Everyone is looking for a cooler that’s worth their while but without having to spend more than necessary on one. However, it matters sometimes; it’s true that you get what you pay for.
In this review, we’re going to introduce you to some of the best coolers under $100; coolers that are praised, trusted and pretty durable given their prices.
The coolers industry is not a small one, the number of coolers and option you might choose from is quite endless, but with this review, we hope you’ll find your best budget cooler under $100.
Best Small Coolers Under $100
This could be your best companion, your road pall and your savior. Igloo is one of the oldest pioneers of this industry and also the most innovative of them all. They make super popular coolers with all different sizes, colors and reasonable prices.
The Igloo BMX is 25 Qt as the name suggests and it’s the perfect size for a cooler that you put next to you in the car or easily carry around whenever you jump out of it.
This cooler has a heavy duty blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection because small doesn’t mean weak. It’s also featured with UV inhibitors to protect the cooler against sun damage. It comes with stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware to make sure serves you for a life time.
Let’s get to business though; ice retention on this board is exactly what you’d expect from it; ice would last you up to 3 days if you keep the cooler in the shade. The Igloo BMX is given insulation foam that’s 20% thicker than usual along with the insulated lid that once sealed, the cold will be completely and perfectly contained inside for a better prolonged performance.
Klein Tools is an international brand with a century and half of experience and commitment. This little Work Cooler here is 17 qt and it’s quite phenomenal; it’s super tough a durable you can put 300 lbs on it and it wouldn’t twitch; there, you got yourself a chair. It also promises 30 hours of ice retention under different circumstances.
The walls of the Work Cooler are completely filled with insulation foam including the lid, and that’s what makes the difference because let’s face the facts here; small coolers don’t usually have a strong on-going ice retention effect because simply they have less insulation foam injected into their walls. Klein Tools wanted to do things differently and here we are with a cooler than keep it cool up to 30 hours even when it’s hot.
Other than that, the lid stays open at 90 and 180 degree for easy access and all of the features and details on the Work Cooler are sharp, neat and reflect the high quality of the production process. One last thing, the lid has an inside pocket where you can secure some of the stuff that need to remain dry; nice add if you ask me.
Best Large Coolers Under $100
Now this is an unbelievably affordable cooler. The Polar cooler is 120 qt and it’s quite a simple one; it’s white and it has a classic design with nice round edges. It might not be the strongest cooler but it definitely does the job for all we know.
In terms of ice retention, a cooler this big would normally hold ice inside for at least 5-6 days but given the price gap here it might not be the same. However, the Polar cooler is one of Igloo’s iconic coolers and it’s highly appreciated because it’s really decent compared to coolers with the same price.
The details on the Polar Cooler are not bad at all; the latches are different than what you’d have seen in recent newer coolers while the handles are made of plastic with metal hinges. Our little advice here is to be a friendly user all you can because a cooler this affordable is not expected to last you a life time; it’s just priced really reasonably and it’ll do the job required for it.
Coleman Coolers is another iconic brand with a long history and a great legacy with hundreds of outdoors’ products and inventions. Coleman Coolers has both affordable and expensive coolers with different features and build quality which makes sense for an experienced brand like itself.
The Xtreme 120 qt cooler is a large cooler with a capacity of 204 cans as it’ll also work as a super rigid chair if needed. The lid is insulated just like the cooler’s walls which make its ice retention performance a lot better. Coleman promises you 6 days of ice retention but being honest we’d say it’d last 4 days at least in the shades.
That being said, let’s not forget that this cooler will cost you less than a 100 dollars compared to other insanely priced coolers that are the same size.
As for the features, we can say is that they’re basic; the lid has 4 built-in cup holders, the carry handles are good and drainer will allow you to dry out the cooler fast and easy.
Best Wheeled Coolers Under $100
You’re reading this section because you are interested in mobility and transportation more than anything else and you’re so right to think this way.
A cooler that you can transport easily with minimum effort is a great thing. Here are 2 crazily affordable wheeled coolers:
This cooler has a minimal and simple design making it look sharp and timeless. The color choice however is a little questionable; black attracts heat and that’s the last think a cooler needs. Nonetheless; we have to admit that the Coleman wheeled Xtreme cooler is quite a view given its price.
The Wheeled Xtreme is featured with a telescoping handle so it doesn’t take much space when stored. It comes with nice and rigid wheels that can take some beating, and since it’s not too big, you can always carry it when necessary using the molded-in side handles.
The lid here comes with 4 build-in cup holders and it can be used as an extra chair when needed. Now what’s great about this lid is that it’s a tough one; once you seal it there is no way it’d just open by accident. In other words, this lid won’t open unless you use both hands to do so.
We like this wheeled cooler though we know that its build quality is not quite the best. However; it certainly does the job and it comes with one of most unbeatable prices in the market.
This is another extremely affordable and practical cooler by Igloo. The Ice Cube Roller is 60 qt with an Ultratherm insulated body to maximum ice retention performance. It might not look like the best cooler in terms of looks, color choice or innovation, but it’s one hell of a performer.
The Ice Cube has a telescoping handle just like its previous rival and 4 built in cup holders. The wheels are neat on this one and dragging the cooler around feels easy and smooth. We can’t say that coolers like these are meant to conquer harsh terrains and grant you the ultimate outstanding ice retention performance because simply they’re not built for it.
Now one thing everyone loves about this Ice Cube is its perfect size; it’s a great versatile cooler that’ll do very nicely for all different light outdoors activities. If the weather is not too hot and you’re keeping this cooler in a little shade, you’ll get yourself a solid 3-4 days of ice retention which is honestly great for the price you’ll be paying.
Best Soft Coolers Under $100
Now that’s a long name, but guess what; it’s so worth the fuzz. Arctic Zone is one of the brands that make quality coolers that are guaranteed to turn some heads and yet are still considered affordable.
The Titan Deep Freeze could be your best choice for a soft cooler ever; it’s tough with HardBody liner and SmartShelf technologies that add up nicely to its overall performance. The triple layer ColdBlock base is also an added feature to enhance the cooler’s ice retention performance offering you a whole day of ice action at least.
You can super easily and quickly reach to the coolers main pocket thanks to the patented Zipperless lid; it’s a pretty swift move if you ask me. Also, there is an exterior pocket with zipper where you can secure dry items as well. The shoulder strap is great and rigid with a padded part for more comfort.
Now if you look at the lid, there’s literally a bungee system; this will allow you to carry more on you because why not? And if anything to end this short review about the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Soft cooler it should be how good it looks and feels; the exterior material is tough, stain and water resistant, and wipes clean easily. You’re no way going wrong with this cooler.
This cooler is well equipped with plenty of useful and functional features. You’ll find a number of exterior pockets to store your dry belongings, side mesh pockets, a bottle opener on one of the shoulder straps and an iPhone 8 Plus pocket. The shoulder straps and back are nicely padded and it’s actually a pleasant thing to handle this cooler.
The Tourit Backpack comes in 3 different colors; black, gray and blue and they’re all sharp looking, simple and well-made. What’s even better is that this cooler is water resistant and leak proof with a life time warranty in case of any defect; yup, that’s right; you’ll get your back fully covered with one of these coolers.
In terms of ice retention ability, Tourit is very clear and forward about it and they promise you nothing less than 16 hours of good ice retention which is more than enough for one day. This is a great cooler with great features for an irresistible price.
Last but not least, Polar Bear Cooler in general is a highly praised brand thanks to their quality products including soft coolers. This Solar Series cooler is a small soft cooler that’s quite pricier than the two previously listed coolers and that’s understandable; Polar Bear is one way or another setting the bar a little too high as it competes with the pioneering brands of this market. Nevertheless, this soft cooler of theirs is still under $100.
The Solar Series soft cooler is remarkably compact, rigid and tough. It’s one of the easiest coolers to handle with a nice shoulder strap and carry handles and an exterior pocket on the back which comes really handy.
The exterior body of this cooler is made of 1000 denier luggage-grade nylon with a UV-Resistant PU Coating to prolong its life span and performance while the interior is smooth and easy to dry and clean.
If you really like this cooler, you can choose either the color, silver, gray or green. This is actually a really good choice for a tote size soft cooler.
You might not like all of the items on this list, but what we like about it that all of these coolers are under $100 which makes them super interesting.
These are some of the best budget coolers that would definitely surprise you given how affordable they are which will save you a fortune while getting almost the same job done as other expensive coolers.