Updated on 04/26/2019 with more content incl. affordable vs performing wheeled coolers comparison. We also re-visited our Buyer’s Guide adding considerations like ice retention, design, and materials. Enjoy!
Anyone who has had to ansarry and transport coolers on a regular basis knows just how difficult it can be. When you are talking about a full cooler that needs to go from the car to the field, gym or picnic area, it can be rather tiresome.
This is especially true if you hardly have any help and need to complete these kinds of tasks on your own.
So what’s the answer here?
The answer is to pick up the best wheeled cooler for your needs. We have taken a look at the different coolers with wheels and are proud to bring you the best rolling cooler reviews.
By the way, we have to mention at this point that we’re going to have two different sections in this article. We’ll have one for the cheaper but non-rotomolded wheeled coolers, and then we’ll have another section for the more premium rotomolded wheeled coolers. Whichever you go for ultimately boils down to what your needs and preferences are, as well as your budget.
Let’s first look at a quick comparison of selected models, which will be described in more detail below.
Best Performing Wheeled Coolers – Comparison
|item-title||Yeti Tundra Haul||Pelican Elite Wheeled||Vibe Element 70||RovR RollR||Igloo Trailmate|
55 pounds of ice
(around 45 qt)
45, 55, 80 qt
45, 60, 80 qt
• Holds 45 cans
• StrongArm™ Handle
• NeverFlat™ Wheels
• Press & Pull Latches
• Sloped Drain & Tethered Threaded Plug
• Made in USA
• Heavy-duty wheels
• Heavy duty carrying handle
• Roto-molded construction
• Certified grizzly bear resistant
• High density foam insulation
• 9-inch all-terrain rubber tires
• Oversized Wheels
• Glide™ Handle
• Cool Riser Technology™
|td-btn-amz||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
Best Affordable Coolers with Wheels – Comparison
|item-title||Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Cooler||Columbia Crater Peak Rolling Ice Chest||Rubbermaid Extreme Wheeled Ice Chest||Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler|
• Holds 42 cans
• Telescoping handle
• PEVA liner
• Foldable All Terrain Cart
• SuperFoam insulation
• Therma-Flect interior
• Extra thick insulation
• Up to 130 cans plus ice
• Built-In cup holders
• Cool Riser Technology
• Holds up to 86 12-ounce cans (50-Quart)
|td-btn-amz||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
So now, here’s a closer look at our top picks when it comes to the best rolling cooler.
Best Performing Wheeled Coolers – Our Top Picks
Yeti Tundra Haul – Best Wheeled Ice Chest
When it comes to cooler brands, Yeti is the one brand that rules them all. This is the industry leader in the cooler space, and as such we can expect their products to only be of the highest quality. The same goes for their only wheeled cooler, the Yeti Haul.
The Haul is rotomolded, which basically makes it indestructible. It is also much better at ice retention than the non-rotomolded coolers out there. It’s basically a combination of the Yeti Tundra, which is well known for its toughness, and some tough wheels, which give it the ability to move over any terrain without issues.
Did we also mention that the wheels can never go flat? Well, they can’t. The tire construction is in one piece and is highly resistant to punctures and impacts of all kinds.
As for the arm, it is built out of welded aluminum, making it durable. It also comes with a curved design that makes it easy to tow and a comfortable grip for easy handling.
Get it on Amazon here >> or read our review here >>
Pelican Elite – Best Performance Rolling Cooler
Pelican are veterans of the industry and, as such, we expect nothing but the very best from them. They are well known for making top of the line coolers that will last years and perform at the very highest levels in the market. Another thing they’re known for is keeping up with trends.
What better trend for a well-established cooler brand to keep up with than wheeled coolers? Pelican has risen to the challenge with their wheeled cooler. We love the fact that this cooler comes in 3 sizes, which gives buyers plenty of options when it comes to what to buy.
As you would expect from a premium wheeled cooler, this one is rotomolded. It also has a very thick insulation layer, making for very good ice retention that is capable of going up to 10 days.
The handles are molded into the cooler. It also comes with plenty of other features, such as a bottle opener, tie-down slots, large locking latches, and an anti-shear hinge system. What’s more, this cooler is made in the US!
You can get it on Amazon here >> or read our Pelican Coolers review here >>
Vibe Element – Best Value Rolling Ice Chest
As a brand, Vibe is rather new in the cooler space. However, that has not stopped them from pulling all the stops and going for the big boys. Despite their relative newness, they are famed for manufacturing high-quality coolers, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. It is no wonder, then, that they made a wheeled cooler for those outdoor enthusiasts that wanted an easier way to haul their coolers around.
The Vibe wheeled cooler was built for all sorts of outdoor activities, such as hunting, fishing, camping, and so on. It has a metal lock plate, a pressure release valve, a heavy duty handle and a bottle opener built right into the cooler.
This magnificent cooler is, of course, rotomolded, and so it is indestructible, being able to survive just about anything and featuring very good ice retention capabilities.
The cooler also has a sleek look to it that you’ll be proud of it. As if that wasn’t enough, vibe also offers a limited lifetime warranty on the cooler.
Get it on Amazon right here >> or read our Vibe review here >>
RovR RollR Cooler – Best Full Featured Wheeled Cooler
We love the wordplay on this brand. It’s basically the word ‘rover’ with all of the vowels removed and, true to their brand name they’ve made a rover-like cooler for the outdoor enthusiast.
This cooler has 9-inch rubber tires that will work on any terrain. The hubs are made of aluminum, and the tires contain tubes that can be replaced.
The ice retention is also pretty good, lasting many days, while the capacity options are good enough that you should be able to find a cooler that is perfect for your needs. This cooler comes with a dry storage bin for the dry goods that you want to keep as far away from the ice as possible.
Basically, we love just about everything about RovR as a brand, and we also love their wheeled cooler. It has a great design and also comes with some great features that any outdoor enthusiast will appreciate, not to mention it has two capacity options.
Get it on Amazon right here >>
Igloo Trailmate – Best
Right off the ba, we have to point out that this particular cooler is not rotomolded. Now, that might make you think that it’s not supposed to be on the premium coolers list; that it should instead be in the section on cheaper coolers.
We would also be inclined to think the same under normal circumstances. However, in this particular case, this cooler more than redeems itself for that shortcoming. What it lacks in construction it more than makes up for in features.
The Igloo Trailmate comes with 4-day ice retention. That’s not stellar, but it’s good for most purposes. What will really blow your mind are all the extras. It comes with a telescopic handle that also contains a butler tray for serving your food and drinks. It has two bottle openers.
It has 10-inch tires that can take on just about any terrain, and it has self-draining cup holders. Basically, this is like having the perfect mate on your journeys. Not only does it cool your food and drinks but it also gives you a lot of extras.
You can get it on Amazon right here >> or read our review here >>
Best Affordable Coolers with Wheels – Our Top Picks
Igloo Ice Cube Maxcold Roller – Best Rolling Ice Chest For Taller People
The popular Igloo Cooler offers a rolling coolers in various sizes and options, including those with MaxCold technology (check the price of each on Amazon).
Durable wheels helps this cooler to stay off of the ground and tow handles make this cooler easier to carry. Ultratherm insulation in body and lid helps keep things cold.
A taller user liked the handle being on the back of the cooler instead of the sides. The user mentioned that coolers with side handles typically have left him dragging it because of the elevation due to his height, but that was not a problem with this version. The user also mentioned that they got five days of ice retention, which matches up with what the manufacturer mentioned.
Another user mentioned what others have about the wheels and handle, mentioning that the larger sized wheels were ideal for going over rocks or any other rough surfaces.
You can get it on Amazon right here >>
Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Cooler
If you have been on the lookout for a rolling cooler that is on the soft side, then you need to check out this Coleman 42-Can wheeled cooler (Amazon link). Just as the name indicates, the capacity of this cooler is 42 cans. With a telescopic handle and wheels, you’ll find this one easy to transport as well.
It measures in at 11.42 x 12.6 x 21.26 inches and weighs just over five pounds, making it lighter than others. The lightness can be attributed to the soft-sided body and exterior.
Editor’s TIP: Here you can learn more about soft coolers.
One user liked that this cooler was mid-size. The user mentioned also liking the lining of the cooler, likening it to a plastic lining in a wastebasket. The user mentioned that the lining made it much easier to clean and remove.
Another user took it on a trip to the beach and found that it functioned well. The user mentioned that it had nice extra pockets, smooth wheels and gave great capacity without it being too big to transport and handle.
This cooler comes in two different colors, you can check them on Amazon right here >>
Columbia Crater Peak Rolling Ice Chest
This model will remind you of a rolling cart. The wheels are also advertised as all-terrain, which means that it should be durable over rough and rugged landscapes. It measures in at 16 x 10 x 13.5 inches giving you more than enough room to pack your
Go check it on Amazon right here >>
One user enjoyed many features of this rolling ice chest, prompting us to feel that the user saw it as the best cooler with wheels. Of things to note, the user enjoyed the collapsibility, the height of the handles, the look of the cooler, removable liner, leak proof ability and small flip top for easy grabbing of items.
Another user also mentioned the ability to break this cooler down. The user said that the removable wheels and fold up capabilities made it easy to pack directly into a suitcase to take on a trip.
Some had mentioned that it does have some issues rolling over grass, but that it rolled well on flat surfaces.
Rubbermaid Extreme Wheeled Ice Chest
Are you looking for a LARGE cooler with LARGE ice retention rates? If you are then that is what Rubbermaid is offering . The manufacturer reports that this cooler will fit over five cases of cans WITH ice. They also state that the thicker insulation allows for ice retention of up to five days. This model comes in at 16.9 x 33.3 x 19.4 inches making it perfect for the individual looking for a larger rolling cooler.
Users did mention some initial hesitancy due to the large size, but found that they fit nicely into the back of their vehicles. One user stated that the cooler remained in direct sunlight for four days with items still remaining cold.
Other users applauded the ability of these coolers to keep ice frozen. Two separate users mentioned that ice was still frozen even after three days in warmer temperatures. And yet another user reported ice retention of three days even with the cooler sitting out in the open under the sun.
It’s a LARGE cooler, but price is quite affordable – go and check it on Amazon now >>
Editor’s TIP: More tips on choosing the best high end coolers can be found here.
Already got Yeti (or some other) non-wheeled Cooler? Add Wheels to it!
So let’s say you already have a Yeti without wheels, and you think buying a whole new wheeled cooler, just for its wheels, feels like a bit of over expenditure, you don’t have to worry about it; you can simply buy wheels for it. There is a huge third party market for wheels for existing Yeti coolers, as well as other coolers.
A good example of a great cooler wheel kit is the one from Sherpa Outdoor Products. It fits most Yeti Tundras, adjusts very easily, has extremely large tires (16 inches), and comes with the necessary hardware and straps to attach it to your cooler.
There is also the steel single axle wheel kit from Badger Wheels that’s made for the Yeti Tundra 50, 65, and 110. Despite having a single axle it can handle some pretty heavy loads.
You can also easily find other wheel kits for coolers other than Yeti if you look around on Amazon. Overall, it’s much cheaper than buying a whole wheeled cooler.
Cooler with Wheels Buying Tips
As everyone is different, there will be different needs for each person. Some may be the same, but you may find some unique to your situation. Here are a few things you should consider as you look at the different models more closely.
Of course, at the end of the day, a wheeled cooler is a cooler. Its ultimate use is not to be pulled around on its wheels, but rather to cool its contents.
With that in mind, you should also consider the ice retention when picking wheeled coolers. Be sure to go for wheeled coolers that would give you the same level of ice retention as their non-wheeled counterparts.
Material Design and Construction
What kind of cooler are you looking for? Ideally, this isn’t a debate about hard and soft coolers since all wheeled coolers on the market at the moment are hard coolers.
However, there are other aspects of the design and construction that you should also consider, such as whether the cooler is rotomolded. Rotomolded coolers are of superior quality and will retain ice longer, not to mention they are also more durable than non-rotomolded coolers.
Storage Capacity and Cooler Sizes
Again, a wheeled cooler is just a cooler, which means your size requirements should also be taken into consideration. Depending on your needs, some coolers might be too big or too small for you.
Some brands offer multiple size options for their wheeled coolers while others offer only one. Watch out for this when you’re making your pick.
Check out this article, we discuss here all the aspects that should be taken into account when looking at size and capacity.
While this one may not sound that important, you need to think about it. If you are taller and need to crouch lower in order to hold the handle as you roll, then you may be in for some difficulties.
If you need to roll your cooler for extended periods and extended distances, and will need to crouch down for long periods at a time, then you may want to consider a cooler with a longer telescopic handle.
Wheel size makes all the difference. Just think about actual vehicles and this will make much more sense.
How do you think a car with smaller wheels will do on rough terrain? Now, how do you think a truck with off road tires will do on rough terrain?
As you can see, the answer here is that the latter will do much better. Much of the same can be said of your rolling cooler needs. If the area you will be using the cooler has rough terrain, then you may want to consider a cooler with larger wheels.
When it comes to transporting your new cooler, then dimensions will come into play. Handles and wheels attached to your cooler can make it awkward to transport and difficult to place into trunks or backseats.
If you are traveling on a plane and will be taking a wheeled cooler, then it can become even more difficult. One of the things you should be paying attention to is the size of the cooler, as well as the attachments such as wheels and handles.
Keep these areas in mind before you purchase your rolling cooler and you should find the best wheeled cooler for your needs.
Our Other Wheeled Cooler Recommendations
What Now? Bottom Line
Your needs will determine the size and make up of the cooler that you need.
How many people will this cooler serve? What terrain will you be going over? How long do you need ice to be kept frozen?
Once you can answer these questions we are certain that you will be able to find a cooler to fit your needs here.
Take a look at what you will need the cooler for and what you need it to do, and you will be well on your way to finding the best wheeled cooler.
Also, based on your budget and the kind of quality you’re looking for, decide on whether you need a premium cooler or a cheaper alternative.
We recommend that you check out all wheeled coolers available on Amazon.
You can also check this Igloo Coolers video about their whole new wheeled cooler’s handle design.