The Best Coolers for Every Summer Activity
These picks will keep your provisions cool on the beach, in the backyard, in the car, or on your back.
If your favorite season is cooler season, we're here to help prep for it. Here are our picks for the best coolers for different environments, from the beach to the backwoods, and many different occasions, including picnics and family reunions.
- Best for Camping: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
- Best for Backyard Cookouts: VINGLI Wagon Rolling Cooler Ice Chest
- Best Wheely Cooler: Igloo Island Breeze Roller Cooler
- Best for Hiking: Hudson Sutler Chatham Cooler Pack
- Best for Family Beach Day : Rovr Rollr Cooler
- Best for a Road Trip: YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
- Best Personal: YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler
- Best for a Boat: Igloo BMX Cooler
Cool for Camping: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
YETI is considered the best when it comes to outdoor performance, and it's worth the investment when you consider the years of serious use you'll get out of your cooler. The Tundra series comes in a variety of sizes depending on your needs, but the 45 holds up to 26 cans at the recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio. Empty, it weighs 23 pounds, but once filled, plan to partner up to carry it to your campsite. It's ultra-sturdy construction can handle the outdoors, and it's certified bear-resistant, making it the ideal option for camping. Think of it as the armored car of coolers. Plus, all Tundra models come standard with one dry goods basket.
Shop Now: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, $299.99, amazon.com.
Backyard Cookouts: VINGLI Wagon Rolling Cooler Ice Chest
While you're getting your grill on, wheel this ice chest to just about any part of the patio or lawn. The 10-inch inflatable wheels comfortably navigate outdoor-party terrain and casters lock the wheels in place when stationary. The capacity to keep up to 96 cans cool for 48 hours means you won't constantly have to refill. Plus, the built-in bottle opener with bottle cap catcher makes self-service easy for guests.
Shop Now: VINGLI 80 Quart Wagon Rolling Cooler Ice Chest, $129.99, amazon.com.
Hands-Free Backpack: Hudson Sutler Chatham Cooler Pack
On the move or on the trail? This is the cooler pack for when hands-free is key. Stylish and functional, its adjustable straps won't dig in to your shoulders. With a water repellent exterior and rust-proof zipper, hiking by—or in—a stream or sun shower is no problem. The heat-sealed waterproof liner and insulation keeps things cold on the inside. Stash your shades, sunscreen, and keys in the two zippered pockets. We also like that you can personalize it with a monogram.
Shop Now: Hudson Sutler Chatham Cooler Pack, $135, hudsonsutler.com.
Wild About Wheely: Igloo Island Breeze Roller Cooler
Everyone loves a wheely. With a push of a button, the telescoping handle slides up and down, so there's no need to hunch over here. The soft-ride sport rally wheels work with both a push and pull, providing more flexibility. The exterior is UV resistant so it's great for day outings on a boat or at the beach.
Shop Now: Igloo Island Breeze 28 Quart Roller Cooler, $42.19, amazon.com.
Family Friendly Beach Day: Rovr Rollr Cooler
Consider this the monster-truck of coolers. This heavy-duty option is all about mobility. The 9-inch rubber tires—no plastic rollers here—are puncture resistant and stay afloat in deep sand. It's also big enough to hold provisions for an all-day beach outing with kids and friends. The deep-freeze dry bin is perfect for storing meats, breads, fruits, and vegetables separate from drinks, so serving lunch is a snap. It also comes with a convenient pop up storage bin to haul extra gear on top while rolling to and from your destination. Best of all, it's easily cleaned of sand and salt spray.
Shop Now: Rovr Rollr 60 Quart Cooler, $368.95, amazon.com.
Road Trip: YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
What's a road trip without tasty sips and snacks? The compact, yet heavy duty Roadie is 9-by-13 3/4 inches in size and weighs 15 pounds when empty. And the handle folds down for space saving economy in the car, and ice stays ice with the PermaFrost insulation. It also comes in a rainbow of color choices to keep things cute as the miles go by.
Shop Now: YETI Roadie 20 Cooler, $299.99, amazon.com.
Boat-Worthy: Igloo BMX Cooler
Whether sailing or fishing, fill up this Igloo and enjoy the sun and sea. The extra-thick foam walls and insulated lid can keep ice from melting for up to four to five days at 90ºF. Weighing less than 19 pounds when empty, it's considerably lighter than coolers of comparable size. Swing up, ergonomic, rubber handles and four tie-down points on the lid are the design details that can handle rigors on deck. Plus, it comes with its own fish ruler.
Shop Now: Igloo BMX 72 Quart Cooler, $129.99, amazon.com.
Portable and Personal: YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler
The ultimate grab-and-go soft cooler, this option is great for solo beach time and beyond. The personal cooler is leakproof and lightweight, with capacity for up to six cans plus ice. The wide-mouth flip top gives easy access to what's inside. YETI's ColdCell™ insulation and airtight zipper keeps cold items cold for days. Flip Coolers can be carried three ways: with the adjustable and detachable shoulder strap, the top handle or the end handles. Portable is no problem.
Shop Now: Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler, $222.56, amazon.com.