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The best coolers for summer 2021

Summer is here. And that has many of us flocking to the beach, lake, campground, boat and backyard to spend our time outside while we can. As enjoyable as this all is, it does require some planning, and at the top of this list is food and drinks, and how to keep them cold. We’re not talking your parents’ old mini cooler here. We’re talking coolers that go above and beyond. Coolers that make your outdoors time as convenient — and your food and drinks as cold — as possible. Whatever your plans are for this summer, there is a cooler to fit your needs (and budget). Here are five of the best coolers for summer 2021.

Clever 80 Qt Rolling Cooler

This is the perfect cooler for that backyard party. Its large, rolling stand and 80 quart capacity mean you won’t be taking it much past the patio, but you won’t be constantly refilling it either. It holds up to 70 cans or 50 bottles and, due to its PP line injection foam insulated body and lid, your drinks can be kept cold for days. The bottom shelf allows for extra storage, and the body has a built-in bottle opener with cap catcher so your lawn will stay trash free. The lid is dual hinged so can open easily from either side and can also be fully removed for convenience. A drain spout allows you to keep it dry inside. And multi-directional wheels make it easy to move and lock so once you’ve found the perfect spot for your cooler it will stay there. It runs $214.95, and will give you your money’s worth. Party on.

Otter Trooper LT 30 Cooler

You may recognize the name here from your phone case, but the company does more than keep your phone safe; it keeps your food and drinks safe too, and cold. This cooler’s design is different than many, converting from handle carry to shoulder carry to – wait for it – backpack carry. Its 30-quart capacity means plenty of room for all the food and drinks you’ll need for that picnic, concert or camping trip. And its thermal grade premium insulation keeps ice cold for up to three days. It is leakproof and has water-resistant exterior pockets for extra storage. But one thing that really sets it apart is its mounting system. It allows you to attach accessories, like a bottle opener for example, to the outside. The nylon exterior is water and puncture resistant, and the durable base keeps the bottom from ripping. This animal runs $239.99 and has the features to earn it.

YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler

This cooler is tougher than it looks, much tougher. Its Rotomolded construction makes it tough enough to take on anything, even bears. Meaning actual bears, as in it’s certified grizzly resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. But being tough isn’t all it offers; it’s also perfect for almost every situation. Its 65-liter capacity means room aplenty for whatever you might crave in the wild (or in your backyard). And its 3-inch-thick insulated walls keep ice and goods cold for days, while its optional dry basket keeps food you want cold but not wet out of the ice. The T-Rex latches are heavy duty yet easy to open, and the Lipgrip Doublehaul handles make it easy to move, even when loaded up. This cooler also offers built-in tie down slots making it ideal for a day on the boat and insuring it’s safe in the back of your truck on the way. This beast will cost you $349.99, but your beer will always be cold and the bears will never get your beef jerky.

IGLOO Trailmate Journey 70 Qt Cooler

Igloo may be one the most recognized names in coolers. And they continue to exceed expectations. The Igloo Trailmate Journey is no exception to this. It’s 70-quart capacity can store over 100 cans. And its all-terrain, oversized, never-flat wheels allow you to take this cooler just about anywhere with ease. Once you get there, you can enjoy its numerous useful features:

  • Butler’s tray that stores easily under the lid and allows you to serve food and drinks.
  • Dry storage box to keep phones, keys and other small items dry and close by.
  • Exterior storage pockets.
  • Two bottle openers.
  • A stand for your phone.
  • Accessory holders.
  • Tie-down loops to attach things like beach umbrellas, chairs, fishing rods, etc.
  • Cup holders so you don’t tip your drinks over.
  • Dry food basket that is suspended inside to keep your dry goods cold but dry.

The Ultratherm insulation keeps ice cold for up to four days, and its Cool Riser Technology keeps it from absorbing heat from hot surfaces. The one drawback is the lid doesn’t have a latch. This cooler is $279.99 when not on sale and really is a little home on wheels.

ROVR Roller 60

Its name is reminiscent of something you could take to another planet. And with its litany of features and easy-rolling puncture-proof tires, you almost could. The ROVR Roller 60 boasts 9-inch tires and a rubber-gripped handle. They make it easy to maneuver this cooler despite its considerable size and weight. It’s also certified bear-resistant due to its tough exterior and latches. And its high-density foam insulation keeps ice cold for up to 10 days.

Other features that set this cooler apart are a removable Deep Freeze dry bin. Its two compartments let you can store food you want to keep cold but out of the ice. There’s also a removable dry storage bin that attaches to the top of the cooler, and dual cup holders. There are some unique add-ons. Like a side-mounted cutting board, an umbrella or fishing rod holder, and a Bikr Kit that lets you tow it behind a bicycle. This cooler will run you $449.99, but its unique features might help you feel out-of-this-world when out for the weekend.