Coolers are a great little tool for anyone looking to keep their food a drinks fresher for just a little longer while they are out camping or at a grill.
However, after spending a good chunk of the day carrying them around, there’s a good chance that you’ll start to notice just how much stress they can put on your back.
Worse still, above a certain size, it can be damn-near impossible to move some coolers, pretty much eliminating any benefits they may otherwise have when it comes to portability.
However, there is often a simple solution to this problem, and it comes in the form of the humble wheeled cooler.
And luckily, we have a guide to help you pick the best for you!
In this cooler guide, we’re going to show you a range of the best coolers with wheels on the market, in terms of sheer volume, transportability, extra features, and a whole range of other factors that can make or break a product.
We’re also going to show you some of the most important features and factors that you should be looking for in a good wheeled cooler model, in case you want to do more searching on your own.
Starting off our guide with perhaps one of the overall best-wheeled coolers on the market, we have the Yeti Tundra Haul hard cooler.
If you’re a person who has spent any extended amount of time in the great outdoors, you’re likely going to at least have heard of the Brand Yeti before. Their tough and durable designs make virtually all of their product popular with folks who need a hiking/camping, walking item that can survive benign use outside.
So, we’re very happy to see that same durability in the Yet Tundra Haul cooler, with this casing even being bear-proof, in case you wanted to know just how tough this product is! This is thanks to tough and thick aluminum being used to build the body into an impenetrable metal casing for your food, drinks, and other items.
That thickness also goes some way to explaining why this cooler has some phenomenal insulation as well. That. and the commercial-level polyurethane also helps protect the internal space from massive temperature differentials.
And, of course, there are the wheels to talk about, which, thanks to being made from a single piece of super-tough plastic, allow them to roll over virtually any terrain. Rocks, gravel, mud. Even sand isn’t an obstacle for this cooler.
So, if you’re struggling to come to a final decision on a cooler on wheels, this is a great safe option!
- This cooler design is tough enough to handle weather, terrain, and even animals snooping around it!
- Thick insulating walls keep your food cool, even in the warmest temperatures.
- Wheels allow this cooler to go over almost all terrain.
- The grip for the cooler is comfortable and sturdy in its own right.
- That extra sturdiness and durability come at a cost. This is quite a heavy model to move around, even with wheels.
Also Available From: Yeti.com
Get used to seeing Coleman in this list, because it is a name that is going to turn up a lot.
Coleman is probably best known for creating incredibly tough camping gear, and this extends to many of their coolers as well.
So, let’s see how their coolers on wheels fair against the competition!
Well, like many of the best Coleman coolers, the insulation and cold-retaining qualities of their other cooler models are certainly on display here, which can allow solid ice items to last up to 5 hours on their own, to say nothing of when they are packed well together (if you need more ice, check out our favorite ice makers).
Plus, despite its size, it’s also got a great amount of internal volume too, with 95 standard cans benign easily held in this cooler, along with ice to boot!
However, a Coleman cooler keeping your food and drinks cool was never really in question. What is it like to move around?
Well, it does pretty well in this regard too. While the clearance off the ground might not be amazing when compared to other designs, its wheels are more than up to handling any terrain you could throw at it while you are camping.
Plus, the excellent handle and grip, meaning that pulling it over those pieces of terrain that might be a little trickier is a cinch.
Add to that a very enticing price tag, and you have yourself pretty remarkable budget options when it comes to your cooler needs while out camping!
- The cooler can insulate your food/drinks for up to 5 hours.
- Wheels are strong and can handle dirt, gravel, and even sandier terrain.
- The grip of the handle is comfortable to hold and pull.
- Relatively inexpensive when compared to other models.
- While it can handle tough terrain, you won’t get a lot of clearance off the ground with this product. Bumpier or uneven terrain could be an issue.
Also Available From: Coleman.com
Pelican might not be a name that everyone is immediately familiar with when it comes to coolers.
However, considering that they are also known for making gear for the military, it’s safe to say that they are experts in the field when it comes to survivability, and toughness, two qualities that any cooler would benefit from!
So obviously, a company that makes equipment for aerospace industries is going to know about making a cooler tough, just as they have proven with the RC QT Elite cooler.
However, you’ll also find that the insulation on this model is just as impressive, with two inches of Polyurethane benign more than enough to keep any beer that you have for your camping trip or grill out nice and cool, and for days at a time to boot!
However, once you combine it with those chunky wheels and a molded handle, which is located in a space that gives you the ideal amount of both leverage and potential ground clearance, you have a product that has everything you could need in a big, heavy-duty cooler, along with wheels to boot!
Add to that a list of other smaller touches, from the integrated measuring board that you’ll find on the lid, to the lid latches, and the stainless steel bottle opener, and make this a cooler that you’ll find plenty of uses for in your camping trips!
- 2 inches of polyurethane give this product great insulation from the outside, keeping your food or drinks cold for days at a time!
- This cooler is durable enough to stand up to all kinds of punishment out in the open.
- Wheels are large and chunky, them great for ground clearance as well as making them strong.
- Plenty of smaller extra features for you to make use of too!
- Some customers have reported there is a fine sawdust-like material lining the interior of the product. Easy to solve with a quick wipe, but worth noting.
Also Available From: Pelican.com
Like Coleman, Igloo is another massive name in the world of outdoor gear and survival equipment, particularly items that are designed to survive temperature extremes.
So, are their coolers just as good at keeping the cool in as their other gear is at keeping it out?
Well, the foam insulation that igloo uses in their cooler products is certainly effective, allowing your cold food items to stay at a low temperature for many hours even days with the right arrangement!
However, where we start to see Igloo shine in this subfield of products is how easy they move.
Not only are the wheels large and sturdy enough to help give the cooler clearance, but the cooler box itself is designed to stay off the ground near and around where the wheels are, making this a truly all-terrain cooler box.
While other products on this list can tackle all sorts of ground, this product is designed in such as way that you will almost want to see it destroy any rough terrain that might stop other items in their tracks!
So, if you’re looking for a big cooler that you won’t have an issue dealing with when pulling it to the next grill out, this is the product for you!
- Oversized wheels and cooler box design give this product unparalleled mobility.
- Cooler boxes can store and insulate your items for up to 5 days!
- Multiple latches keep the lid of this cooler fastened and secured.
- A high amount of internal volume too!
- Doesn’t come with many extra features. What you see is what you get with this product.
Also Available From: Home Depot
We’re back with another Igloo product, this time with perhaps one of their most premium products on the market!
One look at the Igloo Trailmate is all you need to be able to tell that this cooler isn’t like other items we have covered so far on this list.
This cooler is almost like a wagon in its design, in both its large size and its overall design, with both wheels and legs to help this cooler stand further off of the ground than its competitors.
This both makes it incredibly easy to transport, as well as makes it easier to put items in and retrieve them from the box. You aren’t spending all your time simply bending over and ruining your back, after all!
And of course, this is still a high-quality igloo product, so it’s going to be excellent at keeping your food cool and fresh while you are using it. Its polyurethane lining and large volume help to keep your items inside cooler for longer, up to 5 days according to Igloo themselves.
Plus, there are even pockets that allow you to separate smaller items from the larger ones, in case you are worried about keeping them dry!
So, if you can afford this item, there probably isn’t a better larger, heavy-duty cooler on wheels that you’ll find out there than this one!
- The large size gives it both tons of space and insulating capabilities for this product!
- Large off-road wheels and leg stands give this item plenty of clearance, as well as make it easier to enter and fill.
- The comfortable grip makes this very easy to handle and pull for long periods.
- The tall frame, while making it easy to use when pulling it around, might make this a difficult item to store or transport when in a vehicle.
Also Available From: Igloo Coolers
As you can see, there’s plenty of variety out there regarding potential coolers with wheels that you can purchase and use right now. Too many to cover in a single list!
This is why, although we have picked many excellent items that should cover most of your bases, it is understandable that you may want to do more searching before concluding your search.
With that in mind, there are a few key factors that you should keep in mind before making a final decision. After all, not only are many coolers out there simply not as good as others, but some also prioritize different features than others, while still being excellent products in other ways.
You could grab a cooler that is plenty big and mobile enough for you, for example, but still find that it’s lukewarm in practice, both figuratively and literally!
So, keep these features in mind when searching on your own for your ideal cooler!
This is a big feature that pretty much everyone will want to consider when buying items like this. Not only do bigger coolers with a larger volume mean you can transport more items inside, but their collective cool temperature can often boost a cooler’s insulating effects a little.
However, when we’re talking about size, we also have to acknowledge that it can be a double-edged sword. A bigger item also means that it is going to weigh significantly more, especially once it is full, even with wheels to transport it.
Try and make sure that your eyes aren’t bigger than your muscles, and that you find a good middle ground between these two aspects!
And of course, we can’t have a guide without discussing the wheels that you’ll need for your cooler!
As we mentioned before, this is a factor that can sometimes be in direct opposition to the volume or size, and will often be a trade-off between the two.
You have two main options here. You can try to find a cooler that has a decent balance of both size and lightness or makes sure that the ground clearance that your cooler provides is plenty enough to help get you over difficult terrain easily.
When it comes to effective insulation, try to keep in mind the material that is being used will need to be thick enough to be an effective insulator. Polyurethane is the most common material that is used in coolers today and should be a minimum of two inches thick for it to be effective.
However, also keep in mind that having thicker insulation can also get mean losing more internal volume for storing your foods, something that could hamper longer camping trips.
Then again, if your food is spoiled by the time you get there with a thinner inner lining, you could argue that it wouldn’t matter anyway! Insulation is key to coolers. That’s why they are called coolers, after all!
This one is a simple concept to grasp. If you’re using a cooler, then you’re probably outdoors somewhere, and that means that your product of choice is going to have to stand up to a little bit of mother nature!
Making sure that your cooler can stand up to being scratched, and knocked, avoiding leaking from weather conditions, and even surviving the occasional nose of a curious wild animal, are all things that a sturdy cooler will be able to stand up to!
And, of course, this toughness should extend to the wheels too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need Wheels On A Cooler?
Considering that moving a cooler without wheels can often put unnecessary stress on your shoulders, back, and the rest of your body, you’ll be surprised just how much easier lifting and moving your cooler is, and perhaps even how likely you are to use a cooler in the first place!
Where Should You Place Ice In A Cooler?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your cooler when it comes to keeping your items cool, you’ll need to be able to use your packing ice effectively.
Having a layer of ice at the bottom, with several layers of ice in between your food items, is the best strategy. Remember, cold air falls, it doesn’t rise!
So, you’ll find that these coolers are more than up to the task of being moved around between grill-outs and camping vacations!
So, which wheely-good item will you choose?