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When embarking on an offroad adventure or camping trip, ensuring your food and drinks remain cool is crucial. Luckily, there are several top-quality coolers available that excel in various scenarios, from quick day treks to extended expeditions. We have compiled a list of the best coolers and ice chests for Overlanding, including budget-friendly and high-end models from leading brands like Igloo, Yeti, and Coleman. These outdoor coolers are as rugged and adventurous as the people who use them, withstanding drops, bumps, floods, and even wild animal attacks while keeping their contents cold for days. Regardless of the challenge, any of these coolers is up for the task.
Few Things to Consider When Buying the Best Coolers for Overlanding in 2023
If you’re in the market for the best coolers for Overlanding, there are several important factors to consider before making a purchase.
Construction and Insulation: One crucial aspect is the construction and insulation of the cooler. Foam insulation is the most common technique, where insulated foam is squeezed between two plastic shells. Brands like Igloo and Coleman typically use this method. In contrast, higher-end coolers like Yeti use rotomolding, which creates a seamless, more insulated structure that lasts longer.
Size: It’s essential to select a cooler that can accommodate your food and drinks adequately. While larger coolers may keep food colder, it’s not always the most efficient option if it’s not full. A good ice-to-food ratio to aim for is 2:1.
Bear-Resistant: If you’re camping in bear country, it’s critical to choose a bear-resistant cooler. Many of the best hard-sided coolers on the market, such as Yeti and Coleman, offer bear-resistant options. Bear-resistant coolers are essential for ensuring your safety and that of the wildlife around you.
In summary, when searching for the best coolers for Overlanding, consider construction and insulation techniques, size, and whether the cooler is bear-resistant. Brands like Igloo, Yeti, and Coleman offer a range of coolers that meet these criteria and are up to the task of keeping your provisions cold and safe during your adventures.
Our Favorite Coolers of 2024!
Igloo Overland 50 qt. Ice Chest Cooler
|18.26 x 25.79 x 16.7 Inches
Price Tested: $89.00 USD
Igloo Overland is the perfect companion for any outdoor adventure, offering exceptional ice retention and thoughtful features. Whether you’re planning a quick overnight car camping trip or embarking on a longer journey into the great outdoors, Igloo’s adventure-ready 50-Quart Chest Cooler has got you covered, keeping your provisions fresh every step of the way. Made in Igloo’s manufacturing plant in Texas, the Overland cooler is a reliable choice with extra-thick 1.5-inch foam-insulated walls and an insulated lid, ensuring dependable, long-lasting ice retention. The lid is sealed securely with durable rubberized latches, preventing spills and leaks, and the built-in locking plate adds an extra layer of security. The spacious 50-quart interior provides ample storage while remaining easy to carry with comfort-grip swing handles. Convenient features like a bottle opener, UV inhibitors to prevent sun damage, and a threaded, tethered drain plug make emptying melted ice effortless. With Igloo Overland, you can trust that your provisions will stay fresh and your adventure will be worry-free.
• Thick walls for long lasting ice
• Durable Rubberized Lid Latches
• Oversized hinges for durability
• Built in bottle opener
• Reports of leaking drains
• Conflicting reports on Ice life
If you want a cooler that’s extremely tough and durable to take anywhere, the YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler is the best choice, and it would keep your food and drinks cold for days.
YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler
|28.25″ x 18.63″ x 19.5″
Price Tested: $399.98 USD
YETI is the Elephant in the industry when it comes to a wheeled cooler. Its YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler went the extra mile with top-notch materials to provide excellent insulation and toughness. This Yeti Tundra Haul is the best for price and performance—it’s tougher than any of its competitors and keeps ice, drinks, and food cold for up to 8 days.
YETI Coolers are wildly popular because they are appealing and easy to roll around, in addition to their toughness to survive the harsh roads. As a result, we like that the cooler’s drain plug is on the opposite side of the T-bar handle, making it simple to drain the cooler by lifting the handle. It also had two single-piece tires and a T-bar handle. The ‘Neverflat’ tires are puncture and impact-resistant, and they roll smoothly over any terrain.
The Tundra Haul has a premium freezer gasket that circles the length of the lid to keep the heat out and can be used for dry ice if that’s your idea. It has enough space to hold 50 cans or 60 pounds. It’s heavy but not too big or too small. Despite its weight, you can easily transport the cooler into your SUV or the backseat of a smaller sedan and using it for a car camping adventure.
- Easy to roll
- Bear-resistant design
- Top-notch insulation
- Extremely durable
- YETI coolers are expensive
- Heavy for its size
The Yeti Tundra 65 is a tremendous all-around cooler with plenty of useful features and all the performance you could ask for.
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
|30.5″ x 17.5″ x 16″
Price Tested: $349.98 USD
The Tundra 65 Cooler is yet another Yeti contribution to prove themselves worthy of the hype. Just like the Haul Wheeled Cooler, the Tundra 65 proves itself in every aspect of a chest cooler and more, easily winning our best cooler for Overlanding and anyone looking to hit the backroads or dusty trails. It has some of the finest insulation on the market and is intensely durable.
This rotomolded cooler will likely be the last cooler you’ll ever need; it’s nearly indestructible and bear-proof certified IGBC. It comes with convenient and easy-to-use handles, a dry bin for delicate things, and the perfect size for all your picnic necessities. The Yeti coolers are unlike any other, which is why they are among the biggest-selling, more excellent brands in the world. But unlike the Yeti Tundra Haul Cooler, it lacks just a leash for the drain plug to make it the best all-around cooler currently available.
The Tundra offers superb insulation, retaining food safe for 6.7 days. It’s also straightforward, an easy shape that makes loading and unloading a breeze. And, unlike any other cooler we reviewed, it remains open without literally overextending the hinge angle. It’s also not a budget-friendly cooler. However, we believe it’s well worth the bucks for the seriously excellent results, pure versatility, and functionality this cooler brings to the table.
- Very durable
- Extremely well insulated
- Easy to use, great size
- Bear-proof by IGBC.
- No leash plug
- A bit smaller than expected
The Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler is a moderately-sized alternative that will get you through the hot summer day if you’re looking for a cheap and straightforward cooler.
Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler
|13.9″ x 14.6″ x 25.9″
Price Tested: $44.99 USD
The Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler is a simple ice chest with tremendous value if you’re looking for a spacious, reliable piece of hardware. It costs less than $40, but if you keep it clean and don’t run over it with a truck, it will last you thirty years or more. On hot summer days, it’s also a fine choice for camping, picnicking, or taking groceries home, while staying on a tight budget.
It’s lightweight, easy-to-use that’s still durable enough to serve as a bench. The Coleman 48-Quart has 49 quarts of interior which offer ample space for people to enjoy refreshments. The moderate size of the cooler also allows you to move and carry it with reasonable ease. However, if the weight or size of this model feels too much for you to manage, Coleman makes a similar inexpensive model with wheels.
The cooler does a decent job keeping food safe chilled, though it’s not our first choice. It provided just 2.3 days of insulation at sub-40 degree temperatures (F). The Coleman 48 is made of plain plastic, which is not exceptionally rugged. It also, baskets,
lacks latches and other frills. However, it has a built-in drain in the bottom and air-filled sides to have good enough insulation.
- Sturdy construction
- useful medium size
- Trusted legacy brand
- Very lightweight and simple to use
- Unimpressive insulation
- Poor drainage
If you’re in search of a cooler with above-average performance, easy to use, and reasonably priced, the Xspec 60qt Cooler is a well-rounded competitor.
Xspec 60QT Cooler
|28″ x 17″ x 18″
Price Tested: $269.99 USD
In the world of good coolers for camping these days is followed by equally high prices, the Xspec 60qt Cooler undercuts the competition, making it an excellent value. It’s built for large groups and has a capacity of 60 quarts ice chest, enough to hold 50 cans of beverages and the ice for cooling it—however, it’s not the favorite piece of gear to cart around.
The Xspec 60qt Cooler is a solid runner-up to the YETI Tundra 65. It’s jam-packed full of thoughtful design features and functionality, keep ice frozen for 3.5 days, a day beyond its rated capacity. But the YETI Tundra 65 gave 6.7 of ice, and its drain port is simpler to use and more efficient than the Xspec 60qt Cooler.
We appreciate its clever design, making it easy to cram into the car while still tall to hold most items standing upright inside. However, it lacks a basket and an IGBC rating. Still, it performed admirably. It proves to be durable, easy to close and open and keep up with the high-end rotomolded. We also found it to be the best cheapest rotomolded cooler on the market.
- Good insulation & features
- Useful shape
- Built to last
- Helpful pressure release valve
- No basket for dry goods
- Not certified by the IGBC
If you’re looking for a reliable cooler for fishing or weekend camping, the Igloo Marine Ultra Family Cooler does what it needs to do while remaining very cheap.
Igloo Marine Ultra Family
- Material: Synthetic
- Color: White
- Dimensions:26.08 x 14.63 x 14.5 inches
- Item Weight: 4 Pounds
- Capacity: 48 Quart (45 Liters)
Price Tested: $59.91 USD
For the price, Igloo Marine Ultra Family outperformed several other similar models designed for boat outings. It has decent insulation, fine construction, deep enough interior space, and at a low price. It’s built a bit more solidly than the traditionally constructed coolers. The Igloo Marine Ultra is rare to find for an occasional picnic and storing groceries in the trunk while out and about.
Though it isn’t a Yeti, and it isn’t bear-proof, how many of us still need an expensive cooler that can carry ice for 7-10 days and survive a frontal assault by a polar bear? The Igloo Marine Ultra is tough enough and can hold ice for 1-2 days while fishing. And if it does happen to disappear off your boat, it won’t sting as much as it would if it was a pricey Yeti.
This Igloo Marine Ultra is a typical cooler sold in most marinas. The cooler is designed to be lightweight and fit under a leaning post and reversible style seat on most center console fishing boats. We appreciate the upgraded reinforced lid, hinges, and handles! It also has a drain plug and a fish scale ruler on the top lid for quick drainage. For the price, it’s a great cooler. Unlike the YETI-rotomolded cooler type, the Igloo Marine Ultra is hollow a cooler
- Good value!
- Stainless steel hardware
- Different options.
- Light yet durable enough
- The lid isn’t as insulated
- It doesn’t fully drain without tipping the cooler