Going to the beach is one of my favorite things to do in the summer months. I can relax, swim, and spend time with love-ones making it an all-day affair.
But the ideal beach day is one without complications.
Unfortunately that’s hard to do when there are so many things to bring: chairs, beach toys, sun umbrellas, food, water, snacks, beers, etc. It’s a struggle trying to bring all that across the rugged sand terrain and hot boardwalks without putting a damper on your vacation day.
One way to solve this is to invest in a quality beach cooler that is easy to lug around, durable against the sand and heat, and keeps all your food and drinks cool.
I’ve reviewed many coolers before and with so many on the market, it’s hard to find the right one that has everything you’re looking for.
But with this guide I broke down the 10 best coolers for the beach. I will point out the qualities and features that will help make your beach day with friends and family a little easier.
Table of Contents
- Jump to our #1 Choice for Best Beach Cooler
- See our Budget Pick (#6)
- Analyze the Anatomy of a Quality Cooler
- How to Find the RIGHT Cooler for You (Buying Guide)
There are 3 main things that you have to keep in mind when shopping for a cooler:
The best beach coolers are specially constructed with those 3 aspects factored in to the manufacturing process.
For durability, you need to know what the exterior material is made of. For a long lasting beach cooler, you want to get a cooler that includes a fabric that is waterproof and resistance to tears and abrasions. In addition, you want a hardshell housing, that can protect all your belongings in the interior.
As for capacity, that is based entirely on your needs.
In our list, we’ve outlined several different beach coolers and soft coolers that will fit your needs. But the thing that you need to pay attention to most with coolers, is their interior insulation technology. You have to make sure you’re getting a closed-cell foam that will properly insulate your refreshments and snacks.
Lastly, a great cooler will ensure comfortable portability.
Coolers are a vacation/travel essential. You don’t want to be uncomfortable at a time you’re supposed to be enjoying your personal time.
A mobile and portable cooler will either have a durable strap system that is padded that can rest across your shoulders. Smaller soft cooler bags that can accommodate a few refreshments will usually have a strap system. But the best beach coolers include wheels that can easily traverse the sandy terrain. They make it easy to transport and hold a larger capacity of beverages.
Here is quick guide to help you determine what type of beach cooler would be great for you and your road trips.
If you’re a group of 2-4, then I would get a small soft cooler bag from CleverMade. It’s 30 liter capacity will accommodate a number of snacks and refreshments for this number of people. You can easily carry it across the sand and enjoy fresh drinks and sandwiches on the beach.
If you’re a group of 4-6, then I would recommend getting a cooler bag that can easily store and transport your beverages with you to the beach. If you jump to the Mojecto Insulated Cooler bag, the thick insulation and 840D polyester design will easily store the number of refreshments that can accommodate a group of 4-6.
If you’re a large group of 6+, then I would check out our #1 choice. It’s one of the best beach coolers with wheels that has a 70 quart capacity that will definitely house a lot of your belongings. In addition, the included wheels make it easy to carry around.
I urge you to look through our list of coolers to compare and contrast. There maybe a better cooler for you on the list that suits your needs better.
If you’re planning a large group outing with friends and family, I highly recommend picking up this heavy-duty beast of beach cooler.
You’re getting a 70-quart capacity, durable cooler on wheels that will store all your beers, snacks, waters, juice, etc.
And not only that:
It features a butler tray to make it easier to serve the snacks and drinks you bring. In addition, it has additional compartments to store your other beach items such as towels, chairs, and water toys. It’s a large cooler that is your one-stop option to carry almost everything you’ll need when you head down to the water.
To top it off:
It’s one of the more durable and mobile beach coolers on the market.
Thanks to the oversized wheels, it will easily handle most rugged terrain such as boardwalks and sand. Also, you’re getting an easy to pull gliding handle that will make it easier to pull and maneuver to your destination.
While it is more on the expensive side, it is one of the best overall coolers that will last you several beach trips in the coming years.
2. Rockpals 30-Quart Electric Beach Cooler
If you’re in the market for a more compact beach cooler that still has both a large capacity and is easy to roll around, I recommend buying the Rockpals beach cooler.
It has a 30-quart capacity and is still a large enough storage to bring several beers, sodas, and waters. That is enough storage to put in five 2L soda or 40 cans. In addition, you can also put different foods and snacks to keep your friends and family satisfied throughout the trip.
This cooler features a a Thermo-Electric System that is capable of cooling down to a temperature of 45°F. You’ll be able to store all your different sandwiches, snacks, and food throughout the day. This way you’re eating fresh food and cool water while getting some rest and relaxation on the sand.
It is also one of the most convenient beach coolers to own.
With the durable material and outer shell, it will protect against any sand or water that might try to splash and damage your drinks and food. Also, the wheel and easy-to-grip handle makes it seamless to carry around through sandy terrain.
If I were preparing for a day-trip to the nearest beach, I would want this beach cooler to accompany my family and I.
Some people prefer a bag to a rolling cooler. In that case, I would check out this large and comfortable cooler bag by Mojecto.
You’re getting a heavy-duty bag with thick insulation and padded straps. This is ideal for making it comfortable to carry around on your shoulders. In addition, it’s perfect for preventing any sand or water from getting into any beverages or snacks you may have inside.
It’s a lightweight cooler bag made of a durable 840D polyester to ensure durability and longevity.
But to add to that:
It features a lot of storage with its multiple pockets: zippered and mesh. This additional storage is great for holding things like goggles, towels, drinks, diapers, spoons, utensils, etc.
And of course the cooling ability is long lasting thanks to the thick insulation. This will ensure you’re various snacks and drinks are ready for you when it’s time to relax after a swim.
4. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
While our previous choices were for more larger group outings with family and friends, this soft cooler is designed for more a compact capacity of food and drinks. If you want a lightweight, compact beach cooler, pick up this cooler bag by Coleman.
You’re getting an easy to carry around beach cooler bag that is ideal for holding several cans and snacks. To be exact, it’s capable of holding up to 16 cans (for visual reference). Thanks to the smaller design it’s easy to clean and makes it great for holding several beach items for a fewer individuals.
The straps are made of a soft PEVA liner that is easy to clean and is padded to prevent any discomfort while carrying it around for a long period of time.
It has two side mesh pockets and a single front zippered pocket providing additional storage for more little trinkets and items you’ll want to bring for your beach day.
5. Coleman Xtreme Series Wheeled Cooler – 50 Quart
If you’re still shopping around for a large capacity beach cooler with wheels, another great option is this 50-quart cooler by Coleman.
This wheeled cooler is the perfect middle-ground to keep all your different refreshments cool for up to 5 days.
The insulated design on the lid and walls of the cooler provides full ice retention against the warmest temperatures summer can throw at you. So if you want to absolutely make sure you’re beer and sandwiches are cool this summer season, you can trust this beach cooler to keep them fresh.
Last, but not least:
There are cup holders. Everyone loves a good cup holder. This provides easy access for you to take and set your drink while you are beach side.
Coleman makes a great easy-to-roll cooler with wheels that will make your vacation experience a little better.
If you need a budget friendly cooler for this summer season, I recommend looking at this “cheap” beach cooler by Igloo.
It’s 60-quart capacity is hard to fathom at this price point. Since it’s on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, this is a steal that you shouldn’t pass. If you want to ensure you’re storing and cooling enough refreshments for your friends and family, this is the ideal cooler to get.
With the ultratherm insulated body, it will provide cooling for all your food and drinks for a long period of time.
In addition, it includes durable wheels and handle to help you pull all your food and drinks around the sand and boardwalk.
For individuals who want a large carry on beach bag for your refreshments, this tote bag has the beach-ready look and functionality to help you take on the sand and water.
This bag is the perfect space-saving solution to store your various waters, beers, snacks, and food for your beach day. With its compact and durable design, it will protect against leaks and keep your things cold throughout the day.
The bag has a load capacity of up to 50 pounds which will allow you to maximize what you are able to put it in.
The strap on top and on the side make the cooler bag easy to carry with either your hands or shoulders. It’s padded making it more convenient for you to lug around the beach.
8. TOURIT Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag
If you’re more of a backpack kind of person, this insulated cooler bag will suit your personal needs and fulfill your cooling needs. I recommend this type of cooler backpack if you want something easy to carry around.
With its lightweight and durable design, it will make sure your things are well protected against the elements.
The cooling ability of this backpack will ensure that your sodas and beers are cooled for 10 hours. This makes it perfect for day-trips to beach. It’ll let you keep your food and beverages on standby after you’re done swimming and relaxing.
The bag features multiple pockets for additional storage along with the large capacity inside. This is a great all around cooler backpack for you to take to the beach.
9. Odyseaco Aruba Beach Tote Bag Insulated Cooler
This tote bag is the version of the beach bag you see in all the movies. The mesh material along with the insulated design makes this both a functional and aesthetically pleasing beach cooler. If you want a personal beach bag with cooling properties, I would grab this bag by Odyseaco.
You’re getting a lightweight tote bag that will store all the beach essentials.
You can store your sunscreen, water, food, cell phone, a good book, etc. It’s pretty much a general purpose bag to make it easy for you to carry your stuff around in the beach.
I believe this is one of the fashionable beach cooler bags on the list that doubles as a lightweight cooler for a few refreshments.
10. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
While this soft cooler for the beach looks more like a suitcase, it is one of the more durable and robust beach coolers on the market.
Its large capacity storage compartment and durable wheels with telescoping handle make it one of the best beach coolers to store food and beverages while keeping them cool. In addition, it also features additional side handles for more mobility and a front/side pocket to provide additional storage for your beach items.
It’s a great all-around beach cooler for your friends and family to take along with you this summer season.