The summer is the perfect time to go on a short day-trip that will require a few beverages, a small meal, and a snack. To make the day a real success, you need a cooler to keep everything nice a cold. Unfortunately, that large cooler you have for long trips is a little too big to lug around for a quick getaway. To make things easier on yourself, you need a cooler that’s small enough to easily fit in your car, well-constructed, and easy to move and carry. Here are the five small coolers we like best.
Stanley Adventure Cooler
We’ll start with a classic. Stanley has been making top-notch thermoses, mugs, and other storage containers for a century. Due to that heritage and experience, the company makes some of the best and most affordable products on the market. The Stanley Adventure Cooler is no exception. It features double wall foam insulation, a locking leak-resistant lid, and adjustable tie-downs for strapping various items to the top of your cooler. The Adventure Cooler comes in various sizes, ranging from a 7-quart option to a 16-quart one. Prices vary, too, but you shouldn’t have a problem finding one between $40 and $90.
YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
If you need something a little bigger and tougher than the Stanley Adventure Cooler. The YETI Roadie Cooler is an obvious choice. The cooler features up to three inches of PermaFrost Insulation and has an extra-thick walled design. The roto-molded construction means it will withstand even the toughest of road trips for years to come, and the T-Rex lid latches are made of heavy-duty rubber that won’t break. It also features a handle for easy carrying. The 20-quart capacity is large enough to be handy but small enough to easily fit in the car. Prices can vary, but you're looking at spending between $200 to $250.
ORCA 20 Quart Classic Cooler
Want something like a YETI, but a little different? The Outdoor Recreation Company of America has you covered. All of its products are made in the USA, and the ORCA 20 Quart Classic Cooler is the perfect place to store all your food and drinks for a nice short trip. The 20 quart will easily fit in just about any cargo space, and its extra durable roto-molded construction means it will hold up to the rigors of the road. Its integrated insulation will keep ice for several days, and the single flex-grip handle makes it easy to carry around. You can get bigger ORCA coolers, but this one is great for the road, and it can be found a little cheaper than the YETI cooler of the same size. Prices will vary, but it should cost around $190.
Pelican Elite Soft Cooler
Need a soft cooler for your travels? The Pelican Elite Soft Cooler is the way to go. It features a structured, soft-shell design, high-density closed-cell foam insulation that will keep ice for a couple days, and a 100 percent leak-proof zipper with a dual-lock buckle system. The Pelican comes with an anti-slip base, so it will stay put once you put it in your cargo space or trunk, too. This makes it a great addition to any road trip. You can get a cooler with 12 or 24 can capacity. Prices can vary, but you should be able to find this product between $230 to $280.
Igloo Playmate Elite Cooler
Are all of the options above too expensive? For the budget conscious, consider the Igloo Playmate Elite Cooler. Igloo is well known for its coolers. The durable molded-plastic exterior isn’t as tough as YETI or ORCA's products, but it will withstand most of the rigors of the road with ease. The cooler features a top push-button, locking lid that opens in either direction. The cooler is made in the U.S. and comes with a 16-quart capacity. Prices will vary depending on the seller, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one for around $30 to $35.