You need a durable and reliable ice chest to keep food (and more) frigid, no matter the temperature outside. But finding the right fit for your needs can be daunting. After all, there are thousands of options available—but fortunately, we have recommendations for the best portable coolers out there. Here, you’ll find durable, secure, and reliable options for every adventure.
Not sure what to look for in a portable cooler? Here’s what to look for when buying the best portable cooler for your needs.
- What to consider: Capacity is the top concern for most consumers, so checking the specs ensures the right fit for your needs. Durability and security are also top highlights.
- Features to look for: Durable materials, high capacity, and long-lasting temperature control are all vital features to look for.
- Standard portable cooler features: Standard features in portable coolers include drains for removing melted ice, handles for carrying, and wheels for easy portability.
- Types of portable coolers: Portable coolers come in different material types, such as durable plastic, metal, or soft-sided foam, and many feature FDA-compliant and food-friendly liners.
- Special features to consider: Thermoelectric function to keep food cold without ice, extended warranty coverage for damage and replacement, and maneuverability features can boost a product’s utility.
Best Budget Portable Coolers
These coolers are our top picks for budget-friendliness.
1. Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler – Editor’s Pick
A convenient all-around cooler that’s budget-friendly.
Capacity: 60 quarts
- Cupholders in the lid keep beverages upright
- Telescoping locking handle makes it easy to pull or push on its wheels
- Recessed drain plug for easy emptying
- Space-saving square shape
- Must remove drinks from cup holders to open the cooler
- Can be tough to pack depending on size/shape of items
- Ultratherm insulated body keeps cold for a long time
- Push button and locking telescopic handle
- Durable wheels and reinforced tow handle make transporting a full cooler easy
2. Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler
Long-lasting insulation for extreme environments.
Capacity: 70 quarts/100 cans
Material: Molded plastic with ThermOZONE insulation
- Have-A-Seat lid holds up to 250 pounds so doubles as a chair
- Xtreme 5 Technology promises to keep ice solid for up to five days
- Built-in cupholders and no-crush handles add versatility
- Rustproof drain channel
- Handles can be difficult to hang onto when the chest is full
- Large portable cooler ideal for boating and fishing trips
- 120-quart capacity holds up to 204 cans
- Insulated lid and walls provide 6 full days of ice retention at temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Engel Cooler/Dry Box 19 Quart
Dual functionality whether dry or cold.
Capacity: 19 quarts
Material: Injection-molded PP copolymer with high-grade molded polystyrene foam
- There are a range of color options available
- Dual functionality as a dry box can protect important belongings
- Carry handles and shoulder strap make it easy to haul
- Insulation may not keep ice frozen overnight/for long periods
- Rugged, lightweight polypropylene case
- Airtight, EVA foam rubber gasket
- Rugged shoulder strap/integrated tie-down guides
Best Premium Portable Coolers
Premium coolers are worth the investment for the features and quality they offer.
1. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler – Editor’s Pick
Rugged cooling no matter where you go.
Capacity: 65 quarts
Material: Rotomolded plastic with polyurethane foam insulation
- T-Rex Lid Latches and rugged construction for extreme durability
- Removable dry goods storage basket for keeping specific items dry
- Built-in and rope-type handles for easy carrying
- Four color options give you choices
- Can be tough to maneuver since it has no wheels
- The YETI Tundra 65 is just as adept at keeping your catches cold in the field as it is storing the drinks and food for your backyard barbecue, this ice chest is plenty roomy, holding a limit of redfish or your prized brisket
- Ice stays ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
- The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to take it, this portable cooler’s sturdy construction will stand up to the rigors of the journey
2. YETI Hopper Backflip Cooler/Backpack
Portability plus high-quality equals endless adventures.
Capacity: 20 cans
Material: Food-grade material plus closed-cell rubber foam and DryHide Shell
- Exceptional at holding its shape thanks to the cube-shaped construction
- Three-year warranty coverage
- Exceptional comfort and stability with padded straps and waist and chest buckles
- No exterior pockets for additional storage
- Part cooler, part backpack, the Hopper BackFlip 24 is the perfect reason to extend your trek. It’s sizable enough to fit a day’s worth of drinks and food for you and your crew.
- DRYHIDE SHELL - The Hopper’s high-density fabric is waterproof and resistant to punctures, and UV rays
- COLDCELL INSULATION - Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers.
Best Portable Coolers with Speakers
When you want to enjoy your beverages and snacks but also music, a portable cooler with speakers is the perfect solution.
1. Super RB Speaker Cooler – Editor’s Pick
Taking your tunes and snacks with you is easier than ever.
Capacity: 12 cans
Material: Not stated; uses a lithium-ion battery
- Rechargeable speaker battery lasts 8+ hours and charges devices
- Features a 20-watt Bluetooth speaker with optional AUX connection
- Removable speaker so you can use it without music if you prefer
- Relatively small capacity for anything more than a day trip
- No volume adjustment on the cooler speaker
- Join the thousands of happy customers using our leading technology.
- Lightweight, Water-Resistant Removable Speakers: Weighs less than 3 lbs and has a removable 20-watt speaker with compelling design in a water-resistant cooler.
- Rechargeable Battery + Built in Power Bank Charges Your iPhone / Android / Tablet: The cooler + 20-watt speakers combine to deliver powerful, full-bodied sound that lasts for 8+ hours. Works with iPhone and Android devices seamlessly, and charges them while you're on the go.
Best Portable Electric Cooler
Don’t want to pack ice? An electric cooler eliminates soggy food and beverages from the equation.
1. K-Box Electric Cooler and Warmer – Editor’s Pick
A convenient all-around cooler that’s budget-friendly.
Capacity: 48 quarts
- Built-in cords for both vehicles and home outlets
- Double handles and built-in wheels for portability
- Keeps drinks cold to 40 degrees but can also heat to 130 degrees for hot items
- Needs consistent power for prolonged cooling (or heating)
- PORTABLE TRAVEL FRIDGE & HEATER: Whether you're travelling on the road or camping in an RV, camper or minivan, this large capacity storage container to heat & warm or cool & chill food & drink.
- PLUGS IN ANYWHERE: The cooler/warmer combo has 2 6 FT. Extra Long built in cords - one for standard wall outlets, and one for car power adapters. Both have storage compartments to be hidden when not in use.
- VAST STORAGE SPACE: This 48 quart cooler stores about 60 cans of soda or 6 two liter bottles and 15 cans of soda or beer. A removable divider creates 2 compartments for easier organizing and storing.
Best Soft Portable Cooler Bags
Soft-side portable cooler bags are excellent choices for day trips and sometimes longer.
1. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler – Editor’s Pick
Easy to tote and durable to boot.
Capacity: 16 cans
Material: Nylon and FDA-approved antimicrobial liner
- Side, mesh, and bungee storage give extra utility
- Interior hard plastic liner to protect food and hold the box’s shape
- Washable with antimicrobial treated lining
- It’s tough to fit 16 cans with ice
- Soft, portable cooler bag with 16-can capacity keeps food and drinks cold
- Zippered main compartment features heat-welded seams to prevent leaks
- Removable hard plastic liner for packing flexibility and easy cleaning
2. TOURIT Cooler Backpack
Tons of pockets and padded straps let you go anywhere.
Material: PEVA hot-pressed material
- Multiple pockets for storing cold goods as well as utensils and more
- Built-in beer opener on the strap and phone pocket in the strap are handy
- Large capacity for picnics, wine bottles, and more
- Manufacturer recommends not using loose ice to avoid product damage
- May not hold shape well with heavier items
- Insulated Cooler Backpack: Insulation material and leak-proof liner inside the insulated backpacks work together to ensure anti-leaking and keep food hot / cold for 16 hours
- Large Capacity Coolers: 13.0" x 7.5" x 17" / 33cm x 19cm x 43cm (L x W x H), Weight: 1.1 pounds / 500g, can hold up to 30 cans(330ml), own enough space for all your necessities
- Multiple Pockets: 1 main roomy storage compartment, 2 side mesh pockets, 2 large front zipper pockets to keep utensils, 1 zipper pocket on the lid, 1 mesh pocket, and 1 beer opener on the strap
3. AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler
Durable soft-sided cooling for day trips and more.
Material: Canvas and TPU liner
- Durable and leak-resistant
- Carrying handles and shoulder strap for portability
- Comes in a few different size and color combinations
- Soft-sided but holds its shape whether empty or full
- Larger capacities can be too heavy to carry comfortably
- Soft-sided cooler with high-density insulation, a removable shoulder strap, and side pocket
- Perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, parties, sporting events, and picnics; keeps things cold or warm
- Made of durable soft canvas material that stands up to travel; features a high-quality leak-proof TPU liner
No matter where your next adventure takes you, you can be prepared with a portable ice chest that’s perfect for your needs. Whether it’s high capacity, wheels for ultimate portability, or an added feature like speakers or plug-in cooling, these top picks will have you eating (and drinking) well wherever you go.
Last update on 2023-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API