Best Coleman Coolers
Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city for the weekend into the woods might be a great idea to spend time with the family. So you pack all the essentials you’ll need for the trip: tents, cooking items, food, sleeping bags, clothes, and your trusty cooler. It is often a neglected item that we forget to pack for an outdoor trip. It is an essential item to keep your food from spoiling. It is also used to keep your beverages cold.
For many years, Coleman has been a trusted brand when it comes to outdoor items such as tents, sleeping bags, and yes, coolers. They are known for the durability and quality of the products that they produce. It has been a household name known to many across the globe so finding a Coleman cooler is one of the best you can choose from.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Easy to clean
Affordable for a soft cooler
Good option for lunches in the workplace or in school
Small pockets outside can store keys, phones, and wallets
Top 10 Picks
1. Can Soft
Easy to clean
Affordable for a soft cooler
Good option for lunches in the workplace or in school
Small pockets outside can store keys, phones, and wallets
Not as durable as traditional coolers
Sewed on shoulder straps and cannot be removed
Zipper is made of plastic and may become undone after few uses
Portable and easy to use, this cooler is fit for a quick picnic trip in the park. It can also double up as a lunch bag for work or school.Read more
This is a soft type of cooler encased with a soft shell that can hold cold temperatures for a few minutes to hours. It features a soft PEVA liner embedded with antimicrobial properties for better sanitation.
Some use this as a large lunch box. However, this is specifically made for storing beverages with a maximum capacity of 30 cans.
This soft cooler is ideal for short trips in the park for picnics. It’s not suitable for extremely hot weather as items inside can only be insulated for a few minutes to an hour.
It is encased in a bag with a sling for easier portability. It’s also lightweight and will allow the extra use of your hands for other carry-on items. It also has adjustable straps for added comfort.
This product measures 12.2” X 9.65” X 13.78” and weighs 2.7 lbs. It’s made for easy transport of food items and beverages suitable for very short trips. This cooler features a removable hard plastic liner to make packing easier. You can also opt to use ice substitutes for this cooler. You can place small items like keys, jugs, and wallets in pouches found outside the bag.
2. Quart Personal Wheeled
Easily stored when not in use
Can hold beverage bottles upright
Suitable to use in the beach
Not very heavy and can be lifted easily
Doesn’t have any handles on the side and can only be wheeled for mobility
When cooler is packed to the hilt, it might be difficult to move it around and may slip occasionally on sandy terrains
Wheels may fall off with frequent use
This is a user-friendly, wheeled-type cooler that’s right on the budget for personal use. It is favored by users for storing beverages for food trucks and backyard barbecues.Read more
This is a hard-shelled, high-end cooler made for rough handling. The polyethylene material is used for extra durability.
It can store up to 16 quarts in weight. An estimated 22 cans of beverages can fit in this one portable cooler.
This cooler can keep your items inside cool for up to 2 days. For extreme heat conditions, it may allow up to more than a day.
Two wheels found at the bottom of the cooler makes it easier to transport items anywhere. Telescoping handles also keeps the cooler upright and easy mobility in rough terrains. It won’t require additional assistance to carry for this cooler.
This cooler is favored by some users due to its unique feature of keeping bottles upright. It weighs 5.5 lbs. and measures 15.4 X 14.9 X 10.8 inches. Unlike traditional coolers where cans and bottles are stored sideways, this cooler is lengthy compared to others. Wheels and retractable handles make it convenient for moving food and beverages in one go.
Easy to clean and maintain
Embedded cup molds conveniently keep your drink from spilling
Easy to carry
Cheaper compared to other brands of the same quality
If you’re carrying heavier goods, you need to have someone to assist you
Plastic connection enclosing the hinges could be a bit flimsy and might break with frequent use
Insulation may not work very well with temperatures beyond 97 degrees Fahrenheit
This is a cooler favored by hunters looking for storing raw meat. It’s durable and does a good job of keeping meat from spoiling up to days.Read more
This is a high-end cooler that can withstand rough handling. It comes in five colors: black, green, blue, tan, and white.
This product can hold up to 2 liters of bottled beverages upright. You can also store this with food and other produce needed for your trip.
It can keep items in storage cold for up to five days. It’s fitting for a weekend camping with the family or outdoor activities requiring food storage for less than a week.
This cooler comes with a sturdy handle on the side. It doesn’t have a wheeled option and will require assistance in carrying heavier weights.
This cooler is suitable for long weekend trips. Insulated lids keep the items in your storage cool even during hot days. Comfortable grip handles make it easier to transport goods from one place to the other. The have-a-seat lid will allow you to take in-between rests or use this as a temporary stool. It also has cup holders embedded in the cooler to place your cups should you have a drink during the trip.
Easily to clean and maintain
Fit for storing small jars and beverages
Durable lid hinges can withstand frequent usage
Provides good insulation with some users reporting it can still keep items cold up to 1 ½ days
Can only be used a personal cooler
Using ice substitutes may damage its walls
Can be bulky and heavy once ice and all other consumables are packed inside
Some users find this expensive compared to other similar products off the market
This is a handy personal cooler you can use for weekend trips. Fit for small gatherings as this cooler can hold up to 22 cans of beverages.Read more
It’s a personal, traditional cooler. It can be used to hold beverages or a small amount of meat from fishing or hunt.
It has a 16 quarts capacity so it can hold up an estimated 22 bottles of beverages. It may also be used to carry small amounts of food.
It’s a traditional type of cooler and can usually keep your items cold for up to a day. However, this may not work for extreme heat conditions beyond 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Comfortable grip handles make it easy to carry. It’s a good size a cooler for a weekend trip.
This 16-quart cooler is made for carrying beverages for a small gathering or work as cool storage for your food items. It has a sturdy large grip for easy grasping. This is one of the favored coolers for personal use. It weighs 4.3 lbs. and measures 15.8 X 11.9 X 11.2 inches.
5. Quart Steel-Belted Portable
Has a leak-resistant channel to drain melted ice from the cooler
Holds ice longer compared to other coolers
Good cooler to have for trips with temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
Durable cooler for prolonged use
Handles may feel a little flimsy
Drain channel is made of plastic and may keep preventing insulation of heat from the outside
Doesn’t come with a dry food storage tray
Due to its weight, some users might prefer having this with wheeler options for easier portability
This is a heavy-duty cooler fit for rugged terrains and rough handling. It is encased in industrial plastic that can hold a huge amount of weight fit for a week-long trip.Read more
This is a high-end cooler with a higher load capacity. Insulated walls are encased in stainless steel material for extra durability.
It has a huge storage capacity of up to 54 quarts. It can hold up to a week’s worth of goods or 84 bottles of beverages.
This cooler, if packed to the maximum capacity, can keep your items cold for up to 5 days on regular days. It can withstand higher temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and keep your consumables cold up to 4 days with this weather.
Grip handles to ensure that it can withstand heavy weights and won’t break off from the cooler. It can only be hand carried.
If you’re planning for a tailgate party or a week-long camping trip, this is a good sturdy cooler to store your food and beverages. It’s portable and easy to carry. Insulated lids keep your goods cold throughout the trip and retain ice longer for about 4 to 5 days. The cooler lid can carry up to 250 lbs. in weight so you can safely sit on it without breaking the item.
6. PowerChill Thermoelectric
Doesn’t require ice for it to become cold
Has molded handles for easy and comfortable grip
You won’t have to worry about your storage running out of ice
Safely store meat especially if you’re out for a hunt or fishing activity
Only works when it’s plugged to an electrical outlet
Fan may break down after several uses
Some users might find hand carrying this inconvenient
If you’ll be living in a trailer truck or boat for the next few weeks to months, this electric-type cooler will help keep your items cool for the trip. It keeps your consumables cold for days and hours without ice.Read more
This is an electric type of cooler that requires to be plugged to keep the cooler cold. It requires 12 V plug (60 Watts) for this cooler to function throughout the trip.
It can store up to 40 quarts in volume or 44 cans of beverages. You may also pack food ingredients and other consumable items for the long trip.
This cooler can cool below 40 degrees Fahrenheit without ice. It also comes with a storage tray to keep your items in place.
It can be hand carried with sturdy grips found on the sides. It may require some assistance if you’re carrying heavy loads for this cooler.
The PowerChill Cooler is designed for long trips whether camping, boat trips, or crossroad. This special type of cooler has a new motor design that cools content below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike tradition coolers, you can cool items inside without ice. This product weighs 19 lbs. and measures 17 X 15.3 X 23.5 inches.
7. Quart Performance
Hinged lid makes it easy to get items from the cooler
Flexible handles make it easy to grip upon transport
Can accommodate 2 Liter of bottles standing upright to keep from spilling
May not be suitable for individuals with limited physical mobility
Some users may complain that the handles are inconvenient
Doesn't have a drain plug
This is an easy to use cooler fit for families and outdoor activities. It’s favored by most outdoor enthusiasts looking for good storage for food and beverages.Read more
This is a traditional cooler fit for a weekend trip. It is encapsulated by a hard shell with a hinged lid for better insulation.
This cooler can hold up to 48 quarts or 63 cans of beverages. It is a good size to pack for consumable goods over a weekend trip.
It can retain ice for up to 3 days. If the weather is hotter than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it may only retain its coldness up to 1 to 2 days.
It can be hand carried easily from your truck to the camping site. However, with heavier loads, you may need someone to give you a helping hand to transport it.
This is a favorite item you usually see in many camping and outdoor items for storing food and beverages. It has an intermediate size of 19 X 16 X 17.1 inches and weighs about 7.2 lbs.
8. Quart Party Stacker
Can cater dishes so you’re set for pre-packed meals for this cooler
Lids are designed for stacking so if you have more than one cooler of this type, you can just stack it and keep it organized
Some users use this as a sous vide cooker
Lids may be used as a ‘countertop’ for cutting
Can only cool items up to a day
Lids are not hinged
This is a good storage for beverages for outdoor parties. It is a good personal cooler for a small gathering of a few beers, sodas, and some sandwiches.Read more
This is a small soft cooler suitable for stacking beverages. However, you can use this to store food for a quick picnic in the park.
Its capacity is 25 quarts or about 24 cans of beverages. It may also be used to keep soups and other consumables warm.
It can keep your items cold or warm for up for a few hours to a day. It doesn’t have the kind of insulating features, unlike traditional types.
It can only be hand carried. Seniors and other individuals with physical mobility may require assistance to carry this cooler.
This cooler offers a wide base so it’s not limited to beverages alone. You can pack a few 13 X 9 inches serving dishes in this cooler in one go. The molded handle on both sides makes for a comfortable grip during transportation. This product weighs 5 lbs. and measures 22 X 13.4 X 8.3 inches.
9. Can Soft
Easy to clean
Can be used as a lunch bag
Has a removable plastic liner
Some may find the cooler a little too spacious
Doesn’t come with an ice pack
Cords are not adjustable
This is a good cooler for storing lunch. You can easily turn this into a cooler fitting 9 cans of beverages anywhere at any time. For the moms, it makes for a suitable storage for baby bottles.Read more
This is a soft cooler fit for personal use. It comes in 4 colors: blue, gray, yellow, and red.
You can store beverages, sandwiches, or baby bottles for this type of product.
This cooler doesn’t have prolonged insulating capacity as that of a traditional hard-shelled cooler. But it does keep your contents cool for a few minutes to hours.
It’s an easy to carry bag. You can carry this hands-free as this is a sling bag.
This compact cooler is portable and easy to use. The seams are heat welded to keep it from leaking and maintain the coolness of the items within. The hard plastic liners are removable so you can pour out melted ice easily. If you’re using ice, you can use this with the hard plastic liner. For ice substitutes, you may need to remove it to keep the content dry and cold.
10. Quart Heavy-Duty Super
Affordable price for this type of cooler
Easy to drain melted ice with its two-way draining method
You can add a padlock to secure your goods
Requires two people to carry the cooler when in full capacity
For heavy-duty use, this Coleman cooler can withstand rough handling with a larger volume capacity. Fit for week-long camping and road trips.Read more
This is a high-end type of cooler. It contains an antimicrobial liner that resists molds, mildews, and odor from settling.
It can contain up to 85 quarts in weight. It also has a small tray for dry goods.
This cooler can retain ice in the cooler for up to 7 days. It can withstand around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has a flexible handle makes it easier to grip. It can be hand carried from one place to another.
This is a quality cooler fit for outdoor use. It can also store a large amount of meat after a hunt or fishing trip. It has a 2-inch sidewall to provide maximum insulation from the heat outside the cooler. This product also features a gasket seal surrounding the lid, storage baskets for storing other goods, dual drain for easy draining.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The type of cooler you choose will vary on the price, the material used, and insulating its abilities. You will usually encounter these types: traditional, soft, electric, and high-end coolers. Each has its own pros and cons and knowing what best works for your specific needs will help you maximize the type you’ll purchase. Traditional coolers are commonly available for purchase. The cooler is enclosed with an interior and exterior shell to maintain the temperature inside. It usually has a thicker insulator to keep retain ice for extended periods of time. Some traditional coolers also have lids that are insulated for added coverage against heat.
You will usually see these with a hinged lid and drain plugs on the bottom so you can easily drain melted ice. If you’re planning to go for a low-cost cooler that does the job, then this should be the type you should go for. However, be warned that the lids may have a tendency to break off and leaking may be experienced after some time of usage. High-end coolers are superior versions of traditional ones. The cooler is made of a single plastic shell injected with insulation. This is more durable, have denser walls, and have rubber gaskets to have better insulation abilities. High-end coolers are intended for rugged use and will have a higher cooling capacity. If you’re looking for a cooler that can keep your food and beverages cold up to six days, then this one is a good buy. These are usually sold at a higher price but you can expect this cooler to be durable and performs better than traditional ones.
Special types like electric coolers have built-in cooling systems. Instead of using ice, an electric motor is embedded in the mechanism similar to how a refrigerator functions. This device is either powered by your car’s cigarette lighter port or plugged in an electric socket to function. This is fit for those planning to take a cross-country trip in a truck. These items are small and require electricity to function so it’s not the best pick for a short vacation in the woods. Soft coolers are the most popular type used by many. These are smaller than traditional ones and usually easy to carry with you. They are usually in a backpack or sling style. These are usually used to carry food items for lunch or picnic in the park. Just as it is convenient, this type of cooler wouldn’t last very long since the cooler is not encased in a hard shell. It can only keep your food or beverages cold for only a few hours.
Coleman offers a wide range of cooler sizes. It is important to know the duration of the trip, the storage capacity of your cooler, and items to be stored before you purchase one. Personalized sized coolers are intended for short picnics or storage for your lunch. Large sized coolers are intended for long trips or a weekend camp with the family. All sizes are shaped according to the number of items you’ll need for that certain duration.
Though a denser cooler will do better when it comes to prolonging the coolness of your food and beverages, it might not ideal to use this for a short picnic in the park since it tends to be heavier. The added weight may not be ideal in this case. There are certain attributes and factors you need to consider before your final purchase. Understand that its size and function matters – as well as the cost.
You may consider insulation based on the functions of the coolers. Insulation is the capacity that your cooler has to keep items inside cold. Coolers with denser shells tend to keep food cold longer than soft-shelled types. But keep in mind that more insulated coolers tend to come at a higher price than less insulated ones. If you’re planning for a short trip, go for coolers that have the right balance of density and price. But if you’re doing a cross-country trip, it’s best to use highly dense ones fit for weeks. High-end coolers tend to be more expensive with a higher cooling capacity than traditional ones. If you frequently do long trips, this cooler will be a good investment for the long-haul. Some users may prefer using dry ice because it has the ability to increase the temperature up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is especially useful in storing raw meat.
For traditional coolers, it’s cheaper but keeps your food cold for a few hours. They are not as durable as high-end ones. They don’t insulate as well so these are fitting for short trips to keep food and drinks cold for a few hours. You may use ice substitutes for some of these coolers (depending on the manufacturer’s instructions) that may cool below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Since traditional coolers are not as durable as high-end ones, regular maintenance of this type may be needed to prolong your usage of the product. Some punctures, dents, and bumps may have the tendency to induce cracks and breakage of some of the parts. Some users complain of leakage coming from the drain plug so this is something you need to look out for. For the most part, traditional coolers may not work with dry ice.
Soft coolers are cheaper to purchase with the least insulation and only suitable for packing food and beverage. These are intended to store sandwiches, packed food, and a couple of beverages if there’s still room in it. It works well for picnics and carrying lunches for work or school. However, it’s not advisable to use this to store meat since it can only keep items inside cold for a few hours. Consumables inside this type of cooler tend to lose its insulation faster during hot summer days.
When you finally had your pick of a cooler and already anticipated the kind of items to stuff in I, the next thing to consider is the carrying method. Some coolers may be lighter than others while others have features that will help you carry them. All in all, portability is the comfort of carrying the cooler from one place to the other. Lid handles are usually fixed on the top of the covers. These are usually seen in soft coolers where it can be carried by a single person alone. Side handles (or conventional handles) are usually found in medium to large types of coolers. They are intended for carrying alone or partner with someone on the other end.
Shoulder straps may be more convenient than lid handles especially if your hands are already full. For soft coolers in a bag, this may be a more convenient way to carry them as you go for a stroll in the park or to your workplace. Some coolers that are too heavy to be carried alone may have wheeler options. These are intended for large coolers for easy portability. It is better to have this option if you intend to bring them from one place to another without considerable lifting or carrying.
Some coolers have special features that carry antimicrobial components to keep molds and mildew from sticking on the item. These features are ideal for any cooler that you will be using. It is a great feature for transporting food or meat. Also, I am sure that we have all forgotten to clean out the cooler after a long beach day... and you know what scary things can grow in a wet and dark environment.
Weight can be relative to the number of items packed but you also don't want to start out with a very heavy cooler. Wheeler options make it more portable for those who will be carrying the coolers alone.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It’s only natural that you may be carrying raw meat fresh from the hunt or game. Bacteria and molds love damp and dark spaces – such as the case with your cooler if not thoroughly cleaned. To keep this from happening, you should clean your cooler thoroughly as per manufacturer’s instruction. Some may allow usage of mild soap to clean dirt, grime, and blood. After you’ve finished cleaning thoroughly, use a soft fabric to wipe your cooler dry. Keep the lid opened for a few minutes to air dry.
Another factor to consider would be the environment to which your cooler is subjected to. It could be that you’re camping in a relatively hotter place like camping out on a tropical island. In this case, consider coolers that can either hold dry ice to keep your food from spoiling. In cases where you need to take longer trips, say five to seven days, with the family in a trailer truck, considering an electric-powered cooler might be a good investment.
Other Factors to Consider
Luckily, with a great brand like Coleman, you can depend on them to put out durable products. And in the event that something doesn't live up to its standards, they have great customer service. Manufacturers often anticipate that low-cost coolers may break off at some point of your usage. Coleman sells specific parts such as hinges so you can replace them when it breaks off. The kits are easy to use and instructions are provided so you can do it within the comforts of your home. Basically, you’ll need to properly take out the old lid hinges and replace them with the new ones. This will get your cooler back in tip-top shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: My food doesn’t seem to feel cold. Is my cooler broken?
There are various reasons that coolers fail to function. It could be that a puncture or dent may have caused some problems with the insulation.
You could also look into the lid for some open space. Make sure that it’s closed tight to keep the cold locked inside. Another reason could that it may have a lot of space when you’re transporting it. Heat will accumulate faster when there’s a lot of empty space inside thus hastens the melting of the ice.
q: Is it possible to use dry ice with my Coleman cooler?
Some coolers off this brand may allow dry ice to be used to cool food and beverages. However, only some coolers have that capacity. Dry ice works better during hot seasons since it retains the ‘coldness’ more, thus creating a better environment to keep your items cooled for prolong periods of time. However, traditional and soft-type coolers are not designed to withstand temperatures up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This may stress the insulation of your cooler and could damage it.
q: Are Coleman coolers BPA free?
Although BPA is commonly found in plastic bottles and utensils, it is not contained in Coleman coolers.
It is safe to store food items since this product is approved for any food contact. Coleman coolers only serve as a recreational item fit for storing food and beverages for certain periods of time and are not designed for commercial purposes such as restaurants.
q: Can a cooler keep things warm also?
Some coolers will come with a unique feature that can hold hot and cold temperatures. Although a cooler is technically intended for ‘cooling’, these types are a balance for those who wanted to enjoy a hot soup for a cold winter night and at the same time switch to a cooler to keep food from spoiling. Coolers of this type may come at a higher cost so consider the frequency of your use of this item before purchasing. Some users may prefer to bring more than one cooler for the trip for sanitary reasons. You may opt to buy a traditional cooler and a highly insulated one for short trips. You can use the densely insulated cooler for storing raw meat to keep it from spoiling. While for the traditional cooler, you can store perishable food items, sodas, and a couple of beer just to keep the space tight and highly insulated from heat. Never mix any consumable food with raw meat as these may cause some health issues.
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