I’ve vivid memories of playing baseball in my teen years, standing in the left-field waiting for the ball to come my way.
In particular, the smell of the warm leather gloves and freshly-lawned grass is clear, almost as detailed as how we used to plunge our arms into plastic boxes filled with melting ice for our water bottles during the hot in-field sessions.
I won’t lie, the iceboxes didn’t fail us for as long as I can remember, but you shouldn’t let your summer parties be reminiscent of the tepid and soggy experience of my youth- try coolers instead!
Yes, the iceboxes were good, but like most things in life, there’re ways to do better and more efficiently.
For example, at home, I like to keep my fruits and edibles cool without the risk of water seeping into my zip-top bags or my goods getting all sloshy. It ruins my packaging, and truth be told, these tiny cubes of ice don’t keep things cool as long as I’d like.
And when on the move, I prefer something portable, convenient, and easy to use- ice chests and boxes don’t offer that!
But the story doesn’t always have to be that way. There’re plenty of reliable and well-functioning coolers that will keep your can of beer or water bottle chilled.
And some cooler versions, such as the heavy-duty roto-molded hard coolers, are a breakthrough technology that can hold your drinks chilled for long hours.
Now, whether you’re looking to invest in a top-of-the-line Costco cooler or simply want something dependable and affordable, here’s a review of the best Costco Coolers.
Table of Contents
The Best Costco Coolers For The Money
#1 YETI Tundra Haul - EDITOR'S CHOICE
When cult-favorite Yeti introduced the Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler, the tailgating and camping faithful rejoiced- and so did everyone else.
It’s not hard to see why.
As with typical Yeti coolers, the Tundra Haul is over-built, great quality, and lasts for years.
Of course, I was hesitant to purchase the Yeti Tundra Haul because of the price, but I don’t regret my purchase.
This bad boy is a real workhorse and has so far exceeded my expectations.
One of the Tundra’s hallmark features is the tough-as-nails construction. It boasts of a rotomolded design.
Rotomolding, in simpler terms, refers to a heat and rotation process that produces hollow, one-piece parts.
The result is a virtually indestructible cooler that will take on anything you throw at it. In fact, the design is certified bear-resistant and approved for use in public lands and national parks occupied by grizzlies. Essentially, it’s indestructible.
And here’s the kicker!
The extra-thick walls of pressure-injected polyurethane foam aren’t only durable but also practical at keeping your foods chilled.
It stays cold for a long time, and after following the manufacturer’s instructions, we were impressed to see that it maintained its temperatures for six days! We think it could last longer in the cooler temperatures because we’re in sunny North Nevada.
What about the ease of use?
Yeti Tundra Haul doesn’t skimp an inch.
First, the cooler has plugs positioned on the opposite end from the T-bar handle, so all we had to do was lift the handle to drain it.
Secondly, it comes with two “T-rex” lid latches and keepers made from heavy-duty rubber. We’ve never used rubber before, but I didn’t have trouble locking them in, and they didn’t budge unless I wanted them to.
And now to the best part: I reserved the best for the last.
The “Neverflat” tires.
It’s a nice addition that enhances the overall portability of the cooler. The impact and puncture-resistant wheels roll easily over all kinds of terrain. You simply need to pull or push the Haul as a cart.
We tested ours over gravel, dirt trails, and pavements, and they were essentially a dream come true.
On top of that, they don’t come with grooves where rocks and other chippings can get lodged.
We were also impressed by the size of the Tundra, which makes it perfect for both single-day use or long trips.
It has a generous space capacity to hold 55 pounds of ice alone or 45 drink cans with ice. This is more than enough you would need for a ride on your boat or when tailgating.
Overall, the Yeti Tundra is a nice Costco Cooler, quite versatile, and we loved it for tailgating adventures, as much as we did on the pool or boat fishing days.
#2 YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler - Best Cooler for Personal Use
If you don’t always feel the need to bring enough food for the whole party and maybe feeling a little bit selfish, the Costco Yeti Hopper would be the ideal pick.
It’s a portable, personal cooler that you can use for yourself or on a small session with friends or loved ones.
And since I purchased this compact, easy to carry, and durable cooler, I’ve really enjoyed using it.
As with any Yeti Coolers, you shouldn’t worry about the build quality with the Yeti Hopper.
I mean, it’s typical Yeti quality, and we all know Yeti is famed for its durable design.
The Flip is no exception, utilizing a double-sided thermoplastic urethane with reinforced stitching and shoulder pads.
This is what a sturdy cooler should look like. Flip is covered with a high-density fabric, which is super tough, and will resist the usual nicks and dings from everyday use or boat use.
Yeti Flip also scores highly on the insulation department, despite the small size.
It boasts of closed-cell foam and it keeps things cooler than your normal lunch box.
I’m a 911 dispatcher, so I don’t always have time to get up or a getaway for something to eat. I find Yeti Flip quite handy because I can always pack my lunch before leaving the house, and it’s still cold by the time I get to eat it.
But that’s not even Flip’s strongest suit.
It’s compact size and portable for me.
The Hopper Flip Yeti cooler is ultra-lightweight for one person to carry it and comes with a nice shoulder strap that makes lugging the cooler around easy.
Plus, it’s also easy to store on my boat and leave more spec for fishing gear.
And just because it’s easy to carry and compact doesn’t mean you can’t bring everything you need.
The Flip soft top has a modest space that can hold up to six beverages or eight pounds of ice.
Is that a generous capacity?
In my opinion, no, but it’s more than enough for my personal use.
Another cool feature of the Yeti Hopper Flip is the hitpoint system. There’re numerous places for attachment on the cooler for attaching carabiners, bottle openers, keys, or anything.
#3 YETI Cooler Roadie 20 - Most Portable Costco Cooler
The Yeti Roadie has taken all the parts that make Yeti coolers so awesome and shrunk them down to a portable nice size.
This cooler is a nice addition for days when you’re traveling.
Despite the small size, the Roadie is quite practical with temperature retention and doesn’t disappoint.
I’ve used it a handful of times so far, both with and without the Yeti Ice, and each time, it has worked exactly as advertised, if not better than expected.
For example, I’ve left it in my truck or boat during the hot summer days, and when I come back, my food is cool and other contents are still frozen as I left them.
The other benefit of the Roadie is the ease of use.
It comes with an easy-to-use carrying handle, so I find it easy to carry and lug around.
On top of that, the Roadie Yeti cooler only weighs around 15 pounds when empty, so it’s lightweight enough for my teen son to take it anywhere.
Even then, it still has a generous size, enough room to hold over 12 cans. So you can always bring the party with you wherever you go.
And if you wanted to, this bad boy can hold even more weight than you’re comfortable carrying,
For example, it can hold up to 2 pounds of ice. It’s a lot of weight, but the Costco Yeti Roadie holds it like a champ.
This is partly because of the solid rotomolded construction.
It’s an awesome technology design that we’ve already seen with some of the premia picks on our list of the best coolers.
As with any Yeti coolers, Roadie’s construction is virtually indestructible and will stand up to whatever abuses you throw at it while enhancing the overall temperature retention properties.
Another nice addition that I really love on this Costco cooler is the drain at the bottom. It allows users to easily clean the portable cooler or change the ice without dismantling everything. The drain also helps with effortless cleaning.
#4 Coleman Portable Cooler - Best Budget Cooler
A 50-quart cooler for less than $50?
I’ll take it any day.
The Coleman Portable Cooler is an inexpensive purchase, almost half the price of most models on our bundle, and the right pick for days when you’re on a budget.
And despite the budget tag, the Coleman comes with plenty of features, and it doesn’t fail. It’s a great choice for tailgating adventure, beach days, boating, and picnics.
Price aside, I love this option because of its portability.
An empty Coleman weighs around 25 pounds, which is light enough even for my 80 old grandpa to lug around.
But when I fill it with ice, it can become a bit heavy though.
This is because it’s a 50-quart cooler. It’s a big cooler that can hold up to 84 cans of beer or soda.
So, yes, this would be the perfect cooler for when you need to have your friends around during parties or when you need to go camping for several days.
On top of that, the Coleman cooler has awesome temperature retention properties. Ice stored won’t melt until it gets above 90 degrees, and even then, the cooler is designed to keep my food cold for several days.
For example, I live in Florida, and this cooler has kept my ice going for five days in 80-90 temperatures. I’ve not added any ice, and I’m just floored, to be honest.
But I’ve found the trick to extending the life of the fresh ice is to limit the opening and closing of the cooler. After the ice starts melting, the water gets cold for another day and then starts cooling off.
The Coleman Costco Cooler comes with cup holders on the lid, so once your drink is out, there’s no need to worry about finding a place to put it down.
Using this cooler is also a breeze, thanks to the drain in the back. Unless you want to empty all the water from the cooler, you don’t even have to tilt the cooler.
What about strength?
It’s solid, and I’m impressed that I can even sit on the cooler. It doesn’t come with a hollow lid as with most coolers.
Overall, the Coleman is a great buy that isn’t a throwaway but isn’t needed for heavy-duty works.
It’s simple, inexpensive, and nice to have.
#5 Igloo MaxCold Cooler - Most Versatile Cooler
Our final pick is a great offering from Igloo.
The Igloo MaxCold is also one of the brand’s larger offerings, being available in different shapes and sizes and wheeled and non-wheeled configurations.
Simply put, whether you’ve a BBQ or a trip to the outdoors coming this weekend, your beer, Gatorade, soda, or any other beverages will taste delicious and cold.
You also won’t have to worry about keeping everyone in your group refreshed because this cooler is available in different sizes.
It helps when you’re going to the beach all by yourself or are bringing kids along with you for the soccer game. You never have to carry heavy loads when you don’t have to.
While versatility is Igloo’s greatest suit, it doesn’t fail to impress with the insulation ability.
The MaxCold has noticeably better ice retention capability than most of the coolers available.
A big improvement in the insulation comes from the Ulatratherm insulation in the body and lid of the cooler. It can keep your drinks chilled for five days.
The dual-snap latches also help keep the lid shut, preventing the cool air from escaping.
Of course, the longevity of the ice retention will depend on the ambient outdoor temperatures and your frequency of opening and closing the cooler.
I was also impressed with the cooler’s durability as it allowed me to toss it around as much as I’d like without too much concern.
The main weak point with most coolers was the lid hinges and the handles, but the Igloo seems to have found a solution.
They’re sturdy, durable, and won’t come off as easily as with most coolers.
Overall, the Igloo MaxCold is a nice cooler, and it deservedly earns its name as it does a much better job of keeping your foods chilled than the standard cooler.
Unfortunately, the color options need to be expanded. But beyond that, no major complaint.
Best Coolers Buying Guide
Most coolers are similar in design, shape, and performance, so it might be a little challenging to select the right one for you.
But the good news is we’ve compiled a short guide outlining everything you need to know in-depth about selecting the best Coolers.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Coolers
The mark of any good cooler is the ability to retain ice for long periods.
Coolers with perfect heat retention will ensure you savor chilled drinks.
Keep in mind the more expensive coolers have better properties than the budget picks.
But if you’re an average user, then simply need a cooler for not more than a day; an affordable Costco cooler will do the tricks.
Now, along with the heat retention technology, other factors affect how long a cooler will keep chilled.
For example, how you pack your ice, the type of ice used, and the weather will determine how long the cooler holds.
Coolers come in different shapes and sizes.
The appropriate size will depend on your needs.
For example, if you need a cooler for personal use, a 5-10 can option would be a great pick.
However, if you’ll be using the cooler to hold drinks for your entire family or maybe plan on going on a multi-day trip, a higher capacity cooler could be ideal.
It’s also good to consider the overall durability and strength of a cooler.
Generally, coolers are classified into soft-sided coolers and hard-shell coolers.
The soft models are made from thick layers of fabric and are good for portability. They also have decent longevity.
On the other hand, the hard-shelled models are huge and have greater longevity and strength. Some of the hard-shelled models even have wheels for better portability.
While price doesn’t always justify the quality of a cooler, it does more often than not.
So, if you need a quality and durable cooler that can hold ice for long, you should be willing to spend more. Some can hold even for a whole week.
But it’s always important to have a budget.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
It’s hard not to pick the Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler as our best cooler.
Yes, it’s one of the expensive purchases in the market, but definitely worth every penny.
The Tundra exceeds user expectations in more than one way and will keep you happy, whether on the beach, tailgating, or at a BBQ event.
I would highly recommend it.