The 10 Best Wheeled Coolers

Updated April 06, 2018 by Melissa Harr

10 Best Wheeled Coolers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. A day at the beach is, well, no day at the beach if you’re stuck lugging innumerable beverage cans, bottles, sandwiches, and snacks. Instead, try one of these handy wheeled coolers. They offer ample space while rolling along behind you, which means you won’t throw your back out just to ensure that you’ve got enough beer. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wheeled cooler on Amazon.

10. Picnic Time Cart Cooler

The Picnic Time Cart Cooler sports a polyester microfiber exterior that is soft, yet durable, and it has an insulated 25-quart foil interior that can handle up to 77 pounds. The plastic wheels are not of high quality, though, and can break with heavy use.
  • stability bar for control
  • split level handles
  • available in three color choices
Brand ONIVA - a Picnic Time b
Model 545-00-100-000-0
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Columbia Crater Peak

The Columbia Crater Peak is a stylish choice for those who seek versatility. Its Therma-Flect radiant barrier keeps your items cool for an extended period of time, however, it doesn't attach securely to the rolling cart and can fall off on bumpy ground.
  • strong and sturdy zippers
  • doesn't have a shoulder strap
  • wheels don't roll well on grass
Brand Columbia
Model 1165040075
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme

The superior insulation provided by the Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme can keep your items ice cold for up to 5 days in 90-degree heat. It can hold up to 160 cans, and it’s equipped with large wheels that make it easy to pull on any terrain.
  • hinged lid with molded cupholders
  • convenient two-way handles
  • channel drain can leak at times
Brand Coleman
Model 6201A748
Weight 21.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Pelican ProGear Elite

Designed with the serious sportsman in mind, the Pelican ProGear Elite has more features than you can shake a fishing rod at, including extra-wide latches for gloved operation, an integrated scale, and a freezer-grade gasket.
  • built-in bottle opener
  • certified bear-resistant
  • on the expensive side
Brand Pelican
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Arctic Zone Ultra

With the Arctic Zone Ultra, you’ve got flexibility, as it offers two ways to transport drinks and snacks when you're on the go. You can use the two-wheel all-terrain cart to pull it when it’s fully loaded, or take it off and use the shoulder strap when it’s lighter.
  • folds flat for compact storage
  • mesh side pockets
  • some balance issues
Brand Arctic Zone
Model AZ6634
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Igloo Maxcold Cool Fusion

The Igloo Maxcold Cool Fusion sports an innovative design that blends the best of both worlds in soft and hard coolers. Its polyester nylon exterior features a slew of pockets for maximum organization, while the hard plastic interior liner adds a rigid structure.
  • rugged telescoping handle
  • extra-wide rubber wheels
  • not as insulating as similar models
Brand Igloo
Model 58991
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Rubbermaid 60-Quart

With its spacious capacity, the Rubbermaid 60-Quart has got you covered for your next large family gathering. Thanks to its split-lid design, you can access one side easily without letting all the cold air out, and the drain on the front makes emptying it a snap.
  • holds up to 82 cans plus ice
  • stain-resistant interior
  • hinges could be sturdier
Brand Rubbermaid
Model 1836573
Weight 14 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Coleman 42-Can

Convenient might be the word to describe the Coleman 42-Can, since it’s got a removable hard plastic liner with built-in handles. This provides protection against leaks and makes it easy to load, unload, and clean. It's even got exterior lid bungees and a front zip pocket.
  • antimicrobial flexible lining
  • heat-welded seams
  • simple to maneuver
Brand Coleman
Model 1342-Parent
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Picnic at Ascot Equipped

The deluxe Picnic at Ascot Equipped is fitted with everything you need for a fun double date, including a corkscrew, stainless steel cutlery, matching plates, and acrylic wine glasses. It is available in a variety of stunning patterns to suit your taste.
  • separate food and drink sections
  • wheels are removable
  • small quick-access door in the lid
Brand Picnic at Ascot
Model 330-BLB
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Igloo Island Breeze 28

The Igloo Island Breeze 28 is the perfect option for a day at the game, beach, or lake. It has a push-button telescoping handle that locks securely into place and soft ride sports wheels that allow you to tow it conveniently with only one hand.
  • lid fits snugly
  • molded side handles
  • lightweight yet sturdy
Brand Igloo Products Corp.
Model 45069
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Few Words On The Rolling Cooler

A cooler is nothing more than an insulated box designed to keep items like foods and beverages (or bait, medicines, etc.) chilled for an extended period of time without the need for additional cooling added by mechanical means such as refrigeration. Coolers are ubiquitous at campsites, on fishing boats, at sporting or music events, and at cookouts and picnics all around the world.

There are few better ways to improve on the basic, reliable design of a great cooler than by adding a pair of wheels and a handle. After all, a cooler is designed to chill foods when you're away from the fridge at home or the chilled aisle at the grocery store, so why not choose a cooler that's easy to move when you're on the move?

There are two basic approaches when it comes to rolling cooler design. In one category, we have what is essentially a standard, hard-sided rectangular cube-shaped cooler that has wheels and a handle added on. The wheels engage the ground when the cooler is lifted on the opposite side using a handle that is often able to swing freely.

In the other category, we have a cooler designed first and foremost for mobility, usually featuring an upright design that takes its cue from a hand truck, centering the weight and making it easier to move foods over longer distances. The handles of such coolers are usually telescopic, collapsing for easy storage, and fixed in position when extended to improve leverage and control.

At first look, the second type of rolling cooler would seem the better choice, then; if an upright cooler is easier to move than its squat counterpart, why not choose it? Though perhaps easier to move, upright coolers seldom offer nearly as much storage capacity as a rectangular ice-chest style coolers. Upright coolers are also often made primarily from fabrics which offer plenty of insulation, but can't ultimately match the durability and insulation of a solid material like ABS plastic.

Choosing The Right Cooler For Culinary Needs

If the primary purpose of your cooler is keeping beverages cold (most likely canned and/or bottled beverages) then a large, hard-sided cooler is likely the best choice. That's because these coolers can accommodate the weight of copious beverages and can also handle plenty of ice, remaining impervious to the liquid that comes with its melting. (Some fabric coolers will begin to sweat if not outright leak when filled with liquid.) Hard-sided coolers also stand up better to dry ice than soft, foil-lined versions.

However, a large hard-sided cooler is no place for a delicate dish or for containers or bags of food that can be easily damaged, such as cakes, chips, and pre-made sandwiches. A smaller, softer-sided cooler is a much better choice for moving these types of foodstuffs, as most of these coolers allow for greater control, letting you minimize the bumps and jolts to which the cooler's contents will be subjected. An upright cooler is also a great choice for transporting groceries from the shop to your home; these coolers allow for easy mobility in the tight, busy quarters of a city, and as a fringe benefit, an upright cooler will also draw fewer odd glances than would a large hard-sided cooler.

Ultimately, though, you need to choose the cooler that will best keep your food and beverages cold under the circumstances in which you'll find yourself. If you need meats and cheeses to stay cool for several days while you camp, for example, then you need to use one of the larger, hard-sided molded coolers rated for multi-day cooling. If you simply need to bring a bottle or two of Chardonnay to a picnic, then by all means choose a rolling cooler that also has a compartment reserved for wine goblets, a corkscrew, and other handy sundry items, or better yet a dedicated wine tote.

Choosing The Right Cooler For The Terrain

Equally as important as what is going inside your cooler is where your cooler is going.

As noted, it makes little sense to use a huge, hard-sided cooler to transport a few chilled groceries around the city, while a smaller upright cooler will be right at home in that bustling metropolis, even in you have to get on and off buses and subways. It might also make no sense to try to haul one of those huge coolers over the sand of the beach while an upright cooler with larger wheels might trundle over soft terrain with ease.

Conversely, bringing a compact upright rolling cooler onto a boat where it will sit in a corner of the cabin or tucked away under gunwales doesn't make sense. Using the wheels of a big ice chest to roll down the dock and then enjoying the large seat provided by your large cooler while you fish is simply common sense. And why settle for a smaller cooler if you're only moving the thing a few dozen yards from your car to the picnic spot or the sidelines?

Again it comes down to the chilling properties you need first and foremost, but try a process of elimination as you choose the right rolling cooler within a framework so defined.

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Last updated on April 06, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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