Best Coolers For The Beach: 5 Top Picks (Worth Looking At)

Best Beach Cooler

There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach enjoying the sun, sand and surf. But nothing will spoil that perfect day quite as fast as warm soda and soggy sandwiches will.

A beach trip takes hours, not days. This means that you probably don’t need a cooler with best in class ice retention. That doesn’t mean that the cheapest cooler is your best bet though.

Choosing the best cooler for the beach means taking a few beach-specific things into consideration like the sand, the sun and the long distance between the beach and where you eventually find parking.

If we were off to the beach then these are the coolers we would take.

Beach Cooler Reviews

1. Polar Bear Coolers Soft Cooler

Polar Bear Coolers Soft Cooler

Polar Bear focuses on making high quality coolers that are perfect for short trips like a day at the beach.

This ice chest doesn’t just look good but it performs really well. It will keep your food and drinks cold for the entire day.

The handle and the comfy backpack straps make this soft-sided cooler a pleasure to carry.

As soon as you feel the heavy duty nylon material you realize that this is no cheaply made water cooler. This is a small cooler that you’ll be taking to the beach for years to come. While a soft-sided cooler doesn’t normally have the performance stats of a hard cooler, we think that this one would give a few of them a run for their money.

2. Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Liner

If you’re catering for more than just 2 beach bums then you’re going to need something with more capacity like this 42-can cooler from Coleman.

More stuff equals more weight and that’s why we would go for a wheel cooler. Don’t imagine that any cooler with wheels will roll on the sand because it won’t.

When you see how far away you have to park from the beach, that’s when you understand the value of the wheels. Once you get to the sand the telescoping handle stows nicely and you and your buddy can each grab a hold of the straps on the side of the bag.

This cooler includes both a removable hard liner, as well as a soft, permanent PEVA liner. T​hey are both easy to clean and mold, odor, and mildew resistant. Your bottles and food are sure to stay chilled in this trusted wheel cooler.

The bungees on the lid are a particularly nice touch and work well for storing towels, beach umbrella, books, etc… This is the best beach cooler for a group of more than two people.

3. Coleman C002 Soft 45 Can Eva Molded Cooler

Coleman C002 Soft 45 Can Eva Molded Cooler

The problem with a lot of coolers is finding place to store it when you’re not using it.

Coleman has solved that problem with this great large cooler that collapses down to the size of a phone book for easy storage.

As the name implies it can hold 45 cans which is plenty space for a day’s worth of food and drinks.

The cup holders on the top of the lid are a nice touch as well although they work best with some contents in the cooler to provide some rigidity. We especially liked the bottle opener built into the zip pull which means no more scratching around for an opener when you should be enjoying your beer.

It includes an adjustable shoulder strap and two side handles to make it easy to carry to your beach destination.​ This could certainly be the best cooler for the beach for you.

4. eBags Crew Cooler II

eBags Crew Cooler II

The “Crew” in the name comes from the fact that these were first designed as lunch coolers for flight crew.

Recently they have become very popular as high quality soft coolers for day trips like going to the beach.

You can get 10 cans into the cooler which gives you a good idea of the capacity. It’s ideal for one or two people and will easily carry enough lunch and drinks for a day on the beach as well as an ice pack or two to keep things cold.

If a small, personal cooler won’t be big enough for you and a large cooler is just too big, then the size of the Crew Cooler II is right in the Goldilocks zone. While it was designed for air travel this is actually one of the best coolers for the beach.

It includes a top zippered pocket for easy access to all of your dry items, large and small water bottle pockets on either side, a replaceable food-safe PEVA liner, and a main cold compartment with insulation on all six sides. It even has a shoulder strap and handle, so it's easy to carry!​

5. EvoVox Insulated Cooler Bag

EvoVox Insulated Cooler Bag

It’s a day at the beach, not a week long camping trip, so the 16-can capacity of this tote cooler from EvoVox is perfect.

Besides the main compartment for your snacks and bottles it has loads of pockets for storing your phone, keys, wallet etc…

There’s no need to bring another beach bag for the rest of your stuff.

EvoVox have used high quality Polyester to make this small cooler. They are so sure that it’ll last for ages that they offer a lifetime warranty on their product. The zippers are really heavy duty as and have a nice solid feel when opening and closing the bag. If it’s just going to be the two of you then this personal cooler is ideal.


When you’re trying to choose the best beach cooler remember not to get one that’s too big because you’re going to have to carry it. Don’t get one that’s too small though because you’ll be fighting over the last beer 2 hours into your tanning session.

It’s important to remember that this won’t be the only thing that you will be carrying. Make sure that the straps or handles are going to allow you to be able to hang onto your beach umbrella, beach chair, kids etc…

If you plan on going to the beach more than once in your life then spend a few bucks more and choose one of the best coolers for beach conditions. This way you’ll have something that will last for years, rather than a cooler that you’ll end up leaving in the beach bin.

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