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Best Small Hard Sided Cooler (2023 Update)

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If you're looking for a handy cooler that is easy to carry around while keeping your drinks and food cold, then a small hard-sided cooler might be just what you need. It can be a practical solution for outings like picnics, camping trips or even just a day at the beach. But with so many different options out there, how do you decide on the best one for your needs?

One of the most important factors to consider is the size of the cooler. How many people will be using it and for how long? The size determines how much food and drinks the cooler can store and how easy it is to carry. You should consider whether you need a compact cooler or a bigger one that can accommodate more items.

Another important consideration is the durability of the cooler. You want a cooler that can withstand rough handling, extreme temperatures and the occasional accidental bump. Hard-sided coolers are tougher and more rugged than soft-sided ones, but there are variations in the materials they are made of that can affect their durability.

Lastly, think about the features that come with the cooler. Some models have built-in cup holders, bottle openers, and extra storage pockets. And what about the color and design? Do you prefer a more classic look or a bright, fun one?

Are you tired of lugging around a bulky cooler that gets in the way of your day out? Or do you need a reliable companion for longer trips? With the right small hard-sided cooler, you can keep your food and drinks cool and fresh, hassle-free. Keep reading to discover some of the best options on the market!

10 Best Small Hard Sided Cooler

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price
1

The product is ideal for storing and keeping food or drinks cool and fresh during outdoor activities or work.

2

The product is ideal for keeping food and beverages cold during outdoor activities such as camping or sports.

3

Ideal for keeping food and drinks fresh and safe during outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking.

4

The product is ideal for keeping your lunch cool and fresh while on-the-go.

5

The product is ideal for keeping a small amount of food and drinks cold while on the go.

6

Ideal for outdoor activities, camping, grocery shopping, and traveling due to its large insulated capacity and leakproof design.

7

The product is ideal for keeping items dry and secure in a portable cooler or lunchbox.

8

Ideal for keeping food and drinks cold during outdoor activities like camping, picnics, fishing, and barbecues.

9

The product is ideal for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and picnics as it keeps food and drinks cold.

10

This product is ideal for keeping food and drinks cool for outdoor activities such as picnics, BBQs, camping, and tailgating.

The product is ideal for storing and keeping food or drinks cool and fresh during outdoor activities or work.

The product is ideal for keeping food and beverages cold during outdoor activities such as camping or sports.

Ideal for keeping food and drinks fresh and safe during outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking.

The product is ideal for keeping your lunch cool and fresh while on-the-go.

The product is ideal for keeping a small amount of food and drinks cold while on the go.

Ideal for outdoor activities, camping, grocery shopping, and traveling due to its large insulated capacity and leakproof design.

The product is ideal for keeping items dry and secure in a portable cooler or lunchbox.

Ideal for keeping food and drinks cold during outdoor activities like camping, picnics, fishing, and barbecues.

The product is ideal for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and picnics as it keeps food and drinks cold.

This product is ideal for keeping food and drinks cool for outdoor activities such as picnics, BBQs, camping, and tailgating.

1. Igloo 12-16 Qt Profile Hardsided Insulated Lunch Cooler

Introducing a versatile and innovative cooler perfect for outdoor adventures, the product boasts of a unique dry storage compartment in its lid, providing users with a convenient place to keep their valuables such as keys and cell phones safe and dry. With this cooler, you can now enjoy your outdoor activities without worrying about losing your essentials.

The product also features the Cool Riser technology, which elevates the cooler away from hot surfaces, enhancing its cooling performance. This technology ensures that your drinks and food remain cold for longer periods, even on hot days.

For added security, the cooler comes with a lockable lid, complete with molded loops on the lid and liner, allowing you to add a lock and keep your items secure. This feature is particularly useful when you need to leave your cooler unattended.

Designed with your comfort in mind, the product boasts of an ergonomic curved backside, which makes it more comfortable to carry, even when fully loaded. This feature comes in handy, especially when you need to walk long distances with the cooler.

The product also includes two self-draining cup holders in its lid, providing you with a perfect place to keep your drinks. This feature ensures that you have your drinks within easy reach, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor activities without having to search for your drink every time you need a sip.

2. Dewalt Outdoor Cooler: Rugged Lunch Box

Introducing the T.O.U.G.H. Roto Mold Design Cooler, a must-have for anyone in need of a reliable and durable cooling solution. This cooler is designed to withstand the roughest treatment, making it perfect for taking to the job site, backyard barbecues, campgrounds, beach or sporting events.

Constructed with reinforced insulation, this cooler provides superior ice retention to keep food and drinks cold for days. The heavy-duty metal handle makes for easy transporting, while the easy-open cam latch system provides secure closure, ensuring that your contents stay safe and secure.

This cooler is also accessory-friendly, with an integrated ice pack storage area (ice pack sold separately) and a convenient bottle opener. The T.O.U.G.H. Roto Mold Design Cooler is the ideal choice for those who value convenience and reliability.

With its superior temperature optimization under great heat, this cooler is perfect for any outdoor activity. Whether you're spending a day at the beach or tailgating with friends, the T.O.U.G.H. Roto Mold Design Cooler is the perfect way to keep your food and drinks cold and refreshing.

3. Engel Uc13 13qt Leak-Proof, Air Tight, Drybox Cooler And Small Hard Shell Lunchbox For Men And Women

Introducing the versatile and reliable cooler box that keeps your food and drinks fresh, while also doubling as a dry box to protect your valuable electronics, emergency kits, and cameras from moisture and dust.

Designed with a unique airtight EVA gasket around the lid, this cooler box boasts excellent ice retention and a waterproof seal – ensuring your goods stay cold and dry even in the harshest conditions.

Built to last, this cooler box features fittings secured with stainless steel screws, and rear hinges that are self-stopping for added safety. The front latches are also made of stainless steel, ensuring durability and longevity.

For ease of transport, this cooler box comes with a recessed central carry handle in the lid, as well as an integrated adjustable shoulder strap for added comfort. Additionally, it includes a removable hanging tray for storing dry goods – making it the perfect companion for camping and hiking trips.

Cleaning up after use is a breeze, thanks to the non-absorbent surfaces that are stain and odor resistant. Whether you're heading out on a weekend camping trip or a day hike, this cooler box is sure to keep your food and drinks fresh and your valuable gear protected. Get yours today and experience the convenience and reliability of this top-quality cooler box!

4. Igloo 4 Qt Playmate Mini Hardsided Lunch Box Cooler

The product features THERMECOOL foam, an environmentally friendly insulation that is both clean and efficient. This insulation technology ensures that the contents of the container are kept at the desired temperature for extended periods. The product has an original side push-button design that makes it easy to open and close securely. This design ensures that the container's contents are safe and secure at all times. The lid of the container swivels open to either side, providing easy access to the contents inside. The secure lid of the container helps prevent spills, making it perfect for use on the go. The container has a molded-in handle that allows for one-handed carrying capability, making it easy to transport. Overall, this product is a great choice for anyone looking for an insulated container that is both eco-friendly and easy to use.

5. Igloo Playmate Pal 7 Quart Personal Sized Cooler White, 11.75 X 8.25 X 12-Inch, 7 Qt Red

The Igloo cooler series presents the Playmate Mini that boasts a 4-quart capacity and comes in a bold red color. This compact cooler is capable of holding up to 6 12-ounce cans or 3 liters. It is perfect for outdoor events, picnics, and adventures where you want to keep your beverages chilled and easily accessible.

The Playmate Mini utilizes select propellants that deliver consistent accuracy and performance, ensuring your drinks stay cold for longer periods. It is proudly manufactured in the United States, adhering to high-quality standards.

The interior dimensions of the Playmate Mini are designed to accommodate your drinks while preserving the temperature. The top interior dimensions measure 7.44 x 5.44 x 5.88 inches, while the bottom interior dimensions measure 6.88 x 4.75 x 5.88 inches. This layout helps to keep your drinks in place, minimizing the risk of spills.

6. Maelstrom Ice Chest: Your Perfect Beach Cooler

Introducing the Maelstrom 80 Can Cooler Bag, the perfect solution for all your storing needs. With a measure of 56*39*33 cm (22.04*15.35*12.99 inch), this cooler bag has an extra-large capacity that can easily hold 80 cans drinks of 330 ML (about 72L).

This soft cooler bag is designed with 6 insulated layers, including oxford fabric, waterproof PVC layer, PE board, 210D liner, and food-grade PEVA material, which keeps your drinks cold for up to 24 hours. The thick PEVA material is seamlessly ultrasonically welded to ensure waterproofness, and the waterproof zipper effectively reduces the loss of cold air, making it perfect for all-day outings.

The Maelstrom camping cooler is designed to be stable and durable. The bottom of the cooler bag is made of 5 feet pads, 1680D wear-resistant nylon fabric, PE board, and thick EVA, making it harder, more wear-resistant and non-slip. The front and back sides have PE boards inserted to keep the lunch cooler bag upright and stable.

The Maelstrom ice chest has 10 pockets in total, including 1 main pocket for storing your drinks and food, 2 front zipper pockets for placing your tableware, 6 side pockets (3 pockets on each side) for storing small items, and 1 back pocket for storing your iPad. The soft-sided cooler bag also comes with a detachable bottle opener, so you can open your drinks anytime, anywhere.

This leak-proof cooler bag is designed with convenience in mind. With the unique Velcro opening design, you can easily access your drinks without opening the zipper. The detachable and adjustable straps, along with the comfortable top handle, allow you to hold the Maelstrom cooler bag by hand or shoulder. You can also carry the large ice chest with your friends together with 2 side handles.

This portable can cooler can be widely used when you go camping, hiking, grocery shopping, kayaking, road trips, and more. With its stable and durable design, multiple pockets, and leak-proof insulation, the Maelstrom 80 Can Cooler Bag is a must-have for all outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Engel Uc19 19qt Leak-Proof, Air Tight, Drybox Cooler And Small Hard Shell Lunchbox For Men And Women

Introducing the ultimate companion for outdoor enthusiasts – the Tough and Lightweight Insulated Cooler! With its rugged construction and high-tech features, this cooler is perfect for a wide range of activities such as hunting, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more.

Boasting an ultra-durable design, this cooler keeps your food and drinks cold for hours. It can also double up as a dry box, keeping dust and moisture out. The heavy-duty stainless steel latches and airtight EVA gasket seal ensure that your contents stay safe and secure, even when you are out on the water.

The cooler is constructed using a non-absorbant, stain, and order-resistant plastic, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. It is also insulated with a high-grade molded polystyrene foam, ensuring that your contents remain at the optimal temperature for as long as possible.

This cooler is able to hold up to 5.50 pounds, 4.75 gallons, 32 cans, 19 quarts, or 25 pounds of ice, making it perfect for group outings or solo adventures. Whether you're heading out for a day of fishing or a weekend of camping, this cooler is the perfect companion to keep your food and drinks fresh and delicious.

8. Rtic Ultra-Light Wheeled Cooler: Portable Perfection.

Introducing the RTIC Ultra-Light insulated cooler with wheels, the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures. This wheeled cooler is equipped with puncture-resistant, all-terrain wheels that make it effortless to traverse through rough terrains. With its 78-can capacity, it is perfect for any outdoor activity, whether it is camping, beach trips, barbecues, or boating.

Crafted for maximum portability, durability, and extended ice retention, this portable cooler ice chest box boasts 2.5 inches of closed-cell foam insulation that keeps food and drinks cold for up to 6 days. The premium ice retention ensures that your drinks remain chilled, and your food stays fresh.

One of the standout features of this outdoor cooler is its weight. The RTIC Ultra-Light hard cooler 52 qt is expertly crafted to be over 30% lighter than other coolers with the same capacity, making it easy to carry and transport. Measuring Length: 29 inches, Width: 18 1/4 inches, and Height: 18 3/4 inches, it is compact enough to fit in your car trunk.

The RTIC Ultra-Light insulated cooler with wheels has multiple uses, making it a versatile addition to your outdoor gear. Use it as an ice cooler, drink cooler, travel cooler, beer cooler, can cooler, camping cooler, beach cooler, boat cooler, or barbecue cooler – the possibilities are endless.

Its ergonomic silicone-gripped, no-slam, aluminum handle makes it easy to tow by just one person. The handle can double up as a bench, step stool, tabletop, or extra cutting board, providing you with more options while you are out and about. A convenient, durable silicone cargo net is built into the lid of your cooler for easy storage of smaller items.

9. Stanley Adventure Insulated Cooler: Camp, Sit, Relax!

The Adventure Cooler is the perfect accessory for those who love outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and picnics. With its double-wall foam insulation, this ice box can keep your food and drinks ice cold for up to 27 hours, which is nearly 40 percent longer than your typical coolers. This makes it a great option for those who are looking to spend significant time outdoors without having to worry about their food and drinks becoming warm.

Crafted from high-density polyethylene outer shell and sturdy latches, this cooler is designed to withstand harsh conditions and take a beating. The durable rubber string keeps the Stanley vacuum bottle secure on the flat top. The cooler is made of only BPA-free materials, ensuring that your food and drinks are safe to consume.

Transporting this cooler is a breeze thanks to its heavy-duty top handle. The strings along the top can hold down a bottle or thermos, allowing you to free up your hands. Additionally, the cooler is large yet lightweight, weighing only 3.9lbs when empty.

The silicone gasket on the lid ensures superior insulation and makes this cooler completely leak-proof when the latches are locked. This feature is especially important when transporting the cooler, as it prevents any spills or leaks that may damage your belongings.

Finally, the Adventure Cooler comes with a lifetime warranty. Stanley has been providing rugged, capable gear for food and drink since 1913, and they stand behind their products. This warranty ensures that you can enjoy your cooler for years to come without any worries.

10. Icemax Lunch Cooler: 24-Hour Insulated Convenience!

This high-quality cooler is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to keep their food and beverages cold for extended periods. With the ability to keep ice frozen for up to 24 hours in temperatures up to 90°F, this cooler is ideal for camping, picnics, beach trips, or any outdoor activity.

This cooler has a spacious interior that can hold up to 30 cans, and a zippered main compartment that is insulated to keep contents cold. The front pocket provides extra storage for dry goods and utensils, making it easy to pack everything you need for your outdoor adventure.

One of the standout features of this cooler is its flexible liner, which helps to avoid any foul smells that can often accumulate in coolers over time. The top hatch offers easy access to contents, while the shoulder straps adjust for comfortable no-hands carrying. Additionally, the large side handles allow for more control when the cooler is fully loaded.

This cooler is also designed to be leak-proof, thanks to its heat-welded seams. This means you won't have to worry about any leaks or spills, even if you're transporting it in the back of a car or on a bumpy trail.

Best Small Hard Sided Cooler FAQs

Are there any small hard-sided coolers that are also lightweight?

Yes, there are several small hard-sided coolers that are also lightweight. One example is the Yeti Roadie 24, which weighs just over 12 pounds and has a 24-can capacity. Another option is the Coleman Steel Belted Portable Cooler, which has a 54-quart capacity and weighs just under 20 pounds. The Igloo MaxCold Cooler is another lightweight option, with a 40-quart capacity and a weight of just over 10 pounds. These coolers are designed to be easy to carry and transport, making them ideal for camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities. They are also durable and well-insulated, so they can keep your food and drinks cold for hours, even in hot weather. Overall, there are many small hard-sided coolers that are lightweight and easy to use, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs.

Can small hard-sided coolers be used for both hot and cold items?

Yes, small hard-sided coolers can be used for both hot and cold items. These coolers are designed to maintain the temperature of the contents inside, whether hot or cold. The insulation in the cooler helps to keep the temperature consistent, so if you put hot food or drinks inside, it will stay hot for a longer period of time, and if you put cold items inside, they will stay cold for longer.

It's important to note that if you are using a cooler for hot items, you should make sure it is designed for that purpose. Some coolers are only meant to be used for cold items, and using them for hot items could damage the insulation or cause other issues. Additionally, you should always follow the manufacturer's instructions for using and cleaning your cooler to ensure it lasts as long as possible and remains effective at maintaining the temperature of your items.

How do small hard-sided coolers compare to soft-sided coolers in terms of insulation and durability?

When it comes to insulation and durability, hard-sided coolers tend to outperform soft-sided coolers. Hard-sided coolers are typically made of thick, sturdy materials like plastic or metal, which provide excellent insulation and can keep contents cold for several days. In contrast, soft-sided coolers are made of thinner, more flexible materials like nylon or polyester, which don't provide as much insulation and may only keep contents cold for a day or two.

In terms of durability, hard-sided coolers are generally more rugged and long-lasting than their soft-sided counterparts. They are designed to withstand rough handling, extreme temperatures, and exposure to water and other elements, making them ideal for outdoor activities like camping, fishing, and hunting. Soft-sided coolers, on the other hand, are more prone to tears, punctures, and other forms of damage, and may not hold up as well over time.

Overall, while both types of coolers have their strengths and weaknesses, if you're looking for maximum insulation and durability, a hard-sided cooler is likely your best bet.

How long can a small hard-sided cooler keep ice frozen?

The length of time a small hard-sided cooler can keep ice frozen depends on various factors such as the quality of the cooler, the amount of ice used, the ambient temperature, and how often the cooler is opened. However, on average, a small hard-sided cooler can keep ice frozen for up to two to three days.

If the cooler is well-insulated and has a thick wall, it can keep ice frozen for a longer time. Using block ice instead of crushed ice can also help keep the ice intact for a longer time. Additionally, ensuring that the cooler is kept in a cool place and not exposed to direct sunlight can also help prolong the life of the ice.

It is important to note that opening the cooler frequently can cause the temperature inside to rise, which may accelerate the melting of the ice. Therefore, it is recommended to only open the cooler when necessary and to keep it closed as much as possible to help maintain the temperature inside and keep the ice frozen for a longer time.

What are the best small hard-sided coolers for camping trips?

When it comes to selecting the best hard-sided coolers for camping trips, there are several options available in the market. However, a few factors such as size, durability, and portability should be considered before making a purchase. Among the top small hard-sided coolers for camping trips are the Yeti Roadie 24, Pelican Elite 20QT, and Coleman Steel Belted Cooler.

The Yeti Roadie 24 is a high-end option with a durable construction that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. It has a capacity of 24 quarts and can keep contents cold for several days. The Pelican Elite 20QT is another great option that is built like a tank and can retain ice for up to five days. It is equipped with a freezer-grade gasket and a pressure-release valve that makes it waterproof. The Coleman Steel Belted Cooler is a budget-friendly option that is perfect for car camping. It has a capacity of 54 quarts and features a rust-resistant steel exterior.

In summary, the best small hard-sided coolers for camping trips are those that are durable, portable, and can keep contents cold for an extended period. The Yeti Roadie 24, Pelican Elite 20QT, and Coleman Steel Belted Cooler are among the top options available in the market.

What are the top features to look for in a small hard-sided cooler?

When looking for a small hard-sided cooler, there are a few key features to consider. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the cooler is well-insulated and able to keep your food and drinks cold for an extended period of time. Look for a cooler with thick walls and a tight-fitting lid to help keep the cold air inside.

Another important feature to consider is the size of the cooler. You want to make sure that it is small enough to be easily portable, but large enough to hold all of your essentials. Consider how many people will be using the cooler and how long you will be using it for to determine the appropriate size.

Durability is also important when it comes to a small hard-sided cooler. Look for a cooler that is made from high-quality materials and has sturdy hinges and latches that will hold up over time.

Finally, consider any additional features that may be important to you, such as built-in cup holders, a removable tray for easy cleaning, or a built-in bottle opener. By taking these factors into account, you can find a small hard-sided cooler that will meet your needs and last for years to come.

What is the ideal size for a small hard-sided cooler?

The ideal size for a small hard-sided cooler can vary depending on your specific needs and usage. Generally, small hard-sided coolers can range from 10 to 20 quarts in size. A 10-quart cooler may be suitable for a day trip or picnic for one or two people, while a 20-quart cooler can hold enough food and drinks for a small family or group.

It's important to consider the dimensions of the cooler as well, as some may be taller and narrower while others may be shorter and wider. This can impact how easily the cooler fits in your vehicle or storage space. Additionally, think about the types of items you'll be storing in the cooler and whether you'll need to use ice packs or have room for other accessories.

Ultimately, the ideal size for a small hard-sided cooler will depend on your specific needs and intended use. It's important to consider all factors and choose a size that will best suit your needs while still being compact and portable.

Which are the best brands for small hard-sided coolers?

There are several brands that offer high-quality hard-sided coolers that are perfect for small outdoor activities. Some of the best brands for small hard-sided coolers include Yeti, Pelican, Coleman, Igloo, and Engel.

Yeti is a well-known brand that offers durable coolers with excellent ice retention capabilities. Their coolers are made from rotomolded materials and come with strong latches, making them ideal for outdoor activities. Pelican also offers high-quality hard-sided coolers that are designed to withstand harsh environments. Their coolers come with thick insulation and airtight seals, ensuring that your food and drinks stay fresh for a long time.

Coleman is another popular brand that offers affordable hard-sided coolers that are perfect for small outdoor trips. Their coolers come with sturdy handles, making them easy to transport. Igloo is also a well-known brand that offers a wide range of hard-sided coolers in different sizes, including small ones. Finally, Engel is a brand that offers high-quality coolers with excellent ice retention capabilities. Their coolers are made from durable materials and come with secure latches, ensuring that your food and drinks stay cold for a long time.

Which small hard-sided coolers are the most affordable?

There are several small hard-sided coolers available in the market that are affordable and offer great value for money. Some of the most popular options include the Coleman Steel Belted Cooler, Igloo MaxCold Cooler, and the Rubbermaid Durachill Cooler. These coolers are designed to keep your drinks and food fresh and cold for extended periods, which makes them perfect for picnics, road trips, and camping.

The Coleman Steel Belted Cooler is a classic option that has been around for decades. It is available in several sizes and colors, and its steel construction makes it durable and long-lasting. The Igloo MaxCold Cooler is another popular choice that comes in a compact size and can hold up to 16 cans. It has a sturdy handle and a hinged lid that keeps the cold air inside. The Rubbermaid Durachill Cooler is a great option for those looking for a budget-friendly cooler that can keep their food and drinks cold for up to two days.

Overall, there are plenty of small hard-sided coolers available in the market that are affordable and offer great value for money. It's important to consider your needs and budget before making a purchase to ensure that you get the right cooler for your requirements.

Which small hard-sided coolers are the most durable?

If you're looking for a small hard-sided cooler that is highly durable, there are some great options available in the market. Yeti and Pelican are two of the most popular brands that are known for their rugged and long-lasting coolers.

Yeti's hard-sided coolers are made with rotomolded construction, which means that they are made from a single piece of plastic that is molded into shape. This makes them highly durable and able to withstand harsh conditions. Additionally, they have a heavy-duty rubber T-latches that keep the lid securely closed, ensuring that your food and drinks stay cold.

Pelican coolers are also made with rotomolded construction and come with a lifetime warranty. They have thick walls and a freezer-grade gasket that ensures maximum ice retention. Moreover, they have a dual-locking system that prevents any unwanted access.

Other notable brands that offer durable small hard-sided coolers include Engel, Grizzly, and Orca. Regardless of which brand you choose, make sure to look for features like tough construction, secure latches, and effective insulation to ensure maximum durability.

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