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What does hunting, camping, fishing, grilling, partying, tailgating, and every kind of soirée have in common?

Each and every one is made better by a steady supply of ice-cold refreshments. 

After all, dehydration is an insidious threat that can be a treat to defeat.

Fortunately, with the tremendous advancements made in material engineering, and manufacturing, it’s never been easier to get an ice chest that does it all and then some, at a very reasonable market point.

Though the larger models tend to be envious of the smaller ones. How could they not be? Their always a little cooler. (I’ll see myself out)

Whether you need a small and easily mobile unit or the mightiest cooler on the market, we have you covered.

Our Best Choice

YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler

  • Leakproof lid
  • Hands-free design with ergonomic shoulder straps, removable chest strap, and waist belt
  • DryHide shell

Holds approximately 20 cans worth of storage in a 20 x 14 x 9-inch backpack cooler design. Modular accessory attachment points making rigging this for your specific adventure a snap and rugged shell and leakproof zipper lid makes this the unit for anyone dedicated to staying hydrated and cool on the hoof.

The Top Ice Chest in the Market Today

The Epitome of Chill - The Seven Best Ice Chests for Any Occasion

1. YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler - Best Ice Chest for Camping

YETI Coolers was founded in 2006 with a simple mission: build the cooler one would use every day if it existed. 

One that was purpose-built for the dedicated outdoor enthusiast and their needs, as opposed to mass-discount retailers. 

One that could take the abuse everyone knows we put our coolers throughout in the field and on the water. 

One that could simply hold up. Whether that be an excursion into the remote wilderness, pulling Bonito out of the sea along the Baja coast, or just getting together with friends in the backyard.

YETI sets the standard by which all other coolers are measured and the YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler will cover

Ergonomic shoulder straps, along with a removable chest strap and waist belt, makes hauling one of these bad boys for a long hike—or out camping, or hunting for that matter—a breeze. 

Its tall design makes it ideal for weight distribution in carrying as well as for sitting.

Tough as nails DryHide shell with leak-proof zippered lid guarantees this cooler keeps up no matter how off the beaten path you take it.

Its hands-free and modular design make this the best fishing ice chest, as well as hunting, camping, or even a day out bouldering.

Pros

  • Leakproof lid
  • Hands-free design with ergonomic shoulder straps, removable chest strap, and waist belt
  • DryHide shell
  • Superior ice retention
  • Good weight distribution

Cons

  • A little on the pricey side

2. Igloo Trailmate Marine Wheeled Cooler - Best Travel Ice Chest

What started in a metalworking shop back in 1947, redefined and made possible the family outdoor recreation movement of the 20th century.

Igloo has been a legendary manufacturer and influencer in how Americans—and folk the world over—live, work and play. 

What was founded on delivering clean water to worksites quickly turned into super-functional, best in class ice chests that Igloo is known for today. 

And the Igloo Trailmate Marine Wheeled Cooler is the best ice chest with wheels that this sailor has ever seen. 

Oversized 10 inch never-flat, anti-skid, non-marking wheels are ideal for boat decks and uneven docks alike. Combined with a comfort glide telescoping horizontal handle, it makes traversing almost any barely reasonable surface far more manageable. 

Enjoy durability down to the details with premium, stainless-steel, rust-resistant screws and lightweight marine-grade aluminum parts, combined with an antimicrobial treated liner that inhibits stains and odors. Making this model stand up to whatever is thrown at it.

With more than 500 products sold at hundreds of retailers around the globe, they can confidently call themselves the number one cooler manufacturer in the world.

Best still, Igloo has 1,200 employees who proudly call Katy, Texas home, so when you buy Igloo, you’re buying American.

Pros

  • Made in America
  • Rust-resistant screws
  • Lightweight marine-grade aluminum
  • Antimicrobial liner
  • Anti-skid non-marking wheels

Cons

  • Doesn’t lock well

3. Coleman 42-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner & Wheels - Best Personal Ice Chest

Founded in 1900 by W.C. Coleman, and manufacturing coolers for more than 65 of those 120 years, the Coleman 42-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner & Wheels is the best small ice chest you can find today because of one word.

Experience.

That familiarity means the folk at Coleman know what a cooler is supposed to, and the most affordable and efficient ways to make them do it.

The 42 can rolling soft coolers liner is antimicrobial treated, to resist odor, mold, mildew, and to prevent the fungus from forming.

The removable liner offers packing flexibility and halves the effort of cleaning. Everybody’s favorite part of using an ice chest.

The zippered main compartment is insulated and keeps contents colder, longer.

One should use the hard plastic liner if packing with ice, but there’s no need for it with ice substitutes or ice packs.

Otherwise, the unit’s heat-welded seams prevent leaks and give the unit structural integrity for years.

Then for simple convenience, a telescoping handle and durable wheels keep transport easy. (It also has side handles for more robust loads or uneven surfaces)

Front zippered pocket, 2 side mesh pockets, a dry storage pouch, and lid bungees offer additional storage on this smaller unit. Making it pack the punch of much larger coolers.

Pros

  • Anti-microbial removable liner
  • Heat-welded seams prevent leaks
  • Telescoping handle
  • Durable wheels
  • Zippered, insulated main compartment

Cons

  • Wheels and wheelbase are a bit on the small side

4. Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler, 65 Quart - Best Ice Chest for Hot Weather

Pelican Products operates in 21 countries, has 22 international sales offices globally, and maintains six manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, and Australia. Their products are used in many industries including military, law enforcement, fire safety, and consumer entertainment.

Because they are trusted, and they are trusted because they are engineered to temperature-controlled perfection.

Pelican Products Progear Elite Cooler, 65 Quart volume model is rated for up to ten days of ice retention. A week and a half!

This is possible in part because of the freezer-grade gasket and two-inch thick polyurethane insulation.

Of course, they also have the simple utilities that outdoors enthusiasts rely on. Like integrated fish scale molded into the lid, and wide flat press/pull clasps so that you can open and close the unit even when wearing gloves.

Best still, all Pelican Products come with a lifetime guarantee. So you can put this unit to work, and count on it to perform, forever.

Pros

  • Rated for up to 10 days of ice retention
  • Freezer-grade gasket
  • Press and pull latches
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Some have reported the drain can leak

5. Pelican Elite 150 Quart Cooler - Best High-End Ice Chest

The Pelican Elite 150 Quart Cooler has all the features so joyously touted above, in the kind of volume that could be used for hunting, fishing, or for a soirée for 50-80 of the wildest party animals you know.

That’s the same 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation with a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket that delivers extreme ice retention for up to 10 days.

3-inch wide locking reinforced push/pull glove-friendly hasps.

AND Pelican Products famed lifetime warranty. 

This high-end unit also delivers a stainless steel bottle opener, anti-shear hinge system, rotomolded tie-down slots, leak-proof drain plug, integrated measuring board on lid, and non-skid rubber feet.

So it will clearly do the job and do it well, and a lot of it at 150 qt interior space.

To set themselves even further apart from the pack, Pelican cases can be modified with almost any custom features you could imagine. Including internal shock-mount systems, manual pressure relief valves, humidity indicators, custom foam, and fabricated metal framing for electronics. 

Pelican Products runs a series of Advanced Case Centers in California, Virginia, Massachusetts, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia that handle customization and design work.

So whatever your high-end casing needs, Pelican will have your back.

Pros

  • Extreme ice retention
  • 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation
  • Anti-shear hinge system
  • Locking reinforced push/pull hasps

Cons

  • This is a big cooler and the cost reflects the size

6. Grizzly 400 QT Mega-Cooler - Best Giant Ice Chest

With its lifetime warranty, you're assured that the Grizzly 400 QT Mega-Cooler is more than just a one time use tool.

Grizzly has been engineering and torture testing coolers with your hunting, fishing, tailgating, and camping expeditions in mind since 2002. Their coolers are made in the USA by outdoor enthusiasts for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Proudly envisioned, designed, tooled, tested, perfected, and produced in Decorah, Iowa, Grizzly Coolers has extensive know-how and credibility in the cooling industry.

Made from rotationally-molded LLDPE plastic designed to achieve uniform wall thicknesses for optimal durability.

All Grizzly hard-sided coolers are pressure injected with up to two inches of polyurethane foam and the lids seal with a silicone rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped extending the longevity of your ice.

The hinge is built with integrated interlocking design to withstand the toughest conditions.

The 2” drain allows for quick and complete draining of the unit and are even dry ice compatible.

Each hard-sided cooler comes with two lock holes to keep your cooler secure and your contents secure.

Measuring 54 1/2 inches wide by 30 3/4 inches deep, and stands 32 inches high. 

This behemoth has a 400 Quart Capacity and weighs 91 lbs empty. From sport fishing trips to field stripping a hunt, this model can do what no other can.

Pros

  • 400-quart capacity
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Dry ice compatible
  • 2-inch drain
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • This beast of a cooler is heavy, 91-pounds empty!

7. K-box Electric Cooler and Warmer with Wheels for Car and Home - 48 Quart - Best Electric Ice Chest

The K-box Electric Cooler and Warmer with Wheels for Car and Home - 48 Quart is a person portable travel fridge and heater.

Whether you're traveling on the road or camping in an RV, camper, minivan, or just have a generator on hand, this large capacity storage container can warm or cool most food and drink.

This cooler/warmer combo has 2 6-foot extra long built-in cords. One for standard wall outlets, and one for car power adapters. Both have storage compartments to be hidden when not in use. Because nobody needs another tripping hazard. 

At 48 quarts this unit stores about 6 two-liter bottles with some space leftover or about 60 cans of be...verage…

A removable divider creates 2 compartments for easier organizing and storing and can maintain a cool 40°F temp without any ice necessary.

Dual handles and wheels make it easy to carry or pull for most anyone, so if an electric cooler is what you need, this is the unit for you.

Pros

  • Can maintain temps of 40 degrees without ice
  • Removable divider
  • Dual handles and wheels
  • It’s electric!
  • Doubles as a heater

Cons

  • Some say the cooling feature runs a little too warm

A Treasure Chest Filled with Cold

A box without hinges, key, or lid. Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

While that's about eggs and doesn't exactly fit, it makes me think of Ice Chests. Because most of them are off-white and filled with cold, bold, gold pilsners, lagers, and ales… 

But that could just be me and mine.

YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler

You could put almost anything in your YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler—or any other model on this list.

Because it almost goes without saying, that any good time is only made better by having ice-cold refreshments at hand.

HELL.

Any BAD time is made significantly more manageable by having ice-cold refreshments at hand.

To say nothing of the importance of hydration and nutrition in food storage as it applies to self-care.

Even a slightly malnourished dehydrated fisherman, camper, hiker, or hunter performs at a lower capacity than when properly fueled.

So set you and your crew up for success by keeping the fuel a sportsman/party animal needs at hand, and pick yours out today.

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