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The seven best coolers in 2022

Published Dec 1st, 2022 4:22PM EST
Best coolers of 2022
Image: YETI/Amazon

It’s never a bad time to begin thinking about your next outdoor outing. Whether you’re heading to the beach or you’re just heading outside to your backyard, you should prepare to bring the important items with you. We’re, of course, talking about food and cold beverages (and maybe your friends and family too). That’s where a cooler can come into play. The best coolers are ones that have enough room for your items and plenty of ice.



When you’re trying to choose which cooler is right for you, you need to consider the different features of the coolers. But ultimately, you want one that’s easy to transport where you need it and will hold what you need it to hold. We’ve done a deep dive out there to see which coolers are the best for certain situations. 

Today’s best deals you can get now on a cooler:

Here are our picks for the seven best coolers you can buy.

Best cooler overall: YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

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Pros

  • Holds 39 cans with 2:1 ice to contents ratio
  • Heavy-duty
  • Dry ice compatible
  • Side handles and secure latch

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not easy for one person to move

Why we picked it

People have come to know YETI coolers as some of the most reliable and sturdy ones out there. The Tundra is no exception and is the standard for durable coolers. The 65-quart option is our pick because it gives you a good size and is still not impossible to move, as long as you have some help. We liked it better than the YETI Tundra 45.

It holds 39 cans while still allowing you to have a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio. The FatWall design holds up to two inches of PermaFrost insulation, delivering ice retention that isn’t matched to keep ice frozen. Basically, the contents will remain cold for a long time because of the cold air, and the ice won’t melt easily.

The T-Rex lid rubber latches are easy to use and keep your lid shut. It’s certified bear resistant. The DoubleHaul handles make it simpler to grab and move. You can store dry ice in this as well. This is a basically indestructible cooler that can be easily mounted to your boat, trailer, or truck, thanks to the tie down points. If you’re bringing this camping, hunting, or to the beach, it’ll be good to go. It can also store bottle openers.

What to note about it

The quality is what you pay for, and this is an expensive cooler. But it should last you a long time. When it’s filled, it may not be the easiest to move by yourself, either. So make sure you grab a friend to help.

Best rolling cooler: Igloo 70 Qt Premium Trailmate Wheeled Rolling Cooler

Igloo 70 Qt Premium Trailmate Wheeled Rolling Cooler

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Pros

  • Glide telescoping handle
  • Lockable box
  • Butler tray
  • Oversized wheels

Cons

  • Handle can get stuck
  • Expensive

Why we picked it

The Igloo 70 Qt Premium Trailmate Wheeled Rolling Cooler handles all kinds of terrain without an issue. Wheeled coolers aren’t always equipped with the best wheels, but the oversized wheels on this are 10″ and never flat, allowing them to be used on gravel, sand, concrete, and more. You’ll have plenty of traction and also enough ground clearance to make it work.

You’ll be able to pull your load 50% more easily with the glide handle that is telescoping and locking. There is a removable butler tray on which you can serve food and drinks away from the sand, thanks to the cup holders and flat surface. You can keep items dry inside of it as well, as there is a lockable box with an anti-leak gasket. That isn’t included in many other coolers.

There is also a side pocket to keep your sunscreen and sunglasses out of the sun. This is one of the best coolers of 2022 because it holds 70 quarts and has impressive ice retention.

What to note about it

Some users have had issues with the handle getting stuck. It also isn’t incredibly cheap, but you may be able to find it on sale.

Best backpack cooler: ICEMULE Jaunt Collapsible Backpack Cooler

ICEMULE Jaunt Collapsible Backpack Cooler

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Pros

  • MuleSkin fabrics
  • Padded and ventilated straps
  • PolarLayer insulation
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Small may be too small for what you need

Why we picked it

Plenty of people are interested in a backpack cooler. They are much easier to carry than traditional coolers and can be brought to all kinds of places. The ICEMULE Jaunt is our pick for this style of soft cooler because it offers superior ice retention and it’s a soft cooler that is 100% waterproof.

It will keep your drinks ice cold for up to 24 hours as the MuleSkin fabrics combined with a PolarLayer insulation ensure strength and cold retention to keep drinks cold. It has two padded and ventilated shoulder straps that allow you to wear this and use it hands-free.

This is one of the best soft coolers and it features a collapsible design so you can just roll it up when you aren’t using it. It has a front zippered pocket to store additional items. It is waterproof and buoyant, so it will even float next to you in a kayak or boat. The rolled top design of the cooler backpack is simple to utilize for the soft-sided cooler.

What to note about it

It comes in two different sizes: small and large. The small holds nine liters and the large holds 15. The small may not be large enough for you if you’re carrying items for a group.

Best large hard cooler: Igloo Polar Cooler 120 QT

Igloo Polar Cooler 120 QT

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Pros

  • Ultratherm insulated body
  • Holds 188 cans
  • Dual snap-fit latches
  • Swing-up handles

Cons

  • May not keep ice as long as advertised

Why we picked it

If you want a hard-sided cooler that holds a lot of beverages, this option from Igloo is a smart one. We chose the 120-quart option, but you can also opt for the 150-quart version. The hard cooler is fully insulated, thanks to the Ultratherm insulated body and lid. It is said to offer five days of ice retention.

The 120-quart choice holds 188 cans, meaning you can host your next block party right out of the cooler. The extra large cooler has reinforced swing-up handles, making it simpler for you and a friend to carry this when it’s filled. The dual snap-fit lid latches keep the lid closed securely.

If you want to drain the cooler, the threaded drain plug offers a hose hook up for easy draining. It is a quality cooler because of its cooling performance and rugged cooler design.

What to note about it

Some users have commented that it may not actually keep ice cold for five days. So just be ready to temper your expectations in that case.

Best for wine storage: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

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Pros

  • Better than the Roadie 20
  • Wine-friendly package
  • Fits in a backseat
  • QUICKLATCH closure

Cons

  • A bit awkward to carry
  • Expensive

Why we picked it

For those who prefer to bring wine to their picnic or to the next barbecue, the YETI Roadie 24 is the pick. It is 10% lighter and holds 20% more than the Roadie 20, meaning it’s a durable cooler. This YETI cooler actually performs 30% better thermally.

The hard sided cooler is built taller than other some of the other best coolers, making it a great way to store two liter bottles. That makes it ideal for storing wine bottles in it. The ROTOMOLDED construction is thinner and more lightweight, but still provides durability and cold retention with its thick walls.

The non-slip feet keep it in place while it’s on the ground. The QUICKLATCH closure is flexible and meant for one-handed access to the interior. But the lid latches will remain shut securely.

What to note about it

It is offered in numerous colors, so you’ll be able to pick your favorite one. But it also is not cheap, so you should keep that in mind when looking for one.

Best value: Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag

Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag

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Pros

  • Versatile as it can keep food warm too
  • Unique design
  • 5-layer insulation design
  • Large capacity

Cons

  • Water can leak

Why we picked it

The Maelstrom Soft Cooler Bag delivers some terrific bang for your buck. We picked the 75-can version because it is the largest, but it is still incredibly lightweight. When it’s not filled, it’s just over a pound and a half. This soft cooler bag can hold up to 75 cans as well as two to four ice packs. If you don’t want to go with ice packs and prefer ice, it can hold 60 cold drinks and 15 pounds of ice.

Thanks to the 5-layer insulation design, it will keep your food and drinks colder for longer. The layers are made from food-grade PEVA materials to keep food cold for up to 12 hours. It also can work as a food warming bag, so your food won’t just become immediately cold once you use it.

The unique design of one of the best soft coolers offers a top Velcro pull tab for easier access and the ergonomic design allows you to hold it two different ways. The largest one is a reliable cooler that’s under $50, so it’s the best budget cooler.

What to note about it

Melted ice can leak out of the zipper if you’re holding it a certain way. Not all of the colors are offered in every size.

Best cooler for food and drinks: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Coolers

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Coolers

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Pros

  • Offered in many sizes
  • SmartShelf interior
  • Deep Freeze Performance insulation
  • Backsaver shoulder strap

Cons

  • Fabric may rip over time

Why we picked it

If you’re looking for a cooler that can separate soft food from hard cans, this option from Arctic Zone is a good pick. There is a hardbody liner with a SmartShelf interior that allows you to put sandwiches and other soft foods on top, so they won’t get crushed by ice and cans below. This also is removable to give you more interior space below.

The Deep Freeze Performance insulation has an integrated radiant heat barrier, making it perfect for keeping food cold during travel. It can keep food cold for up to two days, as the ice retention is strong. It is designed for comfort and usability, as there is a backsaver shoulder strap, meaning you don’t have to carry it by the handles always.

The zipperless design boasts a patented flip-open lid that gives you quick access to your contents. The solid cooler is easy to clean and comes in multiple sizes, including one that holds just nine cans, making it a good lunch box.

What to note about it

Users have said the fabric can fray over time and the top can leak if you hold it upside down.

More of the best coolers to consider

There are other coolers for you to consider when you’re trying to pick from the best in the cooler market. One of the best soft sided coolers is the RTIC Pack Cooler 30 Can. It is an insulated cooler that offers 24 hours of ice retention, so your items stay cold. The RTIC Soft Pack Cooler is one of the top-tested soft coolers and comes in many colors and retails for around $130.

You can also opt for a Coleman cooler like the Coleman Ice Chest. The 316 Series is fully insulated and holds up to the ice retention test. With handy cup holders on the top, each person can use a cup holder. This holds up to 80 cans. It’s one of the cheaper coolers, as it’s only $47.79, so you can pack a bottle opener and enjoy day trips or a camping trip.

Finally, you can also check out the RovR RollR 60, which comes from RovR. This holds 60L and is a heavy-duty option and a durable cooler. The BullsEye latches keep the lid closed, warm air out, and the contents colder for up to 10 days, delivering maximum ice retention. Like other hard coolers with wheels, the rubber tires can handle all kinds of terrain. This retails for $269.99.

Chris Hachey Commerce Editor

Chris Hachey is Senior Commerce Editor for BGR. With over a decade of editing and journalism experience, plus thousands of hours of product testing and research, he has helped millions of consumers find the best products and deals to fit their lifestyles.

When he's not searching for top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his wife and his dog.