If you’re looking for the toughest, most durable cooler on the market, a rotomolded cooler is your best bet. Also known as rotationally molded coolers, these coolers keep your contents protected while maintaining cold internal temperatures to the contents as cold as possible.
The process to create a rotomolded cooler involves a heated mold with melted plastic. The plastic is then continuously rotated around the mold. This rotation process ensures the plastic lays evenly and no bubbles, sagging, or other deformities that occur. The result is a cooler with a thick, continuous wall, rather than seams that can crack or leak from wear and tear.
Rotomolding creates a more durable and seamless product that is free from imperfections and can provide users with long-lasting use.
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Grizzly 100 Cooler Review
Grizzly is one of the biggest names in the business of tough, durable coolers, and if you look at their products, you’ll understand why. The company boasts some of the strongest materials and construction for its coolers, which are said to even stand up to a bear attack, hence the company name.
Grizzly’s 100 Cooler is one of the brand’s most popular products. It falls within the $450-$500 range, so it’s better for high budgets, but it also provides virtual indestructibility, which is important for frequent outdoor use. Plus, its huge capacity will hold up to 95 12-oz cans with 30 lbs. of ice.
- Made with Grizzly’s RotoTough design and materials, which are put through a series of tests before heading out on the market
- Pressure-injected insulation to retain ice for days
- Embossed ruler on lid, perfect for fishermen
- Handles molded into the cooler for more durability
- Hardware-free latches for less chance of breakage
- High price point
- Likely needs two people to carry the cooler when filled
- No wheels to help move the cooler
Orca 75 Cooler Review
The Orca 75 Cooler is rotomolded in America and guaranteed for life. So even if you do experience an issue with its durability or performance, you can receive free service for a lifetime. Made with durable polyurethane insulation, the Orca 75 Cooler will keep your ice and contents cold, even in high temperatures, for up to 10 days.
This spacious cooler is perfect for long trips for large groups who need plenty of space to store food, drinks, or the best catches. Orca guarantees that the cooler is bear-proof, so your contents will remain safe inside, thanks to the heavy-duty latching system.
- Lifetime guarantee for defects from normal use
- Locking lid gasket to create a perfect seal
- Padded handles for extra comfort when transporting
- Drainage spout to release water
- Comes with a cargo net attachment to aid storage abilities
- For the $450 and up budget
- 35 lbs. when empty, so it can become extremely heavy when filled
- Not the best for portability; will likely need more than one person to carry the cooler
- Wheeled accessory must be purchased separately
ENGEL USA Cooler/Dry Box Review
ENGEL USA created one of the most versatile contraptions for the outdoor enthusiast with its Cooler/Dry Box system. ENGEL USA designed this rotomolded cooler to keep contents either hot, cold, or dry. So, if you need somewhere to store cold drinks, hot sandwiches, or even a camera away from the elements, this cooler/dry box is it.
The coolers in this series range in size from 13-quart to 30-quart, and in price from $54 to $100, making them some of the least expensive rotomolded coolers on the market.
- Exceptional price point for low budgets
- 2-inch insulation on the lid, sides, and bottom
- Mounted stainless steel latches for durability
- Non-skid feet to keep cooler in place
- Includes carry handles and shoulder strap
- Lightweight construction for easy portability
- Doesn’t retain ice well for long periods of time in extreme temperatures
- Not as durable as higher-priced coolers
RTIC Rotomolded Cooler
RTIC’s Rotomolded Cooler comes in 20, 45, or 65-quart options, ranging from $124 to $199, which is a low price point compared to other similar coolers. And, they seem to stack up quite well against some of the biggest names in coolers, with their heavy construction, durable hardware, and tight seals to keep your contents cold.
RTIC’s coolers come with about three inches of insulation surrounding the full cooler and a freezer-style gasket lid to keep warm air out and cold air in. These coolers also have an extra thickness on the bottom to keep your contents further from the hot surfaces your cooler sits on.
- No-sweat exterior
- Molded handles and gripped rope handles to choose from
- Drain spout for easy drainage of water inside the cooler
- Non-slip bottom feet
- Locking system to keep cooler from opening too easily
- Rubber seal gasket may not perform well if left in extreme heat for extended periods of time
- Heavy when empty; may require more than one person to carry larger sizes
Yeti Tundra Cooler Review
The Yeti Tundra ranges from $299 for the 35-quart to $1299 for the 350-quart. There’s a wide range of sizes in between for every outdoor enthusiast’s needs and budget. Yeti is also one of the top names in the business, known for its rugged coolers that keep contents cool for some of the longest times.
The Tundra cooler is made with a “FatWall” design, which is a continuous, rotomolded construction around the 3-inch PermaFrost Insulation layer to keep contents ice cold and protected.
- Certified and tested as bear-resistant when padlocked
- 5-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Non-slip feet to keep cooler in place where it sits
- Heavy-duty rubber latches for a tight seal
- Screw-in gasket and leak-proof drain plug
- Two ways to carry the cooler: molded or rope handles
- Larger capacities are extremely heavy when filled
- Some of the most expensive coolers on the market
- 5-year warranty, which is low compared to the high price tag
Canyon Cooler Outfitter Series
Canyon Cooler’s Outfitter series is the brand’s most rugged line of coolers, made with rotomolded polyethylene to create a one-piece exterior that can withstand rough wear and tear. Even the coolers’ hinges are made with marine-grade, bullet-proof material to hold up to whatever comes their way.
From 22-quart to 125-quart coolers, the Outfitter series has any size you need to fit a wide range of budgets, from $139 to $430.
- HUNTX pressure-injected foam insulation
- Foam-poly gasket seals tightly to keep contents cold
- Locking lid to prevent animals from getting into the cooler
- Drain plug with screw-in assembly and tether to prevent losing the plug
- Bottom skid plates to keep cooler from sliding on ground or in vehicle
- Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- Tie-down anchoring straps
- Somewhat heavy, so larger coolers may need to be handled by two people
- Holds ice for only a day or two, on average
- Small drain plug with slow drainage for larger coolers
K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler
K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler is one of the mid-priced coolers on this list, retailing for about $159 for the base model. It does come in some other colors and styles that increase the price a bit. This cooler is a bit smaller than others, with a can capacity of 14, but it’s also a much more portable option for small groups or short trips.
K2 Coolers Summit 20 is comparable to the Yeti Roadie, a smaller, more portable cooler from the Yeti line. But, with the shoulder strap that the K2 Coolers Summit 20 provides, it is a more portable option for those who want a carry-on type cooler.
- Pressure-injected insulation for the best prevention against air leaks
- Lid latches are mounted on keepers molded into the cooler frame to provide an airtight seal
- Nylon strap with padded shoulder attachment for comfort during transport
- 7-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Best for day trips; doesn’t typically retain ice for longer
- Heavy for its size
- Only holds about 12 to 16 cans
Pelican Elite Cooler
The Pelican Elite Cooler is similar in price to the Yeti Tundra and other higher-priced rotomolded coolers. However, it’s clear to see why when you examine its construction. A quick glance at the rotomolded, rugged exterior and you can see why it stands out as one of the most popular coolers of its type.
Pelican designed the Elite Cooler to last a lifetime, from its stainless steel hardware to its two-inch thick insulation and freezer-grade seal. Pelican is so confident in this cooler’s longevity that it provides a lifetime guarantee.
- Molded-in lock for added security
- Retains ice for days
- Wide wheels for helpful portability
- 20 to 250-quart options
- Heavy, even when empty
- Some reports state that drain plug leaks
Igloo Sportsman 55 Cooler
Igloo is perhaps one of the most well-known cooler names, providing some of the best coolers to outdoor enthusiasts since 1950. The Igloo Sportsman 55 Cooler is among its current most popular coolers. Its huge 55-quart capacity is great for long trips and large groups and will stand up to consistent wear and tear.
At about $250, its price falls a little below many other coolers of similar size and quality. It also comes with a 5-year warranty providing you with peace of mind with your purchase. The Igloo Sportsman 55 Cooler currently comes in white or tan and can be used with Igloo ice blocks or substitutes for maximum cooling potential.
- Self-stopping lid hinge to prevent breakage
- Raised, large-surface lid to double as a work area
- Oversized drain plug for quicker water drainage, with a tether connection to prevent loss
- Aluminum hardware prevents corrosion
- Molded fish ruler on lid
- Certified bear-proof construction
- No wheels, making it difficult to transport by one person
- Thinner insulation than other coolers (1.5” to 2”)
Nash Sports Sub Z Cooler Review
Nash Sports’ Sub Z Cooler series may not be a household name like Yeti or Igloo, but it’s creating quite a splash for hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts. This rotomolded cooler comes in 23 or 48-quart sizes and is rugged enough to double as a seat when used with the optional seating accessory. Nash’s Sub Z cooler is quickly gaining some ground against more popular coolers because of its strong construction and versatility, especially for campers.
This cooler uses both a heavy foam insulation and a tight-sealing lid gasket to help hold in the cold for days. The lid locks in two locations for added security to prevent critter entry and spills. Optionally, you can choose one of the larger coolers with wheels, for an additional cost, for easier portability with heavy loads.
- Oversized drain plug to empty water more efficiently
- Lightweight design for easy portability
- Four non-skid feet to keep cooler in place
- Tall; plenty of room for holding cans or bottles
- 5” insulation around the cooler, which is less than similar coolers
- Somewhat high price point for its features ($150 to $300 range)
- Gasket isn’t quite as high-grade as other coolers
Rotomolded coolers are probably the best choice for the extreme outdoor enthusiast that needs an especially durable cooler with thick insulation and a one-piece shell that won’t crack or leak. Since the shell on rotomolded coolers isn’t welded or screwed together, it provides the best protection against warping and leaking to ensure that your cooler will last as long as you need it to.
Of course, rotomolded coolers often come at a much higher price point than other types of coolers, but that’s because of the longevity they provide. If you can buy a $300 cooler that can last a lifetime, you’ve gotten your money’s worth over a $50 cooler that you’ll have to replace every year or so. Additionally, many of the higher-priced coolers come with a manufacturer’s warranty to protect your purchase in case something goes wrong under normal use.
These rotomolded coolers are some of the best on the current market. Carefully consider their pros and cons, as well as your budget, to decide which one may work best for your needs.