How often do you break free from the confines of your home and out to the wild; even if being outdoors and in the wild means your backyard? The beauty of stepping out of the house is that it opens up our minds.
I don’t know about the rest of the population, but I can’t be the only one who feels rejuvenated being outdoors. But, there is only one thing that can make your outdoor experience less than average – thirst or dehydration. Under the sun, you require the best ice chest on the market.
The sun is relaxing, and it warms you up nicely. The sun could be the missing part of the puzzle, the thing you felt you needed but couldn’t put your hand on it because we hardly wake up thinking about how long it’s been since we basked. So, the sun could be all you needed to break your bad mood.
It is for these reasons that even an introvert appreciates solitude outdoors. Anyone who feels the power of the outdoors knows that you require adequate preparation before setting out. Besides snacks and a picnic blanket to send the bugs away, you need to have a cold drink within reach.
Drinking a lukewarm drink or water is boring, and it may increase your risk of dehydration. Knowing that dehydration causes fatigue, heat stroke and death in extreme cases, you have to ensure that you carry enough drinks to last through the entire duration of the trip,
While the small and old cooler in the basement looks functional, it may not hold enough drink when you are planning a four-day camping or road trip. You should get an ice chest or a cooler that will hold enough drinks lasting more than two days.
What is an ice chest?
It is an insulated container that has insulation and helps keep drinks or food cold or frozen. You place ice cubes on top of the drinks or food, and the box’s insulation keeps the food and drinks cold for a few hours or days.
The interior and the exterior of an ice chest is a hard plastic shell with foam in between. An ice chest is portable.
Reasons why you should love an ice chest
- You can take an ice chest with you hunting, fishing, camping, or even on a road trip. An ice chest is portable, and all you have to do is put in all your drinks in the cooler add ice cubes or ice packs and pack the cooler in your car’s trunk.
- Since the cooler is highly portable, and it may even come with wheels, you get to take it wherever. It will work as a cordless mini-fridge keeping your drinks cold regardless of how high the temperatures are.
The best ice chest with a large capacity will be able to hold and keep your drinks cold even when you are enjoying a barbecue with friends in the backyard.
- An ice chest doesn’t just keep drinks cold. If you fish often or occasionally, you can take a cooler with you to keep the fish and any other sea foods fresh. If you are holding a small sale of your home-brewed beer or wine, an ice chest is an economical cooling solution. This also works best for startups selling fruits and vegetables.
- The best ice chest is affordable but highly functional.
- The marines and other security officers rely on cooler to keep their foods and drinks cool, safe and edible.
Best Ice Chest Reviews 2017
Retains ice for 3 days
Ice-retention duration of up to 4 days
Retains ice for days in hot weather
Works great and keeps drinks cold/ frozen
Keeps ice for up to 3 days
1. Coleman 48-Quart Ice Chest - retains ice for 3 days
The most important summer and spring essential is an ice chest or an ice cooler as known to most of us. With the summer heat and a long trip out of town, you will only have a good day if you can stay cool. Even when attending your child’s baseball game, a good ice chest will keep you, and the rest of your family will be able to cheer on without fear of dehydration.
While there are numerous ice chests on the market capable of keeping drinks cool for extended periods, not all of those coolers work as well as advertised. It is for that reason that you need to get this Coleman Performance Cooler.
It is one of the best and the biggest coolers on the market with a 48-quart capacity. It can hold 63 cans easily, and its additional height holds 2-liter bottles upright preventing spills. This large capacity is the reason why this is the best cooler to use when you need a continuous supply of cold drinks for some days.
The Coleman Performance Cooler has a three-cay ice retention capacity even at high temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It is easy to use thanks to the hinged lid which makes for easy and one-handed access.
The cooler features a low CO2 construction which is effective in reducing carbon emissions because the cooler’s manufacturing is majorly foam. This is, therefore, an environmentally friendly cooler.
The two-way handles mean that you can lift the cooler off the ground easily even when full. Also, the two-way handles make it easy for two individuals to carry the cooler off or onto the car. The carrying design also saves space.
The other reason why we consider this to be one of our best ice chests is that it has a leak-resistant drain. This drain lets you remove water from the cooler without having to turn it upside down. This also saves you from possible breakage. The drain also means that your cooler will be instantly ready for the next use.
- You can use it to build a pallet cooler stand.
- It is affordable.
- It is environmentally friendly.
- It retains ice for three days.
- It has a large storage capacity and fits 63 cans easily as well as 2-liter bottles in upright position.
- It may be too big for one traveler.
- It doesn’t have a tray.
- The lid doesn’t stay open unless you hold it.
2. Coleman 120-Quart Ice Chest - ice-retention duration of up to 4 days
If you are planning a huge outdoor party, a party in the wild, or attending a festival with a group of friends, this is the ice chest you need to include in your shopping and planning list. It is also ideal if you will be providing drinks at your kid’s school event.
The 120-quart capacity makes this one of the biggest ice chests on the market. It can hold 204 cans, and you are sure that you will have sufficient supply of cold drinks for days.
It has ice retention of up to 6 days at high temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius. It's long ice retention duration results from the cooler’s design using Xtreme technology which uses an insulated lid and extra insulation on the walls.
Since you need an ice chest that will last more than one summer and one spring, you have to consider how the chest holds up in the sun. This cooler promises to last for years out in the sun thanks to its UVGuard construction material that protects against the sun’s damaging rays.
After use, you can drain it easily using the leak-resistant drain channel. You don’t have to tilt it for draining after use. Cleaning is also easy thanks to the EZ-Clean top which has a smooth surface allowing easy wiping.
This cooler isn’t just big and strong to hold 204 cans, it is sturdy, and the hinged lid works as a seat thanks to the Have-A-Seat Lid which supports up to 250lbs of weight. You won’t have to struggle to carry it out of the trunk because it has comfort-grip, no-crush handles which make for pinch-free and easy carrying.
It is durable thanks to the rust-resistant stainless steel construction. It also features four cup holders molded into the lid so that you always keep drinks close.
It is environmentally friendly as a result of the construction with low CO2 insulation that helps reduce carbon emissions resulting from the cooler’s foam manufacturing.
For the safety of your drinks, this ice chest features an additive that prevents the cooler’s liner from any odor-causing bacteria.
- It has long ice-retention duration of up to 4 days with minimal opening.
- The large capacity makes it ideal for use by families or groups.
- It is strong and sturdy supporting a 250lbs person with ease.
- It has comfort-grip carry handles meant for two people.
- It doesn’t come with wheels.
- Too big for individuals or small groups.
3. Igloo Ice Chest - retains ice for days in hot weather
This 100-quart ice chest is exactly what you need if you have been looking for a large capacity yet not the biggest cooler on the market. Its construction is out of polyethylene, and it can hold 145 cans as well as ice. It can also hold 2-liter bottles upright.
So, if you have been wondering about what you will use to carry enough drinks for your friends and family during the upcoming camping trip, you have the solution. The insulation of this ice chest makes it perfect for you and your crew to stay hydrated for up to five days.
It is easy to use and carry thanks to the swing up handles that come with tie-down loops. Two people can carry it easily. It also features quick-access dual snap fit latches which make access to a cold one breezy.
The design of this cooler makes it a perfect fit in the car’s trunk. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about displacing some people for the cooler to fit in your vehicle.
Besides having a satisfying cold drink when outdoors, a cooler means that you will have a sufficient supply of drinking water saving you the risk of dehydration.
Once you are ready to head back home or you are returning the cooler in the storage area, you can easily drain it using the threaded drain plug.
- Large capacity.
- Retains ice for days in hot weather.
- Beautiful white design.
- Easy to use.
- Good price.
- It lacks wheels.
- The handles are plastic, and they break easily.
- The hinges are weak.
4. Igloo Marine Ice Chest - works great and keeps drinks cold/ frozen
If you are taking a trip outdoors alone or with a friend, or even spending the afternoon with family for a barbecue, then you have to get the best ice chest to hold and keep your drinks chilled. As we all know, there is nothing worse than the taste of a unchilled or lukewarm drink. So, rather than have a bad drink, get the best cooler. Your fridge deserves a break too.
This 30-quart Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler will be able to keep your drinks chilled for hours or days. The ability to keep your drinks cool results from the cooler’s ultratherm insulation.
This insulation in the cooler’s body makes for maximum cold retention. As a result of this insulation, the cooler can hold ice and keep food/ drinks frozen for up to three days in 90-degrees weather.
The cooler’s cooling performance also results from the use of Cool Riser Technology which gives the cooler an elevated design. The elevation promotes airflow beneath the cooler enhancing the cooler’s cooling.
The Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler is easy to carry thanks to the non-slip comfort grip handles. Either one person or two people can carry this cooler easily.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a drain plug, and you have to tilt it to drain it.
- Sturdy design.
- Works great and keeps drinks cold/ frozen.
- Llacks wheels.
- Doesn’t have a drain plug.
- Doesn’t have fasteners to open or close it.
5. YETI Ice Chest - keeps ice for up to 3 days
Are you making plans to go for a road trip or spend the weekend camping? You have the best traveling or camping gear. Why not make the trip stylish and memorable by getting the best ice chest?
This YETI Roadie 20 Cooler is one of the best ice chests on the market. It doesn’t just look good; it has relatively large storage capacity, and it easily holds 14 cans. All you have to do is to adhere to the recommended 2:1 ice to contents ratio.
Thanks to the cooler’s Permafrost Insulation, it will keep your ice; ice up to 3 inches. It also has an extra-thick FatWall design which keeps ice, ice and it is also certified Bear-resistant. This cooler is virtually indestructible thanks to the Rotomolded construction which makes this cooler Tundra armored to the core. The sturdy and portable construction of the cooler meant that the cooler could withstand use in rigorous terrains.
Extra durability of the cooler results from the DoubleHaul made with military-grade polyester rope. It won’t slip thanks to the BearFoot non-slip feet.
This roadie has a T-Rex Lid latch constructed out of heavy-duty rubber. The handles’ construction also constitutes the use of a patented technology which ensures that you don’t struggle with a burst latch. The handles are LipGrip for seamless portability.
The ColdLock gasket circles the entire length of the lid blocking out heat and locking in the cold. The interlock lid system forms a form fitting barrier against heat. The Vortex drain system is leakproof and rugged for quick and easy draining.
For easy mounting on to your boat, the cooler features an Anchorpoint with two tie-down slots.
- Keeps ice for up to 3 days.
- Sturdy and durable.
- Perfect for small outdoor meets.
- Easy to use.
- Can withstand harsh and rough conditions.
- A little on the heavy side.
- It could be bigger.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Ice Chest
With all these benefits of an ice chest, you may be wondering, which is the best ice chest? I was where you are, and my first few attempts weren’t as successful. To save you the heartache and financial loss resulting from buying a poor quality cooler, here are the features you should consider before buying an ice chest:
Without insulation, you only have a hollow container that won’t keep drinks or food cold. The best cooler should hold and keep food/ drinks cold or frozen for at least three days. High-end ice chest keeps the food temperatures low and safe for up to 5 or 6 days.
The type of insulation determines the cooler’s ice retention. Coolers with two inches of foam insulation and roto-molded construction and ones with an airtight gasket around the lid can retain ice for up to 10 days or more.
Pro tip: A high-end model will cost you more than a standard cooler, but it will maintain cool temperatures for days. Extreme cold in the portable freezer that can work for more than ten days can create thermal stress on the container. Therefore, you should but an ice chest with a durable construction design.
Your cooler with go through a considerable level of stress whether you use in the backyard or pack it for camping and road trips. Someone will also sit in it, and it will fall severally. For you to use the cooler after the all the torture it goes through, you should consider buying the high-end ice chests with rugged designs.
Durable coolers have pin-style hinges and rigid walls and lids. Another indicator of durability is a tough external latching mechanism. You should also look out for a large handle, UV-resistant plastic construction and screw-in drain plugs with rubber O-ring sealing.
Expert tip: avoid coolers with plastic hinges and soft lids.
The size of a cooler is in quarts. The small coolers are 25-40 quarts and are ideal for use by one person. A 40-quart cooler will work well for an individual planning to stay out for several nights. For a group spending time outdoors for ways, get a 70-quart cooler or anything larger.
Pro tip: though the big cooler is ideal for more people, it should be durable and easy to carry. You should avoid coolers that promise to haul a lot of ice because they could only hold ice and you can’t live on or hydrate on the ice.
Keep in mind that the cooler will be the heaviest item you will pack on your hunting or camping trip. How difficult will it be moving the cooler from the house to the car and from the car to the camping site?
Small coolers are easy to carry, but when you get a cooler with a capacity larger than 70 quarts, you will have to consider the ice chest’s mode of transportation.
Expert tip: to carry big coolers easily, buy coolers with two molded handles that allow two people to carry it easily. You may also consider getting a wheeled cooler.
Ease of use
For ease of use, you need to consider the ease of access or how easy it is to open the lid. To determine the difficulty level of using the ice chest, you should consider a cooler with a latch design. Coolers with internal latches are problematic, and you should opt for external latches instead.
Pro tip: read online user reviews to determine how the latch works and if you can rely on it to keep the lid tightly sealed keeping the interior temperatures low.
Draining a cooler should be an easy and quick process. But, the ease of draining depends on the presence of a functional drain plug. There are ice chest models that allow draining without having to lift or elevate the cooler. For draining convenience, you should look out for coolers with low and recessed drain channels.
Pro tip: consider getting a cooler with lanyards. The lanyards will prevent loss of the drain plug. Unfortunately, the lanyard can cause splashing which isn’t the best thing when you are draining the cooler in the car. A cooler with divided internal dry bins has a streamlined and a drain-friendly interior that will keep your food dry when the ice thaws.
Will the cooler fit in the trunk? Go for a large cooler if you have a pick-up truck or a station wagon.
Pro tip: the cooler chosen should also be compatible with bear boxes like the ones at national parks.
An ice chest makes outdoors fun and tolerable especially when the sun is out. Knowing that a well-chilled drink brings families and friends together, you can be sure of a day or days of fun when you have drinks in the cooler.
Ice chests or coolers are portable, and they are simply portable and cordless fridges. Thanks to the ice chest’s fridge-like functionality, you can buy a cooler and use it to hold drinks when traveling. From road trips, camping trips, festivals, concerts and cheering kids in baseball or football matches, you need the best ice chest for chilled drinks. The best cooler can keep drinks chilled and frozen for at least two days.
The other reason why you need an ice chest is that the chest will prevent dehydration because it makes sure you have enough drinks. It also saves you money otherwise spent buying drinks and water at every stop. Buying stuff in bulk is cheap.
Out of these five ice chests, our editor’s best pick is the 48-quart Coleman Ice Chest. It is affordable and though not the biggest cooler it holds 63 cans easily. It also holds 2-liter bottles upright. It has three-day ice retention at 90 degrees temperature. It has a leak-resistant drain, it is easy to use, and the two handles make it highly portable. It is also eco-friendly.
Aside from the 48-quart Coleman Ice Chest, we also have a liking for the YETI Roadie 20 Ice Chest. It is pricey, but it is worth the money. It has a sturdy construction, and you can take it anywhere. It has a stainless steel handle with a comfortable rubber holding slot. Thanks to PermaFrost Insulation and the extra-thick FatWall design, this cooler keeps ice, ice! It has a 14-can capacity. The Rotomolded Construction makes for the tough armoring of the cooler which makes it capable of withstanding rigorous conditions.
So, there you have it. Which is your best ice chest?