Sanderson Farms Championship

The Country Club of Jackson


Equipment

Editors' Choice

Best Coolers for Golf

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September 07, 2022
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It’s essential to stay hydrated and energized on the golf course. When appropriate, coolers can be a great way to keep food and drinks cold and encourage refueling. Ideally you want to find a cooler that fits into the basket of a golf cart, maintains temperature and doesn’t make a mess. We put several to the test: Coolers were filled with ice, cans and internal thermometers to record temperature changes over time. We tested coolers under the hot sun, in a 24-hour period and while being jostled around in the back of a golf cart. Each were evaluated on performance, size, ease-of-use and the emptying and cleaning process. There are many different types of coolers to consider depending on what you’re storing, how long you need to keep things cold and what conditions are like outside. Not every cooler is one-size-fits-all. Here are the best we found and tested.

Winners: Best Coolers for Golf

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Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Soft Cooler

This cooler is easy to pack, is leak-proof and ultra-durable. It consistently kept beverages cold in all our tests and even some ice cubes remained unmelted after 24 hours. It’s a pricier option, but those looking for a reliable and lasting cooler will appreciate the high-density exterior that’s designed to withstand both punctures and UV rays. The wide-mouth opening was easy to clean and the interior is treated to be mildew resistant.

$250 | Yeti
Polar Bear 12 Pack Original Nylon Soft Cooler

Ranked highest for value, this cooler is less than $100 and kept up with coolers over double the price in temperature tests. It’s leak- and sweat-proof and one of the more concealable options we tested. It’s designed to hold 12 cans with five pounds of ice and the zipper opening can be left up like a tote or clipped down for a more compact closure. During one of the tests, a rain shower moved through and soaked the cooler to reveal that the durable nylon shell will retain some water from external sources, but it dried quickly and the rain didn’t impact the interior coolness at all.

$80 | Amazon
Bison Coolers Marlin Bison 24 Can XD Series

Great for groups, the Bison cooler held the most cans and ice in the most compact design. The soft-sided cooler is made with a marine-grade polyester shell material that is used by top boat manufacturers, with an inch of insulation to keep contents cold all day. It’s made in America, has a five-year warranty and will fit in most golf cart baskets (the smaller baskets required a bit of squeezing, but the fabric accommodated the space without much trouble).

$200 | Bison Coolers
Ice Mule Jaunt 15L Backpack Cooler

This backpack cooler kept ice solid and beverages extremely cold. It’s a deep pack that comfortably fits 16 cans with ice and can be compressed to store easily after use. Welded seams make it leakproof, and the brand’s MuleSkin fabrication make it virtually indestructible and waterproof. It can also float while full. While a backpack cooler may not be every golfer’s first choice, it fit well in golf carts, is unassuming and the ability to pack it up made it appealing to testers.

$100 | Amazon
Orca Orca Walker Tote

A versatile option, the Walker Tote doesn’t look like your typical cooler but performed well during cooler testing. The magnetic split handle and top zipper make it easy to pack, while the padded shoulder strap made it comfortable to carry. It’s a taller cooler (15-inches tall), which was great for packing more into it, but was slightly more challenging to empty and clean post-use. It comes in four colors—blue, turquoise, gray and brown—and looks more like a day pack or a beach bag, which is great for golfers who may want to use it off the course as well.

$210 | Amazon
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Two trials of cooler testing. In the off-course trials, each cooler was filled with ice and cans, put under the hot sun for a full day while we recorded internal and external temperature changes over time.

Runners-Up:

Grizzly Drifter 12+ Cooler

A top-rated feature on this cooler is the dual cup holders on either side of the exterior to hold drinks securely. It’s also got a flip-top zippered lid, a waterproof liner and ballistic polyester shell. A neoprene gear band on the top of the cooler along with pockets on the front and back give it a ton of storage space without adding bulk to the 11-inch (wide) by 13-inch (tall) cooler.

$125 | Grizzly
Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler 16 Can

With a zipperless open, this cooler is extremely easy to use and pack. It kept cool all day and fit in all the golf cart baskets we tried. A removable liner and shelf allow you to keep things separate to avoid cans crushing your sandwich or soft items. One thing our testers noted is that since the opening is not sealed, it is prone to leak if it tips over in the cart, so make sure to keep this one upright during use and transport.

$43
Dometic GO Soft Storage 20L

This collapsible soft cooler can be used alone or in the larger Dometic system. Alone, it’s a lightweight and water-resistant cooler that fits a 12-pack with ice and keeps very cold over time. As part of the larger package, it can be used as an insulated insert in the Dometic Go Hard-Sided 50L storage bin to keep gear, food and beverage secure, dry and cool.

$100 | Dometic Outdoor
Igloo Retro Little Playmate 7 Qt Cooler

Call it nostalgia, but our testers loved this old-school cooler. The tent top is easy to carry, with a push button opening and decent cooling capabilities for cans and ice. It has a fit promise of nine cans, but we packed seven comfortably with ice. Extremely easy to clean, it fit well into golf cart baskets, but did leak when tipped.

$25 | Igloo
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The on-course testing consisted of evaluating how the coolers fit in three different styles of golf cart baskets, testing leakage driving on bumpy terrain and recording internal temperature change with consistent opening and closing of the coolers to grab a beverage or snack.

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