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The Best Cooler - 2021

Last updated on December 30, 2020

We looked at the top 16 Coolers and dug through the reviews from 85 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Coolers.

Best Cooler

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Our Picks For The Top Coolers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Arctic Zone

Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler

Overall Take

Water and Stain ResistantNot only is this cooler water, stain and puncture resistant, but it also comes with a hardbody liner that keeps your drinks neat and organized.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Outdoor Gear Lab, The Cooler Zone, Coolers World, Best Cooler and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Lightweight, lots of features, inexpensive"
Cons
"Struggles with cooling life"
  Large-Capacity

Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart

Coleman

Performance Cooler, 48-Quart

Overall Take

Backyard BBQ ReadyIf you're planning a backyard barbecue, you'll want to consider this large-capacity cooler for all your drinks.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, The Cooler Zone, CTOP Reviews, Simply Tailgating, Shed Heads. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Not fancy, but gets the job done."
Cons
"Underwhelming ice life, lid won’t stay open, plain design"
  Easy to Store

CleverMade Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag

CleverMade

Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag

Overall Take

Most Stylish CoolerWhen not in use, this cooler folds down flat for easy storage.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, Guy Stop Travel, My Outdoor Gear Guide and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Leak proof so you can add ice without worries. Includes side and top handles as well as the bottle opener."
Cons
"Doesn’t offer a huge amount of space"
  Choose Your Color

Igloo BMX Cooler, 52-Quart

Igloo

BMX Cooler, 52-Quart

Overall Take

Multiple Color CombinationsYou'll find this cooler comes in a choice of aquamarine/black, sandstone/red and green/orange.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Outdoor Gear Lab, SOutdoors, Dotbeasts, 99 Boulders, BestReviews, Reviews Right Now and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target, Walmart and Igloo Coolers.
Pros
" The Igloo BMX 25 isn't the most rugged option out there, but it's a solid personal cooler that's bigger than we expected on the inside and is easy to carry, even when loaded with beverages or the day's catch."
Cons
"With a lot of steel in this roto-molded design, it is undoubtedly strong but quite lightweight. This means that it has a little less insulation and that hurts ice retention but you should still be able to keep things going..."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
23

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the coolers available to purchase.
16

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

85

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Outdoor Gear Lab, SOutdoors, Dotbeasts, 99 Boulders, BestReviews.

71,836

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 16 Coolers and also dug through the reviews from 85 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Coolers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler


Our Expert Score

6.4
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
11,706 user reviews

Our Take

This cooler is unique in that it reflects heat rather than absorb it. That means your drinks stay nice and cold, even on a hot summer day. The cooler itself is made from a durable canvas material and is able to hold as many as 30 soda cans at once.

What other experts liked

Lightweight, lots of features, inexpensive
- Outdoor Gear Lab
Very convenient lid, Smartshelf technology is a nice touch, looks awesome
- The Cooler Zone
the cooler is strikingly boxy, which will protect your drinks / snacks on your daily commutes, job sites or long road trips.
- Coolers World
It actually creates a better seal than a zipper does, because the molded, recessed lid design press-fits down into the cooler body.
- Best Cooler
With this cooler, you won’t need to fiddle about with a zip thanks to its flip-open lid design. This means it’s quick and easy to close up after packing, as well as making it simple to access on the go.
- Smoked BBQ Source

What other experts didn't like

Not rugged, not spillproof, noticeably inexpensive
- Outdoor Gear Lab
Struggles with cooling life
- The Cooler Zone
While we love this cooler, it’s less convenient for packing drinks that aren’t in standard-sized cans. For example, if you pack tall water bottles vertically, you risk lifting the zipperless lid and reducing the cooler’s efficacy.
- Smoked BBQ Source

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart

Our Expert Score

8.0
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
3,765 user reviews

Our Take

This cooler is able to keep ice intact for up to three days, even if the temperatures outside reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a large 63-can capacity and can accommodate taller 2-liter soda bottles. The entire cooler is made from a durable plastic that can be cleaned with a little dish soap and water.

What other experts liked

Not fancy, but gets the job done.
- BestReviews
Built tough, strong handles, great price
- The Cooler Zone
The two way handles make it easy to carry despite its size. It also comes with a friendly price tag.
- CTOP Reviews
With no latches, 2-way handles, generous interior space, and lightweight sturdy construction, the cooler is well worth it for only $25
- Simply Tailgating
This is a great icebox for beach days or picnics with the family. It’s also a versatile size that can be used for drinks at parties, thawing meat and more.
- Shed Heads

What other experts didn't like

The hinges on the lid are plastic and not as sturdy as those on other Coleman models.
- BestReviews
Underwhelming ice life, lid won’t stay open, plain design
- The Cooler Zone
The lid hinges loosen up and will eventually come off
- Simply Tailgating
Thin plastic walls, not great ice retention, hinges and handles attached weakly, no lid gasket allows heat to seep in.
- Shed Heads

Overall Product Rankings

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

1. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 7

Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart

2. Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 8

CleverMade Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag

3. CleverMade Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 6

Igloo BMX Cooler, 52-Quart

4. Igloo BMX Cooler, 52-Quart

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 16

Lifewit Insulated & Leakproof Collapsible Cooler Bag

5. Lifewit Insulated & Leakproof Collapsible Cooler Bag

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 6

Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler

6. Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 4

AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation

7. AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 5

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

8. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 9

Polar Bear Coolers

9. Polar Bear Coolers

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 10

AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler

10. AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 7

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler

11. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 9

Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler

12. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 7

Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler

13. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 17

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

14. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 6

Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler

15. Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 6

Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo

16. Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 6

Our Cooler Findings


Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler

What We Liked: This cooler is unique in that it reflects heat rather than absorb it. That means your drinks stay nice and cold, even on a hot summer day. The cooler itself is made from a durable canvas material and is able to hold as many as 30 soda cans at once.


Coleman Performance Cooler, 48-Quart

What We Liked: This cooler is able to keep ice intact for up to three days, even if the temperatures outside reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a large 63-can capacity and can accommodate taller 2-liter soda bottles. The entire cooler is made from a durable plastic that can be cleaned with a little dish soap and water.


CleverMade Soft Sided Collapsible Cooler Bag

What We Liked: The inside of this cooler is completely leakproof and able to handle as many as 50 soda cans. The outside features a stylish design that resembles more of a day bag than a cooler. Consumers will also appreciate that the bag collapses easily, which allows it to be stored in the trunk of a car or on a pantry shelf when not in use.


Igloo BMX Cooler, 52-Quart

What We Liked: Thanks to this cooler’s built-in tie down points, you can safely transport it in the back of your truck. The cooler has a heavy-duty blow-molded construction and rubberized T-grip latches to keep your drinks secure. Since the lid and body are well insulated, you’ll also enjoy five days of ice retention, which makes this cooler a great choice for camping trips.


Lifewit Insulated & Leakproof Collapsible Cooler Bag

What We Liked: You’ll find two insulated sections within this cooler. The main section holds up to 32 soda cans, while the upper section is best for fruits, vegetables and sandwiches. There’s even a front pocket for storing disposable utensils and side pockets for your keys, sunglasses or cellphone.

Our Cooler Buying Guide

Yeti has revolutionized the way consumers keep beverages cool, with a line of insulated tumblers that seem to be in every home. But Yeti isn’t the only company building insulated products. In fact, almost every tumbler manufacturer out there has created a competing product at this point.

Now, that technology has moved to coolers. Using insulation within their walls, many of today’s coolers can keep ice, drinks and food cool even when you’re outdoors in 100-degree-plus heat. Although you’ll pay more than you would for a traditional type of cooler, you’ll get the convenience that comes with tossing drinks, food and ice into your cooler in the morning and having those items remain cool late that afternoon. In fact, some coolers can even chill items for several days.

One thing you’ll have to know before you choose a cooler is just how much capacity you’ll need. Do you plan to pack up covered dishes for family picnics, or will you simply use it to cart around beverages and maybe some sandwiches when you head to the beach? If you invest in a much larger cooler than you need, you may find it is more difficult to carry than if you’d chosen something smaller.

If you’ve ever tried to empty a larger cooler at the end of the day, you know how tough it can be. For that reason, many newer coolers come with bilge drains, allowing you to release the water from the bottom of the cooler. You may have to tip the cooler a little to get the last of the water out, but you won’t have the extreme tilt that you have with a cooler that doesn’t have a drain.

One bonus you may not think about initially is the fact that some newer coolers allow you to use them as a seat. This can come in handy whether you’re on a boat or enjoying a day at the park. If you plan to use that feature, look for a cooler sturdy enough to handle it.

DWYM Fun Fact

The technology behind how Yeti coolers are made explains their impressive insulation. It starts with the way the liquid polymer is built into the walls, which provides a thick, durable build. Inside the walls is two inches of insulation, with up to three additional inches of insulation in the lid.

Yeti coolers also eliminate seams, as well as attaching the lid directly to the body, thereby providing as strong a seal as possible to keep outside air from seeping in. The result is a level of cooling that holds up, no matter how hot it is outside. Other brands now have their own methods of combining insulation and seam reduction for improved effectiveness.

The Cooler Tips and Advice

  • Coolers come in varying sizes, even among specific brands and models. Determine up front what you’re likely to carry in your cooler and how much room that will take. Some coolers offers 54 quarts of usable space inside, which totals more than 85 cans if you’re only using it to keep drinks cold. You’ll get between 65 and 70 quarts of space with some other models.
  • One thing to decide when you’re going for a larger-capacity cooler, though, is portability. As convenient as the space is, coolers will get much heavier when they’re loaded down. If you want a cooler that’s easier to carry around, consider one like the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Cooler. It still provides space for up to 30 cans but keeps things lightweight with a canvas design.
  • When it comes down to it, though, you’re looking for a cooler that can keep everything you put in it chilly, even on the hottest days. For example, there are coolers are have been proven to keep food at a safe temperature for up to five days.
  • One bonus you may not think about is whether you can sit on your cooler or not.  Some models are built to withstand the weight of someone seated on them.
  • Once you’re finished using it, your cooler will need to be emptied and cleaned. Some coolers make that easier by including a bilge drain toward the bottom, similar to the drain found in the bottom of some boats. Some coolers have a channeled drain, which directs the water in the right direction, reducing the need to tilt. Others have a channeled bilge type, so you’ll need to tilt the cooler more for those final drops.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She lives in a beautiful one-acre home in the suburbs on the outskirts of Nashville. Her home and garden work has appeared on popular home sites. She's a true homebody and loves looking at new houses for sale for inspiration on her own home remodeling projects.