When going for beach trips, tailgating, or having a family gathering in the backyard, rotomolded coolers may come in very handy. They can keep drinks cold for days as well as provide safe storage for fresh goods when going outdoors.
While all manufacturers offer almost the same features, some rotomolded coolers to them better than others. Let this be your kind in finding the best rotomolded coolers.
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Best Overall Rotomolded Cooler
First up, we have an entry from one of the most trusted brands in the outdoor gear industry. Though they’re not the first company to build rotomolded coolers they managed to set themselves up to be the benchmark of other coolers because of their unmatched quality, durability, and superior ice retention.
The Yeti Tundra is armed with their patented T-Rex lid latches that prevent busted latch, and never-fail hinges that don’t break — a common problem in most coolers. Plus, its rotomolded construction ensures that it is armed to the core. It won’t bend or break even if you jump on it or drop it accidentally. As a matter of fact, it was once put to the test of being molded by 2 angry bears and they still weren’t able to break it.
Thanks to 3 inches of permafrost and fatwall design, it also has unmatched and proven ice retention that can keep ice for as long as 10 days (some even claim up to 14 days).
To be honest, Yeti is not the best bang for the buck because they tend to be very expensive. Unless you’re going to camp for a long time in very harsh terrain, or you have an excess amount of money to spend on a cooler, there are some cheaper alternatives to Yeti Tundra. But if you want a sure choice, YETI will never fail you.
- Indestructible construction
- Very long ice retention
- 5-year warranty
- The lid latch doesn’t break so easily (a common problem in most cheaper coolers)
- Seamless design makes it easy to fit anywhere (no extra space consumed)
- Lightweight relative to its size
- Never fail hinges
- Very expensive
- Could have been more convenient for boat trips with the cupholder on the lid
Best Alternative Rotomolded Cooler
Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler
Not far behind the Tundra is the Pelican Elite. In my opinion, it has slightly better functionality, thanks to its built-in can opener and cup holders. They are also slightly bigger than the Tundra 65.
User reports suggest that the Pelican Elite equal that of Yeti Tundra, but that’s a claim yet to be proven.
Like the Yeti Tundra, it is a certified bear-proof making it a good option for camping in harsh environments and tailgating. As a matter of fact, they back it up with a lifetime warranty. Claiming “if you break it, we replace it”.
In choosing between two of the higher-end rotomolded coolers, it’s all a matter of preference. Both have great quality, ice retention capabilities, price (almost) but differ slightly on added features.
- Bear-resistant construction
- lifetime warranty
- Pad-lock holes
- Secure latches
- Flare out handles and overall design can take up space, especially in tight spaces
- Lid Latches is not very easy to operate
Best Budget Rotomolded Cooler
Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler
- Dimensions: 28.25 x 15.75 x 18.25 in
- Ice retention: 5 days
- Weight: 12.3 lbs.
- Volume: 70 qt
If you’re looking for a cheap cooler to use at parties or beach trips not lasting for more than a week, then the Coleman Xtreme 5 will do the job well.
It can keep ice for up to 5 days making it a decent option for those more concerned about the budget or those who do not need to use it in harsh environments. It has built-in cup holders and can withstand up to 250 lbs of weight allowing an average American male to sit on it without breaking its lid.
Sure, it doesn’t have a bear-proof rating or 2 week-long ice retention capabilities, but you might not need those features to host a party or a short beach trip. Plus, it’s almost 7 times cheaper than the top-rated coolers.
- Insanely cheap
- Decent 5-day ice retention
- 250 lbs weight capacity
- Built-in cup holders
- The body can get damaged pretty easily
- Handles are made of cheap plastic, making it relatively easy to break under heavy load
- No lid latch, which means you can’t lock it
Best Value Rotomolded Cooler
- Dimensions: 30.50 x 15.50 x 17.50 in
- Ice retention: 10 days
- Weight: 35.6 lbs.
- Volume: 65 qt
The RTIC 65 has a very similar build and features that of the YETI Tundra that actually looks very identical but with a huge difference in price.
Both advertise up to 10 days of ice retention, indestructible rotomolded body, and durable rope with molded plastic handles. Some tests claim that RTIC is better at ice-retention despite the lesser bulk.
Like the YETI Tundra, this falls short on extra features such as cup holders found in Pelican Elite. As well as the built-in ruler, and tie-down points found in Igloo BMX.
This, however, is a good option for those who care more about ice retention than other extra features and for YETI Tundra fans.
- 10 days ice retention
- Rotomolded construction makes it indestructible
- Same features as the YETI without the pricetag
- No cup holders
- Dimensions: 32.19 x 17.34 x 16.82 in
- Ice retention: 5 days
- Weight: 18.7 lbs.
- Volume: 72 qt
The Igloo BMX features some unique characteristics to extend its lifespans such as a reinforced base and UV inhibitor, but I doubt these extra features give it an edge on durability against high-end rotomolded coolers such as the Pelican Elite and YETI Tundra.
However, this cheaper alternative still packs solid features such as a rubberized swing-up grip that makes it easier to carry, cool riser technology that elevates it a little bit to avoid hot surfaces, and a built-in ruler for measuring catch when fishing.
Despite its 20% thicker foam, cool riser technology, and an insulated lid that supposedly provides advanced cooling performance, it gets only 5 days of ice retention but it’s also way cheaper than the high-end options.
Overall, this is still a good cooler to go for when looking for a budget cooler with a good design.
- Reinforced base
- UV inhibitor that protects the cooler from sun damage
- Rubberized grip to avoid slipping
- Built-in ruler
- Great design
- Has tie-down points to secure it while traveling
- Only 5 days of ice retention
- A bit bulky
The ORCA cooler is another entry bearing similar features, design, and quality to the YETI Tundra.
Its rotomolded construction makes it virtually indestructible. It has ergonomic handles for 2-person and single-person carry. In addition, they boast up to 10 hours of ice retention despite the smaller size.
This cooler is marketed for fishing enthusiasts, themed with the whale-tale latches and logo. It is 100% made in the USA and is a good alternative to the more expensive Tundra.
- Indestructible build
- Very long ice retention despite the small size
- Ergonomic handles
- It may be small for most people
Rotomolded coolers are used not only for the storage of cans and bottles but also for fresh meat and vegetables. This is why bacteria can quickly build-up resulting in a foul odor.
One of the most notable features of the Titan cooler is the Microban antimicrobial protection that helps protect against bacterial odors and stains. With the easy-to-use T-latches, stainless rotating handle, oversized drain, and heavy-duty rotomolded construction, this is another great choice for outdoor/ indoor use.
- Microban antimicrobial product protection
- Certified Bear proof
- Heavy-duty latches that don’t easily break
- Built-in catch ruler
- Good ice retention relative to size
- A bit expensive for its small size
RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler
One of the best in the category of wheeled coolers is the RovR wheeled camping cooler. They’re one of the most expensive too, but for a good reason.
This wheeled cooler is indestructible, provides great insulation, and boasts features that are rarely seen in a cooler. They’re equipped with high-performance, puncture-proof wheels that can handle all-terrain, including sand.
One of the cool features is the additional storage at the top of the lid for storing camping stuff and the free removable dry bin to organize fresh goods inside. In addition, they sell lots of accessories including the BikR kit that allows you to haul the cooler with your bike, prepping board, umbrella holder, and cup holders.
- High-performance, all-terrain wheel
- External storage for camping stuff
- Lots of additional accessories such as the BikR kit
- Long ice retention capability
- Free dry storage
- Honestly, we don’t see anything that needs changing
The Wrap Up
You won’t go wrong with picking from any of these coolers. Choosing the perfect one for you is a matter of preference and intended usage.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option that still packs almost the same, if not the same performance, I’d highly recommend the RTIC cooler, however, they are kind of hard to find.
What does bear-proof cooler mean?
Bear-proof coolers are certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC). They are virtually indestructible in nature with secure locks. In simple terms, the bear won’t be able to access the food inside the cooler.
Can you sit on rotomolded coolers?
Yes, by nature, rotomolded coolers are built to withstand the force of a human body.
How long can rotomolded coolers keep ice?
Some rotomolded keep ice longer than others. The high-end, large coolers typically have 10 days ice retention capabilities while cheaper ones normally have around 5 days. The size of the cooler and packing can affect its ability to keep ice.