Best cooler of 2018
We are in the heart of summer and ice chests, coolers, and insulated bags are as ubiquitous as sunglasses and iced coffee. RovR Wheeled coolers at the beach, the campground,festivals, and concerts. They’re on boats, fishing trips, and hunting trips. In truck beds,backyards, and by swimming pools and swimming holes. There are as many different uses for coolers and ice chests. As there are premium, feature-rich coolers on sale like Yeti, Coleman, Rtic, Igloo, Pelican, and RovR. To help prepare you for all that summer has to offer. We took a look at some of the top coolers of the season, and prepared a kind of ranking. A diverse group, some were better for some things than others, and one performed so well in so many categories that it rose straight to the top of the ice-pack.
Best Overall Cooler: The RovR RollR 60 Wheeled Cooler
The RovR RollR 60 isn’t cheap, but for a rotomolded wheeled cooler with full pneumatic wheels and intuitive ergonomic design, $399 is kind of a bargain. We found the Yeti and Orca a little tougher than the RovR, but you likely won’t put your cooler through what was endured by the ones we got our hands on. Only the Yeti was close in cooling ability, and the RollR was way easier to transport due to its wheels, offset handle, intuitive design, and optional bicycle hitch. And even if it hadn’t been the easiest and smoothest to transport, it still would get points for saving us a few trips: a unique wagon bin–as well as its massive storage capacity–got us from the Subaru to the camp or beach in one trip most times.
The internal dry bin was also great: it kept tall bottles, or bottles that had been opened already, upright for the haul. These features and its ten-day ice retention score sold us on the RovR RollR, and the many extras–including a built-in prep board, drink holders, and the aforementioned BikR bicycle hitch kit–were just extra.
Best cooler Ice Retention: Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler
None of the coolers performed better in ice retention than the Yeti coolers. It’s heavily insulated, and studily designed with thick rotomolded walls, and those features are key. The Yeti cooled to about twenty-five degrees with just five pounds of ice, and remained lower than room temperature for forty-eight hours in harsh testing conditions. On the merits of this performance, it would have overtaken the versatile RovR RollR 80 as our best overall pick if it featured a slightly higher capacity, and wheels. It offers wheels on the lower capacity Tundra Haul. It’s priced similar to the RovR, so it’s a choice between monster ice retention, and everything else.
Most Durable Cooler: Orca Classic Cooler
The third rotomolded cooler on this list, the Orca Classic was the second best insulated, most durable, and most uniform cooler we tested. Compared with the RovR and Yeti models, which each cost around $399, the $300 Classic is a good deal. Doesn’t stay as cool as the Tundra, and isn’t nearly as versatile as the RovR RollR, but it stood right up like Rocky after a few solid beatings. It limped behind the those coolers in capacity, however: it’s only fifty-eight quarts. The Orca comes with a lifetime warranty, while RovR and Yeti offer five year warranties. Of course, it’s easy to offer a lifetime warranty when you’re shipping indestructible coolers.
Best Price Value: Lifetime High Performance Cooler
So, each of the coolers reviewed so far have much to recommend them. But they’re pricey. But for what they offer, they’re worth it. So the Best cooler Price Value isn’t going to necessarily be the one that’s worth what you pay relative to what you get. The Best Price Value category is for the best cooler for a minimum of cash, and that’s the Lifetime High Performance Cooler at $100.
It doesn’t feel like a one hundred dollar cooler. It was test along with the others and stayed in the top five. At $300 less than the other coolers. It didn’t rank high in any category, but it stayed in the ring. And it beat out some much more expensive coolers, not to mention any names. It’s injection-molded, while the others are rotomolded; it has flimsy rope handles. But for a hundred dollars it boasts a pretty good capacity (sixty-two quarts, which is more than the pricier Orca), and it looks (and performs) like a much more expensive cooler.
Best Budget Cooler: Igloo MaxCold Cooler
If you need a cooler in a pinch, or you need a burner, or an extra, or one for the kids to take around so they don’t wreck your $400 RovR or Yeti, or your budget is just stretched, Igloo makes a great cooler for less than fifty dollars: the MaxCold Cooler for $45.
The MaxCold tested well enough to remain in the mix, and beat a few more expensive units in durability and drainage. It’s not pretty, by any means, but after a few years (hopefully) your cooler shouldn’t be.
There are as many different uses for coolers as there are coolers. This list is a quick glance at where to start. If you need a cooler you can bounce around the back of the truck, there are a couple here; Cooling cooler that will maximize your budget, there’s one here; Your cooler that will last forever, there’s one on this list; You need a coolest cooler that will keep ice ice cold for a really long time, there’s something on this short list. If you need a cooler that can do all of those things well, there’s the RovR RollR 60.