The 11 Best Coolers to Buy in 2018

Keep your beer, soda and food chilled with these top coolers

During the summertime, if you need to keep anything on ice outside the freezer for longer than a few minutes, you’re going to need a cooler. But which is right for your adventures? We checked the temps on the summer’s top coolers for the beach, fishing, camping, road trips, grocery shopping and more, so you can chill.

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    Spend any time on the water and you know Pelican for their bulletproof phone, tablet, camera, and computer cases. Decades spent perfecting locking latches and watertight gaskets for keeping the elements out pays dividends in a line of Elite coolers that can keep ice for up to 10 days and are completely water- and leak-proof. The key to the cooler line is the addition of a freezer-grade gasket to seal temps in, as well as the locking latches. The 20QT is the perfect size for the beach and will...MORE keep your Coronas cold from the back of your truck to the sun-scorched sand, and the built-in bottle opener gets the party started pronto.

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    Loading the family in the car for the Great American Road Trip? Plug this little cooler into your ride’s 12-volt port to keep your vitals chilled all the way to Walt Disney World. This is a convection-cooled system, and the quiet fan chills temps to 36 degrees Fahrenheit below the outside air. That means for best results you should chill your food prior to loading it in the cooler. It’s slim enough to fit behind your passenger seat, the eight-foot power cord allows you to store it in the way...MORE back.

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    Picnics in the park. Cub Scout camping trips. Oranges and sports drinks for the soccer team. Backyard barbeques with the neighbors. Tailgates at the stadium. Like dad, the modern family cooler has to do it all, and look good, too. Coleman’s Stainless Steel Cooler still delivers—with retro flair dads dig. The classic 1954 lines you remember from your first overnight camping trip are all still there, but this iteration adds slick stainless steel and low-CO2 insulation for ice retention of up to...MORE four days. At 54 Quarts, this cooler crams as many as 85 cans, and it’s designed tall enough to hold two-liter bottles upright, so go ahead and pack another bottle of pino gris for mom. Tough-as-nails touches on this American-made cooler include a “Have-A-Seat” lid supporting up to 250 pounds, rust-resistant hardware and an easy-drain channel for easy cleanup (make the kids do it).

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    Ahoy! Whether you’re hauling home trophy fish or trying to keep your Coronas cold, having fresh ice on hand is crucial on the open seas. Load your skiff with an Engle DeepBlue cooler and you can keep ice on deck for up to 10 days. The secret to the ice retention starts with roto-molded construction and two-inch thick insulation. Second, their Arctic Vault silicone gasket is freezer-grade and buckled down with stainless steel-backed draw latches. Engel I-beam lid inserts keep it sturdy, making...MORE this cooler a great perch—in fact, the company sells integrated cooler seat cushions. Non-skid feet keep the cooler sturdy and make draining and cleanup a cinch.

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  • 05 of 11

    Coleman has been a mainstay in campgrounds since the 1950s, and its latest Eksy line of coolers harnesses decades of experience in the field for maximum ice retention and durability. Two-inches of sidewall insulation in the body and 2.5-inches of floor and lid insulation trap cold air, while the cork fit lid enhances gasket seal performance. The Eksy’s polyethylene exoskeleton is scuff-proof and treated with a UV inhibitor to withstand the sun’s rays. Extras aimed at outdoorsman include rope...MORE handles for easy haul, non-marking feet to keep your truck bed clean and a fish ruler for measuring up your catch before you put it on ice.

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    The outdoorsmen behind Orca were sick of coolers that couldn’t cut it on their extended hunting trips, so they engineered their American-made, roto-molded coolers so you can stay in camp longer. In fact, Orca says that when properly prepped, their cooler can retain ice for up to 10 days. Custom Whale tail latches lock down an air- and water-tight seal. Start with the 40 quart for weekend bird hunts, and upgrade to the massive 140 quart when you’re hauling home big game.

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    This soft-sided cooler is engineered to withstand a beating by outdoorsman, who rely on it for packing quartered deer, skinned pheasants, or fresh rainbow trout out of the wild. Haul the Hopper 20 to your secret fishing hole—it won’t weigh you down on the river and it’s large enough to bring home your limit of trout. Upgrade to the larger Hopper 30 or 40 for the drift boat or canoe. Yeti’s DryHide shell has welded seams similar to whitewater rafts and its resistant to mildew, punctures and UV...MORE rays. Inside, closed-cell rubber foam insulation raises the bar for soft-sided coolers, and the interior liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. The zipper was developed for hazmat suits, so you can count on it to keep the elements out, and handles, hitch points and tie downs are double stitched.

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    The Yeti Tundra is a best-in-class cooler for any outdoor pursuit. But the 110 model is a standout for float trips because it’s designed to fit all major raft frames and it easily transitions to the campsite. The Tundra’s roto-molded polyethylene construction is the same used to make whitewater kayaks so your Yeti will survive the trip, even if it ends up overboard. The Tundra lineup retains ice for up to a week with three inches of pressure-injected polyurethane foam in the walls and lid. The...MORE ColdLock gasket locks in cold, and patented T-Rex lid latches keep the cooler on lockdown through the rapids. Yeti’s dedicated following have spawned a few must-have add-ons to the tundra, including Badger Wheels for easy transport to and from the raft.

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  • 09 of 11

    You don’t keep fresh meat, fish, and dairy chilled in an insulated bag during transport between the farmer’s market and your fridge? Way to put you and your dinner party at risk of contracting food-borne illness. Stuff an ice pack in the reuseit Earth Tote Insulated Shopping Bag and bring it to the butcher shop so that those T-bones stay fresh until you put throw them on the grill. The EarthTote stands on its own for easy packing in the cart, zips closed and sports strong straps for heavy loads....MORE Best of all, it’s made from recycled materials and Reuseit is a member of environmental group 1% For the Planet.

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    When you need a cooler that can go anywhere your two feet will take you then only Ice Mule will do. Taking its cues from dry bags, Ice Mule isn’t sewn, it has no zippers, and all seams are welded, so it can hold ice without leaking. The double-layered 1,000-denier shell houses insulated foam; unroll the Ice Mule and puff into a valve to add an insulating layer that keeps contents cold for up to 24 hours. A padded, ventilated backpack strap system keeps Ice Mule comfy on your back, even when it’s...MORE full to the gills with cold beverages. Choose from 20-, 30, and 40-liter packs—the XL is a beast of a bag, so make sure you don’t pack it too heavy.

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    So you’ve traded in your gas-guzzler for pedal power. You’re going to need to invest in this insulated pannier so your milk and meat don’t spoil on the long ride home from the farmer’s market. The shell on these saddlebags is made of honeycomb polyester for water resistance and added durability, so they’ll survive city roads or country trails. They’re also great for picnics and have interior mesh utensil pockets, as well as an integrated bottle opener to get the party started. Throw these...MORE saddlebags over Blackburn Design’s Interlock racks to secure the bags and their contents with a key.

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