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Top Coolers for Keeping Your Items Cold

Anyone planning a summer outing will be taking a cooler to keep snacks and drinks cool. You have dozens of brands from which to choose, all with different price points. Different types of activities require a cooler with specific attributes. The first step in obtaining the best cooler for your needs depends on how it will be used.

Hard Shell

A cooler that will be used for camping, on a boat, or for extended outings will need to have a tough exterior of either plastic or metal. If you plan on going camping in wilderness areas where bears, cougars, wolves or coyotes may be in residence, be sure to look for a cooler that’s bear-resistant.

Coolers often perform double duty as a piece of furniture. They may be used as a table, but more often than not they’re used to sit on. These types of coolers are able to support the weight of an individual with no damage. The disadvantage is that they’re heavy to carry and come with a significant price tag attached.

Soft Shell

A cooler for a trip to the beach or a summer picnic won’t need to be as heavy or durable. Coolers with a soft-shell exterior are light, easy to carry, and will keep food and beverages cool for up to a day, depending on the model. This type of cooler can also be used for tailgating parties and they’re relatively inexpensive.


The amount of insulation that a cooler has determines how well and how long the contents will stay cold. Hard-shell coolers have more insulation and are built with denser insulating materials than soft-shell coolers. High-end coolers are the best choice for extended stays or if you won’t have access to ice to replenish cooling abilities. It’s also a good idea to look for coolers that have thicker lids.


Keep in mind the types of food and drinks will be stored in the cooler. Some aren’t able to accommodate taller jars or bottles. You’ll also need to factor in the amount of ice the cooler will need to hold to obtain the size that best fits your needs.

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