Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review Feature

The Ultimate Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review

The 6 Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money

Looking around for the best ice chest coolers for the money review? You’re in the right place! The following reviews cover the 6 best ice chest coolers for the money.

Let’s Take a Look at the Basics
Because Warm Beer Sucks

Have you ever lugged around drinks in a cooler only to have them leak all over? Or maybe you end up having to eat a warm deli sandwich. And – shudder – warm drinks. I think the worst outcome is warm beer. Beer is too good for that.

Food and drinks are some of the greatest pleasures in life, of course! Therefore, you deserve the best ice chest cooler for the money so you get the most out of eating and drinking on the go. And so, without further ado, let’s jump into the 6 top rated ice chest coolers.

The 6 Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money

#1 Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review:
Orca Ice Chest Cooler

Why the Orca Wins, Every Time

Reviews of the Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money
Orca Coolers’ biggest brag-worthy features is their incredible insulation. 

You can hardly go wrong with an Orca. In fact, it conquered Yeti in the Orca Coolers vs Yeti Coolers Review – Why Orca Wins! Orca Coolers earned the #1 spot in this “Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money Review” because of their strength, amazing ability to hold ice, and quality construction.

Review of the Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money
The mesh pocket adds extra dry storage. (Click for more photos)

A few other highlights:

Orca Coolers are expensive, but you get what you pay for. They’re worth every penny!

However, here’s a quick side note: if you just need coolers for things like gentle trips to the beach or barbecuing, you don’t need premium durability. For this reason, I don’t recommend Orca Coolers for you.

I wouldn’t complain if I found this under the Christmas tree… Orca Coolers are my favorite brand of hard coolers.

>>Check out ORCA’s Stainless Steel Tumblers

#2 Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review: Yeti Coolers for Sale

Best Ice Chest Coolers Review
Like the ORCA, the Yeti Tundra is extremely tough and will last for a number of years – you won’t have to worry about being gentle with it.

Chances are you’ve heard of the Yeti, and for good reason. The Yeti company was the first to market ice chest coolers as luxury items. They’ve built up quite a following, and their ice chests are indeed impressive.

Best Coolers For Keeping Ice Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler
Click for more colors (Amazon link)

Here are some benefits of Yeti Coolers:

  • Marine Grade Rope Handles
  • Different Draining Speeds
  • Most Include Dry Goods Basket with Purchase
  • Extremely Durable (Rotomolded)
  • Slip-Resistant Feet
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Huge Range of Capacity (From the Yeti Roadie all the way up to the Yeti Tundra 350.)

Whether or not Yeti Coolers are among the best ice chest coolers for the money is a hotly debated subject. Some Yeti owners swear by 10-day ice retention and overall perfection. Yet ice chest challenges show Yeti Coolers fall behind most other high end ice chests. 

I like to give Yeti shit, but I still respect their products. If you decide to purchase a Yeti, I salute you. 

>>Read Hundreds of Owner Reviews

Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money
This will NOT happen to an Orca or a Yeti! Makes it worth the price, right?

#3 Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review:
Cabela’s Polar Cap Series

Best Coolers For Keeping Ice Cabela's Polar Cap 40 Quart Equalizer Cooler
Polar Cap Coolers are rotomolded from a slightly weaker plastic than top tier coolers like Yeti and Orca. 

Cabela’s Polar Cap Series are probably the best value coolers on the market today. Although they aren’t as tough as more expensive coolers, they possess many of the same qualities.

You know the drill. Here are some of my favorite Polar Cap Ice Chest 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
  • Attached Drain Plug
  • User-friendly molded in handles
  • Durable; great for hunters and fishers

In reality, even outdoors people who spend time in the backcountry would be okay with this best ice chest cooler for the money. However, it is considered a “mid-range” ice box.

>>Give the Gift of a Cabela’s Gift Card

#4 Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review:
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Ice Chests

As I scoured the market for the best ice chest coolers for the money, I couldn’t ignore the Pelican ProGear Elite Series. Users just love their hardcore look and extreme ease of use.
Best Coolers For Keeping Ice Pelican Products ProGear Elite 65 Cooler
Learn even more reasons why Pelicans are the best ice chest coolers for the money.

The attached tie-downs, stainless steel hardware, and hard molded plastic give this cooler rock-hard durability. It’s not only huge, but also seemingly indestructible.

A lengthy drain plug leash makes attaching a garden hose an option, but the size of the drain plug makes it a little more susceptible to wear and tear, making it the weakest link in the cooler’s durability. The lid seemed a little lacking, as water frequently splashes out in larger amounts than is normal in other models.

The ice chest’s locking mechanism means you can lock up your loot, and it also features a ruler within the lid.

>> Check out Pelican Products ProGear Elite Coolers With Wheels

#5 Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review:
The Canyon Outfitter Ice Chest

Review of the Best Ice Chest Coolers for Sale
Although the Canyon brand isn’t as well-known as some other brands, it’s just as worthy of your consideration. Especially if you’re on a budget!
Best Coolers For Keepig Ice Canyon Outfitter Cooler
Click for more colors (Amazon link)

Notably, Canyon Outfitters are/have:

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • No-lose drain plug
  • Rotomolded
  • Definitely on the low-end of prices
  • 100% American Made

Although Canyon Outfitter Coolers aren’t at the same level as Pelicans or Orcas, they’re still great. For a much cheaper price, you can buy a cooler that’s backed up by a lifetime warranty.

 >>Read “Canyon Coolers vs Yeti Coolers”

#6 Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review:
The ENGEL DeepBlue Ice Chest

The ENGEL DeepBlue is especially popular in hunting, fishing, and camping circles. Its insulation is really good, keeping food below the recommended healthy temperature of forty degrees for an entire five days, and maintaining ice for six days. (These stats are estimated on the data I was able to find.)

Best Coolers For Keeping Ice ENGEL Deep Blue Cooler
Click for more colors and owner reviews!

So, whats so great about Engel DeepBlues?

  • Slight metal hooks on the lid fasten to the body’s hard plastic levers to make a neat fastening of the lid shut. The metal hooks also serve as bottle openers.
  • Pin style hinges
  • External latches
  • Extended and recessed handles
  • Slot for an internal divider.
  • And let’s bring up that emergency bottle opener one more time because come on, how neat is that?
  • A Featured Best Fishing Cooler for the Money Ice Chest

Engels are on the pricier end, but this article isn’t about being cheap. It’s about making sure quality matches up with price – and in this case, the two are a perfect match. 

>>Read Full Review of Engel DeepBlue Ice Chests

Best Ice Chest Coolers For The Money Review: Final Thoughts

So, I’ve told you my favorites in terms of the best coolers for keeping ice. Now that you know the pros and cons of each, you get to make your choice. Just think about where and why you want to use an ice chest, and also about some of your own personal pet peeves.

Choosing the Right Best Ice Chest Cooler for the Money

  1. If you get crabby at the idea of the seemingly inevitable mess of excess water when draining an ice chest, strongly consider purchasing the Cabela’s Polar Cap 40-Quart Equalizer. If you need something with heavy duty insulation to keep your stuff cold for an especially long time, go for an Orca Cooler.
  2. Pelican ProGear Elite Coolers are stress-free and user friendly. If your priority in a piece of equipment is its no nonsense characteristics and guaranteed user-friendly vibes, you’d naturally be most happy with this choice.

    Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money
    Most Yeti Tundras have internal slots for dividers. Perfect if you want to organize!
  3. Yeti Tundra Coolers and Engel DeepBlue Coolers both have internal dividers, making them optimal for users that want to keep things separated.
  4. The Canyon Outfitter Coolers and Cabela’s Polar Caps are very budget-friendly, making them the best choices if you’re watching your pocketbook.

I’m confident that with a little consideration, you’ll be happy with whatever you decide. Whether you debut your new ice chest at a huge beach party or on a long camping trip in the back country, have fun bragging about your excellent find.

Happy Trails!

Readers who enjoyed “Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money” also read:

Finding the Cheapest – But Best Value – Roto Molded Cooler

Review of Igloo Coolers for Sale: All the Info You Need, in One Place

Reviews of the Best Ice Chest Coolers for the Money
Hmm, wonder what type of cooler this is?

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