Top 8 Best Cooler for Car Travel and Road Trip in 2022

Last Update:

A road trip can be so tiring, not just does your car needs fuel, you also need those refreshments to keep you going. The best cooler 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 cupholders. 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 road trips just like your other supplementary travel accessories.

There are many variations you can choose starting from hard-cased, portable bags, or wheel variation. These 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 cooler 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 trips. Find the perfect match from these extensive product reviews and let the road trip party begins!

Our Lists of The Best Cooler for Car Travel

  1. Igloo BMX 25 QT Cooler (Best Economy Cooler for Car Travel)
  2. YETI Roadie 24 Cooler (Best Quality Road Trip Cooler)
  3. KULA Cooler 2.5 (Best Portable Cooler for Road Trip)
  4. YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler (Best Premium Cooler for Road Trip)
  5. Igloo Thermoelectric Portable Ice (Best Electric Cooler for Car Travel)
  6. Coleman Steel Belted Coole (Best for Long Trips: Coleman Steel Belted Cooler)
  7. Coleman 28 Can Backpack (Soft Backpack Cooler)
  8. Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze (Best Overall Cooler for Road Trips)

8 Best Cooler for Car Travel Reviewed

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

1. Best Economy Cooler for Car Travel: Igloo BMX 25 QT Cooler

Best Economy Cooler for Car Travel
What We Like:
  • Able to keep ice for four days in 90F
  • Strong construction with metal kickplates and reinforced base
  • Sturdy lock with rubberized latches
  • Cool design with variety of colors
  • Affordable
What We Don’t Like:
  • The cooler doesn’t have rubber feet.
  • The screw in hinges on the back fragile in some cases

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

The cooler 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 and a 360-degree, molded base that provides stability.

This impressive cooler has superior cooling capabilities, thanks to UV protection and thick foam walls that are twice insulated.

The base is made of durable ABS plastic 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.

The cooler is perfect for taking along 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. Best Quality Road Trip Cooler: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

2. Best Quality Road Trip Cooler: YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
What We Like:
  • Holds up to 24 cans of your favorite beverage
  • The perfect size for a day trip or a long weekend
  • Resistant to denting, scratching, and UV damage
  • PermaFrost insulation keep the contents cold for an extended period of time
What We Don’t Like:
  • NO drain
  • Strap too short

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

This travel cooler is made with high-quality materials and has many features that make it stand out from the competition. Not only for a road trip, but It’s also a great cooler for any outdoor enthusiast, whether you are fishing, camping, or hunting!

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

The Roadie 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. Best Portable Cooler for Road Trip: KULA Cooler 2.5

Best Portable Cooler for Road Trip
What We Like:
  • Carry HandleSleek, lightweight, and easy to carry
  • 14 Cans of beer
  • Unique Design
  • Can hold ice for an alleged 3- 6 days
  • Tough rubber latch
  • Tap Water Drain hole
  • Gator Proof certified
What We Don’t Like:
  • Carry Handle Not Really Comfy
  • Small size

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.

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. 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. A latch protects the lid so it remains cold for days. Kula has utilized the proven effectiveness of rotomolded plastic to create an insulation design. This insulation allows the Kula ice chest to retain ice for up to 3-6 days.

4. Best Premium Cooler for Road Trip: YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler

Best Premium Cooler for Road Trip
What We Like:
  • A wider, easier opening
  • Unique Soft Design
  • Hydroshield Closure for the opening
  • Coldcell Insulation technology
  • Leakproof Liner
  • Capacity: 7.2 Gallons or 20 cans
What We Don’t Like:
  • Magnetic closure won’t stay open
  • Difficult to load alone
  • HUGE

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 cooler has handles on each side (similar to a purse), a shoulder strap, and a single handle on the backside for simple pulling.

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

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. Best Electric Cooler for Car Travel: Igloo Thermoelectric Portable Ice Chest Beverage Cooler

Best Electric Cooler for Car Travel
What We Like:
  • Polypropylene
  • Powered by 12V DC auto plug adapter
  • 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
What We Don’t Like:
  • This unit doesn’t retain its coolness after being unplugged

Igloo has been proudly manufacturing top-of-the-line, durable coolers in America since 1969. This cooler model is made of heavy-duty, weather-proof PU plastic with a waterproof polypropylene lining. It comes with a swing-up handle for easy carrying and 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. With no requirement for ice, the cooler maximizes your interior space for storing food. It can hold contents at 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Best for Long Trips: Coleman Steel Belted Cooler

Best for Long Trips Coleman Steel Belted Cooler
What We Like:
  • 54-Quart Capacity Accommodates Up to 85 Cans
  • Keeps the Ice insulation offers 4-day ice retention 
  • Sturdy rust-resistant stainless steel hardware
  • Comfort-grip steel handles
  • Retro design
What We Don’t Like:
  • The plastic parts of the cooler, including drain plugs and metal hinges

Founded in 1954, Coleman has stayed at the forefront of the gear industry for 60 years. The iconic American company is known for its steel belted cooler. Coleman’s smart coolers have the very latest features for chilling your favorite drinks and keeping them cool for days.

We love my Coleman Steel Belted Cooler! It 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 food and drinks cold while camping or at the beach.

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

7. Best Soft Backpack Cooler: Coleman 28 Can Backpack

Best Soft Backpack Cooler Coleman 28 Can Backpack
What We Like:
  • Holds up to 28 cans
  • Large front pocket for quick access to napkins and accessories
  • Affordable
What We Don’t Like:
  • Not for long road trip

The Coleman® OutlanderTM 28-Can Soft Cooler Backpack makes the ideal cooler for adventurous outings, festivals, and water activities. It holds food and refreshments cold for up to 24 hours.

The 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 or other small items like sunscreen and lip balm.

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

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

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

8. Best Overall Cooler for Road Trips: Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless

Best Overall Cooler for Road Trips
What We Like:
Our Rating
  • Deep Freeze high performance insulation
  • Ultra Safe leak proof
  • Easy clean interior lining
  • Holds up to 30 cans
  • HardBody liner with SmartShelf
What We Don’t Like:
  • Struggles with cooling life

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

The cooler uses 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 for up to 3 days! Deep Freeze high-performance insulation with radiant barrier and triple-layer ColdBlock base work together to provide optimal cooling.

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 easily removes to give you one larger compartment.

What Material is the Best for Travel Cooler?

There are two options depending on your need, If you not having a long trip, the soft-sided 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 road trip?

A week-long trip will require at least 50-quart cooler to keep your food and beverage cool 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?

Keep all things well arranged and not messy, NO need to buy ice multiple times, 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)
– Think about the portability
– Warranty and durability

Soft vs Hard Coolers

Soft- coolers 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, they are easy to wipe clean or wash as needed.

Hardsided coolers are better to retain 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 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:
– Basic Coolers
– Soft-sided Coolers
– Heavy-duty Collers
– Electric Cooler

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

Basic Cooler

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 affordable 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 couple of 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 container does the worse job in keeping your drink temperature, depending on the build quality and price.

Heavy-duty Collers

This heavy-duty is perfect for a long road trip. It is built to keep your drink frosty for days!

Moreover, this is also able to protect your glass bottle 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 road!

Electric Coolers

The electric 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 your happy road trip.

The thermoelectric cooler will depend on the outside 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.

Photo of author


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!