The Best Coolers
Coleman Steel Belted Cooler
Retro styling comes with modern amenities: plastic base, rustproof drain, tight latch to keep in the cold, and rubber-coated handles for comfy carting from car to campsite (or porch to yard). Packed solid, it holds 85 cans.*
To buy: $130, coleman.com.
*In the cooler industry, size is typically measured by the number of cans a cooler holds.
Best With Wheels
California Innovations Rolling Cooler
The body can be lifted off the wheels when rough terrain makes rolling tricky. The top flap has a built-in drawstring pouch—great for wet swimsuits or lunch trash. Holds 60 cans.
To buy: $30, californiainnovations.com for info.
REI Picnic Cooler
Large, with a sturdy base, yet easy to carry, thanks to a cleverly designed shoulder strap. Front loops can transport a rolled blanket. Off duty, it presses to about the size of a casserole; a breeze to store. Holds 30 cans.
To buy: $39.50, rei.com.
Coleman 9-Can Cooler
Small and light enough to carry on a hike, with a hard plastic liner that slips out for washing (and keeps your PB&J from getting crushed). Sized just right to hold drinks and snacks for four or a full lunch for two.
To buy: $13, coleman.com.
Igloo Dual Compartment 24 Tote
Works like a cooler, looks like a bag—ideal for a day that includes both museum and park picnic. Two compartments mean everything stays cold while dry goods remain dry. Holds 24 cans.
To buy: $19, igloocoolers.com for info.