BeachFamily Recreation

The 7 Best Coolers With Wheels Reviewed For 2019

No matter if you’re a frequent camper, fisheman, sports fan, or just find yourself always doing some kind of outdoor activity, you will probably need a cooler.

Having the best cooler on wheels makes transporting your food and drinks so much more convenient. Coolers can be heavy and having the ability to roll it around makes a world of difference!

We have reviewed the best on the market here for you. After doing the research, we feel confident you’re going to love these coolers just as much as we do!

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

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Wheeled Coolers For 2019

  1. Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
  2. Igloo Glide PRO Wheeled Cooler
  3. MILEE Heavy duty Wheeled Cooler
  4. Coleman Soft Cooler with Wheels
  5. Igloo Trailmate Liddup Wheeled Cooler
  6. YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler
  7. Igloo Max Cold Quantum Roller Cooler

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

Best Rolling Coolers

 Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler Coleman Wheeled Soft CoolerIgloo Max Cold Quantum
Capacity:45 & 85 Quarts42 Cans52 Quarts
Ice Retention:Up to 10 daysUp to 1-2 days20+ Hours
Weight:37 lbs6.5 lbs13 lbs
Insulation:PolyurethaneFoamUltratherm®

Wheel Cooler Reviews

#1 Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: Up to 10 days
  • Insulation: Polyurethane
  • Weight: 37 Pounds
  • Capacity: 45 & 85 Quarts

Coming in either Marine White, or Outdoor Tan, the Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler is definitely one to turn heads. If not for their looks, their functionality.

This heavy-duty wheeled cooler is not messing around, with a capacity of either 45 QT or 80 QT, depending on how much you need to lug around.

Thanks to the double polyurethane insulation layers, it can retain ice for up to a whopping 10 days, which makes it perfect for long fishing trips, camping trips, or really any situation where you’re going to need lasting durability.

With rotomolded construction made out of polypropylene (ideal for insulation), you’ll have this thick-walled cooler for years and years to come. However, insulation is nothing if you don’t have a proper seal, which Pelican Elite thrives in. The freezer-grade gasket and embossed lip essentially locks in the air.

Combine that with the powerful Press-and-Pull latching system, and nothing is getting in or out that you don’t want to.

That’s not all, though. You’ll find a built-in bottle opener, molded tie-down slots, non-skid raised feet, a threaded drain plug, and a dual handle system with rotating hinged handles make this one of the best coolers with wheels available at any price!


#2 Igloo Glide PRO Wheeled Cooler

Igloo Glide PRO Cooler at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: Up to 5 days
  • Insulation: Ultratherm®
  • Weight: 25 Pounds
  • Capacity: 110 Quarts

If you need ample storage, the Igloo Glide PRO Cooler should be one to take a look at. No more should you have to take multiple coolers along, thanks to the whopping 110 QT capacity.

Thanks to oversized sport rally wheels, and a long, telescoping handle, managing this large cooler is even easy to take around tight corners, uphill, etcetera.

We personally liked this one for taking to parties, as it can fit so much food and drink inside. It doesn’t go as long as some other products as far as ice retention goes, but 5 days definitely isn’t something to laugh at.

That’s also long enough for a long weekend camping trip. As far as durability goes, it wasn’t quite as rugged as some other models on our list, but it’s definitely not flimsy. It features substantial hinges and large latches that will definitely keep it closed until you want it open.

The telescoping handle is very rigid and solid, making this mode of transportation quite convenient. If your looking for the best wheeled cooler for about $100, the Glide is for you!


#3 MILEE Heavy duty Wheeled Cooler

MILEE Heavy Duty Wheeled Cooler at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: Up to 6 days
  • Insulation: Polyurethane
  • Weight: 42 Pounds
  • Capacity: 70 Quarts

The MILEE Heavy Duty Wheeled Cooler is an interesting product that we just couldn’t leave off of our list. First off, are the unique color schemes: Marine Camo, Sea Foam Green, and Tan.

The first two will definitely make sure your cooler stands out in a crowd. Next up, you have a hanging wire basket for better separation between food/drink, a cooler divider, and a cup holder perfect for camping, fishing, or sports games.

The 7-inch diameter wheels aren’t as large as some others, but they get the job done. With rotomolded thermoplastic construction and commercial-grade insulation, this cooler is made to last.

It provides up to 6 days of ice retention time, as well, which is pretty substantial. You can also use it with dry ice, if you’d like. The D-Seal gives an airtight seal, and an Air Releasing Button opens up the cooler easily when the air pressure inside and outside are different.

Stainless steel locking plates come complete with bottle openers, so you will never go without your drinks, and a lid lock with integrated hinges eliminates accidental lid closing.

You’ll also find anti-skid feet, heavy-duty nylon rope handles, and a Drain Valve design with a recessed drain plug.

If you’re looking the best cooler on wheels with excellent ice retention and easy to roll, the Milee is a good choice!


#4 Coleman Soft Cooler with Wheels

Coleman Soft Cooler with Wheels at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: 1-2 Days
  • Insulation: Foam
  • Weight: 6.5 Pounds
  • Capacity: 42 Cans

Not all wheeled coolers are marked up at a higher price tag. The Coleman 42-Can Soft Cooler is an excellent budget product. While it may not give you the ice retention of the others, it’s a perfect option if you only need it overnight, or are going to be using it for a few hours.

First off, we’ll say that the insulation wasn’t the greatest, and can compare it best to a thick wetsuit. The fabric nor the zippers are waterproof, so you shouldn’t use it in the rain, but on hot, sunny days, this will definitely get it done.

It’s super easy to use, with suitcase-style wheels, a top that flips open quickly, side mesh pockets for bottles and other extras, a large front zippered pocket, and an interior mesh pocket on the lid. You have a plastic bucket that can easily be removed for quick loading/unloading, and just makes cleanliness easier to maintain.

The roller handle isn’t bad, but not great. If you’re just using it on flat surfaces, like sidewalk, it won’t be an issue, but with uneven terrain, it can move up and down.


#5 Igloo Trailmate Liddup Wheeled Cooler

Igloo Trailmate Liddup Wheeled Cooler

Igloo Trailmate Liddup at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: 4 Days
  • Insulation: Ultratherm®
  • Weight: 34 Pounds
  • Capacity: 70 Quarts

The Igloo Trailmate Liddup is essentially the Rolls Royce in the wheeled cooler world. Just looking at it you can tell it has all the bells and whistles you could ever need on your adventures.

First off, are the massive 10-inch wheels with an aggressive tread perfect for sand, dirt, grass, and pretty much whatever else you’ll be wheeling it through. There are two aluminum stands on the front which give more stability, and a no-slip grip means to tipping over.

The modular butler tray means you can eat anywhere, or serve up drinks and snacks away from any dirt or sand. Storage space is more than sufficient for a few days, and has a food basket made to hang at the top of the chilled section, perfect for bread and condiments.

You’ll also find a dry storage bin perfect for your smartphone, wallet, and other valuables. One of our favorite features, are the built-in LED lights, perfect for nighttime use.

The ice retention here is around 4 days, which isn’t anything special, but for most adventures, it’s more than enough. In addition, you’ll get a mobile device stand, dual built-in bottle openers, multiple cup holders, tie-down loops, and much more.


#6 YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

YETI Tundra Haul at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: 3 Days
  • Insulation: Polyurethane
  • Weight: 32 Pounds
  • Capacity: 38 Quarts

YETI is perhaps the most well-known name in the cooler world, and the Tundra Haul is an exemplary reason of why.

Coming in either white, blue, or tan, it keeps consistent with the classic YETI look, and makes it stand out from the crowd. It’s actually the first-ever YETI on wheels, which makes it ultra rough-and-tumble.

The Neverflat Wheels feature a solid, one-piece tire construction that’s puncture-resistant and perfect for taking on dirt, sand, over rocks, etc.

The StrongArm Handle furthers the ease of transport, with sturdy, welded aluminum and finished off with comfortable grips. The curved design tracks left or right for heel-capable towing.

Of course, it has rotomolded construction, which makes it incredibly durable, and made to last through whatever you drag it into. Ice retention was only a few days, which may not be enough for some, but for the vast majority of users, this was perfect.

Ultimately, if you want an incredibly sturdy cooler that will keep your items safe and cold inside, this might be the best rolling cooler on our list.


#7 Igloo Max Cold Quantum Roller Cooler

Igloo Max Cold Quantum 52 at a Glance:

  • Ice Retention Time: 20+ Hours
  • Insulation: Ultratherm®
  • Weight: 13 Pounds
  • Capacity: 52 Quarts

The Igloo Max Cold Quantum 52 Roller Cooler is perhaps our favorite budget product available today. While it’s not going to last you for days at a time, it’s perfect for a day trip.

It may be inexpensive, but it comes with plenty of premium features, like the large latches one would typically find on more pricey products. We loved the hatch lid, which allows for quick access to stored items without having to undo the latches and open up the lid. Drain plugs are very easy to use, as well.

With transport, you get to use either the rotating side carrying handles, as well as a locking telescoping handle. You’ll also get molded-in side handles for easy/quick lifting.

The wheels aren’t the best out there, to be honest, but they are decent for the price point. The insulation definitely isn’t the thickest out there, but it is still efficient at keeping heat out for around a day, and the Cool Riser Technology keeps the chest elevated off the ground.

If you want a good wheeled cooler for around $50, it would be hard to go wrong with the Igloo Max.


Wheeled Cooler Comparison Table

Wheeled Cooler CapacityIce RetentionWeightInsulationRating
Pelican ProGear Cooler45 & 85 QuartsUp to 10 days37 lbsPolyurethane4.3 / 5.0
Igloo Glide PRO Cooler110 QuartsUp to 5 days25 lbsUltratherm®4.0 / 5.0
MILEE Wheeled Cooler70 QuartsUp to 6 days42 lbs Polyurethane4.4 / 5.0
Coleman Soft Cooler42 CansUp to 1-2 days6.5 lbsFoam4.4 / 5.0
Igloo Trailmate Cooler70 QuartsUp to 4 days34 lbsUltratherm®4.0 / 5.0
YETI Tundra Cooler45 CansUp to 3 days32 lbsPolyurethane4.4 / 5.0
Igloo Max Cold Cooler52 Quarts20+ Hours13 lbsUltratherm®4.0 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Cooler With Wheels – Buying Guide

best rolling cooler

Now that you’ve read through each of the reviews of the rolling coolers on our list, have you decided which one you’ll be taking on your next trip? If you’re still up-in-the-air about it, that’s okay. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and created this in-depth buying guide, so you know which one is perfect for you.

Handle Height

This may not sound like much of a big deal, but if you’re taller than what most consider “average” then this can end up in not only an annoying situation, but neck and shoulder pain, as well. That’s no way to start off a fun trip! However, also keep in mind how long you’ll be towing the cooler for.

If it’s only going to be for a few minutes, this won’t be nearly as big of an issue as if you’re going to be carrying it up the side of a mountain.

Wheels

It’s not only important to look at how big the wheels are, but what they’re made of, as well. Wheel size makes a huge difference, however. Small wheels are obviously not going to do as well in rough terrain.

For example, the suitcase-style wheels that are often found on less expensive coolers, are really only sufficient for use on sidewalks and very smooth, even terrain.

If you want a kind of “off-road” cooler that will go everywhere you do, then look into something like the Liddup that has huge wheels with crazy tread perfect for dirt, sand, grass, and just about anything else.

best coolers on wheels
Wheels on the Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler

Storage Capacity

This should honestly be the first thing that you look at when narrowing down your wheeled cooler options. If you’re going to be bringing a feast for the whole family, you’re obviously going to need a bigger capacity than if you’re just bringing a few beers and sandwiches for you and a couple friends for a day out at the beach.

Keep in mind that volume of storage size can come from both insulated and a non-insulated storage area, so if it says 50 quarts of storage, it may not mean that entire 50 QTs is meant for cooled items.

Pay attention to this layout, as many soft-sided coolers will have individual compartments for cold and non-chilled items. This can be a good thing if you need it for both, but if you just need it for chilled items, then move on to a cooler where you can take advantage of the entire capacity.

best wheeled coolers
Photo Courtesy of www.yeti.com

Cooler Size

While this is directly related to cooler capacity, it definitely isn’t the same thing. Think about how much room your new cooler is going to take up.

Some can be downright massive and be difficult to fit into the back of your car, or store in the garage when not in use. If they’re too big, you may also have difficulties transporting it. Soft-sided coolers like the Coleman Soft Sided are the winner here, as they are so malleable and can fit into more spaces, especially when empty.

However, hard-sided coolers are going to be the same size and shape no matter if they’re in use or not.

Material

Obviously, material is a huge part of how the cooler works. If you want an ultra-durable one, then we highly suggest going for one featuring rotomolded construction.

This is typically only found in premium coolers, and is where the plastic is just one, single piece, rather than multiple pieces molded together. This means that your cooler will essentially have zero weak points, giving you a super-strong, sturdy product. Plastic is generally very tough, lightweight, waterproof, and insulates well.

Fabric is the other most common option, and is generally only found in soft-sided coolers. The strength of these will vary, depending on the fabric used. However, they’re almost never going to be as strong as rotomolded plastic, so if you’re going for durability, you’d be better off with that one.

Fabric is also not going to be waterproof the vast majority of the time, so you’re limited in the kind of weather you can use it with, and it’s not the best idea to take it to the beach where it can easily get wet and seep through to the interior.

Types of Cooler Insulation

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with our last point, but insulation obviously plays a huge role in how your cooler performs. For insulation, you’re going to find two main types: polystyrene and foam.

Polystyrene

This is the best insulator for a rolling cooler that money can buy. Put simply, it’s a plastic, which means it’s cheap, relatively lightweight, is poor at transferring heat, and is very durable. Generally, the thicker the walls of polystyrene are, the better it’s going to insulate the items inside.

Most portable rolling coolers will be made with plastic, which will be the only insulator. To make the insulation greater, they increase the thickness of the plastic walls. It’s pretty basic, but it works.

Foam

In less expensive and soft-sided coolers, you’re typically going to find that the insulation consists of a foam lining. A foam lining works well if you just need to chill items for a few hours, or for less than a day, as it isn’t as effective at keeping ice as polystyrene. With enough thickness it can be effective for longer periods of time.

Seals

This goes along with our last point, as insulation is nothing if you don’t have a tight enough seal. Go with a cooler with high-quality latches with a strong “bite”. There are some that take things even further and can provide you with freezer-grade latches that essentially seal out any warm air, so you can keep your items chilled for over a week.

Price

Finally, price is also a pretty big factor when it comes to selecting the best rolling cooler for you. How much are you willing to spend on it?

If you’re only going to use it infrequently you’d probably be better off with a cheaper cooler. Even the cheap ones work fine for short periods of time.

However, if you are a frequently outdoors, then it’s better to spend more and get a quality cooler. Look at the higher-end coolers that are going to last you for potentially decades, and provide you with top-of-the-line features.

Know that the most expensive products are marked at those prices for a reason, and that you will get incredibly high performance from them.

FAQs For Wheeled Coolers

Q: How long can a cooler work?

It all comes down to the TYPE and THICKNESS of the insulation. Polyurethane is the best for insulating but also the most expensive which is why you will find it on the Yeti’s and Pelican brand coolers. They usually have 2-3 inches for maximum insulation. With this type of insulation you can almost get a WEEK of ice retention time. Of course outside temperature and how often you open it plays a big part.

Q: Can I leave it in the sun?

This will depend on the cooler. If it’s a soft-sided one, it’s probably best to keep it in a shaded area. However, the military-grade plastic coolers are almost always UV-protected and won’t be affected at all.

Q: Can I use dry ice in my cooler?

Again, this will depend on the cooler you select. If it doesn’t specifically say that you can use dry ice with it, then don’t even try it. The only one on our list that specifically says you can is the MILEE Heavy duty cooler.

Q: How should I store my cooler when not in use?

We recommend hanging it up in the garage if you can, so nothing sits and stews in it.

Tips For Using Your Cooler

#1: Always wash your cooler out after use

Again, it’s always a good idea to keep it stored upside down, hanging if you can. Make sure to wash it out with a cloth, water, and ideally, a type of soap to prevent any mildew or mold from developing.

#2: Don’t overload the cooler

Before you use it, look at the max load weight it can handle. If you do, you can possibly damage the wheels.

#3: Larger ice takes longer to melt

If you really want to make the most of your cooling time, then don’t just buy those little ice cube bags they sell at the gas station. Try to create bigger ice cubes by filling balloons with water and freezing them, or using ice packs.

Final Thoughts

So, which one of these coolers will be making their way to your next adventure? We hope that this article has helped you pick the best rolling cooler for you. No matter which one you select, you can be assured that you’re choosing one of the best out there. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!

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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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