(Inga Hendrickson)
2019 Summer Buyer's Guide

The Best Coolers of 2019

Frosty fortresses for trail and campsite


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Filson Tin Cloth Soft-Sided Lunch ($145)

(Courtesy Filson)

Think of this as an upgrade to the cheap nylon sack of your youth. The exterior is made from Filson’s legendary water-repellent oil-finish tin cloth (the same material the brand uses for its hunting jackets), while the insulated ten-liter interior kept our food cold for two days. A pair of exterior utility pockets hold sundries.

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Hydro Flask Unbound 18-Liter Soft Tote ($225)

(Courtesy Hydroflask)

This tote looks most natural beside a picnic blanket. But because it’s waterproof, we weren’t nervous about tossing it into a canoe or lashing it to a paddleboard. Testers liked the long handle straps, which made over-the-shoulder carrying comfortable, and the thick insulation at the base, which kept eats cold for up to 48 hours.

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Corkcicle Eola Bucket Bag ($130)

(Courtesy Corkcicle)

Of the many coolers we tested, the Eola was the most stylish. Credit the clean design and reinforced vegan-leather top handle and base, which make this piece look more like a runway accessory than an ice chest. The insulated compartment fits 12 cans of beer or eight cans and two wine bottles—perfect for picnics or festivals in the park.

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REI Co-op Cool Trail Pack ($100)

(Courtesy REI Co-op)

We dig the fridge-pack trend, which can make hauling a weekend’s worth of perishables much easier. But hoist­able coolers often leave no room for other gear. That’s why we like REI’s take, which stacks a gear pouch atop an insulated compartment that’s roomy enough to hold 20 cans of suds (or, you know, food).

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Diamond Brand Double Take ($69)

(Courtesy Diamond Brand)

Diamond Brand, based in Asheville, North Carolina, handcrafts this cooler using leftover material from a local textile plant. Don’t scoff at factory scraps—we think the Double Take is the best looking of the bunch. Customize yours with fabrics like denim, Cordura, or waxed canvas and metal or plastic buckles. At 6.5 liters, it’s big enough to hold a six-pack with ice, but we used it most frequently to bring after-work snacks to the climbing gym.

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Yeti Tundra Haul ($400)

(Courtesy Yeti)

Rotomolded coolers will keep your brews cold for more than a week, but they’re heavy and usually require two people to move. For less awkward toting, Yeti added a pair of sturdy impact- and puncture-resistant wheels to its iconic 60-liter Tundra. The result is the Austin, Texas, brand’s legendary cooling chops in a more versatile, easy-to-transport package.

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From Summer 2019 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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