The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Cooler for the Beach
Are you ready to elevate your beach experience with the best cooler for the beach? We've scoured the market to bring you a curated list of top-notch coolers that will keep your drinks icy cold and your food fresh, no matter how scorching the sun gets. From the rugged durability of Yeti to the affordable innovation of Coleman, we've got the coolest lineup of beach companions that will make you the envy of every sun worshipper. So, grab a refreshing beverage, settle into your beach chair, and let's dive into the world of portable coolers that will take your beach game to the next level.
Yeti 18 Soft Cooler
Best Beach Cooler Overall
Yeti Tundra 45
The best cooler we’ve tested is the Yeti Tundra 45. Yeti is known for keeping beverages ultra cool, and this cooler lives up to that reputation, excelling in our tests.
It keeps a brisk 40°F for over four days, and the secure lid can even keep out bears while you’re out hiking. A skid-resistant bottom means it won’t slip and slide around your boat even when the waves crash up on the deck.
The Yeti Tundra 45 cooler is expensive at $325, but for the serious outdoorsmen, it’s a worthy investment.
$325 at Amazon
Yeti Hopper Flip 18
Yeti also makes a fantastic soft cooler. The Yeti Hopper 18 is our best upgrade among all the soft coolers we tested. It garners this acclaim for its ultra durable design and leakproof seal. The exterior is tough and doesn’t get punctured or scratched even when put through the wringer.
It maintains a cold temperature for almost two days and is easy to tote around. If you don’t mind paying the steep $300 price tag, it’ll be worth every penny.
$300 at Amazon
YETI Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler ($450)
Insulation: Rotomolded PlasticCapacity: 82 cans (without ice)Weight: 37.5 lbsPros: Legendary reputation, Easy to maneuver.Cons: You’re paying a premium for the brand name.
Yeti, as you’re probably aware, is the gold standard for coolers. Until now, though, Yeti coolers have been a bit of a hassle to lug around. The Haul is the first Yeti cooler on wheels, which you will appreciate after walking 25 minutes through the sand and burning sun because your friend decided he’d post up at the other end of the beach. While the wheels and towing handle are great, the one downside is a lack of a handle on the other side in case you need to pick it up, which cost it a point in the “portability” category. The Haul has rotomolded construction, which makes the thing almost bomb-proof, and the wheels are solid, single-piece tire construction that is impact and puncture-resistant, so you know you’re getting to where you want to go, and that things will be cold when you get there.
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Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60
If you’re looking for something in-between a hard cooler and a backpack cooler, take a look at our best soft cooler. Amongst all of the soft coolers we tested, the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60 is superior. Not only is it affordable at , but it holds chilly temperatures for over 40 hours.
Beyond its stellar performance, it comes with a detachable rolling cart. This makes it versatile for rolling down the boardwalk or throwing it over your shoulder while going over rocky terrain. Plus, you don’t have to worry about leaving it wet overnight since the interior is treated with Microban to slow any mold or bacteria growth.
Coleman 316 Series Insulated Portable Cooler
Best Hard Beach Cooler for Under $100
Coleman Chiller Cooler
With over 11,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating, the Coleman Chiller nine-quart cooler is a huge hit. This small but mighty cooler is perfect for bringing your lunch to the beach. While larger coolers are great for hosting a crowd, a smaller cooler is essential for solo summer trips.
The handle on top makes for easy carrying while the top stays in place to avoid spillage. Reviewers like this cooler for its durable design that they say will last for years to come.
$20 at Amazon
Coleman Rolling Cooler
Getting the cooler where you need it doesn’t have to be an arm workout. In fact, it can be as easy as rolling a suitcase with the Coleman rolling cooler. This cooler has 12,000 Amazon reviews with an outstanding 4.6-star rating, with many noting it is easy and smooth to pull.
Reviewers also say this 50-quart cooler offers great value and does a solid job at keeping things cool for long periods of time.
$54 at Amazon
Columbia Crater Peak Wheeled Cooler
Interior design makes great use of space
- If you're serious about wheel quality it's worth exploring coolers on this list with higher price points.
A rolling bag you pack down flat and carry it through the airport, this Columbia wheeled cooler is optimized for beach vacations. It holds up to 50 cans and features a kickstand bottom to help hold the cooler up vertical position.We like the size-to-volume ratio and the material really does seem to fend off unwanted odors and mold. It's also a breeze to clean up when the fun day at the river comes to a close. The handle extends to a generous length and the wheels are quite well, especially when you consider the price you're paying.
|Dimensions||13.5 x 10 x 16 inch|
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- Trudges through sand with ease
- Smart design that maximizes volume
- Long lifespan
- Nice additional features
- Can use as a bench seat
- Respectable price point
Anyone who's spent time searching for the perfect spot on the beach knows the pain of lugging a heavy cooler across a soft stretch of sand. No more, thanks to Igloo's beach cooler, which has oversized wheels that'll work with sand and other tricky surfaces. Plus, if you're the type who likes to entertain as well, it comes with a butler tray.It's like the SUV of coolers, able to take on all the bumps and varied terrain. The removable butler tray is a clever addition, affording a little class at your favorite beach spot or hilltop perch. There's also a dry storage area, great for phones and other things you want to keep safe and away from any moisture. The volume is also very impressive.
|Dimensions||34.6 x 19.7 x 23.6 inch|
Best Wheeled Beach Cooler
Rtic Ultra-Light Hard Cooler
For great performance at an affordable price, check out the Rtic Ultra-Light Hard Cooler, which has a 32-quart capacity. This lightweight cooler doesn’t sacrifice performance, as it maintains a 40°F temperature for three days—more than enough to get you through a day at the beach.
While this cooler doesn’t feature wheels, the well-placed handles and ultra-light design make it easy to carry from the car to the beach. If you’re on a budget but in the market for a durable, well-designed cooler that’s easy to tote around, you can’t go wrong with the Rtic Ultra-Light.
$180 at Amazon
RTIC 32 QT Ultra-Light Cooler
- Under $200
- Several unique colors to choose from
- Weights just above 20 pounds
- Built-in bottle opener on side
- Have to add-on basket and divider separately for the 32 QT
RTIC's 32 QT Ultra-Light Cooler is the perfect choice for small gatherings. It is specifically designed to be lightweight, weighing just above 20 pounds. In fact, RTIC claims that it is about 30% lighter than most hard-molded coolers available in the market. We have tested this claim and found that it is indeed one of the lightest hard coolers available.
This cooler comes with durable carrying handles, secure sealing latches, and a convenient built-in bottle opener. Plus, with a price under $200 and several unique colors to choose from, it offers great value for money.
|Dimensions||14.5 x 23 x 15.5 inch|
- Strong 840 denier double TPU outer material
- Waterproof zippers
- Neatly holds up to 20 cans
- Rugged design
ORCA coolers have developed a strong reputation for their durability. We particularly love their hard cooler lineup, and the Walker 20 model stands out as a great small cooler that is perfect for travel. It can neatly hold up to 20 cans and is made from adventure-grade 840 denier double TPU material. Notable features include a magnetic split handle, a comfortable soft carrying strap, and waterproof zippers. If you're looking for a personal cooler with all the bells and whistles, the Walker 20 is an excellent choice.
|Dimensions||14.5 x 11 x 13.25 inch|
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- Compact size makes for better storage in tight spaces
- Polyurethane thermal barrier keeps ice cold for days
- Tons of colors available
- Under $200
- No side latch handles. Have to mainly carry by the single handle.
Laka offers reasonably priced hard coolers that are available in a wide range of fun colors. The Laka 20 is a great option for those looking for a small cooler that is easy to transport. It has a capacity to hold up to 20 cans and is made from durable materials. Notable features include a polyurethane thermal barrier, secure rubber latches, non-slip feet, and an ergonomic handle.
What sets the Laka 20 cooler apart is its oval-shaped design, which is perfect for those who want to save space without sacrificing the functionality of a hard cooler for group meetups.
|Dimensions||18.5 x 14.5 x 16.5 inch|
Stanley Adventure Easy Carry 16 Qt Outdoor Cooler
Stanley Adventure Easy Carry 16 Qt Outdoor Cooler is a vintage-style beach cooler that combines style and functionality. This cooler is currently on sale, indicated by the "On Sale" badge. It has a capacity of 16 quarts and comes with an ergonomic handle for easy carrying.
Igloo Backpack Cooler
If you need a cooler that allows you to be hands-free, the Igloo Backpack Cooler is the perfect choice. Whether you're going to the beach or embarking on a long hike, this backpack cooler will keep your drinks cold for about nine and a half hours.
The Igloo Backpack Cooler can hold up to 30 cans at a time and still has enough room for additional items like sandwiches. The padded straps ensure comfortable carrying without causing any discomfort.
$54 at Amazon
Igloo BMX Cooler
The Igloo BMX Cooler is not only stylish but also highly durable. With over 8,000 positive reviews and an average rating of 4.6 stars, this cooler has proven its quality and durability over multiple seasons.
Many reviewers claim that the Igloo BMX Cooler is a great alternative to more expensive brands, offering excellent ice retention and secure locks. It can keep your contents cool for up to four days, making it ideal for long trips.
$150 at Amazon
Tourit Backpack Cooler
The Tourit backpack cooler is a highly recommended option for those who are always on the go. It has been tested and proven to maintain coldness for over 10 hours.
With over 22,000 reviews on Amazon and a remarkable 4.7-star rating, the Tourit backpack cooler has become a fan favorite. While some concerns have been raised about its long-term durability, customers report using it without any decline in quality.
$37 at Amazon
ICEMULE Boss ($375)
Capacity: 24 cans (with ice) extra pockets = 30L
Weight: 6.6 lbs
Pros: Ergonomic, durable, great ice retention.
Cons: Pricey. Size to capacity ratio isn’t great.
The ICEMULE Boss is not just a waterproof cooler with impressive ice retention; it is also a highly functional backpack. It offers ample storage space and can comfortably carry up to 24 cans (with ice) in its main compartment. Additionally, it has side compartments, a large back compartment, and external pockets for storing various items such as a first aid kit, dry food, or sunscreen.
In terms of design, this backpack cooler excels with features like ergonomic shoulder straps and back padding for comfortable carrying. It also includes external storage options such as webbing for attaching a rain jacket, clip loops, and 16 loops on the side for versatile storage solutions. The ICEMULE Boss truly stands out from the competition.
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The ease of transporting your cooler from one place to another is an important factor to consider. Factors such as wheels, handles, straps, size, and weight will determine the portability of your cooler.
Caring For Your Beach Cooler
A beach cooler is a valuable investment in keeping your drinks and food fresh during beach trips. To ensure its longevity, it is essential to take proper care of your cooler. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your beach cooler:
Clean the cooler after each use: After each use, thoroughly clean your cooler with soap and water to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Stubborn stains can be removed using a mixture of baking soda and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the cooler.
Dry the cooler completely: Before storing your cooler, ensure that it is completely dry to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Use a towel or air dry it in a shaded area.
Store the cooler properly: Store your cooler in a cool and dry place to avoid any damage to the insulation or other components. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or damp areas where mold and mildew can thrive.
Avoid overloading: Do not overload your cooler with excessive weight as it can damage the insulation or other components. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for weight capacity to prevent any issues. Your back will also thank you.
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In conclusion, finding the best cooler for your beach adventures is no longer a daunting task with the wide range of options available. Whether you value durability, portability, or enhanced insulation, there is a cooler on this list that will cater to your specific needs. From the rugged and reliable Yeti to the budget-friendly options from Coleman and Igloo, there is something for everyone. So don't let the heat ruin your beach experience - invest in a top-notch cooler and keep your drinks refreshingly cold, making your beach days even more enjoyable.
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