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The Best Coolers and Ice Chests of 2020

By William Chutney

November 29, 2019


My review of the best ice chests and ice coolers for camping

Ice Chest

Ice Retention

Dimensions

Shipping Weight

Shop

Yeti Tundra 65

[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

30.5 x 17.5 x 16 inches ; 29 pounds

35.2 pounds

Engel 65

[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

29.5 x 17.3 x 18 inches ; 29 pounds

28 pounds

Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt

[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 5 days ice retention

28.2 x 15.8 x 18.2 inches ; 12.3 pounds

13.5 pounds

RovR RollR 60

[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

27 x 22 x 21 inches ; 45 pounds

49.8 pounds

Igloo BMX 25

[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 4 days ice retention

19.6 x 15.7 x 13.2 inches ; 2.2 pounds

10 pounds

Taking a cooler or ice chest away with you on a short camping trip is a great way to keep food and drinks cold. Here are the best five ice chests and coolers to use outdoors.

Wine Cooler

Price

No.1 Best overall

Yeti Tundra 65

[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="star_rating"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

No.2 Best High End Model Cooler

Engel 65

[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="star_rating"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

No.3 Best Value Buy

Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt

[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="star_rating"]

Up to 5 days ice retention

No.4 Best Wheeled Cooler

RovR RollR 60

[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="star_rating"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

No.5 Best Personal Cooler

Igloo BMX 25

[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="star_rating"]

Up to 4 days ice retention

Ice Chest lists

1. Best Overall Cooler- Yeti Tundra 65


[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="description"]

Amazon collected a total of [amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="reviews"] with an average rating of [amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="rating"] ([amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="star_rating"])

Price:[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="price"]
Insulation
Durability
Portability
Value for money

Why we chose this one?

The Tundra 65 is a highly capable cooler that despite its moniker has a 56 quarts capacity; not anything larger. It does, however, offer a basket that can be lifted right out, which is convenient when camping. It is rated by IGBC, which you’d expect to see in modern products in this category.

The insulation is top-notch here. The latch system is easy to use and robust. These latches won’t let you down on a trip. The cooler can be expected to keep food and drinks below 40-degrees for around six days.

With the Tundra, it has a range of extra accessories to add-in. These provide various options depending on what you’re wanting to do, like keep certain items separate from each other. This is typical of well-regarded brands compared to an economy model where that’s not expected.

There is no leash for the plug. However, in other respects, this is a highly usable cooler for camping trips. It’s certainly the best product we’ve seen overall.

Specifications

· Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 17.5 x 16 inches ; 29 pounds

· Shipping Weight: 35.2 pounds

· Internal dimensions: 24 x 12 x 10-1/2 deep

· T-Rex Lid Latches constructed of heavy-duty rubber

· Strong build (able to sit on it)

· Contains drain plug

· Manufactured in the USA

[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="2" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="3" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="large"]

Pros

  • Strong enough to sit on
  • Great insulation
  • Basket inside
  • Holds around 30 cans with ice
  • you can stand a wine bottle up inside

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No plug leash
  • No wheels
  • Its a little to small to go hunting with, not ideal for storing meat.

2. Best High End Model Cooler Engel 65


[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="description"]

Amazon collected a total of [amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="reviews"] with an average rating of [amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="rating"] ([amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="star_rating"])

Price:[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="price"]
Insulation
Durability
Portability
Value for money

Why we chose this one?

The Engel 65 is considerably pricier, and it shows. It comes with an interesting color choice which surely makes it stand out from the crowd of other coolers. The capacity is 54 quarts, which is perfectly fine for most traveling singletons, groups or families.

Part of the higher end design includes a gasket that keeps warm air out, a hinge with an interlocking design, and durable roto-molding. The rope handles take a little getting used to though. The 25.5-pound weight is in the mid-range of the weight for different coolers under review. Anyone who doesn’t have strong arms will appreciate that this model isn’t overly heavy.  

The hinge has a different design than other coolers or ice boxes reviewed. It’s a little smoother during use compared to the T-shaped hinges that require a firmness to almost force them into position. This hinge has a bit more finesse to it. The cooler is capable of keeping stored items below 40 degrees for at least 5 days. The Engel 65 is the classier model too if that’s what you’re looking for with your cooling needs.

Specifications

· Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 17.3 x 18 inches ; 29 pounds

· Shipping Weight: 28 pounds

· Days of Ice: Up to 10 days

· Compression latches for airtight seal

· Proprietary weight dispersement system in the lid

· All silicon gaskets, instead of rubber

· Tapered interior for quick and easy draining

[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="thumb" image="2" image_size="large"]
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[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="thumb" image="5" image_size="large"]

Pros

  • Tapered interior for quick and easy draining
  • Cheap (for high end model)
  • Convenient size 
  • Lightweight
  • It is bear resistant

Cons

  • Surface is not smooth cleaning
  • Rope handles are not comfortable
  • No wheels
  • Some claims that ice doesn't last 10 days (although reports say ice lasts at least 5 days in very hot weather)

3. Best value buy (tight budget) Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt


[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="description"]

Amazon collected a total of [amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="reviews"] with an average rating of [amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="rating"] ([amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="star_rating"])

Price:[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="price"]
Insulation
Durability
Portability
Value for money

Why we chose this one?

Coleman is a popular name in camping gear. They tend to be on the more affordable end of the market, but sometimes there is more than one model to choose from. There isn’t much different with the Xtreme cooler, in that it stays below 40 degrees for up to four days at a stretch. It holds at least 68 quarts too, despite weighing in at surprisingly light 11.9 pounds. It is only beaten by the Igloo, which shaved a few more grams of the weight, but it has less than half the capacity.

The insulation is sufficient to keep food and drinks cool, yet it’s not airtight like it is in some other ice boxes on the market. The plain nature of the design won’t win any design awards here. The handles are also tough to get used to and a bit uncomfortable. However, given the lighter weight, it’s manageable compared to more comfortable handles fitted to boxes that weigh several times more before you load them up.

For people on a much smaller budget, the Coleman Xtreme is a good all-round choice. You won’t get the bells and whistles here, but that’s typical of this brand where buyers want value at the right price.

Specifications

· Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 15.8 x 18.2 inches ; 12.3 pounds

· Shipping Weight: 13.5 pounds

· Days of Ice: Up to 5 days

· Quart Capacity: 50

· Can Capacity: 84

· Contains cup holders

[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="2" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="3" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="5" image_size="large"]

Pros

  • Good insulation for the price
  • Inexpensive
  • Good capacity for its size
  • Lightweight
  • Can use it as a seat

Cons

  • Does not have a tray
  • Hinges are made of plastic instead of steal
  • No wheels
  • Does not come with internal basket
  • The lid is not removable

4. Best wheeled cooler RovR RollR 60


[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="large"]

[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="description"]

Amazon collected a total of [amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="reviews"] with an average rating of [amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="rating"] ([amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="star_rating"])

Price:[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="price"]
Insulation
Durability
Portability
Value for money

Why we chose this one?

The RovR RollR is included because it comes with a set of chunk wheels to pull it down the trail, so you don’t have to carry it. This makes the RollR hugely attractive to people with a bad back, who lack the arm strength or just prefer life on wheels.

It has a solid 60 quarts capacity and will keep its storage area below 40 degrees for at least four days. It does weigh just over 40 pounds, so it’s a hefty one. Getting it out of the trunk is going to require some effort – you may wish to empty out the food and drink first and reload once it is on the ground – but once you’re rolling along, the extra weight won’t matter.

The model comes with some accessories, but the design has fiddly latches that aren’t the simplest to use. However, the main selling point is it’s like a suitcase with rollers – only better. And who can argue with that?

Specifications

· Product Dimensions: 27 x 22 x 21 inches ; 45 pounds

· Shipping Weight: 49.8 pounds

· Days of Ice: Up to 10 days

· Quart Capacity: 60

· Can Capacity: 84

· 9 inch all terrain tires

· Tires are inflatable

[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="2" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="3" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="4" image_size="large"]

Pros

  • Strong wheels for tough terrain
  • Deep freeze storage section included
  • Wagon bin included
  • Don't have to have strength to wheel
  • Can attach cup holders & prepping boards
  • Can be connected to a bicycle

Cons

  • It is a little heavy
  • Need to purchase add-ons like prepping board & cup holder
  • Can collect condensation at the bottom
  • Insulation is not perfect (their 10 day benchmark is very much condition dependent)

5. Best Personal Cooler Igloo BMX 25


[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="large"]

[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="description"]

Amazon collected a total of [amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="reviews"] with an average rating of [amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="rating"] ([amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="star_rating"])

Price:[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="price"]

Insulation
Durability
Portability
Value for money

Why we chose this one?

The Igloo rounds out our five products under review with the BMX 25 cooler. This one is a dinky version with a 25 quarts capacity. It’s intended for singletons and undemanding families who would prefer something else other than a Coleman and don’t need anything like that capacity either.

The BMX 25 will keep under 40 degrees for 2-3 days or more. It has good insulation yet there’s no airtight seal, so air or water can get inside. The latches and hinges also leave something to be desired, even though they function just fine.

The 11.3-pound weight is the lightest in the group, but with its 25-quart capacity, that makes sense. The walls are thicker than you might expect, which accounts for why it’s almost as heavy as the Coleman Xtreme, but it offers less than half its storage capacity.

For someone who doesn’t need or want a large cooler but still wants to keep food fresh and drinks cold enough, this Igloo model ticks a lot of boxes.

Specifications

· Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 15.7 x 13.2 inches ; 2.2 pounds

· Shipping Weight: 10 pounds

· Days of Ice: Up to 4 days at 90 degrees Fahrenheit

· Quart Capacity: 25

· Rubberized T-latches

· Extra-thick foam walls and lid for 4 day ice retention 

· Fish ruler and four tie-down points on the lid

[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="2" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="3" image_size="large"]
[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="4" image_size="large"]

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable strong carry handle
  • Easily fit 12 pack of beers with plenty of ice
  • lid is rigid enough to be used as a seat
  • latches lock the lid down tight

Cons

  • No drain plug
  • Less usable space (compared to overall size) due to the heavy duty wall thickness
  • Latches sometimes hang down and get in the way when you're trying to close the cooler

Summary comparison of the best camping ice chests

Ice Chest

Ice Retention

Dimensions

Shipping Weight

Shop

Yeti Tundra 65

[amazon fields="B003V53GFM" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

30.5 x 17.5 x 16 inches ; 29 pounds

35.2 pounds

Engel 65

[amazon fields="B004U6NH6Y" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

29.5 x 17.3 x 18 inches ; 29 pounds

28 pounds

Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt

[amazon fields="B00AU6GB2K" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 5 days ice retention

28.2 x 15.8 x 18.2 inches ; 12.3 pounds

13.5 pounds

RovR RollR 60

[amazon fields="B07B77BN19" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 10 days ice retention

27 x 22 x 21 inches ; 45 pounds

49.8 pounds

Igloo BMX 25

[amazon fields="B077Y84VR9" value="thumb" image="1" image_size="small"]

Up to 4 days ice retention

19.6 x 15.7 x 13.2 inches ; 2.2 pounds

10 pounds

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When camping, temperature control is important, I encourage you to check out our article about checking the temperature on your phone.

FAQs related to ice chest coolers

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Best from the rest of the internet:

I regularly trawl through the internet looking for great conversations on our topics on other platforms. I will show them below, if you find any conversations you feel should be included below, feel free to reach out to me. Thanks.

William Chutney

About the author

Welcome to temperaturesensei.com. My name is William and everything you have read has been written by me. I am a retired man who lives in Texas now. I worked for 25 years for a company that made temperature products (I do not want to name them). If you have any questions or comments pop them in the chat below.

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