The Comprehensive Buyers’ Guide To Coolers & Ice Chests Before Buy

If you love going camping or picnic, a cooler is a must to include in your outdoor gear. If you will be out for several days, coolers can help keep your food fresh and drinks cold. For several days, you want your beer or beverages to stay cold throughout your trip. In the same way, you do not want fish and meat to get rotten while on campgrounds. Given the plethora of choices available in the market, choosing the right cooler can be a little tricky. Do you often find yourself wondering how to find the right cooler for your need? Cannot seem to find a model that suits your budget and lifestyle? This article will help you choose the perfect cooler for your next outdoor adventure.

Safe Food and Cold Beer Anytime

When buying a cooler, make sure that it passed the food safety guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Perishable goods like meat, cheese, fish, and egg should be stored below 40 ˚F. Food is considered unsafe if it is stored at room temperature for just two hours or an hour if the ambient temperature is above 90 ˚F. Also, you do not want to get sick in the campgrounds. So make sure that the cooler you are using will store your food at a safe temperature.

A night around a bonfire can be more enjoyable with ice cold beer. They have various serving temperatures. Lagers and light beers can be stored at the 35 to 40 degrees range. Bottles and cans can be easily stored down to the bottom of the cooler with the ice so you are assured of your beer or beverage staying cooler longer.

Insulation Performance

If your outdoor trip will take several days, you need a cooler with solid insulating capacity. Large amounts of fresh meat or fish will demand more insulation from your cooler. They will be much warmer than the inside of your cooler so some of the ice will melt in order to bring the fish and meat down to a cold temperature.


During a camping or picnic trip, your cooler will be subjected to too much abuse. They will encounter rough terrain so you will need a durable cooler that can sustain all those abuses. Some models may have rigid walls and lids that may not be able to keep up with the abuse. Aside from storing food and drinks, the cooler may also be seated on so it must be strong enough to carry human weight. If you will be using it frequently in harsh conditions, durability is essential.

Storage Capacity of the coolers

The next thing to consider when buying a cooler is the size. This will depend on the amount of storage capacity you require. However, the size will have an impact on portability and insulation performance. Look for one that is big enough to satisfy the needs of your family for the entire trip. The storage capacity of the cooler will determine how much can fit inside, the number of days, and what you can pack. The more persons will go on the trip, the bigger the cooler.

External Size

Aside from the internal capacity, the external dimensions of the cooler will also play an important factor. If you like going to national parks, for example, you would want a cooler model that is compatible with the required use of bear boxes.
Coolers when fully loaded can be extremely heavy. You do not want to be carrying the cooler to a campsite that is a couple of kilometers from the parking area. For this reason, you would want a portable cooler. If your storage needs warrant a larger cooler, you would want a model with a handle. Some models have one and others have two handles that can function as one or two-person carry. There are also wheeled-models that you can easily pull for movement.

Ease of Use

You would want to look for a cooler model that offers ease of use. Normally, you will load/unload, open the lid, rummage for food, and drain water. The cooler you will buy should allow you to do these activities with ease. Draining water can be quick or messy so you would want a cooler that offers the former. Look for a model that will make complete drainage easy without being elevated to drain the water.

For lid opening and closing, look for models with latch design. Some designs have a weight for pulling against it. Other models have some kind of external latch. Depending on your preference, lid opening is an important factor to consider when looking for a cooler to buy.

Other Features

Aside from the usual features, there are coolers that offer additional features. For example, there are some coolers that include built-in rulers so you can determine the weight of the fish you caught on a fishing activity or the size of meat. There are also models with built-in cup holders for organizing your beverages. Do your assignment when looking for coolers. If you are in luck, you may be able to find a model with the feature you are looking for.

No One Size Fits All

When looking for a cooler, you need to keep in mind that not all models can function well in every capacity. For example, a large cooler with insulating capability will be too cumbersome to carry around in the beach. At the same time, a portable model will not be able to insulate your food and beverage for several days. When it comes to choosing coolers, it all boils down to what kind of activities you will be doing and what you will be carrying. To see the best coolers will suit your lifestyle and adventure needs, you can check out on

Choosing the right cooler for your camping or picnic trip need not be daunting. With these tips, you can look forward to finding the perfect cooler that you will carry on your next camping or picnic.


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Franck Wang
Franck Wang

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