Coleman Xtreme Cooler Review – How Do They Compare Against the Best Coolers?

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A cooler is a cooler is a cooler.


No not always!

You want the best bang for your buck. You also want something that won’t leave you stranded on your trip with only rotten meat and chips.

Been there, no fun. Trust me!

This Coleman Xtreme Cooler review is for every person who doesn’t have time to test them all. These are the best Coleman Coolers.

We will also educate you on what is important in every cooler.

A cooler needs to be sturdy and able to cool. It seems simple but time and I again I find companies skimp out.

Whether it won’t seal quite right or it works as well as a Styrofoam job. Today I decided to review one of my favorite coolers the Coleman Extreme!

Coleman Xtreme Cooler Review

Do You Even Need a Cooler?

If you are just going out for a day trip and you aren’t very outdoorsy, you may not need a cooler.

For a lot of people coolers take up storage space and get used once or twice a year! If that’s the case a disposable cooler may be your ticket.

Coolers are best for active people. Hey if you have TONS of storage space and aren’t active don’t let me stop you!

But you will get your best money’s worth if you are going on longer trips often. It’s pretty simple.

If you like camping, Styrofoam coolers are the bane of your existence. They only work for about a day. That is in terms of cooling ability and ability to survive some movement.

If you must use one buy 2 and stack one inside the other and reinforce with some strong duct tape! It sounds a little reek but it costs about the same (you know you have tape), and you won’t be terrified to move your cooler a few feet.

Also a real cooler is required if you have any sizable group on your outing. It may be a day trip but your ten cousins and their kids will need a cooler.

Food Safety and Coolers

If you are going on a longer trip, or any trip really consider the FDA guidelines. Cheeses, eggs, meat and milk all need to be kept at a chilly 40 degrees or below. The word to be aware of is perishable. If it goes bad outside a fridge, it needs a cooler. Cereal? No. Steaks? Yes.

A simple 2 hours above this temperature and your food should not be eaten. 2 hours is not a lot of time. You are in trouble after only one hour if the outside temperature is above 90 degrees. Plan ahead! Be prepared, no one wants to go home because Uncle Pete tried to be cheap.

Remember smell is not the best indicator. Harmful bacteria is present long before your meats will start to smell. Time and temperature is your best bet to have a great trip. Safety is always paramount!

Another thing to think of is what you are giving up. If you are in charge of the cooler for a trip a lot is riding on you. All of the adults likely had to use vacation. Kids may be missing a day or two of school.

Everyone is counting on you to keep their food safe when you are all far away from medical care. One bout of food poisoning can ruin an entire trip, for everyone!

Keep Your Brew Cold

Not sure about you but I don’t go camping without beer. Sometimes it’s a guy’s trip and its beer city.

Sometimes it’s a family trip and mostly drink after kiddos go to tent. Either way for me and lots of you beer is part of camping. No one wants a stale, skunked beer. If that is all you have you can still have fun.

But your trip will definitely be remembered as the one where all the beer was awful!

 Some beers are best at different temperatures. But for the majority (think mass produced) of beer is great around 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bottles and cans also can store well at the bottom where your meats and whatnot might get waterlogged. If you still have ice, your beer is fine! It works out well that the best temps for beer are the same as for your food.

Types of Cooler


This review focuses on the Coleman Extreme. But there are tons of models out there. Some serve very niche markets. The most common and popular are medium size hard coolers and smaller soft coolers for shorter trips.

Soft Sides

This is for the day trippers. Nothing wrong with these coolers, they pack away well and are easy to carry. You will not however make it through a week in the wilderness with one of these.
Soft coolers are great for a single day or multiple days where you aren’t cut off from society and can refill your ice. Lots of these models are great for beer cans. Most manufacturers even use a can count to describe their size.


These are great, if you have electricity. If you lose that ability it is not a quality choice. The cooling element runs on electricity and can cool indefinitely as long as you have power. Most plug into a wall outlet or cigarette lighter.
Road trips are a great choice for these models. You should have power the whole time and it can save you money by taking food and drinks with you or being able to buy at grocery stores vs the mini mart. Also you will waste a lot less food!

How to Pick the Right Cooler

Insulation Performance

Keeping thing scold is what a cooler does. In that light the insulation on a cooler has a lot to do with how well it works.
If there is limited insulation or substandard quality you will be up a creek, with no beer. The higher end models will generally have the best to offer. But there are diminish returns once we get above “normal” cooler cost.
Remember what you are going to use this for when shopping. If you have a hunting trip you may need a HUGE cooler. Just a camping trip? You won’t need room to shove dead bodies in your cooler. But you will need plenty of insulation to keep that beer taste.


You will base your cooler. Other will abuse your cooler. Just be prepared for this. It needs to be at least semi rugged. It will get sat on, dropped, knocked over, dropped again…it just goes on and on.
Look at how the hinges are made. Are they sturdy and little wobble? Or are they tiny and not lined up well. Hinges are an important consideration as they help keep the cold in and your stuff secure. The same all applies to eh the latch on the front of your cooler.
O-rings gaskets, drain plugs and UV resistant plastic are great upgrades. If the cooler you want has these and they work, you probably have a decent product.
The lids of a cooler and the walls are less well built in the cheapo grocery store coolers. These are the foundation of your cooler and needs to be solid. If it feels flimsy, it’s because it is. Be aware of this when shopping.

What Size Cooler?

Once you lock down the type of cooler you want it’s time to decide just how big this thing will be. How big you choose determines what you can use your cooler for. It also dictates how long you can be away from society and keep your stuff cold, and yourself fed.
The size will also affect how far you can carry it, will you need help? The bigger you go the less portable it becomes. Some have wheels but most don’t do well off road or last very long. 55-7 qt. coolers are the most popular, these are also the most versatile.
This size is great for family trips or hunting. You can stock away enough food and drinks for the family. You can also store a god amount of meat when hunting and when fully loaded is easy for two people to manage easily.

Storage Capacity

The size is directly related to what you can store on a trip. So the more you can store the longer your trip can be. See how that works? A 25qt model is good for drinks for a small group for one day. It can also be used by one person on an overnight trip for most of the food and drinks needed.
The 40 quart is good for multiple nights if you are alone. It can also accommodate a couple for a weekend outing. This is a great size if you find you need just a little more room on your day trips but big long adventures aren’t your style.
The 70 quart range is great for long weekend trips with a family, larger camping trips or long couple’s trips. A cooler ca save you a fortune if you plan correctly on these trips. You can get a cooler larger than this, but you start running into problems. They are difficult to move, can’t fit in a lot of vehicles. Basically above 70 qt. if you aren’t doing an expedition you start trading size for portability and convenience.

External Size

Inside storage is important, but so is the outside dimensions. Not everyone has a truck or an old wagon. If it doesn’t fit in your car, what’s the point? Don’t forgot that you will have things in your car besides your amazing cooler when you set out. Clothes, people, animals….lots of stuff.
If the outside dimensions are excessive but it does everything else you need. It doesn’t matter, you won’t be able to use it. Keep your chin up and keep shopping.


On any camping trip your cooler is going to be about the heaviest thig you bring. Sure you might be able to lift your super mega cooler into the car. Now can you pick it up again, and again? Ca you lug it a few miles if needed?
Pick the cooler that does everything you need and the smallest size. This will make sure you don’t over buy after seeing all the sales hype. So what if your cooler can hold an entire dead bear if all you need is a weekend to see family cooler.

Coleman Xtreme Cooler Review

I love these coolers. I love these coolers. They check all the boxes I need. Let’s dive in to why!


These come in a rugged looking white and gray with bright orange trim. They looks manly and rugged and like I’m about to have a great time. If you don’t love the “I am man” look they can also be had in plain white and blue.
The orange is also great for being able to find your cooler. Weather its dark, or you get a little lost or just plain impaired the organ dashes really help keeping it in sight after a rough day.


28, 50 and 70. This is how many quarts the different coolers in this lineup can hold. If you can’t find one that fits your average trip length, you need something industrial. These are the perfect size for overnight/day trip, a few days, or a big outdoor shin dig. These are some of the best hard coolers I’ve seen.

If you don’t need a hard cooler obviously these aren’t for you. But for most people a hard cooler of varying size is the ticket to a great outing.
Also the outside is not unnecessarily bulky. It has good side’s walls without being blown out and being extra bully the way some cheaper models try to look bigger than they are. Everything is in proportion size wise on these coolers.

Ease of Use

They have wheels. Well most of them have wheels. These are the kind of wheels you want too! They are durable and they spin well without a lot of force. I would feel confident taking this out for an extended trip any time.
The carry handles are great on this line as well. Some telescope and those go in and out without grit or struggle. The ones with fixed handles are setup to excel. Strong attachment points along with enough material in the handle to not snap at a good tug.
The top could use a latch just for my personal comfort level but haven’t had any issues yet with the top flopping open when it shouldn’t. If they included a top latch I would give this a perfect rating. Wither way this is a fairly minor point when you compare these coolers to the others in this price range.


The price range varies based on what size you get. The best hard side cooler is the one that works, for your budget too. This line of the best Coleman Coolers ranges in price for 40-100$ roughly, depending on size you pick out. This Coleman cooler review defiantly understand price is important to most!
These Coleman coolers won’t break the bank and will be a great addition to anyone’s gear.


These are built to go and go. Nothing skimped where it’s needed and no fluff. I have dropped this thing off my truck, a scuff was the result. A small scuff. The manly rugged looks aren’t just a marketing thing. These are really built to be used over and over in less than perfect conditions.
I can’t tell you how any time the wheels or handles have broken on a cooler. Not just the cheap ones either, this can be a real problem especially if you can’t afford to keep buying “nice” coolers. I have yanked and tugged and tried to get hinges and part son this to loosen up. They are still rock solid.

The Bottom Line

I wasn’t a Coleman Cooler fanboy before I picked up mine. While there might still be some coolers better for certain niche situations. But for my money I can’t find a set of coolers that serve their roles better at this price point and then some.
You should give the Coleman Xtreme cooler a shot. They look awesome, they do what they are supposed to and the dang things just don’t die!
Hopefully you have a better understanding of coolers after reading the Coleman Xtreme Cooler review. Can’t wait to see you on the trial with yours!

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About The Author

Rand Shoaf

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, and recommendations on this site are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any bank, card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. You can read our advertiser disclosure here.

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