What You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Coolers

Whether you’re spending all day sitting in a boat on a fishing trip, or in a tent all weekend camping, you will definitely want a stainless steel cooler to keep your necessities cold for a long period of time. Coleman coolers have been around for decades, and consistently have been raved about for their superior quality. When you need something more than a simple ice box, Coleman has been the trusted name for generations of families. An added plus for the latest Coleman steel coolers are that they still have the same retro look and shape from the 60’s, that long time customers have come to love. Those same customers, however, are not happy about the missing bottle openers they have come to expect with each new cooler purchase.

Unless you prefer to carry a cooler around with you all day, a stainless steel cooler is best for placing down, and keeping it close. Coleman offers a high-stand for their steel coolers, allowing anyone who wants their coolers slightly elevated have ease of access to their food and drinks, without hurting their back. Should you want (or need) to carry these coolers for a longer distance, their lightweight design will make it simple for you to do so! Each cooler also includes rubber grips for easy lifting. They retain cold temperatures for longer periods of time, which is why they are best for storing all of your outdoor needs without fear of melting ice, or spoiled food.


Coleman Steel Cooler

Coleman Steel Cooler

The Steel Cooler comes in one size (17.5” x 17.5” x 21.5”) but is still large enough to fit 54 quarts, and will definitely fit comfortably in the back of a car, or on a boat. It comes with a solid steel latch for an extra tight seal, is rust proof, leak resistant, and comes with a channel drain for simplistic water removal. The handles on this model are also steel, but include rubber grips for a comfortable hold. Its stainless steel design will ensure that everything kept inside will hold its temperature well, and keep cool for at least three days.

The interior is lined with stain and scratch resistant plastic, which gives the steel cooler an easy clean, but tends to wear the interior out with consistent use. The handles and lid latch are also coated with plastic, instead of stainless steel, which provides an added protection layer for the metal, but likely attributes to the fact that the locking mechanism on the lid is not very secure.

What We Like

  • The classic Coleman cooler look, we've become accustom to
  • Keeps cold for up to three days
  • Great size for a small family
  • Rust and leak proof
  • No-tip drain plug

What We Want

  • A stronger, durable latch for securing the contents
  • Stainless steel interior for increased temperature retainment
  • The bottle opener back!

Coleman 54 Quart Belted Cooler

Coleman 54 Quart Stainless Steel Belted Cooler

A modern take on the classic Coleman cooler, this one has the same shape, but with a complete steel construction on its exterior. Because of this, fingerprints and dents will be very visible on it, which is something to be wary of if you intend to use this in a rugged environment. It is slightly larger (17” x 18” x 26”) than its stainless steel cooler sibling, but it will only allow for more ice cubes, not cans. This cooler is rust resistant, and leak proof, with a drain channel for a no-tilt way to empty the water from the cooler. The lid has a solid steel latch for a secure seal. Much like the Steel Cooler, however, this latch does not hold on as tightly as hoped, so if you fill it to the brim, or are tossing the cooler around, expect some spillage.

This stainless steel cooler has metal handles on each side with a rubber coating for a comfort grip, and can stay cool for up to four days. This one is approximately $50 more than the Steel Cooler, which may be due to the advertised steel lock, or the fact that the exterior is a solid stainless steel finish. Its sleek style will look good wherever you decide to take it, and there will be no need to fret about temperature retention, because the steel cooler will be sure to keep the cold in. The interior is lined with plastic, which has a tendency to wear with constant use, but will not affect the function of the product.

What We Love

  • Still has that classic Coleman look
  • Keeps cold for up to four days
  • Great size for a small family
  • Rust and leak proof
  • No-tip drain plug
  • 100% stainless steel exterior

What We Want

  • A secure steel latch that is actually secure
  • Stainless steel interior for increased temperature retainment
  • The bottle opener back! (Give the people what they want)

In Short…

The only things that have really changed with the Coleman steel coolers over the years, are that the interior (and latches) are now coated with plastic, and they don’t have the bottle opener (seriously, it’s a problem!). Other than that, both of these stainless steel coolers will retain the temperature for longer than most other steel coolers.

Both of these coolers will perform exactly the way you would want a stainless steel cooler to, with only minor differences. The first is that the Steel Cooler does not come with an advertised steel latch for the lid, whereas the Belted Cooler does. Which, as has already been mentioned, neither of them actually have. The second is that the Steel Cooler comes with the colour options of green, red, black, or silver, whereas the Stainless Steel Belted Cooler simply comes in stainless steel. The function of both are the same, so colour should not be a factor. We can only conclude that the $50 price between them solely based on an extra few inches, and a stainless steel exterior finish.