- 1 Best Coolers With Wheels
- 2 Cooler with Wheels Buying Guide
- 3 How to Add Wheels to Your Cooler
- 4 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Rolling Coolers
- 5 When Should You Use Rolling Coolers?
- 6 Best Coolers With Wheels Comparison Chart
- 7 Wrap Up
Rolling coolers are the kind of products that make your life easier once you start using them. These units offer the same advantages as other coolers, but instead of lifting them, you can simply pull them as you walk. But do these cooler offer any other advantages besides being on wheels?
Of course, they do.
The best rolling coolers can keep your food and drinks cold for days on end, and they offer a good storage capacity. Some models come with dry storage pockets, allowing you to pack non-perishable items as well. Whether you’re going to the gym or you’re traveling, a rolling cooler can be useful because it can hold most of the things you need.
In the following article, we take a look at the top 6 rolling coolers available on the market and reveal the advantages and disadvantages of using one.
Best Coolers With Wheels
Igloo Ice Cube Roller
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Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Cooler
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Travel5.0 Picnic Rolling Cooler
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Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
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Igloo Marine Ultra
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Collegiate Rolling Cooler
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1. Igloo Ice Cube Roller
Now we come to the largest cooler we included on our list. And even though the Igloo Ice Cube offers the largest holding capacity, this is also the cheapest model on our list, which is sort of surprising. This model offers a storage capacity of 60 quarts, and it will hold 32 cans or more.
We were really impressed with this model’s sturdiness. Thanks to its cubical shape, this model seems more durable than others, and it will withstand everything you put it through. The wheels are heavy-duty, and they will roll over rough ground without any problems.
However, even though this is a sturdy cooler, make sure you respect the manufacturer’s instructions. The instruction manual clearly states that you shouldn’t sit on the cooler. While the cooler will hold your weight, the lid won’t. If you sit on it, the lid will most likely crack, lowering the cooler’s effectiveness.
- Lid Locks In Hard – The cooler’s lid locks in hard. While you might consider this a problem at first, it’s actually an advantage. By creating a small vacuum when it closes, the lid will actually keep the ice from melting for longer.
- Gets Heavy – The cooler can get really heavy when it’s full. Even though the wheels have a high-quality, you might have a difficult time pulling the cooler when you top it off.
2. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Cooler
The Coleman wheeled cooler has a holding capacity of 42 cans, and it will provide ample storage space for your food and drinks. This model comes with a telescoping handle and a set of high-quality wheels that make it very easy to transport.
One of the things we liked about this model is that it’s very user-friendly. The cooler is soft on the outside, making it nice to the touch, but the inside is protected by a hard plastic liner that will prevent your food and drinks from being crushed. The liner material is easy to remove and clean, and it’s also mold and mildew-resistant.
Another good thing about this model is that it offers a good storage capacity. The insulated compartment is capable of holding 42 cans, but you can also use the front zippered pocket and space beneath the bungee cords to store other objects.
- Good Insulation – The Coleman cooler has high-quality insulation. Besides keeping your food and drinks cold for a long time, the insulation also helps with keeping the water resulted from the ice’s melt to leak on the exterior.
- Wheels Could Be Larger – Even though this cooler is somewhat large, the wheels it comes with are small. The cooler might tip over one side when you pull it while it’s full.
3. Travel5.0 Picnic Rolling Cooler
The Travel5.0 rolling cooler was designed for picnics, but it can be useful in much more situations. This unit is made out of high-quality 1680D polyester, making it durable but nice to the touch.
One of the things we liked about this model is that it offers you many opportunities to arrange your food, drinks, and the other items you want to pack for a picnic, a work shift, or a shopping spree. Besides the insulated compartment that can hold about 24 cans of soda and 2 bottles of wine, this model comes with a top pocket that’s large enough to store fruit or sandwiches, a spacious front pocket, and two side pockets. Not only will these pockets allow you to arrange your food and drinks, but it will also allow you to pack plenty of them when you need to.
As far as the cooler’s portability is concerned, this model comes with a telescopic handle that extends enough to be suitable for both tall and short people, and it uses two rubber roller skate wheels on each side. The wheels roll nicely and quietly, and they can withstand the occasional bump.
- Good Storage Capacity – Despite its compact design, this model provides a good storage capacity, making it suitable for many scenarios
- Needs To Stay Upright – The insulated compartment does a good job of keeping the melted ice from leaking, but the zipper is not insulated and it will leak if the water reaches it. Make sure you keep the cooler upright and don’t tilt it too much.
4. Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
The Coleman Xtreme is one of the most popular rolling coolers available on the market, and it’s easy to see why. This model can keep your food and drinks cold for up to 5 days, and it comes at a decent price.
One of the things we liked about the Xtreme is that it has a well-designed build. The outer shell is made out of a durable polymer, and it will withstand the occasional bump and hit without showing any scratches or dents. The telescopic handle has a nice length, allowing you to grab it comfortably, whether you’re tall or short. And the wheels are large and heavy-duty. While rolling coolers are not designed for off-road trips, we’re certain that these wheels could withstand them.
As far as the cooler’s effectiveness is concerned, this is a very good model. The cooler’s lid is insulated, and the unit can keep your food and drinks cold for up to 5 days if you pack enough ice. The lid’s exterior is molded, and it will double as a cup holder for up to four drinks.
- Good Cooling Period – This model is capable of maintaining a cool temperature in the insulation compartment for up to 5 days.
- Handle Could Be Better – The handle tends to collapse when the cooler is full. The handle’s locking mechanism could be improved.
5. Igloo Marine Ultra
The Igloo Marine Ultra is a popular rolling cooler that comes at a good price. This unit has a holding capacity of 28 quarts, which should be more than enough to pack several meals and drinks beside them.
We appreciated the fact that this cooler comes with soft-ride wheels that not only make it roll smoothly but also silently, even when it’s packed. This will allow you to roll the cooler behind you without listening to the obnoxious squeak of the wheels every time they turn.
Like some other reviewers, we disagree with Igloo’s decision of not insulating this cooler’s lid. Even though the cooler can keep your drinks and food cool for up to 2 or 3 days, an insulated lid would have extended the unit’s cooling period.
Even if it’s not insulated, the cooler’s lid has a good design, and it will match the cooler perfectly. The lid can be secured using rope or padlocks if you want, and it has four cup holders molded on its surface. The cup holders are self-draining, and their contents will drain on the cooler’s side instead of pooling on the lid.
- High-Quality Wheels – This cooler comes with high-quality wheels, making it a great choice for an urban environment.
- Lid Is Not Insulated – The cooler’s lid is not insulated, so you should avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
6. Collegiate Rolling Cooler
The Collegiate rolling cooler is a highly portable model that would make a good choice for those who like to travel a lot. This model comes with a telescopic handle that’s suitable for both tall and short people, and it has a holding capacity of 24 cans.
We especially liked that this model comes with backpack straps that allow you to carry it comfortably. While the cooler’s wheels are sturdy and reliable, having the straps makes the cooler more versatile. You will be able to lift and carry the cooler when you’re hitting the beach or when you’re trekking through the forest, where the wheels won’t be very helpful.
Another good thing about this model is that it comes with an embroidered school logo, allowing you to personalize it as you see fit. Just look for yours or your kids’ school team name, select the logo you want to use, and the backpack you’ll receive will be embroidered and ready to use.
- Wheels + Backpack Straps = High Portability – Besides wheels, this cooler comes with backpack straps, allowing you to carry it comfortably when you can’t roll it.
- Very Limited Cooling Period – This cooler will keep your food and drinks cold only for up to 12 hours or so.
Cooler with Wheels Buying Guide
When you are buying a cooler with wheels, there are a few things that you might want to keep in mind. Carefully considering these factors will determine whether your purchase was worthwhile – or whether it will start gathering dust in its storage place.
Size and Capacity
This is most likely the first thing that you have to think about when you are buying the cooler. So, you may want to think about how you are planning to transport that cooler.
If you are planning to carry it in your trunk, or any other place of your car or trailer, you might want to measure your available place. Make sure to consider the footprint as well as the height. The last thing you want is to purchase a cooler that will not fit anywhere in your car.
Secondly, you must keep in mind the size that you actually need. For example, if it’s just for one person that is going for a one-day fishing trip, then you will need a smaller cooler. On the other hand, if it’s for an entire family going for a weekend camping trip, you will certainly need a bigger cooler.
Last but not least, you need to think about the method of transportation. They may be wheeled – but they might still be rather difficult to transport on a long distance. If you have to carry it yourself, then a small unit should be appropriate. However, if you can carry it all the distance by car, you may go for a bigger one. Bear in mind that you also have to pack in the rest of the luggage.
You may think that the insulation should be the same for every cooler – but in truth, it isn’t. Some have thin layers of insulation – whereas others have thicker layers that can keep the contents cool for days. Granted, you will have to pay more for the latter option.
The insulation performance that you buy will depend on how you use it. Technically, this performance will be measured based on how long it can keep the contents cool when the ambient is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are only planning on going for a short day trip, then you will not need such thick insulation – only if the temperature goes much higher than 90 degrees. however, if you plan on being away for more than one day, you might want to go for something with more insulation.
Type of Wheels
Just as your car may have wheels fit for every kind of weather or road conditions, so can wheeled coolers. Most of these units have wheels made from molded sheer plastic – which is perfect if you have to roll them down a road, sidewalk, or patio.
However, if you are facing more uneven, challenging grounds, then you might not be able to benefit from these wheels – as they won’t be strong enough. In this case, you might want to look for bigger wheels that have been rubberized, bearing a significant tread depth. The bigger the wheels are, the more they will be able to cope with uneven surfaces.
Number of Wheels
Wheeled coolers can come in two different designs: two-wheeled and four-wheeled. Four-wheeled coolers can be fairly convenient, as they lift the entire base of the cooler from the ground, but two-wheeled coolers can be just as convenient. Since they are generally equipped with a pair of frontal stubby supports, the contents are kept away from the ground – and can efficiently keep everything cool.
Moreover, if you are planning on taking it over difficult terrain, two-wheeled options might be more convenient. These types of wheels can be tipped over, making it much easier for you to go over challenging inclines or corners.
If you are planning to be carrying that cooler for quite some time, you might want to take a good look at the handles. Look for those that have been cushioned or padded, as they are less likely to lead to arm fatigue. Moreover, extendable arms should be the preferred option, particularly if people with different heights are going to use it.
While some wheeled coolers may have some standard features, there are still some aspects that make them unique. Some coolers have soda holders and bottle openers included. Others come with their own ice packs. It’s important that you choose the one that is most convenient for you.
How to Add Wheels to Your Cooler
There are three ways for you to add wheels on a cooler – each depending on your preferences or your possibilities. Here is how you can do it.
- Installing a Single Axle Wheel System
If you only wish to go for two wheels, you may go for single axle wheel systems, which you may purchase from a variety of stores. Weave the straps through the brackets of the base, and then set the cooler on the longer strap. Make sure that you tighten the straps through the cooler brackets properly, so that the cooler does not fall off.
- Use a Flatbed Cart
Thankfully, flatbed carts can be purchased from pretty much everywhere. They are generally the better choice to go for, particularly since most of them are extendable and can support up to 400 pounds. They are a great choice if you have a bigger cooler. Depending on the flatbed cart that you buy, you can fix the cooler using end rails or straps – like with the single axle wheel system.
- Change the Axle on Your Wheeled Cooler
If you already have a wheeled cooler and you just want to change the wheels, you may begin by prying out its old axle and then unscrew the wheels. Once that is done, simply add the new wheels and tighten the screws so that they do not go out of place.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Rolling Coolers
The obvious advantage of having a rolling cooler is that you don’t have to lift it to transport it from one place to another. But can these coolers offer any other advantages besides being on wheels? Let’s take a look.
- Easy To Transport – Rolling coolers rely on their wheels for portability. This is a really good advantage if you want to store a lot of things inside the cooler. Instead of lifting the cooler, you can simply pull it behind you as you walk. This is especially useful for those who have problems lifting heavyweights, such as the elderly or those suffering from various diseases.
- Good Storage Capacity – Wheeled coolers usually offer a better storage capacity than other coolers in the same price category. While they might not be as large as some metal coolers, they still offer plenty of storage space.
- Good Cooling Capacity – While these models don’t even come close to matching the performance of rotomolded coolers, some models like the Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler can still keep your drinks and food cold for up to 5 days.
- Dry Storage Compartments – Some rolling coolers have soft-sided designs. These models come with dry storage pockets, allowing you to store small items like gadgets, wallets, or other valuables away from the ice.
- Cheap – Rolling coolers come at decent prices. Sure, they might not be as cheap as inflating coolers, but they’re still cheap.
- Suitable For Urban Environments – Thanks to their good storage capacity and their wheels, rolling coolers are suitable for urban environments. Not only will these models be easy to transport on the pavement, but they also have nice designs that don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
- Get Heavy – Due to their large storage capacity, rolling coolers can get heavy when they’re full. You might not be lifting them, but pulling them can also become uncomfortable when they’re heavy
- Not Suitable For Nature – The main advantage of using a rolling cooler is that you can pull it instead of lifting it. This advantage is rendered null when you’re walking on dirt or sand instead of on concrete. Even though there are some models like the Collegiate Rolling Cooler that come with shoulder straps that solve this problem, these models are rare.
- Telescopic Handles – Rolling coolers rely on telescopic handles for their portability. While these handles offer an easy way to pull the cooler, they are not renowned for their durability.
When Should You Use Rolling Coolers?
Rolling coolers can be used with good results in many different scenarios. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Shopping – It’s very important to eat fresh produce and meat. But even if you shop for fresh produce, that doesn’t mean you’re consuming it fresh, especially if you’re living in a rural area. Sometimes the trip from your local market to your home can be lengthy, possibly harming your groceries. Pre-chilling a rolling cooler can be very helpful in this situation. Not only will the cooler keep your groceries fresh, but it will also act as a storage container, so you won’t have to do the heavy lifting.
- Field Trips – Field trips are great educational activities, allowing children and teenagers to explore new things outside the classroom. But preparing for a field trip might be difficult, especially if the children are young. All of them might need some snacks and drinks along the way. A large capacity rolling cooler can be the perfect solution for this problem. Pack some water and sandwiches and you’re good to go.
- Picnics – We all know picnics are fun, but they can be really healthy as well. Even though picnic baskets look nice, storing your food and drinks in a rolling cooler is an easy way to pack everything you need when you go to a picnic. Some coolers come with dry storage pockets, allowing you to store both your food and the necessary utensils in the same bag.
- Traveling – Traveling is a great way to take in new sights and explore new places. Using a rolling cooler can actually lower your expenses when you’re traveling because it allows you to always have cold drinks and fresh meals close at hand.
Best Coolers With Wheels Comparison Chart
|Collegiate Rolling Cooler||$$$||1680 denier polyester||24 Cans||up to 12 hours|
|Igloo Marine Ultra||$$||Indestructible rust-resistant stainless-steel screws||28 quarts||2 or 3 days|
|Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Cooler||$||Hard plastic||42 Cans||24 Hours|
|Travel5.0 Picnic Rolling Cooler||$$||Nylon with 1680D polyester||24 cans of soda and 2 bottles of wine||Less than 10 Hours|
|Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler||$$||Durable polymer||50 quart||5 Days|
|IGLOO ICE CUBE ROLLER||$$||Polyethylene||60 quart||Over 12 hours|
As you could see, even the best coolers on wheels can have some disadvantages. While these models are very easy to transport on the pavement, they’re not so user-friendly when they encounter sand or dirt. It’s true that some models come with shoulder straps for increased portability, but there is only a handful that does.
However, wheeled coolers are the go-to products if you’re planning on using them in an urban environment. They are easy to transport, offer a lot of storage space, and they don’t cost too much, as well.
If you’re not certain that a rolling model is the best option for you, check out the rest of our articles. Finding the right model for your needs is only a matter of time if you read our reviews.