How to Hack a Wheeled Cooler—for Less than $250

Don’t throw out your back trying to carry your heavy cooler. Easily convert it to a wheeled cooler with one of these kits.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Published Aug 25, 2022 4:54 PM

Yeti Cooler Wheel Kit DIY

Photo: depositphotos.com

Coolers make it possible to keep food and beverages fresh on long days without refrigeration. But when packed full and weighed down by ice and drinks, larger tubs lacking wheels can become quite cumbersome to take tailgating, camping, or hiking out to a picnic with a view. (A 45-quart Yeti Tundra cooler might weigh more than 50 pounds when holding 28 soda cans and the ice to chill it!)

Of course, the big cooler brands like Yeti or RTIC sell models with different carrying options—from handles and padded shoulder straps to puncture-resistant wheels, like on the Yeti Roadie Wheeled Cooler we just reviewed—but not everyone wants or needs to own multiple coolers of comparable size. First, there’s the issue of finding the space to place twin containers in your garage or shed, but then there’s also the expense of paying for another brand-new, top-quality cooler.

If you already have a reliable (if unwieldy) option, consider an upgrade that’s easier on the wallet: cooler wheel kits. Attach a wheel kit whenever you need the extra portability. These four kits are compatible with a range of cooler models, so any of them possible to convert your standard cooler to a wheeled cooler in minutes.

1. Sherpa Cooler Wheel Kit

How to Hack a Wheeled Cooler: Sherpa Cooler Wheel Kit

Photo: amazon.com

Transform a heavy, 35-quart (or larger!) Yeti Tundra, RTIC, and Kong cooler into a wheeled cooler with this kit from Sherpa. (You’re not out of luck if you have a Yeti Roadie; Sherpa makes a smaller wheel kit, too, for the 24-quart cooler.) Its universal-fit axles adjust so that peg-locks slide into the foot holes on the cooler and are held in place with anodized aluminum cam-lock straps. Once secured, the kit’s four 10-inch pneumatic tires will tote up to 500 pounds of a cooler along on the beach, along a pier to go boating, or out to your favorite fishing spot.

Get the Sherpa Cooler Wheel Kit on Amazon for $249.97 or at Sherpa Hunting.

2. Mighty Max Ice Chest Dolly

How to Hack a Wheeled Cooler: Mighty Max Ice Chest Dolly

Photo: amazon.com

Pull your favorite cooler—any brand, up to 38 inches long—on the expandable flatbed of the Mighty Max Ice Chest Dolly. This dolly holds a cooler in place via bungee cords as you pull its four all-terrain, flat-free rubber wheels over various surfaces. When you’re ready to head back home, just collapse the cart to transport it in your trunk and store. It’s versatile, too: Remove endwalls and bungee cords to haul up to 250 pounds of gear as a more traditional utility cart.

Get the Mighty Max Ice Chest Dolly on Amazon for $139.00 and at Mighty Max Cart.

3. Rambler Wheels All Terrain Wheel System

How to Hack a Wheeled Cooler: Rambler Wheels All Terrain Wheel System

Photo: amazon.com

The Rambler Wheels two-wheel kit transitions Yeti Tundra 50 through 125 coolers from wheel-less to wheeled as needed without any tools. These 8-inch wheels are puncture-resistant and heavy-duty enough to roll through all terrains, from mud to rocks. (Plus, the kit lets you choose between two axle positions to ensure that the cooler the necessary clearance for more rugged surfaces.) Tote up to 200 pounds by its two-position telescoping switch-grip handle—adjustable whether you’re a right- or left-handed—that attaches to the molded-in handles on the Yeti cooler.

Get the Rambler Wheels All Terrain Wheel System on Amazon for $245.00 or at Rambler Wheels.

4. Retrospec Palisade Cooler Wheels

How to Hack a Wheeled Cooler: Retrospec Palisade Cooler Wheels

Photo: amazon.com

Retrospec is one of the few brands that sells a wheel kit designed for its line of coolers. This set of wheels pairs with the outdoor gear brand’s 45- or 65-quart Palisade cooler (select the size at the time of checkout for the appropriate size axle). Its two puncture-resistant 12-inch wheels simply strap on via a heavy-duty nylon strap-handle combo. Assembly is quick and easy—allowing you to head off for your next adventure right away.

Get the Retrospect Palisade Cooler Wheels on Amazon for $69.99 or at Retrospec.