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Expert Shopper Camping & Outdoors

Best Igloo cooler

What is the best Igloo cooler?

Campers, sports enthusiasts and families headed to a picnic or reunion know the importance of a quality cooler. Coolers keep drinks and food cold with reinforced insulation. They come in many sizes and are easily transported from your vehicle. 

Igloo is the leading brand of coolers. Their classic style and durability are tested and trusted. Whatever your plans, there is an Igloo cooler for your party or excursion. The best Igloo cooler is the Igloo Polar Cooler, which features a rugged design that stays cold for seven days.

What to know before you buy an Igloo cooler

Types of coolers

Igloo makes soft and hard coolers. Soft coolers are made from fabric with an insulated liner and work best with drinks. They can be carried over the shoulder or as a backpack with some designs. They are lightweight and fold easily, but the contents can shift and mix together.

Hard coolers have a durable polyethylene outer surface that keep food and drinks cold for a longer period than soft coolers. They often have wheels, cupholders and serving trays. They are more expensive and take up more room since they don’t fold down.

Sizes of coolers

Igloo coolers come in many sizes. There are coolers small enough to be a personal lunch tote, and there are ones that can hold dozens of cans and large quantities of food. There are Igloo coolers that hold over 100 quarts and 250 12-ounce cans.

Where are you using the cooler?

Being able to transport food and drinks is one of the main benefits of a cooler. If you are staying close to your vehicle, a cooler with a shoulder strap or traditional handle will be sufficient. For toting the cooler a long distance across relative level pavement, there are plenty of options with wheels and different types of handles. There are also coolers with rugged anti-skid wheels that help transport the cooler over trails and paths.

What to look for in a quality Igloo cooler


There are different types of handles. Some are bolted through on heavier coolers to provide extra support. Some have a towing handle to pull the cooler behind you or a telescoping handle that can be lowered when not in use. There are handles with a grooved grip to prevent slipping.

Interior lights

Some coolers have built-in LED interior lights that illuminate the interior of the cooler at night.

Cup holders

There are coolers with molded cup holders in the lid to keep your favorite beverage nearby while you fish or sit around the campfire.

Tie-down loops

An innovative feature of larger coolers is tie-down loops. These loops are used for other items to be strapped to the cooler such as umbrellas or camping chairs. You can transport the cooler and these items at one time to save on time and effort.

How much you can expect to spend on an Igloo cooler

Igloo coolers start at under $25 and can cost over $200 for the largest coolers with many features.

  • Inexpensive coolers are priced under $25. There are both soft and hard coolers in this price range that have a limited capacity up to 12 cans, or food for up to four people.
  • Midrange coolers are priced $25-$100. Both soft and hard coolers are available in this price range. The hard coolers often have features like tie-down loops and latches.
  • Expensive coolers cost between $100-$200. The majority are hard coolers with large capacities and extra thick insulation. The best soft coolers fall into this price range too.
  • Premium coolers are priced over $200. They may be made of aluminum or stainless steel and have latches. They also come with wide tires and telescoping handles.

Igloo cooler FAQ

How do I get rid of odors inside my cooler?

A. Vanilla extract is the answer to stubborn smells. Soak a paper towel in vanilla and leave it in the cooler overnight. In the morning, wipe down the cooler with the paper towel. Repeat the process if the odor lingers.

What is ice retention?

A. Ice retention is the number of days that ice remains frozen inside a cooler in a room that is 90 degrees. Some Igloo coolers can keep ice frozen for up to a week.

What is the best Igloo cooler to buy?

Top Igloo cooler

Igloo Polar Cooler 

What you need to know: This sturdy cooler has a large capacity and can keep ice for up to seven days at temperatures up to 90 degrees.

What you’ll love: Made from polyethylene with Ultratherm insulation, this rugged cooler is ideal for extended outdoor travel. It has a stain and odor-resistant liner. A threaded drain plug hooks up easily to a hose. It has swing-up handles with a tie-down feature.

What you should consider: There were reports of the hinges and latches breaking easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Igloo cooler for the money

Igloo Playmate Cooler

What you need to know: This recognizable portable cooler is perfect for picnics and short trips with its classic look and surprising capacity.

What you’ll love: The Ultratherm lining keeps contents cold. It holds up to 18 regular-size cans. The handle is molded into the body of the cooler. It has a locking lid that swings open from both sides. It comes in an array of bold colors.

What you should consider: The hood pin can pop open if the cooler is too full.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Igloo Profile 60-Quart Roller Cooler

What you need to know: This cooler is designed for easy pull-behind transportation and short camping trips.

What you’ll love: The telescopic handle and rugged wheels make for easing toting. It has molded side scoop handles for easy lifting. Made from polyethylene with Ultratherm insulation, the cooler keeps contents cold for days.

What you should consider: The cooler is not waterproof. There were some reports of water leaking into the cooler.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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