10 Best Rotomolded Coolers [Affordable & Premium Brands]

by Karl S Updated on September 24, 2022

Roto molded coolers are also known as high-end coolers or premium coolers because of their superior build and capabilities that come at an extra cost.

Because they are an investment, it’s crucial to find the right cooler for you.

This article will help you find the best coolers in different categories and give you further helpful information.

Let’s get started!

The 10 Best Rotomolded Coolers in 2022

Based on our experience, these are the best rotomolded coolers on the market today. Take your pick!

1. YETI Tundra – Best Overall

Let’s get real for a second. YETI coolers, specifically the Tundra line, are known to have set the standard for all rotomolded cooler brands on the market — and with good reason.

It’s a favorite of camping enthusiasts because food and drink stored in these coolers are safe from grizzly bears that lurk in the wild.

Thanks to its PermaFrost Insulation technology, many owners of the YETI Tundra report that their coolers hold ice for up to around 6-7 days.

These coolers are built to last, featuring a FatWall design, heavy-duty latches, a hinge system designed never to fail, and double-haul handles.

As for usability, it has molded tie-down slots and rubber feet that make it easy to transport and mount on your boat or truck bed.

These coolers’ prices range from $275 to $375.

Pros

  • Reliable ice retention
  • Certified bear-resistant by Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC)
  • Very durable
  • Has many useful features

Cons

  • Expensive

2. YETI V Series Stainless Steel Hard Cooler – Premium Pick

YETI delivers yet another winner to this list! This one combines some of the brand’s best technologies from different product lines to offer an innovative roto molded cooler.

The YETI Stainless Steel cooler took the renowned vacuum insulation technology from the Rambler drinkware and used it to upgrade the Tundra body for a truly cutting-edge product.

Its $800 price can be difficult to justify, but we can’t deny the technology is there, and it’s freaking cool (pun fully intended).

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind cooler, this is the one that other coolers can’t compare to.

Pros

  • Sleek and stylish
  • Uses advanced technology
  • Wine and soda bottles-compatible
  • Reliable and sturdy

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not bear-proof
  • Exterior can get hot

3. EchoSmile 35 Quart Rotomolded Cooler – Most Affordable Option

35 Quart Rotomolded Cooler

5 Days Ice Cooler, Ice Chest with Built-in Bottle Openers, Cup Holders, and Fish Ruler

Check Price
Lasso Brag

If you don’t have the budget for many roto-molded cooler brands, the cheapest rotomolded cooler that worked best for us was from EchoSmile.

Retailing for only $165.99, this cooler doesn’t have many additional features but functions quite well, holding ice for up to 4 days.

The lid features a fitted gasket to keep cold air in and warm air out. It is also lockable to add security to the food and drinks stored inside.

It has a drain plug that makes the cooler easy to empty and clean.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Reliable ice retention
  • Sturdy build

Cons

  • Basic features
  • Not certified bear-proof

4. AmazonCommercial 45 Quart Rotomolded Cooler

This rotomolded cooler provides the best bang for your buck. It is offered at $199.99 but performs rather nicely and provides owners with useful additional features.

It can keep food and drink ice cold for up to seven days, perfect for extended camping or fishing trips.

Even though it is made by a brand you probably wouldn’t have expected, it is still produced by rotational molding, hence its practically indestructible body.

Because of these and more, we genuinely feel that you’ll get more than what you’ll be paying for if you decide to go with the AmazonCommercial 45 Quart Rotomolded Cooler.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Thick insulation
  • UV-resistant shell
  • Built-in bottle openers
  • Good ice retention

Cons

  • Not bear-resistant
  • Basic design and color options

5. Canyon Outfitter 35 Quart Cooler

Canyon coolers are a well-known and well-loved brand by people who love to raft. The brand has been creating rotomolded coolers since 2010.

With a $250 price tag, this cooler is not the cheapest, but the brand says it is bomb-proof (talk about heavy duty!) and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The Canyon Outfitter 35 Quart Cooler uses EZ-Cam Latch to secure the lid, foregoing the typical rubber latches for easy access to the cooler’s contents

It can keep ice frozen and drinks cool for up to six days, depending on the conditions of the environment and your usage, which is stellar for a cooler of this capacity.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Many mobility and security features
  • Certified bear-proof

Cons

  • A bit expensive for a medium capacity cooler
  • Heavy for its capacity

6. Cordova 48 Quart Basecamp Class Cooler

Cordova Outdoors Basecamp Hard Cooler, 48-Quart

Rugged Outdoor Camping and Beach Cooler, Insulated Rotomolded Ice Chest, Whitestone

Check Price
Lasso Brag

Cordova coolers are proudly made in the USA, specifically in Idaho. The brand has provided the market with coolers that are “built tough, priced right” since 2015.

That may be pretty recent, and they are less reputable than their historied competitors. Rest assured, this company was founded by a former Navy SEAL and a backcountry pilot.

It has a lockable lid that’s patented. It is known as The Lid Lock system, which keeps the lid open at 70° and 90° to stop it from falling and smacking down on fingers, causing injury.

This cooler comes for a price of $259.99 and has various color options. You can even have the design customized for an additional fee.

Pros

  • Good ice retention
  • Sturdy build
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Built-in bottle opener

Cons

  • May be expensive for some
  • Heavy for its capacity

7. Pelican 70 Quart Elite Cooler

Creating excellent quality roto molded coolers has been Pelican’s mission since 1976, and they have been satisfactorily fulfilling this mission even to this day.

We chose the Pelican 70 Quart Elite as the best large capacity rotomolded cooler because it genuinely has an internal volume of 70 quarts, while some competitors skimp on it.

This cooler has a press-and-pull latching system that keeps its contents secure while protecting your knuckles, which you can’t find in other roto-molded coolers.

It has other features that may come in handy for different people, such as a fish ruler, integrated and self-draining cupholders, a bottle opener, and non-skid feet.

It comes at a $420 price point but, in our opinion, it’ll be money well-spent if you choose this because we truly feel that it is the best in its category.

Pros

  • Best large capacity cooler
  • Good ice retention
  • Durable build
  • Certified bear-resistant
  • Has lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very heavy

8. Pelican Elite Coolers With Wheels

This Pelican cooler has some of the most robust and durable sets of wheels of many of the wheeled rotomolded coolers on the market.

To make towing the cooler from place to place easier, the Pelican Elite Coolers with Wheels have molded-in handles with a built-in trolley handle.

When stationary, they are kept securely in place by non-skid feet and molded-in tie-down slots.

These coolers can retain ice for days on end, thanks to the thick insulation and the 360-degree freezer-grade gasket.

This model comes in 45 and 80 quarts options with prices that start from $429.99. It costs a lot, but this one’s ice retention is superior if you’re on the hunt for wheeled coolers.

Pros

  • Excellent insulation
  • Heavy-duty wheels
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low clearance wheels

9. ORCA 40 Quart Hard Cooler

From our experience, ORCA coolers generally have the best ice retention in the game, capable of storing ice even in extreme temperatures that aren’t ideal for retaining ice.

It’s important to remember that, generally speaking, larger roto molded coolers can hold ice for longer than smaller ones when filled to capacity, regardless of external temperatures.

Nonetheless, the ORCA 40 Quart Cooler seems to have superior rotomolded construction and an integrated insulation system that helps the ice stay very cold for a prolonged period.

It also uses a lid gasket to create the perfect seal. At optimum conditions, this cooler’s ice retention can be useful for up to 10 days.

Pros

  • Superior ice retention
  • Heavy-duty build
  • Fun color options

Cons

  • Expensive

10. RTIC 65-Quart Hard Cooler

This New York Times Wirecutter Award-winning rotomolded cooler has ice retention performance that can rival YETI and ORCA coolers.

The rubber gasket on the lid helps seal the cold air to keep food and drinks fresh at a consistent temperature needed for long camping trips and similar activities.

While it is not certified bear-proof, the RTIC 65-Quart Hard Cooler is durable and built to last and withstand challenges posed by harsh outdoor environments.

With such a performance, you’d think this cooler would cost more than $249.99, but it really is that affordable.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Award-winning cooler
  • Robust and durable
  • Reliable ice retention

Cons

  • Not bear-proof

Buying the Best Rotomolded Cooler: Things to Consider

The rotomolded construction in these coolers provide so many amazing things for their users, but if you can skip splurging on a cooler with features you don’t need, that’d be best.

Check out these different factors to help you decide which cooler is right for you:

#1 Price

Rotomolded coolers are NOT cheap.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a decently sized one that is below $100, and if you do, they’re probably of poor quality and don’t have any added features.

We advise setting a budget and seeing if there is an available cooler within your price range that can suit your needs.

If there isn’t, you probably need to be more flexible with your budget allotment if you really want a rotomolded cooler.

REMEMBER: There’s no pressure to spend your money on brand-name roto-molded coolers if you find a comparable, more affordable one.

And since they can be costly, do take care of your rotomolded cooler even if it is built sturdy enough to withstand rough usage.

If you’re going to spend your hard-earned bucks on it, you can help make sure it’s a worthwhile investment

#2 Size

First off, don’t buy a bigger cooler if a.) your intended purpose doesn’t require a large capacity, and b.) if you don’t have a place to store it.

There are rotomolded coolers on the market that can house over a hundred quarts in volume that can store food and drinks and keep them cool for a long time.

However, these are pricier, heavier, and more challenging to store.

For example, if your primary intended use is for day trips, there’s really no need to buy a cooler with over 30 quarts of capacity as it will only disrupt your adventure with its bulkiness.

Know what you need and let it guide your purchase because bigger is not always better.

#3 Ice Retention

To set your expectations, a larger cooler generally can keep ice for longer than a smaller cooler.

Smaller coolers are intended for shorter trips, so they’re not designed to hold ice for an extended period.

It is fairly common practice to have a gasket on the lid to lock in internal temperatures and keep external temperatures from interfering.

However, we noticed that some models do not have this feature, so double-check this aspect before making your purchase. If the gasket is freezer-grade, even better.

In addition, take note of the fact that you will see better results with keeping ice if you pre-cool your cooler instead of using it directly after it has been sitting at room temperature.

How Long Do Rotomolded Coolers Last?

Rotomolded coolers are heavy-duty, essentially indestructible, and built to last long.

We can’t say for certain how long a particular rotomolded cooler will last you because that greatly depends on how you use it and care for it.

It’s safe to say that owners of these coolers will get to enjoy them for YEARS, and with proper care, they may very well last a lifetime.

If you’re planning on buying one, do make use of the warranty should you need it because rotomolded coolers are definitely not cheap.

Are Rotomolded Coolers Better Than Regular Coolers?

Generally, YES. The fact that it is rotationally molded plastic makes thick insulation and durable construction possible for these types of coolers.

They can retain a low internal temperature despite varying external temperatures.

A rotomolded cooler is also stronger in its build because it is one uniform piece of plastic. This prevents cracks from easily happening.

If you have this sort of cooler, you can sit on it or rest relatively heavy objects on its surface without worrying about its structural integrity.

In fact, its build is so strong some coolers are even certified bear-proof by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

Rotomolded Coolers vs. Soft-Sided Coolers and Other Coolers

Rotomolded coolers are bulky and heavy, while soft coolers or regular coolers are lightweight and easy to bring around.

The enhanced insulation in these coolers can keep ice better for a prolonged time. With a soft-sided cooler or a regular cooler, ice will melt in a matter of hours.

Because of these features and characteristics, rotomolded coolers are typically more expensive.

If you plan on using your cooler primarily for day trips, perhaps there is no need to invest in rotomolded coolers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some more questions?

Here’s some more information on coolers that are worth taking note of:

Are All Rotomolded Coolers the Same?

Yes and no. They are the same in that they are all made by the process of rotational molding, ideally making them very sturdy and almost indestructible.

However, they are not the same in many ways. For example, the quality of the plastic used by a particular brand may not be of the same grade as the one used by another.

Another way they may be different is in the features added. Some may be more suitable for camping, while some are better used when fishing.

Do You Need to Clean Your Rotomolded Cooler?

YES, they need to be cleaned to maintain food safety.

Not to mention they just look better when they’re clean. No one wants to get their drinks from a cooler that looks dirty and nasty.

Cooler brands will have their own instructions on how to clean up, but at the very least, you should drain off all the melted ice.

Are RTIC Coolers Roto-Molded?

RTIC’s line of hard coolers are all rotomolded except for their 20 Quart variation, or at least there is no specific callout on the product’s webpage.

The RTIC 20 Quart Hard Cooler has a build that certainly resembles that of a rotomolded cooler, though.

RTIC also has a line of soft-sided coolers and those, for sure, are NOT rotomolded, but they perform well for what they’re intended.

Is YETI Roto-Molded?

Yes, YETI’s line of hard coolers is ALL rotomolded coolers.

Like RTIC, they have a separate product line for soft-sided types that are not made of rotationally molded plastic which also performs excellently.

Are YETI Coolers the Best?

This is a tricky question because many rotomolded coolers on the market, if not all of them, are measured against the performance of YETI coolers.

However, the easy answer is that they may or may not be the best DEPENDING ON YOUR NEEDS.

YETI is certainly not the only cooler brand out there, and their competitors produce counterparts to their products with equally stellar reputations.

We will say that YETI’s roto-molded coolers are a safe bet if you want to invest in such a product. Their performance will not let you down.

But we’d LOVE a lifetime warranty on those things if the brand can make it happen.

Summary of Top Picks

Let’s quickly go through a few of the best rotomolded coolers on the market today:

Best Overall – YETI Tundra

The YETI Tundra cooler is a great option because you can’t go wrong with it.

Its all-around performance is great, and it has years’ worth of excellent reputation to back it up.

This is perfect if you don’t want any fuss with decision-making and have some money to spend.

Premium Pick – YETI V Series Stainless Steel

This cooler is what you get when you combine impeccable style with cutting-edge technology.

You’ll be spending a pretty penny for the YETI Stainless Steel cooler, but nothing else will look better.

Most Affordable Option – EchoSmile 35 Quart Rotomolded Cooler

This medium-capacity cooler is perfect for those on a budget or just want a simple, straightforward, and good-quality cooler.

It has all the basic features you’ll find in high-end coolers and doesn’t have bells and whistles.

Though the EchoSmile 35 Quart Rotomolded Cooler is hardly the most exciting option, it performs well enough to earn a spot on our list.

Final Words

Rotomolded coolers are high-end coolers that provide superior ice retention and a sturdier build, among other fantastic additions like bottle openers and fish rulers.

Though they go through the same production process, they are not created equal.

Hence, finding one that goes with your lifestyle and allocated budget is key to making a smart purchase.

Feel free to return to this guide if you need a refresher on the best rotomolded coolers today!