Make Drink Transportation a Breeze with These Top-Ranked Wheeled Coolers
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Having a reliable cooler for activities like camping or tailgating can be the difference between enjoying a crisp refreshing drink and settling for tepid mediocrity. Optimal coolers offer long-lasting ice retention and user-friendly features, such as a plug for convenient drainage or even built-in cup holders on the lid. Moreover, for those travelling further away from their car to their destination, a cooler equipped with wheels is a must.
The presence of a sturdy pair of wheels paired with a comfortable, easily retractable handle makes transportation from point A to point B infinitely smoother, regardless of your load's weight. Additional factors to consider during the cooler selection process include your budget, style, and anticipated usage. Read on to discover our favourite wheeled cooler models perfect for any outing.
Pros: This high-capacity cooler boasts exceptional ice retention while transforming into a handy seat or table once the lid is closed.
Cons: This cooler is on the pricey side and offers limited additional features.
Yeti is the embodiment of superior coolers, and their wheeled model is the ultimate workhorse for hot summer days. The impact-resistant and puncture-proof wheels resemble those of a car, allowing you to navigate over gravel and sand with ease. The durable aluminium handles include comfortable grips, making it a breeze to pull the cooler across any terrain. The commercial-grade foam features on both the lid and walls for optimal insulation, keeping your beverages cold and your ice frozen for days. Accommodating 45 cans with a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio or 55 pounds of solely ice, our tester highly appreciated the "excellent" turn radius, "secure seal" provided by the latches, and the contents' coldness that was maintained, with minimal melted ice and temperature fluctuations even after a full day. If you require a break, take a seat, or make use of it as a table at your next tailgate party, providing superior convenience and insulation every time.
Price at time of publish: $450
Capacity: 45 cansWeight: 37 poundsDimensions: 28.2 x 19.5 x 18.6 inches
Pros: This cooler features a telescoping handle that secures itself in place and built-in cup holders facilitating spill prevention.
Cons: Although the side handles are present, they only consist of shallow grooves which may not hold securely if carrying solo without the telescoping handle.
This Coleman cooler demonstrates that high-quality coolers don't necessarily require a significant investment. The lid features a smooth texture that effortlessly eradicates dirt and grime, even after spills at tailgate parties or outdoor gatherings. Plus, the lid can support up to 250 pounds, meaning you can take a load off by utilising it as a seat, negating the necessity of bringing one fewer folding chair with you. It features rugged wheels and a telescoping handle to help you manoeuvre across any terrain, including all manner of uneven terrain. The cooler has a 50-quart capacity, holding up to 84 cans that remain cool and refreshed thanks to the insulated walls and lid.
At the time of writing, this cooler is priced at . It has a capacity of 84 cans and weighs 12.2 pounds. Its dimensions are 22.6 x 17.6 x 17.5 inches.
Among the features that make this cooler a worthwhile purchase are a build-in bottle opener and an integrated measuring stick. It is covered by a lifetime guarantee in case of any issues. However, it may be too heavy to carry or move without assistance when filled to capacity.
The Pelican cooler is an 80-quart option with extreme ice retention thanks to its two inches of polyurethane insulation and freezer-grade gasket. It's ideal for fishing with its integrated measuring board and four self-draining cup holders. Additionally, it has non-skid rubber feet to keep it stable on the ground and a hidden stainless steel bottle opener on the front. Enjoy your preferred craft beers inside, as the press-and-pull latches and sturdy trolley handle ensure everything remains chilled. This cooler is also covered by a lifetime warranty.
At the time of writing, the price of this cooler is $570. It has a much smaller capacity of 58 cans, but it weighs 49.5 pounds and has dimensions of 42.88 x 20.75 x 20.25.
This wheeled cooler from Igloo is an excellent choice for beach trips, with features like bottle openers on each side and a snap-on holder for fishing poles or umbrellas. There's also a removable butler tray with two cup holders, which doubles as a small table for food and drinks. Furthermore, you can use the lockable storage section or storage pocket to keep necessities, such as keys or a phone, safe and dry. Our testing revealed that the cooler's rugged wheels and easy-to-maneuver handlebar were beneficial. However, we noted that during a drop test, the cooler opened because of the absence of a latch. Therefore, before rolling it, ensure there's no melted ice inside to avoid unfortunate spills or leaks.
This cooler presents exceptional value for money, priced at $300. It boasts a capacity of 112 cans and weighs in at 34.7 pounds, with dimensions of 34.59 x 19.7 x 23.61 inches. Despite its compact size, it comes with some useful features, like the bungee cord and cup holders on the lid, making it a great option for outdoor activities and day trips. However, it may not be ideal for larger gatherings due to its smaller size.
Don't be deceived by the small size of the Canyon cooler, as its rotomolded construction, solid wheels, and remarkable ice retention make it a small but powerful contender. Its telescoping handle has smart integration, allowing you to leave the handle fully extended while opening the lid. With a 32-quart capacity, it can accommodate between 20 to 40 cans, depending on the amount of ice you desire. Its lid boasts two cup holders for your beverages and a bungee cord for holding your fishing gear or even a compact blanket or jacket. Additionally, there is an integrated bottle opener on the back.
The Igloo cooler, costing $290, has a large capacity of 20 cans with dimensions of 18 x 18 x 17.25 inches. This makes it an excellent choice for big gatherings and parties. However, when filled to its maximum capacity with ice, this cooler may be challenging for one person to lift and maneuver. With a 110-quart capacity, this cooler is bound to be heavy, but the cushioned grip and smooth wheels with a telescoping handle make it easier to transport. Its foam insulation and drain plug ensure easy cleaning, and the impact-resistant latch on the lid helps prevent leaks and spills. The exterior is constructed with polyethylene using infrared technology and UV inhibitors to protect against sun damage during hot days.
Lastly, this $166 cooler from a reputable brand has an impressive capacity of 168 cans and dimensions of 39.76 x 18.5 x 19.69 inches, and weighs only 25.4 pounds. This large cooler makes it ideal for extended outdoor activities or longer trips. However, when fully loaded with cans and ice, it can be quite substantial to maneuver for one person. Its foam insulation maintains ice for several days, and the drain plug ensures effortless cleaning. The impact-resistant lid is secured by a latch to prevent spills, and the polyethylene exterior has infrared technology and UV inhibitors to protect your cooler from sun damage.
Advantages: This particular model is perfect for short trips or travels as it is light in weight.
Disadvantages: Unlike hard coolers, a soft cooler does not offer long-lasting insulation.
Coleman presents us with a soft cooler on wheels that is simple yet functional. It can accommodate up to 42 cans and is specially designed with extra foam insulation to keep drinks and snacks cool when on the move. The cooler is equipped with two wheels that can be easily transported to any destination thanks to a retractable handle, making it a breeze to pull along. The external fabric is made from recycled material while the seams are welded to ensure no liquid can escape. To simplify cleaning, the antifungal lining can be disassembled, and important features include pockets for food and personal items, additional ice packs, and a bottle opener. The top hatch provides ease of access for drinks on the go.
Price During Publishing:
Capacity: 42 cans Weight: 6.7 pounds Dimensions: 13.3 x 19.5 x 10.6 inches
For nearly every setting, the Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler is a sturdy cooler with a large capacity. Perishables remain cool for longer, and with its long handle, it can be conveniently transported between destinations. For beach-friendly options, the Igloo Premium Trailmate Wheeled Rolling Cooler is a great selection with a removable butler tray to keep drinks and snacks off the ground.
When choosing the ideal cooler size for your desires, consider the location where it will be used and the number of drinks and snacks you intend to store. For a day trip with one other person, a 20-can capacity is more than enough. On long camping trips and during large gatherings, it's best to go bigger by choosing one with a capacity of 40 to 100 cans. Keep in mind that even though coolers with wheels may be simpler to walk with, they can still be challenging to carry into vehicles or up flights of stairs when crammed to capacity.
Hard coolers are better insulated with thicker walls, which can keep ice from melting for more extended periods; however, soft coolers are generally lighter and effortlessly portable. They can't keep drinks or ice cold for as long as the hard-sided models.
Features to look out for include drain plugs, removable butler trays, built-in bottle openers, and storage pockets. Choose a cooler that caters to your requirements and offers useful features. Lastly, ensure your wheels are made of durable materials, such as rubber or strong plastic, and have traction to assist you across any terrain even with heavy loads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are wheeled coolers better?
When deciding between a cooler with wheels and one without, consider where you'll use it. A wheeled cooler is ideal for long-distance travel, making it more convenient to pull the cooler behind you instead of carrying it with both hands or over your shoulder. Besides, during tailgates or camps, chances are high you'll be carrying other items besides a cooler. Bringing a wheeled cooler frees up a hand, allowing you to carry a folding chair.
Including a recommendation for the ratio of ice to goods in the product manual is a good practice. However, this can sometimes be an inexact science as it can vary depending on the type of ice used (crushed, cubed, packed) and the temperature. A suggested starting point is a 2:1 ratio of ice to goods, which can then be adjusted as needed.
If you're wondering how to clean your cooler, the first step is to empty it of all its contents, including any ice or liquid. Check for drain plugs on your cooler which make the drainage and drying process faster and more convenient without the need to dump everything out at once. For any remaining odor or stains, use a mild dish soap and warm water to wipe the interior of the cooler. The same technique could be applied to the exterior of the cooler if it has any dirt or debris. Allow the cooler to dry completely before storing it. In case any bad smell remains, use a spray bottle of bleach to remove the odor and wipe it away with water.
Jacqueline Weiss is a professional food writer with more than five years of experience. She has been profoundly fond of cooking since her childhood, and her writing has appeared in many publications such as Eat This Not That, EatingWell, AllRecipes, and Simply Recipes. In this article, she has employed market research, in-house testing insights, and her own proficiency to create this list.
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