Ice Chest Vs Cooler 2023: What Is The Best For You

Ice Chest Vs Cooler 2023 What Is The Best For You
  • Paul Kahan

Keeping your food and drinks cool is essential in outdoor activities like camping, fishing, and tailgating. For this purpose, two main options are commonly used: ice chest vs cooler. While they may seem similar, the two have some important differences.

This post will explore the differences between both coolers in more detail. Whether you are a beginner, understanding two options will help you choose a suitable cooler.

Ice Chest Overview

Ice Chest Overview

What is a chest? A chest or icebox is a small portable container for ice. The name comes from the fact that, at one time, chests were made of wood and metal and lined with tin. They are now most often constructed of plastic or insulated fiberboard.

This has evolved into chests being wheeled coolers and iceboxes. The primary purpose of a chest is to keep ice frozen for a more extended period. They are designed to be simple in construction and easy to clean.

The origins were from the early days of manufacturing when retention was cut from lakes and stored. After ice became plentiful, ice houses evolved into ice boxes. The chest is a smaller icebox version and keeps for shorter periods.

The first chests stored ice blocks in simple boxes with tin inside or wooden lids with exterior fittings. Moreover, these chests absorbed ice’s natural moisture and soldered to prevent leakage.

American chests were called iceboxes because they were wood or lined with tin sheet metal. They contained a wooden divider that separated the ice from the food stored above it in the box. Chests could be easily transported, unlike an ice house.

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The chest has been used for many purposes, such as keeping cold ice, food, and drinks. Its current goal is to be used in recreational situations involving ice retention or beverage coolers. They are shaped like boxes with a top lid. They are used for retention and packs.

Cooler Overview

What is a soft-sided cooler? A soft-sided cooler is a chest, icebox, or ice locker for keeping ice. They are sometimes called insulated coolers, boxes, or chests.

A chest may also be called a koozie. Because chests are insulated, they are used as coolers. The chest may be fiberboard or Styrofoam and usually has a top lid. If the chest does not have an internal liner, it would be called an icebox.

Ice coolers are now used to keep ice, food, and drinks cold instead of chests. People can use coolers at home, in the office, or on the go.

Many sizes are available, but the most common ice coolers used have a capacity of 40-60 liters. Ice coolers are used for ice and packs.

Ice Chest vs. Cooler – What’s The Difference?

Some differences between chests and coolers include size, construction material, and accessories.

Ice chest vs. Cooler What's the difference


Chest or icebox refers to a smaller compartment that stores ice than coolers. Chests have a capacity of 40-60 liters (10-15 gallons). Coolers, in general, have a total of 100 liters or more.

Construction material

An icebox is made of wood and metal and lined with tin. Nowadays, chests are constructed out of plastic or insulated fiberboard.

Chests constructed of food-grade plastic contain no hazardous substances. The ice chest is constructed of food-grade materials to avoid leakage and contamination from ice melting. Moreover, they include a spigot drain and an aperture for emptying water into sinks and drains after melting.

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Other ice soft sided coolers have chests made of stainless steel or aluminum, with a plastic liner inside to keep water from leaking. These chests come with rubber gaskets to help prevent leakage. Some coolers have features like the ability to drain melt.

The chest has a drain plug on its bottom, so melts can be easily removed by lifting the chest over the sink and draining through the hole at the bottom. The quart cooler has a fixture used to drain melt from inside coolers. This makes it easy to empty chests.

This chest is better than an icebox because it is easy to clean. It does not have a divider on the chest, so there are no sharp edges, and it prevents melt from getting into any food stored on top of the chest.


The cooler is available in a variety of solid colors. Besides that, some ice chests are made with glossy plastics, while coolers generally have a dull, non-reflective finish.

Manufacturing Process

Chests and coolers are made using different methods of chest construction. The cooler uses vacuum-formed plastic to build the chest. Coolers have a steel frame used for structure, and chests don’t. They are allowing greater flexibility in custom icebox designs.


The chest is insulated with foam to keep ice frozen. Soft coolers have the same type of insulation, but chests are milder in their dimensions and thickness than coolers.

Since they have more ice packs inside and a thicker chest lining, ice coolers often take longer to freeze and produce larger ice cubes. The quart cooler doesn’t have ice packs, so they also notice chests. They are more expensive for chests that require packs to keep frozen longer inside them.

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The insulating materials for chests are made from aluminum or plastic foam with a vinyl coating. And the cooler is insulated with solid polyurethane.


Ice chests are equipped with a latch and a clip-on chest lid to ensure the largest portability. Allowing coolers to remain locked during transit. So coolers come with a lockable chest lid for added security and easier transport.


The chest’s lid has a gasket that prevents ice from leaking into other items inside chests. Coolers have gaskets to prevent ice from leaking out of coolers and onto the ground, as chest gaskets do.

The chest usually has a rubber seal for the lid to fit into, so ice boxes can’t be opened when locked shut by packs freezing or liquid ice.

Ice coolers can be opened when ice packs and chests have frozen inside coolers because quart cooler lids are locked with clips or a latch.


Retention and Yeti Tundra are usually sold with ice packs, cube trays, bottle openers, tools and accessories for ice cooler use.

The chest is great to use without any added extras, as there’s no need to open any packs or bottles – and coolers can still keep ice frozen without ice packs. Plus, coolers come with the necessary chest accessories.

Spare Parts

The chest has a warranty covering some parts of the product, but coolers come with spare parts for replacement if something happens to your item. Also, the extra cost of the ice chest can be offset by replacing broken coolers. And coolers can be replaced with ice more excellent parts if something happens to your cooler’s bottle opener.

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The chest has a short warranty covering the basic structure of the item, while the extended warranty for the coolers covers all parts.

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What is a chest, and what is a cooler?

A chest is a type of storage unit, usually made from wood or plastic. It typically has a lid that can be opened and closed. Besides that, a cooler is a box-like device used to keep food and beverages cold.

What is a more relaxed used for?

A cooler can keep ice cubes cold when traveling in a car or another transport vehicle. In addition, chests were used to keep condensed ice cold.

What do they call more excellent in England?

They call chest coolers “iceboxes.” The term “quart cooler” is commonly used instead of “icebox.”

Which ice packs last the longest?

The Nesco WB-112 ice lasts for the longest time in a cooler.

This cooler is the best for keeping frozen because they do not need packs to help. Ice chests require packs, so they can’t be used to keep longer inside of them without added expense.

Icebox can be used without packs because there is no need to add packs or open bottles when nothing needs opening. So they are the best for keeping ice while not adding expenses that aren’t required with coolers.


Publican Anker has been a top-rated seller of Yeti Tundra coolers for more than ten years. I have the chest vs more relaxed knowledge to help you find the perfect option that suits your needs and budget.

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If you want guidance on which type is best, I encourage you to contact Any questions or concerns will be provided when you comment below. Thank you for reading.

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