Finding The Best Coolers With Wheels: What You Need To Know

If you frequently go on camping trips or picnics, you know how difficult it is to haul a fully loaded cooler onto your vehicle, up the stairs, or on a hilly ground. This is why a lot of people have fallen in love with wheeled coolers. To help you with your selection, we round up five of the best coolers with wheels on the market today.

Coolers are essential for keeping your food and drinks cool. They need to have reliable wheels and a durable handle if you want your wheeled cooler to withstand any terrain. So before you buy a cooler with wheels, read our guide and reviews.​

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Advantages Of Cooler On Wheels​

Easy Transport

Obviously, the biggest selling point of cooler on wheels is easy transport. Instead of carrying a cooler, rolling it makes it more convenient to bring a larger one. This means more food and drinks for a great outdoor getaway.​

Longer Ice Life

With some 3- and 4-wheel coolers, the ice chest is lifted off the ground. This means less heat transfer from the ground and more time keeping your items chilled. You’ll appreciate this even further during the hot days because ice stay longer.​

Easy Access To Items

Since the wheels make the cooler seem taller, it prevents you from bending over too much. This means convenience in use as you only have to bend a little to get the items. You’ll realize this benefit when the ice chest can’t be placed on a table.​

It’s important to note though that getting this type of user means more space and weight for your luggage. This poses a great a problem if you can’t roll the cooler on a very rocky ground. Also, you need to be prepared for any potential damage to wheels.

Hard-Sided Vs Soft-Sided Coolers

Best Coolers With Wheels

There are two basic wheeled cooler designs- hard-sided and soft-sided. Hard-sided is fundamentally the standard, rectangular-shaped cooler that has a handle and wheels incorporated. The wheels move when the cooler is lifted on the other side using a handle. A soft-sided cooler, on the other hand, features an upright handle design which is usually telescopic.​

While the soft-sided cooler is better in terms of mobility, the hard-sided offers a larger storage capacity. Upright coolers offer a lot of insulation because of the fabric but it can’t match the insulation and durability of hard plastic.

In terms of culinary needs, the hard-sided cooler might be ideal for keeping beverages cold. That’s because its design can handle a lot of ice. A softer-sided cooler is a better choice if you store delicate items, such as fish, cakes, or sandwiches.

If you want to learn how to properly pack a cooler watch this video:


How To Choose The Best Coolers With Wheels

  • size
  • Number Of Wheels
  • Budget

Knowing the right size of cooler may depend on two conditions- the number of people that will go with you and the length of time you spend outdoors. Obviously, you need a large cooler if you’re many in the group or plan to stay for several days. A smaller cooler might suffice if you only go by yourself in a very short time.​

You want a cooler that’s neither too large nor too small. If you use a cooler that’s too large for your needs, the ice will work harder and melt quicker with all that empty space. Conversely, you’ll end up frustrated with a small cooler if some of your food and drinks won’t fit in.


What To Look For

best coolers with wheels

Handle

Rolling a wheeled cooler entails tension and plenty of weight. For this reason, you need a solid handle at the right leverage. Plastic and nylon might be too weak for the job. Look for sturdy, aluminum handles with pads for better grip.​

For extra convenience, look for an ergonomic design handle. I personally prefer the telescopic handle because it adjusts to the perfect length and it stores down quite nicely. As much as possible, avoid permanently extended handles because they can be troublesome to store.​

Another type of handle that you should know is the one that hinges off to one side. This can be a problem if you wheel it out of the back of a vehicle. Since the handle is tacked against the side of a vehicle, you need to move the cooler out about a foot to get hold of the handle.

Wheel Size

The size of the wheels may determine the mobility of your cooler on any terrain. If you want your cooler to withstand the rough terrain, look for larger wheels. The larger the wheels, the more capable they are to handle an aggressive terrain.​

Insulation

Look for better insulation so your food and drinks stay cool longer in the hot sun.When we talk about insulation, we mean the thickness of the walls and ice retention. The ideal thickness of insulation is at least two inches.​


Top 5 Best Coolers With Wheels​

1. Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

Via: Amazon.com

98 %
/100

Editor's Rating: 98/100

The Pelican ProGear Elite has a superior ice retention which can last up to 10 days. This 80-qt cooler is built with a trolley handle for portability plus molded-in handles for easy carrying. I love its thick walls because it insulates well and makes the cooler tough.

You can trust the durability of this hard-sided cooler because its certified bear-resistant by the IGBC and guaranteed for life with a limited lifetime warranty. It’s made of press & pull latches for easy access. Other features that you might love include a built-in bottle opener, raised anti-slip feet, and a drain plug.

Pros

  • Made with heavy-duty wheels and polyurethane exterior
  • Very portable with the trolley handle and molded handles
  • Has superior ice retention which can last up to 10 days
  • Has thick walls for better insulation
  • The lid is very secure
  • Comes with great features, like a bottle opener and drain plug
  • Supports a lifetime limited warranty
  • Bear-resistant and very durable

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Pretty heavy to carry

2. Coleman 62 Qt. Xtreme Cooler

Via: Amazon.com

97 %
/100

Editor's Rating: 98/100

Just like any other coolers, the Coleman X-treme Cooler is perfect for picnics, tailgating, and camping. This 62-quart cooler stores ice for as much as five days with a maximum temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F). It can hold as much as 85 beverage cans with ice.

What I like is the 4 stay-put beverage holders on top as they prevent the beverage from spilling over when the cooler gets wheeled on rough terrains. The tow handle is easy to grasp and durable. Best of all, the wheels can handle all types of terrains, which I think is amazing because it makes the cooler very versatile.

Pros

  • Built with 4 stay-put beverage holders
  • Made with easy-grasp two-way handle
  • The wheels can roll on all types of terrain
  • Constructed with a durable plastic exterior
  • Designed with a leak-resistant channel drain
  • Has great ice retention and insulation
  • Built with durable wheels

Cons

  • It’s a bit difficult to lift the lid
  • The side carry-handles feel a bit flimsy
  • Wish it has a lock or latch to keep the critters away

3. Rubbermaid Ice Chest/Cooler

Via: Amazon.com

95 %
/100

Editor's Rating: 95/100

The Rubbermaid Ice Cooler has the capacity to cool 57 12-ounce cans up to five days at 90 degrees F. This 60-quart cooler is built with side swing handles and a comfortable grip for ease of carrying. With the retractable handle and dual-material wheels, you can move the cooler at any types of surface.

I love that this hard-sided cooler is odor and stain resistant because cleaning and maintenance are made easier. It’s designed with a hinged, split lid to allow easy access to food. The drain is located at the front of the cooler so draining the excess liquids is pretty easy.

Pros

  • Easy to carry and roll on multiple surfaces
  • Built with easy-to-access split lid
  • Features an easy-to-clean liner with Microban antimicrobial protection
  • Odor and stain resistant for easy maintenance
  • Built with deep cup holders to secure drinks properly
  • A good price for its large capacity
  • Built with a drain in the front

Cons

  • The lid seems not to close firmly
  • Poor insulation capability
  • The wheels seem to placed awkwardly

4. Igloo 45069 Island Breeze Cooler

Via: Amazon.com

93 %
/100

Editor's Rating: 93/100

The Igloo 45069 has the capacity to pack 28 quarts of your favorite drinks and food. It’s designed with molded side scoop handles for easy carrying. The telescoping handle allows you to adjust the perfect height while the push-button makes the cooler easy to access.

This cooler has a locking feature so your food is kept securely from any insects. The elevated cooler design improves the performance of the cooler by minimizing the heat transfer from the ground. With the soft-ride sports wheels, you can roll the cooler rather easily.

Pros

  • Made with telescopic handle to adjust the perfect height
  • Constructed with soft-ride sports wheels for easy mobility
  • Has an elevated cooler design for better insulation capacity
  • Supports a one-year manufacturers warranty
  • Built with molded side scoop handles for portability
  • Has locking and push-button features for better food security

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a drain plug
  • A bit difficult to open the lid
  • The handle feels weak especially if the cooler is fully loaded

5. Travel 5.0 Deluxe Ripstop Rolling Cooler With Wheels

Via: Amazon.com

90 %
/100

Editor's Rating: 93/100

The Travel 5.0 Deluxe is a specially designed to roll on the sand. It’s made of rip-stop nylon making it resistant from wear and tear. The cooler is insulated with a foam and a removable line. The top sandwich compartment is very convenient to store small food items.

Inside, there’s a mesh pocket where you can keep little items. The front is zippered so you can keep your valuables safe. This soft-sided cooler also comes with a locking pull-up handle for easy rolling and rubber roller skate wheels to move easily.

Pros

  • Made with telescopic handle to adjust the perfect height
  • Constructed with soft-ride sports wheels for easy mobility
  • Has an elevated cooler design for better insulation capacity
  • Supports a one-year manufacturers warranty
  • Built with molded side scoop handles for portability
  • Has locking and push-button features for better food security

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a drain plug
  • A bit difficult to open the lid
  • The handle feels weak especially if the cooler is fully loaded

Which Is Best?

As it clearly shows on our ratings for the best coolers with wheels, my pick is the Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler because it has the best features. As compared to other contenders, ProGear Elite has the best ice retention and insulation capacity.

You can bet on its durability because of its bear-resistant certification. Although it’s expensive, you get high quality features such as heavy-duty wheels, limited lifetime warranty, and a drain plug.

If you have any better brands to suggest or tried any of these products, let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Please share this article with your friends if you like it.​

Finding The Best Coolers With Wheels: What You Need To Know
5 (1) vote
Paul Watson
 

Paul Watson is a blogger who likes to share information about fishing , camping and the outdoors. I expresses his passion for camping and other outdoors no only by embarking on several outdoor adventures but also writing about them.

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