Finding the Best Rolling Cooler for Beach Trips [Updated 2019]

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Going to the beach is a lot of fun, but without the best rolling cooler for beach use, you will find it very difficult to easily carry everything that you need. It doesn't matter if you are only going for a few hours or want to spend the day soaking up the sun a quality cooler can make the day more enjoyable. To ensure that you can not only easily bring with you all of the snacks and drinks that you want for your day on the beach but also that everything stays cold, you want to make sure that you have a great​ cooler for your trip.

I know how difficult it can be to find the right cooler for your use, which is why I have found the following five great options. No matter what kind of trip to the beach you are taking or whether it is with family members or your best friends, you are sure to be prepared for anything that happens with one of these coolers. You can also rest easy that you’ll be able to navigate deep sands without worrying about your ​beach cooler tipping over or getting out of control. Without further adieu, let's get to the cooler reviews!

​Comparison Chart

Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler, Charcoal/Acid Green/Chrome, 70 quart
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
Travel5.0 Deluxe Ripstop Beach Picnic Rolling Cooler With Wheels, Red
Igloo Cool Fusion 36-Can Roller MaxCold Coolers, Black
Coleman Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Cooler with Wheels | Wheeled Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days, Black
Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler, Charcoal/Acid Green/Chrome, 70 quart
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
Travel5.0 Deluxe Ripstop Beach Picnic Rolling Cooler With Wheels, Red
Igloo Cool Fusion 36-Can Roller MaxCold Coolers, Black
Coleman Wheeled Cooler
Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler, Charcoal/Acid Green/Chrome, 70 quart
Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler, Charcoal/Acid Green/Chrome, 70 quart
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler
Travel5.0 Deluxe Ripstop Beach Picnic Rolling Cooler With Wheels, Red
Travel5.0 Deluxe Ripstop Beach Picnic Rolling Cooler With Wheels, Red
Igloo Cool Fusion 36-Can Roller MaxCold Coolers, Black
Igloo Cool Fusion 36-Can Roller MaxCold Coolers, Black
Coleman Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Cooler with Wheels | Wheeled Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days, Black
Coleman Wheeled Cooler

Our Reviews Of The ​Top Rolling Coolers ​

1. ​Igloo Trailmate Cooler: Possibly the Best Rolling Cooler for Beach Use

Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler, Charcoal/Acid Green/Chrome, 70 quart

Review

​This cooler offers all of the features that you need to make sure that you can easily use your cooler on the beach without it getting bogged down in the sand. The wheels are all 10 inches and incredibly wide to give you plenty of purchase on even the softest, fluffiest sand. Thanks to the tie-down loops included on this cooler, you can easily attach your chairs and towels to the top of the cooler and free up your hands without worrying about your stuff sliding off and landing on the ground.

Enjoy the media docking area of the cooler to prop up your electronics so you can enjoy music, movies, or even e-books. As it comes complete with cup holders and an extendable handle, you won’t ever have to worry about how you will get all of your food and snacks to your destination on the beach. Additionally, this cooler has storage that is water-resistant so you can keep your keys and phone in the cooler without worrying about them getting lost, which is great for cutting down on the amount of bags and items that you bring with you to the beach.

PROS

  • ​Great additional features
  • ​Having a water resistant storage area is useful
  • ​Large wheels make transporting on the beach much easier

CONS

  • ​There are no handles to help lift the cooler up into your car

​2. ​Pelican ProGear Elite Cooler

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

Review

Perfect for users who are tired of buying coolers that claim to do a great job preventing ice melt and keeping food and drinks cold, this cooler is ideal for a long day at the beach or camping in the woods. Thanks to the built-in UV resistance, there won’t be any concern about the cooler being affected by long hours in the sun or breaking down over time. Additionally, the stainless steel hardware is specifically chosen for use on this cooler due to its longevity and durability.

Traveling on the beach can be hard with a cooler, which is why this Pelican cooler has such large and strong wheels. They are designed to be able to roll easily on all types of surfaces, including dry and unpacked sand, without the cooler getting bogged down or stuck. This makes it significantly easier for families to find the perfect spot on the beach without having to resort to carrying the cooler.

Because this cooler has a gently sloping interior, it’s easier than ever to drain off any water from melted ice without having to remove food and drinks from the cooler or tip it up onto its size. Additionally, the carry handles are designed to make lifting the cooler up or down from a vehicle as easy as possible, even though it will be heavy when full.

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PROS

  • ​Can keep ice cold up to 10 days
  • ​​Press and pull latches are designed to keep contents secure
  • ​Integrated fish scale on the lid helps prevent tall tales
  • ​Built-in bottle opener
  • ​Heavy-duty wheels are designed for all surfaces

CONS

  • ​​Heavy to roll around, especially when full of ice

​3. ​Travel5.0 Beach Rolling Cooler

Travel5.0 Deluxe Ripstop Beach Picnic Rolling Cooler With Wheels, Red

Review

Perfect for a long day at the beach, this rolling cooler from Travel5.0 is designed to allow users to easily bring with them plenty of food and drinks and to keep them all cold, thanks to the durable inner lining of the cooler and the multiple compartments. Unlike other coolers that only have one spot for all of the food and drinks, this rolling cooler has a few different spots for users to stash their snacks, helping make sure that nothing is damaged in transit.

The durable wheels are designed to withstand use on roads and sidewalks, packed sand, and boardwalks without being damaged or breaking. This allows beach goers to easily navigate any surface and find the perfect spot for where they want to spend the day. With mesh sections on the sides of the cooler, users can easily stash sunscreen, aloe, or other necessities within easy reach without taking up precious space inside the cooler.

When the beach trip is over, it’s easy to remove the liner from the cooler, rinse it out, and allow it to dry before putting it back in. This ensures that this cooler is always ready for the next adventure and that the inside is clean and dry before storage or a trip. The locking pull-up handle makes it easy for anyone in the family to pull this cooler so that nobody has their hands full.

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PROS

  • ​Features zippered front pocket to help separate food
  • ​Locking pull-up handle is easy to use
  • ​Rubber roller skate wheels are designed for use without wearing out
  • ​Removable liner is easy to wash
  • ​Pulls easily on firm beach sand

CONS

  • ​We wish the handle was a bit more stable

​4. ​Igloo Cool Fusion Maxcold Cooler: Enjoy the Benefits of a Hard and Soft Cooler

Igloo Cool Fusion 36-Can Roller MaxCold Coolers, Black

Review

A hard liner and base are fully surrounded by a cooler bag that provides ample insulation to help keep all of your drinks and snacks cold while you are spending the day on the beach. I love that there is an elastic bungee crisscrossed across the top of the cooler, which makes it easy to store magazines, towels, or a bottle of sunscreen on the top of the cooler and within easy reach. Igloo always includes small details in their coolers that set them apart from the competition and this is no different. It's really an innovative combination of hard and soft sided coolers.

There are fabric handles on either side of the cooler to make it easy to lift the cooler in and out of the car and plenty of pockets for storage. Unlike other coolers that can be difficult to roll on the sand, this cooler has two durable wheels that are perfectly spaced from each other so that you won’t have to worry about your cooler accidentally tipping over when you are moving it.

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PROS

  • ​The top zippered compartment and bungee offers plenty of space for dry goods
  • ​The side pockets provide a nice additional storage option for easy access to books and phones
  • ​Good cooling for a beach day

CONS

  • ​Not the largest/best wheels for on beach use
  • ​Despite a latch, the seal ​between the lid and the cooler could be better

​5. ​Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler: Perfect for a Large Party

Coleman Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Cooler with Wheels | Wheeled Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days, Black

Review

Ideal for people who are going to be spending a whole day on the beach, this Coleman cooler can actually keep ice frozen for a few days at a time. This means that you won’t ever have to worry about the safety of the food or drink that you are going to be enjoying as it is sure to stay cold enough to be safe to enjoy. As it is made of sturdy plastic, there is very little chance that you are going to have to deal with any broken parts when you opt for this cooler.

The two wheels are large and durable enough that you can traverse not only sand on the beach but also any driftwood or rocks that are in your path. Rely on the telescoping handle to pull the cooler and the two side handles when you want to be able to carry it or lift it. The lid has four cup holders that are molded into the plastic so you can enjoy this cooler as a small table as well.

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PROS

  • ​Ice will stay frozen in the cooler for days
  • ​The secure lid is difficult to open but provides great temperature control

CONS

  • ​The inside space is bit awkward due to the wheels taking up room and the slant of the back wall
  • ​Handle isn't heavy duty

Buyer's Guide

Whether you are on your way to a camping trip with friends or headed to the beach with your family, you want to make sure that you can bring along any food and water that you will need, and that it stays nice and cool on the trip. Trying to lug a traditional cooler full of snacks, drinks, and ice can be exhausting, but when you choose a cooler that has wheels, you can easily pull it along behind you. Not all roller coolers are made the same, and there are a few things that you need to consider before spending any money. Make sure that you know what roller cooler is the best one for you before shopping so you don’t waste your hard-earned money.

Consider the Storage Capacity

It’s really easy to get caught up in looking at the size of the rolling cooler that you want to buy, and while overall size is important and will play a role in how easily you can pack and transport your cooler, you also need to think about the capacity. A larger capacity will allow you to pack ​extra food and snacks, and you must make sure that you have enough ​cans or bottles of your favorite beverage for everyone in your party​.

Look at the Insulation

The insulation of your cooler is also incredibly important. Some coolers have more advanced technology that can help keep the cooler colder for longer, which will help to prevent food waste. This is important no matter where you are going or how hot it will be, but it is especially important for trips to the beach in the middle of the summer, as you do not want to have to eat spoiled food. Additionally, look on the cooler for information about how long ice will last, as most coolers have a sticker showing their ice retention. Even with quality ice packs, a poorly insulated cooler won't keep your perishables cold for long when you're outdoors in the hot sun.

Count the Wheels

The number of wheels that a roller cooler has will play a huge role in how easily you can transport your cooler when it is full. While two wheels may be fine for an empty cooler, coolers with four wheels will allow you a lot more control when moving the cooler. Coolers that only have two wheels are also much more prone to accidentally tipping over. However, when you use a cooler with four wheels you do have to make sure that you store it on a flat surface or it will roll away.

Look at the Wheel Type

The type of wheels is just as important as how many there are. Larger wheels are going to be better for going on rough terrain and on the beach. Smaller wheels simply don’t have the surface area to handle travel in rough conditions. On the other hand, smaller wheels are just fine for rolling on smooth and flat surfaces, such as a road, a patio, or in a home.

Test the Handle

Different coolers will have different handles, but you want to make sure that the one you choose is not only long enough for you to easily pull the cooler along behind you, but also that it is securely attached so that there isn’t any risk of it breaking. The heavier the food and drinks you have in the cooler the more important it is that your handle is very durable. Also look for one with a comfort grip so that your hands don’t get too tired when pulling the cooler.

​Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Cooler Do I Need?

It’s normal to ask yourself what size cooler you really need for your upcoming trip. You don’t want to overspend on a cooler that is larger than you need, but if you buy a cooler that is too small, then you won’t get the best use out of it. Consider how many people are going with you and how long your trip will be. These will play a huge role in how much food and how many drinks you need to bring with you and can help you choose the best size for your needs. The size will also have a big impact upon how portable the cooler is.

How Long Will the Ice Last?

Unfortunately, ice retention can vary widely from cooler to cooler, which is why you need to do all of your research before choosing a cooler. Ice retention can vary depending on what type of technology the cooler uses, as well as how much insulation there is included in the walls, bottom, and lid of the cooler. Some coolers claim to keep ice for days at a time, which can be great if you are going on a very long trip and won’t have the ability to add more ice to your cooler once you leave the home.

Should I Look for a Cooler with a Dry Bin?

Some roller coolers come with dry bins, which are used inside the cooler to separate different items. These are great because they can help to keep certain foods cold without allowing them to get wet. Because you need to have ice in your cooler to keep everything cold, the inside of your cooler is generally wet. However, if you are packing baked goods and don’t want them to get wet when the ice and water sloshes around, then look for a cooler with a dry bin. You can put anything in the bin that you don’t want to get wet and it will prevent your food from going bad.

Do I Really Need Durable Side Handles?

Even though you will be using the telescoping handle to maneuver your cooler when on your trip, you still want to make sure that the side handles on your cooler are durable and firmly attached. These are what you will use to lift your cooler up into your car and then back out when you arrive at your destination. Without side handles you will have to try to lift a large and heavy cooler by simply grabbing the sides or bottom of it, and this is not only difficult, but can be dangerous. Test the durability of side handles before buying a cooler so you can be sure that they won’t break.

​The Verdict

Buying the ​right ice chest for your beach trip doesn’t have to be difficult when you weigh the pros and cons of available models. While any of these ​five wheeled coolers will make keeping your food and drinks cold on your trip a breeze, the Igloo Trailmate Cooler is the best option for a number of reasons. This rugged cooler is ​a bit higher end than the others but will keep your drinks cold for a long period of time and is tough enough to handle any terrain. ​Though the Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler is a great second choice due to the ample insulation that it provides.  

Related: Discover Cooler Bags for the Beach

We know how difficult it can be to find the right rolling cooler for your day at the beach, which is why we\'ve found five great options to keep your food and drinks cold all day long! #BeachVacation #BeachVacationEssentials

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