-it family gathering, bonfire or BBQ at your place, you’re sure to find the perfect cooler for your needs in this well-researched list of the 10 best coolers of 2021.

Before diving into our list, we want to let you know that not all coolers are created equal.

But first, let’s discuss the major considerations that you should make when evaluating a cooler —.

Why do we need coolers in the first place?

We’ll keep this short and sweet:

You need a cooler because hot air rises and cold air sinks. This law of physics is what makes swamp coolers work so well. Coolers keep your snacks and drinks cold because they keep them in contact with cold air, not because they contain cool liquid.

NameCategoryProduct
Klein Tools 55600 Work CoolerBest OverallKlein Tools 55600 Work Cooler
Igloo BMX FamilyBudget PickIgloo BMX Family
RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling CoolerUpgrade PickRovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler

1. Klein Tools 55600 Work Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

Klein Tools 55600 Work Cooler

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Pros:

  • Holds a lot of weight
  • A variety of compartments for different tools
  • Compact and easy to carry

This Klein cooler is designed for those who work long hours in the midday sun or the brutal heat by the side of the road. This is due to the fact that it can hold up to 18 cans. That is enough for three people to have something to drink during a working day.

People working outdoors often need a lot of tools. They also need to have them close at hand at all times. That is the reason why this Klein cooler comes in handy. It has a number of different pockets which can accommodate various tools.

This may be quite small for people who are big. However, it is a plus for a lot of people. You can just pick it up and pack it into your truck when you leave work, or when you are away from home.

2. YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

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Pros:

  • Allows the user to hold an ice for up to 10 days while transporting it
  • The opening is easy to clean and maintain
  • The handles come with rubber inserts to increase grip for those who have wet hands
  • Features funky colors and a good design

Cons:

  • The wheel are made of plastic, which can sometimes get a little shaky
  • The wheels do not rotate
  • There is no drain plug for cleaning the ice out

When you are looking for a cooler that will help you store your food for a longer time, the YETI Tundra is the perfect option for you. Their construction makes them stand out as better than regular coolers.

The YETI Tundra is the most insulated cooler there is on the market right now. It is built with superior gauge stainless steel and a super-food grade liner. This makes everything in it stay frozen longer.

You also have the option of customizing all your own coolers. With over 30 colors, your new cooler will look amazing.

3. Pelican 20 Quart Elite Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pelican 20 Quart Elite Cooler

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Pros:

  • 210 Denier Cordura fabric
  • Double YKK zippers
  • Molded plastic handles
  • Square shaped design for maximum capacity
  • Up to 40 hours ice retention
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Bulky design
  • Bad fitting lid

A solid, well-made cooler is a must have for every household. Some families use them for picnics, on the boat, or at campgrounds. The Pelican 20-Quart Elite Cooler is definitely one of the best coolers out there.

This cooler is more durable than most others on the market. It is made from 210 Denier Cordura fabric, this liner is coated with Teflon to make the cooler water-tight and stain resistant. The Pelican 20-Quart Elite Cooler is so tough the company backs up this product with a lifetime warranty.

It has a molded plastic handles, made with thick rubber, they are very sturdy and comfortable to use. This cooler keeps ice for up to 40 hours. It is square shaped and has up to 90% more capacity than round products, making it great for beach vacations.

4. Coleman Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Coleman Cooler

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Pros:

  • Packaged beverages of any kind: beverages of any kind can be packaged and placed inside the cooler
  • Stylish, stainless steel handles

Last but not the least, here’s our traditional recommendation for the best fridge. Coleman is well known for its outdoor gear, but they do make some fairly decent coolers as well.

This is a unique cooler as it’s a part of their Steel-Belted series. It has a 54-quart capacity, which is more than enough for your regular outings. The practical design makes it easy to carry, and with the durable mesh and nylon handles, you can even have a few drinks of your own inside, as well.

Coleman also uses a ColdLock seal. It’s unique for the fact that it’s made of stainless steel and reinforced with an accordion-style tie rod. This helps create a truly airtight seal that keeps your drinks cold for up to 4 days.

5. Igloo BMX Family

Our rating: 8 / 10

Igloo BMX Family

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Pros:

  • Self-draining hinge
  • Holds ice for 3 days

Cons:

  • No leak-proof lids
  • Some users have complained that the hinges are not as durable as advertised

The makers of this product claim that it’ll keep ice for up to 3 days. That’s pretty impressive compared to the best soft coolers and ice boxes.

It has handles, tie-down points, and a ruler printed on the lid that’ll give you an idea of how much food and drinks you’ve got inside.

The hinge is self-draining and lets you load the cooler as you want. You can stack stuff, tie it down, and even stand the cooler upright without worrying about leakage.

6. ORCA ORCT040 40qt Tan Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

ORCA ORCT040 40qt Tan Cooler

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Pros:

  • Relaxed styling and construction that looks rugged
  • Easy access for all of your ice, snacks, and drinks
  • Has a Tie Down strap to secure things in place
  • Stylish enough to carry into the serious watersport environment
  • The handle is also comfortable and ergonomically designed so that you can carry it around a boat easily

This cooler from ORCA is absolutely fantastic. It is the type of cooler that you bring on your boat for everything you might need for a day on the water. This is a very good cooler for your boat.

This product is made of rotomolded polyethylene construction. This type of build will make this cooler able to withstand the test of time. It’s extremely durable, but stylish enough to use on a boat. It’s the type of cooler that you take with you to the lake, or to the river.

The cooler does not come with any kind of insulation so it’s ideal for inflatables or trips that involve a quick excursion into the water. Its not necessarily ideal for a fishing trip.

7. IceMule 1014-BK Pro Large Collapsible Portable Soft Sided Roll Top 23 Liter 18 Can Lightweight Insulated Waterproof Leak Proof Backpack Cooler Bag

Our rating: 8 / 10

IceMule 1014-BK Pro Large Collapsible Portable Soft Sided Roll Top 23 Liter 18 Can Lightweight Insulated Waterproof Leak Proof Backpack Cooler Bag

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Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Portable and collapsible; rolls up to the size of a can of soda
  • Easy to clean
  • Quick and easy access to items
  • Perfect for long hauls
  • Looks great
  • Made of durable material
  • Holds ice for days
  • Perfect for shorter trips
  • Very versatile

Cons:

  • The smell of the inner mat can carry over to items inside
  • Inner storage space is rather on the smaller side
  • The compartment that holds bottles has a tendency to lose its shape
  • Not 100% waterproof
  • The zippers tend to break loose after several uses

Backpacking.

Overall the IceMule collapsible soft-sided cooler bag is a fantastic choice for those who want to be able to carry their cold meals and drinks to outdoor locations and ensure they can keep them for a long time.

8. RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler

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Pros:

  • Uniquely designed cooler that can store more than you would expect
  • Weighs only about 30-pounds
  • Stable yet smooth rolling wheels
  • Detachable shoulder strap

The RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler with Wheels might seem a little bit pricey at first. But it’s designed to work for both rugged adventures and weekend excursions.

If you’re planning to take your gear on a backpacking trip this summer, why not follow it up with a few drinks at the campground? The RovR has got you covered with enough space to hold together with your food, dry ice, and of course your favorite drinks.

This cooler is designed to be what it is. It has two standard sized coolers, one in the middle and one on the bottom, with a larger middle compartment between them.

9. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

Our rating: 7 / 10

YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

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Pros:

  • Regarded as one of the most efficient at chilling your drinks and food
  • The innovative leakproof design for long-lasting ice retention
  • Lightweight and compact with an easy to carry handle

This YETI Hopper Flip is the latest release from the makers of high-quality coolers and ice chests. This one is a must-have for paddlers and is advertised as the toughest and most versatile backpack cooler on the market.

This cooler has a shape that makes it most compatible with life on the water. You won’t have any problems fitting it into your yak or on a boat or cruise ship.

The YETI Hopper is made from durable, high-density polyethylene that is resistant to cracking, fading and rusting.

10. RTIC Insulated Soft Cooler Bag

Our rating: 7 / 10

RTIC Insulated Soft Cooler Bag

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Pros:

  • Removable liner for easy cleaning
  • Keeps ice for up to 5 days (on avg.)
  • Available in a variety of sizes to fit your needs
  • BPA Free
  • Handles are both comfortable and well put together
  • Easy-lift rope handle
  • Double zippers
  • The ZERO° TempLock system
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Not as much insulation on the bottom of the cooler as some of its ‘competitors’
  • No top handles
  • Fragile lid

This product is my go-to whenever I need a cooler to keep food cold at day-long events (picnics, playgrounds, etc.).

The liner is easy to clean – which is an important factor when dealing with water and something that most of my previous coolers could not live up to.

I would typically get about 5 days out of this cooler before the ice was completely melted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What brand of cooler is best?

Char-Broil is a popular brand that makes grills, smokers and coolers. While some models have received negative feedback, many consumers have given them positive reviews. You can’t go wrong with buying any of their products! It has a stainless steel construction and is made in the USA. Easy to assemble, it comes with a lid and a drain hole that you can easily attach and detach. It also has wheels for easy transport.

Coleman is a brand known for its coolers and grills. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are easy to use and have high insulation capacity. Although their coolers may be slightly more pricey, they come with great features and they operate smooth. However, if you do not like the price, this is not an issue as many other brands sell very similar deluxe coolers at even lower cost!

What brand Cooler keeps ice the longest?

The more insulation in your cooler, the longer your items will stay ice-cold. Yet, while the more insulation the better, it isn’t the only factor you should look for. The thickness of the insulation matters, and so does how well sealed your cooler is.

You also have to take into consideration the size of your cooler. A bigger cooler with less insulation will keep ice for longer than a smaller one. But, the opposite is also true, a smaller cooler with more insulation will keep ice colder for longer than a larger cooler that has less insulation. The size of your cooler will also affect how much ice it can hold.

What is the best cooler for the price?

Coolers vary greatly in price but a good quality cooler is often worth the investment of the money. After all, having a high quality cooler will allow you to store food, drinks, and provisions for a long time. Specialty coolers such as marine coolers and marine wet coolers that can be submerged in water will cost you a lot. However, these are worth the money.

Even if you find yourself needing to throw out a few bags of spoiled food because your cooler could not keep the temperature cool, it would be a major inconvenience because you would have to dispose of the food that was not ruined. It is much more convenient to use a high quality cooler that keeps food colder for extended periods of time. This allows you to keep the old food and replace it with fresh food gradually over time.

Always remember that a higher quality cooler is better in many ways. It is definitely something that you can count on to help you get the most from your experience.

Which Igloo cooler is best?

When you walk into a sporting goods store, you might notice that there are many types of coolers there. They’re all basically the same, but they are made by different companies and they’re sold at different price points. While the coolers are all still the same, it’s smart to purchase at a bulk retailer, in order to save big on the purchase. Additionally, buy the heavy duty coolers as they are made to last a lifetime and they are very durable.

Conclusion

What is the best cooler to buy in 2021? We list them for you here in order of the lowest to highest cooling ability. These are the best mobile refrigerators on the market right now so if you’re looking for a cooler for an upcoming road trip, camping, or just to be prepared when the power goes out, you’ve come to the right place. Remember to read our buying guide to get the most of the information on coolers.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Klein Tools 55600 Work CoolerBest OverallKlein Tools 55600 Work Cooler
Igloo BMX FamilyBudget PickIgloo BMX Family
RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling CoolerUpgrade PickRovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler