All Small Size Coolers
This is a list of all small size coolers we have reviewed. We define “small size” as any product that has between 17 and 35 quarts of storage volume. This size is the second smallest, putting it in between the personal size and the medium size. Products that fall under this category are typically intended for small group outings or potentially for an individual who needs to pack a couple of meals and some drinks as well. They will oftentimes be a bit too bulky to be used as a conventional lunch container. At this storage volume, you will have a bit more space which means that more features such as external pockets, multiple storage spaces, etc., can be added.
At the same time, they are still mobile enough to be easily carried but a single person, and a conventional carrying handle will usually be all that is required. You will start to see more plastic or “hard-sided” coolers in this category, although there is still a nice variety of soft-sided options as well. If you are looking for a mobile-friendly and convenient product that amps things up a bit in the storage department, then consider checking out this size!
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
Arctic Zone Pro 30
This product does everything pretty well and we prefer this larger size because of the improved cooling ability. There are some notable build quality issues but the performance, features, and price are on point, making this a definite recommendation.
Pros: Acceptable cool life, very easy to access items inside, looks great Cons: Fabric falls apart too soon, shoulder strap can be weak
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
Overall this is a simple, modular, and relatively effective cooler that can be had for a reasonable price. It won’t win any beauty contests but its effective design and helpful key features make it a buy for anybody looking for a space-saving and simple cooling solution for a small outing.
Pros: Quite good cooling ability, very mobile, lid converts to tray and cup holder, great price
Cons: Handle can be a little weak, very boring styling
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
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
Thermos Raya Lunch Tote
This is a great-performing cooling product and should be more than large for most people’s needs. In addition, the price is more than fair for what you are getting. We do wish that there were some extra pockets to store non-chilled items and that there were some more aesthetic features or a more entertaining fabric layout but overall it is still a nice buy.
Pros: Affordable, plenty of storage space, good cooling qualities
Cons: Very bare, no external pockets
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
Arctic Zone Ultra 50
This product attempts to combine a relatively large storage volume with soft-sided technology and it overall does an acceptable job of it. With up to 2 days of cooling life, a variety of helpful features, and a decent price it should make most people happy that are wanting to go the soft-sided route.
Pros: Quick-access lid is super handy, tons of storage space, mobile for its size Cons: Can be quite bulky, not enough color choices
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
Igloo Hard Liner
This product performs surprisingly well despite its assumed limitations of being a loose soft-top that is relatively small. The build quality and portability are more than acceptable as well. The visual department could have a bit of a boost but it is not a deal-breaker, and we would recommend this to someone looking for a simple, mobile cooler.
Pros: Acceptable ice life (especially with ice pack usage), easy to store and transport, a lot of choices in color
Cons: No handle for carrying, a little too flimsy
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
Igloo MaxCold Gripper
This product is good enough to handle the cooling requirements for a day trip and is plenty large for even a large lunch or outing for two. Build quality is there except for a minor zipper issue and we wish we could access both zipped areas without it being covered by the strap during transport.
Pros: Strong fabric, plenty of storage space for being a gripper, good price, easily stored
Cons: Zippers are a little weak, looks a little cheaper than the hard-top version, can have access difficulty during transport
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
Picnic Time Turismo
The cooling ability and features here are good enough to consider this item, but there are a couple of issues. It appears that some shortcuts might have been taken in the construction of components to drive the price down, which does result in the performance and product life some. And even with the shortcuts, it is still not a super cheap product. However, we like the included features and mobility.
Pros: Multiple insulated areas for categorization and increased space, very mobile, professional-looking
Cons: Not waterproof, low-quality water bottle, velcro is weak
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
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
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
Picnic at Ascot Cooler Backpack
If you are simply looking for a backpack to keep our items cool for a few hours this will work, but it doesn’t do anything incredibly well. Cooling ability is average at best and the straps are notoriously weak. There is quite a bit of carrying space considering the size, however.
Pros: Extremely mobile, plenty of pockets for storage, nice design
Cons: Struggles some with keeping items cool, weak straps
Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack
This is a very “average” backpack, that doesn’t overly struggle with any particular facet but doesn’t knock it out of the park on anything either. There are a few clever design details that we like but we also feel that including them hurt both the cooling performance as well as the cooling volume some.
Pros: Decent insulation ability, easy top access, plenty of storage areas
Cons: Limited in insulated storage volume, somewhat flimsy, very plain looking
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
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
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
Sacko Insulated Cooler Bag
This is a great-performing bag for the price. It should be large enough to store just about everything you would need and comes with enough unique features such as the quick-access hatch to make it stand out from the competition. Anybody who is in the market for a soft-sided cooler should definitely check this one out.
Pros: Great price, high-quality insulation, large enough for most applications, quick-access Velcro hatch
Cons: Wish it was a little bit tougher
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, pricey
Arctic Zone Titan 16
Even though we are a little underwhelmed by the cooling ability of this product, we still really like everything else it has to offer. The mobility and design feature are handy and effective, and we love the styling of it. If you are needing a short-term cooling solution this product will be more than acceptable.
Pros: Very convenient lid, Smartshelf technology is a nice touch, looks awesome Cons: Struggles with cooling life
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
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
Igloo MaxCold Tote
This is a good tote for those looking for a handy and easy-to-use cooler that can keep items cold for a short period of time and at a price point that is more than digestible. There are no major qualms with construction or durability and the overall package is good enough to warrant a buy.
Pros: Actually keeps items cold for a while, very lightweight and mobile, well-priced, nice construction
Cons: No varying size options, not as rigid as most coolers
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
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
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
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
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
Igloo MaxCold Duffel
A good-looking duffel but falls short on cooling ability and is really limited by its size constraints. If you can get past these struggles it is well-built enough to be able to be a go-to option for your short lunch or picnic for many trips to come, and the price shouldn’t scare you off, either.
Pros: Easy to carry around, decent build quality, looks awesome, reasonably-priced
Cons: Limited insulated volume space, intense heat can easily overwhelm it
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
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
OAGear Cooler Sports Pack
This is a handy backpack that has better-than-average cooling performance while still adhering to the mobile benefits of a traditional backpack. There are some build quality issues that are holding it back from having an even higher rating, but even after considering these the combination of cooling ability, style, and price makes this product a decent buy.
Pros: Plenty of color schemes, very mobile, multiple storage areas, great price
Cons: Weak shoulder straps, only one size
Picnic at Ascot Cooler Tote
While the cool life is quite small, this product can store a lot of items which can make it useful in certain short-term scenarios. In addition, unlike many competitors, it can hold up to being full without potential tears or rips. In addition, the price is good enough to justify trying this one out.
Pros: Plenty of storage space, decent build quality, many color and pattern choices, affordable
Cons: Very little insulation, not a lot of external features, can be a bit bulky to carry
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
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
Coleman Party Stacker
This is a unique design that is great for small, short gatherings and for locations that normally couldn’t fit a cooler. However, it comes at the cost of very poor insulation so be ready to top off with ice constantly. The price is quite reasonable though so won’t can’t be overly picky.
Pros: Extremely mobile, stackable, good price
Cons: Insulation could be a lot better, hard to get a good grip, not a lot of extra features
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
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
Thermos Element 5 Can
The most impressive feat with this cooler is how much it can store despite what appears to be a relatively small size. Unfortunately, nothing else about it really stands out and in fact, it somewhat struggles with cooling. The price is at a point where it isn’t a horrible buy but there are better choices out there.
Pros: Adequate job of cooling, carries quite a bit for the size
Cons: Not a lot of other storage options, zipper is very weak, flimsy structure, little variance in aesthetics
Arctic Zone Eco Blend 45
There are a lot of issues with this product, ranging from the extremely short cooling life, leak issues, plain looks, and a price that is much too high for what you are getting. Obviously, the portability and simplicity of a tote
There are a lot of issues with this product, ranging from the extremely short cooling life, leak issues, plain looks, and a price that is much too high for what you are getting. Obviously, the portability and simplicity of a tote is tough to beat, but we just don’t see it being worth the price or other issues that are associated with this product.
Pros: Plenty of storage room, easy carrying with straps Cons: Very poor insulation ability, easily leaks, very plain appearance
Dalix Cooler Bag
Unfortunately, this product has several issues, the biggest of which are based around the subpar ice life and the shoddy construction. The price, while somewhat affordable, is still too much for what you are getting with this item.
Pros: Multiple carrying options, additional front storage pockets, decent price
Cons: Cooling ability could be better, strap is very weak, only two color choices