Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler

Last updated date: July 18, 2019

DWYM Score

Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler

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Overall Take

For the price, the Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler provides a very durable cooler option. The 54-quart capacity will keep your items cold for up to 4 days. The key differentiator that sets this cooler apart from the rest at this price point are the metal hinges and handles that gives it a more sturdy feel. In our analysis of 68 expert reviews, the Coleman Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler placed 8th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 18, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cooler for a detailed review of all the top coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
13 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
1,284 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Solid stainless steel latches remain secure under pressure.
- BestReviews
If the legion of similarly designed coolers still in active use after 30 or more years is any indication, this is a very durable design. Our testing supports the same. We had no problems with the overall structure or hardware.
- Outdoor Gear Lab
March 24, 2015 | Full review
If you invest your bucks here, expect 4 days ice retention without disappointment in places where temperatures rise up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Carrying and transporting this cooler is a breeze, thanks to the ergonomic steel handles.
- The Top Pro
The cooler is built in such a way with rust-resistant stainless steel framework which makes it extremely durable.
- The Z8
Remember when we talked about durable handles? Coleman’s steel handles and metal brackets are sturdy and durable.
- Outside Pursuits
Rust-resistant stainless steel hardware will give you years of high-quality performance
- Idea Hacks
One of the selling points of this cooler is the excellent insulation system that can keep drinks ice cooled for up to 4 days.
- Trustorereview
Kept drinks cold for 12 hours in our tests
- Good Housekeeping
Its solid steel latch ensures it is securely sealed to prevent leaks during transportation.
- All Listings
Further, since comfort is a priority during transportation, Coleman enhanced the rough handles with rubber grips to make carrying this thing less painful.
- Coolers World
January 18, 2019 | Full review
This Coleman 54-quart steel cooler is the most popular contemporary steel cooler available today – it boasts a nice combination of value, construction, and timeless old-school style.
- Best Cooler
Anyway, taking into account the price tag of these coolers (that is significantly less than rotomolded coolers) such good options as the Coleman Steel Belted cooler described in this paragraph can be a worthy replacement to high-end coolers.
- Best-Cooler
It is portable and simple design cooler with a wide-opening lid and the solid lid latch. It has a comfortable and effective handle for easy carrying.
- Pikroll
What experts didn't like
Ice melts faster than advertised.
- BestReviews
The lid latch takes some getting used to, and one must occasionally get down and visual with it in order to assure that it is secured.
- Outdoor Gear Lab
March 24, 2015 | Full review
Very heavy to carry when full and no wheels.
- Idea Hacks
Few users have pointed out the packaging being a bit flimsy.
- Trustorereview
Be prepared to do some heavy lifting to bring it to the picnic though: because it doesn't have a telescoping handle or wheels for transporting, you'll have to carry it in two hands or enlist a buddy to help.
- Good Housekeeping
As simple as it would have been, Coleman actually didn’t bother make a unified belt, instead the steel is bent around the cooler and meets around the back, leaving an annoying line right in the middle.
- Coolers World
January 18, 2019 | Full review
We will say one negative thing though; the construction of this cooler doesn’t really live up to the standards of the original Coleman steel ice chests, which were truly full-on metal brutes.
- Best Cooler
We want to pay you attention on one thing that has disappointed us when we were considering this option. The generation of these Coleman coolers differs from the old original ice chests by their structure. The manufacturers of this new Coleman coolers lineup added a lot of plastic in their production.
- Best-Cooler

From The Manufacturer

Go back in time with cold food and drinks today when you take a Coleman 54 Quart Steel Belted Cooler along with you. It looks just like the one you remember with its classic design first developed in 1954. Large enough to hold 85 cans and tall enough to hold 2-liter bottles upright, you'll have plenty of space for refreshments for a whole group of people. Whether you're headed on an overnight camping trip, to a tailgate party, or out to a BBQ, the comfort-grip steel handles and stainless steel lid latch make getting to your destination easy, comfortable and secure. Once you arrive, the Have-A-Seat lid will ensure you always have a place to sit and relax while you enjoy the day with a cold drink in hand. When the fun is done, the leak-resistant channel drain makes it easy to empty any excess water without tilting the cooler, so you're ready for your next fun adventure. A Coleman Steel Belted Cooler will rekindle your fondest outdoor memories — and equip you to make many new ones.

Overall Product Rankings

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
1. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 6
AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler
2. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 6
Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
3. Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 2
AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation
4. AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 4
Polar Bear Coolers
5. Polar Bear Coolers
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
6. AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
7. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 4
Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
8. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 13
Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler
9. Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo
10. Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Coolers

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 Buying Guide

  • 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. The Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler 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 70 quarts of space with the Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler and 65 ounces with the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler.
  • 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 AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler. It still provides space for up to 24 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 that, it’s hard to beat the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, which was proven to keep food at a safe temperature for five days.
  • One bonus you may not think about is whether you can sit on your cooler or not.  The YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, for instance, is built to withstand the weight of someone seated on it.
  • 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. You’ll also get a drain with the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler. The Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler does have a drain, but it isn’t a channeled bilge type, so you’ll need to tilt the cooler more for those final drops.