Storing your favorite food and drinks in one of the best coolers with wheels is a must-have for beach goers, campers and anyone heading to a backyard BBQ. And if you plan to use your wheeled cooler on a regular basis, you know you need the best. A cooler with wheels should comfortably go from car to beach, field, picnic area. With so many cooler options on the market, it might seem like they’re all the same. Unfortunately, that’s not true, as the price and quality make a big difference from cooler to cooler. Which coolers are worth it and which ones you should avoid at all costs? We’ve thoroughly researched the market to determine the best wheeled coolers, as well as a couple you should avoid.
Reviews of the 5 Best Coolers with Wheels, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
1. Rubbermaid Extreme Wheeled Ice Chest Review
The Rubbermaid Extreme wheeled ice chest wins out for 2 reasons: large size and long ice retention. Most people use their coolers for camping, sporting events, or going to the beach. This cooler can handle the transition from one location to another without issue.
Although the Rubbermaid Extreme wheeled ice chest takes up a substantial amount of space in your car, it’s worth it. As one of the best coolers on wheels of 2019, this cooler is 16.9 by 33.3 by 19.4 inches which are far larger than most other options available.
The side handles make handling this extra large cooler easy. The side handle is not ideal for tall people. Many people report that the cooler can sit in direct sun for hours with little to no melt effect.
Overall the Rubbermaid Extreme wheeled ice chest is one of the best coolers with wheels. It’s also affordable and will last for years.
2. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Cooler Review
Many people forget that soft coolers can have excellent ice retention and weight much less than a standard cooler. If you need a rolling cooler that is soft, and easy to maneuver the Coleman 42-Can wheel cooler is a great choice.
The Coleman 42-Can wheeled cooler earned its name because it comfortably fits 42 cans, perfect for camping, tailgating and watching the kids at the park. The handle telescopes out from the back, so it’s not uncomfortable for tall users.
The Coleman 42-Can wheel cooler is 11.4 by 12.6 by 21.26 inches and weighs only 5 pounds. As the best soft cooler on wheels, it uses a plastic lining which is easy to remove and clean. It fits comfortably into most cars, boats and doesn’t take up much space inside a tent either. The cooler has smooth wheels that do well over most terrain but do trap sand.
3. Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler Review
The Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler comes in 3 sizes of 40,50, and 60 quarts. One of the best coolers with wheels, the Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler caters to taller people.
Measuring at 27.5 by 19.1 by 16.75 inches this cooler only weight about 16 pounds and is very durable. Igloo has a long-standing reputation for good ice retention and durability. The handle suits taller people because the handle is on a telescoping arm on the back of the cooler.
You do lose a bit of space as the handle takes a portion of internal space since it sits flush to make an even external square. Usually, tall people report that the handles on the ends of coolers don’t telescope out far enough.
The wheels on the Igloo Maxcold Ultra Roller Cooler are big with small teeth. It’s not the best for rolling in the sand but is fantastic for rocky or hilly surfaces.
4. Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler Review
The Pelican Products ProGear Elite is best for a few things. First, it’s the best beach cooler with big wheels which is appropriate for its name. Pelican coolers feature many of the same designs as Yeti coolers.
If you’re looking for something that will last you for years with tons of use, Pelican is the brand to go with for quality. Unfortunately, it’s so far down on this list because of it’s price. Unless you regularly camp, go to the beach or attend outdoor sporting events, most people won’t spend hundreds of dollars on a cooler.
Pelican features many of its coolers in multiple sizes which makes this also the best smaller cooler on wheels. No matter the size, Pelican ProGear Elite uses a stainless-steel interior with ABS plastic to retain its quality in any condition.
With an extra durable design and construction, thick handle, locking lid, and comfortable handle length the Pelican is a top choice if you can afford it.
5. Columbia Crater Peak Rolling Ice Chest Review
Although it’s not at the top of our list, the Columbia Crater Peak rolling ice chest is the best beach cooler with sand wheels. The Columbia Crater Peak feels more like a rolling cart but is very durable. Measurements on this cooler are 16 by 10 by 13.5 inches which give you a lot of internal space for packing.
The cooler collapses easily and the handle height is reasonable for some taller people. The inner lining is removable and entirely leak proof. The wheels are removable which is one of the reasons it’s the best cooler that rolls on the sand. You can pull the wheels off and clean out any sand stuck in them without issue.
As a beach option, the removable wheels, collapsible body, and easy cleaning this is the best cooler that rolls on sand. You can easily store this cooler in a trunk and pack or unpack as necessary. This cooler with wheels works well for backpacking day trips as you can start your day out with what you need and then collapse the cooler when you’re done.
Avoid – Tunes2Go CA-E065A KoolMax Review
How can you go wrong with a cooler? Well, adding a ton of features it doesn’t need is a good start. The Tunes2Go CA-E065A KoolMax is terrible. Avoid this cooler with wheels because it tried to accomplish everything you expect from a quality radio and forgot that it’s a cooler.
Tunes2Go CA-E065A KoolMax uses a built-in speaker system. Unfortunately, electronic components and ice or water don’t mix. The Tunes2Go CA-E065A KoolMax is proud of its 2 tweeters, bass speakers and a menu screen that connects devices through both USB and Bluetooth.
Where it goes wrong is that it doesn’t keep ice well at all, is oddly shaped and must be handled with care to protect the speaker system. Another, completely unnecessary, the feature is that it includes a standard 12-volt outlet to charge your devices. Although the battery is efficient, it only lasts for 16 hours on one charge.
To make the most of this cooler you have to charge it before every use. Its capacity is also disappointing as it delivers only a 40-quart capacity which means it can hold about 48 cans which would normally be impressive. But, when you consider that ice melts quickly in this cooler, it won’t hold those 48 cans comfortably when it’s full of water.
The Picnic at Ascot Equipped Picnic Cooler is another cooler with wheels that are trying to do too much. But starting with the most basic of features, the telescoping handle is incredibly short and makes handling difficult.
Claiming to add class to your outdoors experience the Picnic at Ascot Equipped Picnic Cooler is one of the worst coolers with wheels. Although it’s sleek black design looks appealing, the functionality is terrible. It’s small and comes with some additions and features that it doesn’t need.
If you’re going to include things like silverware and place settings, you should include items of quality. As one of the worst coolers with wheels, it’s incredibly small, with wheels that don’t hold up over very many terrains. The wheels catch on grass and get stuck in the sand.
More than anything else, what makes this one of the worst coolers with wheels is that it doesn’t keep ice. Most of the time the Picnic at Ascot is good for cold keeping for a few hours.
2019 Buyers Guide to the Best Coolers with Wheels
To find one of the best coolers with wheels, you need to break down what you’re looking for in a cooler. There are many different coolers, but there is no, best cooler for every need.
Instead identify where you will use your cooler the most, and how far it has to travel between destinations. These 3 aspects can help you decide which of the top coolers with wheels is the best fit for you.
3 Main Points to Consider:
Handle height, durability, wheels, and size are the 3 critical points in choosing the right cooler with wheels. One of the best coolers with wheels should always be durable, have sturdy wheels and should comfortably fit in your car.
- Handle Height and Durability: Handle height preferences vary by person. Although some coolers look the same, the wrong handle height can leave you with long-term shoulder or back pain. Think about what handle height is comfortable for you before you buy. If you’re a tall person, you don’t want to lean to one side to roll the cooler. If you plan on rolling the cooler for longer distances, you should consider the length of the telescoping arm. A good rule of thumb for choosing the right handle height is that it should match your arm length. Measure your arm quickly, and then figure that the handle should come as close to that measurement as possible. Handle durability is also important. If you or other people handling the cooler have difficulty getting the cooler in and out of the car the handle takes the most damage. Too often we overlook the durability of the handle, and then it’s the first part of the cooler to go.
- Wheels: Wheel size and shape will help you identify which cooler is best for your needs. Large wheels with big teeth are best for soft terrain like beaches. You can use the same theory for color wheels as you would for standard car tires. For your roller cooler needs, large wheels aren’t the end-all solution. Medium wheels do best through grass, and smaller wheels do better on hard surfaces like concrete. Avoid the bigger is a better trap when it comes to wheels. When identifying if the wheels on the cooler are right for you also consider the teeth on the wheels. Many small wheels will have no teeth and only have a groove. However wide-set teeth on large wheels can help the cooler distribute weight and grip loose soil or sand.
- Transport size: Transport size is another aspect that people associate with the “bigger is better” theory. But the dimensions of your new cooler are important, and bigger isn’t always the answer. When considering transport size think long and hard about how the size plays into the handle placement. If the cooler size is very long, but the handle is in the center of one side of the cooler you’re going to need more space in your car. Always measure your car, or if your flying with a cooler use the available dimensions to help you make your decision.
What are the Main Uses of a Wheeled Cooler?
You’re looking to spend time with family, friends or a special someone. Wheeled coolers are great for:
- Casual get-togethers
- Day hiking
- Beach trips
- Sporting events
These opportunities to use the best cooler with wheels are important to establishing or maintaining long-term relationships. A great wheeled cooler can help take the stress off, and instead of worrying about going out to get food or drinks, they’re readily available.
If you notice that you’re going to the same events every so often, you can find a cooler that meets your needs. Sporting events, camping, and beach trips are known for hot weather that requires great ice retention. Speaking of beach trips, you might consider packing along the best beach coolers with you for a more enjoyable trip.
But, casual get-togethers and picnics are easier with a soft-sided cooler with wheels. You can always find something to suit your needs. A soft cooler can have outstanding ice retention.
Overall, coolers with wheels aim to keep your food and drinks cold while you’re out with the people you love.
Best Coolers with Wheels (2019 Buyers Guide):
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Coolers with Wheels
Finding the best cooler with wheels will depend entirely on your unique needs. The size, materials, and handle options can make up the best cooler for a tall person, but a short person might have issues handling it.
Consider also what type of terrain you’ll go over most often. Very few water coolers are as versatile as they claim. Wheels that are “all-terrain” are typically good for sandy beaches or soil but are unsteady and wobble on hard land. We’ve done all the research and hope you’ve found the best cooler for your needs here!