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These are the best coolers for backyard adventures and outdoor trips

Be prepared for every outdoor adventure, picnic or road trip with the best-insulated coolers by your side.

Published Jun 17, 2024
4 min. reading time
a Yeti blue cooler with wheels and handle, a red Yeti cooler box and a portable Igloo cooler

If you love all things outdoors —  camping, backyard parties, beaches and so on — coolers are a great investment.

They store everything from food and beverages to your prized catch of the day, all while keeping it fresh and cold. 

No one likes a hot can or soggy food on a day out, right?

Ready to join the cooler wave?

Whether you want to keep the drinks flowing in your backyard or are heading for a camping trip outdoors, here are the best coolers of 2024 to invest in.

Read more: Top toiletry bags for hassle-free travels

6 good coolers for every adventure

RTIC 52 QT Ultra-Light hard-sided Cooler in white and grey with rope handles
Best overall
RTIC 52 QT Ultra-Light Cooler
$199 at RTIC
Yeti Tundra 65 Hard Cooler in red with heavy duty latches
Perfect for camping
Yeti Tundra 65 Hard Cooler
$350 at Yeti
Hydro Flask 20L Carry Out Soft Cooler in baby blue with cross body straps
For day trips
Hydro Flask 20L Carry Out Soft Cooler
$89.95 at Hydro Flask
Coleman 316 Series Insulated Portable Cooler with Heavy Duty Handles in gray
For ice retention
Coleman 316 Series Insulated Portable Cooler with Heavy Duty Handles
$47.79 at Amazon

Best overall

RTIC 52 QT Ultra-Light hard-sided Cooler in white and grey with rope handles
Photo: RTIC

RTIC 52 QT Ultra-Light Cooler

You save $100.99 (33.66%)
$199$299.99

Specifications

  • Material: Rubber

  • Capacity: 49.2L

  • Weight: 21 lbs

Lightweight with plenty of functionality, this premium cooler has the same capacity as a standard cooler without the heavy weight.

Prioritizing performance and durability, it has a storage of 76 cans and 51 pounds of ice, nylon rope handles for a comfortable grip and foam insulation that can keep the cold for up to seven days. 

Tie-down slots allow you to securely secure the unit to a boat, truck bed, or any vehicle.

We especially appreciate its non-slip rubber feet that allow the cooler to serve as a bench, stool or tabletop when serving food.

Perfect for camping

Specifications

  • Material: High-density polyethylene 

  • Capacity: 65 L

  • Weight: 30.3 lbs

A large capacity, durable construction and high-performing features make this one of the best coolers for camping, fishing or barbecuing. 

With a 65-litre capacity, this unit can hold about 77 cans and 58 pounds of ice. Plus, its layered insulation keeps cold food and beverages cool and hot food hot. Whether you want to store your catch of the day or prepare a barbecue, it can do it all.

Meanwhile, the robust, bear-proof design ensures nothing, not even a grizzly bear or tough trails, will disrupt your outings.

It also comes with a five-year warranty for extra peace of mind.

Specifications

  • Material: Polyester

  • Capacity: 20 L

  • Weight: 2.75 lbs

This cooler is perfect for quick outdoor getaways.

Compact in size, but packed with big features, this lightweight accessory is ideal for those on the go.

A leakproof, easy-to-clean lined interior keeps food and drinks fresh for up to 24 hours, removable straps offer versatile carrying options and a compression molded base prevents your bag from spilling on the ground.

You can also store smaller accessories or essentials separately from your food in the exterior dry storage compartment.

Specifications

  • Material: N/A

  • Capacity: 49 L

  • Weight: 8.7 lbs

Looking for the best coolers for ice retention? This pick offers multi-day retention!

Featuring a fully insulated lid and body, this chest is designed to keep ice for up to three days in temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s not short on features, either.

Swing-up handles on either side allow two people to move the unit easily, a built-in cup holder prevents beverage spills and a roomy capacity and durable construction can hold up to 80 cans!

Plus, its lid also doubles as a seat — it’s perfect for outdoor events, picnics and camping.

For sand and rough terrain

Specifications

  • Material: Polyethylene

  • Capacity: 66 L

  • Weight: 34.7 lbs

Whether you're heading to the beach or trekking through rough terrain, this cooler is designed to make carrying all your essentials effortless.

This unit's flat, oversized wheels and telescopic handles coupled with its eco-friendly insulation make it easy to transport but also provide superior ice retention and loading capacity.

But the trailmate's star is its accessories: You’ll find a removable butler tray and food basket for holding drink cans and snacks, two pole slots for umbrellas or fishing rods, and a built-in bottle opener.

For portability

Specifications

  • Material: Polyethylene

  • Capacity: 32 L

  • Weight: 24.5 lbs

Don't want to carry your chest around all day? Invest in a high-quality wheeled cooler.

Featuring a retractable handle and oversized puncture-resistant wheels for easy mobility, this unit can be taken anywhere on long road trips or at tailgate celebrations.

Thanks to its freezer-quality gasket, it can accommodate 50 cans and 36 pounds of ice and wine bottles — all of which will remain perfectly cold.

Best of all? When you are on the road to your destination, you can transport your fully loaded cooler in the trunk of your hatchback, small SUV or small sedan.

What cooler stays cold the longest?

When choosing a quality cooler, these are the two accessories we recommend if ice retention is your main concern:

a variety of different beers in a large gray cooler outdoors
Photo: Pexels/ RDNE Stock project

What are the best coolers overall?

Need some help finding the right cooler for your needs? Here are the best models available depending on what you need:

Looking for an all-rounder? The RTIC 52 QT Ultra-Light Cooler  has plenty of function, capacity and mobility, making it perfect for every kind of outdoor adventure.

Want to snap up the best camping cooler? The robust, bear-proof design of the Yeti Tundra 65 Hard Cooler  fits the bill.

Shopping for the best-wheeled cooler? With easy-to-grip handles and robust wheels, the Yeti Roadie 32 Wheeled Cooler is easy to pack and roll around on uneven terrain.

Happy travels!


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Prices updated on 06/14/2024. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Lauren Pascal Professional Headshot
Written by
Lauren Pascal

A self-proclaimed ‘obsessed TikTok user,’ Lauren Pascal uses her knowledge to help readers shop for trendy new products. Lauren is also an experienced travel writer and recently wrote informative pieces for travellers during the pandemic.