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Welcome, fellow cooler lovers, to our very own best beach cooler reviews! This is going to be another one of those long posts where we look at many different brands and find out what it is that makes them stand apart from the competition.
In this post, we’re going to showcase the best beach coolers on the market and explain what makes them good at that.
To make it easy for the reader to skim through the article, we’re going to split the coolers into two categories: small coolers for 2 people at most and larger coolers capable of serving a whole family.
Best Beach Cooler – Our Top Picks
|item-title||Best Wheeled Beach Cooler||Best Soft Cooler for the Beach||Best Cheap Soft Beach Cooler|
Rovr Rollr Cooler
Yeti Hopper M30
Tourit Soft Cooler
Hard Cooler with Wheels
Large Size for Large Group or Family
Soft Sided Premium Cooler
Medium Size Soft Cooler
Soft Sided Cooler
Small Size, Perfect for Two
How Did We Choose Our Recommended Beach Coolers?
Now, choosing a beach cooler is a little different than choosing any old cooler, otherwise, any old cooler would do, of course!
For starters, it should be noted that ice retention is not the most important thing when picking a beach cooler. You’re highly unlikely to want to stay at the beach for many days at a time.
What you probably want to do is go there for an afternoon and have fun. Sure, you could also stay overnight for a beach party, but that’s still going to be a 24-hour period at most. Any cooler than can retain ice for 1 or 2 days should be fun.
The most important things to consider when picking a beach cooler are functionality, convenience, and thoughtful solutions. You want a cooler that foresees what you might want or need while you’re out on the beach and solves that problem before you even know you have it.
It’s also important, on a personal level, to decide how many people you want to get a beach cooler for, which will determine what capacity range you’ll be looking in, and also whether the beach cooler should be a hard cooler or a soft-sided on.
The beach coolers we came up with have adequate and innovative answers to all of these needs and should provide you with a wide enough pool from which to pick your next beach cooler.
And now, without further ado, let’s get started!
Best Beach Coolers for Families and Groups
TOP PICK: ROVR Rollr Wheeled Cooler
The ROVR Rollr (full review here) is a fun cooler that is just perfect for beaches where hauling is needed. One thing I love about this cooler is the general fun vibe it has.
The colors are playful, the features are designed to make it fun to have, and the overall ergonomics are such that hauling it around shouldn’t be very hard work.
This cooler has tons of features. Let’s start with the 9-inch all-terrain rubber tires with interchangeable tubes. These monsters are designed to do well on just about any terrain.
What’s more, you can easily replace the tube if you get a flat. The aluminum hubs come with 2 sealed bearings, ensuring the tires are practically indestructible.
Other features include a deep freeze dry bin for all your dry goods to keep them away from the actual ice. On the front is an aluminum pull-beside dual-handle so you can pull the cooler from the side, rather than from the front, which is a lot more comfortable.
Perhaps the best feature on this cooler is the wagon bin on top, which is basically a bin for extra storage. You can carry lots of stuff in this bin, including stuff that you wouldn’t want to put in the freezer.
There are six anchor points around the cooler where you can attach your accessories, making it easy to deck to cooler out. It also comes with a cutting board for easy food preparation.
As if that’s not enough, it’s still bear-resistant and has 10 days of ice retention! It really has the best of everything!
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60 Can Rolling Cooler with AT Cart
The Arctic Zone Titan may not have a name that conjures up images of the beach, but this hardcore soft-sided cooler is just as much at home on a sandy beach as it is at the snowy North Pole.
One of the best features of this cooler is its all terrain expandable and removable rolling cart. This offers lots of storage options so you can get a bigger one if you anticipate yourself needing to carry a lot of things along.
The Easy Access lid is also a boon. On the beach, the last thing you want is a full lid opening. This is bad for insulation as it lets the cold air out and the hot air in every time you open your cooler to get something inside, not to mention it’s a little convenient.
The Easy Access lid is a much better deal, giving you both convenience and better insulation.
Speaking of insulation, the insulation type on the Arctic Zone Titan is the Deep Freeze type, which is multi-layered, high-performance insulation with radiant heat barrier.
This soft-sided cooler is much better equipped to maintain its ice retention capabilities on a hot beach than most other coolers.
Finally, on the base of the cooler, we have 3 separate layers of insulation complete with air traps A.K.A. The COLDLOCK BASE.
Couple that with the FDA compliant HardBody liner with removable SmartShelf and you have a winner on your hands!
Coleman Rolling Cooler Xtreme 50 Quart
This Coleman has a flashy design that anyone will appreciate.
It’s overall simple and cheap, but well-built cooler. It wouldn’t be able to handle the kind of heavy-duty demands that come with camping or fishing or hunting, but its great adaptation to casual use makes perfect for the beach. In fact, it has quite a few features that make it well suited to use on the beach.
For starters, it has a large capacity of 50 quarts. That’s equivalent to 84 12 oz cans of beer. That’s about enough beer to make sure everyone is having a good time.
On the bottom, it’s fitted with some pretty large wheels. When you’re hauling a 50 quart cooler around, you want to be able to do it in the most comfortable way possible. The large wheels can effortlessly roll over any terrain, and the long telescopic handle ensures you find just the right kind of leverage to pull it along comfortably.
On the top, it has 4 cup holders for the extra beer (or even coffee) you might want to enjoy, and the lid is also capable of handling up to 250 pounds of weight, so don’t fret about sitting on it when you get tired of all the beach dancing!
The ice retention is up to 3 days, so it should be great for a small group, such as a family, spending a day of fun at the beach.
RTIC Ultra Light
The RTIC Ultra Light is RTIC’s latest release. And, as such, we expected a lot of goodies from it. Suffice it to say that we were not at all disappointed.
The name ‘Ultra Light’ gives some indication to the defining feature of this cooler, which is that it’s lighter than most hard coolers with its 52 quart capacity. Actually, it’s a whole 30% lighter!
At the moment, you’re only getting the one size, but given the major perks that come with having a 52 quart cooler that only weighs 20 pounds, we can’t wait to see the same for other capacities.
It has a distinct design compared to RTIC’s rotomolded coolers. It’s much sleeker, which is a tasteful design. It’s also very affordable, thanks to the fact that it’s made in China.
This cooler has 3 inches of closed-cell foam insulation, allowing it to retain ice up to 10 days. It also has a traction lid that you can use as just about anything, from a step stool to a seat to a cutting board.
The lid also has an integrated locking system to keep your food and drinks safe.
What’s more, it’s bear resistant! The molded tie-down slots ensure you can easily stabilize the cooler in your truck while driving, or in your boat as you take a ride off the beach. The heavy duty rope handles make it comfortable to carry, even though it’s already so light.
Igloo BMX Coolers
The Igloo BMX cooler seems to have been perfectly crafted for the job. It’s a very light cooler, owing to the fact that it’s blow-molded. This makes it a lot lighter than rotomolded coolers in the same capacity range.
Note, however, that this comes at the cost of a reduced ice retention time. But that’s okay. If you’re mainly using it on the beach for a day, then that huge difference won’t really matter.
You get 3 size options with this cooler: the 25 quart option, the 52 quart option, and the 72 quart option.
We would recommend taking the 52 and 72 quart options, which are great for families and small groups having fun at the beach.
We particularly love the design of this cooler. It’s very fresh and stylish, looking just like the kind of cooler you would like to take to the beach. The aqua and gray tones are absolutely beautiful, so props to the designers for that.
Apart from that, it has UV inhibitors so the color won’t fade over time. The comfort grip makes it easy to carry, and there are tie-down loops for easy stabilizing in your truck or boat during transportation. What’s more, it all comes at a great price point!
Best Beach Coolers – Small Options for Two
Now we’re in small cooler territory. If you’re having fun at the beach and want to carry just enough for one or two, then there’s no point in bringing a fully-fledged hard cooler along. A simple soft cooler will do.
TOP PICK Tourit Soft Cooler
The Tourit soft cooler is just that kind of cooler. It offers great value for money, consider all it offers.
You get 2 sizes, one for 20 cans and the other for 30, and they are both lightweight, highly durable, and capable of retaining ice for up to 2 days due to the high-density foam insulation used. That should be more than enough ice retention for the beach.
The cooler is also waterproof, with no sweat on the outer layer. This is something we like to see on soft coolers, as no one likes a sweating cooler. Not to mention you don’t want a sweating cooler on the beach as it will cause all the sand to stick on it.
This cooler is great with ergonomics, with 3 different ways to carry. Pick whichever you’re most comfortable with. The zipper is also airtight and heavy duty.
We would advise you to use lubricant, however, as per the instructions of the manufacturer for the best results.
Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner
The Coleman 16-can soft cooler is excellent for a single person or two at most going to the beach. It looks like a stylish little bag that should neither be too much of a hassle to carry around or too conspicuous on the beach.
We also love how well built it is. The zippered main compartment has heat-welded seams that are never going to let any water leak through, keeping the outside of your soft cooler dry as the desert even when the inside may hold plenty of liquids.
The liner is antimicrobial treated so it resists the formation of any odor, mildew, or mold. It’s also removable, so you can take it out and wash it when you feel like it.
On the outside, there’s a zippered pocket for storage of stuff you don’t get either cold or wet and an extra mesh pocket on the back for storage of your keys and phone.
Overall, it’s a great cooler bag with a petite build, great colors, and great features for a single person trip to the beach.
Yeti Hopper M30
Of course, we weren’t going to have a conversation about the best beach coolers without talking about the king of them all: Yeti.
Yeti is a premium brand known for making high-quality coolers and other related products. They use great durable, high-quality materials that are built to last.
The M30, in particular, is quite tastefully designed, with a simple yet elegant look that should fit right into the beach scene.
The opening, in particular, is very wide, allowing for easy access. It also comes with a strip of magnets to make it close tightly, but most importantly, easily shut.
The soft cooler itself has two quick-release buckles to secure it so it doesn’t get tossed around, in case you have it at the back of your truck and are planning to ride on rough terrain.
The closed-cell foam insulation is also very strong, as is usual of insulation in Yeti coolers, allowing it to retain ice for up to 3 days.
This rugged, magnificent cooler from Yeti is going to set you back quite a few bucks. However, given how well built it is, and the brand value of Yeti products, we say it’s totally worth it!
Cordova Side Kick XS 20QT
Cordova is a brand we value a lot. Their hard coolers are great, including this little one too.
The Cordova Side Kick is pretty unique in the world of hard coolers, considering the fact that it is small enough to be carried by your side with a shoulder strap. I guess that’s why they called it the Side Kick.
At 20 quarts, it’s just large enough to carry enough drinks for a single person and also small enough to be carried by hand over long distances.
It also comes with a lid lock system to keep your stuff safe. In case you would rather load it in the back of your truck, the anti-slip feet ensure it stays in one place. The lid itself is also bear-resistant, which ensures bears and other hungry critters don’t get access to your food.
The lid also has lid lock technology, which keeps the lid lock up when you open it so you don’t have to hold it up with your hand.
The Cordova Side Kick is 100% made in the US, so patriots will enjoy it and come with a lifetime warranty.
We definitely categorize this as a high-end cooler that will prove a great companion on your beach trips for many years to come.
Yeti Roadie 24
To round off our list of coolers, we’re going to shamelessly plug in another Yeti: the Yeti Roadie 24.
If you follow Yeti closely, then you know that this is the successor to the Yeti Roadie 20, and has undergone a massive redesign, getting a greater capacity yet surprisingly weighing less than the Roadie 20.
The great design wins for the Roadie 24, apart from 10% lighter, having 20% greater capacity, and 30% better ice retention, have to do with the shape.
It is taller in order to fit those tall bottles of wine, yet still thin enough that you can fit it right behind the passenger seat of your car.
While it doesn’t have tie-down slots, it is fully compatible with Yeti’s tie-down kit, so you should be able to secure it in your truck to prevent it from sloshing around.
As usual of Yeti’s products, this is a premium cooler with excellent construction and even more excellent ice retention. It also comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying, just like the Cordova Side Quick mentioned above.
Again, like any other Yeti, it doesn’t come cheap. However, given the brand value, the quality of the materials, and the many awesome features, it is definitely worth a buy.
What Makes The Best Beach Cooler? What Should A Beach Cooler Have?
So what things should be taken into consideration when picking a cooler for a beach trip? As it turns out, there are a few important factors to consider, and we’re going to go through them one by one.
Is it Hard or Soft?
Soft coolers are generally lighter and handier than hard coolers. They often have extra pockets and various forms of carrying.
Think about the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze, and Tourit. All of these have put a lot of consideration into ergonomics, making them very comfortable and convenient to carry to the beach.
On the flip side, hard coolers have way better ice retention than soft coolers. Even so, ice retention shouldn’t be a very huge factor when you’re buying a cooler for the beach.
But there are still some things which hard coolers are just better at than soft coolers.
They have much greater capacity, making them better for large parties, and they are far more durable than soft coolers due to their construction.
Size is a key parameter when choosing the optimal cooler for the beach. You don’t want a cooler that’s too big as that one will be heavy to haul around and rather troublesome to pack properly.
On the other hand, you don’t want a cooler that’s too small as it may not fit everything you want to take with you to the beach. We’re not just talking about the edibles here.
Think about the ice and ice packs too. You should therefore consider the right size for your needs. In this case, the number of people going to the beach with you is a great piece of information on which to anchor your decision.
Best Beach Coolers are Portable and Durable
What else do best beach coolerStrong handles are definitely a must, whether you’re planning to buy a soft cooler or a hard cooler.
On a soft cooler, you want strong straps and grips. On hard coolers, you want either aluminum handles, like the ones on larger Cordovas (can be bought separately for the XS) or molded handles.
You also can’t go wrong with a wheeled cooler. You’ll definitely appreciate the wheels on your way to the beach, and they are a great convenience on the sand. Note that carrying a fully-packed cooler, rotomolded or otherwise, is exhausting, considering how heavy they are.
In addition, when you opt for some wheeled coolers, such as the ROVR Rollr, you can pack more items to take to the beach with you, thanks to the Wagon Bin.
All the coolers we’ve chosen for our review have oversized all-terrain wheels, with the ones on the Rollr being the best by far. They also all have proper ergonomic handles to haul the cooler around comfortably.
You might also want to go for a rotomolded cooler, simply because they’re very tough and weather-proof, capable of handling the tough sunny weather. What’s more, they can be used as a bench as they won’t buckle or break under the weight.
That said, injection and blow-molded coolers that have been well built can also be great choices. Many of the coolers in our own review are injection and blow-molded, and yet of extremely high quality.
Whatever the construction of the cooler you get, UV resistance in the body is a plus. There is a lot of sun on the beach, so you want a cooler that will still look like new in a few years.
Extra Features and Accessories
Any additional features and accessories are a plus. Think bottle openers, organizers, additional pockets, and the like. All of these help to provide you with an even more comfortable time on the beach.
How about Ice Retention?
A trip to the beach typically does not last more than a day, so almost all types of coolers will work here.
Rotomolded coolers will obviously keep the cool best, but they will also be very bulky and heavy.
On the other hand, simple soft solutions can quickly lose effectiveness, so it’s important to properly prepare and package the content. Our advice is to use ice packs.
Tips for Keeping a Cooler Cool on the Beach
- Keep the cooler in the shade. It’s a plus if you bring along an umbrella to keep the cooler under. You can also bury it in the sand as it is definitely going to be cooler there.
- You should also pack your cooler properly. Use ice to content ratio of 2:1. Use ice packs as a reusable alternative to ice.
- Keep the water away from the molten ice. The ice is still cooler and maybe enough to keep everything cold till the evening.
Beach Cooler FAQ
Yes. You can bring just about any kind of cooler to the beach.
Pack your favorite beverages, some snacks, chips, and sandwiches. You should also carry a cooling element, such as ice cubes or ice packs.
Pack your favorite beverages, some snacks, chips, and sandwiches. You should also carry a cooling element, such as ice cubes or ice packs.
Generally speaking, bigger is better on the sand. Also, balloon-type tires would be the best. Unfortunately, there are no coolers with this type of tire. You might need to look for a replacement or cooler wagon.
Best Beach Cooler Reviews – Bottom Line
And with that, we come to the end of our best beach cooler reviews. As you can see, there are plenty of options on the market, and the rules for beach coolers are quite different from those of normal coolers.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what cooler to get for your next beach adventure.
Until next time, stay cool!
Last update on 2020-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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