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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Cooler with Wheels for Beach and Sand



thatch umbrella on beach
The best part about the beach is the water. The second best part is a cooler full of drinks and snacks. The Coleman Cooler at Amazon.

What’s a day at the beach without snacks and drinks? Keep your friends and family hydrated and happy during a day at the beach with a reliable, convenient cooler. And since a day at the beach is about relaxing, a cooler with wheels is a must!

In a hurry? My pick is the Coleman 40 QT Wheeled Cooler

Coolers with wheels can make a beach day much better, and there are some important factors to consider while you’re shopping for a new cooler. Today I’ll share my recommendations for some of the top-rated coolers with wheels for sand.

Rubbermaid 60 Qt Wheeled Ice Chest

This Rubbermaid is large — great for big gatherings on the beach. It has a 60-quart capacity and keeps food cold for days on end. On top of its great insulation features, it even has an anti-microbial liner for added food safety.

50 Qt Ice Chest-Modbl 1931021

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Split Lid

One of the best features of the Rubbermaid cooler is its split lid. It’s perfect for the beach because it doesn’t let all the cold air out at once since you don’t have to open the entire lid.

Igloo Island Breeze 28

Igloo Island Breeze 28 Qt. Roller Cooler (Pack of 1)

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The Igloo Island Breeze is another great cooler for the beach due to its sport-level wheels. They are durable and will hold up in sandy beaches. It also has large molded handles for easy towing, and it’s a very lightweight item despite its cooling power.

And talking about convenient, the size of this cooler is just right when planning a trip to the beach, it measures 19 x 14 x 17 inches, which means that you can fit up to 37 cans or 6 two-liter bottles standing up. If you organize your drinks and snacks correctly, you can assure an awesome day at the beach for your whole family or a big group of friends.

Arctic Zone Titan

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 60 Can Rolling Cooler with All Terrain Cart, Moss, Titan 60 Can Rolling Cooler

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The Arctic Zone Titan is one of the most all-inclusive coolers you could ask for. Along with its main cooling area, it has side pockets and even an insulated front storage compartment for extra snacks or drinks. Its all-terrain cart is removable, and the cooler itself can be separated from the wheeled section and break it down for easy transport and storage.

This cooler is very different from the Island Breeze because it has a bunch of pockets, straps, even a detachable bottle opener! It’s great if you are looking for a more ‘sophisticated’ cooler since it has all of these gadgets.

What I think is the most convenient aspect of the Arctic Zone Titan is the removable terrain cart because you can use it with or without the cooler, this means that you can detach the cooler part once you get to the beach and use the cart to move the beach chairs, or your bags and maybe another cooler that doesn’t have wheels! It is very useful.

The size is 14.75 x 15.5 x 19 inches and this model can carry up to 100 pounds of ice and supplies. You can also add water bottles or other things since it fits a lot of stuff.

Coleman 40 QT Performance Wheeled Cooler

Coleman Performance Wheeled Cooler, 40 Quart

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I saved the best for last. This one has great cold retention and wheels that are great on sand. Plus Coleman is a classic when it comes to coolers.

This Coleman has some of the largest wheels available, which are great for plowing through sand. It also has molded handles for comfortable hauling. It has a 59 can capacity and can keep food chilled for up to 3 days. This cooler also has a rust-proof, leak-resistant drain, making it durable and perfect for continued use all summer long!

It’s not quite as huge as the Rubbermaid, but I consider it just the right size for a day at the beach. The capacity on the Rubbermaid would make more sense on an overnight camping trip.

Ice. Cold. Refreshment.
Ice. Cold. Refreshment.

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What I looked for

All of these choices will make for a great day at the beach. Here some of the things I considered when making my recommendations:

Importance of insulation

Insulation for a cooler matters a lot. With the hot sun beating down on the cooler all day at the beach, you’ll want one with the best possible lining and the most thickness for maximum ice retention and cooling effects.

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Size is an important factor to consider when shopping for your wheeled beach cooler. It will all depend on how many people you plan to pack for. If you’re just going with a few friends or on your own, you may be better off with a small cooler. But if you’re heading to the shore with the whole family, the larger coolers may be necessary.


To ensure that you have the most enjoyable time at the beach, you want your cooler to be as easy to carry as possible. This is why wheels are so important, especially if you need a larger cooler. You don’t want to be carrying around that weight in the blazing summer heat, so a wheeled cooler is the best option for summer trips.

However, not all wheeled coolers will work on the beach. Sand can swallow up small or thin wheels easily, which may make you end up having to drag the cooler rather than roll it across the beach. So I made sure my picks had some beach cred.

Keep it cold. Here’s my guide on how to Pack a Cooler with Dry Ice

How long does an average cooler keep the ice from melting?

The thing with coolers besides if they can keep things cold for long periods of time is that it will also depend if you use ice, ice packs or both.

If you leave it open for a lot of time or if you leave it under the sun while you are enjoying the beach and even on the size and brand of the cooler.

That’s why sometimes the time they give you is not the one you expected. But, if you use a good quantity of ice or ice packs, the average cooler will keep ice unmelted for one day and maybe a bit more.

Which of these coolers have a drain plug? Is it really necessary to have one?

Let’s review them one by one:

The Rubbermaid 60 Qt Wheeled Ice Chest does have one. Just be careful because if you buy the 34-quart or less, it won’t come with a drain plug.

The Igloo Island Breeze 28 doesn’t have one.

The Arctic Zone Titan is not like the others because it has fabric so you can fold it and remove the inside lining for cleaning or removing water and ice, but it does not have a physical drain plug.

Last but not least the Coleman 40 QT Performance Wheeled Cooler that’s recommended as the best of them all does come with a drain plug.

In the end, there are people that can’t have a cooler without drainage, and there are others that really don’t mind, it depends on how you manage.

I always recommend the drainage because I think that it is super comfortable instead of flipping the cooler to remove the water but again it’s up to you, it won’t change the quality of the cooler.

Do the size of the wheels matter?

If you are buying a cooler for the beach, you should keep in mind one important thing: sand.

If you need to walk a long way through the sand, you’ll need to be comfortable to walk that distance, remember the sun, the heat, a lot of things to carry, etc., so a cooler with wheels does make your life simpler when going to the beach.

And because you need to drag the cooler, the wheels of it need to be big enough so they can roll instead of you just pulling a big case with wheels. Look for the material that the wheels are made, so you know the material is resistant and of course, the size, the bigger, the better because they will go more smoothly on the sand.


A day at the beach is pretty awesome. I firmly believe that any day that includes snacks and cold drinks is instantly better. Combine the two? Doesn’t get much better. I hope one of these coolers caught your eye and you’ll be catching some sun, surf and snacks with your new wheeled cooler soon.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Alexis DeAnda

Alexis DeAnda is a food fanatic, library card user, and cast iron hunter, in that order. She has been cooking for anyone that will taste it ever since her mom let her make doughnuts on Saturday mornings at the age of 7.

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