Best Cooler For The money
Best cooler for the money might be hard to really pick as it is going to completely depend on your use will be. If you are going fishing, you might use a different cooler than someone who say, is just simply tailgating. However, there are a lot of coolers on the market and some clearly better than others. Below you will see our distribution of the coolers we believe are the best coolers on the market. Take a quick read and go over our picks, we did a lot of the work, and wasted a lot of our money, to make sure you don’t have to!
eBags Crew Cooler II
A great cooler pick up for the money is the eBags Crew Cooler II, this cooler is an amazing general all-purpose cooler for a very cheap price. The dimensions of the cooler are 10.5 x 15 x 8.5 inches making it the perfect size for one to three people. It was originally designed for flight attendants, as they have many more cooler needs than the average person on a daily basis.
The total weight of the cooler is only 2lbs, this makes it super light for anyone to pick up and carry, and it also folds down (moderately flat) to fit better in a suitcase or stored anywhere when not in use. To achieve this weight and flexibility the eBags Crew Cooler II is made of extremely durable nylon, and comes in several colors such as Black, Blue, Red, Grey, Purple, Turquoise, and Green.
Trust us (and the 1100+ reviews) that this is one of the best coolers on the market for an individual or a small family for all their cooler needs.
Yeti Coolers Tundra Series
Our next recommended cooler comes from none other than the famous Yeti brand. If you do not know much, or anything, about coolers, Yeti is the top of the line premium cooler company. All Yeti coolers and cooler products are made in the USA, which being a former Marine is important to me. The particular Yeti cooler I want to highlight here is the Yeti Tundra Series. Though Yeti would be considered a luxury brand, nearly every customer says it is worth EVERY penny and could very well be the best cooler for the money, at least on the higher end of the spectrum.
This cooler will keep ice in it for 5-7 days under normal use with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, which to be honest, is insane. The Yeti Tundra Series comes in a few colors, Desert Tan, Ice Blue, and White. The Yeti Tundra Series comes in many sizes also, anything from 20 quarts to 75 quarts. The durability of this cooler is unmatched, so far as even being called “bear resistant” which honestly is quite funny.
People have reported jumping up and down on the cooler and not leaving a mark, and for cleaning, they recommend anything from a towel with soap to pressure washing it off, let’s see that happen with your average cooler. The Yeti Tundra Series may be a luxury cooler but it is certainly worth it if you plan of doing anything more than bringing lunch to work, making this cooler an extremely good purchase for the outdoor enthusiast.
Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Coolers
Do you like technology? Like being the guy or gal with the brand new top of the line gadgets? Well here is the cooler for you! The Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler is essentially a portable refrigerator on wheels! It comes with an 8ft cord that can plug in to any 12v adapter (that’s the cigarette lighter in cars) and keep anything you want nice and cool. This makes the Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler perfect for long road trips, vacations, or any tailgating event.
It comes in two sizes, 26 and 28 quarts, which may not sound like a lot compared to some other coolers…..BUT…..there is NO ICE in this cooler, so that 26 or 28 quarts is completely open for whatever you want to keep cool in there without ice taking up half the room! In addition to the car adapter plug in, there is another adapter you can buy (cost extra sadly) that allows you to plug it in to any standard outlet making the cooler even more versatile in everyday life. The cooler is on wheels and only weighs 11.5 pounds, which isn’t bad for a portable mini fridge of technology!
A few things to note with the cooler however, it does have a low noise while in use, much like a refrigerator or a small fan. Also, while the cooler is in use, you want to make sure you leave the fan area open so it can suck in air as needed to keep your food and drinks cold with no issues. The cooler is small enough to fit in a back seat, or under a desk at work, but big enough to hold anything you want, over 400 five star reviews on Amazon should tell you everything you need to know! As far as thermoelectric coolers go, this one is one of the best coolers for the money.
Polar Bear Coolers
Next up is another low to mid-price range cooler that is a tailgater’s best friend. The Polar Bear Cooler even names their sizes based on how much you want to drink! The Polar Bear comes in a 6pack, 12pack, and 24pack size, as well as several colors (Green, Mossy Oak Breakup, Mossy Oak Duckblind, Navy, Red, and Solar Bear). It is made of heavy duty nylon, and nearly completely water proof, the only part not water proof is the zipper.
This cooler will keep ice for up to 48 hours (some reviews have said 72 hours) with no issues, which is astounding for the price of the cooler! From personal experience here, I will tell you the 24pack size can get pretty heavy when fully packed with ice and beer, so do plan accordingly! If you are on a budget of sorts, this is probably a great soft cooler brand to look in to as they are good mix of quality and price!
Though picking a cooler can have so many deciding factors, I hope our article helped you realize some things to look in to, and why they are important. Money is always a big factor, but sometimes paying a bit more will actually get you more for your money than playing the cheap game. Example of the Yeti Tundra Series vs the eBags Crew Cooler II, both are great coolers for their price, but if you need to do anything more than pack a lunch, the eBags Crew Cooler II may not meet the demands you put on your cooler. Read below and see why the name brand can help determine what the best cooler for you may be!
Getting The Best Cooler For The Money
When picking your cooler, it is very important to look for key qualities while making your choice. Just because a cooler is more expensive, does not always mean it holds ice longer, weighs less, is more durable, or is simply the better cooler. On the flip side, trying to be as cheap as you can will generally not net you a great cooler either. If you truly want the best cooler for the money you are going to need to compare a few things, or better yet, let us compare and you just read!
This is of course a probably the most important part of the process when buying anything. If your budget is only $90 then looking at a Yeti is probably not a good idea, maybe look in to the Coleman or Igloo brands. Coolers of all brands come in many different price ranges, I’d suggest you really think about what your budget is and then narrow down your selection from there. If you truly want a cooler that will last you worth its time, I wouldn’t spend below $120 or so, there are a few exceptions but for the most part, you get what you pay for with coolers.
Rotomolding? Yes, Definitely
This is the new industry standard for coolers, and there is a great reason why. Rotomolding is the process of creating a cooler as one, smooth, solid piece. Before this creation method, coolers were pieced and glued together. The old way caused gaps in the cooler, allowing air pockets, or leaks. With rotomolding, coolers have come a long ways, they are able to be better insulated, seam free, no air gaps, and more durable. The higher end coolers fully utilize this revolutionary molding process even in the lid, allowing even more insulation and less cold loss during opening and closing.
Type And Amount Of Insulation
I know, I know, a cooler is supposed to be insulated, duh! But……what type of insulation is it? This is a VERY important key factor in how long your cooler will keep its ice from melting. Insulation is based on an “R” rating, and no its not for foul language or violence. The “R” rating is basically the insulation’s ability to resist thermal heat traveling through it. The higher this rating, the better the insulation will keep heat out of the cooler, keeping what you have inside frozen. To give an example, the Coleman 40Quart Cooler has an “R” rating of 2, while the Yeti Tundra Series Cooler has an “R” rating of 7. This makes the Yeti VASTLY superior to the Coleman 40 Quart for ice retention, though it is also much higher priced.
Size Of The Cooler
The size of the cooler matters in the selection process because if your cooler is too small it will not hold as much as you need, like wise if you purchase one that is too big, it may not fit where you are wanting to put it. Coolers range from a simple lunch time cooler, to industrial sizes made to hold drinks and food for entire crews. Make sure you review the size of the cooler before you purchase it, they are normally rated either by cans, or by quarts. The easy conversion rate for cans to quarts is 3 cans to 4 quarts. For example, a 30 quart cooler will hold 40 cans. Like wise a 24 can cooler is 18 quarts.
What Will You Be Using The Cooler For?
Depending on what you intend to use the cooler on will depend what kind you need. We have written other articles on each use, for example, if you are a student that is busy walking campus all day you may want to use a backpack cooler. Work in an office? Maybe just pack a soft cooler with your daily food and drinks to avoid hauling around a heavy cooler. How about a family going on vacation, probably want a good mid size cooler to ensure you have plenty of storage room for the kids snacks! Own a business, work crew, or big tailgating party? Don’t worry we got you covered also, there is definitely a cooler for every occasion.
It’s Too Heavy!
The standard weight of a cooler is going to be an important factor to take in to consideration. If a cooler weighs 5 pounds with nothing in it, wait until you put 10 pounds of ice and a 24 pack of coke in there. That 5 pound cooler nows weighs 22-25 pounds. When you have to carry that over long distances, that weight is going to add up quickly, or become a two person job. Always keep weight in mind, both empty and what it will weigh when packed, or you may end up with more than you can carry, literally.
Go over all these key qualities before making your purchase is sure to help you get the cooler you need for your activities. While these may not be the only things to consider before making purchasing, they are certainly important and should not be taken lightly.
Different Types Of Coolers
There are many different types of coolers, all made to fit the needs of each individual consumer. It is important to know all the types of coolers out there if you truly want to get the best cooler for the money. Below we will be exploring many of the options available and briefly touching on their main use. The different types of coolers out there range from your standard ice chest to iceless coolers you plug in your car or home.
This is really what most people think of when they initially think about the word cooler. This truly is your standard cooler that holds ice drinks and food, it may or may not come with wheels, and they range from personal coolers that hold a couple sodas and some ice, to huge ice chest that hold enough stuff for a tailgate party! The price of these also range quite a bit, some from under $50 to well over $500 if you want extremely high quality. These coolers are capable of keeping ice in the cooler and things cool for well over a week!
The soft cooler is, generally, a lighter easier to carry and manage cooler for families. Usually come with a carry strap to throw over your shoulder, but are big enough to carry enough for a small to mid size family. These coolers are usually great for a day or two of keeping things cold, pretty leak proof, and great for a vacation of sorts. Though these are soft coolers and lighter, does not mean they are not durable or well made. These coolers are made to take a bit of damage and keep on working just fine, generally speaking, kid proof! If you need a kids lunchbox, or something more kid friendly on vacation, a soft cooler is the best cooler for the money for you!
Backpack coolers are a relatively new cooler design, but they are taking off. No need to lug around a big cooler when you can put all your snacks and drinks in a backpack cooler and disperse the weight a lot better throughout your whole body, just like a backpack for school. Backpack coolers range a good amount in price, much like any other type of cooler. Generally speaking they are not as well insulated as say, an ice chest, but they are much easier to tote around, and big enough for a family day trip, think theme parks, or picnic.
The newest top of the line cooler design, the thermoelectric cooler. These coolers are basically a mini fridge that is more portable, they do not require ice at all, but do require a constant plug in source. They can plug straight in to your car 12v adapter, or you can get an adapter to have them plug straight in to any normal 3 prong plug in. Thermoelectric coolers are generally smaller as they are made to put in the backseat of a car and keep things cold. Despite being plugged in they generally do not put off mass amounts of heat or noise.
Meet the cooler brands!
I just wanted to take a minute and discuss the brands of the coolers and explain a little about them. A cooler is a cooler is a cooler to most people, but much like buying anything else, the brand name on it stands for something. Before reading what we believe are the best coolers for the money, take a minute and read what the brands are about first!
Side Note: Why do they all like naming their companies after large animals? Yeti, Grizzly, Polar Bear, Orca…….Just a curious question!
Founded in 2006, I think Yeti themselves summed it up quite well when they said their goal was to “build the cooler we’d use every day if it existed.” They did that, and then some, Yeti is one of the newer name brands on the market, but their quality is far greater than the average cooler. Their coolers have some of the best reviews not only from me, but thousands of customers worldwide. Outside Magazine did a pretty fun outdoor experiment with the Yeti 110 Tundra Series, the experiment basically involved them trying to destroy the cooler. Anything from hitting it with a sledge hammer, pushing it off a cliff, to dragging it behind a truck until it hits a tree and the rope snaps. They then cut a tree down letting it fall on to the cooler. The cooler was damaged, but it kept things cool, and was still usable. They are not a cheap everyday cooler, and they know that, so if you want a cooler that is the best cooler for the money, Yeti is definitely a great pick for top rated coolers.
Produced in Barcelona, Spain, Pelican Coolers have been around since 1976, giving them a good amount of experience in the cooler world of business. Pelican makes many more products than just coolers, they make a very large part of the cell phone case market. Don’t be fooled though, their coolers are of a very good quality and while still on the higher price range of coolers, generally below Yeti. The Pelican brand is certainly a brand you can trust with over 40 years of experience.
Engel is another company based in the USA, and quality is definitely important to Engel. Engel’s coolers are all bear resistant, that meaning, they literally have a bear that tries ripping the cooler apart to get the contents inside. Their products must pass this test in order to be manufactured for consumers. Engel is another line of coolers that have a higher than average price tag.
Polar Bear Coolers are the coolers for the normal average everyday people that are on a budget for a good product. Polar Bear includes sizing based on your drinking needs, they are lightweight, well until you fit that 24pack inside it, and come in many colors. While not as cheap as a Coleman cooler you buy at Wal-Mart, they are definitely cheaper than a Yeti Cooler, and for their price, a great deal for anyone in need of a cooler.
The good ol Igloo Cooler brand. Who doesn’t remember little league team sports that during each break you huddle up and get water out of the Igloo cooler. Igloo has a large range of coolers, but most of their product line is for retailers to sell to normal everyday consumers for general use. Igloo makes good products, but they are not as durable as the Pelican or Yeti brands, but they are also a fraction the price. If you want a cooler that will last you a season and won’t hit the bank account hard, Igloo or Coleman might be the brand you look in to.
The Coleman brand is much like the Igloo brand in terms of their target audience. They may not have the highest quality coolers, or bear resistant coolers, but they are much cheaper and for light casual use. These coolers are used a lot by fisherman to hold their caught fish in, as they keep things cold for a moderate amount of time, and are cheaper than other brands, so smelling like fish isn’t a big deal. The best cooler for the money if you do not intend on heavy use!
Orca is another brand that is made in the USA, providing our lovely Americans with jobs. Orca is a well-known brand that rivals Yeti in many comparisons. Much like how Mac and Windows get compared all the time, Orca and Yeti is the equivalent cooler comparison. Most would consider Orca the underdog, but they are certainly a brand of quality and craftsmanship. The price range on their gear is on par with the Yeti brand.
Last but certainly not least would be the Grizzly Cooler brand. Grizzly focuses their market on the fisherman, hunters, and outdoor extremist! That being said, they are durable products that are on the pricey end, but come with a lifetime warranty. If that isn’t enough to make them the best cooler for the money, I don’t know what is! Grizzly is certainly another top pick for top rated coolers.
Getting the best cooler for the money will always be a consumers dream, follow the steps we have went over, read our reviews and opinions, and do your research. This will certainly make the purchase a lot easier and ensure you get the cooler that will fit all your needs for the best price. If you ever want more information on a cooler, or have some personal input, please contact us and let us know!