The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Cooler for Tailgate Gatherings

Looking for the coolest way to keep your drinks chilled at tailgate gatherings? We've got you covered! In this article, we'll take you on a journey to discover the best coolers out there that not only keep your beverages icy cold but also add a touch of style and convenience to your outdoor festivities. Whether you're looking for a wheeled option or a cooler with easy access lids, we've handpicked the top contenders that will make you the envy of every tailgate party. So buckle up and get ready to find the best cooler for your next epic gathering!

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Pelican ProGear Elite 50

Pelican Elite 50 Best Tailgating Cooler

The Pelican ProGear Elite coolers are extremely durable and robust, making them the top choice for those seeking a high-quality, long-lasting cooler.

There are several reasons why I consider the Pelican Elite 50 to be the best tailgating cooler available:

Impressive Ice Retention - Pelican coolers have exceptional ice retention capabilities, with the ability to keep ice for up to 10 days. While this may not be necessary for a tailgate party, it means you can use less ice and still keep your contents cold for longer. Say goodbye to waterlogged food and warm drinks!

Sleek Design - This cooler has a unique and eye-catching design that is sure to turn heads. Its impressive appearance, combined with its durability, makes it stand out from the competition.

Practical and User-Friendly - The push and pull latches are easy to use, providing quick access to your items. Additionally, the lid features convenient cup holders.

Affordable - Considering its quality and size, the Pelican Elite 50 is competitively priced. In fact, it is significantly cheaper than the comparable Yeti 65.

Tie Downs and Lockable - This cooler can be securely tied to your car or truck and the lid can be locked with a padlock. It provides peace of mind, knowing that your cooler and its contents are safe from theft.

Built-in Bottle Opener - No more searching for a bottle opener! This cooler comes equipped with a built-in bottle opener, saving you time and the risk of chipped teeth.

Non-Slip Rubber Feet - Even without securing it, the non-slip rubber feet ensure that this cooler stays in place during transportation.

Pelican ProGear Elite 55 Wheeled

Pelican Elite 55 Wheeled Cooler

Designed specifically for tailgaters, the Pelican ProGear Elite 55 Wheeled cooler offers easy mobility with its large wheels and strong handle. The convenient easy access top compartment allows you to retrieve items without fully opening the lid, making it ideal for frequent use throughout the day. Although its ice retention may not match that of other Pelican coolers, it still performs admirably by keeping ice intact for days. The addition of four cup holders on the lid enhances its functionality, while the higher price is offset by the potential savings on chiropractor visits.

Easy Access Lid

When it comes to tailgating, it's crucial to have a cooler with an easily accessible lid. This helps minimize exposure to outside air, which can significantly affect the longevity of your ice. An effective method to achieve this is by incorporating a "lid within a lid" design, allowing you to access specific items without fully opening the larger lid. By reducing the exposure of cold air to warm air, the integrity of your ice is preserved for longer periods.

Orca 40 Cooler

Orca 40 Cooler

The Orca 40 Cooler is one of the top coolers available on the market. With its simple yet elegant design, it exudes timeless beauty while providing unparalleled insulation, leading to optimal cooling performance. The strong roto-moulded exterior ensures its longevity, which is further supported by an exceptional lifetime warranty. When you invest in this cooler, you can be confident that Orca will stand behind their product and provide the necessary support throughout its lifetime. If you are a frequent tailgater searching for a high-quality cooler that will last, look no further than the Orca 40.

RovR 80 Wheeled Cooler

RovR 80 Cooler

The RovR 80 Wheeled Cooler is known as the "Mack Truck" of the roto-moulded cooler world, owing to its robust construction. With excellent ice retention capabilities, this cooler can keep ice frozen for up to 5 days or even longer. However, its multifunctional features make it truly special:

  • Dry basket for keeping items cool and dry
  • Wheels and a carry handle for easy transportation
  • Slot-in cutting board for extra food preparation space
  • Two cup holders for your drinks
  • Fold-out basket that doubles as a seat, allowing you to transport all your gear effortlessly

Additionally, this cooler comes with a bike attachment, allowing you to take it with you on your biking adventures. While it may be one of the more expensive coolers on the market, it still offers impressive performance, despite some minor design flaws.

Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler

Coleman Xtreme 50 Wheeled - Best Budget Tailgate Cooler

If you're on a tight budget but still want a reliable cooler for your tailgating needs, look no further than the Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler. Despite its affordable price tag of under $50, this cooler offers practicality and impressive ice retention. Don't let its ordinary appearance deceive you – it performs just as well, if not better, than much more expensive roto-moulded coolers. The built-in wheels and suitcase-style pull-up handle are noteworthy features, allowing for easy transportation when parking farther away from the party. The cup holders on the lid are a convenient addition, making this cooler a solid choice for budget-conscious tailgaters.

Coolest Cooler

The Coolest Cooler

As its name suggests, the Coolest Cooler truly lives up to its cool factor. It is equipped with a wide range of gadgets, ensuring that you have everything you need in a cooler. Its features include:

  • Built-in ice-crushing blender
  • Splash-proof Bluetooth speaker
  • Built-in USB charger
  • LED lid light for nighttime use
  • Bottle opener
  • Cutting tray, plates, and knives
  • Dual fold lid
  • Wheels and suitcase-style pull handle

While these features are impressive, they may not be suitable for everyone. If you foresee yourself using all of these functions, the Coolest Cooler is an excellent choice. However, if you won't utilize all the features, you may want to consider whether the additional cost is worth it. This cooler is perfect for families, groups of friends who enjoy making cocktails, or anyone who wants to be the life of the party.

Corona Stainless Steel Cooler

Corona Stainless Steel Cooler

The stainless steel Corona cooler exudes a sense of coolness that is hard to match. While it may not possess exceptional ice retention or boast fancy features like cup holders, dry baskets, or wheels, its sheer aesthetic appeal is undeniable. It is a practical cooler that may not offer the most functionality, but it definitely impresses visually. The satisfaction derived from pulling a beer out of this cooler, effortlessly opening it with the attached bottle opener, is second to none. This cooler evokes relaxation and cool vibes, serving as a source of pride and conversation among friends. It's the perfect companion for a day filled with beer and grilling burgers.

Yeti 65

Yeti 65 Cooler

Yeti is a renowned brand in the cooler world, known for its premium quality and superior performance. Owning a Yeti cooler is akin to having the latest iPhone while everyone else is stuck with an old Nokia. Its premium plastic finish guarantees a sleek appearance and unparalleled attention to detail. Yeti coolers are built to endure, boasting excellent ice retention and backed by a 5-year warranty. While the price may be slightly higher due to the brand's popularity, investing in a Yeti cooler is well worth it for those willing to splurge.


Sub Z Cooler with Seat

For those flying solo and in need of a small cooler to accommodate a few drinks and snacks, the Sub Z With Chair is an excellent choice. Its compact size (around 20-Quart) makes it portable and easy to carry, while still providing ample space for all your essentials. The quality insulation ensures remarkable ice retention, allowing you to use less ice without compromising cooling capabilities. However, its standout feature is the attached seat, eliminating the need to bring a separate chair. The seat is surprisingly comfortable, even offering a backrest for a day of relaxation with friends without sacrificing comfort.

In conclusion, when it comes to tailgate gatherings, having the best cooler is essential to keep your drinks cold and your guests happy. After analyzing various options, it is clear that the Pelican ProGear Elite 50 and the Orca 40 Cooler provide top-notch performance and durability. For those looking for convenience, the Coleman Xtreme 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler and the RovR 80 Wheeled Cooler are excellent choices. For those who want to add some style to their tailgate party, the Corona Stainless Steel Cooler and the Coolest Cooler are sure to impress. However, if you're looking for the perfect balance of functionality and comfort, the Sub Z With Chair takes the crown as the best personal cooler. Whatever your preferences may be, investing in the right cooler will undoubtedly enhance your tailgate gathering experience and leave everyone chilled out and happy.

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