Picking Up Best Chest Cooler Of 2024: A Complete Guide

Hailey Abbott By, Hailey Abbott
Updated
RTIC Hard Cooler, 45 qt, Blue, Ice Chest with Heavy Duty
Image credit: Amazon.com

Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: RTIC Hard Cooler, 45 qt, Blue, Ice Chest with Heavy Duty

The RTIC 45 qt. is a heavy-duty all-around cooler that can be used for anything you’d like. Featuring a long-lasting, built-in foam insulation and a cool-lift design, your ice will stay cool and the 45 will keep things iced for a longer period of time. It also comes with durable rubber T latches which makes it easy to carry and keeps your food and beverages secure. Read Review

2. Best For The Price: Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler

The Igloo 25 Quart BMX Ice Chest Cooler is a large, heavy-duty blow-molded cooler that is made of durable materials and UV inhibitors to protect against sun damage. With its extra wide, reinforced base and patented lid latch mechanism, the Igloo 25 Quart BMX Ice Chest Cooler is the perfect companion for any outdoor adventure. Read Review

3. Best Performance: Coleman Ice Chest | Coleman 316 Series Wheeled Hard Coolers

Coleman 316 Ice Chest is a great deal with its large capacity, recessed lip and lid support design. The lid and body keep the ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F. The heavy-duty 6-inch wheels and durable tow & swing-up handles designed for easy transport make it easy to move this cooler from place to place. Read Review

4. Best Versatile: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55Q Premium Ice Chest Roto Coole

Arctic Zone 55Q Hard Cooler is a premium cooler that features uni-body construction, 360° rubber gasket, and heavy-duty T-latches for a tight seal. It offers high performance insulation that maximizes ice retention. When filled completely with ice, this portable cooler keeps ice for up to 8 days. Read Review

Whether you’re playing your favorite sport or heading to the community center for a pick-up basketball game, you need to keep your beverages ice-cold without sacrificing any of the fun. Luckily, there are plenty of coolers on the market that can keep your drinks icy for hours at a time.

If you want to get the best chest cooler for your buck, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll cover everything from key features to pros and cons of each unit so that you’ll be able to make an informed buying decision.

You are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to the RTIC Hard Cooler, 45 qt, Blue, Ice Chest with Heavy Duty as our top product. Or you can check the Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler as the other great option, even if the first option didn't meet all of your requirements.

Our Top Picks

  • Temperature Retentive: The 3-inch foam insulated walls plus the cool-lift design feature will make worrying about your ice melting a thing of the past.
  • Mobile And Multifaceted: Use the heavy-duty rope handles to take the 45 anywhere and when you need an extra hand—this cooler doubles as a step stool, tabletop, or cutting board.
TOP Choice #2 Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX Ice Chest Cooler
Our Score:
9.5
Igloo
  • Rust-resistant, stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware provide extended performance.
  • Heavy duty blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection.
  • Rubberized T-grip latches keep lid secure.
  • FULLY INSULATED: Lid and body Keeps the Ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F; logo color on cooler may vary
  • FOR THE LONG HAUL: Heavy-duty 6-inch wheels and durable tow & swing-up handles designed for easy transport
  • Certified Bear Resistant Cooler: Tough and ready for outdoor adventure, this cooler has been tested and passed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (when used with the appropriate locks - sold separately)
  • Built-in Microban Protection: Microban helps protect against odors and stains and makes the cooler easier to clean; Guaranteed to last the lifetime of the product
  • Injection-molded construction provides advanced durability
  • UV inhibitors prevent sun damage
  • HIGH CAPACITY: Holds up to 100 cans
  • STAIN-RESISTANT LINER: For easy cleanup
  • Heavy-Duty Protection: The combination of durable rubber T-latches and molded tie-down slots will keep your food and beverages secure.
  • Mobile And Multifaceted: Use the heavy-duty rope handles to take the 45 anywhere and when you need an extra hand—this cooler doubles as a step stool, tabletop, or cutting board.
  • Holds up to 22 cans | 20 Liters | 5.28 Gallons | 21.13 Quarts
  • Grizzly certified to be bear resistant when used with the appropriate locks, locks not included
  • High Capacity: Holds Up to 100 Cans
  • COMFORT-GRIP HANDLES: No-crush design with positive stop for pinch-free carrying
  • HAVE-A-SEAT LID: Closed lid supports up to 250 lb.
  • MULTIPLE USES – It’s the perfect ice cooler, drink cooler, travel cooler, beer cooler, lunch cooler, camping cooler, beach cooler. Features ​​2 inches of closed-cell foam.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE – The soft cooler is lightweight yet tough to take on any terrain with its heavy-duty nylon shell. The portable cooler measures 12 x 8 x 12 inches.

What Are the Main Ways for Picking best chest cooler, According to Experts?

Even during the shopping process, many things need to be considered. There are many different ways to access research material. Understand this. Our entire team is ready to lend you a hand, offer advice, and provide answers to your problems.

You should be able to access the best chest cooler more easily with the tremendous rise of information sources. For you, our research ensures precision and objectivity thanks to AI techniques and Big Data.

Remember to think about factors like brand and product while purchasing the best chest cooler. All of this will influence how well your product fits your requirements.

Bear-Resistant Ratings

Many top-rated hard-sided coolers can be listed as being bear-resistant. This is an important consideration if you are camping in bear territory. You should specifically look out for IGBC ratings. This indicates that a cooler has been tested and is in compliance with their regulations. You should ensure your cooler is included if you plan to travel in bear-proof gear or frequent backcountry areas.

Cooler Latch And Closure Systems

The cooler's closure or latch is a key feature of premium models and will play a major role in cooling performance. Two rubber T-handles are a common feature on high-end, hard-sided coolers. They keep the lid in place and prevent it from opening. They are extremely sturdy and user-friendly.

Cooler Sizes (Capacities)

A few things to consider before we get started: Size. Importantly, coolers do not measure the interior capacity of all models. Some coolers use cans to measure interior capacity, others use liters or quarts. However, most manufacturers use quarts as a unit of measure. We've used that measurement in this article when it was possible. A final point: Don't let the product name fool you.

Ice Retention And Cooling Capabilities

Ice retention is one of the most difficult things to determine when researching coolers. This is largely due to external factors. The temperature of the air and direct sunlight have a significant impact. Ice quantity is also important. Most brands suggest a ratio of 2:1. You should also open the lid as often as possible to let warm and cold air into your cooler. Pre-chilling your cooler before loading it is a good idea to ensure maximum efficiency. To reduce the cooler's interior temperature, you should fill it with ice at least for a couple of hours. Once you are ready to go, add fresh ice in the right ratio. You can also expect your cooler to become pre-warmed if it is left out in the sunlight before you load it up.

Cooler Drain Systems

Many of our hard-sided coolers have drainage systems that allow you to drain the water out once the ice is melted. This is usually a pop-off or screw-on cap located at the bottom of cooler. Simply remove it and let the water flow out.

Wheeled (Rolling) Coolers

We mentioned above that if you have cooler needs such as mobility and large capacity or maximum ice retention it is a good idea to look into a hard-sided rolling model. These wheeled monsters can still be difficult to maneuver on uneven terrain, and will need assistance if there is no clear path. A rolling cooler is a good choice for camping, tailgating or days at the beach.

Weight And Portability

Weighing your cooler is an important factor for those who will be carrying it or moving it around regularly. For models with less capacity, they can weigh as little as 10-15 pounds and up to 50+ for those that have 75+ quarts storage. This number goes up dramatically when you load it down with food and drinks. Even though the handles are made of rope, some are plastic and others are nylon. They are too heavy to be carried for extended distances. We recommend wheels if portability is important. They are easier to carry for longer periods of time and more convenient for one person, so they're less burdensome.

Cooler Construction

There are two main types of construction techniques used to make premium hard-sided coolers: injection molding and rotational molding. Yeti popularized rotomolding (even though they weren't technically the first company to do so) and is the dominant market at the top end. This type of cooler is made from a single, continuous piece of plastic which is then rotated to form the desired shape. These coolers have fewer stress points, so they are more likely to break under pressure. They also feature a thicker outer shell that ensures exceptional durability. Cost and weight are the main drawbacks.

FAQs

What Is The Best Hard Cooler?

There are many coolers. It really doesn't matter which cooler you choose. A cooler that is more resistant to damage will be the most suitable if you intend on using it every week.

How Much Do Coolers Cost?

Consider what your cooler will be used for. If you need it to store food or drinks for several days or at extreme temperatures then more money is an investment in food safety. A cooler that is cheap and cheerful may suffice if you just need to chill a handful of drinks for an afternoon barbecue.

Can I Use Dry Ice In A Cooler?

Most times, the answer is yes. Some coolers can be damaged by dry ice, but the majority should work fine. However, you will need to cover dry ice with blankets or other insulators. A cooler designed for dry ice is best if you plan to use it every day. You won't have to do any special tasks because the cooler has compartments to store dry ice.

Which Size Cooler Do I Need?

Although you might feel compelled to buy a large cooler, make sure it fits in the car. Smaller coolers can be lifted without the need for assistance. However, coolers with larger capacities can hold more ice and so tend to stay cool longer than smaller models.
Higher coolers can store bottles more upright. Models with recessed lids are better for loading items higher, but they may become warmer.

How Do I Clean My Cooler?

Warm water and dish soap will generally clean your cooler. You can also use warm water and bleach to remove stubborn stains or odors.

Does Food Stay Cool In A Portable Cooler Without Ice?

But it will take longer than if you put ice inside the cooler. Insulation in the cooler stops food from heating up faster than if left out. The temperature of the cooler and how chilled the food were at the beginning will determine the time it takes to cool down. Even frozen foods will heat up faster if they are kept cool in a trunk compartment of a vehicle.

How Long Does A Cooler Stay Cold?

It all depends on how efficient the cooler is at insulation. This includes the temperature outside, initial temperature of food and its stacking. Food can be kept cold for up to 4 days with ice (the best), in ideal conditions. A high-end cooler may even keep it chilled for as long as 10 days.

How Does A Portable Cooler Work?

Combining the insulation of the cooler with the ice you put inside, either ice cubes, ice packs, or foam, slows down warm air circulation and helps keep things cool.

In general, it's difficult to say who creates the best chest cooler since each firm has unique qualities, features, and pricing points that set them apart from the competition. We only suggest products from the most outstanding manufacturers on our site, so you can rest assured about their quality.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance with your problems. Wish you a happy shopping!


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About Hailey Abbott

Hailey Abbott
Hailey Abbott is an outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer for CampfireHQ. She has a passion for hunting and fishing, which she often enjoys with her family and friends. Hailey also enjoys staying active through sports such as golf, basketball, and softball. Hailey has worked as an editor for several years, providing content that is both accurate and engaging. She has also had the opportunity to interview numerous experts in various fields. This wealth of experience gives her a unique perspective when writing about the outdoors and other topics.

Read Hailey's full bio