Modern coolers are tougher, better insulated, and generally nicer than ever before. No matter how good the coolers themselves get though, there’s always the problem of humping them across sand dunes, campgrounds, and ball fields. A cooler wheel kit lets you convert your top of the line cooler into a much more mobile and manageable situation. Today we’re reviewing the best cooler wheel kits to help you find the one that not only fits your cooler, but gives you the performance you demand.
- 1 Cooler Wheel Kits and Carts
- 2 Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Cooler Wheel Kits and Carts
- 3 Final Thoughts
Cooler Wheel Kits and Carts
Cooler wheel kits have only been around for a little while. Beach carts have been a thing for decades, with many pulling double duty as cooler carriers, but purpose built cooler wheel kits and carts are new.
In just the last few years a bunch of really nice options have cropped up. The problem is picking out the best cooler wheel kit for your cooler and your needs.
Our list covers some of the toughest, most intuitive, and easiest to roll cooler kits and carts available, you can also read our best wheeled cooler guide.
Rambler Wheels Cooler Kits
Rambler Wheels makes a variety of different cooler wheel kits. They focus on the extremely popular line of YETI coolers and have a different size wheel kit for most of their products.
One of the most popular Rambler products is the X2LT, designed to fit the YETI 35 and 45 coolers. It uses a pair of 8” flat free solid tires designed to provide excellent clearance in two different positions.
When you’re traveling over mostly clear ground you can set up the wheels so the cooler is level when you set it down. For rough terrain or going over sandy areas the wheels can be adjusted to provide greater ground clearance.
The handle is a separate attachment to the wheels and built to slot perfectly into the YETI molded cooler handle. It telescopes out to two different lengths and folds down flat against the side of the cooler when not in use.
If you pretty exclusively go on beach trips Rambler offers an upgraded set of tires designed to move easily on sand. They’re wider and better suited for rolling on shifting sands.
The combination of adjustable wheels, easy set up, and telescoping handle makes it really easy to maneuver your cooler across just about any ground type. We found it comfortable to use with either the left or right hand and generally a really well put together add on for a great cooler.
Badger Wheels Cooler Kits and Carts
Badger Wheels is another custom manufacturer who produces a line of awesome cooler wheel kits. They have a more general focus to their designs, with most of their kits fitting a variety of the most popular coolers on the market today.
Their flagship product is a single axle 2 wheel offering that’s adjustable to fit the bulk of the YETI Tundra line of coolers. It uses an extendable axle system that allows you to strap it securely to most standard rotomolded coolers.
It snaps into place using the non-slip cooler feet and a tension rod. If you’re heading over really rough terrain you can also pop on the included secondary locking system using a locking plate and bolt.
It doesn’t come with a handle extension but we found it pretty comfortable to use with the cooler molded handle. This is especially true for the larger coolers. If you prefer you can also pick up two sets and use them as a 4 wheel platform.
They offer both a solid and a telescoping handle you can pick up if you want one. While we did find this to be a really worthwhile add on, we really would have liked to see it included.
Overall the Badger Wheels cooler wheel kit is a great product that gives you a lot of flexibility. You can use it as either a 2 wheel or 4 wheel set and adjust it to your liking.
Mighty Max Plus One Cart for Coolers
The Mighty Max Plus One cart is a weatherproof wheeled cooler carrier developed out of a successful KickStarter campaign. It’s designed to hold a variety of coolers through an expanding deck system with lock poles and a ratcheting strap.
Your cooler rests on a durable polycarbonate cart with 4 large and bulbous wheels. This allows it to travel easily across rocks, sand, dirt, and even beach conditions.
The cooler sits level on the cart and is securely ratched in place. This allows you to move it pretty much anywhere while still giving full access to the interior.
The Plus One has a telescoping handle that extends out as much as 34” and allows you to comfortably pull your cooler with your left or right hand. One of the things we love most about this cooler cart is how versatile it is.
You can use it to tow your cooler out to the beach, drop it off, and come back for chairs, umbrellas, and anything else you need. It’s so sturdy you can actually tow it behind a lawn tractor if you want to haul a seriously large cooler. It’s definitely larger than many other cooler wheel kits but it provides a lot of value for that extra size.
All in all the Mighty Max Plus One is one of the most affordable multi-cooler wheel kits available. It will fit just about any cooler from just about any manufacturer, and offers considerable flexibility in where you go and how you get there.
Sherpa Wheels Cooler Cart
The Sherpa Wheels Cooler Cart is a ruggedly built cooler wheel kit designed to fit some of the most popular coolers on the market. It’s rated to hold YETI, Rtic, and Kong coolers up to about the 160 quart range.
The cart is made up of a pair of wheeled axles that slot onto either end of the cooler. They ratchet securely into place and give you a stable platform to move your cooler.
It uses pneumatic tires with a 10” diameter. They’re quite thick, providing excellent mobility on just about any surface.
Snapping the wheels into place takes just a minute once you get the hang of it and makes it really easy to remove them once you arrive at your beach spot, campsite, or other location.
The axles are made from stainless steel and use sealed bearings. It’s durable, long-lasting, and rolls great.
While it doesn’t come with a handle the height of the wheels allows you to use the rope handle included with most rotomolded coolers quite easily. It’s not a perfect solution but it does work pretty well all things considered.
Camco Cooler Cart Kit
The Camco Cooler Cart Kit is a camping and outdoor focused add on for your rotomolded coolers. It fits any cooler currently on the market with up to a 17.5” width.
It relies on a pair of 12” wheels that snap into place with a few screws and a pair of straps. This gives you great ground clearance, but not a lot of traction on beaches and other areas with less than solid ground.
The Camco Cooler Cart also lacks a handle. The large wheels make it easy to grab a rope handle on higher-end rotomolded coolers but make it less easy to use on less expensive models.
One of the best features of the Camco Cooler Cart is its price – Substantially less than most similar cooler wheel kits on the market.
Is the Camco Cooler Cart the best cooler wheel kit? Not by a long shot. But it’s combination of basic functionality, durable construction, and low cost make it a viable choice.
Sea Striker Beach Cooler Cart
The Sea Striker Beach Cooler Cart is a specialized cooler wheel kit designed for shore fishermen. It’s designed to hold your cooler plus several rods, reels, nets, and other important beach tools.
It has a pair of large and very thick pneumatic tires that roll well across sand and mud without slowing you down on firmer surfaces. It’s level at rest and uses a rigid metal handle with two spots to grab onto it.
The cart can fit coolers up to 54 quarts with space left over for other essentials like a tackle box. It has 6 round rod holders that can also be used as attachment points for various add ons. Our personal favorite is an upright cutting board that lets you quickly fillet your catch and put it on ice without slowing down your day’s fishing.
The Sea Striker Beach Cooler Cart is an excellent choice for anyone who frequently finds themselves at the beach. This is especially true for those who like to try their luck at catching a few fish off the shore.
Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Cooler Wheel Kits and Carts
Comparing cooler wheel kits and carts comes down to wheel features, sizing, and weight limits. You need to know what kind of cooler you want to use it for as well as the type of terrain you’ll most frequently be taking it across.
Cooler wheel kits are pretty consistently priced across the board. The majority start around $120 and rarely go above $200.
There are a few outliers of course, but they’re generally either feature heavy or focused on a very specific cooler.
If you’re thinking about buying a cooler wheel kit you’ve probably already got a cooler to use with it. Double check that any cooler kit you choose will work with your cooler.
Most manufacturers provide a list of compatible coolers, but it’s not a bad idea to see if they post the accepted dimensions as well. This makes it a lot easier to find out if your cooler will fit properly.
Another thing to keep in mind is the durability and weight tolerance of the cooler wheel kit. You want it to handle the weight of a full cooler without difficulty.
Wheel Size and Thickness
The size and thickness of a cooler’s wheels plays a major role in where you can take it. If you only need to wheel your cooler around on pavement or other smooth and level surfaces any size wheels will do.
For most of us though we’re a lot more likely to bring a cooler to a campsite, grassy ball field, or sandy beach. Large and thick wheels make it a whole lot easier to maintain traction while moving your cooler across these surfaces.
You should also consider whether you want solid core tires or pneumatic (air-filled) ones. Solid core tires require less upkeep but will be noticeably heavier as tire size goes up.
Pneumatic tires can be a lot bigger and a lot thicker without adding on more weight. It gives you the added benefit of being able to adjust the air pressure for conditions.
The downside is maintenance. They need to be inflated to the proper air pressure and can be susceptible to punctures. If you pick up a nail out on the beach you’re going to have to drag a your cooler back on a flat or carry it yourself.
Some cooler wheel kits are compatible with a variety of different coolers. Others are specialized to fit perfectly on one model or a few sizes of a single brand.
These specialized cooler wheel kits are more common for high-end rotomolded coolers such as YETI, Rtic, Engel, Orca, Pelican, etc. If you’ve got a fairly standard Coleman, Igloo, or other cooler there’s a good chance you can pick up a cooler wheel kit that will work with a variety of different models.
2 or 4 Wheels
This one really comes down to the size of your cooler, the quality of its seal, and how you want to move it around. Two wheeled cooler mobility kits require you to tip it over onto its side to roll.
If you’ve got a small or empty cooler this isn’t a big deal, but if you’re rocking a 100+ quart cooler loaded down with ice and drinks it’s a lot more of an ordeal. This also applies if your cooler doesn’t have the best seal around the lid.
Tipping it over can cause water from melted ice to drip down the side of your cooler. This can get on the upholstery of your car if you aren’t careful.
Four wheeled models offer better stability and can be easier to move, but they do have some drawbacks. If you’re going up any stairs with a four wheel model you’re going to have to stop and carry your cooler up them.
If you’re bringing a cooler onto a boat or other less than stable surface you have to lock the wheels on a four wheel kit. Otherwise you might find your beverages drifting around the deck.
Make sure you consider these factors before making a purchase.
A telescopic handle is one of the best features to look for in a cooler wheel kit. It allows you to adjust the height of the handle to your own height and stow it away when not in use.
This is especially useful if you’re loading your cooler into a car or boat for transport. A long handle sticking out of the top permanently can be a real drag.
Weight and Portability
The weight and size of your cooler wheel kit can affect how portable it is. This especially matters when talking about kits that you’ll frequently remove and store.
Some are designed to strap right onto your cooler while others rely on a frame system. This really comes down to how large the cooler they work with it.
Heavier coolers require heavier duty wheel kits.
Ease of Assembly
If you’re rolling with a cooler cart assembly is as easy as dropping your cooler on top and taking off. Cooler wheel kits though are designed to attach securely to your cooler without actually damaging its body or feet.
Some cooler wheel kits require the use of tools and attachment plates to get your cooler ready to go. This is great from a durability standpoint but don’t allow you to easily adjust the wheel position or remove them for easier access to the contents.
Depending on the manufacturer there are also kits that rely entirely on the tension applied to the handle and feet of your cooler. These give you a pretty solid connection for most uses and are easy to take off and put on, great if you’re using your cooler on a boat or other moving surface.
Extras, Add-Ons, and Bonus Features
Some cooler wheel kits provide you with wheels, a strap, and a handle. That gets the job done, but it does leave a little to be desired for certain beach goers, fisherman, and other cooler users.
If you’re willing to pay for it there are a lot of really cool extra features you can find for different activities and purposes. One of the most popular when talking about high end rotomolded coolers are related to fishing.
You can get cooler wheel kits that provide you with everything from rod holders, net stands, and even cutting board slots. This allows you to carry basically everything you need for a day of beach or pier fishing in one easy to haul package.
Picking out the best cooler wheel kits and carts really comes down to two big factors. What kind of cooler you have and where you want to take it.
You need to make sure the cart you choose will fit your make, model, and size cooler and that it can handle the type of terrain you’re moving on.
Some of the best cooler carts out there do great on sand and other shifting ground but become tiresome to move across large parking lots or campsites.
Figure out where you’re mostly going to be using your cooler and find a cart that offers the features that most match that use.