Secure Your Belongings: Discover the Best Coolers with Locks of 2023

Are you tired of worrying about your expensive ice chest being stolen, or worse, attacked by bears? Look no further! In this article, we have curated a list of the three best cooler locks that will not only secure your belongings but also keep those ferocious bears at bay. From the innovative YETI Bear-Proof Cooler Lock to the Master Lock Python Locking Cable, we have got you covered. So, if you're planning your next adventure and need a reliable cooler with a lock, read on to discover the best options available in 2023. Plus, we'll also discuss other coolers that we have tested for your convenience.


YETI Bear-Proof Cooler Lock

Title: YETI Bear-Proof Cooler Lock: Ensuring Your Cooler is Officially Safe from Bears


Even if you own an IGBC Certified bear-proof cooler, it's important to note that it is not truly 'officially bear proof' unless it is securely locked.


To address this concern, we offer a top-quality solution - the LEFTnotruc (long-shank Master Lock 500) locks. With this set of locks, you can ensure that your bear-proof cooler is genuinely safe and officially certified.


Our specially designed lock is compatible with all YETI rotomolded coolers, including the popular Tundra and Roadie models. It is the recommended and most widely used lock in the market. Additionally, these locks are made of stainless steel, providing excellent corrosion resistance, even in harsh and salty conditions.


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Integrated Cooler with Lock: YETI Locking Bracket (Keeping Your Valuable Ice Chest Secure)

Title: YETI Locking Bracket: The Perfect Accessory to Safeguard Your Valuable Cooler


The YETI locking bracket is designed to fit seamlessly into the anchor point tie-down slot on your YETI Tundra or Roadie cooler. This allows you to easily and securely lock it up to your truck bed, boat, or any other secure point.


Pair it with our Bear-Proof Padlocks, and you have a foolproof rig that you can confidently leave unattended. The locking bracket is a YETI brand product made of high-strength carbon steel with excellent corrosion resistance. It can effortlessly thread through your cooler's anchor points, ensuring a secure fit. While one bracket is sufficient, many customers opt for two for added security.


These brackets are also compatible with other coolers, such as the hard-sided RTIC rotomold ice chests, which closely resemble the YETI Tundra series.


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Master Lock Python Locking Cable

Title: Master Lock Python Locking Cable: The Ultimate Security Companion for Your Cooler


The Master Lock Python Locking Cable is the most popular choice for pairing with the YETI locking bracket, offering a fully lockable cooler solution that comes highly recommended by thousands of satisfied users.


Measuring 6 feet in length, this cable provides ample flexibility to securely fasten your cooler to a variety of points, such as your truck bed or even a tree or picnic table at your campsite. The pin tumbler locking mechanism, though simple, is extremely effective and resistant to breakage. Many lower-quality padlocks can be easily destroyed with a single blow, but not our Python lock. Its ABS lock body/cover bumper is virtually indestructible. Furthermore, the cable itself is fully vinyl coated, making it impenetrable to standard cable locks.


The Python lock is available in two thickness options: 5/16" and 3/16", both of which come in the standard 6-foot length.


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3 Best Cooler Locks That Can Even Keep Bears Away

1. YETI Bear Proof Padlocks

Title: YETI Bear Proof Padlocks: Unmatched Security for Your Cooler


Padlocks have been a trusted method of securing belongings for thousands of years, and YETI Bear Proof padlocks continue this tradition with their unbeatable security features. Tested against real bears, these locks have proven their durability and strength, effectively thwarting any attempts by bears to access your cooler.


Each set of YETI Bear Proof padlocks includes two locks, each with a corresponding key. This allows you to secure your cooler with one lock and attach it to a tree or truck with the other. It is essential to keep the key in a secure place, as these sturdy locks are tamper-proof, and losing the key will render it impossible to open the lock.


What I Like:


  • Affordability: A set of two padlocks offers excellent value for money
  • Durability: These padlocks last for several years without rust or dents
  • Ease of use: Simple and straightforward locking mechanism

What I Don’t Like:


  • Lack of key storage space while the cooler is locked
  • Heavy and bulky to carry around

The Verdict:


The YETI Bear Proof padlocks provide peace of mind by securely locking and protecting your cooler from bears. Bears can be highly dangerous if they access the food inside your cooler, potentially attracting more bears. By keeping your cooler locked with these padlocks, you ensure that your belongings and family remain safe. Even if bears attempt to open the cooler, the stainless steel locks will prove impenetrable, convincing them to move on. With a set of two locks available at an affordable price of $30, this is an excellent investment that will last for years.


YETI Bear Proof Locks YETI Bear Proof Locks meet the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) standards. When padlocks are used properly, grizzlies get nothing but frustrated after coming across your cooler.


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2. Python Cable Lock

Title: Python Cable Lock: The Versatile Solution for Cooler Security


The Python Cable Lock is a six-foot-long cable that offers multiple uses, making it an essential accessory for any camping trip. If you don't have a padlock on hand, this cable provides a perfect alternative. Simply insert the cable through the cooler's lock hole and secure it using the key.


One of the key advantages of the Python Cable Lock is its flexibility and adjustability. You can tighten the cable as desired for a secure grip on your cooler, preventing thieves from prying it open or attempting to steal it. Unlocking the device is as simple as inserting the key and turning it to the right.


What I Like:


  • Flexibility and lightweight design make it easy to carry
  • Adjustable strap allows for maximum security
  • Can also be used to secure the cooler to a truck bed or tree

What I Don’t Like:


  • Vinyl outer casing can wear down with frequent use
  • Managing a six-foot-long strap can be challenging when packing

The Verdict:


The Python Cable Lock presents an excellent budget-friendly option, offering exceptional performance at a price of under $15. This versatile tool not only secures your cooler but can also be used for bicycles, lawn mowers, power tools, and more. It fits perfectly into all cooler lock holes, and the six-foot length provides ample room to lock your cooler and wrap the cable around a nearby tree for enhanced security. Investing in this lock ensures the safety of your cooler and its contents, providing peace of mind during your outdoor adventures.


Python Cable Lock Python Cable lock is made with braided steel for strength and flexibliity, and rust-resistant lock and vinyl coated cable provide superior weather and scratch resistance.


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3. Deny Cooler Security Lid Lock

Title: Deny Cooler Security Lid Lock: Unparalleled Protection for Your Cooler


For a simple yet technologically advanced way to secure your cooler, look no further than the Deny Cooler Security Lid Lock. Its sophisticated pin-lid lock system effectively deters thieves from attempting to open it.


Despite its complex appearance, the Deny Cooler Security Lid Lock is incredibly user-friendly. Simply push the pin up through the bottom of the cooler lock hole, lock the lid on top using the key, and you're good to go.


Crafted from durable stainless steel, this lock is built to withstand any tampering attempts. Not only does it provide foolproof security against thieves but its sturdy construction also guarantees protection against bears.


What I Like:


  • Strong and durable design offers protection against bears and thieves
  • Stainless steel body resists rust and dents
  • Unique design prevents tampering attempts

What I Don't Like:


  • Higher price compared to other lock options
  • Design may be confusing for some users
  • Heavy and includes small pieces that require careful management

The Verdict:


The Deny Cooler Security Lid Lock stands out as the best choice for ultimate protection among all lock options available. Boasting a stainless steel pin that securely locks through the cooler and into the lock, this lock ensures that no one can break through. With numerous five-star reviews on Amazon and glowing endorsements from customers, it offers unrivaled security comparable to military-grade quality. This lock is perfect for situations where you need to leave your cooler unattended while hiking, swimming, or engaging in other activities. Rest assured that everything inside will remain safe until you return. The Magellan Outdoors unit comes at a fraction of the cost of competitors, making it an excellent investment.


Deny Cooler Security Lid Lock The Deny LidLock is a purpose-built lock made just for YETI Tundra series. This lid lock is bear-proof and a lot more---it can keep anyone out.


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Other coolers we have tested

The following coolers are part of our extensive testing over the past few years and are currently available for purchase. We have provided a list with brief insights for each cooler:


  • Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag 24L (25 quarts): This soft-sided cooler is popular on Amazon. However, our testing revealed that it does not perform well in terms of keeping things cool.
  • Tourit Cooler Backpack (20 quarts): This backpack cooler is another popular find on Amazon. Although it may not excel in cooling performance, it offers a stylish design and a built-in metal bottle opener.
  • OlarHike Cooler Backpack (23 quarts): This cooler backpack is similar to the Tourit. Although it may not be as attractive, it offers slightly more storage space.
  • Amazon Commercial Rotomolded Cooler, 20qt (20 quarts): This cooler from Amazon's roto-molded line outperforms most coolers in the market. It features one of the best cooler latching designs, making it a top choice (currently out of stock).
  • Camp Zero 20L Premium Cooler (21 quarts): This cooler offers average performance but stands out with its color options and four molded-in cup holders on the lid.
  • Frosted Frog 20qt Rotomolded Ice Chest (20 quarts): This brand was requested to be reviewed by our readers and it has shown excellent performance, although it didn't quite reach the top spot in our tests (currently out of stock).
  • Klein Tools Work Cooler (17 quarts): This sturdy cooler performs adequately as a traditional cooler but is more suitable for keeping your lunch cool.
  • Orca Light Blue 40 Quart Cooler (40 quarts): This cooler offers average performance for its price range.
  • Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler (52 quarts): This cooler features a unique design but unfortunately performs poorly in our tests.
  • KENAI 65 Quart Cooler (65 quarts): With a classic design and good color options, this cooler offers satisfactory performance.
  • Frosted Frog 75QT Cooler (75 quarts): Similar to the other Frosted Frog model we tested, this cooler offers excellent performance at a reasonable price.
  • Bison Gen 2 Cooler (50 quarts): This cooler boasts the coldest temperature in its category, but it struggles to maintain that temperature for long periods, preventing it from being the top choice.
  • Cabela's Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler (60 quarts): This cooler is one of the most expensive on the list, but it has earned the title of "best large cooler" in the past.
  • Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler (33 quarts): This small cooler achieves the lowest temperature in its division but is a pricey option.
  • Rubbermaid Ice Chest Cooler (48 quarts): This mid-sized cooler offers poor temperature performance (currently out of stock).
  • Coleman Xtreme Marine Cooler (70 quarts): With a large capacity and a budget-friendly price, this cooler is a solid choice.
  • Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler (50 quarts): Despite poor performance in our tests, this mid-sized cooler is an affordable option (currently out of stock).
  • RTIC 65 Cooler (65 quarts): This cooler performs averagely and is priced slightly above the median.
  • Igloo Island Breeze Cooler (48 quarts): This cooler offers a low cost but ranks second to last in its category.
  • Igloo Latitude Wheeled Cooler (60 quarts): This cooler, despite its large capacity, performs poorly compared to others in its division (currently out of stock).
  • Igloo MaxCold Cooler (50 quarts): This cooler offers one of the best performance scores in the midsize cooler division at an attractive price.
  • Rovr Rollr 60 Wheeled Cooler (60 quarts): This cooler maintains its temperature well, although it may not cool as much as its competitors. It is also the most expensive cooler we have tested (currently unavailable).
  • Lifetime High Performance Cooler (55 quarts): This cooler offers excellent performance at just over $100, making it a great deal.
  • Orca Classic Cooler (58 quarts): This cooler was once named the best midsized cooler for good reason, although it comes with a steep price.
  • Pelican Elite Cooler (50 quarts): This cooler cools to lower temperatures than most but may not retain the coolness as long as others.
  • Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler (20 quarts): This cooler offers average performance and performs well in maintaining a consistent temperature.
  • Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 Insulated Backpack Cooler (22 quarts): This backpack cooler may not offer the best cooling performance compared to other coolers.
  • Coleman Portable Cooler (16 quarts): This is an affordable option but may not retain its temperature for long (currently out of stock).
  • Pelican 20 Quart Elite Cooler (20 quarts): This cooler does not perform as well compared to others in its category.
  • Coleman 24-Can Party Stacker Portable Cooler (23 quarts): This cooler becomes very cold, but it does not maintain the low temperatures for long. It is also available at a low price of $30.
  • Rubbermaid 45qt Blue Wheeled Cooler (45 quarts): This mid-sized cooler offers average performance and is available at a low price of $33. It also comes with wheels (currently out of stock).
  • Xspec 60 Quart Roto Molded High Performance Cooler (60 quarts): This cooler performs exceptionally well and was previously named our best overall cooler. It comes with top-notch features and a higher price tag of $270.
  • Igloo Trailmate Journey 70qt All-Terrain Cooler (70 quarts): This feature-rich cooler offers excellent performance and is priced slightly above the median.

Capacity considerations

Before discussing performance, it is important to consider the capacity of each cooler. While certain sizes, such as 50 quarts, are more popular than others, coolers vary in size and shape. Size and shape not only affect the amount of cans a cooler can hold but also impact its performance. For example, a 75-quart cooler like the Frosted Frog has a greater task of maintaining temperatures compared to a 45-quart RTIC when both have equal amounts of ice.


To ensure accurate evaluations, accurate measurements of each cooler's capacity were essential. Rather than relying on the manufacturer's claims or simply counting the number of cans, I used a more universal metric. I filled each cooler with water until closing the lid caused some water to overflow. This allowed me to measure the exact number of quarts each cooler could hold, which is crucial information when dealing with large amounts of melted ice. Interestingly, the smaller and cheaper models generally underestimated their capacity, while coolers like the Coleman Xtreme and Igloo Latitude wheeled coolers exceeded their advertised size.


On the other hand, the more expensive models did not meet expectations. For example, the Rovr Rollr wheeled cooler, priced at $400, claimed 60 quarts but actually held only 52.8 quarts when measured. Similarly, the RTIC, priced at $219, held only 39.6 quarts of water instead of the advertised 45 quarts.


Conversely, the 55-quart Lifetime High Performance Cooler exceeded expectations by holding 62.4 quarts of water. Although it did not retain ice as long as the RTIC, it still performed excellently. The Yeti Hopper Backflip 24, a soft-sided backpack cooler, had the smallest capacity among the coolers tested. Advertised to fit 20 12-ounce cans at a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio for a total of 22.5 quarts, it actually had an internal volume of 26.42 quarts, exceeding the stated volume by 117 percent. Conversely, the worst offender in terms of capacity was the Tourit Backpack Cooler, offering only 65 percent of its claimed 30-quart capacity.


In conclusion, investing in a cooler with a lock is not only a smart choice for outdoor enthusiasts but also a great way to keep your valuable items safe and secure. Whether you're camping in bear country or simply want peace of mind during your adventures, the YETI Bear-Proof Cooler Lock, Integrated Cooler with Lock, and Master Lock Python Locking Cable are three excellent options to consider. With their durable designs and reliable locking mechanisms, these cooler locks not only provide the convenience you need but also offer the ultimate protection for your belongings. So, gear up for your next expedition with one of the best coolers with locks and enjoy the peace of mind that your valuables are safe and sound.


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