Who doesn’t love road trips?
Even thinking of road trips thrills me up and nothing can be more fun than taking a break from your everyday boring life and exploring nature a little more. Whether going on a short or long road trip, there is a checklist of stuff that one follow while planning a trip.
Handy coolers are one of the main items of that checklist. Try and imagine yourself on a road trip to some super-hot region, in the scorching summers. The one thing that you’ll always want at your disposal is water that quenches your thirst.
And trust me, normal or regular bottles will only serve up some warm water which can only make you feel worse.
To avoid such situations, it is better to take a cooler with you on a road trip. Not just can you store beverages in the cooler, but coolers are even perfect to keep your food good for a prolonged duration. It can also retain the cold and ice it in for at least 2 to 3 days. Thus, you won’t need to worry about cold drinks or food around the trip.
Now, if you are wondering what all are the best coolers for road trips you can have, we have come up with some of the best coolers in terms of durability, handiness, and storage capacity.
What to Look for In a Road Trip Cooler
Before heading towards our choice of Best Road Trip coolers, there are a few factors that one should consider before actually buying a Road trip cooler.
Usually, a cooler’s capacity for a road trip is measured in terms of the number of cans it can hold. Apart from this, the capacity of ice it can accommodate is another factor that one can look for in the top-rated road trip cooler. The exterior dimensions don’t matter much in a road trip cooler, but the inner size and especially volume have a crucial effect.
Generally, small coolers can accommodate up to 6 to 8 coolers. But if you want a bigger cooler, then you can also find some coolers that can hold up to 14 cans in them. But if you are using travel coolers, make sure not to load just beverage in it. Do leave some space for food items and ice as well.
Based on your budget and usage, there are two types of coolers available, varying based on their insulation. The first one is known as polystyrene insulation, while the other one is foam insulation.
If you have plenty of budgets to get a cooler that can keep your beverages and food item cold or hot for a more extended period, then go for polystyrene or permafrost insulation. Generally, the thicker the wall of the cooler, the better is the insulation.
Polystyrene is better insulation overall; it keeps the stuff cold or hot for a longer time. They even provide better ice retention comparatively.
If you want a cooler for short trips and don’t want to spend much on it, you can also consider foam insulation coolers. This type of insulation is mostly available in the soft-sided cooler. They are ideal if you want to store ice or drinks or food in it for a few hours, but it has comparatively lower ice retention.
As there exist two types of coolers, the hard coolers and the soft coolers, when it comes to portability, soft coolers are the ideal choice.
As hard coolers have a more massive outer body and thick insulation, they had a weight of their own. Soft coolers, on the other hand, have foam’s insulation and fabric body and weigh negligible.
Ultimately, it depends on your requirements, which is the best cooler for you.
Construction and Durability
Construction and durability don’t matter much when you are going out on a road trip or a family vacation. But imagine a situation where you are going on camping, fishing, or hunting the woods with a soft cooler it won’t resist for a long time because it will tear apart soon.
In such a situation, hard coolers are an ideal choice. Thus, which cooler to choose depends on where you are going to use that cooler. For small road trips, either of the coolers will suit you well. But if you are an adventurous person, then soft coolers are not going to last long.
Some of the coolers that we listed below also comes with some additional features that can attract you a lot, like some of them contain a shoulder strap; others include a cup holder, and a lot more.
Thus, while looking for the best coolers, you can also look for a cooler that provides some additional features as well
No wonder cost is a crucial factor when you are purchasing anything. And the price will affect a lot on the purchase of great coolers for traveling as well. If you are tight on budget, you can go for soft coolers, but they will provide somewhat lesser cold retention.
But if the price doesn’t affect you much and you want a durable and long-lasting product, then my advice is to go for a hard cooler.
Now that we know what factors to consider before buying the top-rated road trip coolers, we can head towards our recommendation of the best cooler for a road trip.
Top-Rated Travel Cooler: Our Picks
When it comes to the top-rated cooler for a trip, the YETI Hopper 30 can be an ideal choice. It is an ultimate choice if you want a compact cooler, which can easily fit between the two sides of your car. Yeti coolers are also known for their durability and sturdiness.
Although Yeti hopper 30 is a soft-side cooler yet, the reason for considering it as the top-rated cooler for travel is because of its excellent ice retention capacity. It can hold ice in it for as long as 2 to 3 days. Thus, if you are going on a more extended trip, then you might need to replace the ice every other day.
Apart from this, it provides complete leak prevention, which means no need to worry about storing beverages and drinks in it. To make it leak-proof, the hydro lock zipper fitted in it plays an important role. Apart from this, it has a waterproof exterior as well.
Because of its small size, it is the best portable cooler. This cooler additionally is tear-resistant as well, thus no need to worry about any wear and tear. It is going to last long.
As it is compact, it becomes simpler to carry it along handily. Also, it comes with a shoulder strap, which will make it easier for you to carry it. Thus, whether you want to store beer or water bottles, or even ice, this cooler will keep them chill.
- Being a soft-sided cooler, it is a portable cooler that one can carry along easily.
- Very compact size-wise, thus you can easily keep it between the two seats of the car.
- It can retain ice for as long as 2 to 3 days.
- Perfect for keeping drinks and food cold without punctures.
- As it is a soft-sided cooler, you might need to replace the ice every other day if you are going on a more extended trip.
Related Review: YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler Review
If you are looking for a budget cooler, then none other than the Igloo Max Quartz cooler can be an ideal choice. Instead of being available at a low price, the Igloo Max Quartz cooler provides excellent functioning.
Instead of being a hard-sided cooler, it is available in two variants of sizes. The smaller one is planning a short family road trip with a volume capacity of 40 QT. But if you are planning a long road trip, then consider the 100 QT variant of Igloo Max Quartz cooler.
If you find it hard to carry the cooler using shoulder straps or handle, this cooler is the ultimate solution. With wheels, you can pull the cooler, moving the cooler more comfortable. Unlike the regular coolers, it contains a top handle, and two side handles to provide additional portability to the cooler.
Also, it provides ultratherm insulation, which is known for better ice retention. Although, users have complained that ice doesn’t last longer than two days while using this cooler.
Apart from this, it is pretty easy to clean the cooler’s interior, and it doesn’t hold any odor in it. Thus, this cooler doesn’t have anything unique in it, it is a basic cooler overall, but if you want a cooler at an affordable price, it can be the ideal pick.
Also, it additionally contains some flaws as well and lacks durability. But as it’s a hard side cooler, it is perfect for every kind of outing, varying from a sporting event to camping or even hiking.
- It provides two different volume capacities to store water bottles, ice, and food in it.
- It provides ice retention of two days or more.
- It is pretty easy to clean the interior of the cooler.
- Its interior doesn’t absorb any odor.
- The wheels and handles of this cooler are not that strong.
- It lacks in terms of ice retention.
As its name suggests, Coleman Cooler is a soft cooler, easier to clean and maintain. Apart from this, both the exterior and the interior of Coleman soft cooler contain an anti-microbial sheet. Thus, it is perfectly safe to use this cooler.
It is a long-lasting cooler, which has an odor-free interior as well. When talking about Coleman cooler, the best thing is its storage capacity. It can accommodate up to 42 cans at a time. Now you might be wondering, how will you be able to carry the backpack then. Don’t’ worry, it comes with durable wheels in it, with which it becomes pretty easy to move the cooler.
While using Coleman 42-can cooler, don’t worry about the leakage as well. Although it is a soft cooler, the interior of this cooler is leakage proof, and the exterior is waterproof, enhancing its usability.
So, if you plan to go on a long road trip or go on some adventurous trip, it is the perfect cooler you can bring with you. Yet the best thing about Coleman Coolers is pockets. If you want to store some food items or dry things, this cooler provides you a zippered pocket, two side pockets, and a bungee for other storage.
With a long handle, it becomes pretty easy to pull the cooler. Thus, whether you want to go on a road trip or are planning for an adventurous trip close to nature, if you are planning the trip alone or with plenty of people, you will never suffer from the problem of thirst. This cooler is specifically advantageous for those people who are planning a short trip in a group.
Even if you are planning a party, this cooler can be an ideal option for storing beverages and other food items like sandwiches, cheese, food, beer, wine, and other drinks.
- As it provides multiple pockets and quite a large capacity, it is best for people who have a large family.
- Being leak-proof, you can easily store drinks in it.
- Easy to transport because of sturdy wheels and a long handle.
- It is made up of an anti-bacterial material, the perfect pick for storing food in it.
- Because of its small wheel, sometimes, you might face problems while pulling it.
Yeti is a well-known brand when it comes to coolers, tumblers, and water bottles. It is a Canada based company serving people with great quality products for a very long period. Yeti has especially designed its roadie range of cooler for adventurous people; whether you want to go to the woods or are going on hiking, no need to worry about any wear and tear to the cooler.
Yeti roadie is made up of Rotomold material, which is ideal for strength and durability. Additionally, this cooler provides cold retention with two-inch-thick insulation for as long as 4 to 6 days. It is available in a single size with a capacity of storing up to 14 cans at a time.
Additionally, it provides a 2:1 ratio for storing ice and other food items in it. Yet, the most impressive feature of the Yeti roadie cooler is its bear resistance outer body. This cooler lasts longer than you will expect and provide an excellent service. It is also ideal for heavy-duty usage. Thus you can use it regularly as well.
With a handle, you can easily carry it. Also, to make it leak-free, it contains a heavy-duty t-rex rubber lid latch as well. With all these specifications, the Yeti Roadie cooler is durable enough to tolerate adverse nature and climatic conditions, making it perfect for hiking, fishing, beach, and even hunting. It weighs around 15.98 pounds.
- Yeti Roadie is known for its durability as it can tolerate adverse nature and contains bear-resistant phenomena.
- A great cooler, which is perfect for daily usage and lasts longer.
- It is leak-proof with the rubber lid latch attached at its mouth.
- It provides a capacity of storing 14 cans at a time and gives ice retention for 4 to 6 days, at least.
- It is easy to clean and doesn’t absorbs odor.
- The only drawback of Yeti roadie is that it is slightly overpriced and a little heavy to carry.
It can be tedious tasks to find the best road trip cooler on your own. With our list of the best road trip coolers, I hope it will become easier for you to choose which one cooler to pick for your next long or short road trip.
As we have covered the best cooler options available in the market and what all factors to consider before buying a cooler, you will be able to decide as to which cooler to pick to make your next road trip memorable.
- Large capacity SnapBasket Tahoe Coolers can hold up to 50 cans of your favorite drinks plus ice; perfect for use at the beach, while camping or to load up full of snacks for youth sports games outdoors
- Patented SnapHinges on both sides of the cooler bag offer structured support when the tote is open; to close the cooler, simply push the side hinges in, folding the compact bag down flat
- ✅ FREEZERS WITHOUT ICE: Strong Compressor Function. Adjustable Temperature From 0℉-50℉. No need to prepare ice when going out.
- ✅ Car & Home Use: DC Power Cable for Car (12/24V); Free AC Adapter for Home Socket (110-240V).
- Built-in Thermometer & Scale Plate: Get rid of the guesswork with the built in thermometer! You'll be able to monitor the internal temperature quickly, easily, and accurately. Better still, the bonus scale plate provides a convenient way to measure your catch of the day.
- Crisp, Cool Drinks For Days: Keep your cans cooler, longer. Premium high-density PU foam and extra-thick walls maximize insulation, keeping 20 lbs ice cold for up to five days. Whether you're tailgating, camping, or lounging on the beach, the Sportneer Cooler will keep the cold in and the heat out.