Just about everyone can benefit from having a quality cooler on hand. Whether you need one for camping, tailgating, or the occasional get-together, you’ll find plenty of great options on this list. These coolers are made with durable materials designed to keep drinks cold and food fresh for extended periods — sometimes for days — so you can focus on having fun instead of adding ice. Check out our top picks for the most popular cooler choices.
Buying your first cooler? Need a refresher on what options best fit your needs? Check out our guide on what to look for in a cooler.
BEST HARD COOLERS
If you’re looking for a rugged, wheeled cooler that can roll pretty much anywhere, consider the YETI Tundra Haul. The puncture-resistant NeverFlat Wheels are built to go for miles on even the toughest terrain. The padded, aluminum handle ensures comfortable, dependable towing, too. And, of course, the Haul boasts YETI’s legendary insulation and rotomolded construction for extreme durability and incredible ice retention.
- Capacity: 45 cans or 55 lbs. of ice
- Weight: 37 lbs. (empty)
The Igloo 70 Qt. Trailmate is loaded with features our customers love. For starters, with its Ultratherm Insulation and innovative Cool Riser Technology to keep it off the ground, this cooler provides four days of ice retention at minimum. The large, 10-inch Never-Flat wheels glide easily over tough terrain, while the telescoping, aluminum handle helps keep the cooler from bumping your legs during transport. Finally, the 70 Qt. Trailmate is loaded with convenient extras. Built-in bottle openers, four cup holders, a suspended food basket and two accessory holders add to this all-around impressive cooler.
- Capacity: 112 cans
- Weight: 34.7 lbs.
The Igloo 52 Quart Latitude Cooler has plenty of range for your next outdoor activity. And, it’s one of the best values. The domed lid allows for plenty of interior storage space and also features four built-in cupholders for added convenience. The swing-up handles can make for easy transport to and from your location. One reviewer raved about using this hard cooler on a weekend camping trip and how their items were still cold when they returned home two days later.
- Capacity: 85 cans
If you’re looking for a cooler tough enough to withstand the elements, the YETI V Series Stainless Steel Hard Cooler is more than up for the challenge. The stainless-steel body protects against wear and tear, while the stainless-steel latch loop offers an easy-to-use design. The durable cast aluminum hinges are built to last, and the deep seal drain plug is made to be leakproof. This heavy-duty cooler also features vacuum-insulated panels on all sides, including the lid, and utilizes the same cold-holder power as YETI Rambler drinkware.
- Capacity: 46 cans or 56 lbs. of ice
- Weight: 35 lbs. (empty)
Based on reviews from our customers, the Orca 40 Cooler is sure to make a big splash. One reviewer referred to it as the “coolest cooler,” noting its ability to stand up to the Florida heat. So, what makes this hard cooler such a popular choice? It offers durable, roto-molded construction and integrated insulation for maximum ice retention. This impressive temperature management can help keep your items fresh for up to 10 days. As an added bonus, the attached cargo net provides room for extra storage, while the lid gasket also makes for a secure seal.
- Capacity: 48 cans
- Weight: 30 lbs. (empty)
From tailgating before the big game to spending a day at sea, the Pelican 20 Quart Elite Cooler is built for durability and performance. The closed-cell foam insulation and freezer-grade gasket work together to provide extreme ice retention. The E-Z Groove handle also allows for easy carrying so you can travel comfortably, too. You’ll also love the integrated cup holders and metal locking clasp that doubles as a convenient bottle opener. Reviewers mention the great size, durable construction and quality temperature management as reasons why this hard cooler is their pick.
- Capacity: 15 cans or 19 lbs. of ice
- Weight: 12.52 lbs. (empty)
BEST SOFT COOLERS
Looking for a cooler you can carry on longer treks? There’s no better option than the top-rated YETI Hopper Backflip 24. The ergonomic straps fit comfortably on your shoulders, while the chest strap and waist belt (both removable) offer extra support if you’re traversing uneven terrain. Like other Hopper coolers, the BackFlip 24 features a puncture-resistant DryHide shell and ColdCell insulation to keep items cool and protected. Whether you’re walking the beach, hiking the backcountry or wading to your favorite fishing spot, the BackFlip 24 can be the perfect companion.
- Capacity: 20 cans or 25 lbs. of ice
- Weight: 5.3 lbs. (empty)
Boasting north of 1,000 five-star reviews, the YETI Hopper Flip 12 can certainly stake its claim to being one of the top soft coolers of the year. Reviewers praise this cooler for its overall look, size and how it keeps their items cold. Highlights include the DryHide Shell that’s waterproof, mildew-resistant, puncture-resistant and UV-resistant. The ColdCell Insulation helps keep your items chilled, while the HydroLok Zipper provides a tough barrier and a leakproof closure. The Hopper Flip 12 also includes a detachable shoulder strap and sturdy side handles for carrying.
- Capacity: 13 cans or 16 lbs. of ice
- Weight: 3.1 lbs. (empty)
Need a soft cooler that’s perfect for running errands, a quick park adventure or keeping your lunch cold at work? The Igloo Ringleader 16 Can Cooler Tote may be just the right match for you. It features MaxCold insulation with 25 percent more foam to keep items cooler for longer. Reviewers mention how they also like to add an ice pack or two to make sure their food or beverages stay even colder. The front zip pocket provides additional storage, while the attached bungee cords offer added convenience. The antimicrobial, leak-resistant liner also makes this tote easy to clean.
Keep the good times rolling with the Igloo Ringleader Extreme 36 Roller Cooler. This soft cooler comes equipped with Igloo’s MaxCold insulation with 25 percent more foam to keep your items perfectly chilled. It also includes an insulated lid with top hatch, front and side pockets and a bottle opener. Plus, the custom-built trolley system makes for easy transport to and from your next day of fun.
- Capacity: 36 cans
Rounding out our picks for the year’s best soft coolers is the Hydro Flask 26L Day Escape Soft Cooler Tote. Hydro Flask’s unique cold-retaining technology supports thicker insulation in the base where cooling power is often lost to help provide 36 hours of cold insulation. Plus, the TRU Zip zipper not only works to keep dust or dirt from getting into the interior, but it is also silent. Carry your items conveniently thanks to the dual carry straps with a removable cross-body strap and comfortable shoulder straps. Weighing in at just under 3.5 lbs. when empty, this soft cooler is designed to hold up against the weather and usage without weighing you down.
- Capacity: 42 cans (without ice)
- Weight: 3.4 lbs. (empty)