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Beach Coolers Buying Guide

Nothing feels more relaxing than having access to refreshing cold drinks while enjoying on the beach with your loved ones. Beach coolers serve this purpose correctly.

With suitable coolers, you can store your perishable supplies and carry them quickly. The product is quite portable and keeps your essential items safe.

If you are an avid angler, you can even store the live bait in the cooler without ruining it. However, selecting an apt cooler can become a tiresome task. You need to look into every element and think carefully before making a purchase. Owning an inferior quality product can easily ruin your relaxing vacation.

A buying guide presents all the information on critical factors in a well-structured way. You can

go through the pointers quickly and funnel down the best product for your vacations. Also, you can get answers to common queries.

Let us start with a quick introduction of the product and then move further with the guide.

What are beach coolers, and why should you buy them?

You are enjoying the cold water and the warm sand at the beach with your friends. You guys plan on having a drink, but since it's been hours, the drinks have turned warm and taste bland. If you guys had a beach cooler, you might probably not be a part of this mishap!

Beach coolers help in keeping your refreshments cool and fresh. Even after staying for hours in the sun, you can spark up your energy with a refreshing drink. It is very beneficial as we all know that the price of products at the beach are unusually high. So you can easily save up your expenses by carrying your drinks already and not worrying about them being cool!

In case you do not have a beach cooler and are planning to buy one, you must go through our guide so that you have thorough knowledge about its features and buy the best for yourself.

Soft-sided Vs. Hard-side coolers

Everyone wants a fresh drink on the beach, and especially on sunny days. Beach coolers do make it easy for you to keep your refreshments cold. There are two types of beach coolers available in the market. Even though the purpose is the same, they come with different features and working.


These are the daily basis coolers that one can use comfortably for any purpose. Aside from just-drinks, one can easily carry other foodstuffs to different places. They are designed with soft fabric, and that makes them high in portability convenience. Moreover, they come with a strap, so one can easily carry it to places.

They are collapsible in shape and are easy to maintain, as once you have used them, you can fold them and keep aside. They consume less space or storage. However, the thin lining inside their bag, allows them to keep the food cool for six hours. It cannot last longer than that.

Soft coolers are very light in weight and carry only a few substances. Even though they consume very little space, they are not that durable. You can use soft coolers only for a few numbers of times, as they get destroyed to harsh outside conditions.


You will require quite a lot of space to adjust hard-coolers. Since they are bulky and rigid in shape, they do not collapse. However, they are excellent at retaining ice. The high insulation, which is very thick, keeps the ice for an extended period. Some coolers can even work up to 10 days!

Since they are big, you can carry many things in hard-coolers. They have a huge capacity and can keep things fresh for a long time. However, there are many variable sizes for even hard coolers, and you can choose according to your preference.

It is designed with durable material, and that is rotomolded plastic. This makes sure that it can work for long and also withstand any harsh conditions.

Why should you read a buying guide before selecting beach coolers?

To make an appropriate purchase, you need to deem into all the characteristics of the product. Looking into different resources can take a lot of your valuable time, and you may end with incorrect facts.

A comprehensive buying contains all the essential information that defines the usability and performance of the product. You get access to all the information under one roof. So, you can quickly analyze them and strike down the best product for yourself.

So without any further ado, let us dive into this guide.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate beach coolers

There are certain features that you must consider before you purchase any of the beach coolers. We have listed all of them so that you will be well aware of how your passive cooler must be by the end of the guide.


Please consider capacity instead of the standard dimensions. The dimensions of beach coolers may vary from brand to brand. For example, if most of your planning is for a casual day at the beach, then a cooler that can hold up to 6-12 can be enough. In case you are planning to go with 4-6 friends, then you have to consider those beach coolers that carry up to 16 cans.

However, if you are planning a road trip or maybe you will be out for days. You might look for a cooler with a colossal capacity size to store other necessities. Look for a cooler that can store at least 20+ cans. Also, keep in mind the cooling effect time.


Beach coolers tend to be heavier because of the lining of the insulation inside the box. Storing substances inside it does not make it bulky. So in case, you are purchasing a more relaxed watch for only hours of use, then you can skip the massive insulation part.

Coolers vary in their weight. They might have different pounds, so if you buy a heavy one, you will experience much more straining.

Chill Type

Always consider the amount of time you will be outdoors. For example, suppose you are going out just for a day. In that case, the insulation of beach coolers designed for fewer hour purposes will differ from the ones you need for your long road trips.

Be realistic while purchasing. If you do not require high insulation coolers, then skip it! Just keep in mind about the items you are going to take and how long they need to be cool. Once you are sorted, you will make it easy to purchase the ideal cooler of your choice. Do not trouble yourself unnecessarily. Know your purpose!


Every beach cooler out there is designed differently and for a different purpose. If you are opting for the best, then you must probably settle for a hard-sided cooler, which is made of fabrics that are of steel.

If you are planning for the soft-sided ones, go for the aluminum lining ones, as they can keep your items fresh at least till afternoon.

The product life of the beach coolers also matters by the material they are made of. Like, a hard cooler box with sufficient insulation can last for decades. If one can maintain them, it can be used for decades. They might be expensive, but they are more of an investment that can give you service for a long time.

However, no matter how top-rated a soft cooler you buy, they will wear out by the end of the day because of their thin lining. You cannot expect them to last for years as they are very delicate.

Unique Appearance and Color

When you are planning to purchase a new cooler, let us tell you that there are varieties and unique appearances. Some of the beach coolers have cute lookouts and even stand out among the others.

You can even choose it based on your favorite color combinations. Use your artsy ideas to decorate it with stickers. Become Leonardo Da Vinci by expressing your artistic talent on it! Make it unique so that you can easily spot it and refrain from confusing it with their coolers.

Storage Needs

The fundamental question is about what you will carry in your cooler? You have to analyze it before you go shopping for beach coolers.

Question yourself, how many cans am I going to carry? Will 20 cans be sufficient? Or maybe you want to carry food and keep them fresh for a day. Well, for both cases, you will require a large capacity. Weight and comfort, however, do not seem that important in this case.

Or maybe you are planning for a long hike, and at that time, you will require the one that looks comfortable and is easy to carry.

Even though the size differs according to the brands, one usually needs a cooler that can store up to 6-12 cans. But if you have a large group, then you must opt for the bigger ones. Purchase according to your needs.

Ice Life

Beach coolers, with a fantastic ice life, are always looked forward to. You cannot purchase something that has a meager ice life. What is the point if the ice melts within hours? It would be best if you had something with a long lifespan.

Always read the description before purchasing. The lifespan of ice is mentioned on every cooler. If you are going out for a day, you will require the ones with a day's longevity. However, if you are outdoors for multiple days, buy the hard-sided bulkier ones, as they can stay fresh for a more extended period.

Access to Inside Items

It isn't delightful how people use the lid and let in the warm air, which reduces the cooling effect of the items inside.

Well, you can quickly solve this problem. Beach coolers that are wide in shape are made so that you do not have to dig more for your cans. This results in less time for the lid to be kept open. Other beach coolers are mini in shape, and only your hand will fit in, thus, not letting in the heat get inside.

Ease to Clean

Beach coolers should be well maintained and cleaned so that it can work for a more extended period. However, you might not feel like cleaning it after a day well spent at the beach. So is there any shortcut to do the needful?

YES! Both soft and hard beach coolers are made of such materials, that one can easily clean them. All you have to do is, wipe the box with a soft and wet towel, cloth, or even a food-safe wipe.


If you are planning on buying a large cooler, make sure that you can move it quickly. Always purchase the ones that are designed with wheels, and have a handle in the front, making it easy to pull.

Coolers that are small in size are easy to carry and are highly portable. All you need to look for is a handle for a better grip. However, some of the coolers come with a shoulder sling and are easy to carry around.


If you are using ice in your cooler, then you have to be careful about the drainage. Most of the time, the ice in the beach coolers melt, and there is water everywhere. Some people often tend to tip it over. However, this is not a good idea if you have items still stored in your cooler or if the ice is still there.

However, the most cooler comes with a drain plug. All you have to do is open up the plug and let the water drain out. In case your cooler does not have one, you can fix one drain plug to it. It is as simple as that!


You should invest in such a cooler, that will last long. What is the point of purchasing one that you could use only for a couple of days?

Ensure that the lid is made of such a material that it keeps the cooler sealed for a long time. If it is made of rubber gaskets, then inspect it that it works perfectly without any cooling effect.

Moreover, if you are spending your days outside for long hours, and so is your cooler, then make sure that it is made of such a material that can withstand any harsh condition and last long. It must not become brittle if exposed to the sun. If you take good care of your beach cooler, then it will work for around 10 to 15 years efficiently.


How cool to have a cooler that comes with a speaker? Or maybe something like a bottle opener or cup holder? It sounds fun, right! Lid seals are waterproof and mostly advised when it comes to purchasing.

You can include any accessory to your beach cooler to make your day more fun and memorable out there on the beach. How can a cooler sound 'cool' if there is no outstanding feature, right?


Many affordable beach coolers have every feature that you want. You always do not have to buy expensive ones. However, you might have to invest more in terms of other coolers if you need high performance and durability features.

To get your money's worth, make sure that you compare every brand, and then settle for it. Always remember your purpose and then choose the ones with the features that are compatible with your needs.

How do beach coolers work?

You need the idlest beach cooler when you are out in the sun because you need your drinks and food to be fresh. You need to stay hydrated, and that means you may drink now and then! But, did it ever occur to you how these beach coolers even work? If not, then let us enlighten you!

Working of a hard cooler

The hard-sided coolers are made with a sophisticated material that has a sand feature. It is constructed in such a way that it will provide you with maximum insulation. It also resists shock.

They are best at insulation because they use aluminum or steel based fabric. The cooling effect stays, and the heating effect stays out due to these thick walls. These coolers stay fresh for an extended period, and this cold air comes from either ice bags or cooling gel.

The wall acts as a barrier and keeps the cooling effect inside. This is why after hours of being outdoors, you will find the cans so cool.

Working of a soft cooler

In case you have a soft-sided cooler, you should know that their working mechanism is very different. It is designed with a waterproof material outside and an insulating material inside.

This two-layer construction maintains the temperature both inside and out, and keeps your items cold. The lining is made of aluminum or any insulating material. It should be tight enough so that it does not get affected by outside temperature.

If your bag has a lid or zipper, then it should also be designed with such material to increase insulation.

Ways to increase cooling period

The coolers come with different longevity periods. In case your cooler can keep your items cool only for a few hours, do not worry.

The primary solution to increase your cooling period by using more ice or cooling gel. Ice life increases the cooling effect automatically. Moreover, make sure that you keep your items at room temperature for one whole day before putting them in the cooler.

The best way will be if you can directly move your items into the cooler from your refrigerator. Always fill up the remaining spaces with ice, if any, after you filled up your cooler with all the items.

If you are going out during a very hot or sunny day, try keeping your cooler cold. Please leave it in the car or your tent as it will increase the ice retention. If the ice melts, do not drain the water right then, as the water will keep your items cooler for a long time.

Try avoiding the frequent lid opening. This reduces the cooling effect as the warm air gets in.

If you follow all these and do as advised, you will have a fantastic time at the beach or on your road trip with your ideal beach cooler!


  1. Should I look into warranties before purchasing a particular cooler?

Yes, different brands come with different warranties. You need to look into them carefully as in case of any wear and tear of the product; you can get full support without any hassle.

Some brands offer free warranties for a limited period of time. Some models come with lifetime warranties, but they hike the price. So, evaluate all the aspects before selecting a particular product. Also, warranties always pay for their value.

  1. What is the benefit of rotomolded material?

This material is used in hard coolers. It does not have any seals and crevices between the sides, which prevents any leaks from the cooler. The hard coolers have a high threshold against the wear and tear of the sand and water but can sometimes become bulky.

  1. How to clean my cooler properly?

Here are some handy tips to follow:

  1. Take all the things out of your cooler.
  2. Drain it properly, and wipe any dirt with a damp cloth.
  3. Use warm water and soap solution to clean the sides and lid.
  4. Also, you can add some baking soda to remove resistant stains.
  5. To remove the odors from the product, you can use a mild solution of bleach and water. (Only for hard coolers)

Final Verdict

Beach coolers present a simple yet effective way to enjoy food and drinks on a beach. All you need to do is select the best product from the available options.

In this extensive guide, you will find all the facts and details that are necessary to deem while choosing a good-quality product. Go through them quickly and make an informed decision. / - © Copyright 2020