5 Best Coolers of 2021, From $50 to $200

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Have you ever thought of keeping a cooler at home? Now you should! Besides keeping food cold during trips, it can also be used on grocery runs on a hot day. As we carefully review these coolers, we find that people often use them as a backup of refrigerator during power outages, which we think is a brilliant idea.

Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler, 50-Quart

  • The tall telescoping handle makes it easier to pull the cooler when it’s full and allows for compact storage.
  • Roll your cooler over any rough terrain with these rugged wheels, even when it’s fully loaded.
  • 50-quart capacity holds up to 84 cans
  • Insulated lid and walls provide 5 full days of ice retention at temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Conveniently molded into the lid are 2-inch-deep cup holders to keep drinks handy and avoid spills.
  • It has a drain on the lower rear. It sits slightly lower than the floor, so drains well without tilting.

We loaded it with a bunch of frozen food and went on an 11-hour trip. At arrival, everything was still frozen. Now that we live in the south, I keep it in my car for grocery runs during the summer and it’s been great!

Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler 70-Quart

  • Xtreme technology uses an insulated lid and extra insulation in the walls to keep your items cold for up to 3 days.
  • The comfort-grip bail handle makes getting to your destination easy and comfortable.
  • Once you arrive, the Have-A-Seat lid will ensure you always have a place to sit and relax, and the cup holders molded into the lid will keep your cold drink close while you enjoy the day.

This cooler performed at least as well as the equivalent Rtic and Yeti, but the price is a small fraction. I also bought a 3-pack of large Cooler Shock freezer packs and a 4-pack of the medium ones. Froze 3 pints and 1 qt of homemade dinners for a road trip. Pre-cooled the cooler overnight with old ice packs. Loaded the cooler with the food plus 2 cold 6-packs of beverages and a few refrigerator items. Added all 7 cooler packs to the frozen end of things. Left it in the back of the car all the time, with only quick access as needed. The second night the food was still frozen solid. It is now the 4th night and the food is still cold and the freezer packs are crunchy/half-thawed.

Igloo 52 Qt BMX Cooler

  • Durable construction with reinforced base and kick plates for increased strength and protection.
  • MaxCold body with 20% thicker foam and insulated lid provide advanced cooling performance and up to 5-day ice retention.
  • Rubberized T-latches secure lid closure and lock in the cold.
  • UV inhibitors protect the cooler against sun damage for extended life.
  • Threaded drain plug is garden hose compatible and features a non-slip, easy-grip stainless steel tethered cap.
  • Cool Riser Technology molded base elevates the cooler away from hot surfaces and improves cooling performance.
  • Swing-up comfort grip handles for easy two-handed carrying.
  • Built-in tie-down loops for securing cooler during transport.
  • Integrated ruler on lid easily estimates your catch.

I have a tree/lawn service in Texas. In the back of a truck with 100 air temperature (probably 120 on the metal bed) it holds ice at least 2 full days. 3 days if I take it inside after work. If I put some frozen bottles of water in it at night on day 2 or 3 In the morning somehow, there is a sheet of ice inside. I like the features on it, it seals very well. Also the shape of the ice chest makes it easy to bear hug. I am very hard on anything I own and I purchase and return lots of items before I find a good product I keep. This one is a keeper.

RTIC Hard Cooler, Ice Chest with Heavy Duty Rubber Latches 45-Quart

  • Makes an ideal multipurpose cooler, and it can be carried by one person, as it weighs just 25 lbs while empty.
  • Double as a bench, non-slip step stool, tabletop and extra cutting board while keeping ice, perishables and vital supplies cold.
  • 3″ of insulated walls hold ice for up to 10 days. It has a sturdy rotomolded construction, heavy-duty rope handles and molded tie-down slots.
  • With the Rotomolding process, the handles are seamlessly cast into the body, which increases the durability of the cooler.
  • Impact resistant, defenses shock, bear-proof. It can prevent damages due to accidental drops.
  • Comes with a V-drain system that successfully drains the water without bothering you.

I researched all the tests on Youtube and looked at all the brands. I was most impressed with Rtic, even more than Yeti. Let’s be honest, these ice-chests are all about the same with the same technology or designs. They do the same stuff. Rtic seems like the best price for the same thing as YETI. Why pay more when you don’t need to? I use the Rtic in the back of my truck when going hiking or camping. Many times I’m in Yosemite for 2-5 days where the sun is hot. I have a tonneau cover on my tacoma truck so it protects even longer. I have drinks, food, etc. and it lasts for days. It keeps my ice cold. Nothing like drinking cold drinks.

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

  • Heavy-duty rotomolded construction and certified bear-resistant.
  • Extra-thick walls hold up to two inches of insulation for unmatched ice retention.
  • Pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid makes sure your ice stays ice.
  • The lid has a Coldlock gasket similar to what you might find on your freezer, and the lid interlocks with the body of the cooler to create a form-fitting barrier.
  • Screw-in gasketed drain plug to drain out all of the water with minimal effort.
  • Double Haul handles positioned on either side of the cooler. Integrated LipGrip handles allow you to fit both of your hands inside and take hold of the cooler.
  • Silicon BearFoot feet can grip the floor very well and make the cooler so stable.

The best cooler I have ever owned. I live in Las Vegas which can get extremely hot. I did not pre-ice as instructed and this kept COLD! It sat in the sun the whole day, ice barely melted and drinks and food were cold. Next day I had moved it inside my hot truck where it sat for the majority of the day… The ice still barely melted!!!

Last update on 2021-10-26. Affiliate links and images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
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