8 Best Coolers For Dry Ice (2022 Update)

Dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) is extremely cold at -109.3ºF (-78.5ºC) and it can be a great way to keep food cold or frozen in your cooler.

Using dry ice in your cooler can be great for frozen deliveries, keeping food fresh when camping or storing game meat that you've recently caught. But what are the best coolers for dry ice?

I've done A LOT of research into coolers, own too many coolers than is reasonable and here's what I think when it comes to the best coolers for dry ice.

The best cooler for dry ice is the Kong Cooler which holds dry ice the longest. The Yeti Cooler is the highest quality and best brand and the Lifetime cooler is made in the USA, is cheap and offers great value for money. All of these coolers are dry ice compatible.

Biggest Brand

Yeti Tundra 45

Yeti Coolers

Ice Retention: 5-7+ Days

~$199-$1,000+

Price: See at Yeti.com

BEST DRY ICE RETENTION

Kong Coolers

Ice Retention: 10-14+ Days

~$219-$399

Price: See at KongCoolers.com

Value For Money

Lifetime Coolers

Ice Retention: 5-7+ Days

~$75-$155

Price: See at WalMart.com

Can You Put Dry Ice In Coolers?

Coolers are designed to hold regular ice, but can you put dry ice in coolers or will it break or damage the cooler?

Yes, you can safely put dry ice in a cooler without damaging it. However, it will make the cooler more brittle and prone to break/cracks on impact so you need to be careful. Cover the dry ice in paper or towels to minimize it's contact with the walls of your cooler.

Pretty much every plastic cooler out there – from the cheapest Coleman to the most expensive Yeti – is dry ice compatible.

So when it comes to choose the best cooler for dry ice you want to look a things like performance, price, value for money, personal preference and brand to help you make your decision.

Allow Your Coolers To Vent

When using dry ice in your cooler it's extremely important to let your cooler vent the gas that dry ice produces.

Cheaper coolers without rubber gaskets will naturally leak out the gas anyway but something like a Yeti cooler with a good rubber gasket seal on the lid can build up too much pressure if you aren't careful.

This pressure could cause damage to your cooler.

For me when I'm using dry ice in my Yeti I either unscrew the drainage plug a little so the gas can leak out the bottom or I just don't engage the rubber latches so the gas can push it's way out the lid.

What Are The Best Coolers For Dry Ice?

Choosing the best cooler for dry ice is extremely similar to choose the best cooler for regular ice.

A cooler that performs well and holds regular ice for a long period of time will also perform well and hold dry ice for a long period of time. A cheaper cooler that doesn't keep ice as long won't keep dry ice as long.

There are so many different brands out there you want to take your time to compare prices, features, performance and style to choose the cooler you think best suits you.

Below are a variety of great dry ice coolers that I absolutely love and would be happy to recommend. I love them all for different reasons so have a read through and see which one best suits your needs.

I've provided affiliate links to each of the products often to multiple websites so you can compare prices and choose where you want to buy it from.

1. Best Performance: Kong Coolers

You might be surprised that Kong Coolers makes the top of the list. Chances are (unless you've read some of my other articles) you haven't heard about Kong Coolers before.

But let me tell you, you're going to be glad you stumbled upon this article and this brand.

Kong Coolers are a newer entrant into the market and made by US manufacturing giant Elkhart Plastics. They are on the cutting edge of new materials and processes which allows them to make extremely high quality products that are made and manufactured in the USA.

But the fact that it is made on the USA and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty and 30-day money back guarantee isn't what makes these coolers my #1 recommend.

It's their performance, features and quality

The #1 Cooler For Ice Retention

Recently I looked at every cooler on the market and how it performed at holding ice for a long period of time.

Guess which cooler won that test? Kong Coolers did…well technically Otterbox Coolers won but those don't seem to be being made anymore and Kong was a super close 2nd place. See my article on the best coolers for ice retention.

These bad boys can hold ice anywhere from 7-14+ days and dry ice for a similar amount of time (if you use enough dry ice).

But if you're only using a few large squares of dry ice you can still expect DAYS of ice retention from these coolers.

Some unique features

Kong coolers feature the big things you would expect in a roto-molded cooler at this price.

Thick insulation, non-slip rubber feet, tie down points, bear resistance, strong handles, freezer grade gasket, drain plug etc. But then they have a few cool features other coolers don't have.

Side table – Use the Kong Kicker accessory and turn your handle and cutting board into a side table for more prep-area

Stay Put Safe Lid – The Kong Cooler lid opens to a 45º angle and stays there without falling over. You can also get a Krush Guard to protect littles people's hands from the falling lid

Extremely High Quality

Kong Coolers are made in the USA and are made to an extremely high quality standard. While some cheaper coolers out there cut corners Kong don't seem to do that.

I've got great confidence in these coolers for handling regular ice, dry ice or whatever you want to throw at it.

See the latest prices of Kong Coolers

PROS:

  • Incredible ice retention
  • Big beefy latches that customers love
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Expensive compared to similar coolers
  • Limited color options
  • Not sold in local stores

2. Highest Quality: Yeti Coolers

Dry Ice In Yeti Cooler

If you're look at coolers then you likely already know about Yeti coolers. They are the big brand name, super aspirational and the high-end cooler that started it all.

When it comes to the best coolers for dry ice it feels a bit token to list Yeti in the #2 as they are such an obvious choice.

But the thing is they are so popular for a reason.

Sure their marketing is amazing, they have huge distribution and brand recognition, but there coolers are actually amazing too.

It's something difficult to show in a video or talk about in an article but their coolers just FEEL higher quality than all the other coolers out there.

I've compared so many coolers to Yeti in my time and Yeti looks the nicest, feels the best and has the most premium white. Yeh that's right the “white” of their plastic somehow looks more premium than other white coolers.

It sounds dumb but it's true.

Yeti coolers are also super high performance with great ice retention and they are backed by a 5-Year limited warranty.

They aren't the cheapest brand on the market, in fact they are one of the most expensive.

I've owned my Yeti 45 going on 5 years now and it works just as well as it did the day I bought it. Sure it's got a few scuff marks but overall it is still kicking and doing just fine.

Yeti coolers are a well recognized and tested brand, they are great quality, are dry ice compatible and if you're not on a super tight budget are one of the best coolers you can get for regular ice or dry ice.

See the latest price of Yeti Coolers at Yeti.com
(or compare to price of Yeti Coolers at Amazon)

Yeti Tundra 45

PROS:

  • Most recognised brand
  • Feels premium
  • Lots of color options
  • Lots of size options

CONS:

  • One of the more expensive brands
  • Other coolers have better ice retention

3. Value For Money: Lifetime Coolers

What if I was to tell you there is a dry ice compatible cooler that has ice retention performance and design similar to Yeti but is made in the USA and sell for a tiny fraction of the price (usually under $100)?

Would you be intrigued by this value for money cooler? Maybe you would assume that because it's so cheap it can't possibly be any good. Can it?

IT CAN

I didn't believe it when I first heard about it but the Lifetime cooler is the ultimate in value for money coolers.

It's got a similar design to Yeti coolers, with thick insulating walls, rope handles, rubber latches and it's even completely bear proof. See my full Yeti vs Lifetime cooler comparison.

The company Lifetime is a large manufacture of blow molded plastic products. This is a cheaper way to make coolers compared to the roto-molding that Yeti coolers go through. This allows Lifetime to save money on costs.

This means the shell of the Lifetime isn't quite as thick so it's not quite as durable, but it's still freaking bear proof!!!

They are sold primarily through Walmart but they are also available on Amazon or Lifetime's website. But Walmart usually has the best price.

The compromise here is that the coolers only come in one color (grey with blue accents) and only comes in 3 sizes 28-Quart, 55-Quart and 77-Quart.

If you're on a budget but want a high quality cooler for a not-so-high price then the Lifetime is the ultimate option.

See the latest price of Lifetime coolers at Walmart.com
(or compare to price of Lifetime coolers at Amazon)

PROS:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Great ice retention
  • Grip and Slide feet
  • Made in the USA

CONS:

  • Not as durable as roto-molded coolers
  • Only comes in 1 color

4. Budget Option: Coleman Xtreme Cooler

If you're on a super tight budget and don't need your dry ice to last for days or weeks at a time then the Coleman Xtreme 5-Day cooler is the best budget option out there.

It has thicker insulation and holds ice significantly longer than just your run-of-the-mill cheap cooler. I tested a Coleman Xtreme cooler vs a regular cooler from my local hardware store and the Xtreme kept ice nearly twice as long.

But it's a similar price to the cheap coolers out there, making it a great option if you just need something affordable.

It features cup holders in the lid, some sizes have wheels making it easy to pull along. It's lightweight and much lighter than the more expensive coolers.

I've had my Coleman Xtreme for about as long as my Yeti and 5 years in it's still holding up great. These are dry ice compatible super cheap and well worth the money.

See just how cheap Coleman Xtreme coolers are at Amazon

PROS:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Great ice retention
  • Grip and Slide feet
  • Made in the USA

CONS:

  • Not as durable as roto-molded coolers
  • Only comes in 1 color

5. Made In USA: Orca Coolers

Made In USA
Orca Coolers
~$239-$600

Orca Coolers have some of the best ice retention of any cooler on the market, are made locally in the USA, feature a lifetime warranty and have lots of colors to choose from.

See Latest Price at OrcaCoolers.com See Latest Price at Amazon

If you're specifically looking for a high-quality cooler that is made in the USA then the Orca is a great option.

They are one of the biggest cooler brands other than Yeti and have a wide variety of color options and you can even get your favorite sports team printed on your Orca cooler.

Their ice retention is one of the best in the industry, outperforming Yeti and only slightly behind Kong Coolers and they have a lifetime warranty on their products.

Orca 140 - Best Large Cooler

If you're looking for a high-quality cooler that is dry ice compatible, has extremely high performance and supports jobs in the USA then the ORCA is a great cooler.

See the latest prices of Orca Coolers at OrcaCoolers.com
(or compare to the latest price of Orca Coolers at Amazon)

PROS:

  • Made in the USA
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Big brand name
  • Lots of color options
  • Lots of size options

CONS:

  • Still quite expensive

6. Yeti Lookalike: RTIC Coolers

If you love the look of a Yeti cooler but don't love the price and want something that is extremely similar but not as expensive the RTIC are the best Yeti lookalike cooler on the market.

A while back RTIC were even sued by Yeti for having products too similar to Yeti's.

Even though Yeti won RTIC continues to make coolers to this day and high quality coolers at a cheaper price than Yeti coolers.

Their ice retention is very similar to Yeti and they are also dry ice compatible and bear proof. RTIC Coolers come in a variety of sizes and colors and are overall really great coolers.

They have quickly become a well known and well trusted brand and are worth looking at if you want something like Yeti but cheaper.

See the latest prices of RTIC Coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Look extremely like Yeti
  • Sell for a discount compared to Yeti
  • Well known brand

CONS:

  • Not Yeti
  • Not made in the USA

7. A Personal Favorite: Canyon Coolers

Canyon Coolers were one of the first ever coolers I reviewed and ever since I first reviewed them I absolutely loved the company's vibe and their focus on high quality customer service as well as great value for money.

Canyon coolers are backed by THE BEST lifetime warranty of any cooler out there. No need to present a receipt or sign up for your warranty or prove you're the original owner like some companies do.

If you've got a Canyon Cooler and it's broken for some reason they'll fix it for you or replace it if they need to.

So buying a Canyon Cooler you'll get peace of mind knowing it'll serve you for years to come.

Also, Canyon Coolers have great ice retention and dry ice retention performance. They come in multiple different sizes and types are extremely affordable compared to some more expensive brands.

The cam latches are easy to use. They have rope handles, freezer grade gaskets, non-slip rubber feet and pretty much everything else you could want or expect from a high-end cooler. But they are one of the cheapest high-end coolers out there.

Well worth a look for their high quality, amazing customer service and warranty and affordable price.

See the latest price of Canyon Coolers at Amazon

Runner Up Best Yeti Knockoff - Canyon

PROS:

  • Best lifetime warranty of any cooler
  • Some unique and cool designs
  • Great ice retention
  • More affordable than Yeti

CONS:

  • Limited color options
  • Not the most beautiful design compared to other coolers
  • Made overseas

8. Surprise Pick: Siberian Alpha Coolers

Lastly I want to highlight a surprise price for one of the best coolers for dry ice. This is likely a brand you're not too familiar with but one that has been around for a number of years and continued to improve with time.

The Siberian cooler launched years ago as a cheaper alternative to Yeti but it had some downfalls and the quality wasn't the best.

However, over time the team over at Siberian have improved their design, performance and quality of their cooler to the point where now it outperforms Yeti and is one of the best coolers at holding ice out there.

It can hold regular ice for 7-9 days and can hold dry ice for a similar amount of time (if you use large quantities of it).

They have rubber and metal cam latches which are a nice touch and their rope handles are recessed into the cooler so they don't get in the way.

They are more affordable than Yeti and Kong and are a great alternative pick if the other brands don't scream at you to buy them.

See the latest prices of Siberian Alpha coolers at Amazon

PROS:

  • Great ice retention
  • Cheaper than Otterbox and Kong
  • Metal cam latches
  • Company continues to improve it's coolers

CONS:

  • Not made in the USA
  • Very few color options available

How Long Does Dry Ice Last In a Cooler?

This is a hard question to answer because it is affects by the amount of dry ice used, quality of the cooler, outside temperature as well as what food or drinks the dry ice is trying to keep cold.

But generally speaking:

Dry ice will last in a cooler around 2-3 days when you're just using a few large squares of it. It can last over a week if you're using a lot of dry ice in a high end cooler or can be gone in less than a day if used in small amounts in a cheaper cooler.

For more information read my article on how to use dry ice in a cooler.

More Dry Ice Cooler Options

There are so many brands out there to include them all would make this article way too long. Below are links to a bunch of other articles I have written on the best coolers.

Brands like Orion, Grizzly, Kenai, Pelican and many others are all great at keeping dry ice and cheap brands like Coleman, Esky and Rubbermaid can hold dry ice just fine too.

Pretty much every cooler in those lists is dry ice compatible so you can take your pick. But those lists are good to highlight different features which may be important to you.

The best Yeti cooler alternatives

The best coolers for ice retention

The best coolers that are made in the USA

The best coolers with a lifetime warranty

The best small coolers like Yeti Roadie

The cheapest Yeti cooler alternatives ranked from cheapest to most expensive