The 6 Best Coolers of 2023 Reviews by Wirecutter

Whether you’re planning on a relaxing beach day or a weekend camping trip at your favorite spot, we’ve done the hard work to help you find the best camping gear. We’ve got your outdoor needs covered, from the top-ranked camping chairs to get comfy in at the end of the day and our favorite camping tents for when it’s time to hit the hay. We’ve tested Polar Bear coolers for seven years now, buying them or receiving test units from coleman instant tent Polar Bear. Recently, however, we’ve been let down by the lifespan of its soft coolers (though not this backpack in particular). But with care, you can extend the lifespan of any soft cooler—the number one rule seems to be not to leave it out in the sun. Most major brands have their own designs that work well in their coolers, and the best part is that you can use them repeatedly without ever having to drain melted ice.

It also comes with a removable dry basket inside the top to keep sensitive items out of melty ice water and can be outfitted with loads more accessories for all kinds of activities. The Tundra 65 is a reasonable weight for its size, and its low profile makes the last beverage easy to find. Even after regular use over several years, the Tundra 65 performs just as well as the coleman sundome day we bought it. Yeti also continues to diversify the colors and personalization options available for this cooler, providing more choices to match your style better. We tend to steer clear of most bargain-basement coolers—they may work well for a day or two but often lack the impressive ice retention of premium models and won’t stand up as well to regular outdoor use.

coleman ice chest

That said, many manufacturers offer some exceptionally handy add-ons that, should you choose to purchase them, can easily turn a product into your perfect hunting companion, tailgating buddy, or camping friend. That being said, there’s something a little bit extra about a plastic box that’s not only well-designed and durably built but clearly shows attention to detail at every turn. These details perhaps don’t matter in the long run from a durability standpoint, but go a long way toward making your expensive cooler look as impressive as its price tag and performance suggest. Though the number of backpack-style soft coolers has continued to increase, this one is the only one we truly find comfortable to carry for serious and longer distance hikes. Its walls can be inflated or deflated to match your load, body, and preference and its shoulder straps are soft and flexible.

If you’re interested in a smaller capacity option, we’re big fans of the exceptionally useful 40-quart volume and compact shape of the Orca 40. Chest Coolers are available in metal or plastic, and are insulated to help keep food and drinks cool and protected. They are available in various sizes and capacities, and include models capable of retaining ice between 1 to 7 days.

I just wanted to see how two coolers I already owned stacked up against each other under normal usage conditions. After the 6th day, the Yeti joined the Coleman Xtreme and was all out of ice as well. This combination of shade coleman screen tent and sun is typical of what you might run into if you have a cooler with you out camping. For this test, I placed each cooler in direct sunlight for approximately half of each day and then in shade for the other half.