BeachFamily Recreation

The 7 Best Beach Coolers Reviewed For 2019

Who doesn’t love spending a day at the beach?

But to fully enjoy your time you’ll need food & cold beverages. On most beaches, there are drinks & food available for purchase, but be prepared for the high prices and limited selections.

If you want to bring your own, then you run into the issue of keeping everything cold. What’s the solution?

One of the best beach coolers, of course! We’ve gone ahead and researched the top coolers, narrowing it down to the cream of the crop. Let’s get started!

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Beach Carts, Beach Tents, Beach Umbrellas.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Coolers For The Beach

  1. Coleman Soft Cooler with Wheels
  2. Polar Bear Coolers Soft Sided Cooler
  3. Arctic Zone Titan Zipperless Cooler
  4. Coleman quart Heavy-Duty Super Cooler
  5. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler
  6. MIER Insulated Cooler Backpack
  7. Homitt Portable Soft Pack Cooler

Here is a feature comparison of my top rated beach coolers with a comparison table and our buyers guide below will help you choose the right cooler for you.

Best Beach Coolers

 Coleman Soft CoolerPolar Bear CoolersColeman Heavy-Duty Super Cooler
editors choice
Capacity:42 Cans12, 24 & 48 Cans55 & 85 Quarts
Chill Time:1-3 Days24+ Hours6 Days
Transport:Wheels, Side HandlesTop Handle, Shoulder StrapSide Handles
Weight:6 Pounds3 Pounds35 Pounds

Beach Cooler Reviews

#1 Coleman Soft Cooler with Removable Liner & Wheels

Coleman Soft Cooler with Wheels at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 42-Can
  • Chill Time: 1-3 Days in 100+ degrees
  • Shoulder Strap: No
  • Wheels: Yes
  • Design: Soft Sided

Are you searching for the best rolling cooler for the beach but are looking to stay on a budget? If so, then there aren’t a ton of options out there that we’d recommend.

However, the Coleman Soft Cooler is an excellent choice for all-day outings with many people, as it can hold up to 42 cans.

The Coleman Soft Cooler features a hard plastic interior liner which makes it sturdy, and easier for packing and unpacking. You can simply store utensils, napkins, and other smaller items in the soft-sided exterior, making it easy to stay organized.

This rolling beach cooler features a telescoping handle and wheels, transportation is also convenient – even over grassy or rougher environment. If you don’t feel like dragging it behind you, you can also utilize the durable straps it comes with. You’ll also appreciate the fact that cleaning is quite simple thanks to the smooth interior.

However, one thing we had an issue with was that it did retain odors if the messes weren’t cleaned up in a timely manner. The cooler comes in just blue and gray, which obviously isn’t a lot of options, but it does look sleek.


#2 Polar Bear Coolers Soft Sided Cooler

Polar Bear Coolers Soft Sided Cooler at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 12, 24 & 48 Can
  • Chill Time: 24+ Hours in 100+ degrees
  • Shoulder Strap: Yes
  • Wheels: No
  • Design: Soft Sided

The Polar Bear is in our opinion the best beach cooler bag that is a super high-quality, incredibly dense cooler made to keep ice 24 hours in 100+ degree heat; providing some of the best insulation on the market.

You’ll also find the interior liner made with anti-microbial FDA food-grade TPU double-coated nylon, which is perfect for keeping things sanitary, and is safe for perishable storage. Oh, and it’s also bullet-proof, if that gives you a better idea of how durable it is.

The outer shell is made with rugged 1000D luggage-grade nylon, with double-hemmed/anchor-stitched seams that are incredibly durable, and will last you for years and years to come. The zipper is also quite durable, with a YKK #10 rust-proof, weatherized design.

They’ve thoughtfully provided 4 tie-downs, as well as a padded shoulder strap to make traveling with your cooler a breeze. The bottom saddle is a signature of the brand, providing excellent support and conforms into proper sturdiness once it’s all packed up.

In addition, the cooler comes in 5 attractive colors: Black, Green, Navy, Orange, and Red.


#3 Arctic Zone Titan Zipperless Cooler

Arctic Zone Titan 9 Can Zipperless Cooler at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 9 – 48 Can Sizes available
  • Chill Time: 24+ Hours in 100+ degrees
  • Shoulder Strap: Yes
  • Wheels: No
  • Design: Soft Sided

The Arctic Zone Titan 9 Can Zipperless Cooler is not only an absolutely gorgeous offering, but a unique one, as well. It is highly portable, just as one would expect from a top-of-the-line product, but interestingly, does not have a zipper.

Rather, it utilizes a patented flip-open lid, allowing for convenient and quick access to what you’ve packed inside. Featuring Deepfreeze insulation, you get impressive cooling performance for up to an impressive 2 days!

We will say that based off of our own personal experience, this ended up being more like 20 hours due to opening and closing the cooler bag, but that’s still more than sufficient.

We also really appreciated the easy access to non-perishable items on the exterior of the cooler, thanks to the two separate front zipper pockets and side mesh pockets.

The Smartshelf technology is helpful with keeping heavier/harder contents away from soft items like sandwiches, so they don’t get squished. While there’s definitely something to be said for convenience along with visual appeal, we felt that the price tag was just a bit high for the performance.


#4 Coleman Heavy-Duty Super Cooler

Coleman Heavy-Duty Super Beach Cooler

Coleman Heavy Duty Super Cooler at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 55 & 85 Quart
  • Chill Time: 6 Days up to 90 degrees
  • Shoulder Strap: No
  • Wheels: No
  • Design: Hard Sided

Coleman has been one of the top names in camping equipment for at least the past few decades, and the Heavy Duty Super Cooler is a perfect example of why.

The super durable product is notably robust, featuring UV Guard material to keep it safe from the sun, corrosion-resistant hinges, and an anti-microbial liner to keep your cooler safe for consumer use.

With a mind-blowing six-day ice retention capability, you can use it for longer trips off the grid, and anything else you may need it for, with ease.

It also comes with an ultra-convenient cutting board treated to resist odor, mold, mildew, and fungus. The dual-size drain makes excess water removal simple, rather than having to lug it around and pour it out everywhere from the lid opening.

It doesn’t come with wheels, nor a shoulder strap, but it does come with durable rope handles, which makes carrying this large-capacity cooler easier when fully loaded. In addition, you can even use it with dry ice, which isn’t possible with many products out there.

Put your normal 2.5-inch padlock into the lock slot and keep all of your food, drink, and others safe from unwanted intruders. If you want the overall best beach cooler for keeping food and drinks cold, this is it!


#5 YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 18 Cans + ice
  • Chill Time: 1 – 3 Days
  • Shoulder Strap: Yes
  • Wheels: No
  • Design: Soft Sided

The YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler consistently makes the tops of lists, and is currently an Amazon’s choice. With that being said, we were a bit skeptical if was really going to live up to our expectations, and we can confidently say that they met almost all of them.

A popular choice not only among beach-goers, but also campers, sports fans, boating enthusiasts, and so much more. It’s a generally great “adventure” cooler.

The shoulder-tote-style product is nice and burly, thanks to their “Dryhide shell” on the exterior, which is kind of like that raft plastic. Additionally, you have a waterproof zipper on the main compartment, opening up to an incredibly well-inuslated, waterproof space for your food/drink.

Keep things in overnight, and your items will still be cold for (in our experience) up to 24 hours. While we loved the extras, such as the hitchpoint grid, where you can hold on to your MOLLE Zinger, Bottle Opener, helmets, and whatever else, it did fall short for us in a few areas.

One, is that the zipper can be a bit stubborn and you have to really yank for it to open. Next, is the bag isn’t all that large, so it can’t hold as much as others can.


#6 MIER Insulated Cooler Backpack

MIER Insulated Cooler Backpack Leakproof at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 24 Cans
  • Chill Time: 12 Hours
  • Shoulder Strap: Yes
  • Wheels: No
  • Design: Backpack

The MIER Insulated Cooler Backpack is another excellent option if you want the most value for your money. Coming in either Black, Camo, or Dark Golden, it has a unique aesthetic that will easily go with any other outdoor gear you already possess.

So, what do you need it for? Camping? Perhaps a trip to the beach or the soccer game? The thickly-insulated cooler will accomplish anything you need it for.

Working in combination the leak-proof PEVA liner, your refreshments will stay either hot or cold to your liking, while making cleaning and storage also simple. The main compartment is much larger than it looks; holding up to 24 cans, or effortlessly enough food for the entire family or friends.

As you can see, it also features plenty of other pockets, including an inner mesh pocket on the lid perfect for keeping condiments and other small items that need kept fresh.

In addition, you’ll find two side mesh pockets for easy access, and large front zipper pockets complete with a mesh divider perfect for utensils.

Finally, it’s actually comfortable to wear, with dual adjustable padded shoulder straps and thick padding on the back, along with an extra top padded handle for quick and simple transportation.


#7 Homitt Portable Soft Pack Cooler

Homitt Soft Cooler at a Glance:

  • Capacity: 10, 20 & 30 Cans
  • Chill Time: 1-3 Days
  • Shoulder Strap: Yes
  • Wheels: No
  • Design: Soft Sided

This portable cooler bag is another great one for the beach, as it features a leak-proof, insulated 840D TPU exterior, along with a 420D TPU interior and notably dense foam between them, keeping whatever you need cool or warm to your liking.

The 3-inch thick waterproof layer makes it easy to wipe away spills, and the watertight zipper is also perfect for keeping at the beach, as you can rest assured no sand or water will get inside.

With a waterproof pocket on one side, you can keep valuables in there if you need, and a mesh pocket is perfect for those quick-access items such as bottle openers.

The soft pack shell cooler also makes transportation easy and comfortable, with a padded, adjustable shoulder strap, along with two side handles anywhere you need to.


Beach Cooler Comparison Table

Beach Cooler Chill TimeCapacityWheelsWeightRating
Coleman Soft Cooler1-3 Days42 CansYes6 lbs4.4 / 5.0
Polar Bear Coolers Soft Sided Cooler24+ Hours12, 24 & 48 CansNo3 lbs4.4 / 5.0
Arctic Zone Titan Zipperless Cooler24+ Hours9, 16, 30 & 48 CansNo2.2 lbs4.1 / 5.0
Coleman Heavy-Duty Super Cooler6 Days
55 & 85 QuartNo35 lbs4.2 / 5.0
YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler1 - 3 Days18 CansNo5.6 lbs4.2 / 5.0
MIER Insulated Cooler Backpack12 Hours24 CansNo1.5 lbs4.4 / 5.0
Homitt Portable Soft Pack Cooler1-3 Days10, 20 & 30 CansNo4.4 lbs4.3 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Beach Cooler – Buying Guide

best coolers for the beach

Now that you’ve taken the time to read through each of the best beach cooler reviews, you may want a bit more direction in which one to select. If that’s the case, then keep scrolling, because we’ve gone ahead and created this buying guide to ensure you’re purchasing the right one for your needs.

Storage Needs

What will you be storing in your new beach cooler? This is something you need to figure out before you put anything in your shopping cart.

Are you just looking for an easier way to carry around those 24 beer cans and keep them cool? Perhaps you’re looking for a way to store your food and drinks all day long for the entire family/friend group.

Obviously both situations will require a somewhat large capacity, and weight and comfort probably aren’t of the utmost importance.

In contrast, you may need something that you’re going to be carrying around all day. Perhaps you’ll be hiking to a camping spot or walking to a hard-to-reach beach. Either way, this will require you to look more into comfort.

While exact dimensions will vary depending on brand and model, most people will require a capacity of 6 to 12 cans for just a day at the beach. However, if you have at least 4 people, you’ll want a capacity of at least 16 cans.

Hard or Soft Sided

When it comes to materials, you probably already know that not all fabrics/materials are created equal. The soft-sided beach coolers that only work to cool for a few hours are typically lined with that aluminum-based fabric we’ve all seen in lunchboxes and smaller coolers.

Hard-sided coolers may be a bit more difficult to pack around, but they generally have more reliable insulation, are more tough, and are going to last you for a much longer amount of time.

Transport

Of course, this leads us to our next point: how to transport your cooler. This is always a good aspect to remember, and one that many people surprisingly overlook, and they misjudge how heavy and portable the pack will be, or how long they’ll have to carry it. Either way, make sure your new beach cooler is a comfy one.

Padded shoulder straps and carry handles are always smart to have, and depending on where you’re going and your preferred method of transportation, you may also want a telescoping handle with wheels on the bottom of the cooler so you can easily just pull it behind you without your body having to bear the entire weight.

A backpack cooler is a good idea for many people, as most of us already know what it’s like to wear a backpack, whether from school, travel, or extracurricular activities. If you have neck or back problems, though, you’ll probably want to go with the best beach cooler with wheels, the Coleman Soft Cooler!

Chill Time

How long are you going to be out in the sun for? If you plan on camping out at the beach for a few days straight, you’re definitely going to need a beach cooler that has particularly thick insulation like that which YETI and Polar Bear often provide, and that are capable of cooling products for at least 24 hours.

However, if you just need it for a few hours or so, then that’s going to make things a lot easier on you, as you’ve just opened yourself up to a whole new array of products.

You’re oftentimes going to pay for high-performance insulation, so if you don’t need it, skip it. Be realistic, though. Really think about how long you’re going to need your items cooled for, and also, what they are. If you have ice cream in there, that’s obviously going to be much different than a soft drink can.

Durability

Once again, think about what you’ll be using the bag for. If you’re traveling through the jungle, you’re going to need something extra sturdy and resistant to tears and leaks, while if you’re just walking from the car to the sports field, you won’t require something made with ripstop fabrics, superbly-stitched handles, and so on.

High-density materials are more susceptible to tears, while ripstop fabrics can also help keeping your handles and pockets intact, even when weight is added to them.

Weight

Contrary to what many believe, weight of a cooler is not a direct correlation to how much you put in it. In fact, the more effective/thick the insulation, the heavier it will generally be. With that being said once again, if you don’t require the extra insulation, do yourself a favor and skip it.

Coolers can vary by pounds, which can make an experience much more straining if you have to carry a particularly heavy cooler, if you don’t even need to.

Cleaning

We all want something that’s easy to clean if we can help it, right? The same is going to go with beach coolers. Let’s face it – something is going to spill, and it’s 9 times out of 10 going to be something sticky or something that leaves a residual odor.

With that being said, you want to look for a cooler that’s easy to clean and maintain. Soft-sided coolers are great because they can often just be tossed in the washing machine. However, this will typically not be good in terms of durability.

The hard-sided coolers are easy to wipe clean quickly, but the inner lining and pockets can sometimes make that a bit more challenging.

Price

Finally, think about how much money you’re willing to spend on a cooler. Keep in mind that price isn’t always directly correlated with quality, and you can definitely find an amazing cooler at an affordable price.

Still, when it comes to top-of-the-line performance, you’ll want to invest a bit more. Some can last for around 20 years or even longer if properly cared for, so they’ll more than pay off in the end.

FAQs For Beach Coolers

Q: How do you even clean a beach cooler?

This will vary a bit depending on which type of cooler you have. Spill-proof coolers will be much easier to deal with than your typical products. Loose ice in a cooler as opposed to an ice pack is going to make things more difficult to clean because of the water at the bottom.

However, just taking out the contents and placing the cooler upside-down will drain anything in there. If there’s something else you must clean, simply using cleaning wipes is a great solution.

Q: How long do coolers actually work?

Many people have only used cheaper coolers, which only work well for a few hours or so, so many don’t see the attraction of buying a more expensive product. However, if you use one properly, you can keep your materials cool (or hot) for days, with some models and brands.

Tips For Using Your Cooler

#1: Clean your cooler after each use

This may seem like common sense, but so many times, people come home from the beach exhausted, and decide to leave the cooler in the garage, thinking it will be okay because they let it drain upside-down beforehand.

This will still leave food or drink that can get things even more dirty real quick, leaving it susceptible to mold and other undesirables in a cooler.

#2: Organize as much as possible

This will help in avoiding any spills or messes, while also just making things more convenient and less likely to break or spill. Clean up is also easier if you do spill or have a mess, as things will be out of the way.

#3: Look for something leakproof

This is always a good idea, even if you’re just carrying around ice. No one wants a watery mess in the car, or in the area where they’re sitting.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve enjoyed spending some time with us today, and more importantly, that you’ve found the good beach cooler for you. Whichever one you select, you can be assured that every single one is high-quality, and are some of the best on the market. Thanks for tuning in, and we will see you soon!

Notice: Outside Pursuits is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees sold through by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliate links supports our efforts to bring you the best possible product reviews at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support here at OutsidePursuits.com

Rich Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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