The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Cooler for Road Trips

Are you ready for the ultimate road trip adventure? Picture yourself cruising down the open highway, the wind in your hair, and the promise of new discoveries just around the bend. But hold on a second...what about the drinks and snacks to keep you refreshed during those long stretches? Fear not, because we have you covered. In this article, we're going to reveal the best coolers for road trips, ensuring that your beverages stay chilled and your snacks stay fresh. From rugged and heavy-duty to portable and collapsible, we've scoured the market to bring you the coolest options out there. So buckle up and get ready to discover your new road trip companion!

REI Co-op Cool Haul 18 Soft Cooler

When going on road trips, you often have limited space and may not be able to accommodate a large cooler in your camping setup. The REI Co-op Cool Haul 18 Soft Cooler is the perfect solution as it can be easily stored away when not in use and can even be used as a tote when you remove the cooling box inside. It's incredibly lightweight and small, making it convenient to carry and easy to access when tucked away behind the seat. This cooler also offers some useful features such as an integrated bottle opener and a front pocket for storing your keys or phone. Although it may not keep frozen items cold for a long time, it's ideal for keeping your drinks and snacks chilled during short road trips.

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11 x 13 x 15 inches
  • Capacity: 23 quarts (22 liters)
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Front pocket for storing small items
  • Includes a bottle opener
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Insulation box can be removed for cleaning
  • Cooling performance is not as good as hard shell models
  • Occasional leaks reported by users, despite being leak-proof
Grey Engel cooler

Hydro Flask 26 L Day Escape Soft Cooler

The Hydro Flask Day Escape coolers are an excellent option for a soft shell cooler. They have a stylish design and are portable with removable carry straps. The 26 L size is tapered, allowing it to easily fit behind most front seats, and it can be packed down neatly when emptied. It offers 36 hours of cold retention with specialized technology that effectively keeps items cold.

I personally love using this cooler for beach or lake days when I need to transport it to and from the car. However, the zipper can be difficult to open with just one hand, so during road trips, I prefer using the Yeti Roadie 24 as my stationary cooler inside the car. This way, I can easily reach into the cooler with one hand while driving to grab a cold drink.

  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 23.9 x 10.4 x 14.97 inches
  • Capacity: 26 liters
  • Waterproof zipper and seams
  • Lightweight
  • Folds up for easy storage when empty
  • Includes removable shoulder and cross-body straps
  • Compatible with Hydro Flask dry storage pouch thanks to gear attachment loops
  • Zipper can be hard to open
  • The top part does not hold its shape well
Yeti Roadie white cooler

Yeti Roadie 24

The Yeti Roadie 24 is one of the best small coolers for road trips, particularly for solo travelers who want convenience and reliability. This version of the Yeti Roadie can hold a full bottle of wine in an upright position, and it offers plenty of space for cans, snacks, and ice. It's designed to fit behind the seat of a car, although this may depend on the type of car and how far back the front seat is. The soft handle adds comfort and doesn't take up extra space.

In order for this cooler to fit behind the passenger seat in my Hyundai Santa Fe, I have to push the front passenger seat all the way forward, which can make it difficult for anyone else to ride in that seat.

Every aspect of this cooler has been carefully thought out, including the ability to open it with just one hand. This is especially useful when sitting in the front seat and having to reach behind to access something. The only downside to this cooler is that it may not match the cooling performance of larger rotomolded coolers due to its smaller size.

  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 14 inches
  • Capacity: 24 quarts (23 liters)
  • Allows for one-handed access
  • Compact size fits behind a car seat
  • Comfortable soft handle for easy carrying
  • Available in different colors
  • Small size makes it suitable for short weekend trips or for one person
  • Cooling performance isn't on par with larger models
  • Relatively expensive considering its size
Igloo Cooler

Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX

The Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Qt BMX is an excellent budget-friendly alternative for those looking to spend less while still getting a dependable cooler. Although it's small, it's built with heavy-duty materials, including stainless steel components, oversized screws, and skid corners for insulation protection. However, the handle of this cooler is a weak point and is known to break frequently. Fortunately, Igloo provides a warranty, so if any issues arise, you can easily get a replacement. Considering its affordability and the value it offers, this is a fantastic choice for a small cooler on a road trip.

  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 15.6 inches
  • Capacity: 25 quarts (23 liters)
  • More affordable than other options
  • Heavy-duty and exceptionally durable
  • Includes a warranty
  • No easy drain plug
  • The screws on the handle are prone to failure
  • Bulky handle
White and blue Dometic cooler

Dometic CFX3 35 Powered Cooler

The Dometic CFX3 35 Powered Cooler is the perfect companion for road trips if you're looking for an electric cooler that can accommodate two people. It requires minimal power to run and is quiet when plugged in. This electric cooler is extremely durable and made with high-quality materials, making its higher price more than worth it. It has the ability to deep freeze with temperatures as low as -7°F, but it needs to be connected to an electricity source. The dynamic battery protection feature ensures that your car battery won't be drained, so you never have to worry about forgetting to unplug your cooler. The Dometic CFX3 even comes with an app that allows you to monitor the cooler's temperature and performance using your phone.

  • Weight: 37 lbs
  • Dimensions: 27.3 x 16 x 15.7 inches
  • Capacity: 38 quarts (36 liters)
  • 3-stage dynamic battery protection to prevent draining the car battery
  • Capable of deep freezing
  • Ability to connect to your phone via an app
  • One of the quieter electric coolers available

White Alpicool cooler with coke inside

1: YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

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The YETI Tundra 65 Cooler is the ideal companion for any outdoor adventure, whether it's a road trip or a backyard BBQ.

With up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation, your food and drinks will stay ice cold for days, eliminating the worry of melting ice or warm beverages.

The durable design ensures this cooler will last for years. When you consider the great value for money it offers, it's clear why YETI is one of the top cooler brands on the market.

Don't hesitate to grab a YETI Tundra Cooler and make your next outdoor excursion an absolute blast!


✔??Exceptionally durable

✔??Keeps ice for almost a week

✔??Stylish design


❌Slightly heavy

"After 4 days in the hot sun, we took out the remaining adult beverages, and the ice hadn't even melted. Don't hesitate if you're unsure - this is the best cooler ever." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For YETI Tundra 65 Here!


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The Orca 40 cooler gives you peace of mind knowing that your favorite drinks and snacks will stay fresh and at the perfect temperature for up to 10 days!

Thanks to its superior insulation, the Orca 40 ensures optimal freshness and temperature retention for all your stored items. The non-slip feet keep the cooler in place while you're busy at your campsite or on a long road trip.

If you've been searching for the perfect cooler for camping and road trips, look no further than the Orca 40!


✔??Robust and solid design (with cute whale tail clips..)


✔??Convenient drain plug


❌Seals can be a little tight

"I used this cooler on a 3-day camping trip in the desert where temperatures ranged from the mid-80s to low 40s. It was packed with food, and we only needed 1 bag of ice for the entire trip." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For ORCA 40 Here!

3: Engel ENG50 48 Quart

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The Engel ENG50 cooler is a top choice for anyone in need of a high-quality and durable cooler for road trips and beyond!

It's incredibly user-friendly, with a fantastic design that ensures easy access to anything inside.

Best of all, it provides excellent insulation to keep your food and drinks cold for longer! It's also not too big, so even if you're traveling with a dog crate or any other items in the back of your car, you'll still have plenty of space!

What sets it apart is the remarkable value you get for your money. Unlike many other coolers on the market, the Engel ENG50 comes with a range of features at an unbeatable price.

If you're looking for a reliable cooler that delivers on its promises and offers exceptional value, then the Engel ENG50 is the perfect choice!


✔??More affordable than other leading brands

✔??Can withstand any challenge thrown at it

✔??Available in a variety of colors


❌Warranty is not available through Amazon

"Trust me on this: This is a great cooler, and here's why. It can handle anything you throw at it." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Engel ENG50 Here!


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If you are searching for an efficient cooler for your next road trip, the Dometic CFX3 Travel Cooler is the perfect choice. This well-built cooler is designed to make life on the road easier, with a range of features that make it ideal for long journeys. Its sturdy construction and efficient cooling system ensure that your food and drinks stay cool regardless of the conditions. Not only is it great for road trips, but it is also versatile enough for everyday use, making it a fantastic value for money.


✔??Solar power option

✔??Built to last

✔??Low power consumption

✔??Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity

✔??Quiet operation


❌None so far!

"Hands down, this cooler fridge is beyond great. The quality is second to none and it performs exactly as advertised. I could list pros and cons, but there are zero cons." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Dometic CFX3 Here!

5: Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

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The Titan Deep Freeze Cooler is a heavy-duty travel cooler that is highly regarded by road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its zipperless design allows for easy opening and closing without the risk of items falling out or spilling. The HardBody liner with SmartShelf ensures that hard and soft items are separated, keeping your belongings organized and secure. The cooler also comes with an adjustable Backsaver shoulder strap, featuring a soft anti-slip shoulder pad, making it comfortable to carry all day without straining your back. Additionally, the cooler is easy to clean, making it a convenient choice.


✔??Waterproof interior

✔??Comfortable shoulder strap

✔??Keeps items cold for up to 3 days


❌Side zippers are fragile

"I definitely recommend this bag to anyone because it is well-made and looks like it will last a very long time." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Titan Deep Freeze Cooler Here!

6: Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheel Cooler

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The Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheel Cooler is one of the best coolers with wheels available. Its innovative wheels provide excellent maneuverability, similar to that of a roller suitcase. This allows for easy transportation from the car to your campsite or tailgate party without any hassle. Additionally, the cooler's heavy-duty construction and indestructible rotomolded exterior ensure its durability and reliability.


✔??Durable construction

✔??Smooth-gliding wheels

✔??Practical design with wheels

✔??Certified grizzly bear proof


❌Can be a bit heavy to lift into a vehicle

"Worth every dollar. In fact, I purchased two. The wheels are very rugged, despite someone claiming otherwise in their review." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Yeti Tundra Haul Cooler Here!

7: YETI Hopper Backflip 24

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The YETI Hopper Backflip 24 is a versatile cooler that combines the functionality of a cooler and a backpack, making it perfect for road trips or hikes. Its soft-sided construction keeps your items cold while remaining lightweight and comfortable to carry. With the highest-performing waterproof and leakproof cooler zipper on the market, you can trust that your food and beverages will stay safe from the elements. The cooler has ample space for snacks, drinks, and meals, making it a must-have for any outdoor adventure.


✔??Strong and comfortable straps

✔??Durable hazmat zipper

✔??Puncture-proof construction

✔??Easy to clean


❌Excellent value for money, but not the cheapest cooler available

"Love this cooler. It is super durable and very handy for cookouts and parties." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 Here!

8: ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler

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The ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler is a versatile option for weekend road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its lightweight and backpack-style design allows for easy access and comfortable carrying, making it ideal for all-day explorations. The cooler can keep ice cold for up to 24 hours, ensuring that your food and drinks stay fresh even in hot weather. It is also leakproof, buoyant, and waterproof, making it suitable for any situation. With its combination of features, the ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler is a fantastic choice for your next road trip.


✔??Excellent quality construction

✔??Available in cool colors

✔??Buoyant design

✔??Budget-friendly option


❌Needs to be filled with ice

"Outstanding quality! Beyond my expectations. Perfect for deer hunting, packing up, and hiking out of the woods. It's super heavy-duty and lightweight with outstanding construction." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler Here!

9: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60

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The Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60 is undoubtedly one of the best coolers for road trips. Whether you're going to a tailgate, picnic, or traveling with friends and family, this cooler pack will keep your food and drinks fresh for up to three days. With a capacity to hold up to 60 cans, you can easily store plenty of snacks and drinks for everyone. The collapsible design allows for easy storage when not in use. Additionally, the cooler comes with a roller trolley, eliminating the need for heavy lifting. The trolley can be detached when not needed, providing added convenience.


✔??Rollers make transportation easy

✔??Detachable wheels for versatility

✔??Comfortable shoulder strap

✔??Multiple pocket options


❌Cooler may slide off wheels when moving

"This cooler is perfect for road trips and going to the beach. It holds a lot, travels easily with rollers, is easy to clean, and folds up for storage." - Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60 Here!

10: EchoSmile 35 Quart

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If you are in search of an affordable cooler that can keep your drinks and food cold throughout the day, the EchoSmile 35 quart cooler is the perfect choice for you!

This cooler offers ample space to accommodate a large number of refreshments and snacks, making it ideal for family outings or camping trips. Additionally, it includes a convenient fishing ruler on the lid, making it a must-have for anglers.

The durability of this cooler is exceptional, with the ability to withstand ice without any issues. In fact, it can keep your items cool for up to seven days! Furthermore, it is highly versatile, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

What sets this cooler apart for road trips is its excellent all-around performance at an affordable price. You get the same quality as more expensive coolers without the hefty price tag, making it a great value for your money!


✔??Budget Friendly

✔??Heavy duty

✔??Easy to clean



❌Long and narrow

"We used this cooler in the back of our vehicle during a week-long trip through the mountains in CO. It performed exceptionally well, keeping our food cold and ice lasting the entire time. A fantastic purchase for its value."- Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For EchoSmile 35 quart Here!

11: Coleman 316

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If you are searching for the perfect companion for your next road trip or camping adventure, look no further than the Coleman Ice Chest!

This incredible cooler features swing-up handles that make it easy to carry and lift. It also has a seat lid, allowing you to enjoy a snack without having to open the chest.

Furthermore, this cooler has a capacity to hold up to 80 cans! It even keeps the ice frozen for up to 4 days, even in temperatures as high as 90°F/30°C, ensuring that your food and drinks remain chilled throughout your trip!




✔??Drainage hole

✔??Cup holder on the lid


❌Lid doesn't stay open for filling

"Great investment that will surely last us for years to come. We also love the cup holders on the lid! If you need a cooler that can hold a large number of cans/bottles and keep the ice solid for a few days, this is the cooler for you."- Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Coleman 316 Here!

12: Igloo Heavy-Duty 25

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If you are in search of one of the best coolers for your road trip, look no further than the Igloo Heavy-Duty cooler!

This heavy-duty cooler has been specifically designed to meet your travel needs. It is made from durable materials to withstand any challenges you may encounter.

Additionally, the included skid pads ensure that your food and drinks remain secure during transport.

This cooler will undoubtedly make your drive a lot less stressful, making it the perfect companion for long road trips. With its spacious interior, you can pack everything without worrying about space constraints.

If you're in need of a reliable and durable travel companion for your next road trip, the Igloo Heavy-Duty cooler is the ideal choice!


✔??Super sturdy

✔??Looks great

✔??Can be used as a seat


❌No Drain plug

"I must say that this cooler is solid! It is built like a tank! As someone working in the Traffic Control industry, it is clear that Igloo has finally made a cooler just for me!"- Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Igloo Heavy-Duty 25 Here!

13: Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag

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If you are planning a long road trip and prefer not to carry multiple coolers, the Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag is the perfect solution for you!

This cooler bag offers an extra-large capacity, providing ample space to store all your food and drinks without taking up too much room. Its unique double-decker design allows for easy organization and quick access to your items.

The versatility of the Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag is exceptional. Whether you are on a camping trip or carrying groceries from the farmers market, it will make your life easier wherever you go.


✔??Holds its shape better when open and empty

✔??Construction is excellent, with solid stitching and seams, as well as a well-detailed and appealing design.


❌Zippers are very stiff

"Love this cooler. It is easy to pack and incredibly spacious. It keeps things cool and frozen for a long time! A fantastic purchase!"- Read More Reviews Here!

✅ Check Prices For Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag Here!

When it comes to road trips, having the best cooler is essential to keep your drinks and snacks cold and refreshing along the way. From the REI Co-op Cool Haul 18 Soft Cooler to the Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you're looking for durability, portability, or ample storage space, these coolers have got you covered. So, pack up your favorite beverages, hit the open road, and enjoy a cool and unforgettable adventure with one of these top-rated coolers by your side.

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