The Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler is a ‘passive’ camping cooler with wheels and a telescopic handle akin to a travel suitcase. It sits one up from the bottom of the Coleman Xtreme Cooler range in size alone, but is the most portable thanks to the wheels, which the other units lack. For those situations where size is everything, this could well be the best camping cooler to invest in. Read on for our full Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler review.
- Add some of the best camping chairs to help you chill out in comfort
- Browse the best beach tents to keep the sun and sand out of your eyes
Coleman 50QT Xtreme camping cooler review: design and build
The Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler is a substantial beast, measuring up at 58 x 44 x 46cm, or roughly half the size of an under-counter fridge. Internal volume is 47 litres, which is pretty substantial and enough for even larger families or longer festival visits and the like. Weighing in at 5.5kgs dry the two wheels and steel telescopic handle are both welcome additions, especially once loaded up with food, drink and ice.
The outer skin is moulded so that two side handles and the lid release are all included, making them easy to clean and pretty much unbreakable (without destroying the cooler itself). Extra moulding on the lid provides four drinks holders in a heavy hint as to intended use. Sensibly, there’s a drain plug in the base to allow melted ice to drain out without having to tip all the contents out.
The Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler is all about the numbers - it’s 47 litre capacity is apparently enough for a whopping 84 330 ml cans, and the lid will support up to 113kg as a seat. That internal capacity will stay cold for up to four days at a time, which is entirely adequate for the average weekend away.
Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled camping cooler review: performance
As the Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler is a passive cooler it needs ice or gel-style cold blocks adding, a highly traditional approach to keeping food and drinks cool. The manual requests that either gel packs are used, or 0.4kg of ice cubes are added per cooler litre for best performance, which if followed to the letter leaves you with only 33.5 litres of internal space, after adding more than 13 kilos of ice. Obviously, nobody will read the instructions anyway, but that’s quite a lot of ice, and theoretically puts you just under 20kg before adding any edible or drinkable contents.
More seriously, the polyurethane foam insulation does do the job, keeping the inside of the box cool very successfully. Coleman claims that the shape of the cooler has been revised to round off the edges, and that feet built into the base maximise airflow under the cooler, helping offset the 30% heat loss that occurs through the bottom. Packed with cold drinks and eight gel packs the Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler stayed very cold for 48 hours in testing, and would clearly have stayed cool for longer. Inevitably, the cooler gradually warms up slightly, but it’s a far better choice than a flexible cold bag for longer trips or excursions.
The handle and wheels are excellent additions to a cooler that gets heavy fast – if only due to its capacity – and the rugged tread on the wheels rolls nicely over grass and relatively flat trails. Coleman say the Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler is pitched at “long road trips, days spent on the campsite and transporting food and drink around festival sites”, and it is certainly great for those purposes, offering cavernous space, easy transport over short distances and idiot-proof, indestructible operation.
Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler review: verdict
The Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Camping Cooler is excellent at what it sets out to do, and easily swallows masses of food and drink, ideal for a family camping weekend, or a festival trip. The only snag is the sheer scale of the cooler - you’ll want an estate car or SUV if you’re carrying passengers as well as this - and the weight of it fully loaded is substantial. Using Coleman’s own 84-can example, that’s more than 30 kg in cans alone, before the cooler and ice. That said, you’ll have plenty of bribes to recruit help in unloading it.
In short, this is a great cooler, but even this mid-size model (the biggest Coleman Xtreme Cooler is a massive 91 litres) requires lots of space and lots of ice. For those that need a really big cooler that's still portable though, this really hits the spot.