Cold storage for warm outings.

Is it time to update your old and worn-out coolers before the summer gets in high gear?  The best coolers need good insulation, a tight seal, durability, and handling ease. Here is a selection of the latest in coolers.

In a survey done by Food and Wine magazine, the highest rated cooler was an RTC Ultra-Light.   This cooler is 18” D x 27” W x 18” H and has 3” of insulation. It can be carried by one person.  After a full day, the ice inside was still intact.  The inside is divided with a removable wire basket.  The interior temperature stayed at 32 degrees on a hot day.  There are six color combinations and the white shown above.  A wheeled version was recently released.  $209.99.


Another hard-sided cooler that gets great reviews is the Igloo EcoCool Latitude 52 QT cooler. It measures 25” x 15.2” x 14.6”. This cooler is made from recycled materials, is lightweight, has a reasonable price tag and was excellent at retaining cool temperatures over a three day period. $59.95.

Note:  If a drainage spout is important to you, choose another cooler.


You knew a Yeti had to be on this list.  The Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler gets five stars and is highly rated.  It is a splurge.  The lid stays closed with molded latch keepers. It takes two to carry it, and it can double as a seat or even a small table at outdoor events.  It will keep perishables cold for days. It comes in thirteen colors and is 30.5” L x 17.5” W x 16” H.  $350.00


This Titan by Arctic Zone Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody 20 Qt Cooler has many pockets, a removable insert to make cleaning easy, and a pop-out tray for dry goods.  It also comes in green.  It has a strong shoulder strap to make carrying easy.  $44.99

This PackIt Freezable Zuma Can Cooler has a built-in gel liner.  You can fold the cooler flat and store it in your freezer so it’s ready to go – the gel liner is part of the bag. It fits up to 15 cans, or anything else.  $26.99.





This is the Hydro Flask Escape Soft Cooler, and it is lightweight and gets raves for superior insulation for hiking and day trips.  It is smaller than many standard coolers, so it is not good for a large group.  The shoulder straps are padded so it is comfortable as a backpack.  It comes in three sizes- the 20-liter backpack, or the 18- and 26-liter shoulder bag.  It has a molded base which allows the bag to stand up straight. It keeps its contents cold for 36 hours, the zipper is watertight, and the welded seams are leakproof. It comes in two additional colorways.   $199.95.

If you use Styrofoam, how about a disposable composting cooler instead?  The Igloo Recool 16 Qt Cooler is made from paper pulp.  When you are finished with it, it composts easily in the backyard.  It performs as well as any single-use cooler but this one is reusable.  It has water retention for up to five days, and ice retention for up to 12 hours. It measures 15.39” x 12.36” x 10.59”.   $20.00.


The RovR RollR 45 Qt. Wheeled Cooler with wheels and handle is durable and all-terrain.  It can go to the beach or camping.  It is made from weather-resistant materials and has all-terrain wheels.  It has 45 Qt. storage capacity and excellent cooling ability.  It comes in three colors. It measures 22.5” x 20.5” x 19.75”.  $349.00




This cooler weighs less than a can of soup. It has excellent insulation, is 100% leak proof, has a zipper carry-all pocket, attachments for backpack straps and a zippered top. It comes in two sizes – the Mayfly 14L cooler is 18” H x 9” W x 5” D and has a 14-liter capacity.  It will hold about 15 cans or a picnic for two.  $129.00 but currently on sale for $103.20.

The Shasta 23L cooler is 28” H x 10” W x 6.5” D and has a 21-liter capacity.  It holds about 24 cans.  $149.00 but currently on sale for $119.20. They come in Sky Blue or Black.