Polar Bear Coolers

Last updated date: April 23, 2019

DWYM Score
8.6

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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

We looked at the top 1 Coolers and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Outdoor Gear Lab, Wiki EZ Vid, Best Cooler, Shedheads, Coolers World and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 62 expert reviews, the Polar Bear Coolers Polar Bear Coolers placed 5th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 8, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cooler for a detailed review of all the top coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
8.4
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
1,336 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The Polar Bear has excellent seams along its internal liner, too.
- New York Times Wirecutter
To top off the surprising performance, the Polar Bear comes in at a price that won't cut into your beer funds.
- Outdoor Gear Lab
Just as suitable for outdoor adventures as it is for a simple trip to the beach, you'll wonder how you made do without it.
- Wiki EZ Vid
It does the job well, has a high-quality build with D-1000 nylon, and looks good enough that you can use it for practically any occasion.
- Best Cooler
What really stands out about the Polar Bear is its impressive craftsmanship. The exterior is made of thick, 1000D nylon that is very rugged. It will be near impossible to rip or tear the exterior.
- Shedheads
Truly, with an ice retention period of 24 hours minimum, you are guaranteed fresh drinks and snacks all day long.
- Coolers World
February 25, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The main drawback, beyond availability, is the typical price—at $90, this option usually represents a $30 increase.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Not very durable.
- Outdoor Gear Lab
In terms of quality, the Nylon series is a relatively low cost cooler which means that it’s not going to be as strong as the high end models.
- Coolers World
February 25, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

MAKE IT YOUR OWN! Be sure to check out the Polar Bear Coolers website to personalize your Polar Bear Cooler. Polar Bear Coolers offers full in house embroidery for customization. Join the thousands who have co-branded with Polar Bear Coolers. Polar Bear Coolers are ideal for promotional advertisement, corporate business gifts, product association awards and recognition, personalized groomsman gifts, Country Club Golf logo, or add a boat name for the perfect gift. Associate your logo with a product you can be proud of and the recipient will appreciate and use for years! Polar Bear Cooler offers quick turnaround and high quality embroidery. Find out what it's like to be on the receiving end of a Polar Bear Cooler. Send us your logo and request a production sample layout today. It's quick, it's easy, and it's free. All available at the Polar Bear Coolers website. Patent Pending. Many soft coolers look alike, but that is where the similarities end. It's what's on the inside that really counts. The polar bear cooler's patent-pending design consists of the following features which are essential to the longevity and proper functionality of a performance soft cooler. Insulation - you want to keep it cold? 24 hours in 100+ degree heat. The polar bear nylon cooler houses one-inch thick 10 gauge high-density foam insulation. All polar bear coolers are made with the best quality, highest density foam insulation. (easy to fake it, hard to make it). Interior liner - bullet-proof! Anti-microbial tpu double coated nylon. Consumer safe for perishable storage. Most durable and longest-lasting liner ever built into a soft cooler. If it's not tpu double coated nylon, it's not a polar bear. Outer shell - superior craftsmanship / superior performance. 1000-denier luggage grade nylon outer shell. All seams are double hemmed and anchor stitched. (easy to fake it, hard to make it). Zipper - super heavy-duty ykk #10 weatherized zipper (rust proof). Our patent-pending zipper sew design keeps the zipper from ripping out of your cooler. (easy to fake it, hard to make it). Hardware - heavy duty ykk side release buckles, zippers and tie downs. 4 tie downs (2 on each side) and the included padded shoulder strap make traveling with your polar bear coolers a breeze (shoulder strap not available on 6-pack size coolers).

Overall Product Rankings

1. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 6
2. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 6
3. Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 4
4. AO Coolers Water-Resistant Vinyl Soft Cooler
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 5
5. Polar Bear Coolers
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
6. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 13
7. AO Coolers Soft Canvas High-Density Insulation
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 4
8. Igloo MaxCold 70 Quart Cooler
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 2
9. Outdoor Recreational Company of America Cooler
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
10. Igloo 3-Piece Camping Combo
Overall Score: 7.7
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.

DYWM 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 Xtreme Marine Cooler offers 76.1 quarts of usable space inside, which totals more than 200 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. Both the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler and the Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler are built to withstand the weight of someone seated on them. The Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler can hold up to 250 pounds.
  • 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. The Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler has 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.