Unveiling the Top 11 Must-Have Beach Coolers in 2023

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As you head to the beach, having a cooler to keep your drinks chilled is essential. However, with thousands of options available, choosing the right one can be daunting. The temperature retention, water-resistant capability, and comfortable carrying options among beach coolers vary significantly. You need to consider how long you will spend outdoors, if you plan on using the cooler for only a few hours, or if you will need it for a whole day and night. Also, think about how far you have to carry the cooler from your car to your spot on the beach. If it's quite a distance, consider a backpack or wheeled cooler for easy transport.

Yeti Hopper Flip 18 Soft Cooler

We have selected the best beach coolers in the market, guaranteed to meet every beachgoer's needs.

Why We Love It:

    The Yeti Hopper Flip Cooler boasts puncture resistance and leak-proof design. The cooler can maintain your drinks' temperature for days, making it an ideal companion for your beach adventures.

    What to Consider:

    • Opening and closing the watertight zipper may require some effort, but the cooler comes with lubricant to make things easier.

    Undoubtedly, when it comes to coolers, Yeti is a brand that stands out. Our favorite beach-going design is the Hopper Flip 18, spacious enough to store up to 30 cans, including delicate refreshments. The rectangular shape is sturdy and convenient, with a highly comfortable, well-padded shoulder strap and convenient handles on the top and sides. The leakproof zippers and puncture-resistant shell add to the cooler's durability. Additionally, the cooler comes with external straps to connect other accessories, and you can pair it with the Yeti Thin Ice for a perfect fit. Although Yeti doesn't provide specific temperature retention statistics, we can confirm that the Hopper Flip can keep your drinks cold all day long at the beach. The cooler is available in many colors, including the recently introduced canopy green and high desert clay. If you plan on traveling light or solo, we recommend the Hopper Flip 8 or Hopper Flip 12.

    At the time of publishing this piece: $300 is the price tag attached to the Igloo Trailmate Journey cooler. With its dimensions at 17.7 x 11.5 x 12.8 inches, it perfectly holds 30 cans and weighs in at 4.5 pounds. Its standout feature is the butler tray that can go in and out for your convenience, leaving enough room to enjoy some good times with friends.


    You may want to keep in mind that the top lid is not the easiest to close securely. But not to worry, the cooler makes up for that with its 70-quart capacity that snugly fits in 112 cans or a sufficient amount of food without any difficulty. Its ultra-therm insulated lid and body will keep your contents cold for up to four days. The sturdy telescoping handle paired with the oversized wheels enables you to transport it through any terrain, sand included.

    An additional perk worth noting is that it's furnished with a dry storage section and umbrella holders, which come in handy, especially for beach days. To top it off, you also get cup holders on the removable tray. While making your purchase, take note that this cooler is sizeable, so ensure it fits in your car trunk or storage space at home.

    If you need a bag to carry food and drinks to the beach, then Hydro Flask's tote is an excellent option. It is available in three sizes of 20 liters, 35 liters, and 8 liters, and in four different colors. The fabric, comprising the zippers and all, effectively resists water and spills. At 17 x 7.25 x 14 inches, it weighs just 1.32 pounds and can keep your contents cold for four hours, making it a perfect fit for a quick getaway —say, to the farmer's market or for a beachside snack.


    It also doubles as a lunch bag to take to work or as a reusable grocery bag to go green. The material is supple and coated to safeguard against stains and elements of nature. You can use it as often as you like, and when it's storage time, fold or roll it up for compact storage.

    This tote goes for , and it's important to note that while spacious enough to accommodate your needs, the interior is slightly narrow, so you may have to be selective when packing.

    Why We're Fans

    This cooler is the ultimate solution for keeping your drinks frosty for hours on end without any spillage.

    Points to Ponder

    If you're looking for long-lasting ice retention, a hard cooler is still your best bet.

    Igloo 36-42 Can Soft Sided Outdoor Pro Water Repellant Bags

    This robust Igloo model is our top pick for a backpack-style cooler. Unlike other similar bags that are prone to leaks, this cooler won't let any ice run-off damage your gear or towel. Thanks to adjustable padded straps, you can comfortably carry it on your back, even while wearing a swimsuit. The tote handles come in handy when placing it in a car or on the ground. Plus, thanks to the sternum strap, you can distribute the weight evenly, ensuring you never have to leave any refreshments behind due to a bulky load. This Igloo bag is one of the best backpack coolers we've tested, thanks in part to its external pockets, attachment loops, and even a built-in bottle opener. It's a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys beach days or extended outdoor activities.

    Price at the Time of Publication: $140

    Specifications: 13 x 7 x 17.5 inches | 42 cans | 2.1 pounds

    Why We're Fans

    Not only does it stay buoyant, but it also keeps your drinks cold for over a day.

    Points to Ponder

    There are no additional pockets, so you'll have to take everything you need with you.

    IceMule Pro XXL

    No need to pause the fun to get another drink. With the IceMule Pro XXL cooler, you'll always have a cold one right beside you. This backpack cooler is also designed to float without any issues, provided the roll-top seal is secure, even if it's loaded up with your favorite drinks and food. The 1000D ripstop fabric and sealed seams ensure that your drinks stay cold for more than 24 hours without succumbing to the elements.

    This backpack cooler can fit 36 cans and ice, and thanks to its large shoulder straps and ventilated back, it won't feel heavy on your long-distance adventures. Whether you're on a fishing trip, kayaking, or just lounging at the beach, the IceMule Pro XXL is an excellent companion.

    Price at the Time of Publication: $155

    Specifications: 14 x 11 x 27 inches | 36 cans | 3.8 pounds | 24 hours of cold retention.

    Our pick for easy transportation of your beach essentials is the wheeled cooler, perfect for busy parents. The Yeti Tundra Haul offers top-of-the-line insulation that keeps up to 82 cans cold in hot weather. From the sunny shores of the Caribbean to Southern California beaches, this stylish cooler has got you covered. The walls and lid are reinforced with pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam, providing excellent temperature retention. The rotomolded build makes it virtually indestructible, while puncture-resistant wheels make maneuvering over most terrains easy. However, it doesn't roll as smoothly on soft surfaces. This high-quality cooler comes at a steep price point, but it's worth the investment as it will last for years.


    One of the standout features of the Arctic Zone beach cooler is the SmartShelf, which allows you to divide the interior into dual compartments. With capacity for 30 cans, it keeps its cool for up to 48 hours due to deep-freeze performance insulation. Comfortable and convenient, the adjustable shoulder straps distribute weight and the zipper-less top provides easy accessibility. If you prefer one large compartment, simply remove the SmartShelf, although the bag lacks an airtight seal at the top. While the price point is lower, its durability is somewhat questionable.

    At the time of publication, this product is priced at .

    Product Description: This backpack cooler is a perfect blend of style and functionality. It boasts dimensions of 16.5 x 11 x 12.75 inches and can hold up to 30 cans, keeping them cold for up to two days. The IceMule Jaunt 9L Cooler Backpack is lightweight, portable, and water-resistant. It can accommodate up to nine cans or three bottles, which remain frosty for more than 24 hours. Its IM AirValve feature enables it to float alongside you if you head into the water. Additionally, the spacious waterproof pocket ensures the safekeeping of valuable items like your phone, keys, or money while you swim. The backpack's padded shoulder straps add to the comfort of carrying it on your back, and the backpack comes in a range of colors and prints to choose from.

    Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler

    Price at the time of publication: .

    Product Description: Inject extra fun into your picnics and beach outings by carrying the dual-compartment 7 x 7.5 x 21-inch Cooler. It's designed to keep nine cans cold for over 24 hours, and its funky colors and stylish design make it stand out in a crowd. The bottom compartment of the cooler capable of accommodating up to four wine bottles comprises a spacious area that the upper compartment holds food items like snacks and sandwiches. In addition, it features another pocket in the front to hold napkins, utensils, and a wine opener. The backpack's waterproof material ensures that even if any spills, stains are barely a concern. However, it's better suited to short outings as the insulation lacks the power required to keep items cold for long durations. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to color fading.

    Icemule Collapsible Backpack Cooler

    Price at the time of publication: $110.

    Product Description: This backpack cooler, measuring 13.78 x 10.24 x 15.75 inches, is perfect for traveling and keeping drinks and food items fresh on-road trips and weekend-long adventures. Its well-designed structure features dual compartments, with the lower section unzipping to reveal a roomy space capable of holding up to four bottles of wine. Meanwhile, the upper compartments keep food items like sandwiches and snacks secure, preventing them from being crushed by heavier items. Moreover, it features a pocket on the front that easily houses utensils, napkins, and wine openers. The waterproof material of the backpack ensures that spills are minimal and do not result in stains. Keep in mind, though, that the backpack isn't well insulated for prolonged cold-holding.

    Double Compartment Cooler Bag

    Reasons to Adore It

    Its production involves upcycling materials.

    What to Factor In

    A WireStrap elastic band is necessary when folded to maintain its flatness.

    Beach coolers that are durable and efficient are top-notch, but they occupy too much space in transit. CleverMade has come up with a solution: a Collapsible Cooler Bag that has a steel wire frame at the top, which snaps into place, enabling it to maintain its structure even when collapsed. 

    This cooler comes in two sizes: 30 cans and ice and 50 cans and ice. Both sizes are built to retain temperatures with their leakproof insulation composed of three layers, which guarantees your beach nights will be fraternal to your days. Besides, with robust handles on both sides and velcro top handles making it portable, carrying it around is a piece of cake. Lastly, embedded in one of the straps is a bottle opener, so missing one would be one less thing to worry about.

    Clevermade Collapsible Cooler Bag

    Price on Publishing Date: $45 (8-gallon)

    Specifications: 18.25 x 12.25 x 11.5 inches | 50 cans | 2 pounds

    Why We Cherish It

    The compact size is perfect for short beach trips.

    What to Reflect On

    RTIC ice packs are the only ice packs that fit in it, and they are sold separately. 

    When you need to chill a few drinks, avoid bulky coolers. RTIC created the perfect solution for such moments, even though it does not work with regular ice, and it is highly reliant on RTIC Ice Packs and closed-cell foam insulation. The zippers make accessing your drinks easy, and the built-in bottle opener is detachable for convenience. 

    RTIC 6-Can Everyday Cooler

    The bottom is coated to avoid contacting wet surfaces, and it is even collapsible for more compact storage. However, the fact that it has a fabric zipper means that liquid may spill if not handled with care. 

    Price on Publishing Date: $30

    Specifications: 8.5 x 7.5 x  6 inches | 6 cans | 1.2 pounds | 12 hours for cold-holding

    Indeed a cooler that is 100% leak and waterproof is a rare find. That said, when choosing a cooler, excellent ice retention is a vital consideration. With features that spark leak prevention, such as airtight waterproof zippers (for soft coolers), locks (for hard coolers), and a thick reinforced bottom to prevent the bottom from getting holes, it's even better. 

    You need to think about how you will use the cooler. If you need a day-long beach trip or more, it would be smart to pick a rolling cooler. A backpack cooler is handy for a portable choice, but the greatest weight you can comfortably carry is what you should pack. As a result, prioritize spaciousness if you plan to hang out with a large group for drinks, snacks, and maybe lunch.

    Questions & Answers

    What is the ideal amount of ice to put in a cooler?

    The perfect ice-to-content ratio is 2:1 — meaning 2/3 of the cooler is ice, and the rest is food and drinks. Real ice in a soft cooler is not advisable due to leakage issues. We suggest using ice packs due to their leak-resistant nature. 

    How long do coolers maintain coldness?

    This depends on the kind of cooler in use. Here's an overview of how long coolers can hold coldness:

      Premium hard cooler: ice lasts between 2 to 6 daysSoft cooler: ice lasts 12-18 hoursStyrofoam cooler: ice lasts 12-30 hoursThe type of ice used also influences ice retention capacity. Large blocks of ice frequently last more than smaller cubes (Up to 2 days!). Consider opting for dry ice, which is even more efficient in retaining cold. In a well-insulated cooler, blocks of dry ice can last several days. On the other hand, it may only keep its temperature for roughly 16 to 24 hours if the cooler's insulation is limited. Choose wisely.

      Lifestyle and commerce writer Sarah Kester did extensive work on composing the list of beach coolers. The list is enriched by her experience of using coolers to carry cold drinks to summer beach days.

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