Best Coleman Coolers

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Can Soft
Test Winner: Can Soft
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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.

Standout Picks

Can Soft
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.
Amazon Link
$31.44
Quart Personal Wheeled
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.
Amazon Link
$25.80
Xtreme
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.
Amazon Link
$69.99
Excursion
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.
Amazon Link
$19.99
Quart Steel-Belted Portable
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.
Amazon Link
PowerChill Thermoelectric
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.
Amazon Link
$209.68
Quart Performance
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.
Amazon Link
$42.76
Quart Party Stacker
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.
Amazon Link
$37.47
Can Soft
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.
Amazon Link
$31.41
Quart Heavy-Duty Super
For heavy-duty use, this Coleman cooler can withstand rough handling with a larger volume capacity. Fit for week-long camping and road trips.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

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.

Capacity

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.

Insulation

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.

Portability

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.

Features

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.

Top 10 Picks

1. Can Soft

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$31.44
Can Soft
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
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.

Capacity
Some use this as a large lunch box. However, this is specifically made for storing beverages with a maximum capacity of 30 cans.

Insulation
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.

Portability
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.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$31.44

2. Quart Personal Wheeled

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$25.80
Quart Personal Wheeled
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
This is a hard-shelled, high-end cooler made for rough handling. The polyethylene material is used for extra durability.

Capacity
It can store up to 16 quarts in weight. An estimated 22 cans of beverages can fit in this one portable cooler.

Insulation
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.

Portability
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.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$25.80

3. Xtreme

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$69.99
Xtreme
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
This is a high-end cooler that can withstand rough handling. It comes in five colors: black, green, blue, tan, and white.

Capacity
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.

Insulation
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.

Portability
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.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$69.99

4. Excursion

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$19.99
Excursion
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
It’s a personal, traditional cooler. It can be used to hold beverages or a small amount of meat from fishing or hunt.

Capacity
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.

Insulation
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.

Portability
Comfortable grip handles make it easy to carry. It’s a good size a cooler for a weekend trip.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$19.99

5. Quart Steel-Belted Portable

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Quart Steel-Belted Portable
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
This is a high-end cooler with a higher load capacity. Insulated walls are encased in stainless steel material for extra durability.

Capacity
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.

Insulation
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.

Portability
Grip handles to ensure that it can withstand heavy weights and won’t break off from the cooler. It can only be hand carried.

Features
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.

Amazon Link

6. PowerChill Thermoelectric

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$209.68
PowerChill Thermoelectric
Amazon Link

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

Use
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.

Capacity
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.

Insulation
This cooler can cool below 40 degrees Fahrenheit without ice. It also comes with a storage tray to keep your items in place.

Portability
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.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$209.68

7. Quart Performance

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$42.76
Quart Performance
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
This is a traditional cooler fit for a weekend trip. It is encapsulated by a hard shell with a hinged lid for better insulation.

Capacity
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.

Insulation
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.

Portability
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.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$42.76

8. Quart Party Stacker

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$37.47
Quart Party Stacker
Amazon Link

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.

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Use
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.

Capacity
Its capacity is 25 quarts or about 24 cans of beverages. It may also be used to keep soups and other consumables warm.

Insulation
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.

Portability
It can only be hand carried. Seniors and other individuals with physical mobility may require assistance to carry this cooler.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$37.47

9. Can Soft

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$31.41
Can Soft
Amazon Link

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

Use
This is a soft cooler fit for personal use. It comes in 4 colors: blue, gray, yellow, and red.

Capacity
You can store beverages, sandwiches, or baby bottles for this type of product.

Insulation
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.

Portability
It’s an easy to carry bag. You can carry this hands-free as this is a sling bag.

Features
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.

Amazon Link
$31.41

10. Quart Heavy-Duty Super

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Quart Heavy-Duty Super
Amazon Link

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

Use
This is a high-end type of cooler. It contains an antimicrobial liner that resists molds, mildews, and odor from settling.

Capacity
It can contain up to 85 quarts in weight. It also has a small tray for dry goods.

Insulation
This cooler can retain ice in the cooler for up to 7 days. It can withstand around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Portability
It has a flexible handle makes it easier to grip. It can be hand carried from one place to another.

Features
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.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Oliver Hulland and Kit Dillon, The Best Hard Cooler, Buying Guide
  2. N/A, Coleman Cooler Review | The Best Coolers Like Yeti, Cooler Reviews