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Best Coolers for the Money

Expert Reviews & Buying Guide

quadcopter reviewsBest Coolers for the Money

Our Recommendations

In a hurry? Here are the best products at a glance.

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How to Choose the Best Cooler for the Money

Anyone who enjoys camping knows it: sometimes, camping gear can get a little pricey. But it doesn’t have to be, and that’s where we come in! We’re here to help you choose a cooler that won’t break your bank, but still works exactly how you want it to! Before we get started, let’s take a look at some general information about coolers. This will help you choose the right cooler for you!

Best Coolers for the Money

Type: There are generally two types of coolers. You automatically think of the hard-sided version, which is durable and sturdy, but there are also soft coolers. These are insulated and help keep smaller items chilled for longer.

Best Coolers for the Money

Wheels: Wheels can help tremendously when you’re setting up camp, or moving from place to place on an adventure. Some hard (and even soft) coolers come equipped with wheels that can easily tackle different terrain and making transport a breeze.

How to Choose the Best Cooler for the Money

Capacity: Depending on the cooler, this can be measured in either cans or quarts. Cans are the most practical information, as it tells you how many beverages you can carry. The coolers on our list have greatly varied capacities.

Best Coolers for the Money

Color: It’s not always easy to get all of your camping or adventuring gear in the right color. Stylish outdoors enthusiasts will know the importance of knowing what color their cooler, or any other piece of gear might come in.

Best Coolers for the Money

Size: The dimensions of the cooler will also help you determine how much will fit into it, and also if you have room for it in the back of your car. This is good to know before you buy.

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Warranty: If something breaks or ceases to function within the warranty period, the company will in most cases send you a replacement at no additional charge. Take advantage of this to protect against manufacturing errors.

Top 10 Products

Now that you’ve learned all about coolers, we can get to our best cooler reviews. We’ve definitely had to look through a ton of different products to bring you this list, but that’s okay! Now you don’t have to do any of the tedious research. These different sized coolers are the best of the best. Take a look at our top pick and budget pick before looking through the rest of the list!

YETI Hopper TWO Cooler

YETI Hopper TWO Cooler
The YETI Hopper Two is one of the best YETI coolers for the price. This brand is well-known and well-loved in the outdoor equipment industries. It’s large for a portable bag-style cooler, which means that it can hold more food and beverages for your long trips. The outside is covered in a DryHide shell that won’t leak or get damaged even in the worst weather conditions, so it’s a perfect companion for going with you, wherever your destination is. The tapered body and zipper design make hauling this cooler easy, but it also makes it easier to get at the stuff that you’ve put inside. The zipper is even leakproof, as the design is the same as the zipper in a HazMat suit. That’s pretty incredible! Cold gets locked in for longer and doesn’t seep out at the entrance like some other coolers. We absolutely love the design elements and technology behind this cooler. It’s well worth it!
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Igloo Ice Cube Cooler

Igloo Ice Cube Cooler
As for the best value cooler, we’ve chosen the Igloo Ice Cube. It’s a huge 60-quart hard-sided cooler that you’re going to want to take with you if you’re camping in one spot or car camping for long periods of time. It can carry a lot, and with the insulated body, it will all stay cold for a long time. The handle telescopes out, and you can easily wheel it around your campsite to put it where you need it. The wheels are durable and the handle is reinforced, making it that much easier to transport the cooler with stuff in it. The handles are the sides are molded, so you don’t have to worry about attachments that will pop off when loading and unloading. Basically, for the money that you’re spending, you’re getting a lot of convenience features and a lot of function on this big cooler. It’s large enough to carry a ton of stuff!
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CleverMade Collapsible Cooler

CleverMade Collapsible Cooler
CleverMade makes one of the best large coolers that also collapses for easy storage when not in use. It’s a soft-sided cooler that can hold an amazing 50 cans when it’s popped up, plus the ice to keep them cool. It’s reusable and saves you space in the off-time. The interior is insulated and leak-proof, so you can keep everything cold for longer periods of time. The fabric on the outside and the straps are made of a rip-stop fabric that will resist weather and harsh conditions, as well as tearing and wear. It has duffel bag handles for easy loading and unloading and holds its shape when it’s not collapsed down. There’s a front zippered pocket as well, separate from the cooling compartment, and a built-in bottle opener. With all of these features, the price is almost criminal. This affordable cooler will definitely make your next adventures memorable and exciting! We love that it’s insulated all around.
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Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler

Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler
Coleman is the king of quality products at an affordable price, and their Steel-Belted cooler is no different. It’s extremely heavy duty, with a capacity that holds up to an astounding 85 cans without breaking a sweat. The retro design is cute, and we love the green of this particular model. 54 quarts is a lot of cooler to fill, and you’re going to need two people to help move it at capacity. The best thing about it is that the ice will be retained for up to four days at a time, in temperatures up to 90 degrees. These features alone make this the best Coleman cooler on our list. Plus, it’s resistant to rust and has comfort-grip handles made of steel, so that they won’t break under the strain of up to 85 beverages at once. That’s pretty amazing! Think of all the large group outings you could facilitate with this extra-large size cooler!
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Coleman Xtreme Series Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Series Cooler
This hard-sided Coleman cooler has wheels for its large capacity, and we think that’s a really neat and convenient feature. The heavy-duty wheels will easily transport your cooler across a variety of different terrain and environments. If you want to go on picnics with large groups of people, this is definitely the cooler for you. The handle telescopes out for easy pulling and becomes smaller when you aren’t using it to help increase storage space. The lid and walls are insulated and provide a full five days of ice without it melting. One of the best parts of this cooler is perhaps superficial, but the cup holders on the lid are really useful because you can use it as a table while you’re camping. It’s great for fishing and tailgating trips as well, and easily one of the best coolers for the money that we could find. Plus, the molded handles make it easy to load and unload.
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Picnic Time Topanga Cooler

Picnic Time Topanga Cooler
The Topanga Cooler by Picnic Time is a soft-sided cooler with a large enough capacity to hold up to 24 cans and ice. It’s durable, made of polyester, and the contrast stitching to whichever one of their amazing colors you choose will look amazing! There are two handles, as well as a lined and insulated, with heat-sealed seams to make sure that it doesn’t leak from the inside. We love the lifetime warranty and satisfaction guarantee, as the large interior. You can carry it like a purse, and there’s a separate pocket on the outside to keep your keys, phone, or other stuff in outside of the insulated pocket. It’s great for all types of outdoor activities, and you can even take it grocery shopping with you to keep all of your freezer foods nice and frozen until you get home. This bag is stylish and effective, and what more could you want from a tote bag-cooler combo?
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Igloo Playmate Elite Cooler

Igloo Playmate Elite Cooler
Of course, Igloo is back on our list with the best cooler for the money – the Playmate Elite. This is a smaller cooler that can hold about 16 cans, but that makes it perfect for a day trip or a fishing trip. It’s got a vintage design that we’re sure you’ve seen elsewhere, as well as a locking lid that will help keep any spills and water inside the cooler. That’s invaluable if you’re putting it in the back of a car! You can open the top by way of a push button that you can easily find with one hand, so there’s no complicated opening mechanism. The easy-carry handle to make sure you get this cooler where you need it is molded in so it’s sturdy and won’t break off under the weight. Plus, the lid moves to the sides so you can easily get what you need to! This is a convenient smaller cooler that’s affordable!
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GigaTent Collapsible Cooler

GigaTent Collapsible Cooler
The GigaTent Collapsible Cooler is an excellent addition to our list. It’s a larger cooler than some of the other son our list, boasting a fully insulated interior that will help to keep things cold for hours at a time. It’s made of lightweight fabric that’s also durable and resistant to tears, so you can feel confident taking it anywhere. It is the perfect beer bottle cooler because it can hold up to 30 bottles at any one time. You and your friends will have plenty of beverages! It collapses when you’re done using it and has a clip that keeps it closed so you can easily store it without the bulk. It includes a few nifty extras, including a front storage pocket, two hand straps, and a metal bottle opener so you can keep the drinks flowing. It’s great for carrying anything and everything you need, no matter what your destination is or what activities you have planned.
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TOURIT Soft Pack Cooler

This soft-sided cooler by TOURIT can hold up to twenty cans at a time and comes in an attractive blue color. There are three insulation layers that will help keep things cold for up to three days, which is pretty remarkable for a soft-sided cooler. The outside surface is waterproof to make sure that it won’t sweat, and this tough outer shell is nice and durable as well. The interior has an antimicrobial liner so nothing will mold or mildew, and the zipper is assured to keep the cold in instead of leaking out. It’s the perfect size for fitting in the trunk of the car, and the straps and handles make it super easy to carry no matter how weighed down it is. It’s a great cooler for the price and for all of the features that come with it! We love the Impact-resistant outside and the leak-proof interior really adds another level of security to this amazing cooler!
This soft-sided cooler by TOURIT can hold up to twenty cans at a time and comes in an attractive blue color. There are three insulation layers that will help keep things cold for up to three days, which is pretty remarkable for a soft-sided cooler. The outside surface is waterproof to make sure that it won’t sweat, and this tough outer shell is nice and durable as well. The interior has an antimicrobial liner so nothing will mold or mildew, and the zipper is assured to keep the cold in instead of leaking out. It’s the perfect size for fitting in the trunk of the car, and the straps and handles make it super easy to carry no matter how weighed down it is. It’s a great cooler for the price and for all of the features that come with it! We love the Impact-resistant outside and the leak-proof interior really adds another level of security to this amazing cooler!
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MIER Soft Cooler

This MIER Soft Cooler is well-insulated and great at protecting from spills. It’s the best cooler that also doubles as a lunch box – and holds up to 24 cans as well. It’s not bulky at all and is easy to carry. There is one main compartment that is insulated for all of the cold stuff, as well as a front zipper pocket in a separate compartment and two side Velcro-closed pockets for all of the other things that you need to carry with you, including bottle openers, keys, and additional snacks. The zipper is a really nice construction that feels and works great. We love all the storage space in this bag! It has a soft padded handle on the top, so you can carry it how you like, as well as a removable shoulder strap! It’s great for small picnics and outdoor adventures, or as a lunch bag to keep snacks and all of your favorite break-time items in.
This MIER Soft Cooler is well-insulated and great at protecting from spills. It’s the best cooler that also doubles as a lunch box – and holds up to 24 cans as well. It’s not bulky at all and is easy to carry. There is one main compartment that is insulated for all of the cold stuff, as well as a front zipper pocket in a separate compartment and two side Velcro-closed pockets for all of the other things that you need to carry with you, including bottle openers, keys, and additional snacks. The zipper is a really nice construction that feels and works great. We love all the storage space in this bag! It has a soft padded handle on the top, so you can carry it how you like, as well as a removable shoulder strap! It’s great for small picnics and outdoor adventures, or as a lunch bag to keep snacks and all of your favorite break-time items in.
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