There are many benefits of owning the best stainless steel coolers that go way past convenience and storage. To begin with, they are durable and require minimal maintenance. They are easy to move around, with some of them coming with wheels and rollers.
The innovative designs on some of these coolers allow them to double up as seat and tables, and the retro look is sure to turn some heads. Sure, you won’t get the 10-day cooling capacity of electric coolers; but a 4-day cooling capability coupled with the unique features of each cooler as reviewed below is an even better trade-off.
List of the Best Stainless Steel Coolers to Buy in 2019:
11. Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler Grey
With a color combination of carbonite blue and carbonite gray, Igloo BMX stainless steel cooler has a simple design that reflects its durable nature. It has a blow-molded construction to ensure that it can withstand the harshest of conditions and the addition of metal kick plate adds on to this function. Its base is reinforced to enable it to carry very heavy items, and its top has UV inhibitors to prevent it from fading after exposure to the sun.
All the parts are made of rust-resistant stainless steel. The T-grip latches on the lid ensure it stays in place and opens and closes well on top of making it comfortable and easy to carry around. It is also light, and the triple-grip handle ensures that you will have an easy time moving it around.
Your cooler won’t open up when it gets windy thanks to the inclusion of tie-down loops. What’s more, the design includes a ruler on the lid, which will be valued if you plan on using it for fishing. The Igloo BMX can keep foods and drinks cold for 4 days.
10. Igloo Stainless Steel 54 Quart Cooler
Most Igloo stainless steel coolers are characterized by a minimum footprint and a surprisingly large storage capacity. This particular model comes with dimensions of 24.4 x 15.9 x 16.5 inches and a large capacity of 54-Qt, making it perfect for a small party or a family barbecue.
This compact size and the wide ergonomic handles make it easy to move around and store. The body is made of stainless steel and has reinforced hinges to ensure the lid stays in place. To make sure that the contents stay cold, it makes use of the cool riser technology. This technology gives the cooler an elevated design to promote airflow underneath it, keeping the contents cooler for longer. It keeps ice for 4 days. It also features a drain plug, bottle opener, and latch hardware.
9. Coleman Camping Tailgating 54 QT Stainless Steel Belted Ice Chest Cooler
If you want something that looks just as good as it functions, the Coleman Camping Tailgating 54 QT is a wonderful option. You will definitely get comments on it.
It is made of entirely stainless steel with a dark green finish that gives it a unique retro feel. Its construction is sturdy and strong such that you can use it as a seat without denting or bending the lid. The lid is held in place by rust-resistant hinges for added durability. Coleman Camping Tailgating 54 QT is large enough to hold up to 85 cans and comes with handles to move it around. However, some users pointed out that the rubber grips on the handle are somewhat thin, so they may get uncomfortable when carrying heavy loads over long distances.
Coleman Camping Tailgating 54 QT cooler uses styrofoam insulation to keep the contents cold for 3-4 days. It is easy to clean and has a leak-resistant drain that lets you drain the ice without tilting it.
8. BLACK+DECKER, Mobile Cooler Cart
If style is at the top of your considerations, you will really love this stylish and sleek model. It is more of a cooling cart than a cooler as it has a design that is different from most of the others in this guide. It is a “normal” cooler, with a sturdy stainless steel frame at the bottom and wheels to move it around with ease. When not in use, you can lock the wheels to keep it in place.
This is easily one of the most portable coolers. However, this unique design poses a problem when it comes to moving it on uneven surfaces such as outdoors. This is solvable, but you will have to unscrew four screws from each leg to detach the frame from the main unit. Call it switching from indoor to outdoor mode.
At the bottom of the steel frame, right above the wheels is a stainless steel basin/shelf, that can be used to place empty bottles and other items.
Instead of the common opening mechanism, the BLACK+DECKER, Mobile Cooler Cart has a split door for easy access. It has a capacity of 20 gallons and can keep ice for three to four days. It also comes with a bottle opener and a cap basin.
7. Klein Tools Work Cooler 17-Quart, Keep Cool 30 Hours
There are a number of reasons to love the Klein Tools Work Cooler. To begin with, the design is quite impressive. It does away with many complexities and comes in gray with an orange lid.
The lid is where this cooler excels. You can open it up to 90 degrees and it locks into place for uninterrupted access. If need be, you can push it past 90 to 180 degrees. The hinges that hold it are sturdy and secure, so you can set stuff on it as you reach for something at the bottom of the cooler. One half of the lid has a small storage compartment that allows you to store items such as cutlery and napkins away from the food. The other half is recessed for increased room, making it capable of accommodating one-litre bottles.
Instead of the conventional handle-carrying mechanism, Klein Tools Work Cooler makes use of a strap. This is very handy as it will free your hands to carry other items. Some users have reported that the metal bar that holds the strap in place breaks after a while.
It has a capacity of 17Qt, perfect for a meal for two. A cooling time of 30 hours is a disappointment in a world of coolers that go up to 5 days.
6. Corona Koolatron Corona 54-qt. Ice Chest
The design of the Koolatron Corona 54-qt. Ice Chest is geared more towards aesthetics more than performance. It comes with a stainless steel construction with a glossy finish, giving it a premium look. the Corona logo is printed at the front in bold letters, and has a bottle opener beside it.
It has a steel latch to prevent it from opening accidentally, and rubbered stainless steel handles to carry it around. You can easily take it with you as you go camping, hunting, barbecues, or fishing among others. Thanks to its relatively large capacity of 54Qt, it can fit up to 85 cans, making it ideal for large get-togethers and parties. It can hold ice for 3 days.
5. Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler – Carbonite Gray/Carbonite Blue
Like the above BMX 25 discussed above, this cooler comes with the signature carbonite gray and carbonite blue color. It has the same stainless steel design with rust resistant and UV resistant top to ensure it maintains its lustre for the longest time possible. The lid is kept in place by rubberized T-grip latches.
Its capacity is slightly less, coming in at 52 quarts, and can hold only 83 twelve-ounce cans. Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler holds ice a little longer than its 25 counterparts. It makes use of the MaxCold body that has 20% thicker foam to improve the days from 3 to 5. It has the longest cooling time in this review. This is improved by the Cool Riser Technology that elevates it from surfaces that could mess with the cooling process.
Igloo BMX 52 Quart Cooler has a heavy duty construction and a reinforced base so it will never detach however heavy the contents. Similar to the Igloo BMX 25, it has tie-down loops for added security during transport and has a ruler on the lid to help you during fishing.
4. Outsunny 80 QT Rolling Ice Chest Portable Patio Party Drink Cooler Cart
The design of the Outsunny 80 QT Rolling Ice Chest is similar to that of the Black and Decker discussed above. It makes use of two lids, one on each side to simplified access, and has legs with wheels and a tray/basin at the bottom. The wheels can also be locked into place when not being moved.
It is detachable from the stainless steel base if you want to carry it around using the handles fitted on both sides. Outsunny ice chest has a capacity of 80 quarts/ 20 gallons, falling in the middle of the range.
It has a bottle opener and cap catcher at the front for added functionality. The drain channel is at the back and allows you to drain it without tilting the cooler. What’s more, you have a number of color options from which to choose from. They include red, black, and brown.
3. Igloo Stainless Steel Cooler (51L) # 44669
This is mostly for people looking for timeless elegance and good performance. Igloo 44669 has a very good insulation ability, capable of keeping ice frozen for up to 4 days in the summer. This is made possible by the combination of the Ultratherm foam layer and stainless steel. Also, the elevated base means hot surfaces won’t have an effect on its contents. The lid may not seal well, exposing it to accidental openings.
Most of its parts are made of stainless steel as it neither rusts nor wears out fast. Its latches are made of plastic, making them prone to breakage, although they hold down the lid pretty well.
As its main selling point, the Igloo 44669 does not disappoint when it comes to looks. It has a glossy metallic exterior that gives a high-class feel, standing out from most of the rest. The handles and bottle opener blend in nicely. This, and the Corona (reviewed here) are two of the most attractive coolers in this review.
2. TRINITY TXK-0802 Stainless Steel Cooler with Shelf
The popularity of the TRINITY TXK-0802 can be attributed to its stylish look, incredible portability and maneuverability, and durable construction.
It is made entirely out of high grade 304 stainless steel that doesn’t rust, dent, or scratch easily. This makes it capable of withstanding a surprising amount of abuse and suitable for almost all occasions. More so because of the large capacity of 80 gallons, capable of holding up to 96 cups.
The extra shelf compartment right above the wheels provides you with space to keep drinks and food. The wheels simplify movement and can be locked into place when not being moved. The lid, just like the Black and Decker and the Outsunny models discussed above, has a two-way access for easy loading and offloading.
TRINITY TXK-0802 also includes a bottle opener and a cap catcher for added convenience. The drain plug at the back is to purge out water to improve the cooling performance.
1. Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, 54 Quart
One of the things that will really impress you about the Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler is the manufacturer’s attention to detail. Each and every part is made of strong stainless steel including handles, hinges, and the latch. Each of them blends seamlessly together, giving it a classy vintage design.
Despite the all-metal construction, the cooler is relatively easy to carry. It comes weighing a mere 19 pounds when empty. Another interesting feature about it is its ability to double up as a seat, however heavy you might be.
It has a capacity of 54 Qt, which translates to 85 cans. What’s more, you can store two-liter bottle upright and still remain with extra room. It can keep ice cubes for up to 4 days, making it ideal for transport and long excursions.
You may have noticed, on completion, that this guide did not review the models that will have you breaking the bank to acquire, such as the Yeti. Not most of us can spend, comfortably, over $700 on a stainless steel cooler. Besides, even though their functionality is amazing at the very least, the only people who can justify those absurd prices is a hunter or a mountain man who needs ice to remain frozen for up to 10 days. For us normal guys who go weekend camping, our ideal coolers can be found from the above.