Rolling coolers are an essential piece of entertaining equipment, particularly during the summer months when activities move outside. There are many different brands and sizes to choose from, each of which will keep your ice and/or beverages cool for varying lengths of time. The better ones stay cold inside for up to ten days, but you’ll have to pay for this type of quality. There are, of course, some midrange options as well, that split the difference between efficiency and cost.
Many brands have been making coolers for decades, and have really perfected their specific patented technology. There’s an option for everyone, so we listed some of the best wheeled coolers to buy now, so you can take your entertaining with you wherever you go.
Best Overall: YETI Tundra Haul
Keeps cold for a long time
YETI is the best option in coolers period, let alone the rolling category. These coolers are built tough and really do an excellent job of keeping food and drink cold for days due to their trademarked Permafrost insulation and rubber T-Rex latches that seal the lid tightly.
The Tundra Haul was the brand’s first wheeled cooler and has two large wheels that will stand up to any terrain and an aluminum handle that makes it easy to pull behind you. YETI is certainly not the cheapest option, but you are paying for very high quality here.
Best Splurge: KONG Cruiser
Keeps ice from melting for days
Lifetime warranty to cover most issues
This is a durable and effective cooler, but it’s definitely a splurge at around $500 on most websites. The KONG Cruiser has a volume of 50 quarts, meaning it can hold up to 40 12-ounce cans or 30 pounds of ice. The latches are made out of rigid nylon and stainless steel, so the cold stays inside, and nothing will work its way in to contaminate your stuff. The wheels are large and rugged enough, so you don’t have to worry about them popping off or wearing down. And if you do run into any problems, it’s covered by a lifetime warranty, which is to be expected when you are dropping this much cash on a cooler.
Best Budget: Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme
More affordable than other models
Keeps cold up to five days
You can sit on the lid
Not as solidly built as other options
Wheels not as durable
Coleman is a reliable brand that makes inexpensive but dependable coolers, such as this 50-quart model. It holds up to 84 cans and will keep ice for up to five days—features that are pretty good for something that costs less than $100.
The Have-A-Seat lid means you can plunk down on top of this cooler to enjoy your beverage, as it supports up to 250 pounds, or use one of the cup holders on top. And the easily extendable handle and steady wheels mean taking this cooler with you is incredibly easy.
Related: The Best Soft Coolers
Best for Beach: Pelican Elite
Works well in sand or other terrain
Keeps cold for up to 10 days
The hardest part about bringing a rolling cooler to the beach is being able to actually pull it through the mounds of sand, and fortunately, Pelican has made this a simple task with its Elite model. In addition to being able to hold ice for up to ten days and having a built-in bottle opener, this tank-like cooler has large wheels that can trudge through sand, dirt, gravel, whatever you put in its way (within reason, of course). This is on the heavier side of things, but that durable build makes this a good summertime beach option.
Best for Camping: RovR RollR
Wheels are hard to puncture
Dry bin keeps things from getting wet inside
If you are car camping, you want a good cooler that will keep your perishable and cans of ice-cold beverage of choice cool for days, and be easy to roll to your campsite. RovR RollR makes coolers of various sizes that are perfect for pulling up by the campfire.
They keep your ice intact for up to ten days, the tires are puncture-resistant, and you can even install a Deepfreeze dry bin to keep your food and bottles from getting wet. These coolers are bear-resistant as well, making them the perfect pick for your visit to the backcountry.
Best Compact: Igloo Latitude
Small and easy to transport
Telescoping handle folds up
Hard to store ice and drinks inside at the same time
Sometimes you are keeping your festivities small, and there’s really no need for a gargantuan 75-quart cooler. Igloo makes this Latitude model, which is big enough to fit 43 cans of beer, but small enough to throw in the car and still have space for all your other stuff.
Features include THERMECOOL® insulation to ensure your ice and drinks stay cold, and an elevated bottom so that even if it’s on a hot surface things will stay frosty inside. The telescoping handle makes this easy to pull up to the party as well.
Best Large Capacity: Trinity 100 Quart Ice Chest Cooler
One of the largest options
Good-looking stainless steel design
Hard to move from home
A large capacity cooler is probably one you’ll want to keep at home, even though it can be easily wheeled around. Still, something this big is great to have for a party, and this one from Trinity has some other great features besides being able to hold 120 cans.
The stainless steel design is eye-catching, and handles on each side mean you can move it around easily with a few bottles on the bottom tray if you decide to make a cocktail. When you are done using and ready to clean, it drains easily and any leftover water is easily removed.
Related: The Best Beer Koozies
Best Duffel: Ogio Pulley Cooler
Outside pockets good for storage
Liner inside keeps things cold
Doesn’t work as well as hard shell models
This duffel-style cooler from Ogio isn’t huge, but it holds up to 36 cans making it big enough to entertain. The soft outer material is full of zipper pockets and mesh side bags, so you can store utensils and anything else you like on the outside without worrying about it getting cold or wet. And on the inside, the PEVA cooler liner keeps your ice and drinks cold for a decent amount of time. This won’t work as long as some of the bigger, hard-shell models, but it works great for a night outside.
The best overall wheeled cooler is the Tundra Haul from YETI (view at Amazon). The brand is known for its toughness and durability, and really works to keep your ice intact and beverages cold for days on end. The lid seals tightly, and the wheels work well on most surfaces you’ll be pulling it over. This is at the higher end of the price range, but it’s well worth it.
What's the average size of a rolling cooler?
Size really varies, but rolling coolers generally range from 40 to 100 quarts. In general, the larger the volume, the heavier the cooler will be.
How many cans/bottles will it fit?
This depends on the size, but a 50 quart cooler can hold up to 75-80 cans, and a 100 quart cooler will hold about 120 cans. If you’re putting ice inside as well, this will limit the amount of bottles or cans you are storing inside.
How is it best to clean/care for a rolling cooler?
Most rolling coolers come with a drain to let out the excess water once ice has melted. When you are done using it, they are easy to clean using simple household cleaners and a cloth. It’s best to dry them completely before closing and storing so you don’t get any mold growing inside.
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Jonah Flicker is an experienced writer who has been covering spirits and traveling the world visiting distilleries for many years. His work has appeared in many different national outlets covering trends, new releases, and the stories and innovators behind the spirits. His first love remains whiskey, but he is partial to tequila, rum, gin, cognac and all things distilled.
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