All Medium Size Coolers
This is a listing of all medium sized coolers we have reviewed. We define “medium” as any cooler that has a storage capacity of between 36 and 59 quarts. This size category is wedged right in the middle of what is offered, and we feel it offers a happy balance between having good storage capacity while also still being relatively mobile. At this size, we begin to transition into almost completely hard-sided coolers, which means most will be made of plastic, metal, or some other type of non-collapsible material. In addition, these sizes introduce even more features since there is typically ample room. Thing such as carrying handles, multi-tiered pockets, drainage plugs, segregated storage areas, and many others begin to pop up.
These cooler sizes are directed for people needing a weekend cooler or something to hold drinks for a mid-sized gathering. This size will typically be much too large and burdensome for an individual’s needs or even a couple, unless it is meant to store their items for multiple days. However, if you are looking for something to cater a huge party, or for a week-long family vacation, you might want to consider moving up to a bigger size. That being said, we feel that this size range will hit home for what many need, and we encourage you to check out the reviews and find something that works for you!
Pelican Elite Wheeled
A great-performing cooler that will keep items chilled for long periods of time and should hold up for years of usage. In addition, the wheeled component greatly assists in what is otherwise a very heavy and bulky product. Expect to pay the high price tag for this but we feel it is worth it if you are looking for a long-term investment for your cooling needs.
Pros: Incredible ice life, more mobile-friendly, extremely durable
Cons: Expensive, still quite bulky
In terms of ice life, these ice chests are some of the best on the market. High-quality materials and optimal construction is used and it shows up both in the performance as well as the looks. The only drawback is the price but if someone is looking for a cooler that will last them for years and provide continuous great performance it is well worth the price.
Pros: Some of the best ice life on the market, incredibly durable, aggressive look, easy to carry considering the size
Cons: Very expensive, heavy
Igloo Yukon Cold Locker
An extremely effective insulator packaged in a rock-hard shell with few weak points, the Cold Locker series hits all points. It has enough features and sizes to appeal to most people looking for a premium large ice chest, but it does come with a rather high price tag that will rival some of the other higher-end brands on the market. If you are willing to spend the money we recommend checking this one out.
Pros: Amazing cooling ability, extremely tough and long-lasting, aggressive styling
Cons: Very heavy and bulky, expensive
Kysek Hard Cooler
This cooler meets all of the needs we like to see including long ice life, plenty of features, and extra tough construction. We just wish that it tried to stand out a bit more from Yetis and RTICs, particularly for the high asking price.
Pros: Great ice retention, clever accessories, quality materials and construction
Cons: Expensive, limited color choices, copy many ideas from Yeti/RTIC
This is a high-quality cooler that should have adequate ice life for a full day. It is very convenient, having multiple carrying options, and overall the construction is good quality. The huge array of color options is also a nice touch. However, it is a bit on the expensive side but we still think it is worth it.
Pros: Good cooling ability for a soft-sided cooler, great mobility with multiple carrying straps, high-quality look
Cons: The opening is a bit constricted, can struggle when exposed to water, a bit expensive
An affordable, entry-level ice box that is good for those that are looking for a product that can work for an afternoon or evening rather than multiple days. This product is well constructed and should last for several years and other than the minor issue with the lid not staying open this isn’t a big choice for a casual cooler enthusiast.
Pros: Built tough, strong handles, great price
Cons: Underwhelming ice life, lid won’t stay open, plain design
Igloo Marine Ultra
A proven, established marine cooler that has all of the features you need for our next boat trip. The huge range of sizes means there is likely something for you, and you get quite good insulation in the larger options. Overall a great range of coolers but shop around for good prices.
Pros: Overall good to very good insulation, many wheeled options, stainless steel hardware, looks very professional
Cons: Can be quite bulky, need to shop around to find good deal
Picnic Plus Tremont Picnic Backpack
This is a really unique product that offers quite a bit for the price. The fact that it is able to offer so many items and features while still adhering to acceptable cooling performance is a nice plus. In addition, it looks fantastic doing it. There are some quality issues but, in this case, the good outweighs the bad and would definitely recommend this product.
Pros: Great package of assorted picnic items, looks great, cooling area is serviceable enough
Cons: Very heavy for the size, might struggle to store all of your chilled items, container may fall apart over time
This is a very classy-looking cooler that does an alright job of ice retention and the build quality and materials are good enough, albeit it is a bit on the large side for a given size. Also, the price is somewhat high so we wouldn’t mind if its performance was bumped up a notch or two. It’s still not a terrible choice, however.
Pros: Waterproof, multiple carrying options, strong fabric, very attractive
Cons: A bit large for what it carries, not many external features, a bit expensive
All of the premium components and features we look for in high-end coolers but a bit rough around the edges. It comes in at a cheaper price but you will be sacrificing some in regards to ice life and toughness.
Pros: Premium features for a more affordable price, decent size range
Cons: Quality issues, Lid doesn’t hold a great seal, inconsistent insulation walls
These soft coolers are well-made, attractive, and should last for several seasons. There are multiple compartments and the removable hard shell is a nice touch. Insulation ability is somewhat lacking but that is to be expected for this type of cooler. Shop around since prices vary a lot on these and if you can find one on the lower end of the spectrum that are an OK buy, just don’t expect to be able to actually fit the advertised number of cans in one and keep them cold at the same time.
Pros: Look great, a lot of places to store items, plenty of sizes to choose from
Cons: Air easily escapes, exaggeration on how much you can actually store
Coleman Xtreme Marine
The major issues such as poor insulation, lack of mobility, and a “boring” look have been improved with the Xtreme series, while actually being able to maintain (if not lower) prices in many instances. The major design flow in the hinges is important to note, however, and something you need to be aware of while using the ice box if you want it to last a long time.
Pros: Very good ice life, wheeled options for mobility, relatively tough, higher quality materials
Cons: Lid can be too tight, quite heavy, screws can strip, pretty expensive
The Max Cold cooler line does earn its name as it does a much better job of maximizing cold than most conventional coolers. The extra insulation really shines and with so many size options there is sure to be one that works for you. It is unfortunate that the handles and hinges can have issues, however. Beyond that there are no major complaints, especially if you can find one on the lower end of the price spectrum. On the higher end you can get into other premium offerings that might be a better choice.
Pros: Very good ice life, easy access to items, huge selection of sizes, many wheeled choices
Cons: Weak handles, pretty modest styling
Igloo Island Breeze
The upgraded cooler shell is a nice touch and the shape helps to make it a very user-friendly cooler. The cooling ability is a bit on the low side, however, so this would really only be a recommendation for a quick day or short weekend trip. And why is the lid so hard to open and close?
Pros: Quite durable, wheeled options for mobility, modern look, decent price
Cons: Low cooling ability, lid can be stubborn
Yeti Tundra Series
While the Yeti name comes with a lot of respect and heritage, there are other products on the market that perform as well or close to it for a fraction of the price. That’s not to say that this isn’t a great cooler: it has long ice life and the construction is well-made, but for someone willing to drop this kind of money on a cooler we recommend shopping around for all of the competition as well.
Pros: Great cool life via thick insulation, easy gripping, high-quality build construction
Cons: Very expensive, quite bulky, not many additional features
A very “average” cooler in just about every sense of the word. It will keep items cool for long enough period of time to be useful and the build quality isn’t terrible, but there are several minor complaints that we wish weren’t there for its intermediate price.
Pros: Acceptable cooling ability, multiple carrying options, many color choices
Cons: Fabric is prone to tearing, weak should strap, occasionally has odd folds in material
We would be silly to say that a cooler that keeps ice for 5 days is bad, but for the competition that this product is targeted to compete with it just falls a bit short. The construction is fine and it will last for many seasons, but there just aren’t very many features and the aesthetics are a bit lacking as well. While it isn’t quite as expensive as some of the other top lines, the performance difference is too large to compensate for the cheaper prices.
Pros: Decent cooling performance, very well-built cooler with premium metal hardware
Cons: Very heavy, not very exciting visually, super expensive
Coleman Stainless Steel
An attractive product that is trying to emulate the popular and proven conventional Coleman stainless steel cooler. However, it falls short in several areas, most importantly its ability to keep ice from melting. The look and feel is there but for the asking price we just aren’t sure this is the best way to go.
Pros: Very attractive look, tougher than plastic
Cons: Struggles with insulation, sketchy latch, heavy, expensive
Igloo Ice Cube
In summary, this is a solid cooler all around, and we definitely enjoyed the improved ergonomic design. While it will likely not make it to the 5-day mark for cooling ability, it still is good enough and at a price point to warrant a weekend trip with it. It also well-constructed apart from the minor handle issue and the great choice of colors and styles makes it a recommended buy from us.
Pros: Easy to transport, very durable, wheeled options available, many different color choices, great price
Cons: Not quite as long of cooling time as advertised, handle is somewhat prone to break
This is a fantastic line of coolers and has no real weak points. With ice life of potentially a week or more, great construction, and a resilient look, anybody that is looking for a long-term cooler investment will be pleased. However, with this high-end offering you will expect to pay in the top price bracket for it but, in this case, we think it is absolutely worth it, especially considering that many of the comparable coolers on the market are more expensive.
Pros: Incredible ice life, wheeled option for mobility, very sturdy construction, great tough look
Cons: Quite expensive, very bulky
Some of the best ice life of any cooler on the market and excellent construction make this an extremely effective line of products. However, it comes it a hefty price and you don’t get as many bells and whistles as some of the other premium brands on the market. But in terms of performance, it can’t be beaten.
Pros: Incredible cooling life, very durable, rugged look
Cons: Very heavy and difficult to move, expensive
Kysek Dry Bag
These dry bags are assembled with great construction methods and have a similarly tough outer shell that we have became used to from Kysek. However, you are giving up a significant ability to keep items chilled for very long and are still having to pay a premium for this high-performance bag.
Pros: Quality construction, Super resilient outside fabric, Attractive looks
Cons: Aren’t designed to store cold items, Expensive considering they aren’t really coolers, Not as many features
Rubbermaid DuraChill Wheeled
A well-insulated cooler that still manages to be mobile, the DuraChill series hits the mark in most regards. It is well constructed enough and features such as dual handles and a dual-hinged lid makes it user-friendly. It is unfortunate that the plastic hinges are a weak point in an otherwise solid cooler. It is a bit pricier than its more bare-boned sibling but the results are noticeable.
Pros: Nice insulation, solid construction, impressive looks, good price
Cons: Too many leak paths, hinges are a bit too weak
Engel High Performance
For most the cooling life of this cooler will be plenty long, but it does fall a bit short of some of the other super long-term ice boxes on the market. However, it is also significantly cheaper than many of those products as well, so we feel this is a fair tradeoff. As expected, build quality is superb and this is an extremely tough product. It is a bit plain looking but that isn’t an overly huge deal.
Pros: Great insulation ability, very tough, cheaper than many comparable coolers
Cons: Lid doesn’t seal as well as expected, very heavy, still quite expensive
Igloo Super Tough STX
For the most part, good ice life and sturdy construction as well as a decent price tag are huge plusses for these lines of coolers. While the hinges and latches look the part, they can still be the weak points in what would otherwise be a pretty bullet-proof large cooler. Despite its flaws, it is still a quality a product that we recommend.
Pros: Very well-insulated, tough outer shell, looks awesome, acceptable price
Cons: Fasteners don’t always close tightly, very heavy
These coolers perform quite well and have the insulation ability to last for a long weekend on the beach. There aren’t a ton of size choices but what is available is proven and should be large enough to fit everything you need for a couple of days. The user-friendly layout and nice build quality mean that you will get plenty of uses out of these. The price is acceptable and minor issues such as a non-insulating lid and no cup holders can easily be overlooked.
Pros: Very mobile, comfortable to carry, nice grip on handles, affordable
Cons: Cooling ability could be a little better, no cup holders
A tough product that has a good ice life for being a soft-sided cooler, while adhering to some of the benefits that those types of coolers bring. It does fall a bit short on the looks category, though. However for someone looking for a rugged but still somewhat mobile cooling solution this should do the trick.
Pros: Great cooling ability, two carrying choices, strong material
Cons: Still prone to scratches, not many external features, looks are questionable
A very attractive, well-priced cooler that has acceptable cooling capabilities and a very tough frame but the hardware is the major flaw. The hinges and handles are simply too weak and take away from what would otherwise be a grand slam rugged and outdoor-friendly cooler. It is still a soft recommend buy despite this, however.
Pros: Decent insulation, very attractive styling, good price
Cons: Weak aluminum hardware, not as long of cooling life as advertised
These coolers perform pretty well for the price. While they are a bit more expensive than the standard Coleman chest coolers, you can enjoy significantly longer ice life which we feel is worth the slight up-charge. The plastic handles and hinges breaking are a concern and are also somewhat common with the budget coolers and it would have been nice to have a few more color options (although that is a minor issue). A good affordable starter cooler for someone needing to keep their things cool for a short weekend.
Pros: Good price for what you are getting, decent insulation, has wheels for easy transport
Cons: Weak handles, hinges can come loose, fairly plain-looking
Igloo Stainless Steel
This is a very aesthetically-pleasing looking product that has multiple major design flaws. In terms of strictly keeping items cold it does a good job, but for the high price the latch issue simply can’t be overlooked. There are worse options, however, and some people love the styling enough to overlook the weak points.
Pros: Very attractive look, decent insulation performance
Cons: Expensive, latches break very easily, easily scratched
Igloo Marine Breeze
This ice chest does a pretty good job on all levels with its performance. The elevated base and tight-fitting lid mean that ice will be around for a weekend trip to even the hottest climate. It is well-constructed enough to hold up for several seasons. Opening and close the lid and rotating the handle can be a bit laborious, however, but with its decent price can be overlooked.
Pros: Good ice life, well-constructed, good price
Cons: Lid can be pretty tight, not a lot of additional features or color choices
This is a simple, highly popular cooler that is often used for short weekend trips. The insulation ability is more than up to the task for this, and the great variety of sizes means that there should be a solution for just about anyone. However, the weak handle is a problem that continues to plague this line of coolers. If you can find these coolers for sale on the cheaper end of the price point range then they are a buy but if you see yourself paying on the upper range we recommend keeping your eye open for other buys.
Pros: Good ice life for the size, strong lid, decent price
Cons: Weak handles, pretty plain design
An affordable, simple cooler that has been around for decades, the Playmate relies on its unique design and storied history with this update. Unfortunately, it isn’t stellar at keeping things cool and you can tell that the durability took a hit with the thin plastic that was used.
Pros: Body is strong enough, classic design, affordable
Cons: Short ice life, flimsy lid, not very many features
The split hinged lid and extended handle are great in making this a user-friendly cooler, but both features bring unwanted issues that cannot be overlooked. The questionable sealing coupled with the tendency for the handle to rust and get stuck overshadows the positives. Despite a good price, there are better choices for a short weekend mobile cooler.
Pros: Wheels assist in mobility greatly, attractive look
Cons: Issues with lid sealing, handle rusts easily
There is a nice range of sizes and for short periods of time these cooler will suffice. However, for marine-oriented products we expect a much longer ice life and it would also be nice to be a bit more durable and have better seals since typically these coolers will be thrown around quite a bit. The price, while not super high, is at a level where would expect a bit more.
Pros: Relatively light for the size, cup holders in larger sizes, nice size range
Cons: Lackluster cooling life, weak handles, can be difficult to transport