Stanley Cooler, 16 Quart

Last updated date: December 9, 2019

DWYM Score
9.1

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We looked at the top 1 Small Hard Coolers and dug through the reviews from 22 of the most popular review sites including SOutdoors, Globo Turf, The Cooler Zone, Portable Beasts, Relevant Rankings, The Lake And Stars, A Top Daily, Rainy Adventures, Hiconsumption, Shortcut Gates, Aalsum Reviews, Listderful, Rolling Fox, Fishing Picks, Fish Findly, Under The Open Sky, Merch Dope, The Adventure Junkies, Coolers On Sale, The Gear Caster, ATV Parts Shop and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Small Hard Cooler you should buy.

Overall Take

If you're packing items for a long road trip or camping weekend, the Stanley Cooler, 16 Quart has you covered. The lid is leakproof to enhance the insulated walls, providing up to 27 hours of cooling for your food or beverages. It also has a large capacity, holding up to 21 cans. In our analysis of 127 expert reviews, the Stanley Stanley Cooler, 16 Quart placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note December 9, 2019:
Checkout The Best Small Hard Cooler for a detailed review of all the top small hard coolers.

Expert Summarized Score
9.0
22 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
779 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The Adventure Cooler has dual gaskets that are leak-resistant and keep the cold in. The latches and hinges provide for extra durability.
- SOutdoors
August 30, 2019 | Full review
The best small ice cooler for adventure trips, this Stanley classic will keep up to 21 cans of drinks cold until you need to use them. The double foam wall will provide more insulation than most other coolers, and the adjustable tie down will provide you with a bit more flexibility in using it. The lid of this personal cooler is leak-resistant and locks in the cold for a long time: 27 hours, which is about 40% more than the average cooler.
- Globo Turf
September 22, 2019 | Full review
Good ice life for the size, Very portable.
- The Cooler Zone
June 18, 2019 | Full review
The Stanley Adventure can keep your drinks and food is frozen for five days straight thanks to the ultratherm insulated body and lid that can maintain the internal temperature at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Portable Beasts
The small bungee cord included on the top of the cooler lid is a neat storage option. It's designed to allow you to quickly store small items such as cutlery and napkins. The bungee itself is adjustable, and can be arranged to tie down a variety of objects, but make sure you don't attach anything too heavy: if you do, the cooler can tip over while being carried.
- Reviewed
September 11, 2019 | Full review
It has a leak resistant gasket and an adjustable tie down on the lid which is perfect for a thermos.
- Relevant Rankings
February 21, 2019 | Full review
Featuring a foam insulated, heavy duty, double walling, the Stanley Adventure Cooler comes with a leak-proof lid that helps to keep the cold locked in.
- The Lake And Stars
Its body and lid are made of dual- covered wall foam, which has capacity cool your drinks up to 36 hours.
- A Top Daily
The hinges strengthened with rivets, are also solid and well-made. The latches are quite tight, but that’s necessary to ensure the cooler is properly sealed. The structure is so strong that the cooler can be used as a seat.
- Rainy Adventures
With more 2.5 times more foam than your average cooler on the market, these will keep contents cold up to 36% longer so you won’t have to worry about food going bad when you need it most. To top it all off, this guy comes with a lifetime warranty so you know you can rely on it to preform.
- Hiconsumption
October 1, 2016 | Full review
It features leak resistant gasket lock, strong hinges and latches for added durability.
- Shortcut Gates
Durable construction + Flat top. Doubles as a seat. BPA Free. Lifetime Warranty.
- Aalsum Reviews
December 1, 2018 | Full review
Durable. Easy to lift with molded handles. Easy to carry.
- Listderful
October 14, 2017 | Full review
The Stanley Adventure Cooler, an excellent mid-range cooler, gives you plenty of space for small camping trips.
- Rolling Fox
The sides are foam insulated to help keep your contents cold, and it comes with a thick rubber gasket to ensure that the frigid air doesn’t escape quickly. The outside of the cooler is sturdy and can take a beating, should you ever wind up dropping it.
- Fishing Picks
Stanley Adventures Large Green Lunch Cooler will be great for family weekend picnics as it is large enough to accommodate many sandwich bags and drinks. It is also convenient and portable to carry around the park and place in the car as the hardbody will prevent food from spilling and squashing.
- Fish Findly
August 30, 2019 | Full review
Good cold retention. Nice to carry and transport.
- Under The Open Sky
This compact ice cooler has a simple design but it is an excellent affordable and reliable cooler to have when you go out on an adventure or hike.
- Merch Dope
March 20, 2019 | Full review
Large enough to hold small – medium fish, sturdy latches and hinges, durable drain plug is leakproof, tall enough for longneck bottles and standard 2-liter bottles
- The Adventure Junkies
October 1, 2019 | Full review
The lifetime warranty is a testament not only to the cooler itself, but Stanley as a company.
- Coolers On Sale
An adjustable tie down across the lid can be used to secure your Stanley vacuum bottle or mug. Sturdy latches and hinges won't break and add an extra level of durability.
- The Gear Caster
August 8, 2013 | Full review
It is strong and has a flat top which means that you can sit on while having a break.
- ATV Parts Shop
August 25, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Flips over a lot. Plastic handle can be too thin and break.
- SOutdoors
August 30, 2019 | Full review
Plastic hardware, Lid can be a bit stubborn, Limited Sizes.
- The Cooler Zone
June 18, 2019 | Full review
The cooler’s handle is not as versatile as I expected it to be although it does feel comfortable and easy to use.
- Rainy Adventures
No upright retention on handle. Can’t load bottles in a vertical position. Laches may break.
- Rolling Fox
When items are placed on the lid, the unit can roll over more easily.
- Fishing Picks
Very heavy even when empty. No mesh pockets. The strap is not adjustable.
- Fish Findly
August 30, 2019 | Full review
For some, metal hardware is preferable over plastic. Lid can sometimes close too tightly.
- Under The Open Sky
Heavy
- The Adventure Junkies
October 1, 2019 | Full review
You can not use it when you are many due to its compact size
- ATV Parts Shop
August 25, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Stanley adventure 16 quart navy cooler brings the legendary performance and durability into portable solutions that meet today's toughest demands. Leak resistant gasket lock in the cold. Sturdy latches and hinges add durability. This cooler has foamed lid and body. Will hold 21 cans. Keeps cans cold for 36 hours.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Coleman Flip Lid Cooler, 5 Quarts
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 12
2. Stanley Cooler, 16 Quart
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 22
3. Klein Tools Work Cooler, 17 Quart
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 20
4. Igloo Cooler, 16 Quart
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 5
5. Igloo Cooler, 12 Quart
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 8
6. Igloo Cooler, 25 Quart
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Igloo Mini Cooler, 4 Quart
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 1
8. Coleman Wheeled Cooler, 50-Quart
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 22
9. Coleman Cooler, 18 Quart
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 2
10. Igloo Personal Sized Cooler, 7 Quart
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Small Hard Coolers

Whether you’re heading out to the beach or going to work at a job site, a small cooler can keep you stocked in cool beverages, snacks and even lunch until you return home. But small coolers vary dramatically in build and features, so it’s important to research the many options before you buy.

One big variation between coolers is capacity. You’ll want a cooler that’s small enough to be portable while also being able to hold everything you plan to take along for your outing. Some coolers will only hold a six-pack, while others have the capacity for long-neck bottles, cases of canned beverages and snacks for a large group.

If you regularly need higher capacity, make sure your cooler has wheels and that the locations you’ll be visiting don’t include stairs or other difficult-to-navigate surfaces. For smaller coolers, a hinged lid can come in handy, as you’ll only need to open it partway to reach inside and retrieve items stored there.

Many hard coolers also have lids that serve multiple purposes. Some will flip over and become tables, for instance, making them perfect for picnics. Lid indentations can come in handy for setting your drinks in between sips. Others have features that serve as storage for items like your thermos or a couple of bottles of water.

Small coolers aren’t limited to lunches and snacks. In fact, a new trend has campers taking a set of coolers along with them on their excursions, similar to a set of luggage. You can find a small cooler that matches your much larger one and tote all of it along with you to your campsite, beach towel or picnic table.

Although many features are important, none are as vital as the cooling capacity of your chosen cooler. The build of the cooler itself influences this. Many of today’s coolers are built with insulated walls to keep outside temperatures out and ensure the inside retains its temperature for as long as possible. The lid of your cooler can be a leak hazard, though, so make sure you choose one that seals tightly.

DYWM Fun Fact

The key to success with today’s coolers is something called “rotational molding,” which is simply the process of molding plastics to take on a specific shape. This eliminates the need to bolt multiple pieces together, creating seams that can easily leak. When buying a cooler, you’ll likely find it’s one big, seamless unit, with the lid being the only separate piece. To create a roto-mold, manufacturers fill a mold with hot plastic, then rotate that mold until the plastic is evenly distributed. This rotating process creates consistent thickness throughout the entire cooler’s build, reducing the risk of leaks.

The Small Hard Cooler Buying Guide

  • Perhaps the biggest differentiator between coolers as a whole is size. If you’re looking for one that’s portable, make sure you choose a cooler that has a smaller build. Bulky coolers can be tough to tote around and store, especially if you’re using them for work.
  • There are a couple of features that can make a cooler easier to carry. One is the handle that you’ll use to tote it around. Some coolers feature molded handles to keep your hands comfortable even when they’re loaded down. Another useful feature, though, is a shoulder strap, which will help balance the weight across more of your body, rather than relying solely on your hands to transport it. As coolers get larger, they often include wheels that make even a big, heavy cooler portable.
  • You may want to invest in a few ice packs for a mess-free way to keep your items cool. Without them, you’ll be relying on ice, which can cause leaks and saturate items you want to keep dry, like sandwiches and chips.
  • As handy as a small, lightweight build can be, you may find that you sacrifice capacity. A cooler that will only hold a few cans won’t help if you’re trying to pack for a picnic or camping weekend. Still, in some cases, you may just need a small cooler to carry a few items around. Consider this when shopping and try to find a cooler that will fit your own lifestyle best.
  • As you’re shopping, take a close look at the lid. Some coolers come with lids that flip around so that you can use them as trays. If they have molded cupholders, you can even rest your drink. Other lids have a weight capacity that allows you to sit on them once you’ve retrieved your items, providing extra seating for your next adventure. You’ll also find coolers that include storage for keeping cutlery, napkins, thermoses or water bottles.
  • The big-name, vacuum-insulated coolers that have become popular have shown just how much consumers are willing to pay for a good cooler. But competitors have put similar insulating technology to use to keep your food and beverages ice cold without forcing you to shell out half your paycheck. Some well-known name brands have decades of history in the cooler market and have constantly tweaked their technology to provide the best cooling power available today at an affordable price.
  • Cooler manufacturers strive to outlast the competition when it comes to cooling power. Although you’ll find plenty of coolers that keep your items cold throughout the workday, there are still others that can go 24 hours or longer. Even if you’re only out for the day, though, these longer-enduring coolers may still be the better choice, as they can protect internal contents against extreme temperatures.
  • When you’re finished using your cooler, make sure cleanup is easy. With smaller coolers, this isn’t as much an issue as with larger ones. If you can’t easily tip your cooler and pour out the water, look for a drain plug that will let the water out from the bottom.