If you’re looking for the best coolers 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 an ice chest with a thick, continuous wall, rather than seams that can crack or leak from wear and tear.
Rotomolding creates a more seamless product that is free from imperfections and can provide users with long-lasting use.
What is a rotomolded Cooler?
A rotomolded cooler is made using a process called rotational molding or rotomolding. Rotomolding is a manufacturing process that involves heating plastic resin in a hollow mold and then rotating the mold on two perpendicular axes to distribute the molten plastic evenly across the interior of the mold. The mold is then cooled, and the plastic solidifies, resulting in a seamless, one-piece construction.
The rotomolding process produces ice chests that are rugged, making them ideal for outdoor activities like camping, hunting, and fishing. The best rotomolded coolers have a thick, insulated wall that helps to keep the contents chilled for an extended period, and they are resistant to impact, scratches, and other types of damage that can occur during transportation or use.
Rotomolded coolers also typically have airtight seals that prevent warm air from entering and cold air from escaping, which helps to maximize ice retention. Additionally, they often come with heavy duty rubber latches, hinges, and handles that are designed to withstand rough handling and frequent use.
Are Rotomolded Coolers really better?
Rotomolded coolers are generally considered to be better than soft sided coolers for several reasons.
First, rotomolded coolers are highly durable and rugged, thanks to their one-piece construction and thick walls. They can withstand hot temperatures, impacts, and other types of damage, making them ideal for outdoor activities like camping, hunting, and fishing.
Second, rotomolded coolers have excellent insulation properties, which helps with ice retention. This is because the thick walls provide more insulation than traditional coolers, which can have thin walls that allow heat to penetrate more easily.
Third, rotomolded coolers often come with airtight seals and heavy duty latches, hinges, and handles, which help to prevent warm air from entering and cool air from escaping. This further enhances their ice retention capabilities.
That being said, rotomolded coolers can be more expensive than soft sided coolers. However, many people find that the benefits of a rotomolded cooler outweigh the additional cost.
Ultimately, whether or not a rotomolded cooler is better for you will depend on your needs and preferences. If you need am ice chest that can withstand harsh conditions and keep contents cool for an extended period, then a rotomolded cooler may be the best choice for you.
Best Rotomolded Coolers
Grizzly 100 Cooler Review
Grizzly is one of the biggest names in the business. 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 qt ice chest 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.
Orca 75 Cooler Review
Best Cooler for the money
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 hard 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 it is bear-proof, so your contents will remain safe inside, thanks to the heavy-duty latching system.
ENGEL USA Cooler/Dry Box Review
The Engel USA Cooler is an excellent performance cooler designed for outdoor enthusiasts who demand rugged durability and excellent ice retention. The Engel USA Cooler is made in the USA with rotomolded construction, which ensures it's tough enough to handle extreme conditions.
Engel is designed to keep ice for up to 10 days, depending on the conditions, which is impressive for any cooler. This makes it an excellent choice for camping trip.
The Engel USA dry box also features heavy-duty latches, hinges, and handles that are designed to withstand rough handling and frequent use. The cooler has an airtight seal further enhancing its ice retention capabilities.
Additionally, the Engel USA Cooler is available in various sizes, ranging from 13 to 320 quarts, to meet different needs and preferences. The cooler also has a variety of color options to choose from.
Overall, the Engel USA Cooler is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a premium cooler that can handle rugged outdoor conditions. The cooler is durable, easy to use, and has excellent ice retention, making it a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts. We have a great Engel Cooler review where you can learn even more.
RTIC 45 qt Rotomolded Cooler
Best of the cheaper coolers
RTIC coolers are a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts looking for a mid-sized cooler with reliable performance. This cooler offers a balance between capacity and portability, making it suitable for various outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, or tailgating.
Built with rotomolding technology, the RTIC 45 qt cooler boasts a rugged and durable construction. The thick walls and seamless design ensure excellent insulation and help maintain cool temperatures for extended periods. Users have reported keeping ice for several days, even in hot weather conditions. However, it's important to note that ice retention can vary depending on factors such as ambient temperature, pre-chilling, and frequency of opening the ice chest.
With a capacity of 45 quarts, it provides ample space for storing food, beverages, and ice. The interior can accommodate a substantial amount of items, and the cooler features a well-designed layout with integrated cup holders and tie-down slots for added convenience. The drain plug allows for easy cleaning, while the non-slip feet ensure stability when placed on different surfaces.
RTIC coolers features sturdy, ergonomic handles that make it an ease to carry, even when fully loaded. The latches are reliable and secure, ensuring a tight seal to keep the contents cold and prevent any leakage. However, there have been occasional reports of the latches or handles breaking over time, but RTIC provides a warranty to address such issues.
In terms of value for money, the RTIC 45 qt cooler is competitively priced compared to other rotomolded cooler brands. It offers comparable performance and long term durability without the premium cost. RTIC frequently provides promotions and discounts, making it an attractive option for those seeking a reliable cooler at an affordable price point.
Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler Review
Best Cooler with wheels
The Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler is a highly regarded and popular option in the rotomolded cooler market. Known for its durability, ice retention, and overall quality, the Tundra 65 is designed to withstand the toughest outdoor conditions.
Constructed with rotomolding technology, the Tundra 65 Cooler features a robust and virtually indestructible design. The rotomolded construction ensures superior durability and resistance to impacts, making it capable of handling rough handling and challenging environments. The cooler's thick walls and seamless construction contribute to its insulation properties and prevent leakage, making it suitable for extended outdoor adventures.
When it comes to ice retention, the Tundra 65 excels. The cooler is heavily insulated, allowing it to maintain low temperatures for an extended period. Users have reported ice retention for several days, even in hot climates. However, it's important to consider factors such as pre-chilling the cooler, ambient temperature, and frequency of opening the lid, as they can affect ice retention.
With a capacity of 65 quarts, the Tundra 65 offers ample storage space. It can hold a significant amount of food, beverages, and ice, making it suitable for longer trips or larger gatherings. The cooler features a practical and user-friendly design, including a dry goods basket to keep items organized and an integrated ruler on the lid for measuring fish or other items.
The Tundra 65 Cooler is equipped with T-Rex lid latches that provide a secure and reliable seal. The freezer-quality gasket ensures a tight closure, further enhancing insulation and preventing cold air from escaping. It also has sturdy, molded handles with a comfortable grip, making it easier to carry, even when fully loaded.
Yeti is renowned for its attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship, and the Tundra 65 Cooler is no exception. However, it's worth noting that the Yeti brand does come at a high price. While the Tundra 65 Cooler offers exceptional performance and durability, it may be a significant investment for some consumers.
Customer feedback for the Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler has been overwhelmingly positive. Users praise its ruggedness, ice retention capabilities, and the overall quality of construction. The cooler's performance and longevity have been consistently commended by outdoor enthusiasts. Yeti also provides excellent customer service and stands behind their products with a generous warranty, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Canyon Cooler Outfitter Series
The Canyon Cooler Outfitter series is a line of high-performance coolers designed for outdoor enthusiasts who demand durability and ice retention. These hard coolers are made in the USA with rotomolded construction, which ensures that they are rugged and can withstand extreme conditions.
The Outfitter series comes in various sizes, ranging from 22 to 125 quarts, to meet different needs and preferences. The Caynon series features heavy-duty rubber latches, hinges, and handles. These are designed to withstand rough handling and frequent use. Additionally, the coolers have an airtight seal, which prevents warm air from entering.
The Canyon Cooler Outfitter series has great ice retention. These coolers have ice retention for an up to 2-3 weeks, depending on the conditions.
Overall, the Canyon Cooler Outfitter series is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a high-performance cooler that can handle rugged outdoor conditions. These high end coolers are easy to use and have excellent ice retention, making them a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts.
K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler
The K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler is a high-performance cooler designed for outdoor enthusiasts who demand rugged durability and excellent ice retention. The Summit 20 is made with rotomolded construction, which ensures that it is tough enough to handle extreme conditions.
One of the standout features of the K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler is its ice retention. It is designed to keep ice for up to 5 days, depending on the conditions, which is impressive for a cooler of its size. This makes it an excellent choice for weekend camping trips, day trips, and other outdoor adventures where you need to keep drinks and food cool for a short time.
Additionally, the K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler is available in various sizes, ranging from 20 to 120 quarts, to meet different needs and preferences. There are a number of color options to choose from as well.
Overall, the K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a high-performance cooler that can handle rugged outdoor conditions. The high end cooler is durable, easy to use, and has excellent ice retention. The Summit 20 is also relatively affordable compared to some other premium coolers, making it a great value for the price.
Pelican Elite Cooler
pelican elite cooler with wheels
30 x 20 x 19
pelican 70 quart elite cooler
30 x 20 x 21
pelican 20 quart cooler
19 x 18 x 13
The Pelican Elite Cooler is widely regarded as one of the top coolers available on the market today. Its construction and durability are some of its most notable features. The cooler is built with rugged rotomolded construction, which means it is incredibly tough and can handle rough handling, impacts, and even harsh outdoor conditions. Whether you're going on a camping trip, fishing excursion, or any other outdoor adventure, you can trust that the Pelican Elite Cooler will hold up well and withstand the elements.
When it comes to insulation, the Pelican Elite Cooler truly shines. It features thick walls and a lid gasket that work together to provide exceptional insulation and temperature retention. The cooler is designed to keep ice frozen for an extended period, making it ideal for longer trips where you need to keep your perishable items cool. The high-quality polyurethane foam insulation used in the construction of the cooler ensures that cold temperatures are maintained, even in hot weather conditions.
One of the standout qualities of the Pelican Elite Cooler is its impressive ice retention capabilities. Depending on factors such as the ambient temperature and how frequently the cooler is opened, it can keep ice frozen for several days. This extended ice retention is a major advantage, especially if you're going on multi-day trips or need to keep your food and beverages chilled for an extended period.
In addition to its durability and insulation, the Pelican Elite Cooler offers several convenient features. The cooler is equipped with heavy-duty latches that securely seal the lid, preventing any air from escaping and maintaining the internal temperature. The latches are easy to use, ensuring a tight seal every time. The cooler also has molded handles on each side, making it easy to carry, even when it's fully loaded with ice and contents. It also comes with non-skid feet, preventing the cooler from sliding around, even on slippery surfaces.
Overall, the Pelican Elite Cooler is an outstanding choice for those who value durability, insulation, and long-lasting ice retention. While it may be pricier compared to some other coolers on the market, its exceptional performance and build quality make it a worthwhile investment for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who needs reliable cooling capabilities. Whether you're going on a weekend camping trip or planning a week-long adventure, the Pelican Elite Cooler will keep your food and drinks fresh and chilled throughout your journey.
. Check out our full review of Pelican 70 quart Elite Cooler to learn more.
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 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.
Nash 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. Check our detailed review of the nash sub z cooler to learn even more.
This cooler uses both a heavy foam insulation and a tight-sealing lid gasket. 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.
Other types of Coolers
There are several types of coolers available on the market besides rotomolded coolers.
Soft sided coolers are lightweight and portable coolers that are made from soft materials like fabric or nylon. They are designed to be more compact and easier to transport than traditional hard-sided coolers. Soft coolers are typically smaller in size and capacity than hard coolers, making them ideal for short trips, day trips, picnics, and other outdoor activities.
Soft coolers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from small lunchbox-sized coolers to larger backpack coolers that can hold a day's worth of food and drinks. They are usually equipped with a shoulder strap or handles for easy carrying and often have additional pockets for storing accessories like utensils, napkins, or ice packs.
Soft coolers are insulated with materials like closed-cell foam, which helps to keep food and drinks chilly for several hours. However, they are not as efficient at retaining ice as hard-sided coolers, so they may not be the ideal choice for extended trips or for storing perishable items for long periods. One popular type of soft sided coolers are is the backpack cooler.
Overall, soft coolers are a great option for anyone who needs a portable and lightweight cooler for short trips or outdoor activities. They are easy to carry, and some models are even designed to be worn as a backpack, leaving your hands free for other tasks.
Thermoelectric coolers use electricity to keep food and drinks handled. They work by using the Peltier effect, which is a thermoelectric effect that occurs when a temperature difference is created between two dissimilar conductors. In a thermoelectric cooler, a Peltier device is used to create a temperature difference between two sides of a semiconductor material, which results in heat being removed from one side and transferred to the other.
Thermoelectric coolers are designed to be portable and are powered by DC electricity, which can be supplied by a battery or a 12-volt DC outlet in a car or boat. Some models also come with an AC adapter, which allows them to be plugged into a standard wall outlet.
One of the advantages of thermoelectric coolers is that they are compact and lightweight, making them ideal for car trips, road trips, and camping trips. They are also relatively quiet compared to compressor-based coolers and do not require any moving parts, making them less prone to mechanical failure.
However, thermoelectric coolers are not as efficient at cooling as compressor-based coolers or rotomolded coolers, and they may struggle to maintain a low temperature in hot weather. They also require a power source, which may not be readily available in all situations.
Overall, thermoelectric coolers are a good option for anyone who needs a portable and lightweight cooler for short trips or for use in a car or boat.
Metal coolers are made from aluminum or stainless steel. They are known for their durability and their ability to retain ice for long periods of time. Metal coolers are often used for outdoor activities like camping, fishing, and hunting, as well as for commercial purposes like catering and food service.
One of the main advantages of metal coolers is their durability. They are typically built to withstand rough handling and hot temperatures, making them ideal for outdoor activities. They are also known for their ability to retain ice for long periods of time, which can be helpful when you are away from a source of fresh ice.
However, metal coolers also have some disadvantages. They tend to be heavier and bulkier than other types of coolers, which can make them difficult to transport. They are also more expensive than some other types of coolers, which can be a consideration for some people. The Coleman metal Cooler is a well known metal cooler.
Overall, metal coolers are a good option for anyone who needs a durable and long-lasting cooler for outdoor activities or commercial purposes. They are not as portable as other types of coolers, but they are built to last and can be a good investment.
Foam coolers are a type of cooler that are made from foam materials like polystyrene or polyurethane. They are lightweight and typically less expensive than other types of coolers. Foam coolers are commonly used for short-term storage of perishable items like food and beverages.
One of the main advantages of foam coolers is their affordability. They are typically less expensive than other types of coolers, making them a great choice for people in need of short-term use or for those who are on a tight budget. They are also lightweight and easy to transport, which can be helpful if you need to carry them over long distances.
However, foam coolers also have some disadvantages. They are not as durable as other types of coolers and can be prone to breaking or cracking if they are dropped or mishandled. They are also not as efficient at retaining ice as other types of coolers.
Overall, foam coolers are a good option for anyone who needs a lightweight and affordable cooler for short-term use. They are not as rugged or efficient as other types of coolers, but they can be a good choice for simple storage and transport of perishable items
These are inexpensive coolers made from foam and are designed for one-time use. They are ideal for camping trips or picnics where you don't want to carry a heavy cooler back home.
Overall, the type you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. Rotomolded coolers are known for their durability and ice retention, but they may not be the best option for everyone.
Best Rotomolded Cooler Conclusion
Rotomolded coolers are probably the best choice for the extreme outdoor enthusiast that needs an especially heavy duty 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, the best 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.