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Best Hard Coolers in 2024

Overview

Whether you're heading to the beach, tailgating before your favorite sports event, or camping in the wilderness, it's critical to keep your food and beverages cool. Fortunately, the market is brimming with high-quality coolers capable of handling anything from day getaways to week-long expeditions. We've compiled a list of our best hard coolers and ice chests below for you to have an overview of the products.

Top picks:

Also be sure to check out our guide on the best small coolers.

Reviews

1. Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler 

Best Overall

Specification

  • Brand: YETI
  • Color: Desert Tan
  • Material: Polyester
  • Capacity: 75 Quarts
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 33.25 x 18 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 34 Pounds
  • Included Components: Tundra cooler
  • Insulation Material: Polyurethane Foam
  • Chamber Depth: 33.25 Inches

Pros: 

  • Incredible ice retention
  • Sturdy build
  • Excellent for boats or lengthy car journeys

Cons: 

  • Expensive 
  • Cumbersome

Product's Summary

The sturdy rotomolded construction of the Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler makes it durable enough to be certified as bear-resistant. The cooler's three-inch-thick PermaFrost insulation and ColdLock seal keep ice frozen for days. You may anticipate at least a week of sub-zero temps inside if you've filled it up with enough ice.

It contains 50 cans and also has a dry goods basket for storing a variety of products above the ice. Its non-slip BearFoot feet and AnchorPoint tie-down points assist you in securely transporting the cooler in the bed of a vehicle or on a boat.

Do the majority of individuals need this degree of cooling? Most likely not. However, whether you're a serious fisherman, on a road trip and want to be self-sufficient, or stocking a cottage or campground for an extended stay, you'll be delighted you have the Yeti Tundra 75 at your disposal with no buyer's regret.

Simply keep in mind that the cooler weighs 30 pounds empty, so if you have difficulty handling bigger items, you may want to explore elsewhere.

2. Coleman Insulated Portable Thermoelectric Cooler

Best Premium

Specification

  • Brand: Coleman
  • Color: Silver
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 40 Liters
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 23.5 x 15.3 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight: 0.11 Kilograms
  • Included Components: Cooler
  • Model Name: PowerChill
  • Team Name: Coleman

Pros: 

  • Reasonable pricing 
  • Robust construction 
  • Huge capacity
  • A well-known heritage brand

Cons: 

  • The lid's hinges are prone to cracking

Product's Summary

This is the cooler your father carried on family camping excursions; it is the cooler from your youth, and it remains an excellent purchase.

Coleman Insulated Portable Thermoelectric Cooler holds 63 regular 12-ounce cans and is tall enough to handle upright two-liter soda bottles with the top closed. It's robust enough to serve as a seat while being lightweight enough for one reasonably fit person to lift alone or for two people to comfortably carry down the dock, into the park, or onto the beach. 

The cooler weighs around seven pounds when empty, allowing you to easily pull it up into the top shelf of the garage for storage.

The Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler has a built-in drain to allow any spilled drinks or ice melt to drain without emptying the whole contents, although, for the record, there won't be much meltwater if the lid is secured most of the time. 

This cooler maintains three days' worth of ice even when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, this cooler is manufactured in the United States.

3. YETI Hopper Flip 12 Portable Soft Coole

Best Budget Cooler

Specification

  • Brand: YETI
  • Color: Charcoal
  • Material: Foam
  • Capacity:15 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 14 x 11 x 14 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.7 Kilograms
  • Insulation Material: Foam
  • Chamber Depth: 10 Inches
  • Chamber Height: 11.5 Inches
  • Chamber Width: 10 Inches

Pros: 

  • Keeps ice cold for many days 
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps make transportation simple and pleasant
  • High-quality and robust construction

Cons: 

  • Expensive

Product's Summary

With enough room to transport around 20 cans of beer or soda (with ice) or 25 pounds of ice, the YETI Hopper Flip 12 Portable Soft Cooler has plenty of usable cooler space. Yeti built it to distribute weight evenly, and its detachable hip belt and ergonomic shoulder straps make it easy to carry, whether it's along a lengthy walk to the beach or a few feet to your garden. 

Additionally, Yeti incorporates their HydroLok Zipper, which helps prevent contents (i.e. water from melting ice) from seeping out, and its ColdCell Insulation, which is capable of retaining ice for many days (something we've tried and verified often).

As with many Yeti items, the Hopper 24 is not inexpensive, coming in at $300. Yeti, on the other hand, constantly outperforms quality standards, and this backpack cooler is no exception – it'll become one of your favorite pieces of go-to gear for many, several years.

FAQs

1. What is the purpose of a portable cooler?

The cooler's insulating layer, which is often foam or plastic, along with the ice you put inside—either ice cubes or ice packs—slows the passage of heated air within the cooler and keeps everything chilly.

2. Is it possible to keep food chilled in a portable cooler without ice?

Yes, although not as long as when the cooler is also filled with ice. The cooler's insulation stops the food from warming up as soon as it would if left outdoors. 

How long food remains cool in a cooler without ice is determined by the original temperature of the food and the temperature within the cooler. Food, especially frozen food, can warm up considerably more quickly in a cooler place.

3. How long does a cooler maintain its temperature?

This depends on the cooler's insulation effectiveness, the outside temperature, the beginning temperature of the food, and the way the food is piled. With ice in the cooler (a requirement), food can keep cold for up to two to four days under optimal circumstances, and up to ten days in a high-end cooler.

4. Are Hard Coolers Better Than Soft?

Hard coolers often provide much greater insulation and protection (both inside the cooler and on the exterior). Additionally, they have features that soft coolers do not, such as drainage plugs and wheels for convenient movement. 

Many of them are also fitted with bear-resistant latches and locks, so you won't have to worry about leaving them outdoors at camp.

If you're looking for a cooler that can be stored in your garage or car and taken to the field, beach, or camp, a hard cooler is preferable. 

However, if you want to transport it over long distances or are worried about weight, a soft cooler may be preferable. The best course of action is to purchase one of each!

Final Words

What you truly need—and what all great outdoor parties need—is a hard cooler that is difficult to tilt, keeps your food and drinks cold when you need them, and helps avoid spills in the back of your vehicle or on your one-and-only outdoor blanket, owing to its thick, sturdy walls. Finding the best hard coolers, whether you're packing for a lunchtime family picnic or a multiday camping trip, can make your journey that much more fun. 

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