The Ultimate Guide to the Best Coolers for Sports Events

Looking for the perfect cooler to keep your drinks ice-cold and refreshing for those summer sports events? Well, look no further! We've rounded up the best cooler options for you, ensuring that your beverages stay chilled and your outdoor adventures unforgettable. From the top-of-the-line Yeti Tundra to the convenient and portable Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler, we've got you covered. Whether you need a rolling cooler, a tote bag, or a backpack cooler, we've handpicked the very best options of 2023. So, let's dive in and discover the coolest coolers that will have you fully prepared for your next sports gathering!

The Best Cooler, Overall: Yeti Tundra

Yeti has become the go-to brand for its exceptional coolers—whether we're talking chest coolers or koozies for your bottles and cans. Why? They are incredibly effective. The Tundra is available in sizes ranging from 33 liters to a massive 311 liters, making it possibly the best cooler out there. The Tundra's super-thick walls are pressure injected with trademarked insulation, which protects your drinks from the outside temperature. Even in extreme conditions, your drinks will stay cold. The Tundra is designed like a refrigerator, with a freezer-quality gasket around the lid to minimize temperature changes and provide a secure seal. Its rotomolded construction makes it durable and capable of withstanding falls. The larger models can be challenging to carry due to their size, but there are other portable options available like the Yeti Roadie for those in need of something more compact. While the Tundra is more expensive compared to smaller coolers, it is guaranteed to last longer and keep your drinks cold until the end of the day.

The Best Rolling Cooler: Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler

The Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler is an excellent option if you prefer to roll your cooler instead of carrying it. With an impressive 85-liter capacity, this cooler can keep ice chilled for up to five days. Its oversized wheels can handle rough terrains with ease. The cooler's top also acts as a side table, and it comes with four dedicated coasters to secure your beverages.

The Best Cooler Tote Bag: Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask brings its chill technology to a tote bag with the Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote. This stylish cooler is easy to clean and can fold down for travel and storage. With a 20-liter capacity, it has ample space and a fully lined interior that keeps items cold for up to four hours. It also offers plenty of storage for your belongings.

The Best Soft Cooler: RTIC

RTIC has been chasing Yeti in terms of cooler quality, and its soft pack cooler is a lightweight and durable option for those who need to carry just a few cold drinks. While it may not keep items cold as long as a hard cooler, it can still keep them chilled for up to 24 hours. Its two-inch nylon body provides insulation, and the cooler is tear- and puncture-resistant. Plus, it floats, making it perfect for water activities.

The Best Backpack Cooler: CamelBak ChillBak

The CamelBak ChillBak is a versatile backpack cooler that can hold up to 24 cans and 15 pounds of ice. It features a convenient six-liter water pack for easy hydration on the go. The rolltop design allows for easy access, and it provides additional storage space. While the exterior side pocket may not benefit from the interior cooling, it's a great option for carrying an extra beverage alongside an insulated water bottle.

Best Small Portable Cooler Bag

The Carhartt Deluxe Dual Compartment Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag is our go-to cooler for its convenience and ability to keep drinks cold throughout the day. While it may not hold a large quantity, it's perfect for a six-pack of cans or smaller bottles. It also has a separate insulated top portion for food items. The cooler's compact size makes it easy to carry and fit in various settings.

Best Coolers of 2023

In our testing, the Cabela's Polar Cap option proved to be the best large cooler for keeping items cold. It consistently maintained the lowest internal temperature for an extended period. In terms of price, the Magellan Outdoors model performed similarly and is a more cost-effective choice. Both coolers have convenient features such as built-in bottle openers, pressure relief valves, and bear-resistance.

For midsize coolers, the RTIC cooler offers impressive performance at a reasonable price. It provides the lowest temperatures compared to other midsize models. The Magellan Outdoors cooler also performs well and is significantly cheaper than its competitors.

When it comes to soft-sided coolers, they are generally not as effective as hard-sided ones. However, if you prefer a soft cooler, the Coleman Xtreme 3 Cooler is a good option for all-day trips or keeping groceries cool on hot days. It also doubles as a seat and has built-in cup holders. While it has thin hinges that can be delicate, it generally withstands regular use. For those who value superior quality and are willing to invest, Yeti offers a nearly indestructible cooler with excellent insulation.

If you need a larger cooler, both Coleman and Igloo offer options under $100. These coolers provide good performance, and the larger size allows for longer cooling duration. However, they may require two people to carry when fully loaded.

In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best cooler for your sports events, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you prioritize durability, portability, or style, there is a cooler on this list that will meet your needs. From the iconic Yeti Tundra for all-around performance to the convenient and easy-to-roll Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler, you can rest assured that your beverages and snacks will stay cool and refreshing. And for those looking for a more fashion-forward option, the Hydro Flask Cooler Tote Bag and the CamelBak ChillBak Backpack Cooler are sure to impress. So, gear up for the next game or tailgate party and enjoy the convenience and functionality of these top-rated cooler models in 2023.

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