Danny's Camping Guide

Best Cooler Keeping Ice Longest: 5 great ways to stop ice melting in your coolers (Review 2021)

What is the Best Cooler for Keeping Ice the Longest Out There

Good coolers make it easier to enjoy the outdoors. From heading out fishing, taking a hike to a wild camping spot, or going for a picnic with friends or family, a cooler can make a good day a great one. However, when it comes to choosing the right cooler, things can get a lot more difficult. In this post, we will guide you through choosing the right cooler for your needs and top tips on keeping your ice longer.

Our Top picks

#1 Best YETI cooler for portable ice retention: The Hopper Backflip Soft Sided Cooler & Backpack

For a cooler backpack for fishing, hiking, picnics, or treks, this is the top backpack cooler out there on the market.

#2 Best soft cooler to keep ice for the price: IceMule’s Collapsible and Waterproof Cooler Bag with Insulation

For a portable ice cooler offering great ice retention for the price, this great cooler outperforms a lot of coolers that cost more and is also a great cooler bag for beach (picnic, camping, party, food).

#3 Best small cooler to keep ice on the go: eBags Crew Cooler II, a cooler for work, travel, and weekends

For a cooler ideal when you are traveling and on the go, this nifty small cooler is great as a lunchbox and keeps things ice-cold all day easily.

#4 Best cooler to keep ice for days: The YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

For a hard-sided cooler designed to withstand bear attacks and stop your ice from defrosting for well over a week at a time, this hefty cooler packs a punch. This cooler with wheels keeps food and drinks cold for an extended time.

#5 Best cooler bag for keeping ice on a budget: Arctic Zone’s Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody cooler

For decent ice-retention on a small budget, this neatly designed cooler bag is portable and keeps ice cold all day even without any zippers.

Top SalesProduct LinkPrice
OlarHike 30 Liter Large Cooler Lunch Bag Collapsible and Insulated Lunch Box Leakproof Cooler Bag for Camping Picnic BBQ Family Outdoor Activities (Grey)from $24.99
Set of 5 Cooler Shock lunch bag size ice packs - high performance 18 degree Fahrenheit using phase change science to achieve 8-10 hour cooling - avoid spoilage so you can eat your lunch!from $16.95
YETI Tundra 45 Cooler River Greenfrom $299.99
Coleman Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days | Heavy-Duty 70-Quart Cooler for Camping BBQs Tailgating & Outdoor Activitiesfrom $50.21
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler (Desert Tan)from $349.99
AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation Navy Blue 24-Canfrom $78.95
Igloo Products Corporation 00045929 Marine Ultra Quantum Roller Cooler 28 Quartfrom $36.22
YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler Tanfrom $399.99
eBags Crew Cooler II Soft Sided Insulated Lunch Box - For Work Travel & Weekends - (Tropical Turquoise)from $54.99
Cooler Shock 24 hr. Ice Free Coolers 24 or 48 Can (48 Can)from $49.00
Igloo MaxCold Roller Cooler Jet Carbon/Ice Blue/White 40 Quartfrom $48.33
Pelican Elite 50 Quart Cooler (White/Grey)from $278.00
AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation Silver 48-Canfrom $99.95
Igloo Glide Pro 110 Roller (EA)from $136.73
YETI Tundra 75 Cooler Whitefrom $449.99
AO Coolers Traveler Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulationfrom $59.95
Pelican Elite 70 Quart Coolerfrom $349.99
AO Coolers Carbon Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulationfrom $69.99
Pelican Elite 30 Quart Coolerfrom $224.99
eBags Crew Cooler JR. - Soft Sided Insulated Lunchbox - for Work Travel & Weekends - (Grey Matter)from $36.99
Polar Bear Coolers - Nylon Line - Quality Like No Other from The Brand You Can Trust - See Touch & Feel The Polar Bear Difference - Patent Pending - 24 Pack Navyfrom $109.95
Pelican Elite Soft Cooler (12 Can) Blackfrom $249.95
Polar Bear Coolers - Solar Bear Line - Quality Like No Other from The Brand You Can Trust - See Touch & Feel The Polar Bear Difference - Patent Pending - 24 Packfrom $109.95
Pelican Elite 45 Quart Wheeled Cooler (White)from $379.95
ORCA Extra Heavy Duty Cooler Green 20-Quartfrom $249.99
Esky Series 85 Quart Coolerfrom $335.66

What is the best cooler out there for you?

The first thing you need to think about when buying a cooler is what type of cooler you need. Some are designed with maximum portability in mind, but might not have that much room in them. Others might have an abundance of space but be difficult to move around very far. There are also soft-sided and hard-side options. Hard sides tend to offer better ice retention (ie. keep ice cooler for longer) but are also less comfy to carry and heavier.

You also need to consider what you are actually going to be using the cooler for. Do you need a cooler for a garden party, picnic, or one you can take trekking? Or are you looking more for an ice chest? Or do you need a cooler that will keep fish fresh on your boat for days at a time so you can enjoy really getting out to sea? Ultimately if you need to take your cooler a reasonably long way, portability has to be the key determining factor for your decision and a soft cooler will likely be best. If you’re not going far then hard-sided coolers with more space and better ice-retention will be better.

How to keep ice from melting in your cooler

The answer to the question ‘how long will a bag of ice last in a cooler?’ is a bit like the answer to the question ‘how long is a piece of string?’. Obviously, coolers with better ice retention will keep ice frozen for longer, as well as the goods in your cooler. However, there are a number of other ways you can help to prevent ice melting in your cooler that are worth checking out. Here, we outline 5 great ways to stop ice melting in coolers:

#1 Pre-chill your goods first

Before you put your products in your cooler, it’s a good idea to get them nice and cold first. The warmer things are when you put them in your cooler, the quicker that heat is going to transfer to your ice.

#2 Have a high ice to goods ratio

Fill as much spare space with ice as possible. When you do this you squeeze out warmer air in your cooler. You should also ensure that there is more ice than other goods in your cooler if you want to max out how long your ice stays frozen.

#3 Make large ice-cubes with boiled water

Bigger ice blocks or cubes last longer than smaller ones and take longer to reach melting point. This is because they have less exposed surface area than small pieces of ice. Interestingly, boiled water also helps keeps ice for longer because there are fewer air bubbles in boiled water.

#4 Support your cooler

If you give your cooler a hand, then you can extend its ability to prevent ice melting. One way you can do this is by choosing a cooler that is lighter in color on the outside. Lighter colors reflect the sun’s rays better and don’t absorb as much heat. You could also you’re your cooler up in a blanket or towel for some added external insulation. Adding a layer of aluminum foil to the interior will also improve ice retention.

#5 Keep your cooler out of the sun

Whilst we might love being in the sunshine, ice doesn’t. Even in your cooler, the ice is going to melt quicker if left in hot places or in direct sunlight. If you can keep your cooler under some shade, then you’ll enjoy colder beers for longer.

Top 5 Best Cooler Keeping Ice Longest Reviews

With so many coolers to choose from, it can be hard to know which one to pick. Here we outline 5 of our favorite coolers when it comes to keeping ice for the longest. We have picked them with different needs and budget in mind so there should be a great cooler for everyone in our top 5 cooler picks:

#1 Best YETI cooler for portable ice retention: The Hopper Backflip Soft Sided Cooler & Backpack

If you are in the market for the best cooler to keep ice from melting whilst on the move, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this Yeti cooler that doubles up as a backpack. It has tall and wide sides to make packing and unpacking easy and has room for up to 25 pounds of weight or up to 20 cans of beer but is still nice and compact. One of the best picnic coolers and great for camping, hiking, and festivals, this cooler keeps your perishables cool and fresh thanks to its superb ice retention.

Other benefits of this YETI cooler are that: it has a waterproof layer, clever waterproof zipper, and a DryHide shell that makes it impressively durable; it has two comfortable shoulder straps and both a hip and belt strap that helps keep your back safe; the wide double straps ensure it remains comfortable even when you’ve filled it to the brim; you won’t find your ice melting easily in this cooler even when the weather is super-hot and it will stay frozen for 3-5 days. The downside of this cooler is that it is so pricey.

#Yeti #Portable_Yeti_Cooler #Soft_Sided_Cooler #Ice_Retention #Yeti_Ice_Retention

#2 Best soft cooler to keep ice for the price: IceMule’s Collapsible and Waterproof Cooler Bag with Insulation

If you need to find the best soft cooler for ice retention by cost, then you can’t really go wrong with IceMule’s coolers. With great ice retention, decent portability, and long-term durability at a low cost, this cooler ticks a lot of boxes. It also comes with an additional exterior layer that you can blow air into. This adds an extra layer of insulation helping to protect your goods from outside temperatures better and keeping them ice cold for longer.

Other pros of this ice-keeping cooler are that: it has an easy access hood that allows you to access the contents quicker; it keeps ice as ice for 24 hours; it has a waterproof exterior; it has soft sides and collapses down nice and small, and; you get a lot for your money in comparison with other coolers at this price range and even more expensive ones. The one major downside of this cooler is the lack of a zipper which means water could get in if it dropped into water.

#Value_Soft_Cooler #IceMule #Value_Ice_Retention #Portable_Soft_Cooler #Soft_Coolers

#3 Best small cooler to keep ice on the go: eBags Crew Cooler II, a cooler for work, travel, and weekends

If you’re looking for the best small cooler that is ideal for traveling, short journeys, and as a daily lunchbox, then you should check out this cooler. It has excellent ice retention thanks to the insulation on all 6 sides of the main compartment. This is also leak-proof so it can be used with both ice and ice-blocks. There are extra compartments that you can use for dry goods like your keys and your wallet or purse.

Other great things about this small cooler for on the go are that: though small, it still has a decent amount of space whether you want to bring lunch or a few cans of beer along; it is made out of a material called ballistic nylon which means it will last you for years even with daily use; it can be clipped quickly on to suitcases, and; the extra pockets make keeping organized a doddle when on the move. The downside of this travel cooler is that it is a little bit costly considering its size.

#Travel_Cooler #Lunch_Box #Lunchbox_Cooler #Travel_Lunchbox  #Small_Travel_Cooler

#4 Best cooler to keep ice for days: The YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

If you’re after the best cooler to keep ice frozen and budget isn’t an issue, then you don’t need to look beyond this Yeti icebox. This cooler keeps ice for days at a time so if you want to take ice-cream out for a long camping trip this is the best cooler to keep ice cream frozen for as long as you need. With a whopping 3-inches of permafrost insulation, this cooler guarantees that the ice you pack will stay as ice for over a week even when the sun shines. The thick wall is also so strong it can withstand attacks from bears!

Other things to like about this ice-cream cooler are that: in ideal conditions, you could even get to 12 days before your ice starts to melt; it is huge and can hold close to 40 cans of beer and or 59 pounds worth of weight; it is great for BBQs, boat trips, and long camping weekends; it is a cooler with wheels and handle attached, and; all of its components are super strong so this will last you for life. The downsides of this cooler are the initially high cost and the fact it weighs close to 30-pounds when empty which makes it tough to move.

#Ice_Box #Yeti_Ice_Box #Yeti_Ice_Cooler #PermaFrost_Ice_Box #Durable_Ice_Box

#5 Best cooler bag for keeping ice on a budget: Arctic Zone’s Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody cooler

For those keen on a cooler bag with exceptional ice retention on a budget, this is probably the best cooler for keeping ice frozen for the price. You’ll get at last a full day of ice protection and up to 2 days thanks to the heat reflecting exterior and high performing deep freeze insulation. Whilst it is zipperless, the clever design means it is completely leak proof. For this price, this is the best cooler to keep ice cold.

Other things you can enjoy about this cooler bag are that: it is comfortable to carry even in the biggest size thanks to the adjustable shoulder strap; it is nice and easy to clean; it is stand-alone when empty making it easy to pack and unpack, and; it has a number of handy compartments to help separate things out and keep things organized. The downside of this cooler is that it is not as durable as pricier coolers and won’t be suitable for longer trips if you need to keep things frozen.

#Cooler_Bags #Comfy_Cooler_Bag #Value_Cooler #Coller_For_Ice #Ice_Cooler


When it comes to ice retention, you can’t beat a hard-sided cooler. However, soft-sided coolers are much better when on the move and many can keep ice frozen for at least a day. The important thing is to consider what you need your cooler for and choose one that best suits where you want to take it. You can always help your cooler keep things cooler with some of the hacks above. The list above is our top picks for coolers in terms of ice retention depending on your budget and plans.

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