The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Cooler

buying a cooler

When it comes to outdoor adventures, having the right cooler can make all the difference. The right cooler will have just the right amount of space and keep your food and drinks at the perfect temperature. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or just spending a day at the beach, let us help you choose the right cooler for your needs! Check out our ultimate guide to buying a cooler!

Types of Coolers

A simple Google search for coolers can bring up an overwhelming number of options. From traditional hard-sided coolers to cooler backpacks to electric coolers, it can be challenging to navigate your way through the market. Here is a brief overview of the most common types of coolers: 

Traditional Coolers

Normal, hard-sided coolers are typically made from hard plastic or heavy-duty fiberglass. These coolers range in size from small, lunch-box-sized boxes to large tubs. The thick walls provide excellent insulation, keeping the cold in and the heat out.

Soft Sided Coolers

Soft-sided coolers typically come in smaller sizes with carrying straps. These small coolers are almost like lunch boxes, but they can be carried on your back or over your shoulder. This kind of cooler is ideal for hikers or day-trippers who are looking for portability. Many of these coolers have leak-resistant zippers, good insulation, and comfortable padding.

Electric Coolers

For serious adventurers, electric coolers can maintain precise temperatures, making them perfect for long trips and large groups. Features to look for include digital displays, versatile temperature settings, and Smart Bluetooth App control. Electric coolers can be powered by your vehicle’s 12V outlet or by portable power stations. 

Buying a Cooler that’s Right for You

There are several things to keep in mind when buying a cooler for your adventures. If you are planning on engaging in any rugged outdoor activities, opt for coolers made from durable materials like metal or hard plastic. These coolers can withstand the harsh conditions associated with hiking, backpacking, or camping. Another important factor to consider is portability. For some activities, like your next BBQ or enjoying some cold drinks by your backyard pool, portability may not be very important, so a larger, heavier cooler may do the trick. On the other hand, if you’re going on a long hike or backpacking trip, a lightweight cooler or a backpack cooler might be best. 

The pièce de résistance of a cooler is its ability to keep things nice and cold. A cooler’s ice retention is perhaps its most important feature. High-end coolers with thick insulation and airtight seals will keep ice frozen much longer than thinner coolers. 

Finally, think about how much food and drink you’ll need to store. Coolers range from small personal sizes to large family-sized models. Long road trips may warrant a large cooler whereas short, day trips to the beach may only warrant a small cooler.

Best Coolers for Your Next Adventure

Consider one of the following coolers for your next outdoor adventure.

Best Backpack Cooler: Pelican 19.4-Quart Dayventure Dual Compartment Backpack Cooler

The Pelican 19.4-Quart Dayventure Dual Compartment Backpack Cooler is the ultimate companion for outdoor adventures. This versatile backpack cooler features two insulated compartments, allowing you to keep your drinks icy cold and your food fresh for hours. With a capacity of 19.4 quarts, it provides ample space for all your essentials. The ergonomic design ensures comfortable carrying, while the rugged exterior is built to withstand the elements. Perfect for hiking, picnics, or beach trips, the Dayventure Backpack Cooler offers durability, functionality, and style in one sleek package.

Best Personal Cooler: Pelican 14-Quart Personal Cooler

The Pelican 14-quart Personal Cooler is the perfect solution for keeping your beverages and snacks chilled on the go. Compact yet spacious, this cooler can hold up to 6 cans with room for ice packs, making it ideal for personal use during picnics, road trips, or days at the beach. Its sturdy construction and high-performance insulation ensure that your contents stay cold for hours. Featuring an integrated dry storage tray, a built-in bottle opener, and a heavy-duty latch, the Pelican 14-Quart Personal Cooler combines convenience and durability, making it a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast.

Best Deck Cooler: Suncast 77-Quart Deck Cooler

The Suncast 77-Quart Deck Cooler with Wicker Front is a stylish and functional addition to any outdoor space. Designed to keep your beverages chilled and easily accessible, this cooler features a generous 77-quart capacity, accommodating up to 72 cans. The attractive wicker front complements any patio decor, while the durable resin construction ensures long-lasting use. Equipped with a drain plug for easy cleaning, a lift-top lid for convenient access, and a bottom shelf for extra storage, the Suncast Deck Cooler is perfect for hosting gatherings or enjoying a relaxing day in the sun.

Best Large Cooler: ProMaxx 110-Quart Sportsman Cooler

The ProMaxx 110-Quart Sportsman Cooler is the ultimate choice for serious outdoor enthusiasts. With its massive 110-quart capacity, this cooler is designed to keep your food and drinks cold for extended periods, making it perfect for camping trips, fishing expeditions, and tailgating events. Constructed with heavy-duty, roto-molded insulation, it ensures maximum ice retention and durability. The Sportsman Cooler features sturdy latches, reinforced handles, and a non-slip, bear-resistant design for added security and convenience. 

Best Soft-Sided Cooler: Camco Kuuma 33 Quart Soft-Sided Cooler

The Camco Kuuma 33-quart Soft-Sided Cooler is the perfect blend of convenience and performance for your outdoor adventures. This lightweight and portable cooler features a 33-quart capacity, ideal for keeping your drinks and snacks cold on the go. The soft-sided design is crafted from durable, puncture-resistant materials, ensuring it can withstand rugged use. With high-density foam insulation, the Kuuma Cooler maintains optimal temperatures for extended periods. It includes multiple pockets for additional storage, a shoulder strap for easy carrying, and leak-proof zippers to prevent spills. 

Cooler Accessories

After buying a cooler, you may want to consider adding some accessories to improve its efficiency. Ice packs are one of the most important cooler accessories you can invest in. Ice packs can help you keep your food and drinks colder for longer without the mess of melted ice. As a bonus, they are reusable!

A cooler cup holder, like this one from Camco Currituck, gives you the perfect place to put your drink while you’re grilling at your backyard BBQ. This cupholder is designed to be seamlessly attached to Currituck coolers. 

If you’re planning on using your cooler to store food for camping or grilling this summer, you may want to invest in a cooler cutting board. These cutting boards and be attached to your cooler, turning it into a two-in-one device. This cooler accessory allows you to quickly chop up the veggies from your cooler.

Investing in cooler accessories can improve the efficiency of your cooler, putting your mind at ease during your next big adventure!

Tips for Using Your Cooler

Here are some tips for maximizing your cooler’s effectiveness and longevity:

  • Pre-Chill Your Cooler: Before loading your cooler, pre-chill it with ice packs or frozen water bottles. This helps maintain a lower starting temperature.
  • Pack Efficiently: Place items you will need less frequently at the bottom and keep frequently accessed items on top. 
  • Keep it Out of the Sun: Even when you’re spending the day at the beach or in the hot sun, it’s important to keep your cooler out of direct sunlight.
  • Keep it Clean: Regularly clean out your cooler with mild soap and water. Be sure to dry the cooler out after each use to avoid mold and mildew growth.

Shop Omni Outdoor Living!

By following these tips and choosing the right cooler and accessories, you can ensure that your food and drinks stay cool and fresh throughout your adventure. Whether you’re embarking on a short hike or a long camping trip, the right cooler setup will enhance your outdoor experience. For the best cooler products on the market, check out Omni Outdoor Living!

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