Best Budget Coolers 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Jeff Day

Summer is around the corner! Camping trips, long hot nights, and hanging out on your patio… what better way to spend those summer nights? Especially with a nice cold drink… but how do you find low cost coolers? You may be unsure where to buy cheap coolers. Well, that’s where we come in!

We’re taking you today through some of the best performance coolers, the cooler best equipped to keep your drinks cold and save you money. They don’t all have to be high end, you can find the best cheap cooler just a few clicks away.

First, we’ll be dishing all the information on the best value options for you and how to choose it. How much do coolers typically cost? Where can I find the options under $100? What do I need to consider before I buy my first cooler? Where’s the best place to buy a cooler? Which ones come with lifetime warranty? We’ve got you covered, read on.

10 Best Cheap Coolers Available in 2020

So, here we are! It’s time to go through our top ten picks for the best at the moment. This list is full of cheap large coolers, so there’s no need to worry – there’ll be something for everyone here.

Each of our options is linked to its Amazon page results, meaning you can have a look at anything you need to – such as prices, the customer review section, and the company website. We’ll breeze through this list with ease, showing you the discounted coolers on offer.

If this isn’t enough and you’re still looking for bargains for your next camping trip, feel free to check out our best cheap sleeping bags.

1. Igloo Quantum Roller Cooler

Igloo 52 QT - White

Best Features: Cool Riser Technology. Size Control.


It’s the real deal on wheels, our first pick is the Igloo Quantum – which is a wheeled cooler. It comes in three snazzy colors, and is a great pick to start our list of the best discount ice chests. It even comes with cup holders!

SPECIFICATIONS

Material:Plastic | Capacity:28 Qt | Weight: 1.81 Kilograms

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2. Coleman 48-Quart Capacity Cooler

Coleman 48 QT - Blue

Best Features: Leak Protection. Durability.


Our second pick is the Coleman Performance Cooler which comes with 48 quart capacity. It’s easily the best ice chest under $100, with its side handles making it easily portable, whilst the 48 quart capacity is still fairly heavy duty. This is unsurprising given Coleman’s status as a household name.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 48 quart | Weight: 1 Kilograms

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3. Coleman Rolling Cooler

Coleman 50 QT - 5 Day Cooler

Best Features: Build Design. XTreme Technology.


Another one from Coleman, the popular brand, this cooler is the 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Cooler, and as the name suggests it’s complete with wheels. This wheeled cooler gives you portability perfect for every event, from summer parties to a day trip.

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 50-quart  | Weight: 6.8 Kilograms

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4. Seavilis Cooler (Milee)

Seavilis Cooler 35 QT - Tan

Best Features: Thermoplastic Construction. Convenience.


Our fourth cooler comes from Seavilis, and it’s a portable cooler boasting a 35 quart capacity, and exclusive accessories just for you! What a reason to order, it’s a bargain on the market. These accessories include a handy basket, a cup holder to keep your beverages and beer cans close by, and a divider.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity:35QT | Weight: 12.72 Kilograms

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5. Igloo Polar Cooler

Igloo Polar Cooler 120 QT - White

Best Features: Capacity. Build Design.


Our midway pick comes from Igloo, and it’s no surprise we’ve chosen it. Though Igloo is perhaps known best for the Igloo Marine Ultra, this pick is also not to be missed! This Polar Cooler in white offers an astonishing 120 quart capacity! There are so many useful features, it’s surely a contender for the best cooler under $200.

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 114 Liter | Weight: 9.03 Kilograms

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6. Coleman XTreme Heavy Duty Cooler

Coleman 70 QT - Blue

Best Features: Convenience and Comfort. Insulation.


Our sixth pick comes from Coleman again, surprise surprise, and is an impressive 70 quart capacity cooler. It can hold up to 100 cans and has molded cup holders for your ease. Coleman really do produce some of the latest coolers, at a reasonable price!

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: 100% Polyester | Capacity: 66 Liters | Weight: 5.2 Kilograms

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 7. Coleman Xtreme Heavy Duty Wheeled Cooler

Coleman 100 QT - Blue

Best Features: Price Point. Have-a-Seat Lid Support.


Our seventh pick is another one from Coleman, and again it’s a fab deal on the coolest wheels. Manufacturing some of the best coolers, Coleman bring you another heavy duty cooler from their Xtreme coolers range.

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 62-Quart | Weight: 31.1 g

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8. Igloo Playmate Cooler

Igloo 14.8 QT - Industrial Diamond Plate Exterior Design

Best Features: Capacity. Construction.


Our eighth pick showcases Igloo’s range of Playmate coolers, which come with an industrial diamond plate exterior design… this design means business! Again, these are some of the best around, which shouldn’t come as a surprise from super company Igloo.

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: Polyurethane | Weight: 3.7 Pounds

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9. YETI Tundra Portable Wheeled Cooler

YETI Cooler - White

Best Features: Portability. Roto molded Construction.


Our penultimate pick is another one of those best coolers on wheels, it’s the super cooler, YETI Tundra Haul Portable … and as the name suggests, it means business – it’s here to keep your ice freshly stocked, which it manages through its premium insulation systems.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Material: Aluminium | Weight: 14.51 Kilograms

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10. Igloo BMX Family Cooler

Igloo BMX with Cool Riser Technology

Best Features: Durability. Build Quality.


This final pick is a perfect cooler for all the family, a stunning Igloo ice box that’s perfect for keeping ice frozen much easier than high end coolers. It’s the Igloo BMX Family Cooler, and these coolers come with a fish ruler and tie-down points… you can even take it fishing! Keep your beers ice cold while you reel in that big catch.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 49 Liter | Weight: 7.41 Kilograms

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Best Budget Coolers

Among all of our best coolers, only one can reign supreme. For us, this is pick 5, the range of Igloo Polar Coolers. These coolers are at a bargain price of under $200 and boast 120 quarts – if you need an inexpensive, effective cooler for a fraction of the cost of higher end coolers, this one is for you.

Sale
Igloo 52 Qt Marine Ultra Quantum Roller , White
  • Ultraviolet inhibitors protect against sun damage
  • Ultratherm Insulation in body and lid holds ice up to 5 days
  • Locking telescoping handle with gear hangers Non-marking soft-ride rally wheels
  • Built-in condiment shelf Includes 2 removable fishing rod holders and 2 attachable drink holders
  • Recessed, triple-snap drain plug Four self-draining cup holders with lockable lid or tie-down loops

Cheapest Cooler Available

The cheapest coolers available have to be pick 2, the Coleman Performance Cooler. These coolers are an astonishing price under $50, and will give you portability, protection and ice retention, and provide you a very agreeable price. Follow the link to check these coolers out now!

Sale
Igloo Island Breeze 48 Quart Cooler- Majestic Blue
  • Cool Riser Technology for improved cooling performance
  • Slotted lid for easy stacking
  • Swing-up handles
  • Can hole up to 76 12-oz. cans

Whats the Best Cooler for the Money?

The best cooler for the money is pick 10, the Igloo BMX Family Cooler. Its versatility offers a little something for everyone, and while it’s a bit pricier than other coolers it’s still under $200 – a bargain purchase for long lasting use.

Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler with Cool Riser Technology, Fish Ruler, and Tie-Down Points - 16.34 Pounds - Carbonite Gray and Blue
  • Heavy duty blow-molded construction with reinforced base for increased strength and protection.
  • Extremely durable yet lightweight with proven 4-5 day ice retention at 90°F
  • UV inhibitors protect the cooler against sun damage for extended life. Capacity: 83 12-ounce cans, 52 quarts (49 liters)
  • Rust-resistant, stainless-steel hinge rods and hardware provide extended performance.
  • Rubberized T-grip latches keep lid secure. Threaded drain plug is garden hose compatible and features a non-slip, easy-grip stainless steel tethered cap

Which Cooler keeps ice the longest?

The cooler that will keep your ice the longest has to be pick 8, the Igloo Playmate coolers. These coolers have amazing durability and come at a brilliant price. The construction materials and construction methods make this cooler durable and a step up from other brands.

Sale
Igloo The Boss Playmate Cooler, Black/Grey, 14 Qt
  • Engineered for sturdiness and performance
  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Leak proof performance

How Can I Make a Cheap Cooler Better?

There are a couple of handy things you can do that will make a difference to your cooler – the fact is, you can back yourself and ensure your cheap cooler is the best option without splashing a big buck on more pricey products or premium coolers.

To enhance your cooling capabilities, you could look into different insulation options to upgrade your cooler/ ice box without just stuffing some ice packs in there. If your price range is low but your expectations are high, have a look into other people’s opinion and see what insulation options are available.

If you’re unsure on how to make your cooler Igloo-grade secure, run an ice retention test to see where the problem lies.


Are Yeti Coolers Really Worth the Money?

Of course, if you’re searching for budget coolers to provide a quality experience, you might not want to opt for higher end coolers. However, we can say that Yeti coolers are absolutely worth the money. They’re somehow lightweight AND durable, so they last but can be easily carried to a friends’ party, and they come in a range of color options and designs.

Yeti coolers are some of the best out there, thanks to their quality manufacturers. They’re worth your dollar and beat out the competition.


Typical Cost of a Good Cooler

So, what’s the typical cost of good cheap coolers, I hear you ask? Well, coolers will generally be a little different in price depending on their size (in quarts), features, and portability – do you want a heavy duty cooler to keep at home for those lazy summer nights, or do you want a cooler that’s easy to carry and transport around, maybe to serve many people?

Generally, you can find cheap large ice coolers anywhere between $30 and $200, but of course there’s going to be differences between a cooler that costs less and one that costs more. It’s up to you to make the trade-off on price and quality.

But we promise you, this article has shown you the best deals on coolers, as nearly all of our picks are under $200!


Considerations Choosing Coolers

There’s a handful of different considerations to keep in mind when you’re trying to find your best value ice chest. Here are our top three:

Consider What You Need

The very first thing to do is consider what you need your cooler for: are you just staying at home, maybe having an overnight camping trip? If so, the cooler you need is going to be very different from taking a cooler on a week long fishing-trip. You therefore need to think of whether the cooler’s going to keep your ice for a long time. You want your drinks ice cold, so you need to find a high quality cooler that’s going to give you days of ice and keep your food and drink fresh.

Build Quality

Here you need to consider the size, material, and subsequent durability of your best, cheap ice chest. Do you want a cooler made from plastic, fabric – i.e. soft sided coolers- , metal, or Styrofoam? If you’re wanting your cooler to last a long time, you can eliminate Styrofoam immediately. While metal coolers are more durable and have fab insulation and ice retention, they’re not as easy to carry. Plastic, however, is one of the best for giving you high performance AND optimum ice retention.

Finally, make sure that thing’s well made! When you spot your cooler amid the items online, browse the pictures and reviews to see that it’s well made. Build quality is of ultra importance.

Portability

Tying into size, as we’ve said before you need to consider whether you want a portable cooler, and therefore whether a large cooler or smaller cooler is best for you.

This, again, is a trade-off between size and portability, and the cheap ice coolers that are actually going to keep your food and drinks ice cold. While lighter coolers are easier to carry, they may not be the best coolers for ice retention. That said, you don’t want to get a heavy duty cooler if you’re just needing it for a short trip.

About This Expert

Jeff Day