There’s nothing more satisfying than reaching for an ice cold beverage on a hot summer’s day taken from your very own cool box.
If you’re thinking of buying a new cool box or you want to invest in one ready for the warmer months, you’ve found yourself in the right place! They’re really ideal for keeping food and drink icy cold and fresh, no matter where you are.
Whether you’re an avid camper, keen festival goer or you simply want a way to keep your snacks and drinks cold on those memorable family day trips, a cool box is a certified must.
It’s no secret though, there’s plenty of options out there on the market today, so we know it can be tricky to figure out what sets apart the best from the rest! Luckily for you, we’ve created this review of the five best cool boxes available to buy today, as well as a helpful buyer’s guide and F.A.Q area.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Cool Box – Comparison Table
Best Cool Box – Reviews
Best Cool Box – Buyer’s Guide
Here are some important features you need to consider when purchasing a high quality ice box:
How much it can store
Storage size is essentially how much you can store inside your ice box. It’s important to be aware that volume includes both insulated and non-insulated storage area space. So, for that reason, just because a cooler is advertised as having 50 quarts of storage volume, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can store 50 quarts of items that need to stay fresh and cold.
Therefore, you’ll find that in soft-sided coolers it is pretty common to have separated spaces for chilled and unchilled items, which will come in handy if you plan on bringing a variety of different items along with you.
With that being said, it’s also really important to be aware that the storage may not be shaped in a way that is going to optimize the storing of your food and beverages, so it’s important to consider what types of food and drink you will be bringing and make sure that the ice box you are considering purchasing will be able to hold them easily – the last thing you want is for it to feel like tetris!
Finally, it is also important to figure out how much space your ice packs are going to take up as it might mean you can’t fit everything you want inside the cooler. If in doubt, we recommend sizing up to make sure you have enough storage space.
It’s insulation level
This criteria is really important because it lets you know how long your ice box is going to be able to keep your beverages and snacks cold!
However, while an ice box that can last for up to 5 days might sound tempting, it might not always be necessary for you. If you are just looking for something to pack your lunch in everyday to take to work or to bring some foods home from the grocery store, you’re not going to need a super high insulation level. If you plan on going camping for a few days, you are going to need a higher insulation level – it all depends on how long you plan on using it for in one sitting.
What kind of transportation aid it offers
When you’ve filled your ice box to the brim with food and beverages, it’s going to be tricky to carry! To assist with this problem, many coolers do offer multiple carrying or transportation methods, keep reading to learn about them all:
Side handles are the most popular type of handling feature! They usually appear on either side of an ice box to allow you to easily lift it up without straining your back. If you plan on purchasing a bigger cooler, you can always ask someone to grab one handle and help you out. Generally, you’ll notice that side handles can come as built-in cavities, flexible ropes with grips and other lots of other designs.
A lid handle is very similar to a side handle, except it is a single handle that appears on the lid of an ice box. This type of handle will allow you to keep one hand free to carry other items while also carrying the ice box at your side in order to make walking easier. You’ll tend to find these in smaller ice boxes due to the weight.
On the other hand, many larger ice boxes on the market today come with the aid of wheels! This will make life a whole lot easier when you have to walk some distance or over a tricky terrain as it will allow you to push the ice box rather than having to carry it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How room do I need inside my cool box?
Many people often run into issues with storage room when trying to accommodate all of their non-perishable, non-chilled items! Items such as sunglasses, sunscreen and towels can take up more room than you realize and can also cause the ice to melt if you find yourself opening and closing the lid to access these types of items.
Taking this into consideration, we recommend purchasing a cooler that has additional external, non-insulated compartments that are separate from the insulated compartments intended for food and beverages. By doing this, you will be able to keep everything organized and separated, while also ensuring that you don’t run out of any room and can bring everything you need along with you.
Does my ice box need to be waterproof?
When answering this question, you need to decide what you are going to be using your ice box for. If you plan on taking it outside on camping trips, to the beach or even to the lake, we recommend investing in a hard cool box that will be able to offer some resistance to heavy rain, for example.
However, if you only plan on using your cooler indoors or for transporting cold goods to and from a grocery store to your home, you can most definitely purchase an ice box (such as a soft fabric type) as it won’t be coming into contact with water or need to be drained after use.
How much do I need to spend on an ice box?
Hopefully after reading this article, you can see that you don’t have to necessarily spend hundreds of dollars on purchasing the ‘best’ ice box out there. There’s plenty of coolers out there that you can purchase for less than one hundred dollars that will do the job, as well as offering some cool added features that give it a premium edge, such as the budget option choices we have reviewed above.
What material should my ice box be?
It’s entirely up to you. The most common type of material used is plastic because it’s cheap, lightweight and waterproof. However, this type of material is not strong, so if you choose a plastic cooler the life expectancy may be shorter than an ice box with a stronger material.
Speaking of stronger materials, metal is your best best. However, there aren’t many metal ice coolers out there on the market! However, it is likely that you’ll find that manufacturers use metal in the hardware of a design (such as the hinges, handles and zippers) to add extra strength and durability.
If you go for a soft-sided cooler, these will be made of various types of fabric which offer durability, insulation and a level of water resistance. You may also find that some ice boxes have rubber used in the design to assist with gripping or to help form a tighter barrier between the lid and the box. In order to ensure you pick the right material for you, we recommend thinking about where and how often you plan on using your ice box!