If you enjoy chilled beverages while camping, tailgating, or game party, you need a roto-molded cooler, find the best roto-molded coolers for your traveling or game parties. Here are the winners out of the 20 we have tested.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast and do not have a roto-molded cooler, you are missing out on fun and convenience. Roto-molded coolers have increased strength, ice-retention, and durability. They can prevent ice from melting for up to 2 weeks, so it is perfect for keeping beverages cold and storing perishable food for outdoor adventures.
What Exactly are Roto-Molded Coolers
Unlike regular coolers, manufacturers make roto-molded coolers using the rotational molding process. The roto-molding gives the plastic its desired shape providing a high-quality and durable body of the cooler.
The process of rotational molding begins with pouring hot molten plastic into a mold. The mold is rotated at a certain speed for the plastic to achieve an even and consistent thickness for the cooler’s body.
The construction of a traditional cooler may use good quality materials, but the process does not ensure enhanced strength and durability. The body of a traditional cooler is not as thick as the roto-molded cooler and has much lesser ice retention.
Roto-molding plastic to make a stronger cooler achieves strength and durability to ensure no weak spots that are prone to cracking or shattering.
There are hundreds of roto-cooler models out there. We have tested the 20 top-selling roto-molded coolers and picked the best 6 so that you do not have to. Our top picks are featured on the basis of ice retention, weight, and the price. Here are the best roto-molded coolers to enjoy frosty drinks in an outdoor setting.
Engel 65 High-Performance Cooler
Dimensions: 29.5″L x 17.3″W x 18″H
Ice Retention: 5 Days
Weight: 23 lbs
If you are not looking for fancy features and looks, and care for a well-insulated and durable roto-molded cooler then Engel 65 should be your pick. Excluding the looks and designs, the quality and performance are the same as that of YETI and ORCA. Plus it is $100 cheaper than YETI which makes it our editor’s choice.
Thick and continuous material ensures a strong and durable body. We tested and find that the cooler is very prone to cracking or shattering when it falls on the ground. The product is certified-bear resistant, so you stay relaxed for whatever is in the cooler stays safe from bears or any wild animal.
Manufacturers make this cooler from roto-molded polyethylene shell and cover it with a 2-inch thick layer of polyurethane insulated foam. The bottom and lid of the cooler are also insulated which ensures maximum ice retention. The cooler can also retain dry ice, which most of the competitor’s product cannot.
The manufacturer claims that the cooler can retain ice for 8 to 10 days, but on testing, we found that ice retention lasts up to five days. Five days of ice retention is enough for tailgating and traveling.
The portability is better than most of the competitors. It weighs 23 pounds, which is 6 pounds lighter than the YETI.
Other than strong and resilient construction, Engel 65 also provides UV resistance, so that your food and drinks remain safe and preserved.
Best Price on the Roto-Molded Cooler
Igloo BMX 25 and 50 Quart Cooler
Dimensions: 19.6″L x 15.7″W x 13.2″H
Ice Retention: 3-5 Days
Weight: 12.1 lbs
The small size of Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler surprised us with long-lasting thick-walled construction along with a low weight. Igloo BMX is our pick for the best price. It is available at a quarter of the price than most competitors with a proper thick-walled insulation design.
Igloo BMX roto-molded cooler has heavy duty-blow molded construction that gives extra strength and toughness despite the small weight and size. The metal kick plates are present for the extra protection of the cooler. We find the 50-quart cooler so durable that a person weighing 200 pounds can sit on it.
The lid lock has rubberized T-grips that ensure the cooler is properly locked. The lid and base have thorough insulation. The reinforced base gives enough weight to keep all your drinks and food safety in the cooler.
Igloo BMX roto-molded cooler is available in two options – 25 quart and 50 quarts. Both have more or less the same features and performance except the size obviously. Igloo BMX 25 is more light-weight and portable, whereas Igloo BMX 50 quart provides more room to store drinks and food.
Swing-up handles provide a comfortable grip. The multi-piece plastic provides convenience for carrying, comfortable grip. Ice retention is fairly good. Igloo BMX 25 quart can keep the ice for 3 to 4 days up to 90 F temperature, while the Igloo BMX 5O quart retains ice for 5 days.
One feature we found to be impressive is the base equipped with the Cooler Rise Technology. The base is also elevated so that the food and drinks are away from hot ground or surfaces.
Igloo BMX is not one of the rugged options out there, but it is one of the best roto-molded coolers under $100.
Best All Roto-Molded Cooler
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler
Dimensions: 30.5″L x 17.5″W x 16″H
Ice Retention: 6-7 Days
Weight: 29 lbs
YETI is one of the most renowned manufacturers of the roto-molded cooler, which makes it an expensive option. Its features top-most quality in the market of roto-molded coolers. The Tundra 65 is one of the best models of YETI roto-molded coolers. According to the manufacturer’s claim, the 3-inch insulation wall keeps the ice from melting for up to 2 weeks. This is so it can work for the duration of your camping and other outdoor trips. Moreover, we tested the ice retention and found that the cooler can keep ice frozen for 7 days in 95 F.
We found the performance of YETI Tundra 65 to be very impressive. By following the manufacturer’s instructions of keeping the ice and food at 2:1 ratio, you will have enough ice to keep the items cold after a week of continuous use. The weight and big size enough.
Another feature we liked was that the cooler has a dry goods basket for keeping food items. Using the dry goods basket for storing food will prevent it from coming in contact with the water or ice.
The T-rex latches on the lid ensure that the cooler is safely and strongly locked. The cooler weighs 29 pounds, which does not make it very portable. The YETI Tundra 65 would have made it to the top of our list if it were not for the high price and heavyweight. But if quality and high ice retention are what you are after, the YETI 65 can be your partner for all your outdoor trips and camping.
Best Wheeled Roto-molded Cooler
RovR Roto-Molded Cooler
Dimensions: 26.5″L x 20.8″W x 19.8″H
Ice Retention: 5 Days
Weight: 65 lbs
Nowadays, many roto-motor coolers have upgraded to wheels. Wheeled roto-molded coolers can be of great use in camping and tailgating. No matter how lightweight a roto-molded cooler is, it becomes very heavy to carry after you have put in lots of drinks and food items. With the advantage of wheels, you do not have to worry about carrying the cooler as you can easily wheel it around.
Among the many wheeled coolers, the best roto-molded cooler we found was the one by RovR. It is the most expensive one on the list, even costlier than the YETI and ORCA. Its high price is due to its additional unique features, which are absent in other coolers.
RovR claims that their roto-molded cooler gives ice retention of 10 days. We tested and find that the ice stays cold for 5 days in 90F and can retain the coldness longer.
The cooler weighs 65 pounds, which is very heavy, but carrying the cooler is not a problem as it has high-quality wheels. It is the only cooler in the market that has a bike attachment. The Bike R attachment comes with an extra $50 but works very well. The manufacturers claim that the bike attachment has gone through rigorous testing, which involved biking on the mountainous surfaces. So far, we have tested putting the maximum load in the cooler and moving it around on the bike and it works well.
It also has separate portions for storing beverages and dry food items. The dry storage bin can keep a lot of food items without getting in contact with ice or drinks. The cooler also enough space to separate out as a garbage or disposal bin keeping it completely away from the food and drinks inside.
There are also strong and sturdy attachments to hang stuff like a tote bag, umbrella, rod holders, and other stuff you may need at hand. Another great feature is the external foldable bin that comes with the cooler. The box fits onto the top of the lid and is very useful for carrying your other stuff.
Rov R roto-molded cooler has a high premium and many additional features, including the wheels. It is so far the best roto-molded cooler with wheels we have tested.
Best Ice Retention on the Roto-molded Cooler
ORCA75 Roto-molded Cooler
Dimensions: 35″L x 19″W x 19″H
Ice Retention: 8-10 Day
Weight: 39.4 lbs
After YETI, the most popular and premium manufacturers of roto-molded coolers are ORCA. ORCA offers a wide range of roto-molded coolers. Among them, we picked the ORCA 75 Quarts. Like YETI, its strong and durable construction is second to none. It is made from roto-molded polyurethane, providing thick insulation and a lid gasket to keep the cooler sealed.
It can retain ice for up to ten days. Our experts found that the cooler can retain ice in temperatures up to 75 F.
ORCA 75 roto-molded cooler is the heaviest in our list, weighing 40 pounds. It has the capacity to hold 90 cans. It is definitely not suitable for light packers. However, those who find the features suitable can easily carry it both solo or tandem as it has two handles made from flex-grip material. There is a cargo net attachment to store any items. There is also a high-quality drain sprout in the cooler which allows drainage any hassle.
Best of the Rest Cooler
Coleman 70 Quart Coastal Extreme
Dimensions: 27.4″L x 19.6″W x 19.6″H
Ice Retention: 5-6 Day
Weight: 13.4 lbs
The Coleman 70 Quart Coastal Extreme has tremendous value if you are looking for a high-quality roto-molded cooler with all the basic features. We find it to be spacious, reliable, with satisfactory ice retention. It weighs 13.4 pounds when empty, so it is very portable compared to others on the list.
The Coleman 70 Quart Coastal Extreme claims to retain ice for seven days. After testing, we found that it can keep ice and drinks cool for 6 days in 90F which is less than YETI and OCRA, but longer than Engel 65 and Igloo BMX.
One unique feature is that the lid has cup a holder to keep your drinks or cups in it. The cooler also has a channeled drain, which makes draining much easier. The draining requires very little tilting, so it saved time on draining the cooler. However, draining is not insulated, but still, we do not see it much of a problem.
The Coleman 70 Quart Coastal Extreme is one of the best roto-motor coolers we found and tested with. Although the performance may not be the same as YETI and OCRA, it still has great value and provides all the necessary features you need in a cooler.
Tips to increase retention in the cooler
Although coolers have maximum retention of one week or more, several factors can affect retention. The following are some tips you should follow to increase your cooler retention.
- Pre-chill your cooler with tap water and sacrificial ice for at least 12 hours. Dump the ice and use new ice cubes or blocks when you are going for the trip.
- For longer trips, use blocks of ice as they last longer.
- Try to keep the cooler in shaded areas as much as possible. You can cover it with a cloth or reflective foil.
- You can freeze plastic water bottles and use them with ice to increase retention.
- Try to open the cooler as little as possible. The more you open the cooler the more heat comes inside.
- Make sure to close the lid every time you open the cooler properly.
When buying a roto-molded cooler look for extended ice retention and high strength and durability. The cooler should be tough enough to withstand extreme temperature and damage from falling. If you are going camping for woods, then make sure to get a cooler that is certified bear-resistant. Other features to look for are UV resistance, rust resistance and proper drainage of the cooler.
Here were the top six picks of the best roto-molded coolers in the market. Now you must know what considerations to look for, get a roto-molded cooler that fits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The roto-molded cooler retains the ice longest among the other types of coolers. The rotational molding during the construction of the cooler gives strength, durability, and maximum thickness and insulation that can help to retain the ice for over a week.
YETI is currently leading the market place. The company has established itself as the gold standard for roto-molded coolers and other similar products. The overall design, construction material, sophisticated appearance, and ice retention longer than any other product, YETI has everything, so it is quite expensive. If people cannot afford a YETI, they look for products resembling the YETI as much as possible. Now, you know what to considers and the best features to find before getting a roto-molder cooler and choose the model according to your requirements.
The best way to ensure the cooling of your cooler is to prep it properly. Fill it with cold tap water and place a bag or preferably two of sacrificial ice. You must prep the cooler 12 hours before the trip.
Not all roto-molded cooler models support dry ice retention, but if you need to use dry ice, then get a roto-molded cooler accordingly. Dry ice unlike the normal ice, is frozen carbon dioxide and has a temperature of -109.3 F or -78.5 C.
Dry ice gives twice as cool as the normal ice. When handling dry ice, you should use insulating gloves as it would damage your skin. The rule of thumb is to always put dry ice on the top of food items or drinks in the cooler. One thing you must know is that the dry ice has less ice retention than the normal ice and will transform into smoke when exposed to heat.