Last Updated: March 2020
The Coleman Company is a staple American outdoor recreation brand. The company dates back almost a hundred years and throughout the century, they have made products that have been immortalized as antiques in our homes.
Coleman Coolers have been setting the bar high throughout the last decade. However, the birth of Rotomolded coolers has reduced it to scramble for a market share from what was once considered high-end to what is now entry-level. That is not a bad thing in itself, considering they’ve carved a space as the most preferred option for buyers on a budget.
This review is dedicated to all the Coleman ice chests that are worth the money. Of course, our selection process is judged by quality, versatility, durability and ice retention.
Let’s begin, shall we?
- 1 Coleman Coolers Review – Comparison Table
- 2 Coleman Coolers Soft-Bags on Sale
- 3 Coleman Thermo-Electric Coolers
Coleman Coolers Review – Comparison Table
Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler – Editor’s Choice
- High capacity, heavy duty cooler features a charming retro design
- 54 quart capacity accommodates up to 85 Cans
- Keeps the ice; Insulation offers 4 day ice retention in temperatures as high as 90 degrees fahrenheit
- Built to deliver years of performance with rust resistant stainless steel hardware
- Comfort grip steel handles allow for easy, controlled lifting and carrying
Remind me of the movie man of steel (superman) as he would implode and smash through anything and still come out unscathed. While Coleman Coolers are invincible, steel-belted is perhaps the most durable option in the market.
Designed with a retro feel to it, there are a lot of outward features to like about the steel belted. It also comes with a 54-quart capacity and it comes as much space to store up to 85 cans of beer. Construction-wise, rust-resistant hinges and screws hold the cooler in one piece.
Latches seal the base to the lid trapping all the cold in and as a result improve the ice and insulation performance. According to many reviews, steel-belted can keep ice for up to 4 days. However, in many cases, you will probably get less or the exact prescribed ice performance based on how you pack the cooler and real situations.
Worried that the metal components will rust? Well, don’t because it’s rust-resistant – The drain channel is resistant to leak and it’s made in a way that you don’t have to tilt the cooler to purge the water out.
Rubber grip handles allow for easy transport. Overall, this product is a great alternative to Yeti for people on a budget. Although it isn’t as durable or ice retaining as Rotomolded options, remember you are getting it for dirt cheap price and that itself makes up for its failings.
Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
- Xtreme Technology; Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
- HIGH CAPACITY: Holds up to 84 cans
- HEAVY-DUTY WHEELS: Effortless rolling over any terrain
- Have-a-Seat Lid: Closed Lid Supports Up to 250 Lb.
- CUP HOLDERS: Molded into the lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling
It could get quite strenuous transporting a fully loaded ice chest. Wheeled coolers provide mobility and ease in these situations. The Coleman Xtreme comes with heavy-duty wheels that can move on any terrain.
Mostly made of plastic, Coleman Xtreme feels cheap but it offers nifty features suitable for diverse outdoor and sporting events. Also, telescoping handles ensure you move the cooler with relative ease. This 50 Quart model provides 84 cans to store your drinks and food. Insulated walls and lid provide improved ice performance and you can get 3-5 days of ice.
A great feature worth mentioning is integrated lid cup holder to keep your drinks and lessen incessant access into the cooler, and lock in the cold for extended ice periods. When you aren’t lifting the cooler or exhausted, the Have-A-Seat lid provides a sturdy and not so comfortable seat that can carry up to 250 pounds.
The material build is smooth and both interior and exterior are easy to clean for your next camping, tailgating, BBQ party, beach or any occasion. Different needs mean different sizes and this line of cooler boast of diverse sizes ranging from medium 50QT – 150QT giant coolers.
Downsides are basically the plastic construction as I’ve made mention of earlier. Users have complaint fragile components like the handle and wheels breaking at some point. However, I feel if you can maintain the cooler and not overload it with your items, you will get a long time of use.
There’s no denying this cooler comes in cheap and for that price, you’d expect a few comprises here and there.
Coleman 48 Quart Performance Cooler
- Keeps the Ice: 3-day ice retention at temperatures up to 90 °F
- Holds 63 cans; Added height to hold 2-liter bottles upright to help prevent spills
- Leak-resistant drain lets you remove water without turning the cooler upside down
- Hinged lid for easy, one-handed access; 2-way handles for easy lifting and carrying in a space-saving design
- Low CO2 insulation for reduced carbon emissions from foam manufacturing
Coleman 48 Quart performance is an affordable cooler. 48 Quart capacity can fit in 63 cans and accommodate 2-liter bottles standing upright and also provide enough space for ice and food.
Thermozone insulation and the hard plastic wall adds to the insulation and the lid seals properly even without a latch.
For optimum convenience when transporting, two-way handles allow for swift movement. Also, the handles fold to the side Melted ice is purged through a leak-resistant drain.
Ice performance is not this Coleman performance forte as it lacks thick walls, foam insulation, gasket, and heavy-duty latches. While the absence of all these features is a turn off for some users, you can’t deny that this cooler goes for a ridiculously cheap price. You can buy almost ten of this for one Yeti, Orca, Rtic or Pelican coolers.
Coleman 48 Performance can be used light functions like the beach, picnic, overnight trips and activities that are not too over the head. If you need an adventure companion then this model wouldn’t fit, you’ll need premium ice chest.
Coleman 100QT Wheeled Cooler
- Antimicrobial liner resists odor, mold, mildew and fungus Keeps the Ice up to 5 days at temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Xtreme technology uses an insulated lid and extra insulation in the walls for longer ice retention Holds 160 cans Heavy-duty wheels for easy, reliable transport
- Leak-resistant channel drain for easy draining without tilting the cooler Have-A-Seat Lid supports up to 250 lbs for a place to sit and rest Large tow handle for easy pulling
- Comfort-grip swing handles for easy carrying Rust-resistant, stainless steel spring lid strap locks lid in place when open to prevent accidental closings
- Cup holders molded into the lid keep drinks close Low CO2 insulation for reduced carbon emissions from foam manufacturing
The Coleman 100QT wheeled cooler is an upgrade to the 45 QT we reviewed earlier. And yes it’s an upgrade both in design and space as it comes bigger and the design more alluring. Ideally, a cooler this size is supposed to be heavy but surprisingly it comes in just 21.4 lbs. That aside, heavy-duty wheels, a large tow handle, and two-way side handle provide flexible transport options to lift or pull your call as you deem fit.
At 100 Quart, you can store up to 160 cans of beer and ice. Another great feature is the molded-in cup holders in the lid to keep your drinks. This will come in handy and curbs opening the cooler often which will add to the insulation. Also, insulated walls and lid keep ice extendedly for long periods. Tests have revealed up to 5 days of ice in temperatures as high as 90F.
The have-a-seat lid the trademark of Coleman coolers, you can seat on the lid as it supports up to 250lbs. Easy to clean interior and a leak-resistant drain allow quick water drain and it’s built to do so without tilting the cooler.
On the downside, users made a complaint about the durability of the components. Considering this cooler is not Rotomolded and doesn’t cost as much, these are problems you have to deal with. Overall, a few issues can’t take away the satisfying feeling for a cooler within the $100 range brings.
Coleman Quart Heavy-Duty Super Cooler
If you are looking for Coleman cooler with premium ice chest features, the heavy-duty super cooler without a doubt takes first place. It is one of the most intriguing models on the list and if you’d read below you will know why.
The Coleman Heavy-Duty Super cooler is right in the top three best Coleman Ice chest period. This tank-like shaped cooler is rugged and durable, a product that will last years of abuse.
Among all the models on the list, this right here stands out as the most insulated. Also, if you need a fancy cooler to confidently show off at the beach, tailgate event, picnic or any outdoor event, then the Coleman is worth giving a shot.
Catch-free rubber latches secure the lid to the base. And in the event that it falls or roll, you are assured the cooler wouldn’t spill items out. The design is sleek, and the recessed built means it won’t clip your cloth or get in the way.
A padlock is integrated on the side to ensure you are 100 percent protected from theft and grizzly bears. Featuring tie-downs, users can easily secure the cooler to a boat or in the back of the car. Additionally, the non-skid feet keep your cooler from sliding off when it gets bumpy. Draining is performed through dual outlets by using a hose or 2-inch gate mouth to drain water.
In terms of the interior, Antimicrobial liner is used to prevent odor, mold, fungus, and mildew. Rope handles provide a steady grip and convenience especially when two people side by side lift the cooler. The Coleman Duty Super Cooler keeps on giving with nifty features like the dry basket and built-in opener.
Overall, this product is amazing and works as it is supposed to. It combines useful features that will appeal to users of all kinds.
- Portable beverage cooler with 9-quart capacity
- Large enough to hold 9 cans or a full meal
- Durable integrated lid hinges withstand repeated opening and closing
- Bail handle for easy, one-handed carrying
- Made in the USA
The Coleman Excursion is a budget option that comes with bare essentials to keep drinks cold for a short period. It’s a perfect option for people that don’t need a cooler for more than a day, and if you fall in this category, then shout hallelujah.
The cooler is designed rather simply and a smooth skin top that’s easy to clean. Construction wise, the exterior is made of hard plastic strong enough to take a beating. The walls are not thick and it does not have a traditional latch, freezer grade gasket, thus, the ice performance not the best. And as I’ve said earlier, you will get nothing more than a day of ice.
Coleman Excursion comes in two sizes (9 and 16 Quarts). Both sizes are compact and can fit into tight spaces. There’s a large-grip bail handle that folds on both sides which is handy for movement. It comes with limited color variations of blue and red.
Where it lacks in function, the Coleman excursion makes up with a dirt cheap price making the downsides bearable. Sure, it does not have high-end functionalities, but the price is perhaps the selling point of the product.
Coleman Coolers Soft-Bags on Sale
Coleman produces some of the best soft cooler bags on the market. Their peculiarity exceeds not only the affordable price, but beautiful designs and great insulation, and FDA approval to top it all off. There are many varieties in the market, but we want to relieve you of that stress by bringing the cream of the crop cooler bags that are highly rated by consumers.
Without further ado:
Coleman 9 Can Soft Cooler
- Holds 9 cans
- Treated with antimicrobials to resist odor, mold, mildew, and fungus from forming on removable liner that offers packing flexibility and easy cleaning
- Zippered main compartment keeps contents cold; use hard plastic liner if packing with ice, no need for liner with ice substitutes
- Shoulder strap adjusts for comfortable hands-free carrying
- Front zippered pocket, 2 side mesh pockets, dry storage pouch, and lid bungees available for added storage
In my opinion, soft coolers are ideal for no more than 6 hours of use. However, this depends on how well you pack your cooler, and the quality of ice packs used. This product can hold up to 9 can and space to fit in ice. It comes with a removable hard liner that adds to the versatility, durability, and insulation.
Antimicrobial liner is used inside to prevent the mold, odor, or mildew and enables quick and easy cleaning.
The main compartment is welded properly to prevent leaks. More so, the front zippered pocket offers space to keep items away from food and drinks. It features three mesh pockets for accessories, and a lid bungee to pack extra items on top.
Adjustable shoulder straps and side handles provide convenient options for carrying. All in all, this little guy is ideal for packing lunch and not anything overhead. Yes, you can use it on the beach, or tailgating, etc, just remember the ice performance doesn’t exceed a day.
Coleman Collapsible Cooler
- Insulation: Main compartment keeps contents cold and prevents leaks with heat welded seams
- Capacity: Holds up to 40 Cans
- Space saver: Collapsible design for easy storage
- Odor resistant liner: Treated with antimicrobials to resist odor, mold, and fungus
- Storage options: Front zippered pocket, side mesh pockets, and back bungee for storing accessories
In my opinion, this is the most stylish Coleman soft bag. At first sight, the design will draw you in and the availability of three colors of Mahogany, olive leaf and slate make it hard to choose from. But, whatever color you choose, you’d still regret why you didn’t pick all three colors.
To be realistic, the insulation performance is good. However, many users have reported leaks when the ice melts which is perhaps the only downside. Zippers are sturdy and durable. The front compartment is ideal for your accessories, while the main compartment is where your drinks and food are stored.
Thanks to the adjustable shoulder strap you can carry the bag at convenient positions. The sizes start from 9 can – 54 can meaning there’s a size for every need. Another great thing is the collapsible function that folds the bag when not in use.
In conclusion, the Coleman collapsible soft is excellent with some shortcomings (leaks), but the sheer beauty and insulation provided will keep customers hooked. This makes it one of the best designed soft bags you’ll find and worth checking out.
Coleman 24-Hour 16-Can Cooler
- Keeps the ice! - 24-hour ice retention at temperatures up to 90 DegreeF
- Antimicrobial liner resists odor, mold, mildew and fungus on the Product
- Zippered main compartment keeps contents cold
- Ripstop fabric helps prevent tears
- Heat-welded seams prevent leaks
The Coleman 16 Can comes with a hard liner that allows for easy cleaning, packing option, and insulation. In addition, the liner is Antimicrobial which prevents excess odor, mold, mildew, and fungus.
The zippered main compartment holds food and drinks, it is heat-welded – a fancy word for saying leak proof. Made of ripstop fabric you are assured of years of use. It has a slit as the front pocket to keep your accessories and snacks.
The shoulder strap is adjustable which allows for comfortable transport. On the downside, the insulation is below par compared to other products on the list.
However, the coolest thing is the leak-proof liner, extremely cheap price and portability. Sure, you can pack up to 16 cans of beer for tailgating, picnic, or a day at the beach, this product will suffice.
Coleman Thermo-Electric Coolers
Coleman are among the few companies leading the 12v Thermo-electric cooler technology. Their progress has been astounding that it now has an electric cooler in different sizes. While it ranges from mid-entry to high-end prices, there’s an overwhelmingly positive review from buyers. We picked one of the most reviewed sizes recommended by users.
Coleman 40QT Electric Cooler
- Versatile hot/cold thermoelectric cooler keeps food items at an optimal temperature
- Keeps contents up to 40 degrees colder or warmer than the surroundings
- 8-foot power cord allows you to the power the cooler with a car or boat outlet
- Door opens from either the left or right side to offer added placement flexibility
- 40-quart capacity holds up to 44 cans
The Coleman 40QT electric cooler comes in a grey body and milk lid. Utilizing a brushless motor and cooling fan for quiet operation, the sound output is minimal. According to the manufacturers, it can keep content for up to 40 degrees cooler than the surrounding temperature. Another good thing is that you don’t need ice packs; all you need is to plug the 12-volt plug to a sufficient power source –say a car’s cigarette lighter and it chills the rest.
Note: If you plug the product into the cigarette lighter spot in your car, make sure the car is running because users have reported flat car batteries after using it whilst the car was not active.
Asides the 40QT size, there is 26 and 28 Quart size. This model is spacious and can hold up to 44 cans of beer. It sits on the side or flat and opens on both sides depending on how you want to access the cooler.
Factors To Look For Before Buying Coleman Coolers
All the coolers we’ve mentioned on our list are undoubtedly the best options on the market. However, there are a few things you should know before you pick any cooler. This is to save the gripe of complaints if it doesn’t fit your specifications.
So to help you, we’ve written about some important factors you should consider:
A cooler is as good as its ice retention. I believe this statement should pass without opposition. When picking up a cooler you should consider you’re the ice retention. This will enable you to know if it will suffice for your needs.
You need to consider budget too, considering coolers that retain ice for more than 4 days (likely Rotomolded) are most expensive than the average cooler. If you want a top cooler which is perfect for a week’s trip, then I suggest you check out the Coleman steel-belted cooler. On short trips where you will need a day or two of cold drinks pick something cheaper like the Coleman Xtreme.
Again, if you don’t want to pack much and you need something light and portable, I recommend you go with soft bags. However, you should know that soft bags don’t hold ice for more than a day.
Size and Ideal Use
This factor is subjective depending on what you are using the cooler for. Adventure seeking individuals will likely lean towards ice retention, durability, and space. In that condition, you’ll have to choose a bigger sized cooler. Average users can pick up a soft bag or small cooler.
Again, you need to consider how heavy it can get when filled – and also considering the space the cooler will take in your car. Thermo-electric coolers are ideal for road trips. Choose a model that can easily sit in the back or in between the seat.
Most often than not expensive ice chest retains ice better. So users that want a cooler that can hold ice for longer will have to stretch their hands deep into their purse. While Coleman ice chest holds ice more than are lacking compared to premium coolers like the Pelican and ORCA.
This should not go without the saying that Coleman coolers are mostly made of plastic. This inherently means they are susceptible to break. While this might be the downside of many Coleman products, it is also a blessing to budget customers. I believe the cheap pricing of their coolers exhausts the quality issue. Come on, you will get what you pay for.
Customers are regularly looking for good products, especially products that are cheap and good. While this isn’t always feasible, Coleman coolers are close to satisfying that consumer need. Even so, you have to splurge on their higher-end models which are okay compared to Rotomolded coolers.
If you are still undecided, Igloo coolers also fall in the same category as Coleman coolers. Our guide will also help you pick the best Coleman coolers for your needs. If you need more brands to choose from, you can read our cooler reviews or check our homepage for exciting products.