Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

Looking for the best coolers for camping or the best coolers for the money? A recent study found that 40.5 million Americans went camping

 last year, many of whom likely needed a cooler to keep food fresh and avoid getting sick. Finding the best ice cooler for the best value is not as easy as it seems though. The cooler industry is currently valued at USD 621.8 million and is expected to grow. With thousands of coolers being sold each year, it might feel impossible to find the perfect one. The reviews down below will make it easier!

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Models Considered
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Hours of Research
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Experts Interviewed
93
Reviews Analyzed

Igloo Polar Cooler – Best Ice Chest for the Money

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

Igloo’s Polar Cooler, a best Igloo cooler, tops this review list thanks to its size and temperature keeping abilities. It’s perfect for summer camping trips, cookouts, and other types of outdoor activities. It has secure latches that help keep the lid on tight and preserve a low interior temperature. The cooler is considered the best cooler for keeping ice thanks to its ability to store it for five whole days at temperatures at or below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the outdoor festivities are over, and the cooler is no longer needed, there is a drain plug with threading at the base of the ice chest for draining liquid. It also has reinforced handles suitable for frequent moving. This cooler is recommended as the best cooler for the money because it is priced fairly and is dependable. It is a suitable choice for all levels of outdoor activities, from a quick picnic in the park to a five-day camping trip.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Grouped with the best coolers for keeping ice – it can make it 5 days!
  • Capable of holding 120 quarts of content
  • A drainage pipe is built into the unit with the hose-attachment ability
  • Latches that snap into place to preserve the temperature
  • Swing-up handles with reinforcement

CONS:
  • Only available in white

This cooler is way better than I expected! I love to bring it in my boat, and even when it’s over 100 degrees, the ice in the cooler is still rock hard at the end of a day out on the bayou. I think this may be the best ice chest in 2019.

I bought this cooler for a party, and it’s definitely the best Igloo cooler around! It was able to hold about 100 beers at a time and still had ice in it even days after the party was over. So glad I read your cooler reviews Igloo!

This fall into the category of best coolers for camping, and an Igloo best cooler!  Dare I also say that it’s the best ice cooler for the money? Even though I use this thing a lot, it holds up well when I put 3-4 frozen gallon jugs at the bottom.
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Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler – Reliable and Conveniently Sized

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

Coleman’s 48-Quart Performance Cooler comes in both a bright blue and deep red color. It holds up to 63 cans at a time or other content of a similar size. The Coleman 48-Quart is made with low CO2 insulation, which reduces carbon emissions during manufacturing. It is easy to carry, not too bulky and is designed for easy one-handed access.

It’s also leak resistant to prevent it from spilling while in transport, like in the back of a car or in a boat. Because of this feature, it is widely regarded as the best car camping cooler. Additionally, its innovative design allows it to be drained without flipping the cooler upside down. It’s well-suited for eco-friendly consumers and on the lower price end without sacrificing quality. It can keep ice for up to three days in a row at up to 90°F. Overall, it just might be the best Coleman cooler. It is definitely recommended for savvy consumers who are looking for one day or weekend usage. It also might be a suitable option for those environmentally conscious consumers out there.

  • Product
PROS:
  • Keeps ice for up to three days
  • Leak prevention
  • For practical travel
  • Best car camping cooler
  • Designed to be easily used and maneuvered
  • Tall enough to hold upright liter bottles
CONS:
  • Handles weaker than some others
  • The lid won’t always stay open by itself
Says it only stays cool for three days, but mine kept cold for six! I think this is the best cooler for the money 2019. I find it works best when I use block ice and pre-chill everything I put into the Coleman.

This cooler is the perfect size for me to take on the go with me. It’s not so big that it cannot be carried, but it’s large enough to fit what I need. I’ve used it every day for almost three years and it still works perfectly – best cooler ever!

I live far from the grocery store. This cooler is perfect for transporting my frozen and cold items back from the store without letting them thaw, melt, or heat up to room temperature. Plus, it comes at such a great price, making it one of the best ice chests 2019.
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Igloo BMX 25-Quart Cooler – Almighty Ice Chest

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The Igloo BMX holds 25 quarts and is an industrial cooler built for constant usage. It keeps ice for up to four days in temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes in blue and black and features a sleek design that is sure to grab attention. To give a rough idea of the ice chest’s size, it can hold roughly 37 cans. Its lid features a ruler to measure the length of fish, and it has four loops to help tie down catches while measuring.

At 25 quarts, this might not be the biggest cooler on the market. That being said, what it lacks in size it makes up in being lightweight. Though Igloo BMX 25-Quart Cooler may look heavy, it only weighs a bit over two pounds when empty. Its ease of lifting combined with its convenient fisherman features certainly makes it the best camping cooler, especially for a fishing camping trip. This is also one of the best ice chests for camping because it is durable enough to be used as a seat. This feature also makes it great for taking to work or engaging in other strenuous activities.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Sturdy enough to be used as a bench
  • Keeps ice for up to four days in up to 90°F heat
  • Consumers get to choose between blue and black
  • Especially great for taking fishing and storing catch

CONS:
  • Smaller size limits its usage
  • Hinges must be treated with care to avoid breakage

I use this cooler all the time when I’m going on multi-day road trips. I especially like that I can sit on it while I’m working outside instead of sitting on the ground and eating my lunch.

This cooler keeps ice all day even when my family is constantly opening it up to get drinks out. I can see why it is the best-rated ice chest! Perfect for taking on day trips or weekend adventures.

Came across this product while reading Igloo cooler reviews. I heard they make really good ice chests, so I decided to buy this one. I needed something durable to take with me on the go, and this one is great! I’d recommend this to anyone seeking high-end ice chests.
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YETI Tundra 35 – Luxurious and Dependable

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The YETI Tundra 35 Cooler is for folks with some serious cooler needs. It comes in eight different colors, ranging from Desert Tan for the more traditional types to Reef Blue for those who prefer to be bold. After factoring in a two to one ice ratio, this product can still carry up to twenty standard cans. This cooler is lined with PermaFrost insulation that is three inches thick. It also has a unique FatWall design that protects it from curious and hungry creatures such as bears and raccoons. The dense and durable rubber this YETI is made from keeps it pretty much indestructible, but it comes for a steep price.

It is fourth on this review list because while it’s amazing cooler, there are cheaper ones on the market that work well too. This cooler is not a bad option for outdoorsmen who want to invest in what is regarded as amongst the best cooler brands that they can trust and potentially make a statement. Plus, the YETI Tundra 35 comes with a dry-bag for keeping goods from getting wet from ice melt.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Extremely durable due to patented material technology
  • Available in a wide breadth of great colors to choose from
  • Consumers get a free dry-bag with a purchase

CONS:
  • Weighs 20 lbs when empty
  • Some complaints of leakage

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ENGEL Cooler/Dry Box – Doubles as Dry Goods and Equipment Box

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The ENGEL Cooler/Dry Box is considered the best ice chest for camping and is widely respected amongst the outdoorsmen community. Inside the cooler is a removable hanging tray that keeps melted ice from getting into the intentionally dry section of the ENGEL’s interior. This section is perfect for loading with frozen and refrigerated food items. Then, the wet side can be used to store ice, beverages, and well-sealed items.

The ENGEL can also be used just as a dry box, blocking moisture and dust or other harmful environmental products from entering. This is useful for storing expensive electronic equipment or important documents while outside in various environmental conditions.

The ENGEL comes in six different colors, including camouflage, pink, blue, silver, tan, and white. It features one shoulder strap so that it can be carried without hands, and a surface designed to be easy to clean. Its basin holds up to 19 quarts of contents. Additionally, it is reinforced with screws made from premium stainless steel and latches with self-stopping hinges to increase its durability. It is affordable but still high quality. For those seeking a multi-functional ice chest, this might be a good place to start.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Doubles as a protective dry box with a waterproof seal
  • Comes in six different colors
  • Includes a removable hanging tray for dry goods
  • Shoulder strap and reinforced infrastructure for easy transport
  • Good size for taking in smaller boats or cars

CONS:
  • Plastic may warp in temperatures over 100
  • Not as equipt to keep ice as some other coolers on this list

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DEWALT Tough System Cooler (DWST08404) – Tough with High Load Capacity

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

This cooler is for people in need of a reliable ice chest that can handle large loads. While its basin only holds up to 27 quarts making it a medium-size cooler, its contents can weigh up to 88 lbs without breaking its handles. The product has an industrial look – it would fit in perfectly on any construction or landscaping scene. Because of its PU grade foam insulation and the freezer-style lid basin, it comes with, it can maintain frozen items for five consecutive days. This makes it perfect for keeping beverages or food cold on a worksite. It is also waterproof and dust resistant so that it can be left outside.

DEWALT Tough System Cooler was designed with hard-working people in mind. It is able to be van racked and is able to be used with ToughSystem Carrier and Workshop Racking systems that utilize side handles. For those who don’t want to lift it at its full capacity of 88 pounds, it can also be easily popped onto a hand-truck for easy transportation. The product only comes in a bright, sunny yellow color. The good news is though, that it will not get lost on a crowded work site. This product could be a great fit for individuals seeking a functional cooler to take with them to their job.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Holds up to 88 lbs of content
  • Maintains frozen goods and ice for up to 5 days
  • Can be left outside thanks to dust and water resistance
  • Great for those who are often outdoors for work or hobby

CONS:
  • The low color variety for those seeking something less intense
  • No extending handle to help carry heavy contents

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Seavilis Cooler – High-End Ice Chests with Several Size Options

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The Seavilis Cooler (Milee) is for customers who are in search of the best cooler for camping that they can trust to last a lifetime. It can be purchased in four different sizes depending on the user’s needs – 35 quarts, 45 quarts, 60 quarts, and 75 quarts. The price varies slightly depending on the size preferred. No matter what size this cooler is purchased at though, it is without a doubt priced at a premium range. With this high price comes great features though. This cooler comes in a variety of classy colors. For more traditional folks, there is tan, gray, and earthy jungle green. For individuals who prefer bolder colors, there is a sky blue, as well as a seafoam green. Inside, it has a removable basket and divider for keeping contents organized.

The Seavilis Cooler (Milee) is insulated with commercial-grade insulation and has nylon rope handles that are almost impossible to break. Its surface has UV protection, which is relatively unique to this product, and its exterior contains a nifty compass for navigation. This cooler has not one but two built-in bottle openers and a cup holder. For those willing to pay the high-end price, this might be one of the best camping coolers to take on into the woods or on other big trips.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Options when choosing size
  • Rack and separator for keeping an organized interior
  • Added perks like compass and bottle openers
  • Five colors to select from

CONS:
  • It holds frozen content and ice similarly to cheaper coolers
  • Pretty heavy to carry even when empty
  • Cost

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Koolatron CBVIC-13 Ice Chest – Stylish and Nostalgic

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The Koolatron CBVIC-13 Ice Chest evokes the memory of old-fashioned coolers. It features the classic Coors Banquet branding with a golden yellow base color. This cooler is smaller than many of the other ones on this list. It only holds 13 liters, which is big enough for packing in 18 cans or 12 bottles. This varies of course with the amount of ice loaded into the basin as well. It’s sturdy just like coolers were made in the old days. Its interior is built from plastic which makes it easy to wipe clean.

Something quirky pertaining to this product is that it has a built-in bottle opener. It’s perfect for taking to a party or other social outing. It also has a locking lid to hold contents steady during transport. The Koolatron CBVIC-13 Ice Chest would fit in well decorating a home bar or for personal use. The lid of the unit does come completely off, so users should be careful not to misplace it. The metal rim at the bottom of the cooler is also a tad bit sharp and some users may want to cover it to prevent any scratching. This cooler is not the most practical one on the list, but it is super fun and might make a great gift for beer-lovers at any time of the year.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Has a retro and attention-grabbing aesthetic
  • Attached bottle opener so it can never be forgotten
  • Can hold two six-packs of bottles or 18 cans
  • Perfect to bring along to social outings

CONS:
  • The smaller size is not as practical as other coolers on list
  • No water-proof or dust-proof lining so it shouldn’t be left outside
  • Metal rim around the bottom should be handled with caution

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Klein Tools Tradesman Pro Tough Box Cooler – From Work to Hobby

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The Klein Tools Tradesman Pro Tough Box Cooler holds up to 48 quarts or 45 liters. Inside, users can fit 74 cans or 40 bottles depending on how much ice is being used to keep contents cold. On the outside of the box is a stainless steel bottle opener. This product is great for bringing along to barbeques or parties. This ice chest keeps things cold for up to 30 hours, which equates to a little over a full day. It also has a removable dry rack inside its basin. This rack can be used to store medicine other important contents that must be kept cold but safe from water damage. The Tradesman Pro also is compatible with speakers that can be purchased separately. The product also has a drain that prevents leakage.

The 1-year manufacturer’s warranty protects customers when investing in this cooler. Note that this manufacturer’s warranty only covers defects that the product arrived with though. Damage done to the cooler after its arrival will not be covered by this warranty. This cooler comes in only one variety, a two-toned gray and orange design. Still, it is functional and has a large capacity. It is likely a good option for those seeking a multi-purpose cooler for recreational use, both indoors and outdoors.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Removable dry rack for storing goods
  • Bottle opener attached to the cooler’s exterior
  • 74 can or 40 bottle capacity depending on amount of ice used

CONS:
  • Compatible speakers must be purchased separately
  • No color variety to choose from
  • 30-hour coolness promise not as impressive as others

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Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze – Quality Without Sacrifice

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

The Titan Deep Freeze comes in both gray and blue. Consumers can choose between 20 quarts and 55 quarts depending on what they need it for. Its Microban protection prevents staining on the cooler or bacteria from building up and causing bad smells. This is especially important when storing animal products. It is crucial to keep them as fresh as possible to avoid potential illness from consumption. It also makes the unit easier to clean since it helps prevent the interior from growing stubborn mold or mildew. It is built with ice retention in mind, keeping ice inside for up to four days. Locks can be purchased separately that would make the cooler bear-poor with regards to requirements set by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

This Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze has an oversized drain at its base that makes for quick draining once the ice inside melts. It also comes with anti-skid feet and a practical fish ruler for fishermen that would like to use the cooler for sport. It is crafted seamlessly in one piece to ensure durability. This is a cooler suited for keeping food, drink, and catches fresh.

  • Product

PROS:
  • There’s a fish ruler in the unit for measuring catches
  • Perfect for camping or game hunting and fishing
  • Can keep 22 pounds of ice for up to 4 consecutive days
  • Antimicrobial product protection prevents staining and odor

CONS:
  • Only bear-proof when the additional lock is purchased
  • Only keeps ice for 2 days when ice is 50%
  • Limited choice of colors

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Coleman Excursion Portable Cooler – Perfect for Lunch

Best Coolers of 2020 | Our Top Picks

This handheld cooler made the list for its ease in portability and small size. Unpacked, this unit weighs less than four ounces! This unit does not come with a plastic divider to separate the contents of the product. However, a plastic divider can be purchased separately and placed into the cooler if a user would like to do so. The Coleman Excursion come with small indents inside its plastic basic that allow for this. The cooler comes in both blue and red. The red version, however, is priced slightly cheaper than the blue version. The Coleman Excursion has a bail handle for easy one-hand carrying. Its hinges promise the ability to be repeatedly opened and closed without breaking.

The Coleman Excursion Portable Cooler holds up to 9 quarts. This is enough to fit nine cans or a large meal and some snacks for indulging in throughout a hard day at work. This cooler also has room for storing nine sixteen-ounce plastic water bottles. It is important to note that while glass bottles can fit inside this product’s basin, they have to be laid down. Typical glass bottles will be too tall to stand upright in this cooler.

This is a cooler that can be trusted to last without breaking the bank. As far as money goes, this product can’t get much cheaper. The Coleman Excursion may not be the right one to take on a weeklong outdoor excursion, but it is perfect for light, personal use.

  • Product

PROS:
  • Small size and lightweight
  • Bail handle for easy carrying
  • Perfect size for bringing lunch to work

CONS:
  • The seal is a bit looser than higher-priced coolers
  • Too small to carry 24-ounce bottles or upright glass bottles
  • The necessity to lay down glass bottles

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Buyer’s Guide

When purchasing a cooler, there are three very important priorities to keep in mind to compare ice chests. The first is a cooler’s ability to keep ice. This is the best indication of an ice chest’s performance. Some aspects that play into this ability are whether or not the unit uses the best insulation and what the unit is insulated with. Some other important traits are the way the unit’s lid is sealed, as well as the material the unit is made from. Ice keeping abilities range from a few hours to several days, and can also be affected by the temperature the cooler is actually being kept in.

Another important priority is the weight of the cooler while empty. It is likely that the contents a user wants to put into the cooler are heavy enough. If the cooler itself is heavy even before anything is added to it, it may be difficult or impossible to lift and carry. This is not as important if the cooler is intended to be built into a boat or left in the same place 24/7. However, if the ice chest is being used for camping or other outdoor excursions, it is likely that it will need to be frequently moved. It is important that a person can do so without straining and potentially injuring themselves. Reading the best cooler reviews and customer feedback can help in determining whether or not the weight of a cooler is manageable.

Hand in hand with weight importance is the size. Again, this is less important for stationary intentions. Men and women on the go, though, may find a small, handheld cooler more useful. Those who are just looking for something to keep lunch or a picnic cooler should consider whether or not they will be annoyed relocating a bulky cooler multiple times in a day or trip. Some other questions to consider are: Who makes the best ice chests in general? For those looking to save a dime, who has the best deals on ice chests? Reading lists of the best ice chests reviews can also help make a sound decision.

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How We Tested

The first thing we did upon receiving the coolers was to inspect them for any manufacturing defects. Upon careful inspection, it was found that each of the eleven coolers had arrived as they were meant to, without any broken or missing pieces. Following this initial inspection, each cooler was filled with water using a hose to check for any cracks in the cooler that lead to leakage. This is important because many consumers need to be able to take their cooler indoors and into vehicles without causing water damage. After it was confirmed that none of the coolers arrived with poorly fused seams that lead to leakage, we moved on to testing their measurements. We weighed each cooler on a scale to ensure they were not heavier than they were supposed to be. Then, we measured them all with tape to verify that they were the same measurements as stated online. Finally, we moved on to testing their ability to maintain cool temperatures, as well as their capacity.

For this part, each cooler was filled with cans and bottles to ensure they met their capacity promises, which they did. Then, they were all filled to the brink with cubed ice purchased from a local grocery store. They were set outside in a field. The temperature on the day of testing was 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This was perfect since many of the coolers claim that their performance holds up in temperatures at or below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. After this first test, we also tried filling each cooler with one part cubed ice and the other part cans. It is important to note that the coolers did not keep ice for as long this way. For optimum performance, coolers should be packed with as much ice as space allows.

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Conclusion

Finding good coolers for camping may not be as easy as it seems to be. However, these trustworthy cooler reviews should put folks on the right track to finding their perfect fit. For those looking for a large cooler with impressive ice holding capabilities, we recommend the Igloo Polar Cooler. It might just be the best cooler on the market. It can hold up to 120 quarts and keep ice for 5 days straight. Plus, it comes for a fair price. This may be a good choice to take camping, bring along to a cookout, or take onto the lake for a day. For users looking for a small unit to simply take their lunch to work with, the Coleman Excursion Portable Cooler may be a better option. For other budgets and intentions, there are plenty of other best ice chest coolers on this review list to choose from.

2019 was certainly a great year filled with many enjoyed variations of ice chests. The 2020 year will likely have a lot to offer as well. In the Spring of 2020, YETI will be releasing its Hopper M30 Magnetic Soft Cooler with 7.2 gallons of space inside. This is a nice alternative for those seeking a soft-shelled cooler instead of a harder one like those on this list. For those who are a big fan of Igloo coolers, Igloo will be releasing a 2020 Igloo Playmate Calendar. All proceeds made off of the product will be donated to the American Cancer Society. This would be a fun and charitable addition to an Igloo cooler purchase. Some consumers may have time and find they want to hold out for what is to come in the upcoming year. Ultimately though, a consumer cannot go wrong with any of the 2019 coolers on this review list. They all work as they are supposed to and generally have received great reviews from customers. It is up to the consumer to read ice chests reviews and make the decision for themselves what the best ice chest brand and unit is for their personal needs.

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