Igloo is a classic. Everyone has an igloo laying around, and we aren’t sure if someone actually buys them, or they just appear like magic. They’re great little coolers when you don’t need something that can withstand the apocalypse, just a cooler for that Saturday afternoon soccer tournament or your backyard barbecue.
Igloo’s target audience is the person who shops on a budget. The company began in 1947 out of a metalworking shop where someone needed the cleanest water available, inventing an ice chest that could stand up to the job.
They’re housed in an enormous warehouse in Katy, Texas and still believe in bringing best in class products to all families, not just ones with large budgets. They were there with the first big outdoor recreational boom, and they’re here now. Let’s take a look at some of the best Igloo products in our Igloo Cooler Review for 2020.
Best Igloo Coolers for Most People
Igloo’s products cover a range of purposes now but here are two of our favorites that should satisfy most of your family’s needs.
This is Igloo’s iconic cooler. It’s a roller style with a retractable handle made from tough polyurethane material with molded handles for easy solo or tandem carrying. The wall insulation is nearly three inches thick, and the lid seals completely without difficult latches.
The inside features molded, food-safe plastic with a triple-snap drain plug for easy cleaning. It also has four drink holders molded directly to the lid. There’s no way to secure the top so be sure it doesn’t tip over, but the design of the cooler encourages even weight distribution, so that isn’t likely to happen. The wheels are sturdy and large enough to handle some uneven terrain. The best part? It’s really affordable, so if it disappears in the tailgate shuffle, you won’t have to go into mourning.
What Customers Like:
- simple, ergonomic design
- handled, wheeled option
- no way to lock the lid
- not sturdy enough to use as a seat
Sometimes you just need simple backpack style coolers that satisfy everything you need. Igloo makes a backpack cooler that can store up to 30 cans at a time. It has padded shoulder straps that redistribute the weight, and the interior is crushproof EVA molded material. It features durable zippers, a wide-mouthed top that gives you easier access to everything inside, and a front pocket for storing smaller items that could get lost otherwise.
The lid has space for a few food items while the side pockets are suitable for storing water bottles for easy access. The seaming tends to wear out sooner than the cooler itself, but if you watch for signs of wear and tear, it’s an easy fix. It’s great for taking enough food for multiple people for the day.
What Customers Like:
- multiple storage pockets
- comfortable shoulder straps
- wide-mouthed opening
- seaming could be more durable
- the interior isn’t puncture proof
Everything Else: The Entire Igloo Product Line
Igloo has been around for long enough to have plenty of selection for just about everything you could want in a cooler. Let’s break down their entire line to see what they must solve all your cooler needs.
Their soft cooler line has both backpack style coolers, handled coolers, and lunchboxes of different sizes. They use durable exterior material to prevent rips and punctures, plus food safe interior lining. Many have welded seams to prevent leaks.
They offer a few backpack styles that can hold around 30 or so cans with plenty of storage space within the lid and the front. Shoulder straps are padded and very comfortable with proper weight distribution. They tend to be longer than they are wide, so they may not be very stable when sitting upright.
Igloo also makes soft-sided cooler versions of their famous icebox coolers. Some have removable hard liners to reinforce the edges for ice, or full soft sided options for better storage when not in use.
The icebox styles come in a variety of sizes from small enough for two people or large enough for your whole family. They feature durable, tear resistant exterior material and the interior is a food-safe liner with antimicrobial properties that resist odors and other grime. The handles are usually padded, and several of those options have shoulder straps.
The smallest style of coolers is the lunchbox option. Some are the classic square with pockets on the exterior for corralling smaller items, but others are handheld options with tough exterior material. They usually hold enough for a single meal, but some can handle more than one meal or a meal and a few snacks. They have the same types of antimicrobial liners for odor control and tear resistant interiors as well.
Hard Sided Coolers
Their hard-sided coolers are made from tough, molded plastic that resists cracking and helps keep contents safe. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes.
These use simple fold back lids or sliding lids just like your grandmother used to use. They have thick plastic walls with food safe interiors. The handles are reinforced or built directly into the side of the cooler to make solo or tandem carrying easier.
The classic styles of coolers include options such as the Legend line with the flip back lid and the Playmate line with the tilting lid and handle.
Igloo also makes coolers specifically designed to enhance backyard parties and tailgating. They feature things like LED lit lids and rounded edges, so there are fewer injuries. These are made to hold a lot of ice and drinks stay securely where you’ve put them.
Some of their party coolers are stainless designs that mimic the original Igloo products. They look sharp without being sharp. They have drain spouts to clear out excess water and make topping up with ice a lot easier. These coolers include the Legacy line and the Party Bar.
Igloo does have a few options that mimic heavy duty coolers such as Yeti. The walls of some ultra-tough options such as the IMX line are injected molded with thick insulation to retain ice for a lot longer than standard coolers. They’re great for outdoor trips like fishing, where you’ll need to keep your food cold or your catch if that’s what your cooler is for.
These coolers have latches to secure the lid in case of tipping, and most of the latches are rubberized rather than cheap plastic. Their price point is a lot higher, but they’re made for performance rather than afternoon parties. These lines include the IMX above plus BMX, Super Tough, and Marine lines among others.
Many of the lines from Igloo, whether intended for afternoon parties or a deep sea fishing trip, have convenient wheeled options with retractable handles to make transport a lot easier. The wheels for all of them are reinforced and highly durable. They’re larger so you can send them over uneven terrain without worrying about tipping your cooler over.
You can get a wheeled version of your favorite Igloo cooler regardless of the line because over half have wheeled options. Some of our favorites are the Marine Ultra Glide and the Ice Cube Roller we mentioned at the very beginning.
Igloo Coupons & Promo Codes for 2020
Igloo frequently has promotions for their products, but quite a few of the options are cheap enough that you shouldn’t need much of a promotion. You can find Igloo products just about anywhere, so checking with various sellers should give you the chance to bargain shop.
Igloo stepped up its game in response to the higher end cooler market exploding, and the result is an exciting take on ultra-durable coolers. The Trailmate straddles the line between durability and being the life of the party. Right now, there’s only one capacity option, the 70 quarts, but if you’re headed out for a long weekend, that should give you plenty of storage. Let’s break it down to see how it compares with trendy, higher end coolers.
Molded plastic provides a sturdy exterior that resists cracking. It’s UV protected and uses marine grade aluminum for the frame. It’s built to last regardless of the environment and keep contents cold for up to four days using Ultratherm insulation.
It’s not rotomolded so it won’t withstand quite as much as the Yeti, but that does mean that it’s lighter to haul and lighter on your wallet. The exterior material is an upgrade from traditional cooler plastic, giving you more options for where you can take it and how you can use it.
The liner is food safe and has an antimicrobial coating to help it resist odors and general grime. It also helps cut down on mold and mildew.
The cooler has a cool lift base keeps the interior of the cooler well away from the heat of its base. If your cooler is sitting on the back of your truck, for example, the base won’t absorb the radiant heat and reduce your ice retention.
The handle is an interesting design because it’s located to the side of the cooler instead of the top. This gives you better grip and angle to allow for both pulling and pushing to get it into position. You probably don’t even realize how difficult it is to position your cooler until you try this one.
The handles also lock in place to hold a butler tray once you got it situated. You get an extra surface area to hold drinks or food, and the cooler can also withstand becoming a seat in a pinch.
The wheels are large enough to take on uneven terrain without getting stuck, and there’s nothing to puncture or go flat. It should keep you from having to lift the cooler across all but the most menacing obstacles.
What Customers Are Saying
People tend to love the little details in things like the butler tray, but they find the overall performance holds up to a variety of events.
“I love this Ice Chest!!! Put Ice Tuesday evening, still had ice cubes and very little water by Friday. The Quality is excellent, and the little extras are wonderful. The compartments, the big wheels, umbrella or fishing pole holder, and the tray are very cool. Very satisfied with this purchase. My only concern is that it is so cool, it may tempt someone to steal it.”
Users also love the ability to both push or pull the cooler to position it, something not so easy with traditional handles.
“First field tests was to the beach. From the condo to the beach five days in a row. Held ice well. Added a 10lb bag each morning. Kept it under umbrella. Does well on hard surface pushing or pulling.”
There are a few accessories to go along with the Trailmate. Most of the accessories are Igloo’s cold packs to help cut down on the mess of pure ice, but you can also get some baskets to help organize the contents. The basket sits on the top and keeps smaller food items from getting lost in the shuffle. You can also find universal tie down systems to better secure your cooler during transport or on a boat.
Coolers Like Igloo
Let’s see how it compares to some other options.
Orca coolers use rotomolded plastic for ultimate durability and ice retention. Orca’s main draw is the ability to last through quite a bit of outdoor abuse and effectively seal your ice against most temperature fluctuations.
Igloo’s more durable coolers can give Orca a run for its money regarding ice retention, but they can’t quite last as long as Orca. If you need a great cooler on a budget, some of Igloo’s options could keep your ice cold for up to four days without the hefty price tag of Orca.
If you need the maximum durability for long-term outdoor expeditions, you may be better off investing in an Orca. Long fishing trips, extended hunting expeditions, and weather where you’ll be testing your limits may end in disappointment with anything except an Orca.
Walmart’s line uses quality materials but really cuts down on the investment you need to get a cooler that meets your needs. Ozark Trail and Igloo both have classic coolers with comparable performance and comparable prices.
We like the overall shape of quite a few of Ozark Trail’s budget styles as opposed to Igloo’s styles. We’d be more likely to go for Ozark Trail for an all-purpose cooler to use when you’re assigned drinks for the soccer tournament or for the backyard barbecue.
Igloo’s higher-end products offer better performance than Ozark Trail. If you need something in between budget and the high end of coolers such as Yeti, you may find something closer to what you need with the Igloo line.
We give Igloo a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The lower end of Igloo may not satisfy anything more than an afternoon event, but the design of Igloo’s more expensive, innovative coolers should give you enough performance that you can head out on your fishing trip or your camping expedition and still have money left in your pocket.
We think there’s enough overall variety that you can find a cooler that’s what you need without sacrificing features or spending more on things that you don’t need.