The 6 Best Coolers for Keeping Ice Frozen and Food Cold: Reviews and Buying Guide

Bill Taylor
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A cooler is a must-have for a man anytime and anywhere, especially for those who have a passion for hunting, fishing, camping, or traveling.

A reliable cooler is efficient in keeping your food fresh and cold even if you will be away from home for days.

With so many options, though, it’s difficult to know which cooler is the best!

In this article, we’ll share the best coolers (5), and each is suitable for different purposes. Some coolers can not only keep your food and drinks cold and safe but can be used as a seat or a chair and can be easily transported anywhere. Others can be kept inside your home for longer term storage. While others are ultra-portable and fit within the average car’s front Seat.

NameCategoryProduct
YETI Tundra 65 CoolerBest OverallYETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Engel 65 High Performance Hard CoolerBudget PickEngel 65 High Performance Hard Cooler
RTIC Ice Chest Hard CoolerUpgrade PickRTIC Ice Chest Hard Cooler

1. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

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Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Ready for the elements
  • Holds ice for longer than most coolers

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Noisy by design
  • Heavy

(35-Quart)

Expensive.

Often imitated, but never matched, the Yeti cooler is one of the best ice chests in the industry. The YETI Tundra Cooler earns its reputation by keeping ice frozen for days, even in super harsh conditions, to the point that this could almost be overkill for most tailgates.

2. RTIC Ice Chest Hard Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

RTIC Ice Chest Hard Cooler

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Pros:

  • Made of polyester and a tarpaulin layer
  • Rugged and durable
  • Has an easy-carrying handle
  • Completely leak-proof
  • Has thick insulation walls
  • Has a great capacity
  • Made of a solid, hard, mold-free polyethylene material
  • Heavy-duty rubber latches
  • Has a drainage tap
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • The walls are a bit thinner than some competitors
  • The handle is a bit flimsy

RTIC, a company based out of Texas, USA, makes some of the best coolers available for keeping drinks and frozen goods chilled up to 36 hours. Their ice chest coolers are excellent for home or commercial use. Those who use these coolers say they can turn a standard cooler into an industrial strength cooler that’s perfect for transporting things like food during picnics or parties.

This cooler comes in five different colors: red, blue, green, tan, and black. Each color comes in two different sizes: 65 liter or 85 liter (roughly 16.5 gallons or 24 gallons). This cooler is just the right size for home use or car camping. It’s also a good size for transporting camping equipment, including grills, in your car to and from the campground.

3. Engel 65 High Performance Hard Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Engel 65 High Performance Hard Cooler

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Engel is an American company, which offers a number of coolers and refrigerators. One of the most popular coolers from the company is the UNI-TECH Hard-Frame. This particular cooler is made of high quality high density polyethylene (HDPE). The frame is made of aluminum, and it’s one of the strongest on the market. The cooler is generally resistant to bumps. The body is made of the high density polyethylene, and it’s quite thick. The lid and bottom parts are also quite thick. The temperature of the cooler remains almost constant for a long time. It also has 3 rod holders.

The cooler is designed for long journeys. It’s hard to ruin it. In case there’s too much weight, the lid will stay closed. After several years, you may find a little corrosion on the edges, but that’s not a big deal. The cooler is well insulated, it’s waterproof and it’s not easy to break. The cooler has waterproof liner, so it’s very hard to break. Keep in mind that the liner has some transparency, so you can not store some colored food.

4. ORCA TP0580RCORCA Cooler

Our rating: 7 / 10

ORCA TP0580RCORCA Cooler

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Pros:

  • Expanded size
  • High-quality, durable material
  • Excellent customer service
  • Long-lasting products

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Not compatible with beverages
  • No wheels

The ORCA Cooler, manufactured by Pelican ProGear, has been tested by the US Coast Guard and has passed their rigorous standards with flying colors. This marine-grade cooler comes with a five-year no-fade warranty, as well as a one-year on the lids, a three year on the bottom, and a six-month guarantee on the gasket. Plus, it comes equipped with a tan finish that is UV-resistant.

When it comes to durability, heavy-duty ORCA Coolers are the best on the market. They’re virtually indestructible, and provide a leakproof environment for your drinks. These coolers are constructed of cross laminated material, a material that’s been tested to withstand the rusting and corrosive effects of salt water. The walls of this cooler are strong and durable and are guaranteed to maintain a low level of inside temperature for a long period of time.

5. Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler

Our rating: 6 / 10

Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler

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Pros:

  • Holds ice for at least two days
  • Keeps food cold for more than five days
  • Extremely durable
  • Supplied with drain plug and polyurethane insulation

Cons:

  • Easy to dent
  • Pricey

If you’re in search of the best cooler for the money, then the Pelican 70 Quart Elite is definitely a great option. It’s a watertight, leakproof, hard-walled cooler that offers a 70-quart capacity, making it ideal for large families. It’s also designed for marine and boating use – so if you’re planning to take your drinks away on a boat, this is a great option to consider.

What’s nice about the Pelican 70 QT Elite Cooler is that it’s made from a blow-molded polyethylene, with rubber over-molded handles that are non-marking and easy-to-clean. It also comes with a rubber bottle opener, making it convenient for you to enjoy chilled drinks. The lid also features a removable, reversible drain plug with a chain and rubber stopper that allows you to drain water without removing the cooler from the car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What brand Cooler keeps ice the longest?

Here is a list of some of the coolers that keep ice the longest from official websites.

Can you keep things frozen in a cooler?

Absolutely! The larger the ice (or temperature) difference, the slower the temperature transfer across the material. Since most coolers have a large air volume, they will cool down quickly to the temperature outdoors, sub-zero if need be. As long as the outside is zero F or less or the cooler is insulated well, they will hold ice for many days, keeping the contents cold in the process. The same can not be said for a regular foam insulated box, which would reach the same outside temperature too soon and allow temperature transfer.

How long will a cooler with ice keep food cold?

How long a cooler will keep your food cold has a lot to do with the kind of cooler you use. If you use a heavy duty cooler, it can keep ice frozen for up to 5 days.

If you use a low-end lightweight cooler with a flimsy lid, you’ll probably need to refill it with ice about every 2-3 days to keep food cold.

What is the best cooler for the money?

When looking for coolers for your outdoor activities, you ideally want one that’s durable, keeps the items cold for several days, and is inexpensive. The Yeti Tundra 65 is one of the best brands for coolers among anglers, hunters, and campers alike. It’s tough and can last through years of abuse.

The cooler is built with the toughest polymer on the market, polyurethane. It’s also tested for strength, durability, and temperatures that will range from 10 degrees Fahrenheit to below -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

It can insulate your items for days so you won’t have to check on them, and it weighs less than other coolers so it’s easier to carry. It’s also large enough to hold an 18-pound turkey and 21 cans of beer.

Conclusion

It may sound unbelievable, but the best cooler is one that will prevent your ice from melting for a longer period of time. In fact, we’ve compiled what we believe to be the absolute to to 6 best coolers for all kinds of needs.

Choose from a portable cooler, a low-cost one, or the best dry food cooler. Read and learn about what goes into making a cooler to determine what model would best work for your needs. Use this guide to make an informed decision on your choice and when it comes to getting your hands on the best cooler, you won’t regret it.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
YETI Tundra 65 CoolerBest OverallYETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Engel 65 High Performance Hard CoolerBudget PickEngel 65 High Performance Hard Cooler
RTIC Ice Chest Hard CoolerUpgrade PickRTIC Ice Chest Hard Cooler