Whether you’re getting ready for a beach vacation, camping trip, outdoor party, tailgating or another adventure, it’s helpful to have a reliable cooler for your food and drinks. It can be difficult to know which coolers will keep your food, drinks, and ice coldest, longest. Let’s take a look at a few of the best coolers for keeping ice cold in 2023, according to reviews, features, and prices.
The Best Coolers for Keeping Ice Cold in 2023
To get a list of the best coolers in 2023, we took a look at a variety of sources, including other articles and blog posts, as well as reviews on Amazon. We looked at the number of positive and negative reviews, as well as the content of those reviews, and analyzed each product’s best and worst features. We have no monetary connections with any of these products or brands, and receive no incentives from them.
Specifically, we were looking for coolers that keep ice from melting for a long period of time, and keep items inside cold and dry. We were also looking for coolers that were durable, easy to use, and relatively lightweight. With this in mind, here’s the list of the best coolers for keeping ice cold in 2023.
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1. Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler
Size: holds about 18 cans
Ideal for: beach trips, hiking trips, picnics
Best features: Easy to carry, durable
Worst features: Expensive
Yeti coolers consistently perform well and win customer approval. Though Yeti coolers are generally more expensive than some others, they’re also durable and high-quality. With over 5,000 customer reviews on Amazon and 94% of them being four- or five-star reviews, this particular product is versatile and popular.
At $250, this cooler is expensive, but the tough exterior and insulated interior make it one of the best coolers for keeping ice cold. This compact cooler carries about 18 cans with a 2:1 ice ratio, so it’s ideal for carrying drinks or a small picnic for a beach trip, hiking trip, or similar excursion. Make sure you pack your cooler carefully to maximize cold-keeping capacity, and calculate the right amount of ice that you need. It can also hold a 2-liter bottle or bottle of wine, so it might also be great for parties or romantic picnics. However, since it has a tough, stiff exterior, some users say it’s heavier than they expected.
2. RTIC Soft Pack Cooler
Price: $100 – $250
Size: holds between 12 and 40 cans (depending on cooler type)
Ideal for: depends on cooler type
Best features: Easy to carry, well-insulated, floats
Worst features: Somewhat expensive
With almost 11,000 customer reviews on Amazon and 90% of them being 4- and 5-star reviews, the RTIC Soft Pack Cooler is easily one of the best coolers for keeping ice cold. RTIC brand coolers are also consistently well-reviewed, and earn customer compliments. With prices between $100 and $150, this cooler is more affordable than the previous one, too. This cooler is similarly compact, with multiple varieties holding 12, 20, 30, or 40 cans.
Since this cooler has a soft body, it’s easier to carry, but doesn’t keep ice cold quite as long as stiff models. With the right ice or ice pack arrangement, it can keep food and drinks cold for up to 24 hours. The cooler also floats, so it’s ideal for parties in or near the pool, river, lake, and more.
3. Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Rolling Cooler
Size: holds about 84 cans
Ideal for: tailgating, road trips, camp sites
Best features: Large, easy to clean, affordable
Worst features: black exterior holds heat, slanted top
With over 12,000 reviews on Amazon that are 89% 4- and 5-star ratings, the Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme cooler is well-reviewed and, at about $60, it’s highly affordable. This is a larger cooler than the previous two, with a 50-quart capacity that holds about 84 cans. With a tough exterior and insulated interior, it can keep foods and drinks cold for days. This combination of a spacious interior, affordable price, and convenient features, like wheels and a drain, easily make it one of the best coolers for keeping ice cold.
With the affordable price tag, there are also a few drawbacks. Customers have noted that the lid is slightly slanted, so you can’t rest drinks on it, except in the cupholder compartments. The black color also gets hotter in direct sunlight, so it might not be ideal for a beach trip. Since it’s a bigger cooler, it’s not mobile, so it’s also probably not ideal for excursions like hiking trips, but might be perfect for tailgating, outdoor park parties, camping, or other trips with a bit more shade.
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4. Carhartt Deluxe Dual Compartment Insulated Lunch Cooler
Size: holds about 12 cans
Ideal for: workday lunch, picnic, afternoon trip
Best features: Easy to carry, affordable
Worst features: Small, might leak, minimal insulation
With over 38,000 Amazon reviews and a 95% four- and five-star rating, this compact, mobile, easy-to-carry cooler might be the most-reviewed cooler on the site. With such a high volume of positive reviews, we had to include this little cooler in our list, though it may be considered more of a lunchbox than a cooler.
Priced at only $25, this cooler is easy to carry, and highly affordable. This cooler is extremely lightweight and affordable, but still holds about 12 cans. With two separate containers, as well as a pocket for cutlery or napkins, it’s easy to take this cooler with you throughout your workday, or on a hiking trip, picnic, or similar outing. However, this cooler probably won’t keep foods and drinks cold for longer than 8 or so hours.
Customers have noted a few small drawbacks on this portable cooler. Some have said that melting ice tends to leak through the zipper if the cooler is jostled too much, and others have noted that the shoulder strap is not removable, and too long. Some have also noted that the cooler is smaller than they expected, so make sure you look at the actual dimensions of the cooler (10”w x 9”h x 7”d).
5. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler
Size: holds about 30 cans
Ideal for: afternoon outing, tailgating, roadtrip
Best features: Well-insulated, flip-top, shelf
Worst features: top will leak
With over 12,000 ratings, 93% of them being four- and five-stars, this cooler is also well-reviewed and convenient. Holding about 30 cans, this cooler is a good mid-size option if you want to keep your food and drinks cold, but don’t have a lot of space available. It’s also relatively affordable for its size, and provides a number of helpful features. Customers like the easy-open flip-top and its additional features, like the shelf that keeps softer foods separated, and the easy-clean interior and exterior. However, this convenient flip-top can also leak, so it shouldn’t be jostled too much.
Filled with only ice, this cooler claims to keep the ice solid for 3 days. Filled with ice and food or drink, the cooler should stay cold for about a day and a half. However, customers report that this might be an overestimation. It should keep food and drinks cold for a workday or day-long excursion without a problem though. This makes it great for vacation outings as well as fishing trips, tailgating, road trips, and more.
Looking at Amazon reviews and articles from other magazines and blogs, we selected these five coolers as the best coolers for keeping ice cold in 2023. Before you make a purchase, consider whether you’re looking for a cooler for your workday, afternoon outing, days-long road trip, hiking trip, or something else. If you’re looking for a convenient place to fill up your big or small cooler, use the ICE2U app to find your closest ice vending machine, and take advantage of discounts and coupons.