Coolers by Cost
One of the most common considerations that someone goes through before purchasing a product is how much it costs. As such, it is important to categorize all of our reviewed coolers by this metric. There will be a wide range of asking prices, even within a given size or type of cooler. For some, the premium might be worth it so that they get the best performing option available. For others, trying to simply find a serviceable ice chest that has the smallest impact on their pocketbook might be the top priority.
While this approach seems straightforward enough, if you blindly try to compare the cost of one cooler to the price of another you might run into some issues and be driven to some questionable conclusions. For instance, a small, soft-sided personal lunch box will likely be cheaper than a 100-quart plastic cooler. Does that automatically mean that the lunch box is the “better” buy? Of course not!
Because of this, we have broken down all coolers into a dollar per quart ratio. In other words, how many quarts of storage volume do you get for each dollar that you spend. Of course, there will be a wide variance in the specific values here and these values may constantly change depending on the availability on the market. To make things simple we group all products into 3 potential categories: budget, intermediate, and premium.