The Tundra, especially the larger models, are frustrating to carry because of their massive size. They have handles on either side of the chest, but it’s best designed for a party of two to carry. If you’re looking for portability, you can opt for the Yeti Roadie or any other rollable cooler option (more on that below.) And sure, this thing is way more expensive than that lunch box-sized cooler your dad used to bring on those family camping trips, but this thing is guaranteed to last way longer and you won’t be left with lukewarm drinks at the end of the day.
The Best Backpack Cooler: CamelBak ChillBak
CamelBak’s recently released ChillBak is the Inspector Gadget of backpacks. It has enough space to carry up to 24 cans and 15 pounds of ice, but for those hoping to nix a trip to the water fountain, the pack includes a six-liter water pack that connects to a spigot for quick and easy hydration. The rolltop offers ease of use when you’re trying to grab something with one hand, and it closes on its own to reduce the amount of cool lost—plus, that rolltop offers an extra six liters of storage, while the exterior side pocket stretches to store another can or bottle. No, that extra beverage won’t be impacted by the interior cooling, but that’s why you bought that insulated water bottle.
The Best Soft Cooler: RTIC
Since RTIC was founded in 2014, it felt like it’s been chasing Yeti’s coolers, koozies, and insulated bottles, touting itself as a comparable option at a fraction of the price. We’ll give it to the folks over at RTIC: They make some really cool products. Its soft pack cooler is a lightweight and durable option for those looking to tote just a handful of cold ones. Its zipper enclosure doesn’t keep things cold for as long as a hard cooler, but the brand says it’ll stay chilled for up to 24 hours. The two-inch nylon body helps with insulation, while the whole body is tear- and puncture-resistant. And if you find yourself by a body of water, the cooler floats so you have yourself a swim-up bar, bartender not included.
The Best Cooler Tote Bag: Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote
We love Hydro Flask and its insulated water bottles, and it brought its chill technology to a tote bag. The surprisingly stylish cooler is easy to clean and despite its room 20-liter capacity, folds down for travel and storage. Its fully lined interior, which keeps things cold for up to four hours, is easy to clean, and the whole thing is kitted out with a surplus of storage for your bits and bobs.
The Best Rolling Cooler: Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler
Igloo ECOCOOL Roller Cooler
Don’t carry it, backpack it, or tote it—roll it! Igloo’s massive (85-liter) roller cooler is an easy way to schlep your goods without breaking your back. It’s good for keeping ice chilled for a whopping five whole days, and its oversized wheels can make light work out of the roughest, bumpiest terrains. Basically any cooler top acts as a side table, but this Igloo model included four dedicated coasters to keep your beverages just a little more secure from slipping and sliding.
Plus, 8 More Coolers We Like
Coleman 316 Series Insulated Portable Cooler
From air mattresses to camping tents, Coleman knows a thing or two about outdoor gear. So it makes sense that its portable cooler is worthy of being on this list. It’s built almost exactly like the Igloo roller cooler, but reviewers say its five-day ice retention is a stretch from how long the Coleman can actually keep cool. Also, unlike the Igloo, the lid of the Coleman cooler doesn’t stay open so you have to keep one hand on the cover while you’re digging through the ice, bottles, and cans to find exactly what you’re looking for.
REI Co-op Cool Trail Pack Cooler
REI’s cooler backpack looks a little nicer than Camelbak’s in that that the Cool Trail looks more gorpcore than Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, it’s not as good at keeping things cold and it’s only leakproof if you remember to pack in the actual cooler insert, a removable accessory that allows the Cool Trail to function as a regular old hiking pack. It’s filled with additional pockets, though none of them actually add to the cooling functionality.
We’ll never quit raving about L.L.Bean and its ludicrously capacious bags, so of course we’re going to included the insulated take on its much-loved baggage when we’re talking about coolers. It’s about twice the price of our typical favorite canvas tote, adding in leak-proof insulation that’s as good for keeping drinks cold as it is for trips to the grocery store to make sure your ice cream doesn’t melt, your beef doesn’t spoil, and your milk doesn’t curdle. Hold it how you please—whether by the shoulder or short straps—and yes, you can also get this bag monogrammed with practically anything you want.
Snow Peak is essentially the cool kid brand of outdoor gear and workwear. Its soft cooler has a generous 38-liter capacity, clocking in at a light 38 pounds. It’s built like a soft version of the Yeti Tundra but won’t keep cool as long though that’s not to say its insulation isn’t top of the line. We like that you can use the carry strap or tag-team cooler-carrying duties thanks to the hand straps on either side of the bag.
It’s fun, it’s cute, and it’s fashion’s favorite outdoor accessory to collab with other than a Nalgene water bottle. This is good for acting as a personal-use cooler (it only holds six cans), but it’s easy to use and makes for a nice canvas for some personalization.
Australian accessory brand Bellroy made an inconspicuous cooler tote that’s as much a fashion accessory as it is a practical way for keeping cold things, well, cold. It’s made of recycled insulation, and the interior is easy to clean and waterproof. It’s not the most spacious bag but could surely be your grocery store companion for years to come.
RTIC maybe doesn’t have the brand name recognition as Yeti, but we whole heartedly think it gives the Abominable Snowman’s eponymous brand a run for its money. It’s not quite half the price but performs spectacularly well and built to be just as durable and road ready as the competition.
Brümate BrüTank rolling cooler
Brümate is a fairly new cooler and drinkware company, and its latest product is this beast of a cooler, the BrüTank. Its 55-quart capacity can hold up to 48 cans with 40 pounds of ice, and it’ll keep all that chilled for seven days. There’s also a built-in drink dispenser and an included dry goods rack so you can keep items like food away from the ice.