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The Best Large Hard Cooler

Last updated on December 18, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Large Hard Coolers and dug through the reviews from 126 of the most popular review sites including Outdoor Gear Lab, SOutdoors, Dotbeasts, 99 Boulders, BestReviews, Reviews Right Now and more. The result is a ranking of the best Large Hard Coolers.

Best Large Hard Cooler

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Our Picks For The Top Large Hard Coolers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Coleman

FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts

Overall Take

Small and ConvenientThe Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts is a personal-sized cooler that is very well made.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus CTOP Reviews, All Listings, The Lake And Stars, Jen Reviews, Portable Beasts, Best Cooler and 13 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The nice handle makes it easy to carry the cooler with you wherever you go."
Cons
"While one user reported that this cooler wouldn’t keep items as cold as it’s larger siblings, the user did say that it did keep items cool for the better part of the day."

YETI

Tundra 45 Cooler, 35 Quarts

Overall Take

Keeps Ice for DaysThe YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, 35 Quarts performs at the highest level for people who are serious about keeping things chill.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus CNET, Amazing Ribs, Pro Tool Reviews, Outdoor Gear Lab, Coolers On Sale, Globo Turf and 19 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, 50 Campfires, Field & Stream, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Evo, SCHEELS, Orvis, Cabela’s (Canada) and Boot Barn.
Pros
" Yeti's cooler was the top performer in our tests, with better insulation and ice retention than any competitor we've reviewed. The sturdy design made of rotomolded plastic makes it a good pick for durability, too."
Cons
"A flood of leakage when turned its side, but it didn’t leak when it was laying top (lid) down. When dropped from the truck, the cooler leaked heavily, again while lying on its side, but had only minor abrasions on..."

Igloo

Polar Cooler, 120 Quarts

Overall Take

Large Chest-CoolerThe Igloo Polar Cooler, 120 Quarts is great for large groups of people.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus The Cooler Zone, All Listings, Coolers Junkie, YardMasterz, The Cooler Box. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Target and Field & Stream.
Pros
" This cooler is designed to have long cooling life, and overall it does a pretty good job of it. The Ultratherm layer and UV inhibitors definitely help and you can expect a properly sealed unit to keep ice frozen..."
Cons
"Well apart from some minor flaws like the fragile parts, and low-quality build, there aren’t many downsides to write about this product."
  The Best Value

Igloo

Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts

Overall Take

Classic-Looking Midsize CoolerThe Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts is a great value when you need a cooler for two people.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Best Cooler, Best-Cooler, Best Choice Reviews, Products Browser and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Igloo Coolers.
Pros
" If the 14-quart is the perfect size weekend family picnic/camping cooler, than the 7-quart is the perfect size personal cooler – small enough to pack in your daily lunch to take to school or work, yet roomy enough to load..."
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.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the large hard coolers available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

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

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126

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.

772,120

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Igloo Coolers, Sidebar, Field & Stream, CleverTraining, AustinKayak, SCHEELS, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Highby Outdoors, 50 Campfires, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Evo, Orvis, Cabela’s (Canada), Boot Barn and 21 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Large Hard Coolers and also dug through the reviews from 126 of the most popular review sites including Outdoor Gear Lab, SOutdoors, Dotbeasts, 99 Boulders, BestReviews, Reviews Right Now and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Large Hard 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.

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

The Best Overall

Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts

Our Expert Score
8.7
19 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,031 user reviews
Our Take

We love how easy it is to grab the Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts and head out the door. The handle folds down for easy access to the goods inside and rugged exterior means it can handle whatever abuse you put it through.

What other experts liked
For young people who like freedom and dynamism, Coleman FlipLid Personal Cool is equipped with protective handles for convenient operation with one hand. You can take it everywhere as long as you want.
- ReasonBuy
May 13, 2019 | Full review
The nice handle makes it easy to carry the cooler with you wherever you go.
- CTOP Reviews
The lid is versatile and can be used as a can holder when you turn it. It guarantees you stability thanks to its wide bottom.
- All Listings
It also has a flip top hinged lid that has molded beverage holders in it and can be used as a tray.
- The Lake And Stars
It’s the best one-person hard cooler to use for camping trips. You can even pack a full meal along with 6 cans of beverages with ice. It holds plenty of storage capacity in its durable exterior.
- Jen Reviews
It sports a hard-wearing body so you can place it on uneven terrains and rocks without worrying that it might break.
- Portable Beasts
The Coleman Fliplid personal cooler is super cheap and great for a quick outing. It can hold up to five quarts (about six cans), it has a convenient handle, and it can keep ice cool for about two days.
- Review Geek
June 26, 2019 | Full review
When lunchtime rolls around, you won’t have to search for a table, as the lid reverses to become a serving tray. The tray also has built in beverage holders so your drinks won’t slip.
- Best Cooler
That is not all it can do, though! Happy customers have used the Coleman FlipLid to make clear ice, and it works great!
- SOutdoors
August 30, 2019 | Full review
The lid itself is reversible so that it can be used as a serving tray, which also includes molded can holders so that when it is time to eat, you can eat worry free regardless of where you are.
- Coolers On Sale
Cleaning this cooler is easy. It is designed with an EZ-clean top that features a smooth surface so you just need to wipe it clean for simple cleaning.
- Home N Outdoors
Customers appreciate the craftsmanship of this cooler, specifically that when you fully open the lid, it stays solidly open, revealing cup holders and a space that can be used as a small table.
- Ice Maker Pro
August 29, 2019 | Full review
It has a grip handle that enables you to easily carry the cooler without getting fatigued.
- Top Best Product Review
Interior is 8" x 6". Fits a nice amount of food for a meal and does a good job of keeping it cool for a long time. Works well as a lunch cooler. Lid can double as a little table....
- BestReviews
With its smoother texture, the EZ-Clean lid wipes clean easily, making cleanup a breeze. You’ll be ready for your next outdoor gathering in no time.
- Top Coolers
September 9, 2019 | Full review
It has an affordable price that will suit your budget.
- Top 10 Pro Review
Lastly, the lid is awesome. Having an attached lid may sound like a trivial thing but it’s actually really important. Loose lids get lost while you are driving in the car or get sandy/dirty when at a beach or picnic....
- The Cooler Box
As the name suggests, one special feature of this small cooler is that its lid can flip over and become a serving tray with two molded cup holders inside, which would be very handy, especially when you don’t have much...
- The King Live
It also comes with a beverage holder built into it to be used as a table to place your drinks. As soon as you're through with your meal, cover it back. Any mess made on the cooler should be easily...
- Notting Hill Carnival
August 3, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
But because it’s so small, there are also some complaints about its size
- ReasonBuy
May 13, 2019 | Full review
While one user reported that this cooler wouldn’t keep items as cold as it’s larger siblings, the user did say that it did keep items cool for the better part of the day.
- Best Cooler
At the same time, there have some complaints about the lid and handle. One customer said that it was “shotty” and cheap.
- SOutdoors
August 30, 2019 | Full review
Poor insulation
- Top Best Product Review
This cooler is very small – can fit only about four drink cans with ice.
- BestReviews
Lack of insulation.
- Top Coolers
September 9, 2019 | Full review
Poor insulation
- Top 10 Pro Review
The thermozone insulation helps keep your drinks, meal, or even fishing bait cool for a few hours. This is a shortcoming of this small cooler because its ice life is pretty short.
- The King Live
Some customers complained about the handle and lid, lack of insulation, and the fact that it is cheap.
- Notting Hill Carnival
August 3, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts

Our Expert Score
0.0
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.7
475 user reviews
Our Take

The Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts is big enough to hold food and drinks for two people. The integrated handle is comfortable to hold while also making the whole thing feel very solid in your hand.

What other experts liked
If the 14-quart is the perfect size weekend family picnic/camping cooler, than the 7-quart is the perfect size personal cooler – small enough to pack in your daily lunch to take to school or work, yet roomy enough to load up for a romantic couple’s picnic or short solo fishing...
- Best Cooler
This cooler with “middle” capacity is a perfect choice for one person. It will fit for everyday using as the lunch box or you can take it to romantic date on the beach where you can put bottle of wine and food for two people.
- Best-Cooler
Stock it with ice and drinks to keep you cool while you’re on a fishing trip, or bring it to work to keep your noon meal safe without a refrigerator.
- Best Choice Reviews
The molded handle fits nicely in the hand and is ergonomic for maximum comfort. And to ensure the item cleans easily, it features a smooth seamless finish.
- Products Browser
Its straightforward design and impressive cooling ability make it an easy choice to bring along on a day at the beach.
- Reviewed
What other experts didn't like
With all the buzz and rage being how long a cooler can hold ice for, don’t expect this one to be your go-to choice if you’re wanting your ice to hold for days on end.
- Best Cooler
The Igloo feels a bit less durable and more breakable; the top of the cooler felt particularly rickety at times.
- Reviewed

Overall Product Rankings

1. Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 26

2. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, 35 Quarts

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 45

3. Igloo Polar Cooler, 120 Quarts

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 12

4. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, 52 Quarts

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 38

5. Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 10

6. Coleman Removable Liner Cooler, 9 Cans

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 20

7. Igloo Profile Cooler, 16 Quarts

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

8. Igloo BMX Cooler, 25 Quarts

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 16

9. Coleman Excursion Portable Cooler, 9 Quarts

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 6

10. Coleman Wheeled Cooler, 50 Quarts

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 28

Our Findings

Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts

Best Overall

Coleman FlipLid Cooler, 5 Quart , Red (Sports)


List Price: $15.99 USD
New From: $10.79 USD In Stock
Used from: $10.79 USD In Stock

What We Liked: We love how easy it is to grab the Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts and head out the door. The handle folds down for easy access to the goods inside and rugged exterior means it can handle whatever abuse you put it through.

Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts

Best Value

Igloo Playmate Pal 7 Quart Personal Sized Cooler (Ocean Blue/White, 11.75 x 8.25 x 13-Inch) (Sports)


List Price: $29.96 USD
New From: $24.16 USD In Stock
Used from: $24.15 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler, 7 Quarts is big enough to hold food and drinks for two people. The integrated handle is comfortable to hold while also making the whole thing feel very solid in your hand.

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, 35 Quarts

Also Consider

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler White (Sports)


List Price: $299.99 USD
New From: $299.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $299.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The ability for the YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, 35 Quarts to keep ice for more than a day means that you can often rely on it for weekend-long excursions if you plan properly. The construction is rock-solid as well, so you can toss this chest cooler in the bed of a truck or a boat without fear of damaging it.

Igloo Polar Cooler, 120 Quarts

Massive Storage

Igloo Polar Cooler (120-Quart, White) (Sports)


List Price: $94.99 USD
New From: $59.39 USD In Stock
Used from: $59.39 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The massive size of the Igloo Polar Cooler, 120 Quarts means it can pack in a ton of food or beverages. This cooler will likely need to be carried by two people, but it will be able to cater to large family outings or team sporting events with its large size.

Our Large Hard Cooler Buying Guide

Nothing enhances a hot summer day like an ice-cold beverage or some refreshing food like chopped fruit. If you find yourself outside in areas where there isn’t electricity or the availability of a refrigerator, you will need an insulated cooler that can keep these cold treats cold during a hot day.

Coolers are made in soft varieties that are convenient to collapse and pack away when they aren’t in use, or the cooler can be hard and constructed of rigid materials that give them more durability and strength. We are focusing on hard coolers and their benefits in this buying guide where we will break down some of the common differences in the varying styles and sizes you can find online, so you can make an informed decision on which hard cooler will work best for you.

A cooler ultimately needs to keep things cold. The best way to set yourself up for success when using a cooler is to put drinks or food in it after they are already cold, whether that means they were in your freezer or refrigerator or simply purchased from the cooler-section of a local store. The addition of ice will then make the internal temperature of the cooler drop even further, setting you up for the best results in your quest to keep your drinks cold.

The insulation of the cooler is now the main factor that works at keeping the cold inside and the heat outside. Generally, a thicker cooler will have more insulation in it, since they are designed to have a bigger buffer of air or insulating materials between your cold items and the outside air. As heat tries to enter the cooler, the greater layers of insulation will make the process much slower. If you are hoping to have ice and drinks last for multiple days in your hard cooler, you will want to look for really thick coolers that have been proven to perform at the highest level. These coolers will often be very rugged and well-made like the YETI Tundra 45 Cooler that reportedly can keep ice inside for days when properly used.

The size of a cooler makes a world of difference when it comes to how and where it can be used. If you are taking your own lunch with a few drinks out to a remote spot to have a secluded meal, you could have great luck using a Coleman FlipLid Personal Cooler, 5 Quarts that will hold a decent amount of food and drinks for one person without becoming a heavy burden that takes up unnecessary space. These smaller hard coolers work well for simply packing some drinks with you when you’re outside working in the heat of the summer or playing at the beach as well. If you want something a little bigger, maybe for that picnic for two that you’re planning, or just to fit more drinks inside, there are bigger varieties that still have a sturdy and solid handle attached like the classic-looking Igloo Playmate Pal 7 Quart Personal Sized Cooler. Coolers like these are fun and convenient to grab when you’re on the go.

Some of you might be shaking your head because you need a cooler than can hold enough food to feed a small army, hold refreshments for a children’s soccer team or sustain a whole family for a weekend of camping. Hard coolers come in huge sizes as well, often being able to hold enough weight inside that it will take two people to lift it. With a large hard cooler like the Igloo Polar Cooler (120-Quart, White), you will have a lot of space to drinks, food and ice inside without having to do any mental gymnastics to make it all fit. These coolers have sturdy handles on each side that are easy to use when the cooler is weighted down and there is even a drain plug built-in at the bottom to allow for easy drainage when the ice finally melts away. Other models offer features like a set of wheels on one end so you can still move the heavy cooler by yourself if you’re up for pulling it along behind you.

DWYM Fun Fact

The portable ice chest has been around since the middle of the 20th century and has been a popular product since those early development years. Today, the technology of making some of the higher-end hard coolers is referred to as “rotationally molded coolers” where a process constantly rotates a mold while the plastics set in. This process effectively makes completely smooth interior surfaces that have no seams or flaws that could eventually lead to leaks or inefficiencies.

The Large Hard Cooler Tips and Advice

  • Some coolers have built-in cup-holders on their lids. This handy feature could be useful when you’re using the cooler’s lid as a side table that you don’t plan on opening often.
  • Hard coolers with a short and wide stance will be very stable when placed on uneven surfaces. These proportions would be ideal for those of you who plan to use it in places where the ground might not be flat.
  • If you want your cooler to keep ice for a really long time, you will want to condition the cooler before using it. A simple way of doing this is to pre-cool the inside of the cooler with ice or something similar the night before you plan to pack your cooler with the actual food and drinks of your choice. The inside of the cooler will now start off in cold state so it won’t immediately transfer room-temperature heat into your drinks and ice. Condition your coolers and you’ll see a noticeable difference in how long they hold ice.

About The Author

Avatar
Russell Hinkle 

Russell Hinkle is a writer and engineer based in Longmont, Colorado. He has worked professionally in a capacity of facility and farm management, including oversight and application of gardening for aesthetics as well as food growth. He enjoys finding unique and creative DIY solutions to home improvement and landscaping. His wealth of knowledge in the home and garden area allows him to make critical reviews and decisions with confidence that only comes with years of experience.