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Coleman Coolers Buyers Guide

Are you looking for a way to find the best Coleman coolers? Maybe you were trying to use reviews to find something noteworthy. However, sometimes they end up confusing you more than helping you out. In these cases, a guide would’ve been handy. That’s what this article aims to do! It is your ultimate guide to Coleman coolers!

Here you will get some valuable insights, information, and tips regarding Coleman coolers. Thus, you will be able to make an informed decision and buy the right Coleman cooler. This guide doesn't consider cost, but it would give you some insights on how to increase or decrease it to find a Coleman cooler under your budget.

Furthermore, the choice of color, style, and design is up to your preference. You will find some information regarding some convenient addition! If you're confused about what a Coleman cooler is, there is a short explanation before we begin the guide!

Why are Coleman coolers popular?

Coleman is a famous name for the storage units that offer cold insulation to keep your drinks and other food items chilled. A typical Coleman cooler uses ice and maintains the temperature anywhere between six to twelve hours, depending on the quality of insulation, size, and other factors. Many high-end coolers even offer intact performance for multiple days.

Coleman is a company that manufactures these cooling storage units. However, due to it being a prevalent brand, it has become a synonym for the product, as well. It's similar to a Beer Koozie or a Taser. Although those are companies, they are also a popular name for the same product they offer.

A Coleman cooler is highly effective if you have a requirement to store and cool items. For proper temperature regulations, they can be the life of the party. You will frequently see them at the beachside or around the pool party to offer a cold storage unit.

There are many high-end coolers that people install in the back of their vehicles to carry items.

Factors to consider before buying a Coleman cooler

These factors will bring you information to help you browse through various options available in the market. You will have a better understanding of your requirement to choose the right cooler. More importantly, you may get a long-lasting choice.

There are many things to consider, such as storage requirements, ease of use, portability, and extra qualities. However, you might need a proper roadmap to understand what matters. The g

Power option

First, you might want to consider the right power source for the Coleman coolers. There are manual and electric cooler options available in the market. Each one of these has certain perks, drawbacks, and ease of use. So, let’s take a good look at them:

Manual coolers

Conventional coolers require you to fill them with ice. The insulation will retain the temperature for extended hours. The ice will melt eventually, and there will be water for you to dispose of. However, even the water will retain chill temperature for a good while. Therefore, a conventional cooler last anywhere between six to twelve hours before requiring a refill.

Now, a refill might be a problem if you’re on an extended camping trip for days. You might also not find ice everywhere you go. So that can leave you without any cooling option. In cases like these, electric coolers might be more apt.

Electric coolers

An electric cooler has two different functions. It might work as a manual cooler by retaining ice and a specific temperature. However, to extend the retention, you can use the power supply to cool the items in the cooler. Hence, you get prolonged cooling for even multiple days.

Some models require powers from time to time, while others might need a consistent power supply. However, it also means that you have to find the right power source. Most of the people carry a battery or generator with them. Electric coolers are better for RVs and even camping trips if you don't mind carrying a power backup.

Their primary strength, electric power, is also a significant drawback. If you run out of power options, you are stuck with a manual cooler, only if it has the right insulation to work without power. Of course, electric coolers are more costly and have a bulkier design.

Storage requirements

Once you decide on the power options and the type of Coleman cooler you need, it's time for you to get into the storage requirement. After all, this is the primary reason to buy it to fulfill your storage needs. Of course, temperature regulation is vital too, but we will come to that in the second segment.

Here is everything you have to consider with storage requirements:

Size and volume

As you begin, remember that the volume on Coleman coolers doesn’t eliminate ice. You will have to consider how much ice you will put for you to meet the specific storage needs. An insulating layer is often in the calculation for volume, as well.

Apart from that, you have to ensure that you can store everything you might need. How many drinks, food items, and other things would you want to store regularly? Make that consideration before buying a Coleman cooler.

As you consider it, bigger is almost always better unless it hinders your ability to transport, store, or carry the cooler. Insulation will impact the cooler’s thickness and bulkiness, as well. Hence, you have to ensure you get the right thickness.


Don't forget to consider the dimensions. People frequently forget to consider the width and height of the cooler. It won't do you any good if the volume is 50 quarts, but the width is five inches. So, make sure to check the dimensions.

Some manufacturers even provide you a size comparison chart or a guide on how to store different things. That could give you an idea regarding whether it’s the right choice or not.

Storage compartments

The conventional design of a storage cooler brings you a single compartment inside. However, some coolers have divided segments inside to store different items. You may even find specific item holders. Many Coleman coolers also have an additional tray that extends as you open the cooler. It’s a good place to store your chocolates or other food items.

It’s essential to remember that many manufacturers include these partitions, trays, and other physical additions in their volume specifications. So, you might want to check on that. Always open and examine the cooler to see if it matches your storage needs.

Sometimes divided compartments make it challenging to store certain types of items. Hence, a full open compartment is always a better option.

External space

Some Coleman coolers bring you an extra feature to store other items in the external storage compartment or pockets. Not every cooler comes with this option, and you'd have to consider them separately. It will certainly cost more for you, but some may even offer you as a 'design convenience.'

What’s the need for this option? Well, an extra storage option is never a bad thing for one. Additionally, you can store items like chips, seasonings, flavoring agents, or anything else like these with your cooler. It will become a single hub for your food and drinks requirement, like a picnic basket.

Don’t forget your space limits.

While you’re considering all of the above size requirements, make sure that the cooler can fit in the space you have. A larger cooler is better, as long as you have apt storage space to carry it. Hence, there’s no need to go overboard if you don’t have the right storage facilities.

You have to consider where and how you will keep the cooler and how it will be transported or carried. If you don’t consider these, you might get stuck with a Coleman cooler you will never use again.

The material of the cooler

Thanks to modern technology, there’s a wide range of materials available for Coleman coolers. Therefore, it becomes indispensable to consider the material. It would impact your ease of maintenance, the longevity of the cooler, quality, and price of the cooler.

Each material brings you an array of perks and drawbacks. Some are used in specific areas, while others may be prevalent in the complete build of a Coleman cooler. Here are a quick overview and guidelines:

Foam construct

Memory foam constructs are the most lightweight you can go with a cooler. Your ice and items that you store will determine the weight of this cooler. However, depending on the thickness and quality, memory foam may not retain anything too heavy. Most of them offer you hours of cooling insulation without any problem.

These are the cheapest options available in the market. Usually, there's a single, white color available in the market for them. However, you may find some design. A foam construct's major weakness is its build as it is more prone to damage. You can easily scratch, damage, or break a foam Coleman cooler without any covering.

Therefore, many come with a plastic shell to safeguard the durability.


There are Coleman coolers that have foam with a plastic shell or layer for protection. It enables them to have a wide range of colors and designs easily available for the people. Additionally, you might even find a complete plastic design for insulation and storage. It would be rigid and more to bring you budget-friendly options.

Memory foam is a type of plastic, anyway. So you can consider it as a part of this material consideration. These are easier to clean and maintain by using soap and water solution.


Manufacturers primarily integrate rubber for added grip, anti-slip equality, and shock absorption. A rubber layer inside or outside would absorb impact and prevent physical damage. More importantly, rubber can seal completely to prevent air leakage. It helps in maintaining temperature longer.

Many manufacturers integrate rubber in segments across the cooler. However, there are many Coleman coolers with a full covering or layer of rubber. You can even find them inside and outside. However, these cost more than foam or plastic coolers. These are not easily available around the market, either.

If a rubber sustains damage or tears, there’s no repair. Your cooler will become useless. Hence, people are reluctant to invest in coolers that are thoroughly rubber. An added layer for protection, anti-UV, anti-elements, and waterproofing is viable.


Metal brings you better durability than plastic and a certain aesthetic appeal. That’s not all! Metals like aluminum also add to insulation qualities. It brings you a premium-grade Coleman cooler, which costs equally more. Metal Coleman coolers are a high-end choice and would undoubtedly cost a lot more.

Apart from design and insulation boost, metal coolers are highly-durable. They are almost as easy as plastic coolers to clean and maintain. However, you might want to consider water-resistance or waterproofing. If it’s stainless metal, you might even have to consider the grade and quality to ensure you’re getting the right value for the price.


It won’t be the best choice to get coolers that are thoroughly fabrics. These use similar material to plastic and nylon with some memory foam to insulate temperature. However, it’s more of a cover and won’t offer a long-lasting supply. You can call these ‘soft Coleman coolers.’ These are popular due to their ease of storage when they are not in use.

These can bring you some hours of temperature regulation and would require ice more frequently. It is a good choice if you don’t want an expensive cooler. If you don’t use coolers often but want their convenience in time of need, fabric coolers are a good choice.

Many hard structure coolers like metal, plastic, and foam often come with a layer of fabric. It acts as a cover to provide waterproofing, anti-UV, and other similar anti-elements needs. Mostly the layer works as a substitute for a rubber laying, which could be expensive.

Time aspects

Time aspects relate to considerations such as ‘how long would my cooler last’ or ‘how long can it keep my things cool.’ For the lack of better words, the ‘time aspect’ sounds optimum for this segment. Here is everything you might want to consider:

Longevity of cooler

You have to consider how long the cooler will last, and that will depend on the material. As mentioned above, each material would have specific cleaning requirements that would need serious considerations.

Some coolers are built to last a couple of months to get 'the job done,' while others could last for years to come. It will depend on how much you are willing to invest. If you don't need a long-lasting cooler, you can save a significant amount of money.

Insulation power

Of course, as mentioned before, keeping your things cool is another primary purpose of the Coleman coolers. However, after size and material consideration, you can consider insulation. Those factors matter for cost and maintenance requirements. Insulation power will depend on the type of insulation.

As mentioned before, foam is a common insulation material. The next factor would be the thickness of the insulating layer, the more, the better, but it will also make the unit bulkier or bigger. Alternatively, a combination of foam insulation with a metal body or even rubber sealants would make it significantly better.

Some coolers can last for multiple days, not just hours. Insulation power will depend on your requirement. Typical fabric Coleman coolers (without any hard foaming) would provide insulation for a couple of hours at best.

The durability of the cooler

Rotomolded model

A rotomolded model means it was completely formed in a factory through a molding or shaping process, out of material. It is the most common design in plastic Coleman coolers. Some coolers have different layers of rotomolded.

What’s the purpose? A rotomolded design has fewer joints and connections, which gives them sturdy structural integrity. Additionally, there is less leakage of temperature and air circulation, so the temperature retention is higher. A rotomolded model can be highly durable or significantly fragile against impact, depending on the cost and quality of the material.


You might think that waterproofing is obvious for coolers. For most of them, especially manual ones, it might be common. However, if you are choosing a metal cooler, make sure that it has a waterproof coating or design, not just water resistance. A water-resistant build means it can resist some form of water but would eventually go bad.

Similarly, electric models would require this consideration strongly. You might also want to ensure that waterproofing brings you anti-microbial or anti-mold properties, at least.


Polyester and plastic models are prone to growing weak due to constant sunlight exposure. You might want anti-UV covers or coating on the cooler for it to last longer. This is the reason many coolers have additional fabric or layers. Metal is naturally resistant to UV.

You might also want to consider other elements such as humidity and moisture that can build around the component. Is there a moisture leakage? That could impact the things you place around the cooler. Secure these things not just for your cooler's longevity but other materials as well.

FAQs: Best Coleman Coolers

Q: What are some extra features to look for in Coleman coolers?

A: You can look for a tray that is integrated into the top (cap) of the cooler. It’s a great addition to get extra storage space without compromising the volume of the unit. Similarly, there are many with extended cup holders for outside and inside the unit. Many come with an opener or other similar handy tools for the convenience of the users.

Q: Are wheels a good option for the portability of the cooler?

A: You should consider wheels for bigger and heavier Coleman coolers. There’s no need to get wheels for smaller units. However, wheels need to have a lock system to ensure they don’t move if you carry them around in a vehicle. That would add to inconvenience and make it challenging for you to take it everywhere. Just like your travel bag’s wheels, these might not be good on rough terrain to drag.

Q: Does a handle or strap design matter for Coleman coolers?

A: It matters as much as your preference and the ease of portability. Side handles are the most common addition to help you lift and carry them around, almost like a tray. Some come with a lid handle, which is more convenient to carry like a briefcase. However, you run the risk of the lid coming off and dropping the cooler, especially as it might loosen over time.

There are shoulder and slinging straps available in Coleman coolers, which enable you to carry them on the side and take them anywhere you like. You can consider these if you want a little more freedom of movement and seek to use your sturdy parts like shoulders to support the weight.

Q: Are lunch totes a type of Coleman coolers?

A: Not necessarily. Lunch totes are a type of bag, but you can consider them as coolers if they have a layer of insulation and other essentials with proper closure. However, the best they will be is a fabric-type cooler. They are not well-versed, nor do they offer extended cooling. These are good as covers to keep something insulated for a couple of hours.

Q: Are Coleman coolers a type of picnic basket?

A: You can consider Coleman coolers to be a type of picnic basket and vice versa. There are cooler baskets available in the market that offer the same function as a Coleman cooler. Often, people interchange them. However, a cooler picnic basket might have additional features like utensil storage.


Coleman coolers have become common almost everywhere. Many people use them for in-house storage, while others like to carry it outdoors for various activities. Whether you are in a stadium, park, beaches, or pool, you will find someone carrying a Coleman cooler.

If you think that it is a worthy investment, we hope that the guide helps you consider the right aspects. Always make sure to clarify your purpose and requirement before purchasing a Coleman. / - © Copyright 2020