Best Coolers for Overlanding

Our Top Cooler Picks

Image of YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler ► Best for Most Weeklong Adventures YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler
Image of YETI Tundra 65 Cooler ► Best insulation and the longest-lasting YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Image of Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler ► Best budget cooler Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler
Image of Xspec 60QT Cooler ► Best Large Capacity Xspec 60QT Cooler
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Whether you’re going on an offroad adventure or camping in the wilderness, keeping your food and beverages cool is critical. Fortunately, many high-quality coolers on the market excel at anything from solitary day treks to week-long expeditions. We’ve broken down the best coolers and ice chests for Overlanding, including everything from budget-friendly to high-end models. These Outdoor coolers share the same adventurous attitude as people who transport them. They are designed to be dropped, pummelling, flooded, and even attacked by wild animals while keeping their contents intact and cold for days. Whatever the case may be, any of these coolers is up for the challenge.

Few Things to Consider When Buying the Best Coolers for Overlanding

Construction and Insulation: Construction techniques for these Coolers are in two ways: foam insulation and rotational molding (rotomolding). For many years, foam-insulated coolers have been the most popular where Insulated foam is squeezed between two rigid plastic shells, such as polypropylene.The rotomolded structure is used in higher-end coolers such as Yeti. These coolers are produced from a single piece of continuous plastic rotated until the required shape is achieved, leaving no seams or holes for leakage. Rotomolded coolers are more insulated and last longer than clamshell plastic coolers.

Size: You should pick a cooler depending on how much food you want to store in it, rather than the most significant model available. Although larger coolers keep food colder than smaller coolers, a large cooler with few contents is not as efficient as a small one when packing full. It will also take up more room in the vehicle, proving that more prominent isn’t always better.
A good ice-to-food ratio to aim for is 2:1.

Bear-Resistant: Many of the best hard-sided coolers are bear-resistant, which is critical to remember if you’re camping in bear country. If you spend a lot of time outside or will be traveling in places where bear-proof gear is necessary, be sure, your cooler is bear-proof.

Our Favorite Coolers of 2021!

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler Image

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

★★★★★ (4.8)

Material Aluminum
Color White
Dimensions  28.25″ x 18.63″ x 19.5″
Item Weight 32 Pounds

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.

Pros:

  • Easy to roll
  • Bear-resistant design
  • Top-notch insulation
  • Extremely durable

Cons:

  • YETI coolers are expensive
  • Heavy for its size

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 65 Cooler Image

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

★★★★★ (4.7)

Material Polyester
Color Desert Tan
Dimensions 30.5″ x 17.5″ x 16″
Weight 34 Pounds
Insulation Polyurethane Foam

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.

Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Extremely well insulated
  • Easy to use, great size
  • Bear-proof by IGBC.

Cons:

  • No leash plug
  • A bit smaller than expected

The Yeti Tundra 65 is a tremendous all-around cooler with plenty of useful features and all the performance you could ask for.

Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler Image

Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler

★★★★★ (4.6)

Material Plastic
Color Red
Dimensions 13.9″ x 14.6″ x 25.9″
Weight 7.1 Pounds
Capacity 48 Quarts

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.

Pros:

  • Sturdy construction
  • useful medium size
  • Trusted legacy brand
  • Very lightweight and simple to use

Cons:

  • Unimpressive insulation
  • Poor drainage

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.

Xspec 60QT Cooler  Image

Xspec 60QT Cooler

★★★★★ (4.4)

Material Plastic
Color Seafoam
Dimensions 28″ x 17″ x 18″
Weight 31 Pounds
Insulation Polyurethane

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.

Pros:

  • Good insulation & features
  • Useful shape
  • Built to last
  • Helpful pressure release valve

Cons:

  • No basket for dry goods
  • Not certified by the IGBC

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.

Igloo Marine Ultra Family Image

Igloo Marine Ultra Family

★★★★★ (4.3)

  • 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

Pros:

  • Good value!
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Different options.
  • Light yet durable enough

Cons:

  • The lid isn’t as insulated
  • It doesn’t fully drain without tipping the cooler

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.

Our Cooler Recommendation

Choose a cooler based on the amount of food you need to store and the purpose of your trip. Soft-shell coolers are helpful for short trips, but they cannot preserve ice as well as hard-shell coolers. Don’t choose a cooler that is too heavy to handle, and if you need more space, consider buying two coolers—one for drinks and one for food. However, Rotomolded coolers are the finest choice for long-term durability.

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