The 4 Best Rotomolded Coolers For the Money: Reviews And Complete Buying Guide

Bill Taylor
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Why spend big bucks on a cooler when there are affordable alternatives? The pint-sized Yeti Tundra coolers may be the most popular coolers out there but that doesn’t mean that they’re the only coolers worth recommending.

In this article we’ll compare 4 of the best rotomolded coolers for the money, comparing everything from size to weight, initial cost, overall durability, and more.

Read our detailed reviews to help you find the best rotomolded cooler for you, or read on for our buying guide to help you make your buying decision.

NameCategoryProduct
YETI Tundra 45 CoolerBest OverallYETI Tundra 45 Cooler
Master Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable LockBudget PickMaster Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable Lock
ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and IceboxUpgrade PickENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox

1. YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

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Pros:

  • High-end and sturdy

This cooler is available in four different colors and offers some of the best insulation and waterproofing available in the market. The company pioneered its Molded-in hinges that bear the heavy loads and are not best suited for light use.

The Classic also boasts an ice retention time of one week and a generous color palette. On the downside it is the most expensive one here.

The Outerdo Touring Canvas Cooler is also great at keeping ice cold and is affordable and spacious. Compression straps are also provided to keep items tightly packed.

2. ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox

Our rating: 8 / 10

ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox

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Pros:

  • Has a weather-tight seal
  • Long-lasting insulation
  • Built-in drain for easy cleaning
  • Seals are made from stainless steel
  • Temperature range between 15-50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Keeps ice up to two days
  • Large enough to fit up to 85 cans
  • Excellent hinges
  • Very light

Cons:

  • Ice cubes melt quickly
  • Not great for bringing on fishing or hunting trips
  • Does not float
  • Does not come in a variety of colors
  • Does not come with a lid latch

Also known as the Cabin Fever Series, ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox is a portable high performance cooler made by a company that’s all about high-quality outdoor gear. This is an excellent choice for people who want a hard-shell cooler that can keep ice up to two days and has ice retention that is way better than the soft-shell coolers. This is an ideal cooler for tailgating, boating, or camping, but it’s also great for the long term in the garage, man cave, or for hunting. The following is an outline of what should be on your checklist when you’re considering purchasing a portable cooler like this one.

3. Master Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable Lock

Our rating: 8 / 10

Master Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable Lock

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The Master Lock Python is a one-foot long cable that’s used to lock up our top pick. We love it because it’s so easy to use. You simply wrap it up with the built-in lock head, attach it to the cooler or storage area. Plus, it’s as easy to remove as it is to lock.

We recommend this cable lock because it’s both affordable and effective. It’s also made from the same durable material as the lock included with the lock so you know you’re getting a quality product. It’s also made by Master Lock, a company known for making highly-rated and durable locks.

4. Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler White 58 Quart

Our rating: 6 / 10

Orca Hard Sided Classic Cooler White 58 Quart

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All in all, this is a great cooler. It is a very reliable brand that you can depend on. It has a decent design and a great color that is pleasing to the eye. The item is also easy to clean and can be used for a long time.

This is a great playpen for children. It is made of a very durable material and it is quite large. It has a great design and a good height so it can be used for a long time. This is a great item for children who need to play outside.

This is a very popular pressure washer. It is easy to use and very convenient. You can use it anywhere you like and wash your cars, paths, sidewalks and much more. It has excellent pressure and you can wash even the most stubborn stains and places.

5. Pelican 50 Quart Elite Cooler

Our rating: 6 / 10

Pelican 50 Quart Elite Cooler

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Looking for energy-efficient coolers? Then look no further than the Pelican Elite Cooler. It’s built with the toughest parts and components, so you no longer have to worry about heavy wear and aging.

This high-quality cooler has optimal insulation, which is one of the major reasons why Pelican coolers received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It’s very durable, too, so it’s guaranteed to last for a very long time.

The Pelican Elite Cooler comes with an automatic drain plug. There are also two cup holders and tie-down slots for added convenience and utility. Plus, this cooler boasts military-grade toughness with its double-wall rotomolded construction. The lid also features a padlock-ready hasp.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best Rotomolded cooler?

Have you ever bought a cooler before? If you have, chances are you’ve seen a Styrofoam cooler. Those disposable, trashed-afterwards, generic coolers are all over the place! Not that there isn’t anything wrong with them. Actually, quite the contrary. Styrofoam coolers are often the ones you’d want to buy when you’re shopping for cheap coolers. They’re nice and cheap, fairly durable, and generally get the job done. There’s really nothing more to say.

But Styrofoam coolers are also very uninspiring. Besides, you can’t really bring them into events, just like you wouldn’t bring in a plastic trash can.

Who makes the best cooler for the money?

The Yeti Tundra is typically considered the best cooler for the money. The cooler is made from high density polyethylene, stronger than any metal cooler on the market. The insulated nature of the cooler also means that the contents will remain cold longer.

Of course, the cooler is a little more expensive to begin with, but that's the price you pay for quality. The high-end YETI may not be the best out there but it gets great reviews from Amazon customers. Customers feel that the product keeps ice frozen for ten days, even longer if used in the summertime.

Another good cooler brand is Pelican, and customers like the fact that the brand is both durable and affordable. Compared to the Yeti, Pelican coolers are less expensive and customers feel that they keep food frozen for a similar amount of time. Customers also like the wide range of sizes that Pelican offer.

Which Cooler keeps ice the longest?

Brand really matters when it comes to ice retention. Yet, even the best cooler for ice retention will not be able to do that without the right ice retention practices. How you pack the cooler, the number and quality of ice packs, and the location of the cooler can all affect ice retention.

The best coolers for ice retention keep ice in an insulated environment. This eliminates the risk of ice melting and water seeping into the cellular structure of the cooler. The top 10 coolers on our list all achieve this goal in some way. And every single one of them has been proven to keep ice for at least a full day.

Are Rotomolded coolers worth it?

These coolers are made to last. Since they’re insulated the way they are they’re able to keep ice cold for a longer period of time.

They’re tougher and can withstand wear and tear. Unlike its plastic counterparts, the polyethylene plastic that makes up these coolers is much thicker and the quality is usually pretty good based on the brand you choose.

They’re leak-proof, and they usually have a gasket in between the lid and the cooler to ensure this so your food and drinks are safe. They’re also well insulated. Often times they’ll have three walls with the lid as the fourth wall which increases the insulation level.

Generally, rotomolded coolers are better at keeping your drinks and food cold.

Conclusion

What is a Rotomolded Cooler?

The rotomolding process is a mass molding process used to create hollow plastic objects by rotating the raw material as the molded shape is being created. It’s a process that has been around for a long time. In the 1950s the rotomolder method was introduced by the American manufacturing company Owens-Illinois and has since then become the most popular method to manufacture insulated coolers.

Today, there are many rotomolded coolers available on the market, and the method remains the same with few exceptions.

How is a Rotomolded Cooler made?

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
YETI Tundra 45 CoolerBest OverallYETI Tundra 45 Cooler
Master Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable LockBudget PickMaster Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable Lock
ENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and IceboxUpgrade PickENGEL ENG35 High Performance Hard Cooler and Icebox