Welcome to Buy Choice, in which we pick one everyday item, cut out all the noise, and present you with nothing but the best options on the market.
For price (backpack edition): Bygone Backpack Cooler
At just $35, this good-looking Eddie Bauer pack will carry a 12-pack or a couple of bottles of wine to the beach.
For price (wheeled edition): Coleman 55 Quart Rugged 55 A/T Wheeled Cooler
Rugged six-inch wheels means you can power this cooler over any terrain, and the cooler itself will keep ice frozen up to five days on even the doggest days. Getting tired? Sit on it and put a beer in the cup holder. Just $76.
For hosting the whole block and then some: Igloo 49271 Party Bar Cooler – Powered by LiddUp
Some nice amenities here: Removable base, lid and dividers, to start. But it’s the interior LED system and 125-quart capacity that’ll keep your party going long after the sun recedes. Now 30% off.
For looks: Hunter for Target Square Cooler
I mean, good luck finding these, but the new collab between Target and UK “wellies” brand Hunter includes this colorful, leak-proof pack, which features handles and shoulder straps, along with a front zipper pocket for napkins and utensils.
For America: Taiga 27 Quart Cooler
Taiga’s coolers can go toe-to-toe with some of the industry’s most marquee names, thanks to the rugged construction, extra thick walls and top-notch insulation. And you can customize ‘em. Plus, the company is veteran-owned, the coolers are made in the U.S., and they’re about $60 less than a comparable Filson-branded cooler (who partner with Taiga to create theirs).
For a softer approach: OtterBox Trooper 20
Soft-sided coolers that have been engineered to be heavily resistant to water, UVs, chemicals and punctures, offering 72 hours of ice retention. You can also carry it comfortably on your shoulder (a larger LT 30 can be outfitted with either a backpack mount or removable shoulder strap).
For replicating a fridge: Dometic CFX Series 35W
A combination refrigerator/freezer that weighs about 40 pounds when empty and gets down to -7°F without the need for ice or the soggy aftermath it can create. It has space for 47 cans, and you can use it off-grid with a solar attachment.
For the apocalypse: ARB Elements Weatherproof Fridge Freezer
This stainless steel, 63-quart beast has a fully weatherproof exterior and easily mounts into a pickup bed or boat deck for 365-day use. With heavy-duty steel hinges, tamper-proof bolts and a four-digit programmable pin lock, the Fridge Freezer is beyond secure. It’s also safe for your fingers, as the lid has a gas-assisted spring system, which means no hands are required to keep the top popped.
For performing double duty: Alpine ICE
Because playing music through your car stereo will drain the battery, there’s the Alpine ICE. Equal parts cooler and stereo system, the Alpine ICE lets you keep the beers and meats cold while blasting your favorite summer tunes.
For hiking with a 12-pack: IceMule Boss Cooler
Engineered like a technical backpack to allow its wearer to easily carry up to 60 pounds of ice, drinks and gear on their back, the IceMule is buoyant and 100% waterproof — and the cooler’s ventilated suspension system should keep you owner comfortable and dry.
For the manliest murse in the world: Yeti Hopper Two 40
Yes, we're calling it a murse. Technically, it's a six-pound, 100% leak-proof portable cooler with soft sides and a tapered body. But the Hopper Two 40 — which is also available in 20 and 30 sizes — is made from high-density fabric that’s resistant to punctures and mildew as well as insulated with closed-cell rubber foam that can prevent ice from melting for days on end. And now it’s $50 off.
For keeping everything really cool: Ryobi One Cooling Cooler
A 50-quart wheeled cooler that doubles as a cordless air conditioner thanks to an onboard battery (the same battery used by Ryobi’s power tools).
For space: Stash C75 Inflatable Coolers
Inspired by the drop-stitch technology that brought us inflatable watercraft, the Stash Cooler’s storage-friendly exterior can quickly be inflated to form a traditional rigid cooler. Made from military-grade vinyl, the cooler is rugged when you need it to be, packable when you don’t.
For the truly lazy: The RC Zamboni Machine Cooler
Manufactured by C3 Custom Coolers for Hammacher Schlemmer, the RC Zamboni Cooler’s insulated interior has enough space for 30 cans and is equipped with an electric motor that can fully recharge in 12 hours. Capable of being piloted from 100 feet away, the Zamboni Company-licensed cooler has LED headlights, a USB port and a pair of 10-watt speakers for playing “Brass Bonanza.”
For customization: OtterBox Venture Coolers
A customizable alternative to the Yeti, these 25-, 45- and 65-quart coolers can hold ice up to two weeks. The big selling point here (besides being “bear resistant”)? A mounting system that allows you to personalize the coolers with cutting boards, dry storage trays and/or separators.