Who knew there were so many coolers to choose from! Well, there are lots and they vary in price wildly. We decided to look at ones that cost less than $100 so fall into the inexpensive category for this post. We will likely look at some more expensive ones at a later date.
There are a few factors we need to consider when we are looking at coolers. They are:
- Price – We’ve already narrowed it down to less than $100 so this is less important here.
- Size – Probably the most important factor to consider. Depending on your use for the cooler.
- Build Quality – Although costing less than $100 we don’t want anything that’s going to fall to bits after a few uses.
- Performance – Does it keep your drinks cold and for how long! After all, that’s what we want it to do.
- Brand – We aren’t going to worry about that in this article. If it’s a good cooler it will make the list regardless of the brand.
- Design – we want something that looks good as well as performing well.
So with these factors in mind let’s get to the list!
- 1. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart
- 2. Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler (60-Quart, Ocean Blue)
- 3. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler High-Density Insulation
- 4. Homitt Soft Cooler 20 Can Soft Pack Cooler Insulated
- 5. Coleman Xtreme Series Wheeled Cooler, 50 Quart
- 6. Igloo Polar Cooler (120-Quart, White)
- 7. Coleman 30-Can Insulated Soft Cooler with 24-Hour Ice Retention, Red/Black
- 8. Work Cooler 17-Quart, Keep Cool 30 Hours
1. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart
First up is this heavy-duty cooler from Coleman. At the time of writing, this comes in just under budget although some of the colors available are slightly over budget.
This is a really well-made cooler with stainless steel hardware meaning it won’t wear out in a hurry. All the handles and hinges are rust-resistant stainless steel here.
This is a pretty big cooler at 25.5 x 17.2 x 17.5 inches, it can hold 85 cans and is tall enough to hold 2 liter bottles in an upright position. The capacity is 54 quart.
Coleman are renowned for their well-made products and this is no different. This is perfect for camping as it is able to stand up to more rough treatment and rugged environments.
Incredibly this cooler offers 4-day ice retention even in temperatures as high as 90 degrees F. Definitely one of the best.
2. Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler (60-Quart, Ocean Blue)
At first glance, this may not look like it has the build quality of the Coleman series but this cooler is a bargain. It’s actually really durable and the ‘Ultratherm’ body keeps the contents cold for a long time. Although it doesn’t claim any official times, customer experiences inform us that it’s able to retain ice for up to 4 days.
It has a large capacity at 60 quarts and the handy telescopic handle makes it really easy to transport around. A full cooler can be incredibly heavy but with wheels and a handle, you are good to go even at full capacity with this one. It also has molded handles on the side to make it easy to lift in and out of the car.
Interior Dimensions ( L x W x H )-Top – 16.75 x 14.5 x 17.25 inches, Bottom – 15.25 x 12 x 17.25 inches
3. AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler High-Density Insulation
This is a much smaller option that can be carried quite easily. It comes in a few sizes with the largest being capable of holding 48 cans and about 15 pounds of ice. As you can see this is a soft-sided cooler that makes it more comfortable if you are carrying it around your body for long periods.
It can maintain ice for 24 hours in 120 degree heat which is very impressive but definitely not going to last days like some of the coolers on this list.
It is a little expensive for a soft-sided cooler but the build quality is superb. This is perfect for fishing trips, picnics and other day trips.
4. Homitt Soft Cooler 20 Can Soft Pack Cooler Insulated
Another soft-sided cooler this time from Homitt. You need to get the 20 can version to keep it under $100 with this one. Again it is expensive for such a small cooler but there is a lot of quality here.
This has 3 layers of insulation to keep your drinks cool for a long time. It is also leak proof with a high-density foam between layers to enhance insulation.
The interior features an antimicrobial liner that resists mold and mildew and the exterior is resistant to water and sweat so it won’t get stained and stays clean.
With an exterior size: 16.5″L*12.6″H*7.6″W, interior size: 14″L * 9.8″H * 5.5″W it is perfect for day trips.
5. Coleman Xtreme Series Wheeled Cooler, 50 Quart
Back to Coleman now with this superb entry to the list.
With a 50 quart capacity, it can hold up to 84 cans. It has the telescoping handle and side molded handles meaning it is really easy to take with you even when fully loaded. The only problem here is that when it is fully loaded it’s quite heavy with it being so large, the wheels and handle make it easy to pull around but the side molded handles aren’t really up to the job. So you wouldn’t want to carry it far using these handles but unless you are going over seriously rough ground you shouldn’t need to.
This cooler offers an incredible 5 full days of ice retention at temperatures up to 90 degrees F. So you know it’s going to keep everything super icy for a weekend trip away.
For the price this is an excellent cooler with great performance and durability.
6. Igloo Polar Cooler (120-Quart, White)
Like the Coleman Xtreme this cooler promises 5 days of ice retention at 90 degrees F. This is a pretty big cooler at 120 quarts but it does come in some bigger sizes as well. Currently only the 120 quart size comes in under 100 bucks though.
Obviously, this is going to be heavy when full so it has 2 reinforced handles on either end. It also has a threaded drain plug so you can easily empty it out when done without having to tip the cooler upside down.
This is a cooler for long haul journeys with a 188-can capacity. Exterior Dimensions 38.31″ L x 17.38″ W x 17.75″ D
7. Coleman 30-Can Insulated Soft Cooler with 24-Hour Ice Retention, Red/Black
This Coleman cooler is a bit of a bargain at the moment. as the product name suggests it will retain ice for 24 hours, that is at temperatures up to 90 degrees.
The inner lining has been treated to resist odor, mold, mildew, and fungus. All the seams have been “heat welded” to prevent leaks.
There is also a pocket on the outside of this one but it’s just for regular stuff and it doesn’t keep the contents cool. Definitely, a great contender if you are looking for a small cooler for day trips. This is a great quality product that performs well and of course, it comes from one of the best cooler brands on the market in Coleman.
8. Work Cooler 17-Quart, Keep Cool 30 Hours
How about this for a rugged option. Although it looks more like a toolbox this is a pretty capable cool box.
It has a 17 quart (18 can) capacity plus it doubles as a handy seat. This is the only coolbox on this list I would recommend sitting on. It is rated for 300lbs.
It could do with some sturdy handles but it does have a handy strap for carrying it around. This also comes in a smaller 9-quart size and a 12 quart soft-sided version.
This is ideal for a workman to take his lunch in but perhaps not the best choice for travelling or days out.
As you can see there are a lot of options to choose from here. These are just some of the many coolboxes you can get in the under $100 price range. We have picked these because of their overall quality, functionality and design. We’ve tried to pick ones with varying capabilities so that there is something for everyone there. We feel these the best in their respective classes.
If you are looking at brands then it is hard to look past Coleman and Igloo. These guys have loads of choices and are all really high-quality items. Our favorite is probably the Coleman at number 1 on this list because it is so durable and performs so well in any conditions.
Let us know which one you went for and why in the comments below.