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Best Cooler Brands| Top 3 Ice Chest Manufacturers

Best Cooler Brands


Buying the right cooler can be quite the hassle.

Most all of us have some sort of cooler horror stories.  You probably at some point in your life have went with a cheap cooler that doesn’t last long and starts leaking.

Yeti Coolers

I feel like that was the case when I was growing up where there just weren’t that nice of coolers out there on the market and all the Walmart big box coolers were a piece of junk.

Unfortunately, in my family, we often went the cheap and easy over high quality and long lasting.

Thankfully, in recent years there has been a greater emphasis on quality over price and some new upstart brands have spoken to the consumer need for high-end coolers.

We are here to lay out the best cooler brands to pick from on the market.

We tried to lay out the top three companies in a factual, but fun way, while sprinkling in some videos showing the toughness of the coolers.

Check out our three favorites below...

Top Cooler Brands


Looking for the gold standard in the ice chest industry?

After lots of testing and meta-data analysis we have found that the best cooler brand is none other than Yeti.

Founded by a couple of brothers in 2006, they saw a serious pain point for people who needed a high quality cooler. They got sick of the cheap big box brands out there that continually broke down.

Yeti Roadie 20 Quart Cooler

So they set out to create a high-end premium brand cooler with only the best materials. Their goal was to create a cooler that they would use every day

And that is exactly what they did.

Some might bark at the price of their coolers, but to be honest if you are always buying new ice chests every few years or are having problems with the ones you have, it’s worth the money over time when you value the hassle free guarantee Yeti gives.

Yeti Tundra

In recent years, Yeti has blitzed the market and taken a lot of the premium market share from other competitors (listed below). Yeti has built up an excellent reputation with superb product and an outstanding brand focused on two things quality and service.

They don’t sell cheap coolers (just check their prices), but what you will consistently find is people that are more than satisfied for the overall quality and longevity of their products.

Yeti Soft Cooler

Lots of times you get what you pay for.  And in this case, you truly get a great cooler with Yeti.

Something to keep in mind is that although they are an American company, creating jobs in America, they also do import some of their coolers from Vietnam.

For those looking for a strictly American brand, check out Pelican Products below.

Overall, Yeti has done it with superb, unique products, and excellent customer service. I know you will be just as satisfied in their coolers and products as I and thousands of others have been.

They don’t compromise on quality under any circumstances.

Cooler Type



Check Price

Top Heavy Duty Cooler


Yeti Tundra

Top Soft Sided Cooler


Yeti Hopper Cooler

Top Personal Cooler


Yeti Hopper Flip 12

Still doubt the toughness of a Yeti?

Checkout how it stacks up against everything Yeti could throw at it:


Pelican Coolers is another excellent brand that, like Yeti, serves the high-end quality customer.

In fact, they even have our favorite wheeled cooler, the Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler.​

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler

It has been around for over 40 years and is based in the beautiful SoCal city of Torrance. They continue to deliver a great quality product year in and year out.

Customers rave about the quality of their products and many have a hard time deciding between Pelican and Yeti. To be honest, it was tough for us and honestly we love both brands.

Their top cooler, the Pelican Elite Cooler, is outstanding and is known to keep ice insulated for up to 10 days. That’s a whole fishing trip and then some.

Pelican offers a lifetime warranty to show that they 100% backup the quality on all of their coolers.

With that focus on quality, it’s no wonder they are one of the best ice chests brands on the market today.

Pelican ProGear 20QT 20 Quart Elite Cooler

As mentioned earlier, many people take offense to Yeti.

Although Yeti is an American brand, some of their coolers come from overseas. It is for that reason why many buyers have gone with other top ice chest brands, like Pelican.

Before you skip down to Grizzly Coolers, keep in mind that Pelican makes sure their coolers are 100% bear resistant.

It’s clear they value thick, durable, materials that don’t break down under ANY circumstance.

Cooler Type




Top Heavy Duty Cooler

Pelican ProGear Elite

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Cooler, 65 quart

Top Wheeled Cooler

Pelican ProGear Elite Wheeled

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

Top Personal Cooler

Pelican ProGear 20QT

Pelican ProGear 20QT 20 Quart Elite Cooler

Grizzly Coolers

These guys deliver some rock star coolers at a high-end price.

Grizzly Coolers 60-Quart Cooler

The toughness and durability of their coolers is truly represented in their name: Grizzly Coolers.

They actually test all their coolers with IGBC bear resistant testing to make sure you're safe in the wild with one of their products. Clearly it’s not just a name! Next time you are in mother nature with bears don’t be scared.

These guys go the extra mile to make sure they don’t sell you a product with defects. They have an incredible 90-degree climate controlled test process where they monitor the ice levels on all their coolers. 

Grizzly 15 quart

Talk about some serious quality control. Oh, and by the way, they truly do stay cool for days.

They seal well with excellent latches with think rotomolded walls to provide a strong layered exterior.

You think I am kidding about that dense exterior? Check this out below...

Cooler Type




Top Heavy Duty Cooler

Grizzly 60 Quart

Grizzly 60 quart

Top Personal Cooler

Grizzly 15 Quart

Grizzly 15 quart


**Best Affordable Cooler Brand**

We thought about not including Igloo as, to be honest, their coolers don’t really stack up to the best 3 cooler brands listed above.

Igloo Yukon Cold Locker Cooler

If we put them to the bear test or the mack truck test, I am most certain they fail.

But they are not as heavily invested in their materials as they want to reach a more mass market.

If you liked the above videos, and the quality above, but can’t afford to pay top dollar, then maybe Igloo is what you need.

We realize that not everyone wants to drop $200+ on a cooler. So we wanted to provide an alternative to the high-end, expensive cooler brands on the market.

Created in 1947 in a modest metalworking shop. Now, they have expanded into a 1.8 million square foot building in Katy, Texas a suburban town outside of Houston.

Igloo Daytripper Collection

Over the years, they have innovated and expanded into many different markets and product lines.  But as whole, they are known for their many styles and types of coolers ranging from tough heavy duty coolers that work great for boating and fishing trips all the way to portable electric coolers.  

Igloo serves a great market and does a great job with their coolers while providing a bigtime appeal for discount retailers like Walmart and Costco. For the most part, their coolers hold up and they provide a good variety of types and styles to choose from.

Again, if you are looking for affordable and simple, these coolers are you go tos.

Cooler Type




Top Heavy Duty Cooler

Igloo Cold Locker

Yukon Cold Locker

Top Soft Sided Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra

Igloo Marine Ultra

Top Personal Cooler

​Igloo Daytripper

Igloo Daytripper Collection

What’s the Best Cooler Brand For You?

We hope you liked our in depth analysis and study of the best cooler brands on the market today.

From old timers like Pelican and Igloo, to newer upstarts like Grizzly and Yeti, you should have no problem picking out a style that you like.

But are you still having a hard time deciding?

Let me hit you with a quick breakdown of the facts above and help you come to a better conclusion.

Pelican Products ProGear Elite Wheeled Cooler

If you want a tough American manufactured cooler that is guaranteed to last go with Pelican. The Pelican ProGear Elite cooler is fantastic and they even have a wheeled option which is fantastic.

Grizzly has the coolest name and has an IGBC bear resistant, extreme temperature quality tested process that guarantees a perfect cooler to every buyer. So if you don’t like bears eating your food and you like the design, go with Grizzly.

Don’t want to shell out $200+ for a new cooler and want a great low cost cooler, than go with the Igloo models outlined above. They don’t have the same guarantees to quality, but as a whole they do a good job serving the mass market audience.

Finally, if you want to go with our favorite, and also a local American company, go with Yeti. They manufacturer top of the line coolers and truly work extremely hard with their suppliers to ensure serious quality control.

Yeti Tundra Cooler

However, watch out for all the Yeti copycats out there.

The Yeti Tundra is a beast to say the least and can withstand any task.

Still don’t believe me? Still don’t think Yeti is tough enough to withstand anything that comes its way?

I have one more video for you as a 500-pound man takes on a Yeti Tundra. Haha enjoy! 🙂

Thanks for bearing with me with all the destructive videos.  I hope you weren’t too put off by all the tough cooler tests...

Still looking for more information before deciding?  We put together an In Depth Review Guide on the best coolers on the market today in this comprehensive article.

About the Author

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Nate is avid CrossFitter who loves pushing his body to the max in his attempt to look stronger. He loves toppling outrageous hiking adventures. Some of his most recent excursions include the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the Half Dome hike in Yosemite National Park.

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