8 Best Cooler for Car Travel and Road Trip 2023


Author: Alyn Dune

A long trip can be so tiring, not just does your car needs fuel, but you also need those refreshments to keep you going. The best coolers for car travel will help to stock your car with cold drinks and snacks! Those are essentials to keep your focus on riding and maintaining your awareness.

Nowadays your car can be so sophisticatedly equipped with fancy technology, more power outlets, AI capability, best car seat cushion for long-distance driving, the best fire extinguisher for car, and more cup holders. Those techs can make your car a comfy place like home for sleeping, cooking, or having fun. This travel car cooler is essential for long trips just like your other supplementary travel accessories.

You can choose many variations, including hard coolers, portable bags, or wheel variations. These travel coolers also come in a variety of colors with unique utility that range from the very basic to the versatile.

It all depends on your needs and available space. If you’re looking for the best coolers for car travel, you have to be aware that there’s something out there for each type of traveler.

Our team makes recommendations for the best coolers for road trip. Find the perfect match from these extensive product reviews and let the trip party begins!

The Best Cooler for Travel Buying Guides

Here are some pointers to help you look the difference between each type of travel cooler for your car.

Basic Cooler

red water cooler 1

This is the one you normally see while having backyard parties or picnics! This container is plastic-made, double-walled, lightweight with little insulation.

You can find this type of travel cooler at a relatively reasonable price. If you are having short or couple of hours riding, this travel container is still convenient for you. It can hold your drink cold for a few hours (5-6 hours), depends how much ice/cooler you put inside the container.

Soft-sided Coolers

If you don’t have enough space inside your car, this soft sided cooler can keep your drink temperature low. While empty, this container can be easily folded to save space.

It is super light and portable, perfect if you stop by and have some trek on your picnic or rest spot.

In fact, this soft sided cooler container does a worse job in keeping your drink temperature, depending on the build quality and price.

Heavy-duty Collers

This heavy duty coolers is perfect for coolers for car trips. It is built to keep your drink frosty for days!

Moreover, this larger coolers are also able to protect your glass bottle or two liter bottles inside from any impacts with heavy-duty materials. The cooling technology of the insulation allows you to maintain a low temperature for a long period of time.

Worry no more with your supplies on the next road trip!

Electric Coolers

This type of cooler doesn’t need ice to keep the temperature. You can simply put the plug inside your car, and it will work properly. It is super convenient for best coolers for road.

The thermoelectric cooler will depend on the temperature, somewhere around 30 degrees below the outside temperature. The normal interior car temperature is around 70 degrees, so your cooler will keep the temperature around 40 degrees which is still good for your drink.

Our Lists of The Best Cooler for Car Travel

After comparing the products and evaluating online reviews, we nominate 9 best coolers for a road trip for each need’s category. Here they are!

1. Igloo BMX 25 QT Cooler

(Best Economy Cooler for Car Travel)

Best Economy Cooler for Car Travel
Able to keep ice for four days in 90FThe cooler doesn’t have rubber feet.
Strong construction with metal kickplates and reinforced baseThe screw in hinges on the back fragile in some cases
Sturdy lock with rubberized latches
Cool design with variety of colors
Affordable travel coolers
Virtually indestructible
wide mouth opening

This Igloo BMX 25 QT Cooler is one of the best cooler for car travel. It has a large capacity and can hold up to 25 quarts of ice or cold water, making it perfect for camping trips or coolers for road trips! The lid also features an easy-to-use crank handle which makes opening the cooler much easier than using the traditional screwdriver.

This best coolers for road is made with durable, double-walled construction and has a built-in metal handle for easy carrying. It also features a leak-resistant, hinged lid opening and a 360-degree, molded base that provides stability.

This impressive cooler has a superior cold holding capabilities, thanks to UV protection and thick foam insulation that are twice insulated.

The base is made of durable ABS plastic containers with rubber feet for added traction on any surface. It’s easy to clean thanks to its nonporous design; just wipe it down with soap and water or use the included microfiber cloth. The durable steel construction ensures the stand will last for years to come.

This best cooler for car travel is perfect for taking a long distances on camping trips, fishing excursions, or any other outdoor activity. The top lid opens and closes easily with a simple twist of the handle, while the bottom has an adjustable air vent to regulate airflow through the box.

2. YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

(Best Quality Long Trip Cooler)

2. Best Quality Road Trip Cooler: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
Holds up to 24 cans of your favorite beverages coldNO threaded drain plug
The perfect size for a day trip or a long weekendStrap too short
Resistant to denting, scratching, and UV damage
PermaFrost thick insulation keep the contents cold for extended period of time
Comfortable padded straps
Shoulder straps
Adjustable straps

The YETI Roadie 24 Cooler is a great product for those who love spending a few hours outdoors. This best cooler has been designed with permafrost insulation to keep your food and drinks cool, even when you are on the go!

This best cooler for car travel is made with high-quality materials and has many features that make it stand out from the competition. Not only coolers for road trips, but It’s also a great big cooler for any outdoor enthusiast, whether you are having backyard barbecues, sporting events, fishing, beach day, camping, or hunting!

Some of these features include a rotomolded construction, Coldlock airtight gasket, and T-Rex Lid Latches. These superior cooling capabilities work together to create an airtight seal and keep the cold inside the great cooler while preventing any heat from escaping.

The best coolers for road is made out of ABS plastic making it lightweight but durable enough so that it can withstand heavy use. It is also very durable and can handle being dropped or thrown around without any damage. Moreover, you can choose a variety of colors available that suit your style.

3. KULA Cooler 2.5

(Best Portable Cooler for Road Trip)

Best Portable Cooler for Road Trip
Carry HandleSleek, lightweight, and comfortably carryCarry Handle Not Really Comfy
14 Cans of beerSmall size
Unique Design
Tough rubber latch
Tap Water plug
Gator Proof certified
Easy transport

The first thing to know about Kula coolers is their circular shape. Rather than squared and rectangular coolers that most developers build, Kula coolers feature a rounded design. This allows the air to circulate more freely around your food without having to worry about getting stuck in corners or other tight spots. No need additional car air purifier!

The KULA cooler is a tool that you can use for any purpose. Use it as a cooler, seat, baitwell, rod holder, cast net holder, equipment storage, or anything else that you can with a bucket, such a heavy duty construction! The KULA cooler has been designed to be used in the most extreme conditions and will hold up under heavy loads.

Lightweight, easily carried, long-lasting and tough as a rock. The latchs and commercial grade gaskets protect the lid to keep it stay cold for days. This best cooler for car travel has utilized the proven effectiveness of rotomolded plastic to create an excellent insulation design. This thick insulation allows the Kula ice chest cooler to retain ice packs for up to five days, perfect coolers for road trips!

4. YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler

(Best Premium Cooler for Car Trip)

Best Premium Cooler for Road Trip
A wider, easier openingMagnetic closure won’t stay open
Unique soft sided coolersDifficult to load alone
Hydroshield Closure for the openingHUGE
Room inside: 7.2 Gallons or 20 cans
Shoulder straps
Adjustable straps

The new Hopper M30 by Yeti took the expansion of other Hopper coolers into consideration, and the Hopper M30 provides improved froze temperature range and cooler performance along with revised wider magnetic opening, both making the cooler speak more for itself.

This large messenger-style soft sided coolers has handles on each side (similar to a purse), a shoulder strap, and a single handle on the backside for simple pulling.

Furthermore, this soft cooler has a waterproof magnetic closure instead of the zipper of old. The size is perfect for carrying your favorite beverage or food cold from home to work without having to carry around an extra cooler bag with more room!

The most significant difference between this version and the original one is the magnetic HydroshieldTM closure, which replaces the commonplace large zipper with a hyper-strong magnet system to create a watertight seal.

There’s no denying that the magnets are tremendous, but there can be no objection to that behavior for a watertight seal. If left unsupervised, nonetheless, the M30 will close up. Nothing can diminish the cooling capacity of a cooler than repeated opening and closing or improper closing.

5. Igloo Thermoelectric Portable Beverage Cooler

(Best Electric Cooler for Car )

Best Electric Cooler for Car Travel
PolypropyleneThis unit doesn’t retain its coolness after being unplugged
Powered by 12V DC auto plug adapterHeavy
Can be used upright like a refrigerator or horizontal
Cools to 38 DegreeF below ambient temperature
Quiet brushless motor and convection cooling
Cool without ice packs
Large capacity

Igloo has been proudly manufacturing top-of-the-line best cooler for car travel, durable coolers in America since 1969. This cooler model is made of heavy duty coolers, hard sided cooler, weather-proof PU plastic with a waterproof polypropylene lining. It comes with a swing-up handle for easy carrying and ideal cooler for transportation. Two molded handles allow for the two-handed lifting of this cooler model.

It has 28-quart storage, so it can hold up to 32 12-ounce cans. This cooler also includes an 8-inch long power cord that plugs right into a vehicle’s 12-volt power socket for ice-free cooling. The air conditioner running with no requirement for ice, the cooler maximizes your interior space for storing food. It can hold contents at 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Coleman Steel Belted Cooler

(Best for Long Trip)

Best for Long Trips Coleman Steel Belted Cooler
54-Quart Capacity Accommodates Up to 85 CansThe plastic parts of the cooler, including drain plug and metal hinges
Keeps the Ice insulation offers 4-day ice retention 
Ultratherm insulation
Hard cooler: Sturdy rust-resistant stainless steel hardware
Comfort-grip steel handles
Eetro design
Bottle opener

Founded in 1954, Coleman has stayed at the forefront of the gear travel industry for 60 years as the best travel cooler for car. The iconic American company is known for its steel belted hard cooler. Coleman’s smart coolers have the very latest features for chilling your favorite drinks chilled and keeping them cool for days with larger cooler capacity, no worry about melted ice.

We love my Coleman Steel Belted Cooler! This best cooler for car travel can hold up to 85 jugs and the stainless-steel handles feature rubber grips, making it easy to carry. The retro-looking cooler is definitely a conversation starter and we’ve seen a lot of compliments on it. It’s also been really great for keeping drinks and food cold while camping or at the beach trips.

It is durable and rust-resistant and has rustproof, leak proof drainage channels. This truly cool and extremely durable cooler will be perfect cooler for your adventurous trip.

7. Coleman 28 Can Backpack Cooler

(Best Soft Cooler Backpack)

Best Soft Backpack Cooler Coleman 28 Can Backpack
EASY TO CARRYNot for long trip
Holds up to 28 cans
Large front multiple pockets for quick access to napkins and accessories
easy transport
Lot of additional features
easy access

The Coleman cooler backpack® OutlanderTM 28-Can soft sided coolers Backpack makes the ideal personal cooler for adventurous outings, festivals, hotel room and water activities. It holds refreshments and enough drinks cold for up to 24 hours using simple backpack straps, good for smaller cooler, one of the best budget.

The cooler backpack features a removable insulated beverage sleeve that keeps beverages chilled until you’re ready to drink them. A mesh pocket on the front of this pack is perfect for storing snacks cold or other small items cold.

The cargo compartment features zippered pockets that are accessible to the user, side zippered, and a bottle openers. The interior of the liner is antimicrobial, designed to prevent bacterial growth, ice melts, moisture retention, and mold development. It holds up to 28 drink cans.

Whether or not the Coleman Cooler Backpack is the right cooler for you will depend on what you need. If you’re seeking something that will keep ice frozen for a whole day and night, this cooler bag product is not for you.

In addition, This cooler backpack won’t be suitable for someone who requires a large and sturdy cooler bag that is capable of carrying all of their food and drinks for the weekend on rough terrain.

8. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless

(Best Overall Cooler for Car Trip)

Best Overall Cooler for Road Trips
EASY TO CARRYNO threaded drain plug
Deep Freeze high performance thick insulationStruggles with cooling life
Ultra Safe leak proof
Holds up to 30 cans
HardBody liner with SmartShelf

The Titan 30 from Arctic Zone offers the advantage of the portability of a personal cooler, but without the need for a zipper. This best cooler for car travel instead features a patented flip-open zipperless lid opening that makes it quick and easy to get at the contents.

This author favorite coolers use an “open zipperless lid” to provide quick access to food, beverages, and interior accessories. The Rhino-Tech exterior features durable and waterproof technology, making washing simple.

The Titan 30 can vacuum-sealed cooler can keep ice frozen for up to 3 days! Deep Freeze high-performance insulation with radiant heat barrier and triple-layer ColdBlock base work together to provide optimal cooling to keep the content stay frozen.

You can choose to hold drinks hard from soft foods, so sandwiches and other soft foods do not get crushed. If you want to use the whole removable liner, the SmartShelf is easily removed to give you one larger compartment, super easy while moving to other house.

Frequently Asked Question

What Material is the Best for Travel Cooler?

santa claus walking mountains with portable cooler

There are two options of best cooler for car travel depending on your need, If you not having a long distances trip, the soft sided cooler can be an option because of its simplicity and being portable. But if you looking for more heavy-duty works, the rotomolding-built cooler will do the best job. The rotomolding allows a cooler to form a structure that is able to minimize air seepage preventing the cold air from leaking. The material is usually made of LLDPE plastic.

How big of a cooler do I need for a trip?

travel cooler

A week-long trip will require at least 50-quart cooler to keep your food and drinks cold for the entire journey. For more casual occasions like short trips or couple days trips, 20-quarts is more than enough!

Why Buy a Travel Cooler?

red water cooler

Perfect travel coolers will keep all things cool and well arranged and not messy, NO need to buy ice packs multiple times, low cost: Save money as you can bring food or beverages from home, useful for emergency usage like keeping medicine.

How to Choose there Right Travel Cooler?

– Consider the right capacity and space for you.
– Think about the insulation quality: mainly 2 types (Polystyrene or foam insulation)
– Think about the portability
– Warranty and durability

Soft Coolers vs Hard Coolers

soft sided cooler are light in weight, so they can be easily carried on your back or carried as a pouch. With a fabric or vinyl exterior and a soft fabric lining, soft coolers are easy to wipe clean or wash as needed.

hard sided cooler are better to keep ice and are often made from hard, rotomolded-plastic, which makes them surprisingly damage-resistant. Their large quantity, however, means these coolers often have difficulty moving.

What is Best Cooler for Car Travel?

There are tons of travel cooler brands and types in the market with each different kind of purpose you can choose. Having basic knowledge on choosing factors like size, style, price or picture will help you pick the best cooler for you.
Here we are going to give a simple picture of cooler types you can find in the market:, types of coolers:
– Basic Coolers
– Soft sided cooler
Heavy duty coolers
Electric coolers

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it. Home decor, DIY related topics, & Travel are topics that I love to write!

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