Rotomolded coolers, the kind you can get from companies like Yeti, OtterBox, Orca and Pelican, are indestructible and will keep contents cold for days. But they’re also expensive — a 40- to 50-quart cooler can cost as much as $350. There’s something to be said for cheap coolers though, they kind you’ve seen at barbecues and tailgates (red or blue bottom, white lid). A cheap cooler won’t keep ice frozen for three days, and if you hurl it off a cliff, it’ll probably break. But it will work for short-term gatherings, and depending on the size, it’ll cost less than $50. Actually, if you buy one from the selection of Coleman coolers currently on sale at REI, it could cost less than $20.
Gear Patrol also recommends:
Orca Podster Soft Cooler ($200)
Bison 50-quart Cooler ($329)
Yeti Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler ($400)
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