There are many ice chests and coolers available in the market. But which one is the right one for you? Read on to learn about different cooler models, in a range of sizes.
Whether you are on a camping trip, sunning yourself at the beach or simply lazing in the backyard, you need an ice chest. Convenient, portable and in all shapes and sizes, an ice chest is a handy storage item. Also known as a cooler, cool box or ice box, an ice chest is an insulated box which can keep food or drinks cold. Ice chests come in various sizes from small, just-for-one-person, to large, and family-sized ones. Coolers which can keep ice for 5 days or more, are ideal for long camping trips and fishing. Their capacity should be large enough to comfortably hold stuff.
Wheeled and small-sized coolers are good for traveling and space-savers, especially in crowded cars. Look for split lids, as they allow easy access and a cool temperature is constantly maintained within. Make sure you check the drain plugs as well. For marine coolers, a cooler tie-down kit is a must. Ice chests come in different materials, as well. For a more retro feel, choose a steel or wooden ice chest, but their freezing power is not as powerful as plastic. Here, we go through various ice chest reviews, to see which is the best ice chest for your needs.
Best Ice Chests
The following ice chest models have been divided into different categories, on the basis of size.
If you need to store a large quantity of beverages or food, then look for an ice chest with a quart capacity of at least 100. Large ice chests are built for a deep and large storage capacity, with maximum cold retention. Coleman has a wide range of large-sized durable coolers. The 100QT Xtreme® 5 Cooler can hold nearly 160 cans and can keep ice for up to 5 days at 90 degrees F. It is made from Thermozone™ insulation and has beverage holders at the top. A wheeled model is also available. For an even larger capacity, the 120 Quart Xtreme® 5 Cooler and the 150 Quart Cooler can hold up to 190 cans and 223 cans respectively. The 200 Qt. Cooler is easily the largest, with a whopping 327 cans capacity and is made from stainless steel, with an antimicrobial liner.
Igloo has a number of large, stationary and portable ice chests. The 100 Quart Sportsman™ is a large activity cooler, with a stain and odor resistant liner, a dual snap-fit lid and 145 cans capacity. It can hold 2-liter bottles upright. The 120 Quart Polar™ uses MaxCold® technology and has a snap-lock child safety latch. Both coolers have a threaded drain plug facility. The new Glide 110 makes transporting cool items easy with its nifty telescoping handle. This portable ice chest has a capacity of 104 liters or 150 (12 oz) cans. It is sturdily built with stainless steel hinges and sports rally wheels. Plus, you can keep ice in the cooler for 5 days at 90° F.
Between 60-100 QT, is a mid-size or small ice chest size. These ice chests are ideal for families to use on camping trips, sporting events and picnics. Look for ice chest on wheels models, to make moving it around easier. Igloo has a wide range of small-sized ice chests, starting with the 60 Quart Island Breeze™ Roller and the 60 Quart MaxCold® Roller. Both models are fitted with sturdy wheels and reinforced handles, and have a capacity of 95 cans. The 70 Quart Legend™ Football Field is a great tailgating ice chest model, with a 114 can capacity, and it can store ice for 5 days.
Rubbermaid has the 75 Qt DuraChill™ Wheeled Cooler, which comes with a hinged split lid, for easy access. It can hold up to 130 cans of ice and has extra thick insulation, that keeps ice for up to 6 days. Coleman has 2 wheeled models in this size range. The 62 Quart Wheeled Xtreme® 5 Cooler and the 75 Qt Wheeled Xtreme® 5 Cooler use Thermozone™ insulation method and keep ice for 5 days, at 90° F. Their wheeled design and material allows for long-lasting, all-terrain use. The 70 Quart Xtreme® 5 Cooler is a non wheeled model, with 100 can capacity.
For wheeled models and quart measurement of 16-30, check out the wide range of Coleman personal ice chests. The 16 Qt Personal Wheeled Cooler model comes in blue and red colors, and has a retractable handle with a 22 can capacity. For a slightly larger capacity, check out the 28 Qt Personal Wheeled Cooler, which can hold 36 cans. For a non-wheeled design, there’s the Party Stacker™ and FlipLid™ styles. The Party Stacker™ has an 18 quart capacity (20 cans or 12 bottles) and is tall enough for a wine bottle. Fliplid™ models come in 6 quart capacity (6 cans) and the lid reverses to become a serving tray, with molded cup holders.
Igloo has some versatile and unique ice chests, in a personal size. The 30 Qt. Personal Cooler has a swing handle and molded side handles for easy transportation, with a capacity of 41 cans. A smaller model is the 9 Quart Island Breeze™ with a reversible lid, that doubles up as a tray and cup holder, and a swing-up handle. But the real winner is the Playmate Elite™ series of personal ice chests. A tent-top locking design with a molded carry handle makes it compact and portable, plus spill-free. And it has a capacity of 30 cans. This series comes in 6 different designs and is one of Igloo’s most popular ice chest models.
The 45 Qt Wheeled 5-Day Cooler from Rubbermaid allows you to easily transport chilled cans or bottles over a distance. It has a hinged split lid, offering two chilled compartments. A front drain plug allows easy draining of old ice and water. It can hold 67 cans with ice. For smaller, more personal coolers, check out the 10 Qt and 5 Qt coolers, with a 12 can and 6 can capacity respectively. Both are equipped with a swing handle on top and a liner for easy cleaning.
Thermos has a vast range of personal and compact soft, made-from-cloth ice chests, with sizes ranging from 6 cans to 24 cans, in a variety of designs. The Essential cooler comes in 6, 12 and 24 cans size. It has a shoulder strap and a zipper front flap to open. The Dual 2 in 1 cooler model is built for portability. Its frame is divided into two zippered compartments and it has two external pockets. It is fitted with an adjustable strap and comes in 24 or 27 cans size.
A marine cooler is not classified by size but rather by functionality. These are meant to be stationary, deep ice chests, designed for storing fresh fish, food supplies and beverages for the average sailsman. They are sturdier and more weather-resistant than their commercial counterparts, and have an ice retention ability of at least 5 days. Engel is an ice chest brand, that specializes in marine coolers. Their available quart capacity ranges from 35-320 quarts. Once such model is the Engel ENG146 Rugged Icebox, which has a 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation layer and air-tight freezer gasket. It has a 146 quarts capacity, a UV-resistant lid with nonskid feet, and stores ice for approximately 10 days, which makes it an ideal boating companion.
Igloo has a good variety of marine coolers in nearly every quart size. The 50 Quart Marine Breeze MaxCold™ Roller is one of the few wheeled marine ice chests available. It has a foamed lid and extra insulation layer, with compartments in the chest. Plus, its heavy duty design is sun-resistant and tie-down loops are included. Coleman marine coolers are prized for their durability and large capacity. The 150 Quart White Marine Cooler comes with a split lid and fish measuring scale. The exterior is scratch and bump resistant.
Rubbermaid marine coolers are large in size with a sturdy build. The 102 Qt Gott™ Marine Cooler has swing handles on both ends and has a threaded drain plug. Its liner keeps its contents free from odors and stains. This cooler can hold 156 cans of ice or 170 lbs of fish. It can store ice for 5 days at 90°F. Moeller designs and sells ice chests exclusively for marine use. Their coolers come in a range of sizes, from 94 quarts to 270 quarts. They are double-walled with pressurized lids and corrosion-resistant steel hinges. Rope handles and bumper pads makes them easy to move and fit in a boat.
Depending on the occasion, duration of the trip and what items you are packing, choose an ice chest wisely. A more expensive model may last longer and serve its purpose better. Make sure you research and go through a lot of ice chest reviews, before purchasing, so you make the right choice.