Portable coolers and ice chests are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, designs, and prices. There are two major types of coolers available on the market – hard coolers & soft coolers. In addition to these, you will find some drinkware too.
If you are planning to purchase a new cooler for your upcoming outdoor trip, you may need to consider several factors. Buying a cooler is not a small investment. This is why you have to determine your budget. Before buying, you need to make sure whether you will go for a top-performing rotomolded cooler or buy any cheap alternative.
Why Cooler Price Vary?
The price of a cooler usually depends on several factors such as – the type of the cooler, size, built quality, performance, ice retention capacity, features, brand value, etc. There are cheap steel-built coolers, as well as expensive rotomolded coolers. You need to determine which type of cooler you are going to require for your outdoor trip.
In the following table, we’ve mentioned the estimated price range of different types of coolers:
|Cooler Type||Average Price|
|Traditional Hard Coolers||$50 – $200|
|Hard Rotomolded Coolers||$100 – $1500|
|Soft Coolers||$20 – $200|
We hope you get an idea about the price of different types of coolers. Now, let’s take a look at some of the factors why cooler price varies:
Type of the Cooler
You are probably familiar with the types of coolers and ice chests. There are mainly two different types of coolers available on the market:
- Hard Coolers
- Soft Coolers
In addition to these, some company has manufactured ice bucket, drinkware, etc.
The price of a cooler mostly depends on its type. Hard coolers are usually the most expensive coolers on the market. These coolers are designed for camping, hunting, traveling, and other adventure trips. Hard coolers are also designed to keep ice cold for a long time. In general, you can get more than 2-3 days of ice retention from these coolers. Some premium coolers can hold ice for more than a week.
Soft coolers, on the other hand, are designed for day trips. These are also known as cooler bags or cooler boxes. While hard coolers can hold ice for at least 2 days, soft cooler bags can hold only a few hours. Even the most expensive one can hold ice for around 24 hours.
Now come to the price of these coolers.
As we mentioned earlier, hard coolers are expensive compared to soft coolers. The price of hard coolers ranges between $50 to $1500. On the other hand, soft coolers are much cheaper and cost around $20-$200.
Read Also: How Much Does a YETI Cooler Cost?
Material & Built Quality
It’s obvious that the materials used in a cooler impact a lot on its price. The cooler made of superior quality material is much expensive compared to the cooler that is made of cheap materials. This applies to both hard and soft coolers.
If you want to have the best quality hard cooler, you should consider choosing a roto-molded cooler. The rotomolded coolers are comparatively expensive than steel or other plastic build coolers.
Size of the Cooler
Portable coolers are available in a variety of sizes. For hard coolers, the size or capacity is measured by the quart. Soft coolers are also classified by their holding capacity. Small coolers tend to be less pricy than large coolers.
In addition to the ice retention, the modern cooler comes in a variety of additional features. These features include food dividers, dry goods baskets, cup holders, measuring scales, etc. The cooler price also depends on these additional features. Cooler having lot of features and functions are tend to be pricy.
Cooler from top-tier brands are more pricy than newer brands. Premium brands like YETI, Pelican, RTIC, and ORCA offer high-performing coolers but they come at a premium price tag. On the other hand, there are some new brands that are offering almost similar quality, performance, and features, but they cost a lot less than the premium brands. Though premium coolers are a bit expensive, many of them really worth the price. So, you will never go wrong with a high-price cooler.