Coolers have been the practical solution to keeping foods and beverages cold while you’re away from home. They’re also put through a great deal of abuse. Rotomolded coolers have gained a lot of recognition for being one of the best. Let’s take a closer look into what makes the best rotomolded cooler to take on your next outing.
Intro | Best Rotomolded Cooler
What is a Rotomolded Cooler?
There has been a lot of hype in recent years over rotomolded coolers, but what is it that makes these cold storage boxes so special? It’s in the manufacturing. A rotomolded cooler is created using a process known as rotational molding. A poly-based powdered material is put into a mold that is heated to melt the plastic resin down. It then gets rotated in the mold as it melts to fill every void and continues being rotated until the plastic has cooled.
This process creates a thick wall of plastic consistently around without any imperfections inside or out. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure precise one-piece molding and often used in large objects such as kayaks as well as coolers. They have been used by professionals under harsh conditions and commercially, but have gained popularity for regular civilian use. Coolers get put through a lot from parties to outdoor adventures like hunting and boating. They’re often dropped, sat on, left in the sun, and more. A rotomolded cooler is designed to withstand such abuse for long-lasting quality.
Rotomolded coolers aren’t just durable; they’re capable of retaining ice longer than standard coolers. In most rotationally molded plastic the material is UV resistant. Exposure to direct sunlight will not have much impact on the internal temperature. The UV-resistant plastic also prevents wear-down over time from exposure so it doesn’t become brittle or warped. They’re also specifically designed to withstand the force of large or curious animals featuring heavy-duty latches. In fact, most brands are made with such great durability they are certified as bear-proof.
In addition to their rugged durability, rotomolded coolers feature neoprene seals. This helps to keep the cold air in while also providing leak-proof protection. If they get knocked over they will not leak moisture inside your vehicle. They’re also sweat-resistant so you don’t get moisture along the exterior. Most of these high end coolers also feature rubber feet to prevent sliding around in the bed of a truck or in a boat.
Is a Rotomolded Cooler Right for You?
Rotomolded coolers are high end coolers that come with a big price tag in comparison to average coolers. How often you use it and the nature of its use can play a major factor in justifying whether the price is worth it. Some activities that are ideal for these types of coolers include:
- Sporting events
- Extended trips
Rotomolded coolers are designed with heavy-duty ruggedness to withstand extreme temperatures and potential exposure to hungry animals. They’re particularly ideal in situations where you need to keep food and beverages cold for a few days with their incredible ice retention. If you’re taking an extended trip out in the middle of nowhere or hunting for a few days in the wilderness, you might not have quick access to a store where you can stock up on ice.
These provide great benefits over standard coolers for outdoor adventures and can help save money in the long-run. If you simply need a cooler to keep beverages cool for a few hours such as a backyard BBQ, a standard cooler may be all you really need.
Best Rotomolded Cooler
If you’re searching for the best bang for your buck you’ll want one that’s built to last. Yeti was the original premium rotomolded cooler; however, many brands have rolled out some tough competition in recent years. Listed below are some of the best rotomolded cooler brands that have lived up to their expectations in durability and best ice retention.
Best rotomolded cooler if you’re on a budget but still want a cooler similar to Yeti.
- 25 Liter — Emperor 25 Cooler (115638) : 23.6 lbs
- Ext. Size = 22.8″ x 15.0″ x 15.0″
- 50 Liter — Emperor 50 Cooler (115639) : 33.3 lbs.
- Ext. Size = 27.0″ x 19.2″ x 18.0″
- 80 Liter — Emperor 80 Cooler : (115640) 44.1 lbs.
- Ext. Size = 30.8″ x 22.0″ x 20.7″
- Designed for extreme temperatures — hot and cold.
- Keep cold items cold for more than 130 hours or hot items hot for more than 150 hours, regardless of weather conditions
- Lockable corners
- Extra thick rubber seal
- Convenient bottle opener
- Built with extra-thick walls, the main body and lid are each manufactured using pressure-injected, commercial-grade polyurethane foam
- Rotomolded Construction: Stress-free, low-pressure rotomold construction makes these coolers durable to their very core and virtually indestructible
- Securely sealed: ordinary coolers are a Magnet for Bears, who open them easily and either consume or make a mess of your food. That is not the case with emperor coolers.
- The durable rubber anchor latches are augmented with steel reinforced padlock holes at both front corners. Unless the bear can pick a lock, your food is safe and secure
- Tie-down slots on each side allow you to use with tie-down straps to keep your cooler from sliding around in the back of your truck or boat
- Lifetime Warranty
These coolers provide the convenience and durability you want with a tough and safe construction. Pure Outdoor Emperor coolers are made with 18/8 stainless steel to resist bacteria and odors and come in three sizes: 25-liters, 50-liters, and 80-liters. The extra thick walls and pressure-injected polyurethane foam are designed to maintain temperatures for over 130 hours for cold contents or 150+ hours for hot contents under any conditions.
Stylish, Durable and Affordable
Emperor coolers are equipped with rubber anchor latches and have an extra thick rubber seal to keep your contents at optimal temperature. Built-in slots on each side have been incorporated for tie-down straps to keep the cooler secured and in place while in the back of a truck, trailer, or boat. These coolers have a unique feature that offers additional security. The steel-reinforced corners have padlock holes on each side to keep your items safe and secure from anything. There’s even a bottle opener on one of the corners to pop your top with no worries.
Igloo 00044921 | Sportsman Cooler
Best rotomolded cooler.
- Virtually indestructible rotomolded construction
- Minimum 2″ foam in gasketed lid and 1.5-2″ body foam for superior cooling performance
- Robust swing-up side handles provide easy, stable transport and fold flat for space-efficient storage
- Oversized, threaded drain plug allows quick draining and easy cleaning, with a tether to prevent loss
- Durable rubberized T-handle lid latches keep contents secure during transportation
- Self-stopping integrated lid hinge opens and closes efficiently
- Anti-skid feet on base keep cooler stable and secure on smooth surfaces
- Corrosion-resistant aluminum hinge rods and latch pins for durable performance
- Lockable lid for maximum security: uses standard-size lock
- Fish-measuring ruler molded into lid tells you if you should keep it or throw it back
- Raised, nonslip textured lid makes a perfect work surface
- Certified “Bear Resistant” by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
- 5-Year warranty
The Igloo Sportsman Cooler (55 Quart) provides the durability and reliability you expect in a rotational-molded cooler at a great value for the size. This 55-quart cooler is made with the indestructible rotational-molded construction and extra thick insulation to keep contents cold for at least 5-7 days depending on conditions. The cooler features 3-point grab handles on each side with comfort grip that makes lifting and hauling easier.
The tethered drain plug makes draining quick and easy. The chain conveniently keeps the plug attached so you don’t lose it overboard as any fisherman will tell you – anything can happen! The lid of the cooler features rubberized t-grip latches and a padlock hole to lock it for maximum security against bears or jealous fishermen.
A couple of added features make this cooler your companion for those fishing trips. The lid has a built-in fish ruler with measurements in inches and centimeters providing you with one less tool you need to carry. It also features a raised, stain-resistant, non-slip cutting board in the center of the lid to conveniently clean your catch. The corrosion-resistant aluminum hinges are also rust-proof.
Best rotomolded cooler. Period! Exceptional quality and features. Expensive, but it will probably last you a very long time — and they are cool, giving you style points if you care about that. Honestly, YETI coolers are engineered to perfection.
- Fatwall Design : Extra-thick walls hold up to two inches of insulation for unmatched ice retention.
- PERMAFROST INSULATION : Pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid makes sure your ice stays ice.
- ROTOMOLDED CONSTRUCTION : Makes it armored to the core and virtually indestructible.
- T-REX Lid Latches : Heavy-duty rubber latches are made with patented technology so you’ll never see another busted latch.
- Anchorpoint Tie-Down Slots : Molded tie-down slots for easy mounting to your boat, trailer, or truck bed.
- NeverFail Hinge System : Two hinge pins and interlocking design prevent the hinge from ever breaking.
- Interlock Lid System : Creates a form-fitting barrier against the heat.
- Coldlock Gasket : A freezer-quality gasket circles the length of the lid to block out the heat and lock in the cold.
- Lipgrip Handles : Stay out of the way and make carrying your catch seem less of a chore.
- Doublehaul Handles : Military-grade polyester rope for extra durability.
- Vortex Drain System : Leakproof, rugged, and designed for quick and easy draining.
- Bearfoot Non-Slip Feet : Prevent sliding to keep your YETI in place.
YETI coolers have earned a lot of hype in recent years and with good reason. They were the first to be introduced to rotational molded cooler market and are made to take on whatever life throws at them. Tundra coolers are built with a Fatwall design for 2 inches of insulation to keep optimal ice retention. On average they can retain ice for 6 days or longer depending on conditions. They’re insulated with commercial-grade foam called Permafrost that is pressure-injected into the walls and lid. They also feature a leak-proof drain system for easy and convenient draining. T-rex lid latches are designed with a patented technology for long-lasting durability. Molded tie-down slots are integrated in the design for easy mounting on your boat or truck bed.
YETI Coolers Come in A Wide Range of Colors & Sizes, even Pink!
YETI Tundra coolers offer the most versatility in size. They come in a wide range of sizes from the Tundra 35 with a 21-can capacity all the way to the Tundra 350 with a 259-can capacity. Capacity is based on a 2:1 can to ice ratio by volume. There’s a model to suit any adventure-enthusiast from the weekend warriors to avid fishermen and hunters. Additional features include a dry-goods basket with all Tundra models to keep dry contents separate. Dual Haul handles are made with military-grade rope for added durability when hauling around. Even the hinges are designed with a never-fail system to prevent breaking. Many Tundra coolers are available in a selection of 3 or more colors to suit your style.
25 Quart. Best rotomolded cooler similar to YETI coolers but more affordable.
- Rugged one piece rotationally molded construction with textured top lid and soft damage proof latches
- Thick urethane insulation keeps ice for 5+ days, the same retention performance as YETI Coolers and RTIC Coolers.
- Freezer grade lid seal with vacuum release button to prevent stuck lids
- Features indestructible hinge, durable rubber feet and tie down holes
- Includes cutting board separator, dry keeper basket, and drink holder
- 5 year warranty
This one-piece rotationally molded cooler is designed with quality and durability in mind with the addition of convenient features that stand out. The thick insulation offers the same ice retention quality as Yeti with a freezer-grade lid and damage-resistant soft latches. The stainless steel corners provide double duty as a bottle opener and lockable solution to keep bears and other hungry animals out. There is also a dry contents basket included along with a removable cutting board that also serves as a separator.
Here’s where this cooler stands out. In typical coolers that feature a one-way freezer style gasket the lid tends to ‘stick’ after being sealed for some time. This is a result of a vacuum pull effect that occurs when the volume decreases inside of the cooler as ice melts. The Thermik High Performance cooler features a button that equalizes the pressure to instantly open the lid. It also features damage-proof soft latches that make it easier to open with a unique ring design.
- Up to 10 days ice retention due to freezer grade gasket and 2″ polyurethane insulation
- Dual molded-in and hinged handles
- Wide press and pull latches, easy to open with gloves on
- Molded-in tie downs and molded-in hasp with steel plate
- Sloped drain with threaded plug that can be attached to garden hose
Pelican offers a wide range in rotomolded coolers in their ProGear Elite series that provide substantial ice retention for up to 10 days and guaranteed tough. The lid features a freezer-grade gasket and the cooler is constructed with 2 inches of insulation for maintaining optimal temperature. The dual molded-in handles with hinged handles are made for durability and convenience to carry around. These coolers also feature wide latches that you press and pull to open easily without hurting your knuckles like other models do. A molded-in steel plate has also been integrated for a padlock to keep your contents secure.
A few added benefits that set this roto molded cooler apart from others in its class include a sloped drain for easier drainage as ice melts. The drain plug is threaded to attach a garden hose so it can also be drained remotely. The rotomolded coolers in the Pelican ProGear Elite line are built to last a lifetime and come with a lifetime guarantee. Additional features offered with other ProGear Elite rotomolded coolers include integrated cup holders, a fish ruler in inches and centimeters, and various color options to choose from.
Affordable hard cooler if you’re on a budget or you don’t want to invest a lot of money into a premium rotomolded cooler.
- Holds 100 cans—more than four cases of soda fit inside a 70-quart cooler
- New, stylish outer casingNo-Crush Comfort Handles for easy, pinch-free carrying
- Hinged lid with four molded cup holders helps prevent spills and keeps drinks close
- Have-A-Seat Lid supports up to 250 lbs. (113.4 kg) for a place to sit and rest
- Retextured EZ-Clean top for quick, easy washing
- Xtreme 5 Technology keeps ice up to 5 days in temperatures up to 90° F (32.22⁰ C)
- ThermOZONE Insulation contains no CFCs, HFCs or HCFCs, which deplete the ozone
- 23 x 17.5 x 17.5 inches, 12.3 pounds
The Coleman Xtreme cooler doesn’t feature the rotational molded construction of these other high end coolers, but it has some impressive capability. With Coleman’s Xtreme 5 technology, this cooler is constructed with added insulation in the lid and the walls to retain ice for up 5 days even with temperatures up to 90-degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler lid features integrated cup holders and built sturdy to hold up to 250-pounds so you can have a seat and relax. It also has a smooth texture for easier cleaning.
This cooler is a great affordable alternative to rotomolded coolers for tailgating or extended trips. It doesn’t have the lockable lid or latches to keep intruders from getting into it, but it will retain ice to keep contents cold longer than other standard coolers. The side handles are constructed for no-pinch carrying with a positive stop to make lifting easier.
Best Rotomolded Cooler Buying Tips
There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the right cooler, especially when you’re shelling out big bucks on a premium brand.
- With most rotational molded coolers, bigger is better when it comes to ice retention. Although there are a few exceptions, most of the time your larger capacity coolers will maintain temps and retain ice longer. If you frequently take extended trips you may want to invest in a larger cooler, especially if you’re not near a place where you can restock up on ice.
- Yes, rotomolded coolers are pricey but it’s probably the only cooler you will ever have to buy. These are constructed with heavy-duty quality for long-lasting use. Choose one that will serve all of your needs and you will save money in the long run from buying multiple coolers.
- Many of the manufacturers of these roto molded coolers offer additional accessories that can enhance your experience with your cooler. If you prefer a particular model in a rotomolded cooler but it lacks some of the features you would like, check into available accessories. Some brands offer mountable bottle openers, beverage and rod holders, dry rack baskets, non-slid decking and more.
- If aesthetics are something you’d like to keep in mind there are many rotomolded coolers that come in a variety of colors you can choose from. For instance, Yeti and Pelican ProGear Elite coolers come in an assortment of up 5 different color choices for some models to suit your style. Bear in mind, you may pay more for a particular color over the standard white with some brands.
- Shop around. Don’t always settle for one of the popular online retailers before buying a rotomolded cooler. These particular coolers are heavy due to the nature of their construction so you’re likely going to pay more in shipping costs. You may find a better price online than in a retail store but you might be paying a great deal more once the shipping is factored in.
- Prep your rotomolded cooler by pre-chilling and chill or freeze food and beverages ahead of time to get the maximum benefit from its ice retention. Prior to loading up your cooler for your trip or whatever occasion you need it for fill it entirely with ice and close it then leave it overnight. Also chill the contents you’re going to be placing in it ahead of time.
There are many styles and sizes to choose from among the best rotomolded cooler options. The choice is up to you and what your needs are. So the next time Yogi Bear wants to pay you a visit, you’re unlikely to lose your lunch if you have it packed away in one of these coolers.