3 Signs You Don’t Need an Expensive Cooler

Inexpensive coolers are light, loaded with different features, and perfect for keeping things cold on the water or in the woods

High-end coolers have taken over the outdoor market for good reason. They keep whatever is inside cold longer and are almost indestructible. But modern “super coolers” have two major drawbacks—cost and weight. If you already have that fancy heirloom cooler proudly riding in the boat or truck, or you just want a second unit to toss in the back seat for a few hours at the beach or on a stream, you have some economical options.

Day Trippers

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody CoolerArctic Zone

You don't need a $200 cooler to keep a few beverages and maybe a sandwich cool for a quick paddle or picnic. These handy little six-packers offer everything you need at a fraction of the cost.

Hands Free

ICEMULE Classic Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag
ICEMULE Classic Insulated Backpack Cooler BagICEMULE

If you need to go hands-free while carrying a fly rod or maybe beating a path with a machete or trekking poles, one of these backpack coolers will fit the bill.

Steel and Rolling Coolers

coleman cooler steel belted cooler
Coleman CoolerColeman

There is something nostalgic about a steel-sided cooler. It hearkens back to a simpler time with cold pop on the front porch and watermelon on the Fourth of July. They are classy, durable, and look better the more scuffed up they get. But if you don't want to lug around a standard-size metal cooler, check out one of these wheeled plastic options, great for tailgating or rolling up to the next block party fully prepared.