Top 10 Best 20 Quart Coolers – Which One To Pick Up?

best 20-quart coolers

When making a check-list about the essential things for a great outing trip, you should never miss out on the cooler. Whether you are planning a single outdoor experience; a family outing, or an amazing camping trip for a group of friends, a cooler is a must. It will help you keep the contents cool and fresh for days, which ensures a perfect getaway.

However, for a first-time camper, it’s not easy to choose one out of several kinds and types and make the most out of them during the camping trip. Hence, this article is to give out our personal experiences with the best 20-quart coolers from some of several famous brands in the market in the hope that you will find one that perfectly meets your need and use them correctly.

HOW TO GET THE MAXIMUM ADVANTAGE FROM THE COOLER

First and foremost, let’s find out how to get the most out of your cooler.

  • Keep in mind that the larger and cooler it is, the heavier it will be when filled. Hence, depends on your needs, choose a cooler at a suitable size. For example, 20 Quart might hold roughly 16 cans or 20 pounds of ice, while 35 Quart holds 21 cans or 26 pounds of ice. The numbers for 50 Quart and 75 Quart are 35-43 & 57-70 respectively. Hence, if you are looking for a cooler for 02 people for a few days, 50 Quart is the ideal choice. In case you are finding a big one for a family weekend trip, choose the 75 Quart.
  • To keep your contents stay longer, you can add new ice before leaving. Pre-chilling the cooler (about 24 hours before packing it up) also helps as it brings the cooler’s internal temperature down.
  • Remember to balance the ratio of food and ice to keep the ice retention. Also, you should fill the gaps of the cooler with cubes to jam-pack your cooler.
  • To keep the temperature of the cooler, minimize the time with the cooler opened. Pack the contents in an organized way and you might be able to avoid opening the cooler several times at once.
  • Lock your coolers when it is not in use to avoid any chance of contents/even the cooler missing (by thieves or animals).
Product Images Product Names Editor's Rating Price
YETI Roadie 20 Cooler 4.9 See latest price
ENGEL Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt 4.9 See latest price
RTIC 20 4.9 See latest price
Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler 4.8 See latest price
Vibe Element 20 Cooler 4.8 See latest price
SuperHandy Rotomolded Cooler Ice Chest ENHANCED 20QT 4.8 See latest price
Driftsun 20-Quart Ice Chest 4.8 See latest price
Grizzly Coolers Grizzly 20 Quart Rotomolded Cooler 4.7 See latest price
ORCA Cooler 4.6 See latest price
K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler 4.6 See latest price

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BEST 20 QUART COOLERS THAT WE RECOMMEND

1. YETI Roadie 20 Cooler

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Known as one of the most famous brands on the market, YETI products are both well designed and heavy-duty roto-molded. This product is also one of them and comes with extra-thick walls that help users to prolong the fresh and cool of the contents. Besides the two-inch ice insulation, the cooler’s pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam also contributes to keeping the ices stay longer. With its rotomolded construction and bear-resistance, this 16lbs (empty weigh) can hold up to 14 cans and ices; which is suitable for those who want a great durable ice-retention cooler at a portable size. Other added values are the thick rubber lid gasket, the stainless steel handle along with molded lock-holes and the leak-proof vortex drain system.

Pros: a durable product from a well-known brand

Cons: a bit heavier and more expensive when comparing to coolers at the same size

2. ENGEL Cooler/Dry Box 19 Quart

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Many calls ENGEL Cooler/Dry Box 19 Qt ‘the ultimate construction and industrial lunchbox’ due to its lightweight (only 6.75lbs) and strong durability. It is also the cheapest cooler on our list and comes with all features that a cooler should offer. Known as an ultimate dry-box, the cooler comes with an airtight EVA gasket around the lid, which plays the role of a water resistance seal ensuring the excellent ice retention. This cooler also offers 02 options of carrying (by the central carry handle or the integrated adjustable shoulder strap) & enables you to bring the dry items with a removal hanging tray.

Pros: a lightweight cooler at a reasonable price

Cons: a bit small

3. RTIC 20-Quart Cooler

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This is another great small personal cooler that can hold up the most with a maximum of 24 cans and ice. With its rotomolded construction, heavy-duty T-Latches, Freezer Grade Gasket, and molded Tie-down Slots; RTIC 20-Quart Cooler gives out a great ice retention and durability. It is for everyday use with a heavy-duty stainless steel handle and enables you to keep the foods and drinks well as it features an integrated locking system, bear-resistant, three inches of insulated walls and non-slip feet. You can also clean it easily as the cooler is equipped with a rapid V-Drain system. However, it only comes with a 01-year warranty.

Pros: great locking system and ice retention 

Cons: the not-so durable rubber feet, and in some cases the lid gets stuck. Short warranty is also a weak point of this product

4. Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler

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Offering a great balance of space and portability, the cooler from the premium brand Pelican can hold up 15 cans for 03 to 05 days’ worth. It offers an extreme level ice retention power with 2-inches polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket. Also, Pelican Elite 20 Quart Cooler with its high-quality material delivers a great durability with its leak & waterproof that can withstand any demanding environment. There are a built-in stainless steel bottle opener along the lid-lining and 04 molded-in can holders which bring the cooler to the high level of convenience. It also features the molded-in tie-down slots and anti-shear hinge system. As other Pelican products, this cooler comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Pros: a high durable cooler with life-time guarantee which is suitable for any camping, beach or fishing trip

5. Vibe Element 20 Cooler


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Known as a perfect personal coolers, Vibe Element 20 Cooler offers all you need at a moderate size. The cooler ensures an extreme ice retention with its one-piece roto-molded plastic and the thick insulated walls. It is well equipped with a heavy-duty handle, built-in bottle opener, integrated pressure release valve, and large drain plug with chain attached which makes it one of the most suitable coolers for camping and fishing. It can keep your contents for days, and you enjoy your trip (whether camping, fishing, or hunting) worry-free. Also, the cooler comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty which covers defects on all new purchases.

Pros: well-worth the money with its several functions

6. SuperHandy Rotomolded Cooler Ice Chest ENHANCED 20QT

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This is one of the best coolers that reach the extraordinarily high standard of ice retention as the ice might be kept frozen for over 10 days or even longer (if you precool it before use and keep the cooler at low temperature and UV index). It is due to the 3 thick isolated walls and UV protective shell all around, which also make it survive the harsh weather condition. The cooler features food-grade safe, dry ice compatible and can accommodate 12oz Can (no ice added).

You can clean the cooler easily with its zero-leak drain plug, and the contents will be kept and sealed well with the 60° degree seal style 15mm gasket, the snag-less type t-clasp latches which are tight and lock flush and the pressure relief system. It is easy to carry the cooler away by its lock-in place steel handle with a firm grip, which makes it an ideal product to use for both outdoor and indoor activities. The dual built-in stainless steel lock-plate bottle openers and non-skid feet are some other added values for any kinds of outdoor trips such as picnics, barbecues, hunts, fishing, camping…

Pros: a cooler with an extraordinarily high standard of ice retention at a reasonable price

Cons: the rubber in the latch mechanism might be a weak point to the durability of this product

7. Driftsun 20-Quart Ice Chest

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As the name suggests, the cooler can keep the ices for days due to its rotomolded thermoplastic construction with 3 inches of commercial-grade insulation, freezer style gasket, and ColdSeal Latches. Its comfort grip top handle, non-slip rubber feet, no-leak drain plug enable you to clean it easily; and the non-slip heavy-duty rubber cold seal latches and exterior UV protection make it an extra durable cooler. The contents will be kept safe and secure with the Molded Tie-Down Slots, Lock Plates and the Pressure Release Valve. It also comes with 2 built-in bottle openers and the lightweight design makes it a good choice for camping. Even on hot days, the three inches of commercial-grade insulation and cold-keeping freezer style rubber gasket keep your items colder for so long.

Pros: an affordable cooler with a one-year warranty.

Cons: the latches need to be re-designed.

8. Grizzly Coolers Grizzly 20 Quart Rotomolded Cooler

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This cooler offers a true 20-quart capacity as it enables you to get up to 5 days ice retention if you pack the contents (about 16 cans or 20 pounds of ice) perfectly. It comes as a roto tough rotationally molded construction with environmentally friendly pressure-injected insulation, and is equipped with a dry goods tray, large draining hole, a locking system with an integrated hinge, and the stainless steel handles molded with a foam grid – which makes it super easy to carry. Last but not least, the bear claw latch system (which is the result of testing and innovating for years) and the lifetime guarantee might make this the last cooler you’d buy.

Pros: lifetime warranty at a reasonable price

Cons: sometimes the locking system doesn’t work properly

9. ORCA 20-Quart Cooler

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Being made of using rationally molding technology, this Orca cooler is durable and offers an extreme ice retention (by its integrated insulation and can last for 7-10 days if you organize things perfectly). No doubt that this Orca cooler is another good option for premium users. There is a lid gasket that ensures a perfect seal, and you can take it wherever you want with its stainless steel handle. You can organize things well with its two orca-tail design latches, non-slip bottom feet, and a mesh pocket on the back. Moreover, there is an attached cargo net that provides you extra storage, and its drain plug enables you to clean the cooler easily. ORCA is also made in American, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros: an extreme ice retention cooler that comes with the lifetime warranty

Cons: a bit expensive in comparison to other products in the same range

10. K2 Coolers Summit

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The K2 Coolers Summit is made from one piece of roto-molded polyethylene construction (the best construction for a cooler in the industry) and comes with the extra-thick insulation which ensures extreme rugged, durability and extreme ice retention. You can carry the cooler away easily by using its padded shoulder strap, and the ICE vault lid gasket ENDURA integrated hinge system, & SURE Grip rubber feet make it an ideal choice for fishing, hunting, camping, rafting, or any other outdoor activity you might come up with.

Pros: extremely rugged and durable cooler

Cons: Not the best choice among the same price range

FAQS FOR (FIRST-TIME) 20-QUART COOLER BUYERS

1. What is the capacity of a 20-Quart cooler?

A 20-quart cooler at every ranges and designs (it varies depends on style) can hold up to about 20-24 cans of beverages and a handful of ice cubes thrown in. As most of them are tall, the extra height enables the coolers to accommodate the 2-liter bottles standing upright while being chilled.

Kindly be noted that the capacity of the cooler depends so much on your organization of the contents. If you pack things in a certain way (according to your needs and wants, which allows you to get things out and in the easiest), you can make the most of the capacity. Additionally, some coolers even come with a cargo net (for example the ORCA 20 Quart Cooler) that provides you extra storage.

2. How to pack your coolers perfectly?

Although I have said before that the organization of the contents is subject to your needs and wants, there are still some tips that you can follow to pack things correctly and get the most of out your cooler.

  • Remember to line up the bottom of the cooler with ice. If you do put the layer of ice in the bottom of the cooler, the ice will stay cold for a longer duration. It also helps to keep the ice away from the lid, which is believed to be the most insulated part of the cooler.
  • If possible, use the solid blocks of ice instead of the ice cubes. Ice cubes are fine, but it cannot stay frozen and cold longer than the solid ice blocks.
  • Don’t close the cooler if there are gaps. Fill them up with ice cubes by pouring a bag’s worth on top of the ice blocks. It will help you to balance the ratio of food and ice and somehow keep the ice retention.
  • Don’t toss everything in the cooler. Whether you bring food, or drinks or both of them; pack it in a certain organization. It not only help you to make the most of the cooler’s capacity, but it also reduces the time you keep the cooler open (which means that the hot air will fill in) to find things you need. Hence, the ice will stay cold for a long time. Let’s try by putting the things need to be used first the last into the cooler.
  • Add the ice one more time. After finish put the things you need to keep cold into the cooler, top them up with additional ice cubes.

Conclusion

Choosing a suitable cooler is not an easy task, as the needs vary and sometimes we might need to make the decision twice or three times. There are several of them in the market at a wide range of prices, so we do hope that our reviews about top 10 best 20-quart coolers for individual usage help you choose the best suitable cooler and have a great camping trip with your beloved ones.