A quick trip to the beach is always nice, but when you want to make a full day of it, it’s good to plan head. Food and drinks are essential, so it helps to have one of the best beach coolers with wheels. A rolling cooler for the beach makes it easy to transport snacks across the sand, and to keep them cool and fresh for when you get hungry.
With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to start researching a new purchase for your beach vacation. A portable cooler with wheels can help you have a more stress-free trip.
There are lots of choices of coolers, so take your time to research features and price points. This guideline will hopefully help you find the best beach coolers with wheels for you and your family.
Benefits of Rolling Coolers for the Beach
Have you ever gone to the beach but tried to carry everything you needed by hand? With the hot sand under your feet, and possibly a long way to walk if the beach is crowded, it can be uncomfortable. I like to carry a few cold drinks with me, and they can get heavy as well.
Add to that the towers, chairs, umbrellas, suntan lotion, and sporting equipment, and it gets really cumbersome!
Fortunately there are beach coolers with wheels that can actually roll across the sand without getting stuck. I was surprised to find this out myself, but it really makes a beach day much more enjoyable.
Things to Consider When Finding the Best Beach Coolers with Wheels
The first thing to consider before making a purchase is the size of the cooler will you need. Do you typically go to the beach along, with your significant other, or with a large group including kids? The more people you need to supply with food and drink, the larger the cooler probably needs to be.
The next thing to think about is the size of the wheels. Generally, larger wheels work better on sand than smaller wheels. Make sure it also has a handle that is comfortable for you.
Finally, look into the quality of the cooler and how well it works at actually keeping your ice cubs, food, and drinks cold. This is something known as ice retention capacity.
The thickness of the cooler walls is important in this factor, but also read other customer’s review to find out how well it keeps food cold. (We can’t name it as one of the best rolling beach coolers with wheels if it doesn’t keep your stuff cold!)
There are a few other features that are nice too:
- Cup holders – having cup holders on the cooler can be handy for making sure your drinks don’t spill, and for keeping sand out of your cup or can. The downside is that you may have to pick the cups up out of the holders every time you want to open it. So consider if this is important for you, or if you prefer to use the cup holders in your chairs, if they have them.
- Lock – some coolers come equipped with a lock, which can help keep your valuables safe, as well as your food. Think about whether this feature is important to you.
- Extra Handles – you may not always want to wheel your cooler behind you, and if so, look for coolers that have additional methods of carrying them. These may include side handles or a shoulder strap.
How is the Size of Coolers Measured
You may see coolers listed with different types of measurements to show the size. This can be confusing, since some listings show size in quarts, while others in number of 12-ounce cans. They may also show capacity in gallons or cubic feet, but cans and quarts is the most comment.
According to West Marine, one quart represents 3/4 of a can. To convert from quarts to cans, simply multiple the number of quarts times 0.75. For example, a 70-quart cooler is 70 * 0.75 = 52.5 cans.
Now let’s look at the top contenders for the best beach coolers with wheels.
Igloo Trailmate Journey 70 Quart Cooler
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars
The Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler is by far the best-rolling cooler I have found. While others work well enough for most beach sand, this one is designed for all terrains and the positive reviews indicate that customers are very pleased with the company’s claim.
Convenience comes with a price, but if this more expensive cooler is within your budget, it’s a great pick.
With 10 inches of clearance and superb traction, the wheels on this cooler can handle anything you throw at them. The 70-quart size fits 112 cans, so it’s much larger than the options we’ve shown above, making it perfectly for a family or other larger groups.
It has a water-resistent storage area that keeps other items away from your food and drink, and safe from spills. The convenient drain plug in the back makes clean-up a breeze once you get home. The butler tray and drink holders make for an easy way to serve your food while at the beach.
YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler
Capacity: 55 Quarts
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Yeti has become one of the most popular names in outdoor equipment over the past few years, to the point that it’s almost a status symbol for people who love the brand. Yeti is known best for its coolers and drinkware, and is a favorite among beach goers, sporting fans, and campers.
So it’s no surprise that the Yeti Tundra Haul portable wheeled cooler is the highest rated cooler on our list. The molded design of Yeti coolers means they have no seams, and the company claims that are “virtually indestructible”. It’s certainly one of the most heavy duty wheeled beach coolers on the market.
The Tundra Haul features never-flat wheels, so you don’t have to deal with the unpleasant surprise of a flat wheel. The single-piece wheels are puncture and impact resistent. The “strong arm” handle has comfortable grips and is designed for perfect pulling, no matter whether you pull with your left or right hand.
The best part of all Yeti coolers is that they have the best ice retention on the planet…your food will stay nice and fresh and cold! They do this with what they call a “fatwall design”, where the pressure-inject insulating foam into the cooler walls and lid.
Plus Yeti coolers come in a variety of colors to suit your tastes!
VINGLI 80 Quart Wagon Rolling Cooler Ice Chest
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
If you’re trying to maximize the room you have, the Vingli Wagon is a good bet. At 80 quarts, it can fit lots of tasty snacks for your beach trip. The dual-hinged lid means you can access the contents from either side, allowing you to set items on one side and still open the other.
The Vingli wagon is constructed from an iron and steel base with a powder coated finish. It comes with a few additional handy features, including a bottle opener and cap catch tray – so it can help prevent accidental littering on the beach! The rear drain spout makes cleaning the cooler much easier.
For beach purposes, the best part of this cooler is its all-terrain wheels. The large 10-inch size means is rolls better then those with smaller wheels. Additional, two of the wheels lock. While the cooler is unlike to roll in sand, this is a nice feature if you want to use it elsewhere that locking casters will help prevent rolling.
The biggest complaint about this model is that it doesn’t collapse or fold down. So if you are limited on storage space for when you’re not using the cooler, that’s also something to consider.
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60 (50+10) Can Collapsible Rolling Cooler with All-Terrain Cart
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars
The Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze cooler carries up to 60 canned drinks and keeps them super cold all day long. Customers rave over the solid construction and durability. Reviewers have confirmed that it rolls well across the sand at the beach, too..
Three layers of foam help to keep food and drinks cold, and a reflective surface helps to bounce back heat from the sun, to further prevent melting.
The exterior is stain resistent, and abrasion and puncture resistent. Inside, the lining has Microban to help prevent the growth of bacteria and resulting odors.
In case you decide not to pull this cooler, it also has a shoulder strap. (Options are good!) The cooler folds up when not in use to help save space.
Coleman SPORTFLEX Soft Cooler
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Coleman has been the standard in outdoor gear for a long time, so it’s no surprise to have one of their coolers in this best beach coolers with wheels list. Their Sportflex soft cooler. This size is a 42-can cooler, but they also have 9-can, 16-can, and 30-can sizes as well.
This cooler is both flexible and durable, and tests indicate that it keeps its contents cold for up to 34 hours. Again, reviewers rave about using it at the beach.
In addition to the heavy-duty wheels, the Sportflex also features a telescoping handle, padded side handles and 4-way stretch pockets. The hatch on the top of the coolers provides easy access to the contents inside.
The cooler is leakproof and odor-resistent.
I hope this review has given you some ideal choices for a rolling cooler for your next beach vacation. I’ve tried to cover a range of prices and options, so that there’s something to fit everyone’s budget.
If you’re planning an upcoming trip to the beach, take a look at the 10 must-haves for a beach vacation, and find some other ideas to make your trip more convenient and exciting.
Have a great trip with one of our best beach coolers with wheels!