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

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

It’s summertime, which means it is time to get out your Ice Chest Vs Cooler. Despite the name, a retention is not a substitute for a cooler since they are not as insulated and will melt away all of your food more quickly.

I have found that coolers do better in extreme temperatures than ice because they are designed to insulate cold air from hot air, which means you can keep things colder longer.

The size of the cooler also plays into how long stuff stays cold- if you’re packing lunch for one person, then something compact like an 8 quart capacity might be enough, but if you plan on hosting a party with lots of hungry guests, then go big and grab yourself a 12 qt.

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 (tin was used to keep frozen longer). 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 day’s pounds of manufacturing when retention was cut from lakes and stored in houses. After ice became plentiful, ice houses evolved into iceboxes. The chest is a smaller version of the icebox and keeps for shorter periods, often in commercial settings.

The first chests were plain boxes with a tin lining or wooden lids with external fittings that held ice blocks. These chests were lined with tin, which absorbed ice’s natural moisture and then was soldered to prevent leakage.

American chests were typically 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.

The chest was developed at the same time as ice itself. It has been used for many purposes, such as keeping ice, food, and drinks cold. Its current goal is to be used in recreational situations that involve ice retention or beverage soft-sided coolers (such as sporting event attendees or just ice fishing). They are shaped like boxes with a lid on top. 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 (a slang term based on the resemblance of the object’s shape to that of a koozie, a foam insulating sleeve used to keep beer cans ice cold).

Because chests are insulated, they are used as coolers. The chest may be made of fiberboard or Styrofoam and will usually have a lid on top. If the chest does not have an internal liner, it would be referred to as 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.

There are many different sizes available but the most common ice soft-sided coolers used have a capacity of between 40-60 liters (10-15 gallons). Ice coolers are used for ice and packs.

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

There are some differences between chests and coolers, including size, construction material, and accessories.

Ice chest vs. Cooler What's the difference


The terms chest or icebox refer to a smaller compartment used to store ice, while coolers are larger compartments or containers for keeping frozen. 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. Chests are insulated to keep frozen longer than iceboxes. Nowadays, chests are constructed out of plastic or insulated fiberboard.

Food-grade chests are made with plastic that contains no harmful chemicals. The chest lid is also made of food-grade material to prevent leakage and contamination from ice melting when transporting ice in a car, boat, RV, etc. They have on the box lids an opening for draining water into sinks and drains after melting and a spigot drain for melt.

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

The chest comes with 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 that the chest has, 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. Some chests are made with glossy plastics for their construction, 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 usually have chest frames, allowing greater flexibility in custom icebox designs.


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

Ice Cube size and freezing time are usually longer in ice coolers because they contain more ice packs inside and a thicker chest lining. 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 of them.

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


Ice chests have a latch on the chest to keep coolers closed, and coolers usually come with a clip-on chest lid, so coolers stay locked while traveling from one place to another. Latching can be accidentally undone when moving chests around, so coolers are easier to transport because coolers’ chest lids are locked.


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 easily be opened when they are locked shut by packs freezing together or liquid ice inside chests freezing together.

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 that holds them closed with removable hinges.


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

The chest can be used without needing these accessories because there is no need to add packs or open bottles when nothing needs opening, coolers can be used without ice packs to keep ice frozen, and coolers are sold with packs chest accessories.

Spare Parts

The chest comes with a warranty covering some parts of the product, but coolers come with spare parts for replacement if something happens to your item. The extra cost of chest coolers 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.


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

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What is a chest, and what is a cooler?

A chest is another name for a soft cooler. “Yeti Tundra Cooler” was the original term used to describe these items, but after many years of using this term, it became short for the chest.

What is a more relaxed used for?

A coolers bottle opener keeps ice cubes cold and house items that need to be kept cool when traveling in a car, van, or another transport vehicle. The name “Yeti Tundra soft cooler” comes from keeping water and food items cool because back in the day, 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.

Ice heavy-duty coolers are the best for keeping frozen because they do not need packs to help keep frozen longer inside of them than a chest. Ice chests require packs, so they can’t be used to keep longer inside of them without added expense.

Icebox coolers 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. We have the chest vs. more relaxed knowledge to help you find the perfect option that suits your needs and budget.

If you want some guidance on which type is best, we encourage you to reach out to our team with any questions or concerns so we can walk through all of your options in detail.

In addition, if this blog post didn’t answer enough of your questions, feel free to visit our website at, where there are many resources about choosing an appropriate heavy duty cooler for your next outing!

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