All Premium Priced Coolers
This is a listing of all premium priced coolers we have reviewed. We define “premium” as being a product that is in the highest bracket in terms of cost per quart of storage volume. The reason we break things down into dollars per quart is to allow all different-sized coolers to be on an even playing field in regards to cost. For example, a small personal cooler will almost always be cheaper than a large cooler overall, but the large cooler might actually be a better bang for the buck in terms of how much storage you are getting for your money. Premium coolers can vary quite a bit in price, but many can go well into the multiple dollar per quart range. Before we go into greater detail and provide a full listing, we have including our top-rated premium coolers in a table below.
Our Top Rated Premium Coolers
|Grizzly||Pelican Elite Wheeled||K2 Summit|
|Price by Volume (Amazon)||$$$$$||$$$$$||$$$$$|
|Ice Life||7-10 days||7-8 days||6-8 days|
|Our Full Review||Link||Link||Link|
While there is a good variety of sizes and shapes to choose from in this range, we noticed that there are a lot of smaller, personal sized examples. This is likely because as a cooler becomes larger it is easier for the manufacturer to produce more storage space for only a marginal increase in costs while on a small ice chest a significant portion of the manufacturing costs is still consumed but resulting in only marginal storage volume. That being said, there are still a lot of top of the line cooler manufacturers that offer very sizeable examples.
In the premium tier, products will oftentimes be made of high-end materials and metals and have a wide variety of additional features. Furthermore, more exotic and time-consuming manufacturing processes might be used to help maximize durability and ice life. The result is products that can potentially last for many days with its initial ice and can also be exposed to a wide variety of challenging environments. On a smaller scale, while the cool life might not be quite as impressive, the personal and small-sized coolers will have a host of additional features and be made of more unique and aesthetic materials that will help them to stand out.
The target audience for those looking at the premium price tier will be people who are prioritizing insulation ability, product life, and in some cases looks over the cost. Many of these coolers could be considered an investment that will be planned to last for years.
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
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
A great-performing backpack that has an acceptable cooling ability and is tough enough to hold up to typical wear and tear for quite some time. It is a bit expensive for the amount of storage that it has, but if you are willing to pay the premium price it should meet most of your needs.
Pros:Mostly water-resistant, extremely mobile, uses tough materials, very attractive look
Cons:A bit short on ice life, quite expensive
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
Kysek Soft Cooler
We like what Kysek brings to the table with this soft cooler. It comes with relatively good ice life and has most of the features we want to see in a premium soft cooler. We particularly like the extra strong material and quality binding used. However, the design is essentially a copy off of Yeti and it comes at a similarly high price tag.
Pros: Acceptable insulation, All of the expected features, Super tough
Cons: Pricey, Very similar design and approach as 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
This product has had a minor facelift and performance improvement compared to the conventional Coleman chest. The improvements are welcome and we definitely prefer the Excursion over the latter. However, it is only available in 9 and 16 quart options so if you need a larger size then you are out of luck. Overall it is an acceptable solution for someone needing a personal/small party cooler for an afternoon at a reasonable price but it will struggle much beyond that.
Pros: Lid seals pretty well, rather tough, more progressive styling than predecessor
Cons: Still a little expensive, limited sizes, might be too small for many
This cooler tries to capture Yeti’s stored performance in a smaller package. Unfortunately, some of the hurdles of these types of coolers carry over included the large size and expensive price. However, for the size, there isn’t much better out there in regards to cooling performance and, as usual, the build quality is great.
Pros: Great cooling ability for the size, premium materials used for construction, very tough visual appearance
Cons: Very expensive, quite heavy for the size
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
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
eBags Crew Cooler Jr.
The construction and intent of this product are there, but we feel that for a lot of people the size restrictions will be just too much. If you are able to fulfill your needs with its small storage volume then it should suffice, and obviously it is incredibly mobile which is a plus. But it is pretty expensive considering how little it can really hold.
Pros: Very mobile, decent build quality, a lot of additional storage pocket, looks nice
Cons: Expensive for the size, very limited in insulated storage volume
Everest Cooler Lunch Bag
There really isn’t anything to get excited about here. This lunch bag is simply too small for most people’s needs and even if it will work, for the price you can find better cooling performance, features, and aesthetics.
Pros: Decent cool life, lightweight and easy to carry
Cons: Expensive for the size, very limited size, boring appearance
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
This is a pretty average ice box that is a bit more expensive than we would like to see given its performance. The clever design that allows for a thermos to be carried on top is a nice touch and the build quality is fine, but it is too small for many applications and the cooling performance should be better considering how much it cost for the volume it can store.
Pros: Great feature that allows thermos to be attached, looks quite classy, decent cool life
Cons: Relatively limited storage space, wish there was metal hardware used, expensive
Picnic Time Insulated Cooler Picnic Tote
The cooling ability of this product is only average, and we feel there will be scenarios where you will struggle to store everything that you need to stay cold. The inclusion of everything you would need for a typical picnic is the unique feature and this obviously helps to justify the high price. If you are strictly looking for an all-in-one package this will suffice but if you are just looking for a convenient tote to store and transport chilled items there will be better options, especially for the cost. There is a nice range of sizes and for short periods of time this 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: Has everything you would need for a picnic, multiple carrying options, looks great
Cons: Rather pricey, may run into issues with storage space
A solid, safe choice for those looking for a small gripper to pack their lunch or a few afternoon drinks. One of the most mobile options available, but the size might be too small for some. If space requirements aren’t an issue then it should be an acceptable choice that should last you a while.
Pros: Very mobile, decent construction, wide color selection
Cons: Won’t keep items cool for very long, storage volume might be an issue, somewhat expensive for the size
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
There are some major struggles such as low cooling time and poor construction, but the sheer mobility and convenience factor of being a backpack are the main selling points here. As long as you don’t overload it and don’t be too rough on the straps or zippers it should suffice as a lunch backpack for a while but don’t expect much beyond that as there is very little carrying room, especially for the price. There are some major struggles such as low cooling time and poor construction, but the sheer mobility and convenience factor of being a backpack are the main selling points here. As long as you don’t overload it and don’t be too rough on the straps or zippers it should suffice as a lunch backpack for a while but don’t expect much beyond that as there is very little carrying room, especially for the price.
Pros: Very mobile, very attractive styling
Cons: May struggle with enough storage space, can be difficult to access items, weak strap, expensive for size
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
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
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
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
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
We really like this soft-sided cooler, and for someone dead set on this style, they will be hard-pressed to find a better cooling performer on the market. We love the styling of it and the build quality is acceptable except for the tight zipper lid. Also, expect to open up your wallet pretty wide to purchase this, especially when considering its relatively small storage size.
Pros: Some of the best cooling on the market for a soft-sided cooler, great size for its intentions, looks great
Cons: Can be difficult to insert and remove items, very expensive for the storage size
Picnic Time Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote
We like this tote because of all that it offers. While it does an acceptable job of the core requirement of keeping items cold, it has a plethora of other features and items that come with it that really makes it the total package. The price, while on the high side, is somewhat justified because when you buy this you are buying much more than simply a tote.
Pros: Thick insulation, high-quality materials used, awesome looking design and layout
Cons: Severely limited insulated volume, expensive
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
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
eBags Crew Cooler II
We definitely like the updates that were done on these coolers, especially the multiple carrying methods and the improved ergonomic design. However, the ice life is still nothing amazing and for the price we were hoping for a bit more. Despite this, it isn’t a horrible choice considering the many features and facelift.
Pros: Plenty of room for a lunch outing, 3 different carrying methods, looks very nice
Cons: Ice life is a bit on the short side, pretty expensive
Wildkin Lunch Bag
The cooling ability and the effective side-access compartment is what sell us on this product, despite the rather expensive purchase price and a couple of construction shortcomings.
Pros: Great cooling for the size, unique side-access to storage areas, a wide variety of color and patterns to choose from
Cons: Expensive for the amount of storage volume, bit quality could be better, only one carrying method
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
An all-around decent performing cooler with acceptable ice life and construction. The lid can be a bit stubborn, however, and it would have been nice to have a few extra color choices. It is also pretty expensive. There are better coolers on the market for the price but even if you go with this one you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Pros: Nice ice life considering its size, very easy to transport, great implementation of bungee cord
Cons: We would prefer metal hardware over plastic, lid can sometimes be stubborn, pretty expensive
Picnic at Ascot Collapsible Basket
We like the approach that this product took in regards to how it cools and its unique style and features. In addition, it should last for quite some time before you have to worry about construction issues. However, why is it so expensive? It is still a nice product but expect to pay quite a bit for how much storage volume you are actually getting.
Pros: Works well enough for a picnic, should be plenty of storage space, quite light and mobile, unique look
Cons: Expensive for the size, not good for an all-day affair
A pretty straightforward approach that does the primary intention (keep items cool) well enough, and will be a viable lunch companion. However, beyond that there isn’t much to get excited about, and the size, boring design, and relatively high price for the size are all definite downfalls.
Pros: Will fill its purpose in regards to keeping items cool until lunch, high-quality materials, strong strap
Cons: Very limited in storage size, expensive for how much space you are getting, very plain styling
Engel Cooler/Dry Box
While the premise of being suitable for hot and cold items and also being waterproof is a unique touch that will have very particular applications, the core cooling performance of this ice box does struggle a little bit as a result. It is well constructed, however, which means it should last a while. For its pretty price, there are better options if all you are looking for is something to keep your items cold.
Pros: Can retain both hot and cold items, cooler can be submerged underwater without issue, quality hardware
Cons: Not the best cooling performance, a bit limited in storage volume, expensive
This product is directed towards individuals that only need to store a few items for a short period of time. Because of that, it comes with the expected weak points including short cooling ability and lack of features. In addition, there are some build quality issues and the price is pretty high for what you are getting.
Pros: Very mobile and easy to carry, comfortable shoulder pad, progressive design
Cons: Struggles with cooling ability, very weak walls, strap can unfurl, expensive for size, small storage space
Wildkin Lunch Box
This is a disappointing lunch box that is simply too small for its own good. While something this size shouldn’t be intended to have long cool life, we were expecting something a bit better. Lack of waterproofness and the extremely expensive cost when related to storage volume just takes it over the top. It does, at least, have a unique design, though.
Pros: Very easy to transport, side-access to compartments, a huge array of colors and patterns to choose from
Cons: Way too small for many applications, struggles with cooling life, not at all waterproof, expensive given the storage size
Picnic at Ascot Collapsible Rolling
Unfortunately, this cooler struggles in too many areas to warrant a recommendation by us. The wheels, which are supposed to be one of the main selling points, struggle to be viable and the fact that the build quality is lacking are too glaring of issues, and the average-at-best cooling ability doesn’t get us excited.
Pros: One of the few soft-sided coolers on the market with wheels, lightweight, a nice amount of storage volume
Cons: Very little insulation, poor build quality, only one color option, pretty expensive
Packit Freezable Bag
The only real bright spot of these products are their huge array of color and pattern choices and its mobile size. Beyond that they do a pretty poor job of keeping items cool for very long (since the bag itself is supposed to be what is doing the cooling), have some construction issues, and are pretty expensive for what you are getting. We recommend shopping around for something else.
Pros: Big uses itself as cold source, very mobile, a huge variety of color and pattern choices
Cons: Doesn’t stay very cold by itself, has construction issues and weak materials, expensive for the storage size