Good news everyone: Summer is almost here again! And you know what that means — plenty of fun in the sun awaits.
How will you keep your food and drinks cold when the weather warms up? With so many options out there, it can feel overwhelming to choose the best beach cooler for your needs.
To make your life easier, I’ve put together this list of the best wheeled coolers for the beach, the lake, the boat, or wherever your summer plans take you. There are also some tote and backpack options without wheels if you hope to be more mobile.
Keep reading below to find the perfect beach cooler for you!
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
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How to Choose the Best Beach Cooler
First of all, stop to think about what you want out of your beach cooler.
Are you looking for something that’s small, lightweight, and easily portable? Or are you more concerned with larger storage capacity or longer ice retention?
Here are a few things to consider before you start shopping for the best cooler with wheels.
Beach Cooler Size
If you’re hitting the beach with your significant others or just a few friends, you probably don’t need a cooler that can hold 100 beers. (Then again, it depends on the friends…)
On the other hand, if you’re hosting a huge beach party, you’ll need a cooler large enough to store food and drinks for everyone. Pay close attention to the dimensions and weight as you search for the best rolling cooler.
Beach Cooler Wheels
Too many people have made the mistake of buying a cooler with tiny wheels that get stuck in the sand. Don’t let this happen to you!
The best rolling beach coolers are equipped with large wheels and a handle that make them easy to transport.
Some beach coolers are totes or backpacks that are light enough to toss over your shoulder and go for a hike, while others feel like a ton of bricks.
Think about how far you’re going to be travelling and make sure your cooler is portable enough for the journey from the parking lot (without throwing your back out).
Are you relaxing at the beach for just a few hours, or will you be there from sunup to sundown?
Obviously, you don’t want to run the risk of your drinks getting warm or, even worse, your food spoiling. If you’re planning some long days in the sun, be sure to get a cooler with thick sides and high ice retention capacity.
The Best Beach Coolers [Summer 2023]
Now that you’ve made a few mental notes about what you want out of your cooler, let’s dive into this year’s 12 best options.
1. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler
If you’re looking for a low-budget option that will keep those drinks cold, consider this compact cooler from Arctic Zone.
Although it doesn’t have wheels, it’s equipped with comfortable shoulder straps for easy transport. It also has a removable SmartShelf you can use to separate hard items and prevent softer items from getting squished.
And, thanks to its deep-freeze performance insulation, it will keep up to 30 cans cold for two days!
Specs: 16.5 x 11 x 12.75 inches
Weight: 2 kg (4.4 pounds)
Capacity: 20 quarts
Pros: Comfortable, convenient, easily portable, affordable, removable shelf
Cons: No wheels, no zipper or airtight seal on top, not as durable as other options
2. Coleman 316 Series Insulated Portable Cooler
Another great budget option that’s a little larger and sturdier is this cooler from Coleman.
Users love its hard-body durability, including a bench lid that can support up to 250 pounds. It has easy-to-use swing-up handles as well as built-in cupholders with drains.
This version can hold up to 80 cans and retain ice for up to four days, even in high temperatures.
Specs: 25.6 x 14.8 x 16.5 inches
Weight: 3.9 kg (8.7 pounds)
Capacity: 51 litres
Pros: Durable, bench lid, built-in cupholders, affordable, high-quality insulation
Cons: No wheels, susceptible to damage if dropped on hard surfaces
3. Igloo Sportsman 30 High-Performance Hardsided Cooler
For a great all-around beach cooler (with wheels!), check out this option from Igloo.
This sturdy cooler is ideal for large gatherings or longer trips where you’ll be packing a hefty amount of food and drinks. It can hold up to 168 cans and keep them cold for five days.
Best of all, it’s equipped with large soft-ride wheels to make towing in the sand a breeze.
Specs: 39.76 x 18.5 x 19.69 inches
Weight: 11.5 kg (25.4 pounds)
Capacity: 110 quarts
Pros: Large capacity, large wheels, cushioned handles, easy drainage system
Cons: Heavier than other options, side plastic handles are susceptible to damage
4. YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler
It may be the priciest option on our list, but if it’s in your budget, you won’t regret choosing this YETI cooler for your summer adventures.
This brand is unmatched in toughness — both the body and the wheels are virtually indestructible. It’s equipped with permafrost commercial-grade insulation that offers the best possible temperature retention.
The sizeable body holds up to 82 cans, making it suitable for most beachgoers’ needs without being too large.
Specs: 28.25 x 18.63 x 19.5 inches
Weight: 16.7 kg (37 pounds)
Capacity: 55 quarts
Pros: Extremely durable, amazing ice retention, easy towing, manageable size
Cons: High price tag, wheels don’t always roll smoothly on sand
5. Igloo 60 Qt Ice Cube Roller Cooler
When it comes to affordable wheeled coolers for the beach, this Igloo roller cooler might be your best option.
The insulated polyurethane body ensures the contents stay cold all day. The telescopic handle operates with a simple push button, making this one of the most easily manoeuvrable coolers on the list.
It’s also noteworthy that the wheels glide easily through sand, even when the cooler is fully loaded.
Specs: 20 x 18.5 x 20.6 inches
Weight: 5.5 kg (12.2 pounds)
Capacity: 57 litres
Pros: Great manoeuvrability, easy to clean, high-quality insulation, built-in cupholders
Cons: Can topple easily when not loaded, wheels and handles susceptible to damage
6. CleverMade Collapsible Cooler Bag
Don’t have much storage space for your beach cooler when you’re not using it?
Consider this collapsible cooler bag from CleverMade, which is made entirely with recycled materials. It folds down to a height of just three inches, which means you can store it virtually anywhere.
Durable and stylish, this cooler bag can carry up to 50 cans or all the food you’ll need for a beachside barbecue.
Specs: 18.25 x 12.25 x 11.5 inches
Weight: 0.9 kg (2 pounds)
Capacity: 30 litres
Pros: Eco-friendly, lightweight, affordable, multiple handles, collapses for easy storage
Cons: No wheels, not as well-insulated as other options, may leak after hours of use
7. Canyon Coolers Mule 30
As one of the top-rated wheeled coolers for the beach, this option from Canyon Coolers is worthy of your consideration.
The rotomolded construction plus added insulation and wall thickness offers extreme ice retention — up to 5-7 days. Users also appreciate its tie-down and bungee net systems, ensuring your cooler stays secure no matter what the weather’s doing.
The wheels are made of non-skid rubber that glides effortlessly through the sand, so this cooler is ready to travel to even the most remote beach or campsite.
Specs: 18.11 x 18.11 x 17.32 inches
Weight: 12.7 kg (28 pounds)
Capacity: 28 litres
Pros: Extreme ice retention, easy portability, durable, unique security features
Cons: Heavier than other options, high price tag
8. Pelican Elite Coolers with Wheels
Perhaps one of the most rugged options on our list, this Pelican Elite Cooler is up for any adventure you can imagine.
This heavy-duty option can hold up to 90 cans and retain ice for as long as 10 days. It includes some handy extras like a stainless steel bottle opener, a freezer-grade gasket, a built-in fishing ruler, and a lifetime warranty.
And just in case you’re travelling to an area with large wildlife, it’s worth noting that this cooler is completely bear-proof!
Specs: 19 x 12 x 12 inches
Weight: 16.9 kg (37.3 pounds)
Capacity: 45 quarts
Pros: Reinforced body, moulded handles, extreme ice retention, lifetime guarantee
Cons: High price tag, heavy, not as manoeuvrable as other options
9. Coleman Chiller Series Insulated Portable Wheeled Soft Cooler
This unique option from Coleman may remind you of your wheeled carry-on bag for flights, except it’s insulated and leakproof.
Made of lightweight, recycled fabric, the cooler’s telescopic handle and rugged wheels make transport a cinch. It offers a moderate capacity of up to 42 cans, which will stay cold for at least 12 hours.
The cooler also features zippered front and inside mesh pockets for storing ice packs and any other “extras” you’re bringing along.
Specs: 13.32 x 13.32 x 19.97 inches
Weight: 3 kg (6.7 pounds)
Capacity: 22 quarts
Pros: Lightweight, affordable, easily manoeuvrable, extra storage, mould-resistant
Cons: Fairly small, shorter ice retention and not as rugged as other options
10. Coleman Portable Cooler with Wheels Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
Here’s another highly-rated Coleman cooler that will get the job done — without breaking the bank.
Users love its telescopic handle and heavy-duty wheels that ensure easy, reliable transport across virtually any terrain. It keeps up to 84 cans cold for five days and features a sturdy have-a-seat lid as well as built-in cupholders.
Bonus: It’s also an eco-friendly option, as the foam features low C02 insulation for reduced carbon emissions.
Specs: 22.6 x 17.6 x 17.5 inches
Weight: 5.7 kg (12.7 pounds)
Capacity: 50 quarts
Pros: Affordable, durable, easily manoeuvrable, high ice retention
Cons: Lid, handles, and wheels may be susceptible to damage over time
11. ICEMULE Classic Collapsible Backpack Cooler
Is there anything more annoying than getting out of the water and traipsing over to the cooler to grab another drink?
With this floating cooler from ICEMULE, you can stay in the water all day long if you like! Made with completely waterproof 1000D ripstop fabric and welded seams, the ICEMULE will float next to you and keep up to six cans cold for 24 hours.
When you’re finished using it, the cooler folds down to virtually nothing, so you can roll it up and take it with you to your next destination.
Specs: 7 x 7.5 x 14 inches
Weight: 0.6 kg (1.4 pounds)
Capacity: 9 quarts
Pros: Affordable, buoyant, lightweight, waterproof, high ice retention
Cons: Small capacity, not as rugged or durable as other options
12. Maelstrom 35 Can Backpack Cooler Leakproof
Last (but certainly not least) of this year’s best beach coolers is this Maelstrom backpack cooler.
This cooler is surprisingly large for a backpack — its capacity is 32 litres or up to 35 cans. The ergonomic design features thick, breathable padding that ensures comfort for your back and shoulders.
The backpack is equipped with plenty of storage pockets and is guaranteed to keep food and drinks cold for up to 16 hours.
Specs: 19 x 13 x 9 inches
Weight: 0.4 kg (0.95 pounds)
Capacity: 32 litres
Pros: Very affordable, lightweight, waterproof, comfortable to wear
Cons: No wheels, may leak on hot days, zipper susceptible to damage
The Best Rolling Cooler for Your Summer Plans
Whether you’re looking for an ice chest with wheels, a large cooler with wheels, or a convenient backpack or tote, one of the options above is sure to tick all the boxes.
Keep this list handy as you do your summertime shopping and you’ll soon have the perfect cooler to keep your food and drinks cold!
Now that you’ve got the best beach cooler, it’s time to think about the rest of your summertime plans. Check out this article next for other great items to buy for yourself (or anyone else who loves the beach).