Best Rolling Cooler
Quick Answer: Best Rolling Cooler
Unless you plan to eat canned goods or gather for food where you are headed to on your next adventure, a cooler can be a necessity.
However, typical coolers can be cumbersome to bring, especially those that are designed to carry several days’ worth of supplies. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this – rolling coolers.
Rolling coolers are available in various sizes, shapes, makes and appearance, just like their non-wheeled counterparts. But the biggest advantage of coolers with wheels is that they can make your life easier.
There will be no need for heavy lifting. All you have to do is roll the cooler.
While it sounds like a great idea to get your own cooler now, this task is easier said than done. As there are dozens of options to choose from, choosing the best one can become daunting.
This guide will walk you through how to choose the best cooler. We will also show some of the top picks we have.
Scroll down for detailed reviews.
Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Rolling Cooler
As we mentioned earlier, the best coolers with wheels come in different makes and features so the best product for you is something that matches your needs and preferences.
Having said that, these are the factors that you need to consider when comparing wheeled coolers:
The storage capacity should be the first thing you need to check to narrow down your cooler options. If you often spend many days overlanding or if you frequently bring friends or family to your adventure, you will need a high-capacity cooler for that purpose.
When checking the storage capacity of the cooler, keep in mind that if it says 50 quarts of storage, it may be referring to the total capacity of both the insulated and non-insulated areas.
If you will be using a cooler for chilled items only, then look for a cooler that will let you use the entire capacity for cooling.
The size of the cooler is typically related to its capacity. But more than that, size is an important consideration because it can affect how you would carry the cooler in your car or store it when not in use.
Some of the best coolers with wheels are just massive and can be difficult to transport or store. For small vehicles, soft-sided coolers may be the better choice.
Soft-sided coolers are typically malleable and can fit into small spaces especially when not full, unlike hard coolers which keep the same size regardless if they are filled or not.
The materials used in the construction of a cooler greatly affects how it works. High quality hard-sided wheeled coolers generally feature rotomolded construction while soft-sided coolers are made of extra durable fabric.
Rotomolding is normally used for products that require a high-quality finish, high stability and uniform thickness. Rotomolded coolers are made of one single piece of highly durable plastic rather than multiple pieces attached together. With this technique, a cooler will have no weak spot.
The strength of soft coolers depends on the type of fabric used in the construction. However, even the strongest fabric is no match for the durability of rotomolded plastic.
This feature may not be a big deal if you are of average height. However, if you are a tall person, using a cooler designed for an average height may cause discomfort and back pain.
That’s when the handle height becomes a vital factor to consider.
When comparing wheeled coolers, it is important to also check the wheel size as well as what they are made up of.
Small wheels which you’ll normally find in less expensive coolers work fine in sidewalks, but you can’t expect them to do well in rough terrains. If you frequently go overlanding or hiking in mountainous areas, it’s a good idea to invest in rolling coolers with durable big wheels.
Type of Insulation
Insulation plays a huge role in ice retention time. There are different types of insulation used for coolers but the two main types are polystyrene and foam.
- Polystyrene – Hard-sided rolling coolers are typically made of polystyrene. It is a cheap, durable, and lightweight material that works great as an insulator.
- Foam – Foam is the most common insulation used for soft-sided coolers. However, unlike polystyrene, it doesn’t do well in keeping ice for an extended time.
The seal works hand in hand with the insulator. A good insulator is nothing if the cooler has no tight seal.
When choosing a cooler, get one with a high-quality seal. Never underestimate the function of a gasket around the cooler lid as it ensures a good seal.
So make sure that when you check a cooler, check also if it has a reliable gasket for improved insulation.
Finally, the price can also be a big factor when it comes to choosing the best rolling cooler. You should ask yourself, how much am I willing to spend on it?
If you want to get the best cooler and use it for a day’s adventure, there are cheaper coolers that will work fine for you. However, if you frequently spend several days outdoors, then it’s a good idea to invest in a high-end rolling cooler with top-of-the-line features.
These best coolers may come with an expensive price but that will be in exchange for high performance.
Best Rolling Coolers Reviews
The Igloo Ice Cube rolling cooler is one of the least expensive rolling coolers in this review. You can’t easily get a 60-quart capacity rolling cooler at its price range.
This best cooler is made of a durable and lightweight Polyethylene thermoplastic. It has exterior dimensions of 20 x 18.5 x 20.69 inches. Given its high capacity, it can carry up to 90 cans of beverages.
We also found that this wheeled cooler is equipped with Igloo’s cool riser technology which helps minimize contact with hot surfaces. This in turn improves its cooling performance.
Once the ice melted, you can easily drain the water using its recessed drain plug.
Some of those who have tried using this wheel cooler appreciated its reinforced tow handle and two big wheels.
There were users who mentioned that the molded side scoop handles are pretty useful. They make transporting a lot easier.
- High capacity
- Good insulation
- With a reliable telescoping handle
- Some users have reported quality issues with its handle
Going overlanding or camping for several days? This wheeled cooler can keep your camping food and beverages cool for up to 5 days. And it’s large enough to carry up to 95 cans!
Coleman is a popular cooler brand for a reason. Their coolers are known to be tough and durable.
They use an insulated lid plus extra insulation to ensure that the cooler can handle temperatures of up to 90 degrees (F).
Bringing this cooler from point A to point B is also easy. It comes with a carry telescoping handle and when it is upright, it measures about 26 inches from the ground.
It also has two additional 2-way handles for lifting.
This wheeled cooler measures 29.38 x 15.5 x 19.94 inches so you can easily fit this at the back of your car. It is also lightweight when empty, just weighing 1.1 ounces.
Many users share one interesting thing about this cooler. They say that it has a pretty tough lid which you can use to sit on. As per the manufacturer, it can support up to 250 pounds.
- Extra durable
- High capacity
- Ice retention of up four days to five days
- The handle is a bit short and not for tall users
Review of Ultra Compact Cooler Smart Cart, Moroccan Tile Insulated Collapsible Rolling Tailgate BBQ Beach Summer
Soft coolers have their pros and cons but one important consideration is that they are typically foldable when empty. This means you can easily carry or store them after use.
This is true for the Ultra Compact Cooler Smart Cart. Weighing less than 3 pounds, this is one of the lightest coolers in our list.
Measuring about 12 x 10 x 36 inches, this cooler is just the right size for a day or two-day camping trip. It fits 36 cans of beverage plus ice cubes. It is fully insulated and is leakproof to keep your food and beverages chilled.
You can take this wheeled cooler in your picnics, a day at the beach, short camping and fishing trips.
- Can be folded flat when not in use
- Not as good as most hard-sided coolers when it comes to ice retention
This wheeled cooler is not for overlanding or camping but it is more ideal for indoor activities or outdoor parties, backyard picnics or BBQs.
The PetGirl Portable cooler is designed to keep your food and beverages cold for 48 hours and warm for 8 hours. With its 80-quart capacity, you can store more than 70 cans or over 50 bottles in it.
It is even built with a bottle opener and a catch tray for your convenience.
This cooler wheeled by four 2.75-inch multidirectional wheels is also very portable.
And unlike the typical hard-sided coolers, it is not made of plastic but of smooth powder-coated steel exterior with PP-lined injection foam insulation body.
- High capacity cooler
- Solid construction
- Easy to maneuver
- Drain is on the side so you have to tilt it to get all the water out
Just like the PetGirl Portable Cooler, this product too is best for indoor and outdoor parties and gatherings.
This stylish cooler with wheels is huge, measuring 37.5 x 18.5 x 33.7 inches and weighing 43 pounds. However, it is not difficult to maneuver even when full as it features two side handles and four caster wheels, two of which have a locking mechanism.
With its large size, this best cooler can hold up to 110 pcs of 12-ounce cans with extra space for ice. Some users claimed that this wheeled cooler can keep your beverages cold for up to four days.
And if you need extra storage for other items, there’s also a lower rack where you can put them.
Cleaning is also a breeze as it has a removable lid and a drain plug and a powder-coated finish.
- Big storage capacity
- Easy to clean
- Some users have complained about rust
If you are looking for a lightweight soft cooler for a day trip to the beach, or BBQ party, we recommend you check the Arctic Zone 44.
It is an insulated tote with high-density thermal insulation and it features a Therma-Flect radiant barrier to keep your food either cold or hot for several hours.
Measuring 14.5 x 13.25 x 18 inches and weighing 4.34 pounds, this cooler fits about 44 cans of beverages.
Cleaning this wheeled cooler is also not a problem. It comes with a Microban interior that is easy to wipe clean. Microban also offers protection against stains and bacterial odors.
- Easy to move due to its wheels and retractable handle
- Easy to clean
- The frame is not foldable unlike some soft-sided wheeled coolers
Our list will not be complete without the YETI Tundra portable cooler. This hard cooler is virtually indestructible, thanks to its rotomolded construction. It is the first-ever YETI cooler that has wheels!
With the toughness of this wheeled cooler combined with the 55-quart capacity and long ice retention time of about 7 days, it makes for perfect camping or overlanding cooler. It does have two large tires which make it perfect for rough terrain.
The YETI Tundra Haul has an overall size of 28.25 x 18.63 x 19.5 inches and weighs 32 pounds. Yes, it is not lightweight but its extra-durable handle and large wheels make transporting a lot easier.
Many users mentioned they are torn between the RTIC or YETI tundra haul but they prefer the latter due to the good reputation of the brand. But if you want to check out what RTIC has to offer, you could also check our RTIC cooler review.
- Rotomolded construction
- Durable large wheels
- Long ice retention time
- On the expensive side but you get what you pay for
With puncture-resistant all-terrain tires! That’s great for any overlanding adventure. You’ll feel confident bringing this wheeled cooler anywhere regardless of the terrain.
Aside from its extra-durable tires, another thing you’d love about this wheeled cooler is its ice retention time can go up to 10 days. This high performance is due to its rotomolded construction, airtight gasket and thick foam insulation.
Measuring 27 x 22 x 21 inches and weighing 45 pounds, it’s a huge cooler that can carry up to 60 cans It even has a dry storage bin for other supplies.
It is worth mentioning that this cooler wins the MEN’S JOURNAL 2018 GEAR OF THE YEAR Award as the most feature-packed cooler.
- With many great features including a dry bin
- Rotomolded construction
- High capacity
Pelican is also a renowned brand and their Elite coolers are some of the best we’ve seen. These coolers come with a lifetime guarantee.
This best cooler is a bit small compared with the other hard coolers we feature on this list. It measures 19 x 12 x 12 inches and weighs 37.25 pounds. With its small size, it only has a 45-quart capacity.
In spite of its size, we still thought that the Elite wheeled cooler is a good contender for wheeled coolers because of its great features. It is fitted with 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation and it features a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket.
Due to its well-thought construction, it has an ice retention time of up to 10 days.
We also want to mention that the Elite wheeled cooler features a leakproof drain plug for easy cleaning and two large wheels with non-skid rubber feet for moving around.
- Long ice retention time
- Large wheels for rough terrain
- A few users reported quality issue with the gasket
Another good option for a party cart cooler, this product is for the stylish and perky.
The Leigh Country Coca Cola cooler has a 60-quart capacity which makes it perfect for parties and gatherings, whether indoor or outdoor.
Its total size is 29.5 x 16.9 x 31.5 inches. While it’s a huge cooler, it is easy to move around using its four casters, two of which are lockable.
Aside from the main compartment for keeping the beverages and food cold, it also features a powder-coated bottle opener and cap catcher plus a steel towel bar. It does have a drain plug for easy cleaning.
- Easy to move around
- High capacity
- No extra storage at the bottom of the cooler, unlike the other cooler carts mentioned above
Q: What coolers are as good as YETI?
All the coolers we listed above have great and outstanding features. But there are two products that really stand out.
For the hard-sided coolers, we were originally torn between Pelican and YETI but in the end, we’ve finally chosen YETI as our first choice.
YETI has many great features so while it is a bit expensive, it is worth your money. Its durability and ice retention time are commendable.
As for the rolling cart coolers, our top choice is the Permasteel PS-203F1-BLK-AM 80 Quart Portable Rolling Patio Cooler. It has a large capacity and solid construction and is easy to clean.
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