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The Best Coolers

Updated Dec 11, 2022
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Many companies have spent an astronomical amount of money and time to convince people that they need to spend ridiculous sums just to keep a drink cold. It’s not true. Coolers aren’t complicated, which is a good thing to remember in the face of all that advertising. After spending many years evaluating more than 40 cooler models, we’ve chosen eight that are well made, well insulated, and well suited for a range of outings.

Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme 5 Marine Hard Ice Chest Cooler, best for most weeklong adventures

Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme 5 Marine Hard Ice Chest Cooler

Best for most weeklong adventures
Better insulated and less expensive than the competition, it keeps ice frozen for a week, and a well-designed drain port makes the cooler easy to clean.
We recommend
RTIC 65 QT Hard Cooler, tough as nails, with inches of insulation

RTIC 65 QT Hard Cooler

Tough as nails, with inches of insulation
This roto-molded cooler costs far less than the Yeti Tundra 65 but performs just as well in nearly every way. It’s almost indestructible, it has two drainage ports and replaceable parts, and it kept our ice frozen for 10 days.
We recommend
Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler, best if you need to roll along

Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler

Best if you need to roll along
The handle and wheels on the Yeti Tundra Haul are the best we’ve come across. This cooler feels like you can roll it across anything without the handle straining or bending, or the wheels breaking.
We recommend
RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 20 Can, best soft cooler

RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 20 Can

Best soft cooler
This simple lunch-box-style cooler is insulated with thick closed-cell foam and made from a durable coated nylon.
We recommend
Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack Soft Cooler, best backpack cooler

Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack Soft Cooler

Best backpack cooler
This comfortable, tough, waterproof backpack cooler insulates just as well as any soft cooler we’ve tested.
We recommend
Polar Bear Original Nylon Backpack Cooler, great for parents

Polar Bear Original Nylon Backpack Cooler

Great for parents
Light, simple to carry, difficult to overpack, and insulated enough for a full day’s worth of activities, the Polar Bear Original is a decent-enough backpack cooler for most activities and an especially good choice for parents.
We recommend
Igloo Recool, a disposable composting cooler

Igloo Recool

A disposable composting cooler
Skip the Styrofoam next time you need a disposable cooler. The paper pulp of the Recool composts easily in the backyard, and it performs basically as well as any cheap single-use cooler.
We recommend

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