Did you know that the first cooler was invented in 1951 by Richard C. Laramy? Since then, coolers have evolved to meet the needs of campers, picnickers, canoers, tailgaters, and families with innovative designs and increased cooling duration.
Most coolers are typically made of a double layer of plastic with hard foam in between to provide insulation. Most high-grade coolers of this type are rotationally molded (roto-molded).
The best coolers are manufactured through a process of adding the softened material to a continuously rotating mold over a layer of insulation. The finished product has no seals and is more durable than traditional coolers.
Some portable coolers are thermoelectric. They use the Peltier effect with an external fan to remove heat. This type of cooler can also be used to keep meals hot with a flick of the switch.
These are designed to plug into the cigarette lighter socket of your vehicle which is both a plus and a drawback since thermoelectric coolers use a lot of power and can drain your battery. Some models have AC/DC adapters as well.
Some coolers are soft and flexible rather than made from rigid plastic. Most have handles or shoulder straps for carrying. Several even can be worn like a backpack. Keep the carrying options in mind when considering your next cooler purchase.
When we chose the best coolers for any refreshing beverage we considered:
The cooling ability is how much time a cooler can keep things fresh before adding more ice. In the case of thermoelectric coolers, it’s the time the cooler takes to reach its maximum cooling temperature.
Storage capacity is also an important consideration. You want to have room to store all your drinks and snacks without it becoming cumbersome, which leads us to portability.
If you are heading to the beach for the day, maybe a cooler with wheels and a handle is just what you need. However, if you plan on hiking up the mountain trail, a wheeled cooler might not be the most portable design.
Think about where you will most likely be using your cooler to determine how portable you need it to be.
No matter where you take it, you certainly want your cooler to be up to regular use. Durability includes basic construction and materials that make up a particular cooler. Some coolers we looked at are bullet or bear-proof. Talk about tough!
There are all sorts of additional features found on coolers these days. Some coolers can double as picnic tables, include speakers to rock out to your favorite tunes, and have parts that can be used as a cutting board.
More practical features would consist of transportation options and how easy or difficult it is to empty out when you are ready to store it.We also looked at customer reviews to find out which coolers were worth your consideration.
While cooler designs and sizes are personal, having a general idea of what components consumers liked or disliked is helpful in deciding which are the best coolers to keep any beverage cool and refreshing no matter what the temperature is outside.
Top 10 Best Coolers for Any Beverage
Let’s look at our picks for the top 10 best coolers for any beverage.