Out of many cooler types to cool your food and drinks during an outdoor activity, rotomolded coolers are the best candidate. It boasts weeks of ice retention and superior durability - Something that those injection or thermoforming molding can’t do.
The only concerning thing is their loftier price and I bet nobody likes to spend money on such costly stuff many times. That’s why the list below will suggest to you the top 6 best rotomolded cooler for the money.
Here are the best rotomolded coolers for the money (Dec 2023 Update):
- Best Overall: YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
- Most Lightweight: RTIC Cooler, 45 qt
- Highest Quart Capacity: Outsunny 85 Quart
- Best For Short Trip: DeWalt 10 Qt
- Budget-Friendly: REYLEO Cooler A21
- Most Impressive Ice Retention: Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest
|Best Rotomolded Cooler for The Money: Top 6 Picks|
|YETI Roadie 20 Cooler||Read Our Review|
|RTIC Cooler, 45 qt||Read Our Review|
Highest Quart Capacity
|Outsunny 85 Quart||Read Our Review|
Best For Short Trip
|DeWalt 10 Qt||Read Our Review|
|REYLEO Cooler A21||Read Our Review|
Most Impressive Ice Retention
|Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
Made by the market-leading brand
Indestructible design to stand the toughest abuse for many years (reported by many customers)
Super easy to use and mobile
Remain ice even when mounted outside in the hot sun
Yeti Roadie Coolers have earned quite much hype in recent years and with good reasons.
Regardless of being the very first brand introducing rotomolded coolers to the market, they are well-loved for the indestructible design with an ultra-thick FatWall design for 2” of insulation. It’s amazingly certified bear-resistant as well.
Compared to another sibling – Tundras, Roadie comes with less insulation in the lid so, on average, this can retain ice for 3-4 days depending on weather and other conditions.
I still appreciate its foam-fitting interlock lid system as well as the heavy-duty T-REX rubber lid latches that prevent efficiently against the busted issue. At the meantime, the cold lock gasket circles the entire lid’s length to lock in the cold while blocking out the heat effectively.
YETI Roadie 20 Cooler Specifications
Ice Retention (Days)
19 x 14 x 15 inches
10" X 13" X 8 3/8"
3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is certified Bear-Resistant
Built with superior durability with multiple on-point features, Roadie is the cooler that will take a beating without flinching to serve pretty much anyone.
Most Lightweight: RTIC Cooler, 45 qt
45 quarts but weighs only 30 pounds -> decently lightweight
Built-in sturdy and comfortable handles to optimize portability
Have four non-slip feet to stay in place firmly
The lid is not completely square to the cooler’s bottom -> make a small gap at one corner
Usually called “the best Yeti-like model” with affordability because of many similar features, however, I myself find Rtic coolers actually hold their own in terms of performance and quality.
The biggest selling point is its 3” of insulated walls.
Compared to Yetis, it gives slightly better ice retention (3-5 days based on conditions) to be a good cooler for the beach even uncovered and in direct sunlight.
Come with higher quart capacity, thicker insulation material, but the total weight of Rtic is just a mere 30 pounds. It’s clearly lighter than Yeti while the 45-quart construction is also arguably more versatile for different outdoor activities.
RTIC Cooler, 45 qt Specifications
Ice Retention (Days)
15.25" x 26.5" x 16.5"
11-7/8” x 19-3/8” x 10-1/2”
Heavy duty T-latches, freezer grade gasket
Lightweight enough for a person to hold easily while sturdy enough to stay durable for years come, RTIC Cooler is a go-to choice for solo outdoor enthusiasts or for extended journeys.
Highest Quart Capacity: Outsunny 85 Quart
Deliver 85 quarts of capacity -> Accommodate the biggest amount of items inside
Have attached wheels for effortless transport
Handles give a tight grip with comfort
Heavier than other counterparts in its field
It’s smart to have an ice chest box when having a party at a beach or in your backyard as it can withstand the natural factors like wind and rain or the damage of being carried. Outsunny coolers are always my go-to in such cases.
This ice chest utilizes the similar rotomolded technology as Yeti, with 2-inch thick insulation and freezer-quality gasket, while being much cheaper. Thus, it is good value for the money and can ensure everything inside stay cold within 3 days under harsh sunlight and up to 7 days in the shade.
The handles are my most favorite. They’re crafted from durable nylon rope material to deliver a tight grip but super-comfortable to carry the 85-quart cooler around with ease.
With attached wheels, it’s much effortless to pull or push the ice chest box around and when not in need, simply lock them off to keep it in place.
Outsunny 85 Quart Specifications
Ice Retention (Days)
30" L x 17" W x 18" H
25.5" L x 13.5" W x 14.5" H
2-inch thick insulation for maximum ice/cold retention
There are times that you need a cooler featuring higher quart capacity, Outsunny has you covered in that need while costing no more than $200 compared to renown brands.
Best For Short Trip: DeWalt 10 Qt
Small design with sturdy handles to ideally carry a lunch box to sporting events, construction zones, or job sites
Optional two can holders and bottle opener for more convenience
Provide secure closure
Bright yellow color is hard to misplace
Loose screws on the lid hinge
Need to use both hands to close the latches, which is a bit inconvenient
May I not need an introduction for this brand, Dewalt is indeed a popular conglomerate on a variety of markets, including the cooler isle. Their lines are vast in sizes and dimensions but I’d like to introduce the 10Qt in this list for some reasons.
It’s one of the smallest creations in the cooler world but is crafted with quality and full basic functions to fit snugly the needs of your picnics or children’s game day. Or packing your lunch box to the Jobsite also seems perfect.
For extra convenience, this little cooler is integrated a bottle opener and heavy-duty metal handles. Outside in, you’ll also find the well-organized interior that’s designed to keep an additional ice pack while the lid holds two cans on the outside.
DeWalt 10 Qt Specifications
Ice Retention (Days)
17.09" x 11.18" x 11.1"
11.71" L x 6.99" W x 8.27" H
Easy-Open Cam Latch System
With 17.09″ (L) x 11.18″ (W) x 11.1″ (H) and 8 pounds of weight, Dewalt 10Qt meets the expectation of frequent carrying around despite the tough build.
Budget-Friendly: REYLEO Cooler A21
Fashion and practical outlook
Use the same seal technology as a refrigerator to keep inside items cold in a longer time
Affordable while providing full basic and advanced functions
Don’t work well under the peak summertime
Easy to get scratches
REYLEO A21 offers much in the way of functionality with an entire anti-UV construction, effective drain plug and some extra features, like cup holders, bottle openers, or non-skid feet.
While being so helpful, this cooler ties its price down at amazing affordability. At a 21-quart capacity, equipped with the first-class sealing and high-quality latch, it’s convenient for 2-3 people to use during the weekend without fears of melted ices.
Their fashion outlook is another thing that I appreciate the most. Seems like REYLEO determined not to scarify their products’ aesthetics. Choosing a yellow-gray color scheme, the unit not only meets the practicality but also boasts a sleek vibe that outdoor dirt can’t affect.
REYLEO Cooler A21 Specifications
Ice Retention (Days)
18.3 x 13.8 x 13.4 inches
14 x 9.5 x 9.8 inches
Cutting edge durability, exterior and interior surfaces are anti-UV
If you’re looking for a cooler brand that will keep your wallet in a good shape, REYLEO A21 is really worth a look.
Most Impressive Ice Retention: Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest
Keep ice in the longest time (up to 10 days)
Built-in cup holder in the lid for extra convenience
No sweat exterior
3” insulation & perfectly sealed to keep
Opposite to Yeti, Driftsun puts hardly any bold at all on their product outlook and brand name, which is no strange when many people had never heard of it before.
Regardless, I myself was quite surprised by this 75-quart ice chest. While keeping almost half the price of other high-end coolers, Driftsun “silently” boasts a mere 3” of industrial-grade insulation sandwiched between the thermoplastic outer and inner layers.
For that outperform feature, no doubt when the unit can keep ice from melting up to 10 days if properly stored.
Another good thing that only has in Driftsun when compared to other “Yeti-like coolers”, like RTIC, is the in-stock goods.
While RTIC gets backordered quite often, which makes customers wait for months after purchasing, you can get the goods in the mail faster when ordering from Driftsun. Not to say that their coolers come with a major thing that Yetis don’t – cup holder in the lid and bottle opener.
Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest Specifications
Ice Retention (Days)
33.5"(L) x 18.5"(W) x 18"(H)
27"(L) x 12"(W) x 13"(H)
3” inches of commercial-grade insulation
If things like brand names, reputation, and image aren’t important to you, Driftsun 75-quart with a highlight on its extended ice retention is the best bet.
How To Choose The Best Rotomolded Cooler?
As for variable needs, one cooler can’t fit all.
To find out which is the most appropriate for you, ask yourself these two questions:
What is the quality your cooler needs to support?
How many people will be using it?
The more extended of your outdoor trip, the bigger the cooler should be. Keep in mind that cooler capacity is measured by quart.
1 quart = 0.75 can of beer
Take note that 40% - 60% of the cooler capacity will be taken by ice. (The recommended ice-to-content ratio is 2:1)
Another thing to consider is cooler’s weight. Ensure it is not too hefty because you’re going to carry it to anywhere you go.
This is nearly the decisive feature for a cooler’s value. Most manufacturers state the ice retention in terms of days.
The more days it’s able to keep stored stuff cool before another ice replacing, the better.
It doesn’t always follow the old rule – The bigger the cooler, the longer the ice retention. You can still find some portable, affordable units with great ice performance, which are usually from well-known brands that I’ll suggest to you later.
To easily determine how good of a cooler’s ice retention, consider two features:
Insulation thickness: The thicker, the better.
Lid performance (its capability to block out heat and lock in cold)
Indestructible construction is a unique feature of rotomolded coolers so, keep this feature in mind when looking for the best for the money.
A good rotomolded cooler should (at least) stand up in the rigors of your outdoor trip and be made out of ultra-robust materials to bring minimal wears off. Some superior units are even additionally bear-resistant or anti-UV.
Another worth-considering feature is the drain plug to release water. Without this optional-but-vital component, the cooler is prone to leak water. There are many cases that poorly-drained coolers leaked all on the car, ending up your exciting trip in disaster.
Which Brands Make The Best Rotomolded Cooler for The Money?
YETI rotomolded coolers can’t possibly break, which has been proved by thousands of customers, making it the market-leading brand in terms of indestructible coolers. Their products nowadays become the yardstick against that other junior cooler brands are measured.
RTIC coolers are the lightest in this market where most manufacturers just pay their attention to ice retention and cooler capacity while scarifying the portability and easy transporting. The best thing about RTIC is their perfect compromise of ice performance, lightness, and durability.
Different brands come with varying strategies for capturing the market and with Outsunny, they are the most reminded company in terms of high quart capacity. Regardless, their coolers are still designed with portability in mind to ensure their customers can easily carry it around.
Dewalt is a Mr. Giant in the outdoor gear world. Their products spread over different spectrums but none of them shows the lack of quality investment. Not an exception for coolers. While bringing superior performance, Dewalt coolers are well-loved for their incredible affordability.
But to talk about the most budget-friendly coolers, it must be REYLEO. Their products are built from the dream combo of many customers – cheap and functional. It even comes with multiple additional, convenient components like cup holder, bottle opener, and anti-UV shell.
Driftsun coolers focus on the most basic need of majority customers – ice retention and it’s made a good job at that, making it the most favorite of campers, hikers, and hunters when they need to be outdoors for a couple of days.
How long will dry ice keep in rotomolded cooler?
18 – 24 hours, depending mostly on the brick size and how it’s stored.
Why are the rotomolded coolers heavy?
Most rotomolded coolers come with heftier weight which comes from its extra-thick insulation to ensure the unit can keep stored items cooler and last longer.
Why are the rotomolded coolers so expensive?
This comes from the producing process of rotomolded coolers. It’s strict and complicated to ensure every component of the product is crafted with a continuous thick wall with minimal imperfections. Hence, delivering superior ice performance as well as durability.
These two highlights also the unique selling points of rotomolded coolers, making such an expensive price.
Do rotomolded coolers float?
As mentioned above, rotomolded coolers are very hefty with thick walls, therefore, it will sink in water.
Will food freeze in a cooler?
This only happens when the outside temperature stays below the freezing temp of the cooler’s inner material. Exactly, the task of a cooler is slowing down the freezing of items, not freezing them down.
Everyone readily spends a ton of money on a rotomolded cooler just to expect for its higher quality. This is why I hope the list above comes into play, not only about its wide range of superior options but also for the best matching to your demand. Thanks for reading!