December 3, 2021

7 Best Hard-Sided Coolers

December 3, 2021

7 Best Hard-Sided Coolers

Are you looking for the best hard-sided coolers? If that's the case, you should check the listing on this post. 

Hard-sided coolers are definitely the top choice for outdoor refrigeration. They are tough, rugged, and insulated. They provide a guarantee that all of their contents remain fresh throughout your trip. 

But of course, I have to admit that not all hard coolers are the same. Otherwise, I wouldn't have made this rundown. For example, coolers offer longer ice retention than their counterparts. 

The list below features some of the top-rated hard-shell coolers in the market today. Make sure that you check each one of them. In this way, you will be able to spot the most suitable mobile refrigerator for you. 

7 Best Hard-Sided Coolers

 CapacityMaterial
YETI Tundra 35 Cooler 28.2 litersRotomolded polyethylene
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler57.6 litersRotomolded polyethylene 
Igloo Retro Picnic Basket Cooler 23.7 litersPolyurethane / polystyrene
Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler 85 litersHDPE / polypropylene / polyurethane
RovR Products RollR 60 Cooler 56.8 litersLLDPE plastic/polyurethane foam
Igloo Mission Cooler 47 litersPolyurethane / polystyrene
Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler 51 litersStainless steel

1. YETI Tundra 35 Cooler

PRODUCT LINK REI

The YETI Tundra 35 Cooler is the best hard-shell cooler that you can get today. It has a design that can withstand constant use and abuse. Moreover, it has the ability to keep your content fresh and frosty wherever you go. 

This unit features a rotomolded polyethylene construction. The said material is the same material used in kayaks and paddleboards. Hence, you can guarantee that it has superb impact resistance and durability.

Its wall is thick. It is embedded with pressure-injected PermaFrost insulation. It enables the cooler to possess resistance against external temperatures. Furthermore, it handles low temperatures efficiently. In fact, it is even compatible with dry ice. 

Overall, the YETI Tundra 35 Cooler has a 28.2-liter storage space. It can hold up to 20 cans of beverages and lots of ice! Interestingly, its lid has a freezer-type gasket. It prevents air from entering its interior!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping
  • Dimensions - 21 inches x 16 inches x 15.5 inches
  • Weight - 20 pounds
  • Capacity - 28.2 liters
  • Material - Rotomolded polyethylene

2. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, Desert Tan
  • Holds 39 cans with recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio
  • Holds a quartered deer or Keeper redfish
  • Dry ice compatible
  • Can act as a bay boat casting platform when secured
  • Note: all Tundra models come standard with one Dry goods basket

REI PRODUCT LINK

For multi-day trips, the YETI Tundra 65 Cooler is a definite choice. It features a 57.6-liter capacity. Hence, it can easily hold up to 39 cans of your favorite beverage while enough space for ice. This hard-sided cooler can also shelter long-neck bottles. 

Similar to other Tundra Coolers, this unit has a rotomolded polyethylene architecture. It has impressive durability. It is not susceptible to cracks, dents, and other types of damages.

Moreover, the cooler also boasts thick walls and insulation. Even if you expose it to the extreme heat of the sun, its content remains frosty. Meanwhile, there are T-latches on the Tundra 65 that provide a tight seal to its lid. Interestingly, the cooler works well as a bear-resistant container. Just equip its front corners with padlocks, and you can take it on any bear country!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping
  • Dimensions - 30.5 inches x 17.4 inches x 16 inches
  • Weight - 27 pounds
  • Capacity - 57.6 liters
  • Material - Rotomolded polyethylene

3. Igloo Retro Picnic Basket Cooler

REI PRODUCT LINK

Surely enough, you only need simple, compact coolers on your weekend picnics. For these trips, I suggest that you check out the Igloo Retro Picnic Basket Cooler. 

One of its notable traits is its classic design. It features the traditional construction of coolers, so it can easily fit the taste of many people. Specifically, its picnic basket design is suitable for leisure adventures. You can bring it to parks and beaches. 

This cooler has molded side handles. They enable you to carry it as conveniently as possible. And despite being affordable, it remains rugged and impact-resistant. Furthermore, the cooler is lightweight and compact. Transporting it wherever you want isn't a burden.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping
  • Dimensions - 17.79 inches x 13.12 inches x 12.88 inches
  • Weight - 5.5 pounds
  • Capacity - 23.7 liters
  • Material - Polyurethane / polystyrene

4. Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler

REI PRODUCT LINK

It's time to take the big guns! The Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler is a high-quality mobile refrigerator. It works perfectly for long-hauls and multi-day fishing expeditions. Specifically, it has ice retention of up to 5 days, which is downright impressive. Furthermore, it includes a set of rugged all-terrain wheels that enable you to bring it virtually anywhere. 

The ECOCOOL construction of this cooler is not only durable. It is sustainable as well. After all, the said material came from post-consumer recycled resin. Meanwhile, its MaxCold foam insulation is embedded on its lid and body. It's the very reason why it can keep your items cold. Furthermore, its Cold Riser Technology enhances its cooling capabilities. 

The cooler has a comfort-grip rear handle. It enables you to lift and haul it in a jiffy. It also includes multiple tie-down points that let you secure it on boats, truck beds, and other shaky platforms. It also has a pair of large wheels that can traverse any terrain.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping and fishing
  • Dimensions - 31.8 inches x 18.9 inches x 17.2 inches
  • Weight - 22 pounds
  • Capacity - 85 liters
  • Material - HDPE / polypropylene / polyurethane

5. RovR Products RollR 60 Cooler

REI PRODUCT LINK

The RovR Products RollR 60 Cooler offers superior construction. This unit includes a refrigerator-grade gasket that prevents the elements from coming inside. It uses rotomolded and foam insulations to keep its contents cold for more than a week. Specifically, it has 10-day retention, making it a perfect choice for multi-day adventures. 

Meanwhile, its interior compartments enable item organization. It has dividers that separate your beverages and ingredients. At the same time, it is spacious enough not to cramp things up. 

Furthermore, the cooler has internal dry storage. It is pretty helpful in storing delicate stuff while you are out and away. Its pop-up wagon bin is also a treat! It helps you haul multiple gears to or from your destination. It prevents you from making second trips. A set of tires and handle integrated on this cooler lets you transport it on any terrain. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping
  • Dimensions - 27 inches x 22 inches x 22 inches
  • Weight - 49 pounds
  • Capacity - 56.8 liters
  • Material - LLDPE plastic/polyurethane foam

6. Igloo Mission Cooler 

REI PRODUCT LINK

The quality of the Igloo Mission Cooler is efficient and long-lasting. It best works on various outdoor trips--or any outdoor adventure where you need lots of provisions. It has a 47-liter capacity, which is sufficient enough to hold your supplies for up to four days. Its Ultratherm insulation on its body and lid guarantees excellent ice retention. 

Furthermore, this unit has heavy-duty construction. Its components, such as the large latches and grab handles, are made to withstand impacts and elements. There are also tie-down brackets rigged on the cooler so that you can safely haul it on your vehicle. 

Impressively, the Igloo Mission Cooler has a dual-drain release function. With such a design, you will be able to clean it conveniently. Moreover, it has a food-grade liner on its interior so that it won't have chemicals. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping
  • Dimensions - 28 inches x 15 inches x 14.7 inches
  • Weight - 15 pounds
  • Capacity - 47 liters
  • Material - Polyurethane / polystyrene

7. Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler

Sale
Coleman Cooler | Steel-Belted Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 4 Days | 54-Quart Cooler for Camping, BBQs, Tailgating & Outdoor Activities
  • High-capacity, heavy-duty cooler features a charming retro design
  • 54-Quart Capacity Accommodates Up to 85 Cans; Have-a-Seat Lid Supports Up to 250 Pounds
  • Keeps the Ice insulation offers 4-day ice retention in temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Built to deliver years of performance with rust-resistant stainless steel hardware
  • Comfort-grip steel handles allow for easy, controlled lifting and carrying

Lots of outdoor goers demand a heavy-duty cooler that can sustain the longevity of their trips. For expeditions that can last for up to 4 days, I suggest that you check out the Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler. This unit is a high-capacity cooler. It can hold up to 85 cans, thanks to its 54-quart storage space. 

Moreover, its appealing retro appearance doesn't negate the fact it is a highly hard-sided cooler. In fact, you can sit on its lid if you ever run out of camping chairs. The cover itself can support up to 250 pounds of weight without even bending or breaking. Well, that is due to the fact that this unit has a rust-resistant, stainless steel construction. 

Interestingly, the cooler can keep its ice solid even if the external temperature reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, it is an excellent choice of summer getaways or morning trips to the beach. Thanks to its comfort-grip steel handles, you won't have any problems transporting it either. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Ideal use - Camping
  • Dimensions - 26 inches x 17 inches x 17 inches
  • Weight - 2.25 pounds
  • Capacity - 51 liters
  • Material - Stainless steel

How To Choose The Best Hard-Sided Coolers

A high-quality cooler can keep your items fresh and free from foodborne diseases. Hence, it is essential that you can sort through all the options to find the right one for you. 

In any outdoor adventure, hard-shell coolers offer top-notch durability and insulation. Bringing them to the campsite or on the beach is such a pleasant idea.

Don't buy impulsively, though. Before deciding which hard cooler you should get, you have to look at several factors first. 

Type Of Activity

The nature of your trip should influence the type of cooler that you should buy. The coolers you should bring to the campsite should be different from the coolers you have to take on a week-long hunting or fishing expedition. 

Some coolers can maintain the solidness of ice for more than five days. The best hard-shell coolers can do more than. Of course, these are heavy-duty units that have been rigged with numerous insulating capabilities. They are designed to tackle extensive trips. 

For weekend jaunts, you may only need standard coolers. 

Size

Another thing that you need to decide on is the cooler size. Surely enough, many people are convinced that more oversized coolers are better. After all, they provide more space for your storage.

However, keep in mind that the additional space means the cooler is heavy and bulky. It would eventually weigh you down in your trip. 

You don't need to carry a burly ice cooler for short trips. Even a 25-square hard-shell cooler should be enough. 

The story is different if you are heading to off-grid destinations for several days. You need the biggest cooler possible to hold your beverages and replenishments. A 100- to 150-quart ice cooler should be enough in this context. 

Also, bear in mind that large coolers are inefficient if you don't fill them with ice. The gaps can be filled with air, which, in turn, would make the ice melt faster. 

Material

Hard-shell coolers can be made from a variety of materials. The common ones are plastic and metal. We should eliminate those that are constructed from Styrofoam because they are too flimsy, to begin with.

Both metal and plastic hard coolers are your best bets here. They are extremely durable and seamless. They help in amplifying the insulating capabilities of the cooler. 

Between the two of them, plastic coolers are the most popular. Meanwhile, metal ones provide more insulation. Hence, you should anticipate that they will gain a lot of weight. Moreover, their price is pretty steep, too. 

Portability

You should never ignore the cooler's portability. Otherwise, you'll never be able to bring them to your destination.

Coolers work as mobile refrigerators. Therefore, they should possess features or mechanisms that would allow you to carry them conveniently. Arms, handles, and wheels are useful components that you should check out. 

Don't sacrifice the insulating capability of the cooler for weight management. Saving weight may mean a reduction in insulation or shell thickness. That's not a good deal to seal, especially if you need the cooler for a multi-day trip. 

In Summary

The best hard-sided coolers excel in durability and insulation. However, not all of these coolers are the same. Hence, you must select a cooler that possesses those qualities. 

At the same time, I recommend considering the coolers listed here. Based on the ergonomics and construction, they are arguably the finest in the market. You should start your search with them before moving to other options. 

That's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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