Need a reliable cooler for your next camping trip or tailgate? We did the research to find all of the coolers made by American manufacturers. Check out more information about each one below.
Full List of Cooler Brands Made in the USA
Brand name: Orca
Headquarters: Nashville, TN
States manufacturing in: TN
Orca Coolers have been around for a decade now. Their hard-sided coolers range in sizes 20 qt, 26 qt, 40 qt, 58 qt, 75 qt, and 140 qt and sell two soft-sided coolers: the ‘Tote’ and the ’20 can’, so you’ll be sure to get something for your needs. Orca’s coolers are roto-molded for better ice retention, and they claim that their products keep items cold for up to 10 days.
Their coolers feature a lid gasket for an optimum seal, extendable flex-grip hands for comfortable carrying, and a cargo net attachment for added storage. They also sell additional accessories such as baskets and fishing rod holders depending on your purpose.
Orca Coolers typically come in around 10 colors, ranging from black to bright red. Passionate about being Made in the USA and supporting US jobs, their coolers also feature a ‘Made in the USA’ stamp on the front with the American flag. All of their coolers also come with a lifetime guarantee.
Brand name: Pelican
Headquarters: Torrance, CA
States manufacturing in: CA
If you value having a safety valve for products you buy, Pelican (specifically the Pelican Elite) has a great product warranty and quality, durable latches. The warranty lasts for a lifetime, and they’ll send you a brand new cooler in case anything ever happens to yours. The Pelican Elite has long-lasting ice retention, lasting over 8 days in field tests. Pelican is also on our list of tumblers made in the USA.
Brand name: Orion
Headquarters: Sparta, TN
States manufacturing in: TN
Now made by Jackson Kayaks, Orion sells a wide variety of coolers, whether it’s for boating, camping, fishing, or kayaking. Orion’s cooler capacities range from 25.16 qt to 86.69 qt. Their coolers are rotomolded in a variety of colors, but because they’re manufactured this way it means that no colors are the same, so if you’re looking for a specific color, it may not be an exact match.
Orion’s coolers feature a rubber grip handle, a lid gasket, wheels available for easier movement, and bottle opener corners. They’re also bear-proof. There’s a multitude of accessories you can get with your cooler to make it more specific to your needs.
The Orion 45 in particular is a secure, durable cooler with a non-stick pad on top for holding gear or as a cutting board. It also has several bottle openers on each side, tie downs, and a rail system that allows you to mount a phone, camera, or other gear. It can hold ice for about a week and the handles are made with reinforced climbing rope so they can handle about anything. Also be sure to check out our exclusive interview with the folks at Orion Coolers.
Brand name: Igloo
Headquarters: Katy, TX
States manufacturing in: TX
Igloo’s cooler range varies from portable packs for family days out to heavy-duty coolers for days away fishing. Their coolers are helpfully categorized on their site into hard coolers and soft coolers. They’re then further filtered into sizes and needs such as marine, BMX, Trailmate, and eco-friendly, but there are plenty of options for days out and family BBQs, so there’s really a choice for everyone.
Their coolers include handy features such as cup holders, built-in bottle openers, tie-down points, accessory holders, and comfort-grip handles. They’re designed to include everything you could need but nothing more and nothing unnecessary. They’re easy to clean and have anti-skid technology too. Check out our full breakdown on Igloo.
Brand name: Cabela’s
Headquarters: Sidney, NE
States manufacturing in: NE
Cabela’s offers both hard-sided and soft-sided coolers as part of their range. Their resin shells feature molded padlock tabs, making it easier to lock them, molded-in hinges for durability, and molded-in handles. They have an airtight seal and elevated non-skid feet to reduce heat transfer and maximize cold retention. These coolers have a bear-resistant design, bottle openers and rope handles with glow-in-the-dark tracers, making them ideal for camping. These coolers typically come in more subdued colors.
The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer cooler is particularly great in terms of ice retention – lasting nearly 9 days in several tests (although they advertise 12 days). This cooler also has a pressure release valve, something you don’t see on many other coolers, which helps with lid opening. Check out our full breakdown of Cabela’s products made in the USA.
Brand name: Grizzly
Headquarters: Decorah, IA
States manufacturing in: IA
Grizzly has organized their coolers in a way that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Their hard-sided coolers range from ‘Grizzly 15’ to ‘Grizzly 400’ with 6 models in between (20,40,60,75,100,160). These numbers correspond to the quart capacity they can carry, so you can instantly find something suited to your needs.
These coolers are RotoTough rotationally-molded and use environmentally friendly pressure-injected insulation. Grizzly’s cooler features include: BearClaw latches for a secure grip, tie-down slots, a silicone rubber gasket seal, an embossed ruler on the lid, lock holes, and an adjustable strap with a carry handle. Their coolers come in a range of colors, from something subtle like tan to neon green. They also sell three soft-sided coolers, but these are not made in the USA.
Brand name: Cordova Outdoors
Headquarters: Cordova, AK
States manufacturing in: AK
Though Cordova Outdoors doesn’t have the biggest range of hard-side and soft-sided coolers, that’s because the designs they’ve created are built to last and include everything you could need for your next adventure. Their hard-sided coolers range from 20 qt to 128 qt.
Cordova Outdoors’ coolers have considered space as a priority in their design. They use top loading latches so there’s no need to move surrounding gear to access what you need. They also feature a patented lid lock which keeps the lid open and locked at either 70° or 90° so that it won’t fall down on your fingers. Cordova’s coolers are certified bear-proof, have a built-in bottle opener, and anti-slip Goat Feet™ to keep contents steady and improve ice retention. Their coolers also come in a wide range of colors.
Brand name: ICON Coolers
Headquarters: Wilmington, NC
States manufacturing in: NC
ICON Coolers is based in North Carolina and makes a similar durable hard-side cooler to a lot of the other brands on this list. Their rotomolded coolers are perfect for fishing, hunting, camping, tailgating, or anywhere else you need lots of ice cold storage. Also, like many of the other brands on this list, their soft-side coolers and drinkware are made overseas, unfortunately.
YouTube Video: How to Find Coolers Made in the USA
What About YETI?
Contrary to popular belief, YETI coolers are not 100% made in the USA. Their popular Tundra series is made at facilities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Philippines. They also outsource manufacturing to China for some of their other popular products. Check out our recent article on YETI for more information. We also have similar research on where Coleman coolers are made.
How to Find Coolers Made in the USA
The best way to transport food while traveling is to load it all up in a cooler. The cooler market has rapidly expanded in recent years making the process of finding the perfect cooler more difficult than it may seem.
There is a lot of research involved in finding a good quality cooler that is also “made in the USA”. This guide breaks down how to buy a cooler that is “made in the USA” by material and gives a general overview on how to understand the labeling requirements for these products.
What Does “Made in the USA” Mean?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines in place to ensure that companies are not using false claims that their products are “made in the USA”. The claim that a product is “all or virtually all” produced in the USA means that the majority of manufacturing costs as well as the assembly must come from the United States. However, these guidelines can be quite confusing to understand, and too easy for companies to finagle.
For more information on this topic, you can click here to view our full Made in the USA labeling guide.
There are several different materials that go into the making of a cooler. By looking at each of these materials separately, we can develop an understanding of where most of the production is done, giving us an idea of how hard it is to find products with these materials “made in the USA”.
Most coolers use roto-molded plastics for the structure and base of the cooler. For the best durability, the plastic should be thick and well made.
Around 20% of the world’s plastic is produced in the United States. This ranks the USA behind Europe and China. China produces the most plastic in the world, at 32%. When searching for a cooler, makes sure to double-check where the plastic in the cooler was sourced to ensure it is truly an American-made product.
Pressure Injected Polyurethane Foam
Polyurethane foam is an insulator used to keep coolers cold. A thick, complete layer of polyurethane foam is the best way to retain ice and keep the cooler cold. Some brands will cut corners when it comes to this foam and not use it all the way around the inside of the cooler. Doing so will cause the cooler to not retain ice or stay as cold for as long.
The United States is behind China and many other countries in terms of the production of polyurethane foam. However, the USA produces better quality foam due to quality standards that are not in place in China. There are harmful chemicals and carcinogens in Chinese-made foams. It is very important to check to make sure companies source their polyurethane foam from the USA.
In many coolers, rubber is used in the lock mechanism as well as a tight seal around the opening of the cooler. When used as a seal around the cooler, the rubber acts as another layer of protection to keep the cooler cold. When put to the durability test, latches made of rubber last the longest.
Thailand is the number one producer of rubber in the world. Not a lot of rubber is produced in the United States, so this material is definitely one that will take research to ensure it is made in the USA.
Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code states that the FTC’s job is to protect consumers from false “made in the USA” claims that are made by companies about their products.
The FTC does not keep a close watch on companies but will take action when a false claim is brought to their attention. This means that it falls on the customers to watch out for false “made in the USA” claims and to call companies out.
In terms of labeling, words matter. Make sure to watch out for verbiage that may be used in product labels. An example of this is “made” versus “assembled” in the USA. When the verb “assembled” is used, it signifies that the product was not made in the USA but rather shipped over and merely assembled here. The label “made in America” is also something to watch out for, as it could mean that the product was made in either the USA, Canada, or Mexico.
An American flag sticker is often seen as a simple way to identify when a product was made in the United States. However, this flag can often mislead consumers. The sticker is not government-regulated, which leads companies to use it as a way to deceive customers.
There are a lot of tactics that companies use to initially mislead customers into believing that their products are made in the United States. It is important to thoroughly check the manufacturer’s website and look for things like pictures of the production site or other clues that suggest where the materials were produced.
When companies are not upfront about where their product was produced, it is likely that it is not made in the USA. If it is actually made in the USA, the company would likely use this fact as a selling point rather than hide it. It is important to keep in mind that the FTC does not require companies to state the country of origin on their websites or promotional images.