The best ice chest or best coolers are insulated boxes to keep your food or drinks cold. Ice, dry ice, and ice packs with gel are used to do the cooling function. When the ice melts, the water can be drained out by a hole plugged shut in the bottom. The gel inside the packs stays colder longer and there is no water to drain. Simply refreeze in the freezer and use again. Gel ice packs are a favorite for not having to deal with water. Additionally, ice blankets and ice pouches are available to keep your food cold in coolers.
The best camping coolers are discussed here with ice chest reviews at the bottom. The very best ice coolers are the same thing as an ice chest depending on the terminology you use.
Get the kids out into the fresh air so they can see a real cow or horse, not just the ones on TV. All of the family will enjoy the campfire at night singing, making smores and roasting marshmallows, then going into the camping tent for a good night’s sleep under the stars. Take a soft cooler for the kids to keep their special snacks. You don’t want them getting in and out of the big hard cooler so that it warms up and melts the ice.
If you’re inclined to take your laptop, put it in a laptop backpack for safe keeping in a secure way adding even more goodies to the pack.
Richard Laramy of Joliet, Illinois invented and patented the first ice chest in 1953. Since they came on the market, people use them to keep their products cold for picnics, traveling, fishing trips, overnight camping out adventures, tailgate parties, sports events, and the backyard patio or deck. Anywhere something cold is desired, coolers tag along. They are wonderful for keeping only hot foods hot with their superb insulation.
The shell interior is typically made of a hard durable plastic with hard foam between the pieces. They are available in very small sizes to larger ones having wheels and handles. Small disposable units are made of polystyrene (Styrofoam™) foam similar to disposable coffee cups to use for a short time and throw away. High-end thermoelectric coolers plug into the cigarette lighter in vehicles.
Summary of 10 Ice Chests and Cooler Reviews
|No.||Icon||Product Name||Dimensions||Editor's Rating|
|1.||ORCA Cooler with Extending Handles 40 Quart||26-inches long x 17.5 high x 17.5-inches wide||Read Review|
|2.||Grizzly Cooler 60 Quart||29-inches long x 17.25 high x 14.75-inches wide||Read Review|
|3.||ENGEL® High-Performance Cooler 50 Quart||24- x 17.5- x 18.5-inches||Read Review|
|4.||K2® Summit Team Color Edition Coolers 50 Quart||16.4- x 17- x 29.3-inches||Read Review|
|5.||RTIC® Hard Cooler 45 Quart||26-1/2-inches long x 13-3/4-inches wide x 15-7/8-inches high||Read Review|
|6.||YETI® Ice Chest Tundra Series Coolers 45 Quart||33-1/4-inches long x 17-7/8-inches wide x 18-inches tall||Read Review|
|7.||Pelican™ Ice Chest ProGear Elite Cooler 45 Quart||19-inches long x 12-inches wide x 12-inches deep||Read Review|
|8.||Rubbermaid® Ice Chest/Cooler 75 Quart||16.9-inches tall x 33.3-inches wide x 19.4-inches deep||Read Review|
|9.||Igloo® Ice Chest Glide™ Marine Ultra Cooler 110 Quart||39.67-inches long (35-inches without handle) x 18.62-inches wide x 19.74-inches tall||Read Review|
|10.||Coleman® Ice Chest Xtreme® 5 Cooler 100 Quart||36.5 inches wide x 16.75-inches deep x 18.25-inches tall||Read Review|
Top 10 Best Ice Chest and Cooler Reviews
1. ORCA Cooler with Extending Handles 40 Quart
Outdoor Recreation Company of America (ORCA) was founded by two men tired of cheaply made coolers that would fall apart throwing away their money for nothing. Wanting to give jobs to American workers, the company was created on sound principles by outdoor enthusiasts themselves. ORCA recognizes the value of people and those helping them succeed by giving a portion of their sales to wounded warrior groups, conservationists, breast cancer research, and others. That’s not only corporate responsibility, that’s heart of the people giving.
ORCA makes the cooler model number ORCG040 that has extendable flex-grip handles for comfortably taking with you either by itself or in tandem with others.
Being created by an outdoor company, this cooler is sturdy and takes the rough and tumble of the wilds.
For your fun in the summertime or anytime of the year when a cooler is necessary, check out the cool colors of green, pink, tan, white, navy/orange, seafoam, and red/yellow. If you need smaller and larger size coolers, they are available in 20-, 26-, 40-, 58-, 75-, and 140-quarts.
The cooler is roto-molded and that means that the rotational molding is a high-temperature plastic-forming procedure using heat and angular 2-axes rotation producing 1-piece hollow durable coolers. No seams mean no leaking of water. ORCA uses 3-inches of insulation all around inside and 3-inches of insulation in the lid. You can sit on the lid, but it’s not advisable to stand on it.
The ORCA will insulate and hold your ice and cold items for up to 10 days. The lid gasket holds tight and firm for a flawless seal. You will receive a cargo net attachment on the back for more storage. There are no baskets or trays for this cooler. The drain spout allows for an efficient water flow. Facing the cooler open, the drain is on the right side.
Take this hassle-free cooler with you hunting, fishing, hiking and tailgating. Use it for backyard parties to keep all your drinks cold keeping everyone from tracking into your kitchen. It holds 15-pounds of ice and is bear proof too!
The dimensions are inside: 19-inches long x 11.75-inches high x 11-inches wide and outside: 26-inches long x 17.5 high x 17.5-inches wide and weighs 24-pounds empty.
You will receive a User’s Manual with the ORCA Hard Sided Coolers Warranty to be free from manufacturers defects in material or workmanship under normal use and service for a lifetime from the date of original purchase. This Lifetime Warranty is your exclusive Warranty and there are no warranties that extend beyond the description warranted. The ORCA cooler is made in Tennessee, USA of American materials.
ORCA cooler with a 700-Pound Bear video.
2. Grizzly Cooler 60 Quart
Grizzly designs and manufactures coolers for hunting, camping, fishing, tailgating and action sports. Grizzly Coolers was founded in 1983 and is in Decorah, Iowa, USA.
The Grizzly model number 60-SANDSTONE/TAN holds 60 quarts and the Grizzly is also available in seafoam, OD green, orange, red, sandstone, tan, tan mossy oak bottomland, tan mossy oak breakup, tan real tree extra, white, white/white, and seafoam green. The camo colors would be ideal for hunters to keep hidden from everything out there. Other sizes available at Amazon.com® are 15-, 20-, 40-, 60-, 75-, and 100-quarts. A tray comes with the cooler for dry foods and snacks.
The cooler is roto-molded and that means that the rotational molding is a high-temperature plastic-forming procedure using heat and angular 2-axes rotation producing 1-piece hollow durable coolers.
The insulation is pressure injected and environmentally safe, the hinges are molded with a stainless-steel pin, and both sides of the cooler have full-length 2-inch drain plugs for convenience in fast draining. The perfect seal is made of rubber gasketing.
BearClaw™ latches keep a secure grip that need no hardware. With the molded-in heavy-duty handles, you will have a sure grip carrying this one. Rope handles are also a part of the cooler with nylon-sleeved rugged handles. It does not come with a shoulder strap since it would be too heavy to carry. The feet will not slip or mark up flooring or other places it sits.
Grizzly coolers are bear resistant with IGBC certification number 3359.
With the embossed 24-inch ruler on the lid, you can measure the length of your fish for fun competition with your friends. Tie the cooler down on your boat with its 2-inch tiedown slots.
See the graphic below for cooler dimensions.
With this cooler you can store 72 each 12-ounce cans with 20-pounds of ice. It holds 60-quarts and weighs 24-pounds empty.
You will receive a User’s Manual and a Lifetime Warranty. The Grizzly cooler is made in the USA.
Grizzly Coolers Torture Test #1 video.
3. ENGEL® High-Performance Cooler 50 Quart
ENGEL® has been manufacturing coolers since 1997 in Juniper, Florida, USA.
The DeepBlue Performance Cooler is tagged on the inside lid. The model number ENG50-T is tan for your adventures in the great outdoors, fishing, hiking, or tailgating.
The ENGEL® polyethylene cooler is roto-molded and that means that the rotational molding is a high-temperature plastic-forming procedure using heat and angular 2-axes rotation producing 1-piece hollow durable tough coolers, same as whitewater kayaks.
With 2-inches of polyurethane insulation in the lid, side, and bottom you will be able to keep ice and food cold for up to 10 days. An airtight seal is created with the all silicon gaskets never losing its shape to maintain its durability. The marine grade compression latches and UV-resistant construction gives long life and reliability. With its Cornerstone Feet™ it will not mar or skid on your boat deck. The integrated full-length Anvil Hinge™ stops by itself at the rear. Use the tie-down points to secure to the boat or anyplace you want it to stay put. The I-BEAM Lid Inserts™ is a double I-beam insert for more weight bearing strength and lid warping. The 2 security holes let you lock the bears out.
The exterior dimensions are 24- x 17.5- x 18.5-inches and the interior is 18- x 13.25- x 11.875-inches. It weighs 24.5-pounds empty.
The cooler will hold 24 pounds of stuff, 48 quarts, 12-gallons, 55-pounds of ice or dry ice, and 60 cans of drinks.
The cooler is IGBC certified bear resistant container and that’s molded on the rear of the lid of the cooler.
Gift-wrap available for your adventuresome friends and you will receive a great User’s Manual with a 10-year Warranty. ENGEL® coolers are made in the USA.
4. K2® Summit Team Color Edition Coolers 50 Quart
Since 2011, K2® Coolers provide real value to keep your items real cold designing heavy-duty lightweight coolers located in South Louisiana, USA. This is a high-end top-of-the-line cooler.
The Team Color edition provides coolers to match your team colors, school colors, or even business colors. Check out the cool colors to see if they go with your design or logo on Amazon.com®. The model number S50CW is made of food-grade products to resist the UV (Ultraviolet) rays from the sun.
Under extreme pressure, the SNOWblown™ insulation is injected for longer ice retention and greater insulation. It seems they use proprietary materials to build the cooler for distinction and long life.
The gasket material will keep the cold in and heat out with the lid design that will keep your foods icy cold or piping hot. With its positive seal and molded-in keeps, you will have a secure shutting of the lid every time. The full-length integrated hinge will hold the lid attached permanently until you unlatch it.
The K2® cooler is roto-molded and that means that the rotational molding is a high-temperature plastic-forming procedure using heat and angular 2-axes rotation producing 1-piece hollow durable tough coolers, same as whitewater kayaks.
To not mark and mar the wood on your boat floor or in your house, the cooler will sit where you put it with its SUREgrip™ rubber feet. If you want the cooler to slide, simply add the SMOOTHglide™ covers to move the cooler about freely sold separately.
A silicone gasket provides a tight water seal and the drain plug will release water with a partial turn rather than totally removing it. If you prefer, you can remove the assembly for a faster draining of the water.
Rope handles are created for comfort when you have heavy contents. The integrated handles on the sides make it easy to lift. Both sides of the cooler have anchoring points for mounting to a boat or elsewhere for stability. Padlock holes are built into both sides for keeping things secure. Use a bicycle lock to put through the holes. The latches are made from POSITRAC™ rubber to be more pliable never dry rotting or getting hard in cold weather.
Whether you are an angler, hunter, boater, camper, rafter, or tailgater, this cooler is sure to please.
The dimensions are 16.4- x 17- x 29.3-inches and weighs 36-pounds empty. External dimensions at the handles are 29.25-inches long x 17-inches wide x 16.4-inches high. The top internal dimensions are 22.5-inches long x 11.9-inches wide x 12.375-inches high.
The height at the fill line is 11-inches. The cooler holds 40 cans, 50 quarts, or 30 bottles of water and will hold regular or dry ice. It does not come with a rack for dry goods but you can buy a shallow or deep tray as an accessory.
Gift-wrapping is available for your outdoorsy friends and family and the K2® cooler comes with a User’s Manual and a 7-year Limited Warranty. It is made in the USA.
Competitor Cooler and K2® Summit 50 Cooler Test video.
5. RTIC® Hard Cooler 45 Quart
The RTIC® item model number RT45WASIN sold on Amazon.com®, is a 45-quart hard cooler that is perfect for camping, hunting, fishing, and backyard picnics. It’s available in white, blue, or tan for 20-, 45-, 65-, 110-, and 145-quart sizes. This review is for the 45-quart size.
This cooler is impact resistant for bumps and scraping. This will make the perfect size multi-purpose cooler and can be carried by only one person with its stainless-steel top handle. It will lock to keep people and bears out with its integrated locking system.
It holds a 15-pound bag of ice to keep things cold for up to 4-days minimum depending on the temperature it is in.
Feel confident to sit on the traction lid, use it as a step-stool, a tabletop, cutting board, or a bench. It keeps drinks and perishable food super cold. It will hold about 36 cans plus the ice.
The roto-molded construction, heavy-duty rubber side T-handles style, and freezer-grade gasket makes it water-tight. The molded tie-down slots, non-slip feet, and 3-inch insulated walls, make this the ideal cooler to take on your adventures that is also bear resistant.
The hinges will not fail you, and the exterior will not condense and sweat.
It does not come with shelves, dividers, or have wheels and weighs 25.0-pounds empty, being a hard-shell cooler, not lightweight Styrofoam®. You can purchase shelves and dividers from Amazon on the same page as this cooler.
When you take it home, the rapid V-drain system gets the old stale water out for your next use, and you can attach a drain tube to direct the water where you want.
California residents click here for Proposition 65 warning.
RTIC 45 -“realistic” cooler review video.
If you’d rather have a soft cooler, see the best ones reviewed by me for your budget. While you’re on an adventure, why not get you and your family a camping tent and sleeping bags to enjoy peaceful sleeping under the stars.
You will receive a User’s Manual with instructions and a Limited Lifetime Warranty. It is made in China.
6. YETI® Ice Chest Tundra Series Coolers
The YETI® original is the best heavy-duty cooler around and a best seller on Amazon. It is rugged, multi-purpose, and comes in a variety of sizes for wilderness adventures, fishing, hunting, picnics, tailgating and at the backyard patio. It is available in white, ice blue, or tan to either harmonize or offer contrast where you go. YETI® makes the 35, 45, 50, 65, 75, 105, 110, 125, 160, 210, 250, and 350 model coolers with different size configurations for your needs.
Whether it’s a Tundra 75 under the leaning post on your boat, a Tundra 160 on your next elk hunt, or a Tundra 125 for your offshore expeditions, YETI® has every size and dimension that’s perfect for you.
The cooler is certified bear resistant by the IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee). Two bears together cannot tear this apart or get into it.
The LEFTnotruc (one-piece, roto-molded) construction is extremely durable just like a whitewater kayak if you are familiar with that type construction. The PermaFrost insulation provides for thermal resistance for ice retention and it is pressure injected into the cooler.
The cooler uses up to 2-inches of insulation or more of polyurethane (PU and PUR) in the walls and lids of most sizes provided. The freezer-type sealing gasket with the insulation assures you of cold temperatures. It is excellent for keeping hot foods hot as well. The one-piece construction gives it the high cold or hot temperature holding abilities. Its ColdLock gasket reduces undesirable air exchange locking out heat when you want it icy cold.
The molded-in keeps and T-Rex lid latches will retain your lid securely closed. The YETI® hinge structure is a full-length hinge that is integrated into the cooler that will never break and is self-stopping. The FatWall design gives extra-thick walls for added insulation. The BearFoot non-slip feet are made of rubber and will not slide or mark surfaces.
A convenient AnchorPont Tie-Down slots into the cooler’s case for solid mounting. You will love the DoubleHaul handle that has a textured surface for gripping tightly with wet hands. Marine-grade rope is a part of this feature for easier carrying by 2 people.
The Vortex drain system has a threaded drain plug and is leak proof. To ratchet down device when being hauled and the BullDog strap guides permit your cooler to stay safely in place. The cooler is made of food-grade materials for dry ice and is UV resistant to the sun’s rays. You will have integrated padlock ports to bear-proof your best ice chest cooler even more.
The specifications for the YETI® Tundra 75 cooler are 33-1/4-inches long x 17-7/8-inches wide x 18-inches tall. The capacity is 18.7-gallons, or 50 cans that is a 2:1 ratio of ice to cans. The weight depends on the cooler purchased.
The YETI® comes with an Owner’s Manual and a 5-year Limited Warranty.
7. Pelican™ Ice Chest ProGear Elite 45 Quart Cooler
The Pelican™ bear-resistant cooler comes in 9 fun colors to see quickly at night when camping. The unit is IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) tested and certified to keep bears out and you safe. The cooler is made in the USA.
This remarkable cooler holds ice up to 10 days. The freezer-grade gasket seals in aromas the bears might smell and keeps foods and drinks cold. The 2-inch polyurethane (PU and PUR) insulation helps to hold in the cold and also heat if you want to use it for hot items only. It does not have wheels. There are 2 handles made of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) on each end that are molded-in and hinged. The latches are made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and is press-and-pull being extra wide when wearing gloves. Also, the tie downs are molded-in to keep them in place. The raised feet will not make marks on surfaces and will not skid. All hardware is made of stainless steel.
It has a lock hasp molded-in and stainless a steel plate that will not rust. The spigot is made of polypropylene (PP) and the drain is threaded and slopes downward and is tethered. A garden hose can be attached to the drain plug. There is a fish measuring scale on the lid so that you remain in legal limits for all the fish you catch.
Take the Pelican™ cooler for overnight camping trips, boats, fishing trips, picnics, tailgate parties, on the patio or deck, and sports events.
A dry rack basket part number WBSM as well as a tie down kit part number TDKIT are all available on Amazon.
The interior dimensions are 19-inches long x 12-inches wide x 12-inches deep. The exterior dimensions are 29.66-inches long x 20-inches wide x 19.25-inches deep and it weighs about 36 pounds. The interior volume is 1.58-cubic feet.
Gift-wrapping is available for a loved one or friend. You will receive an instruction booklet and the cooler is guaranteed for life.
8. Rubbermaid® Ice Chest/Cooler 75 Quart
The Rubbermaid® 75-quart cooler provides excellent thermal preservation of your cold drinks and food to keep out bacteria. The chest is odor, stain resistant, and easy to clean inside and out, available in red or blue. It is made in the USA. Rubbermaid® has been providing consumers with superior products for 80 years being known as the ‘Brand of the Century.‘
The chest has a handle and 2 rear wheels to pull or push it. It easily rolls across grass, weeds, dirt, and concrete. It also has smaller handles attached to each side. The drain spout is in the front. The lid is an easy lift-up type with no snaps or closures when trying to reach into sitting in the back seat of your car. The two top lids alternate to open and have cup holders.
The Rubbermaid® cooler is great for overnight camping trips, boats, fishing trips, and close-to-home picnics, tailgate parties, on the patio or deck, and sports events.
The dimensions are 16.9-inches tall x 33.3-inches wide x 19.4-inches deep and it weighs about 14 pounds.
The chest comes with an instruction booklet and Warranty.
9. Igloo® Ice Chest Glide™ Marine Ultra 110 Quart Cooler
The Igloo® effortlessly glides along behind or it can be pushed in front of you. The cooler comes in white with 2 black smooth moving rally wheels and a telescopic locking handle having easy to release thumb levers. The model number GL MARINE 110 lessens the lifting force by 50%. One person can without difficulty maneuver this cooler when it is fully loaded. The side handles are cushioned making your grip slip-proof when your hands are wet.
The unit’s Thick Ultratherm™ foam inside the lid and the body provide MaxCold® 6-day performance when not sitting in direct sunlight. The unit has ultraviolet (UV) inhibitors to block the sun’s UV rays using infrared technology that will protect your cooler from sun destruction. The hinges are made of marine-grade stainless steel that is nearly unbreakable. Stainless steel piano hinges are rust resistant at the plastic lid latch. The lid has 2 lid straps made of stainless steel for durability and strength.
For you women and men who fish, the unit has a measuring device so that you will know if you can legally keep the fish. How cool is that? The Igloo® Cool Riser Technology™ provides for better cooling operations with airflow moving under it. The drain plug is threaded for easy and quick removal of water. There is an optional hose hook up and the Ultratherm insulation in the lids and body keep ice 5 days at 90-degrees F.
The cooler holds 168 each 12-ounce cans, 110-quarts (104 liters), and will hold 2-liter bottles straight up. The Igloo® ice chest is ideal for boating and fishing, the great outdoors, hunting, tailgate parties, and sports functions.
The easy-to-clean cooler needs a simple wiping of the inside and outside before using again or storing. Minimal stains can be cleaned with dish detergent and water. Worse stains and spills can be removed with baking soda and water solution. If you use straight baking soda, it can scratch the cooler. Be sure to rinse and towel dry before shutting the lids to store or it will mildew inside. For stains such as mustard and ketchup, use bleach then rinse and dry well. Store it so that the drain spout is open to remove any water.
The exterior dimensions are 39.67-inches long (35-inches without handle) x 18.62-inches wide x 19.74-inches tall and it weighs about 25 pounds.
The cooler comes with instructions, and is warranted to be free from defects in material or workmanship under normal use and service for 1 year from the date of original purchase.
10. Coleman® Ice Chest Xtreme® 5 Cooler 100 Quart
Coleman started manufacturing Coleman® lanterns in Wichita, Kansas 100 years ago. The company expanded its product line to include coolers and outdoor equipment. The Coleman® model 6201A748 will keep your food and beverages cold for nearly a week. The additional ThermOZONE™ Insulation holds the temperatures up to 90-degrees F. It is CFC (chlorofluorocarbon), HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) and HCFC-free (hydro chlorofluorocarbons), that deplete the ozone in our atmosphere. The best ice chest or best cooler is made in the USA in Wichita, Kansas.
The inside holds 160 cans and 7 gallon-sized cartons of milk or juice and will safely thaw a 25-pound turkey. Two-liter bottles will stand up and you can use it without ice to keep things hot. The hinged lid has 4 cup holders for keeping your beverages close at hand. The hinged lid stores 24-inch bungee cords (not included). It can be pulled on 2 wheels by the handle or picked up and moved using the 2-way handles for a total of 3 handles. Remove the rustproof drain plug (not threaded) and drain the water at the end of use with its leak resistant channel requiring no tilting of the cooler. It will hold 3 to 5 bags of 20-pound ice.
The Coleman® cooler is great for overnight camping trips, boats, fishing trips, picnics, tailgate parties, on the patio or deck, and sports events.
The exterior dimensions are 36.5 inches wide x 16.75-inches deep x 18.25-inches tall. The interior dimensions are 23.75-inches wide x 11.75-inches deep x 13-inches tall. The empty weight is 18 pounds.
The cooler comes with instructions. Coleman® products have a Limited Warranty from the date of original retail purchase that the product will be free from defects in material and workmanship. The Warranty is valid for the original retail purchaser from the date of initial retail purchase and is not transferable.
- Wash your new cooler before using it.
- Coolers are built for extreme conditions. It still needs to be cleaned! Wash it using liquid dish detergent and warm water. Rinse or hose out the cooler until no suds are left. Let it air dry in the sun before closing the lid.
- Take 2 coolers: One for drinks and one for food.
- Keep coolers out of the sun and also in the tent where it gets hot; it will melt the ice by 50%.
- Don’t drain the cold water because it will keep things cold.
- Don’t overfill your cooler because the hinges can break.
- Block ice lasts for days. Take a jug of crushed ice and put it in the cooler for drinks.
- Freeze water in plastic milk cartons or bottles and use that as ice; it’s cheaper.
- Have all items cold before putting in the cooler. Put meat in plastic bags in case they decide to drip blood. You don’t want that in your other food or drinks.
- Take a first-aid kit with you in case of bug bites, band-aides for scrapes and scratches, wipes/towelettes, and sunblock cream.
- Take an EpiPen® for those who have allergies.
- Canned meat such as sardines, tuna, and salmon—even Spam® are good alternatives if you don’t have enough room for fresh meat.
- For odors or tough stains, use a mixture of bleach and water at 10 cups of water to 1 cup of bleach with a soft brush. Use rubber gloves if you want to get your hands wet.
We hope we have given you enough information to make an educated choice for selecting an ice chest/cooler. The best ice chests are available and shown on Amazon where you will find discounts, deals, and excellent shipping schedules. Read customer reviews, look at the pictures, and come to a decision for your outing. The coolers are great for overnight camping trips, boats, fishing trips, picnics, tailgate parties, on the patio or deck, and sports events. Enjoy the great outdoors! Buy wisely and happy trails!