Best Small Coolers: Which One Is The Right Choice 2023?

Best Small Coolers Which One Is The Right Choice 2023

When you’re heading out for a picnic, camping trip, or a day at the beach, a small cooler can be a game-changer. With the right small cooler, you can keep your drinks and snacks chilled for hours, even on the hottest of days.

But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to choose the best one for your needs. That’s why PublicanAnker has compiled a list of the best small coolers available.

Whether you’re looking for a soft cooler or a hard cooler, something compact or a bit more spacious, you’re sure to find the perfect option on our list of the Best Portable Coolers.

TOP Rated 10 Best Small Coolers

TOP Rated 10 Best Small Coolers

YETI Portable Soft Cooler

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 15 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 14 x 11 x 14 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.7 Kilograms

The YETI Portable Soft Cooler is an excellent product that exceeds expectations for those who frequently engage in outdoor activities.

The best small cooler for ice retention is made from high-quality materials that withstand harsh outdoor conditions. The puncture-resistant exterior and antimicrobial liner ensure no damage or unpleasant odors.

One impressive feature of the YETI Portable Soft Cooler is its lightweight and compact design, making it easy to transport and store.

The mini YETI cooler has a removable shoulder strap, making it easy to carry around. The leak-proof zipper and waterproof shell keep contents dry, even in wet conditions.

The insulated portable beverage cooler can hold up to 12 cans, making it perfect for group outings. The wide-mouth opening ensures loading and unloading is simple, and the contents stay cold for extended periods.

Despite its high price point compared to other soft personal coolers in the market, the YETI Portable Soft Cooler is worth the investment.

The quality of the product speaks for itself, and it will last for many years to come. One downside is the shoulder strap, which may be uncomfortable for some users during extended periods of carrying.

Pros:

  • High durability and quality construction that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions
  • Excellent ice retention ability make the cooler keeps ice frozen for 14 days
  • Leak-proof and water-resistant design to prevent any spills or leaks
  • Features multiple exterior pockets and attachment points for added storage and convenience
  • Easy to carry with comfortable straps and handles
  • Comes in various sizes to fit your needs

Cons:

  • High price point compared to other soft coolers in the market
  • Heavier than some other soft coolers, making it slightly more difficult to carry for long periods of time
  • Limited interior space due to the thicker insulation, which can be a downside if you need to carry larger items
  • Lack of color and design options, which may not appeal to some users looking for more customization options

KULA Softy 2.5 Cooler

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 2.5 Gallons
  • Item Weight: 3 Pounds
  • Special Feature: Insulated

The Kula Softy 2.5 Cooler is an incredibly durable product that is the perfect companion for boats. Although we tested it on an inflatable paddleboard, we believe it is ideal for kayaks, canoes, and other vessels.

The fact that it floats is one of our favorite features because it means you don’t have to worry about it sinking if it ends up in the water.

Made from 840-denier TPU ripstop fabric, the Softy 2.5 features “Holy Molles,” which are attachment points similar to daisy chains. At around 3 pounds for the 2.5-gallon version, it’s relatively lightweight for what it offers.

The mini ice box has a large capacity and can hold up to 12 cans, making it an excellent option for small group outings. The wide-mouth opening makes loading and unloading simple and quick.

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Additionally, the cooler has a durable and sturdy construction that ensures it will last for a long time.

However, one downside to the KULA Softy 2.5 Cooler is that it may not keep contents cold for as long as other coolers in the market.

Additionally, the shoulder strap may not be as comfortable as other coolers during extended periods of carrying.

Pros:

  • Durable construction with 840-denier TPU ripstop fabric
  • Features “Holy Molles” attachment points for added convenience
  • Floats in water, making it ideal for aquatic adventures
  • Offers excellent cold and ice retention
  • Comes in a relatively lightweight package of just around 3 pounds
  • Comes in a compact size that’s easy to carry

Cons:

  • Limited storage space of 2.5 gallons, which may not be enough for larger groups or longer trips
  • The price point is higher than some other soft-sided coolers on the market
  • The design of the shoulder strap may not be as comfortable for some users
  • The cooler is not as easy to access as some other models on the market, with only one main opening.

ORCA 20 Cooler

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 20 Quarts
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 14 x 10 x 11 inches
  • Item Weight: 18 Pounds

The ORCA 20 Cooler is a high-performance cooler that is perfect for outdoor adventures. Its rugged construction and excellent insulation make it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, and anglers.

One of the best features of the ORCA 20 Cooler is its ability to keep contents cold for up to 10 days. This is thanks to its thick, insulated walls and lid, which are made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand extreme temperatures.

The ORCA small plastic cooler also features a tough, roto-molded exterior that is designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments.

Another great advantage of the ORCA 20 small hard sided cooler is its spacious interior, which can hold up to 20 cans of your favorite beverage. The cooler also has a handy cargo net attachment that can hold additional gear, such as snacks or fishing tackle.

In addition to its excellent insulation and spacious interior, the ORCA 20 Cooler also has other convenient features, including easy-flow drainage spouts, comfortable handles, and a lifetime warranty.

There are also the tactical limited edition black for hard cooler with shoulder strap.

Pros:

  • Excellent insulation can keep contents cold for up to 10 days
  • Spacious interior can hold up to 20 cans
  • The roto-molded exterior can withstand harsh outdoor environments
  • Cargo net attachment for additional storage
  • Easy-flow drainage spouts, comfortable handles, and a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • The ORCA 20 Cooler is relatively heavy, which can make it difficult to carry for extended periods
  • It is also relatively expensive compared to other coolers on the market

RTIC Insulated Soft Cooler Bag

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 22 Quarts
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 15.5 x 11.5 x 12.75 inches
  • Item Weight: 4 Pounds

The RTIC Insulated Soft Cooler Bag is a durable and versatile cooler that is perfect for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and picnicking. It is designed to keep your food and drinks cold for hours, even in hot temperatures.

One of the best features of the RTIC Insulated Soft Cooler Bag is its excellent insulation. The bag is made from high-quality materials that are designed to keep the cold in and the heat out.

The best road trip cooler also has a leak-proof zipper and a waterproof exterior, which makes it ideal for outdoor activities where water and moisture are present.

The RTIC Insulated Soft Cooler Bag is also very spacious. It can hold up to 30 cans of your favorite beverage, as well as ice and other food items.

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The bag also has a number of convenient features, including a front pocket for storing snacks and a shoulder strap for easy carrying.

Pros:

  • Excellent insulation keeps food and drinks cold for hours
  • A leak-proof zipper and waterproof exterior keep the bag dry
  • Spacious interior can hold up to 30 cans of beverages
  • Front pocket for storing snacks
  • Shoulder strap for easy carrying

Cons:

  • The bag is relatively heavy, which can make it difficult to carry for extended periods
  • The zipper can be difficult to open and close

IceMule Pro Cooler 23L

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 20 Liters
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 9.84 x 9.84 x 20.87 inches
  • Item Weight: 2.1 Pounds

The IceMule Pro Cooler 23L is a highly impressive backpack cooler that has surpassed our expectations during lab and field testing. Its cold retention is excellent, and its durability is remarkable.

The small beach cooler’s MuleSkin material and PolarLayer foam insulation are highly functional and practical features that provide added protection and insulation to your food and drinks.

Additionally, the cooler is incredibly comfortable and easy to carry, making it an ideal companion for a variety of outdoor activities.

Its air valve is a game-changer, as it allows you to compress the cooler into a smaller size, making storage, packing, and travel more convenient.

However, the cooler has only one large compartment, limiting its organization potential. Overall, the IceMule Pro Cooler 23L is a reliable and high-quality backpack cooler that is perfect for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Pros:

  • Unique backpack design that makes it easy to transport
  • PolarLayer insulation technology keeps contents cold for up to 24 hours
  • The Roll-top design allows for easy access and packing
  • Durable, waterproof, and puncture-resistant exterior
  • Front zippered pocket for added storage
  • Ventilated back panel for added comfort

Cons:

  • The IceMule Pro Cooler 23L may not hold as much as larger coolers
  • The backpack-style design may not be as convenient for those who prefer to carry a cooler by hand

IceMule Jaunt 15L Soft-sided Cooler

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 15 Liters
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 10.25 x 10.25 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.75 Pounds

The IceMule Jaunt is an excellent backpack cooler that lives up to its name by providing a comfortable and convenient way to keep food and drinks cold during outdoor activities.

It is an ideal combination of a backpack and cooler that allows you to move hands-free during your adventure.

The front pocket provides a safe space to keep your valuables like keys or phones, and the backpack’s floating ability ensures you don’t have to worry about it sinking in water.

The small, soft-sided cooler is perfect for hiking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, keeping your drinks secure and allowing you to focus on your activity without any worry.

Moreover, the AirValve built into the backpack enables the bag to be compressed down to a smaller size, making it easier to pack and carry.

The Jaunt promises to keep your items cold for up to 24 hours, and it is 100% water and leak-proof, making it the perfect companion for long trips.

The Jaunt’s durability and cold retention make it a reliable and practical choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a compact, high-performing cooler.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and easy to carry as a backpack
  • Front dry pocket for storing small items
  • Floats in water, making it ideal for water-based activities
  • AirValve allows for compressing the cooler to a smaller size for easy storage and travel
  • 100% water and leakproof
  • Keeps items cold for up to 24 hours
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Cons:

  • Only has one main compartment, limiting organizational options
  • Smaller size may not be suitable for larger groups or longer trips where more food and drinks are needed

Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 20 Liters
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 17 x 7.25 x 14 inches
  • Item Weight: 450 Grams

The Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote is a versatile and stylish cooler that is perfect for a day at the beach, a picnic in the park, or any other outdoor activity.

The tote is made from high-quality materials and features double-walled insulation that keeps contents cold for hours, even in hot weather.

One of the best features of the Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote is its size. The tote can hold up to 24 cans, making it a great option for larger groups or longer trips.

The tote also has multiple pockets and compartments for added storage, including a large front pocket and two side pockets.

Another advantage of the Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote is its durability. The tote is made from durable and water-resistant materials that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments.

The tote also has a padded shoulder strap for added comfort and an adjustable strap that allows you to carry the tote in multiple ways.

In addition to its size and durability, the Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote also has other convenient features, including a bottle opener, a waterproof zipper, and a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Large size that can hold up to 24 cans
  • Multiple pockets and compartments for added storage
  • Durable and water-resistant materials that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments
  • Padded shoulder strap for added comfort and an adjustable strap that allows you to carry the tote in multiple ways
  • Bottle opener, waterproof zipper, and lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • The Hydro Flask 20L Insulated Tote is relatively expensive compared to other coolers on the market
  • The tote may be heavier than other coolers due to its size and insulation

Out of the Woods Seagull Cooler

Product Specs

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 12.4 x 7.1 x 12.8 inches
  • Insulation Material: Nylon

The Out of the Woods Seagull Cooler is a unique and stylish option for those who want to keep their drinks and snacks cool while on the go. The cooler is made from high-quality materials and features a fun seagull design that is sure to turn heads.

One of the best features of the Out of the Woods Seagull Cooler is its size. The narrow cooler for boat can hold up to 12 cans, making it a great option for small groups or short trips.

The cooler also has a front pocket for added storage and a shoulder strap that allows you to carry the cooler with ease.

Another advantage of the Out of the Woods Seagull Cooler is its durability. The cooler is made from water-resistant materials that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments. The small coolers on sale also has a reinforced bottom that helps to prevent punctures and tears.

In addition to its size and durability, the Out of the Woods Seagull Cooler also has other convenient features, including a bottle opener, a waterproof liner, and a collapsible design that makes it easy to store when not in use.

Pros:

  • Fun seagull design that is sure to turn heads
  • Can hold up to 12 cans and has a front pocket for added storage
  • Made from water-resistant materials that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments
  • The reinforced bottom that helps to prevent punctures and tears
  • Bottle opener, waterproof liner, and collapsible design for easy storage

Cons:

  • The Out of the Woods Seagull Cooler is relatively small compared to other coolers on the market
  • The cooler may not be as well-insulated as other coolers, which could affect its ability to keep items cool for extended periods of time
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Mountainsmith The Sixer Cooler Bag

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 12 Liters
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 16 x 11 x 5 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.2 Pounds

The Mountainsmith The Sixer Cooler Bag is a great option for those who want a cooler that is both stylish and functional.

The low profile ice chest has a sleek design and is made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments, making it a great choice for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

One of the best features of the Mountainsmith The Sixer Cooler Bag is its excellent insulation. The bag uses PE foam insulation and a waterproof liner to keep contents cold for hours, even in hot weather.

The best mini cooler also has a zippered top for easy access and an external pocket for additional storage.

Another advantage of the Mountainsmith The Sixer Cooler Bag is its size. The cooler can hold up to six cans of your favorite beverage, along with ice and other snacks.

The cooler is also lightweight and easy to carry, making it a great option for those who want to travel light.

In addition to its excellent insulation and size, the Mountainsmith The Sixer Cooler Bag also has other convenient features, including an adjustable shoulder strap, a bottle opener, and a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Stylish design that is both functional and fashionable
  • High-quality materials that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments
  • Excellent insulation to keep contents cold for hours
  • Lightweight and easy to carry, making it a great option for those who want to travel light
  • Adjustable shoulder strap, a bottle opener, and a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • The Mountainsmith The Sixer Cooler Bag is smaller than other coolers on the market, which may make it less attractive to those who need a cooler for larger groups or longer trips.
  • The bag’s external pocket is small and may not be suitable for larger items.

Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 10 Liters
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 12.2 x 6.3 x 19.29 inches
  • Item Weight: 17 Ounces

The Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler is an excellent option for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a versatile and convenient cooler.

This backpack cooler can hold up to 28 cans, making it perfect for small group outings. Its adjustable shoulder straps and padded back panel make it comfortable to carry even when fully loaded.

One of the best features of the Coleman Soft Backpack Cooler is its extra insulation, which helps to keep contents cold for extended periods.

It features a heat-welded seam that prevents leaks, and the exterior is made from a durable and water-resistant material that can withstand harsh outdoor environments.

In addition to its spacious interior and extra insulation, the smallest cooler box also has multiple pockets and storage compartments.

These small insulated cooler bags has a large front pocket for storing personal items and a bungee cord on the front for securing items like blankets or towels. Additionally, the cooler has two mesh side pockets that can hold water bottles or other small items.

Pros:

  • Backpack design allows for hands-free carrying
  • Spacious interior can hold up to 28 cans
  • Extra insulation helps keep contents cold for extended periods
  • Durable and water-resistant exterior can withstand harsh outdoor environments
  • Multiple pockets and storage compartments for added convenience

Cons:

  • May not keep contents cold for as long as other coolers on the market
  • Backpack straps may not be as comfortable for extended periods of carrying as some other backpack designs
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What to Look for in a Small Cooler

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Insulation Quality

When buying a small cooler, insulation quality is a crucial factor to consider. Insulation is what keeps your food and drinks cold, and a well-insulated cooler will retain ice for a longer period. Insulation quality is measured in terms of R-value, which indicates the resistance to heat flow.

The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. A good insulation system in a small cooler will also prevent outside heat from seeping into the cooler, ensuring that the contents inside remain cold.

Some coolers have extra insulation layers in the lid and walls to provide superior insulation.

When considering insulation quality, it’s important to keep in mind the intended use of the cooler, such as for short day trips or longer outdoor adventures.

A small cooler with high insulation quality may be more expensive but will provide better temperature retention and ultimately save money on ice or additional cooling packs in the long run.

Water Resistance

Water resistance

Water resistance is another important factor to consider when buying a small cooler. Whether you’re taking it on a boat, to the beach, or on a camping trip, there’s a good chance it will come into contact with water or other liquids.

A cooler that is not water-resistant can lead to soggy food, spoiled drinks, and even damage to your belongings. A water-resistant cooler will keep your contents dry and protected, even in wet conditions.

Look for features such as waterproof zippers, welded seams, and water-repellent materials when shopping for a small cooler.

Keep in mind that a cooler labeled as “water-resistant” may not be completely waterproof, so consider your specific needs and activities when making a purchase decision.

Shape

The shape of a cooler is a vital important consideration when purchasing one, as it can impact both the storage capacity and ease of transport.

A square or rectangular-shaped cooler generally provides more storage space and can be easier to stack, but may be more cumbersome to carry.

On the other hand, a cylindrical or tapered cooler may be more comfortable to carry, but may not provide as much storage space or be as easy to pack.

In addition to storage and transport considerations, the shape of a cooler can also affect its insulation capabilities.

A cooler with a wider base may have better insulation properties, as there is less surface area exposed to outside temperatures.

Tapered coolers may have less effective insulation properties, as their narrower tops can allow more air to enter and warm up the contents.

Ultimately, the best shape for a cooler will depend on individual needs and preferences. Consider factors such as storage space, ease of transport, and insulation when choosing a cooler with a shape that best fits your needs.

Weight

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If you plan on carrying the cooler for extended periods of time or over long distances, a lighter-weight option may be more comfortable to transport.

On the other hand, if you prioritize durability and insulation quality overweight, a heavier cooler may be a better fit for your needs.

Keep in mind that the weight of a cooler can also impact its portability and storage options. A lighter cooler may be easier to pack into tight spaces or carry on a hike, while a heavier cooler may require a more permanent storage solution.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider how you’ll be using the cooler and how much weight you’re willing to carry before making a final decision.

Capacity

Capacity is a crucial factor to consider when buying a small cooler, as it determines how much food and drinks you can store inside.

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You’ll want to choose a cooler that is the right size for your needs, without being too bulky or heavy to carry around. Small coolers come in a range of sizes, from a few liters to around 30 liters. Consider how many people you will be carrying refreshments for, and for how long.

A smaller cooler may be suitable for a day trip, while a larger cooler would be better for a weekend camping trip.

It’s also important to note that the capacity listed by the manufacturer may not always be accurate, so it’s a good idea to read reviews from other customers to see if they found the cooler to be the right size for their needs.

Price

The cost of a cooler can vary greatly depending on the brand, features, and quality of materials used. While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper option, it is important to remember that a cooler is an investment that you will use repeatedly.

A high-quality cooler may cost more initially but can save you money in the long run by lasting longer and better protecting your food and drinks.

Determine your budget beforehand and consider which features are most important to you. That way, you can find a cooler that fits your needs and your budget.

FAQs

FAQs about best mini cooler

Ice cooler small?

Yes, ice coolers come in a range of sizes, including small sizes that are designed to be portable and easy to carry.

Small ice coolers are typically used for personal use or for short trips and outings, such as a day at the beach, a picnic, or a camping trip. These coolers may have a capacity of around 10 to 20 quarts and can typically hold several cans or bottles of drinks, as well as some food items.

What is the best small cooler for road trips?

There is no one “best” small cooler for road trips as it ultimately depends on personal preferences and needs. However, popular options include the YETI Roadie 24, the Coleman Steel Belted Cooler, and the Igloo MaxCold Cooler. It’s important to consider factors such as insulation quality, capacity, durability, and price when selecting a small cooler for road trips.

What is the best small cooler for the beach?

Some of the best small coolers for the beach are YETI Hopper BackFlip 24, Hydro Flask 24L Soft Cooler Tote, and Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner.

Is a soft cooler better than a hard cooler?

It depends on the intended use. Soft coolers are generally more lightweight, easier to transport, and offer more flexibility in terms of storage space. Hard coolers, on the other hand, are more durable and offer better insulation, making them ideal for extended trips or for keeping items colder for longer periods of time.

Ultimately, the choice between a soft or hard cooler comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, finding the best small cooler can make all the difference in your outdoor adventures, whether it’s a road trip, a picnic, a hike, or a day at the beach.

With so many options available in the market, it’s important to consider factors such as insulation quality, water resistance, weight, capacity, and price before making a purchase.

From soft-sided to hard-sided, there’s a small cooler out there to suit your needs and preferences. A good small cooler will keep your drinks and snacks chilled, be easy to carry and be durable enough to withstand outdoor activities.

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