Hopefully, you are enjoying the summer weather with some of the coldest brews available and perhaps even doing a little day drinking while you are out camping or just camped out watching a football game.
If you haven’t yet gotten outfitted for summer and are disrespecting your beer, wine, or champagne spritzer, then you need to get serious before the real festivities hit.
This means you need to get a cooler that is worthy of keeping your refreshments or your meats chilled.
Coolers are often forgotten. Some people – philistines really – think that a styrofoam shell with a bag of ice is all it takes to make a cooler worthwhile.
These are the hangdog men and women who are always ignored at every Barbecue. They are reviled at every Super Bowl party.
They are shunned from bikini pool bashes because they always show up with warm inferior beers and the jumbo array of cheap hotdogs that no true grillmaster will cook.
Don’t let yourself become one of these unfortunate folks of summer and get yourself one of the four best coolers you can.
Coleman 62 Xtreme
- XTREME TECHNOLOGY: Insulated lid and extra wall insulation keep ice up to 5 days in temperatures as high as 90°F
- HIGH CAPACITY: Holds up to 95 cans
- HEAVY-DUTY WHEELS: Effortless rolling over any terrain
- HAVE-A-SEAT LID: Closed lid supports up to 250 lb.
- CUP HOLDERS: Molded into the lid to keep drinks close and prevent spilling. Low CO2 insulation for reduced carbon emissions from foam manufacturing
Best Mobile: A lot of the larger coolers slap on a pair of cheap training wheels that won’t stand up to a man-sized excursion, or they don’t actually roll when the cooler is full.
Invariably they just get drug along, leaving deep furrows in the dirt and causing you to sweat every bump in the road.
The Xtreme manages to actually bring mobility to your camping without feeling like it is going to roll away when it gets turned into a chair or a drink holder.
Even when the 62-quart capacity is filled with ice and goodies, you can still move it along with the relative ease of a much smaller cooler.
The durability of the Xtreme is an issue, but unlike sturdier models, the insulation is not where this skimps.
You can expect it to keep ice, food, and drinks cold for days, even in direct sunshine.
The hinges, handles, and epoxy are where Coleman clearly cut costs, but they passed that savings on to the consumer.
You could pay the same price for a cooler that is smaller and less mobile, so even if you need to replace it every few years, it still won’t put a sting in your pocketbook.
Comes in 50 to 100-quart sizes.
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Survivor: The Grizzly 15 wasn’t meant for size but rather for heading into the most extreme conditions on the earth while still keeping your cargo cold and holding wildlife at bay.
It will retain ice for more than four days, whether you are going on a walkabout through the outback or carrying a donor’s heart over whitewater rapids.
The locking hooks and transport strap make toting this around on your back a breeze.
The high price and small size are generally what turns off buyers, but when you’ve seen this take a hit onto a rocky outcropping without spilling a drop or seen it attacked by a devoted black bear without losing interior integrity, you’ll know where the extra money went.
This is meant for the BYOB party or daytime fishing trip where your mountain lager goes out with you, and you are bringing dinner backpacked in ice. If need be, you can fit nearly 50 lbs. of game into it.
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Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Hardbody Cooler
- Deep Freeze high performance insulation with radiant heat barrier reflects heat rather than absoring it; Includes insulated front pocket
- Patented, "flip open" Zipperless lid allows for quick accress to food and drinks; Features FDA compliant HardBody liner with removable SmartShelf
- Features an Ultra Safe leak proof, easy clean interior lining"
- Rhino-Tech water and stain resistant, wipe clean exterior is abrasion and puncture resistant and will not crack over time
- Adjustable Backsaver shoulder strap with shoulder pad for convenience and usability; Interior liner dimensions: (L x W x H) 11.20" x 6" x 10.25"
Rollin’ on the River: Soft coolers are generally not well-liked among those who need something that won’t fall apart on them and gives them the insulation they need.
If you are a soft cooler fan, then you won’t find a better insulated, more easily carried softie than the Arctic Zone.
It keeps ice fresh for 48 full hours before leaving you with a puddle, but that is astoundingly high for a softshell and plenty of time for taking along a few deli types of meat or microbrews to be shared during a weekend trip.
It will also save you on fatigue compared with heavy hard-sides.
It is built primarily with rafters, kayakers, and other river rats in mind with a body that helps keep contaminated water from breaking down the cooler’s body or sneaking in.
The capacity claims to be 30 cans, but you’ll find it closer to 24 once you get an appreciable amount of ice into it. The actual measurement is 14 quarts.
Really you’ll be better off using this for a backpacking excursion, a picnic, or an adventure through whitewater rapids where space counts.
The insulation seems flimsy, but it actually works smarter, not harder, by adding mylar lining to keep heat out and single-cell construction to lock cold in so it doesn’t get uncomfortable to carry as the ice seeps away.
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Pelican 45 Quart Elite
Fisherman’s Friend: This is for the more serious water dog who is looking to take their action out on the high seas, perhaps bag a sturgeon, or at the very least have some Dom to celebrate braving the wicked coastal waters.
It has a true freezer gasket that will battle against leaks and saltwater that could ruin a fresh catch or just hickory-smoked Angus steak burgers.
The one problem is the weight is restrictive when it comes to packing light or moving the Elite around. It was clearly meant to be put in one place and stay there.
The hardware is all corrosion-resistant stainless steel that works as well as plastic without the concern that it will accidentally break at the worst possible moment.
The handles can easily be opened if you are wearing gloves, thanks to a larger latch design and no namby-pamby little parts.
The lifetime guarantee, as well as the knowledge you never again want to pay for a replacement, just shows how confident Pelican is that this will survive whatever you use it for.
It comes in 35 to 250-quart sizes.
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Buying guide for the Best Coolers
Good thing there is a lot of cool stuff out there when you’re looking for the perfect cooler. You have your simple lunch boxes, which can keep food fresh and chilly with ice packs if needed–but they might not be enough to handle longer storage needs! Then again, some people just need something big, so their items stay cold all day long without any worries about them going bad or getting warm.
The size required for your cooler is going to be determined by your needs. If you’re just looking for a place to store lunch, then all you need is something that fits a few sandwiches or even just an ice pack. You can go as big as you want, but there’s no specific desire for anything huge. Unless you have many people coming over and sharing drinks with lunch, maybe make sure the cooler can fit a six-pack or two floating in some ice cubes.
If you’ve gone with a large-sized cooler, odds are it won’t be something lightweight. That’s okay, though, because now you’re thinking outside the box! There are ways to work around this problem, such as using wheels to get from one place to another or carrying it with a shoulder strap. You can also use two people and carry it over the top of your heads like the funky human crane, but that probably isn’t going to be too comfortable after a while.
If you want to make sure your items stay chilled without having to purchase expensive ice packs or even moving your cooler around–which cannot be good for the structure of your food storage device! You should look at what kinds of insulation materials are used in making this particular cooler. It will definitely help if they have additional features such as double or triple-walled insulation. The air is trapped between masses, thus preventing heat from being transferred into the inside layers. There’s no point in getting a quality cooler if it can’t do its job.
While you’re at it, make sure the device has some kind of drain plug on the bottom or side for easy cleaning and draining purposes. You don’t want to be lugging around gross pond water, so your favorite juice boxes or milk tea doesn’t go bad!
Keep in mind how well the cooler is built because you want one that will last for years without breaking down. Some coolers are better than others, like high-end models, which are very sturdy but might cost more money than other options. There are all kinds of materials used for making different types of coolers, including plastic, metal, fabric, and wood.
Typically there are two materials used to make coolers, either hard or soft-sided. A hard-sided cooler like an Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler can keep ice longer than a soft one since it won’t be as sensitive to warmer temperatures on the outside of the box if it is left in the sun or out during an at the beach. A hard-sided cooler can be used either for transporting food and drinks or just making sure things stay cold while you’re enjoying the outdoors. A soft-sided cooler is usually more durable than a hard one, so if you want something that won’t break down after a few uses, choose this type of option instead.
A warranty or guarantee can offer great peace of mind about your purchase because it protects your investment. If anything were to happen to your new lunch box, such as theft or damage on accident, then you would receive some form of compensation for the issue–even if the problem was caused by yourself! You never know what will happen, so always try to look online at different types of coolers and see what kinds of different guarantees are offered because each product is different.
This should be a no-brainer but make sure you get the best cooler within your budget! There’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on something if it doesn’t do its job or last more than a season–although there are always exceptions such as high-end coolers, which can definitely make up for their price tag. Hopefully, you will find some recommendations below that might suit your situation and needs.
Never underestimate what you can get in terms of carrying methods because there are so many different kinds, such as handles or straps or even wheels. You might also want to look for a cooler that has extra insulation in the lid, but make sure it doesn’t make the product too heavy because then you’ll have a hard time moving around with your drink holders.
You should figure out how often you are going to use your new lunch box and where you will be storing it at home before making any decisions. Some coolers are made specifically for certain activities. In contrast, other types are more general–so pick wisely depending on what kind of items you need to store inside!
Suppose the only reason why you’re getting a cooler is to store ice and drinks on a warm day. In that case, you can probably get away with an inexpensive model that won’t last as long as an expensive one. If you need something more robust such as keeping your food fresh all year round or during camping trips, then you should seriously consider investing in something that will keep everything cold for months or even years without breaking down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are coolers with wheels necessary?
While having a cooler on wheels might be nice, you should make sure your budget allows for one because some of them can get hefty. There are other ways for carrying around your favorite beverage holders like straps or handles without spending too much money on additional features that aren’t absolutely necessary.
Do I need an ice chest if I’m camping by myself?
Suppose you’re the only person who will be consuming items out of your cooler regularly. In that case, an untrained option might work just fine. However, if you go camping often or simply want something more heavy-duty so you don’t have to replace it every season, consider buying an expensive high-end model which can definitely be worth the money.
What is a rotomolded cooler?
This is when high pressure and heat are applied to the plastic material in order to make it durable enough for constant use. Basically, this kind of production method compresses the molecules in the material. It contains them within a small space which allows companies to be more efficient with their production. Generally, these models can last longer than other types. Still, there’s no clear winner when deciding between roto molding and injection molding because they both have their pros and cons depending on your needs!
Do I need two coolers if I’m traveling with my family?
Suppose you’ve got kids or perhaps an entire baseball team packed up together in one vehicle. In that case, you will definitely need a larger model to keep everyone refreshed when out on the road. Smaller coolers are better when you need something for just one or two people, so if you have a big group, then you should invest in a cooler that’s going to be able to carry enough drinks and snacks for everyone at your party.
Will a high-end cooler help me save money?
The short answer is yes! There’s no point in buying an inexpensive lunch box that will break after just a few months. In contrast, something more robust can definitely stay intact longer without having to replace it every single summer. If you’re looking for storage at home or perhaps during camping trips, then the extra money paid upfront will be worth it over time because cheaper models might not last long enough to get your money’s worth before breaking down.
Do I need a foam cooler if I’m tailgating?
If you’re looking to store drinks or other items on the go, consider investing in a model made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is commonly used for these kinds of things because they are lightweight and keep your items cool even when outside. Foam coolers can hold up against chemicals, stains, punctures, and rodents. In contrast, other models might not be as resilient, so it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish!
Are hard coolers better than soft-sided ones?
It really depends on how often you plan on using it, along with the type of activities you will be doing. For example, hard coolers can take an absolute beating and come out on top. In contrast, soft-sided ones don’t fare too well in harsh conditions like sports events or camping trips where something is more likely to get damaged.
How long will my ice last in a cooler?
This is usually determined by two things, the ambient temperature along with how much insulation is contained within the walls of your cooler. Generally, an untrained cooler can hold ice for less than 24 hours, whereas high-end ones can stay solid for up to ten days, depending on its size.
Can I use any type of material as a liner?
No! You should make sure your model comes with an FDA-approved liner which is great for keeping bacteria at bay because it’s made out of food-grade plastic that will not interact with or release toxic chemicals into your drinks. If you’re using something other than this material, then there’s no telling what kind of harmful germs might be lurking around, so stick to the approved list!
What extra features should I look for in my new insulated cooler?
A bottle opener will usually come in handy for popping open bottles while keeping other items safely tucked away. It should also have at least two cup holders, preferably made out of stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about the cup holders rusting over time. Also, some models come equipped with locking latches which are ideal if you’re looking to keep unwanted hands out of your cooler at all times.
Is there anything I should know after buying my new cooler?
If you want to make sure it’s always in its best condition, then make sure that ice is not touching any parts of the walls. This could cause damage over time due to the extreme temperature differences between them. This will also help ensure that everything stays cold and fresh for as long as possible!
Do I need a portable model or one that’s stationary?
If you plan on using your cooler inside, like during parties or just sitting outside for an extended period of time, then it’s best to consider a stationary model. However, if you plan on using it in your car or moving around while tailgating at sports events, then it is ideal to go with a portable option.
What should I look for in an emergency cooler?
An emergency cooler should be able to keep items frozen despite the ambient temperature. This means that it should come with built-in refrigeration like other coolers and allow you to get ice out of the water instead of utilizing chemicals that might not be suitable for everyone.
When buying a cooler, there are multiple factors that you should consider before making your purchase. After all, these items can come with an extensive price tag if it’s of high quality, so knowing exactly what you want and need is crucial to keeping your cooler in top shape for years to come!
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Last update on 2021-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API