Cheapest but best value roto molded coolers for the money

Finding the Cheapest – But Best Value – Roto Molded Cooler

Finding the Cheapest Best Value Roto Molded Cooler for You

So, you’re on the hunt for a roto molded cooler, but you’re on a budget. Look no further – we’re going to find you the Cheapest Best Value Roto Molded Cooler for the Money.

After lots of research, we discovered the strength and resilience of the mighty mid-range ice chest. In fact, some of the best ice chests in 2017 are pretty inexpensive. Without further ado, let’s get cracking on getting you your well-deserved ice chest. Here come the pictures, videos, and detailed reviews!

The Cheapest But Best Value Roto Molded Cooler: Overview

In a hurry? Take a glance at this brief overview and jump down to the subject you’re most interested in. You’ll find all the info you need about these topics:

A quick note: the Price-O-Meter for each best value roto molded cooler is based on a scale of 1-5.

#1. The Cheapest Roto Molded Cooler

The K2 Summit Series

Price-O-Meter: $$

Although you may purchase a K2 Summit Cooler directly from K2’s website, we’ve found much lower prices.

cheapest but best value roto molded coolers
The K2 Summit 20 is a lot cheaper but has about the same ice retention as the Yeti Roadie. (Amazon Link)

Ice Retention: 
As discussed in K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers, K2 Cooler’s ice retention is just as good as a Yeti Cooler’s ice holding ability. In fact, it seems that K2 Coolers hold ice for about 12 hours longer than Yeti Coolers. (On average.)


Notable Features:

  • Extra thick insulation on the lid
  • Nylon strap with padded shoulder rest
  • Latches that lift up rather than down.

Color Selection:

The selection is notably varied and creative. In fact, it’s much better than most! Even so, there are basic subdued colors if you want a classically-colored roto molded cooler. In addition to the basic meat-and-bones, K2 offers a huge array of dual-colored and special edition prints. >>Read More

Warranty: 7 years

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”Browse K2 Coolers” ]

#2.The Best Value Roto Molded Cooler

 Igloo Sportsman Coolers

Cheapest but best value roto molded cooler
Click here for more photos of this roto molded cooler with the best value. It’s hard to find a better deal than this!

Price-O-Meter: $

Ice Retention: 2-5 days

This cheapest – but best value – roto molded cooler is on about the same level as Yeti in terms of ice retention. 


Polypropylene comprises this one-piece roto molded ice chest. The two-pin hinge system isn’t considered as strong as the single-pin hinge system found in high-end roto molded coolers. However, if parts of an Igloo Sportsman Roto Molded Cooler do break, it isn’t expensive to fix them.

Notable Features:

  • Hard plastic swing-up handles
  • Big, threaded drain plug with tether

    Cheapest Best Value Roto Molded Coolers
    The drain plug tether gives you one less thing to keep track of!
  • T-shaped, pull-down rubber latches
  • Anti-skid feet
  • Textured lid
  • Two lid lock points
  • Integrated Lid Hinges with Aluminum Rods
  • Molded-in fish ruler
  • Certified Grizzly Bear Proof

Warranty: 5 Years

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”Browse Igloo Sportsmans on Amazon” ]

#3.The Cheapest Roto Molded Cooler With a Lifetime Warranty

cheapest but best value roto molded cooler
There’s no need to tip toe around a durable Canyon Series Outfitter ice box!

The Canyon Outfitter Series Coolers

Price-O-Meter: $$

As a point of reference, the Canyon Outfitter Series Coolers are much less expensive than Orca, Pelican, or Yeti Coolers. But they still provide the great benefits that a roto-molded cooler can provide. 

cheapest but best value roto molded coolers
How to get more bang for your buck: Shop Canyon Outfitters. (Amazon Link)

Ice Retention: 

The ice holding ability of this roto molded cooler is said to range from 5 to 12 days. Its high-density polyurethane foam and extra thick lid locks the cold air in and keeps the warm air out.

We’ve seen ice last in a Canyon Outfitter Series Cooler for anywhere from 3 to 10 days. Tip: Keep your ice chest colder, longer, with a best long lasting ice pack.


Since Canyon Outfitter Series Coolers are roto molded from polyethylene, of course they’re tough. They also have the other usual qualities of a quality ice chest, such as being UV-resistant and Grizzly Bear Resistant.

Notable Features:

  • While this isn’t really a feature, it’s important to know that Canyon Coolers are lighter than most. This is such a valuable characteristic!
  • Stainless steel, bullet-proof hinges are resistant to the elements.
  • Since the handles and latches are recessed, it’s easy to carry around and/or pack a Canyon Cooler. This coupled with the lighter weight makes for a more portable, easy-to-use roto molded cooler.

Color Selection:

Choose from Sandstone, White Marble, Teal, or Lime Green.

Warranty: Lifetime

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”Browse Canyon Outfitter Series Coolers” ]

#4.Best Value American-Made Roto Molded Cooler

Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Series

Price-O-Meter: $$

You’ll need to buy a new Polar Cap directly from Cabela’s, which means missing out on some savings.

best coolers for the money
Cabelas also sells fishing bag coolers with excellent value.

Ice Retention: 

Compared to premium ice chests, Cabela’s roto molded coolers perform quite well. Although length of “ice holding” varies, we’ve heard anywhere from 2 to 8 days!


Judging from price, ice retention, and durability, this may be THE best value roto molded cooler on the market today. This robust cooler is “nearly bullet proof,” and also Certified Grizzly Bear Resistant.

Notable Features:

  • Latches with integrated bottle openers (cha-ching!)
  • Pressure-Relief Valve (so it’s easier to open)
  • Rope handles with glow-in-the-dark tracers
  • Made in the USA

Color Selection:

Tan, tan, and more tan. Although there’s just one drab color to choose from, it’s a good one for blending in with the scenery.

Warranty: 1 year

The Cheapest but Best Value Roto Molded Cooler: Conclusion

As you can see, the biggest difference between a high-end cooler and a cheap roto molded cooler is durability. Often, the cheaper roto molded coolers are made from the polyethylene, the slightly weaker plastic. This doesn’t mean they’re wimpy, though.

  • Sometimes, people spend loads of money on an expensive ice chest like a Yeti when they don’t even need to. Yeti themselves say their coolers are “over-engineered.” If you need a cooler for things like barbecues, tailgating, and bonfires, you probably don’t need a super expensive roto molded cooler.
  • Rough and tough outdoors people, like hunters and fishers, may benefit from spending the extra cash on a more expensive roto molded cooler. 

You may be wondering, “What do I do if I need a high-end roto molded cooler but don’t have the money?” The good news is that you can use one of these cheapest but best value roto molded coolers while you save up for another.

But you know what we think? Once you buy the cheaper choice, you’ll probably find it lasts you for years.

Go Back to Overview
Definiton of “Roto Molded” and Other Cooler-Related Terms

Roto Molded:

If you’re not 100% clear on the definition here’s a quick explanation. “Roto Molded/Rotomolded” is an abbreviation for the phrase “rotationally molded.” Simply put, this means that a cooler is rotated as it’s constructed, so it’s one piece rather than several.

The roto molding technique produces the most unbreakable ice chests.


Manufacturers use polyurethane for insulation in roto molded coolers.


Yet another “poly-” word; this refers to an extra-strong plastic that creates the best roto molded coolers. While strong, it’s not as unbreakable as polyethylene. 


Another common plastic, polyethylene, graces many a roto molded cooler. It’s the same material used to make kayaks.

>>Read Poly vs. Poly: Why Polyethylene Rather Than Polypropylene?<<

Go Back to Yeti Roadie 20 Quart FAQ


Review of K2 Coolers for Sale Featured

Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: Chuggie’s All-Inclusive Article

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale

Chuggie’s All-Inclusive Review of K2 Coolers for Sale is going to tell everything you’ve been wondering, from where to find K2 cooler dealers to what their warranty is like.

Team Chuggie is easy to please. Give us a weekend in nature and some beer, and we’ll be happy as can be.

We’re not so easy to please in terms of gear like ice chests, hammocks, and can coolies. Outdoor recreation calls for quality equipment, and who wants warm beer? Here are answers to questions we have when considering a cooler, all in one place.

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Ice Retention

K2’s main marketing phrase is “Real Value. Real Cold.” Grizzly promises superior ice retention too, but we debunked that myth. So, just how long do K2 coolers hold ice?

We love what K2 says about their own coolers’ ice retention. It’s the same idea we always emphasize: it depends on a variety of factors! There are just so many variables.

On average, K2 cooler retention time is 3-5 days. To increase ice retention, precool your K2 24 hours in advances and fill it will different kinds of ice, like blocked and cubed. If you own a K2 cooler, leave us a comment so we can hear from more actual K2 cooler owners!

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Durability

K2 coolers are roto-molded from polyethylene. This differs from coolers like Yetis and Orcas, as they’re made from polypropylene, which is the exact same material used to make kayaks.

K2 coolers durability takes another hit as they’re not certified bear proof, and their latches need to be replaced from time to time. You can find videos of K2s going through durability tests, but those are sponsored by the K2 brand itself. Those kind of videos had zero weight on our review of K2 coolers for sale.

With all that said, many users (especially fishers) report K2 coolers to have lasted 10+ years and still be going strong. Our impression is that K2 cooler durability is good, especially for gentle to moderate outdoor use. If you own a K2 cooler, let us know in the comments section how they’ve worked out for you!

Chuggie’s Review of Pelican Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Construction

Insulation- K2 coolers’ ice retention is good thanks to their thick, pressure-injected foam walls 1.5-3” walls.

Latches – K2 coolers’ trademarked POSITRAC rubber latches are pull-up rather than the traditional pull-down latches.

Feet- K2 coolers feature rubber, non-marking and non-skidding feet.

Drain plug- The drain plug is detachable with a silicone gasket. Every cooler in the Summit Series has one, except for the Summit 20.

Anchor points- Every K2 cooler has dual anchor points with holes for padlocks.

Handles- The outer handles are made of rope. The inner, integrated handles are made of hard plastic.

Shoulder strap- The Summit 20 & 30 models come with a padded shoulder strap.

Hinges– K2 uses a full-length integrated hinge system with a stainless-steel pin.

Wheels – Hoping for a K2 cooler with wheels? K2’s Summit 30 and Summit 60 each come with a set of wheels.

Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Ease of Use

You’ll find K2 coolers easy to drain. You have the option to partially unscrew their drain plug to control speed. Keeping it attached helps you avoid losing such a small piece. (As we all know, beer is one of the finer things in life. Also, it makes it easier to lose stuff.) The padded shoulder strap on the Summit 20 & 30 is very comfortable.

The latches take some getting used to, since they’re pull-up. This style aims to ensure a closed lid, which is great for ice retention. Some people think they’re easier than pull-down latches.

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Accessories

If you’re already looking at K2 coolers for sale, you might as well consider the accessories, right? K2 cooler accessories include all the little extras for smoot sailing the next time you’re outside doing what you love.

K2 cooler accessories include:

-Bottle openers
-Cable locks
-Camo seat cushions
-Cutting boards
-Corner chock sets
-Hanging basket
-Deep tray

Chuggie Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Colors

You can choose from a variety of colors to personalize your cooler. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life.

Single-Colored K2 Cooler Colors:

Mud Brown with Ducks Unlimited with logo on the lid
White with
Just for Bucks Green

Dual-Colored K2 Cooler Colors:

Crimson & White
Red & White
Orange & White
Purple & Yellow

Camo K2 Cooler Lids:

Shadow Grass Blades
Break Up Infinity
Realtree Xtra
Badlands Approach

K2 supports Majesty Outdoors, a non-profit organization whose mission is to take fatherless children on their first big outdoor adventure. For only $20, you can purchase a white cooler with Majesty Outdoors’ name on it.

A review of K2 coolers for sale just wouldn’t be complete without looking at K2 cooler colors. Whether you want basic colors, bright colors, or camo-patterns, you’ll be covered.

Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Prices

K2 sells their coolers in a range from $159 for the Summit 20 to $459 for the Summit 120. They also offer a “Scratch and Dent” section for cheaper, perfectly functional coolers with cosmetic flaws.

You can get a much cheaper price if you’re willing to choose from a limited color/size selection. It’s always worth checking out.

It’s helpful to look at prices other brands of coolers to get an idea of where K2 cooler prices fall in. The K2 Summit 20 costs about $80 less than Grizzly, Orca, Engel, and Yeti brands coolers of comparable sizes.

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Warranty

A K2 cooler warranty covers defects in material and workmanship for 7 years. This is more than warranties on other high-end coolers like Yeti and Engel brands, but pales in comparison to the lifetime warranties on coolers like Engel, Orca, Pelican, and Canyon.

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Dealers

Just type your zip code into K2’s convenient dealer locator! It only takes a couple seconds to see all the K2 cooler dealers nearby. Save your time if you live out of the US or on the western half, they’re only located in the Midwest, South, and Northeast.

You can buy brand new, full price coolers straight from K2 coolers’ website. Their clearance is a more affordable option, if you’re willing to pick from a limited selection and don’t mind a few scratches or dents. If you can’t find the price, specific size, or color you want, and eBay will likely have what you’re looking for.

Chuggie’s Review of K2 Coolers for Sale: K2 Cooler Final Thoughts

We’re fans of K2 coolers! However, for some of you, K2s aren’t the best choice.

If you take your gear on rough and long treks, consider another brand. K2s are quite durable, but not bear proof. There isn’t enough information available to deem them reliably long-lasting. They aren’t among the best in ice retention either, but are certainly good for weekends.

K2 coolers don’t come with bells and whistles like built-in rulers or bottle openers. They have a limited warranty. These aren’t disqualifiers, but things to think about.

Back to why we’re giving these ice chests our stamp of approval. They’re less expensive than other rotomolded coolers and have a wonderful color section. Plus, they donate to a non-profit helping kids explore nature for the first time. We have a lot of respect for their donations to others.

We hope our review of K2 coolers for sale helped you. Happy shopping!

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers Featured

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers, the Ultimate Review

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Overview

It’s time to explore the great K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers showdown. We love to tell you about Yeti Coolers, and for good reason. Yeti Coolers are amazing!

But we also know that there are other coolers out there. They could very well be better fits for you. When you’ve been working hard all week, you deserve the best stuff to take along on your weekend ventures.

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Where are they produced?

K2’s company is based in Louisiana, the great state of unbeatable jazz and delicious cuisine. However, K2 Coolers are produced out of the country, making K2 lose some points in terms of the K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers comparison. Don’t be fooled by their sticker saying “Made in the USA.” That simply is not true.

They do this because labor and parts are cheaper abroad, but it does present an ethical dilemma. Transporting the products leaves a big carbon footprint. Additionally, it isn’t supporting local economies.

Here at Chuggie, we prefer to buy products manufactured in the US or neighboring countries – Canada and Mexico are just next door. Yeti is no saint, but it does honor the earth and economy better than their counterparts.

When Yeti was a start-up, their coolers were produced entirely in foreign countries. However, now it produces some of its products in the US and some in the Philippines and China. Yeti does buy parts from the Philippines, but at least they’re supporting the US economy by building them in the states.

Like the K2 company, they claim that it all happens in the US. They’re only telling part of the truth, but at least they aren’t marking their products with a dishonest sticker.

Clearly, Yeti produces their products in a more economical-awareness, earth-friendly manner than K2. If you’re a bit of an environmentalist or passionate about the economy, Yeti Coolers are your best bet.

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Ice Retention

One of the first assets we look for in a cooler is its ability to hold ice, because that is the main reason we use them. K2 Coolers give Yeti Coolers a run for the money.

Some reviewers have said that the ice retention is fabulous, even when these coolers are exposed to hot sunshine for days.

K2 Coolers’ thick pressure foam insulation walls is the reason they can keep your cooler icy cold for days. Their thick walls are 1.5-2 inches. This number of inches is good, but not the thickest of some of K2’s competitors. Another factor contributing to K2 Coolers’ long-lasting ice retention is the lids’ grade rubber gasket.

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Ice Retention Reviewed by Clients

We highly recommend listening to customers who’ve already used these coolers. You’ll find many users’ reviews writing about the thick, very helpful lid. This is a huge factor in K2 Coolers’ ability to hold ice.

Now it’s time to look at Yeti Coolers’ ability to hold ice and assess its ranking as reviewed in the K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers contest.

Yeti Coolers have the effective roto-molded asset, but so do K2 Coolers. Many users claim that K2 Coolers hold ice longer than Yeti Coolers. On average, K2 Coolers probably hold ice for about half a day longer than Yeti Coolers.

However, there are Yeti Coolers enthusiasts who have written reviews, adamantly declaring the superiority of Yeti Coolers. Our perception is that both coolers are about the same in terms of ice retention.

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Durability

Incredible durability is one of the K2 Coolers’ best features. The roto-molded material is the same as the material used to construct heavy duty kayaks! It seems nearly impossible to scratch and dent K2 Coolers.

Yeti Coolers are grizzly bear resistant, roto-molded, and have protective stainless steel. Most features are likely to weather years of use incredibly well, although their rope handles have a tendency to wear down over time.

We believe that K2 Coolers seem to have notable durability – perhaps about the same as Yeti Coolers.

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Colors

Variety is the spice of life, which is why we frequently discuss the colors available in coolers. K2 Coolers’ colors are versatile. This allows customers to choose the colors they prefer for their weekend ventures.

You’ll probably want to bring along sweet coolers with vibrant colors for certain events. For example, a badass music festival. The fun colors available for K2 Coolers include Orange, Crimson, Vibrant Red, and Purple.

These coolers have a white lid, except for the lovely Purple, which features a bright yellow lid. The dual colors are pretty awesome, perfect for those who love creativity.

K2 Coolers vs Yeti Coolers: Conclusion

After considering all of this data, we’ve concluded that there are multiple similarities. Both brands are sketchy about where their coolers are produced. Additionally, K2 Coolers hold ice about the same as Yeti Coolers. K2 offers more color options, so bonus points in that department.

All things considered, K2 Coolers are about the same as Yeti Coolers – only much cheaper.