Cooler an item you need for your food item to remain fresh for a long period of time. It acts as a carry-on fridge. These needs can differ from person to person. Maybe you need a cooler for your holiday adventure or maybe you need it on a regular basis to take it to the office with you. Whatever may be your need of the cooler decides what type of cooler you need to buy. There are various questions that come to your mind while you go on a search to buy cooler.
- Whether you need a one that is waterproof?
- Whether you need a one that is made up of tough material or a soft one?
- Whether you need a handle on the lid or at the sides?
- How much longer do you want it to work?
- How long should it life be?
- Which is a good small soft cooler or big hard one?
- And there are many. It depends on your needs and according to that look for features in the cooler. There is a common guide though to point you in the right direction. And this detailed guide will help you tell the common features you need to look for in coolers.
What size do coolers come in? Best Large Sized Coolers Vs Best Medium-Sized Coolers Vs Best Small Size Coolers
Some features like size, material, carrying handles, insulation and more are common to all coolers and can different under these broad headings. Like different types of insulation provide a different number of days that a cooler can hold up ice. These features may be found in all of them ironically these are the ones that set them apart from each other as well.
So we here are trying to look into these features in detail and to get you to a better understanding of coolers which helps you in finding the best and the most suited for you.
This is the most important aspect of a cooler as it basically comprehends how much is a particular cooler useful to you in what it is supposed to do that is cooling. The insulation could range from hours insulation to six days. If you are a person who needs a cooler to keep just your lunch fresh in the office then insulation of some hours offered by some coolers is the best option for you.
You can keep the frozen items froze for a while without any extra ice packs needed. If you are a person looking to take the cooler on some adventure or some fishing excursion to store items then you need a cooler that offers insulation up to 2 to 4 days. With the help of some extra ice packs, these thick-walled insulation works great for days and their construction is made that they can withstand conditions.
6 days providing insulation is a rarity and is quite expensive. Usually, soft coolers need less insulation and big hard coolers need thick-walled insulation.
It depends upon your need that what you want to keep cool and according to that you go for the type of insulation and cooler. Looking at the aspect of insulation is very important and understanding it also as this is the core aspect that provides the cooler its worth. This is the one that gives cooler what it is built to give you in the first place – cooling. With the insulation, the type and features also change of the coolers and so does the price.
Either you need a small in size cooler or a big one. Pretty straightforward right? It could be said that this aspect of the cooler is a bit straightforward but has two broad scales under it to make it easier to understand.
First is the size in terms of storage capacity and second is in the terms how literally big or small is the cooler in size.
Storage Capacity: size matter in storage because that helps us decide which cooler is useful to us and which is not. This aspect is related to how much of a volume space is offered in a cooler to hold up items. Sometimes when a cooler is shown to hold up a certain amount of item that does not necessarily mean that it can literally store that much.
Because there is some space needed to store in ice and some space need to be left to close it properly and carry it easily. Sometimes some coolers come with divided areas for cooling items and non-cooling items which is a pro if you need to carry so many items with that division and it is a con if you are looking for just simply carry the item that needs cooling. So decide according to your needs and preference.
Another aspect of this is that sometimes the shape affects the capacity. Space may be enough to carry the item you want but because of the shape, it does not fit. So look into the shape of the cooler as well to decide the size or capacity you need. Keep in mind the space that ice packs will take, usually more ice packs than assumed help in keeping the items cool for a long time. Look according to your need it is better to buy a larger one than to face problems of storage.
Literal size: the whole makeup with insulation and storage space tells you the space that the cooler will take. Sometimes thicker insulation makes the size of the cooler big and needs larger space to store. Keep and check on this point while buying the cooler. So you are prepared ahead of this.
MATERIAL IT IS MADE FROM
The type of material it is made from becomes a very important aspect when you are buying a cooler. There could various types of materials but the most common are mentioned here.
Plastic: this is the best material for the cooler to be made from. It is waterproof, tough, cheap and lightweight at the same time. Which makes the cooler cheap in rate and other features catches the eye. Most of the manufacturing companies prefer plastic as their material to use to make coolers.
Metal: now cooler made from metal are very rare and expensive and not that effective, so mostly metal is used in making of other materials such as zips, hinges, and handles. These materials are preferred to be made from metal.
These two are the most preferred material to make up a cooler but other materials such as fabric and rubber are also used sometimes. Though on very rarity bases these come as waterproofness, toughness, insulation ability, and strength need to be kept in mind. Only some fabric as nylon can be used in some small soft-coolers and rubber might be used to make a tight seal of the lid or handles. Lastly, it depends on what is your need for the cooler.
Since cooler is a portable item so it should be easy to carry and its accessories should have the strength and great quality for easy transportation. There are various zips, handles or straps provided in a cooler and their difference depends upon cooler to cooler. Some have handles on the lid, some have it on sides and some have straps. Let’s discuss in detail to understand which is suitable the most.
Handle on the lid: it is great for times when you have to carry the cooler single-handedly. It makes it easier to carry and does not cause any problems in walking as it does not have to carry in on the front. But this can only help if less has to be carried or the cooler is small. And the material should be made of good material otherwise it could be disastrous.
Handle at the sides: these are the most preferred and most convenient way to carry a cooler. As both, the hands are involved so heavier items could be easily carried or two people can easily carry it if it is too heavy. Since the weight is divided or balanced amongst the two so it is the most common way. The material used to make up these handles are either plastic or metal or sometimes even rope.
Straps: shoulder strap or side straps are also there in some cooler mostly preferred in small soft coolers. They make the carry easy and efficient as one does not have to worry about the pain in the hand from carrying a cooler and keeping it down to rest the hand a bit. If you want to save time and do not want to make so many trips to get the items, then this one offers that.
Again, lastly, see what is the most suitable to opt for you and what makes it easier for you to carry.
DEPENDING UPON YOUR USAGE
Life of a cooler: every good thing comes to an end so does every cooler but after a point of time is not effective in cooling. So you have to decide what are you going to take this cooler on adventures and want it still to work for a longer period of time or it is just for regular use for a longer period of time or simply just sometimes to be used. This will help you decide which one is the best one for you. Because everything can’t work lifelong and not every cooler is built for every condition, so it could be disastrous for the cooler’s life if the wrong one is taken to the wrong place. It can’t even provide you with the expected results as well.
Waterproofness: another aspect of the cooler that is not there in all of them. So decide whether you want to use it in the water as it might also affect its effective if not built for it. Also if you want to use it for ice and later on empty it with water then make sure it is built to do that.
Storage for extra items: sometimes some people need their cooler to hold on to their non-cooling items as well in the cooler only, like keys, sunglasses, potato chips, towels, and other non-perishable items. Regular opening and closing of the cooler can effective the cooling of the cooler and it cannot function the way it is supposed to. These items also will take up the insulated space made for the perishable items and the melted ice can damage these items too. So specific cooler comes with extra space or divided compartments which offer this facility so it is rather sensible to go for these coolers then for the normal ones.
Looks and additional advantage: if you are a person that goes on buying something simply on looks then it is okay we are not judging you as it is a subjective matter but we would also like to tell you to glance at the features once to know the usefulness of the cooler. And then buy it with the best looks. Sometimes some coolers offer additional features as built-in cup-holders, detachable water bottles, fish scales and rulers, can-openers, easy access drain-plugs, included silverware and many more such things which look very attractive and appealing but look closely whether there is a use for you for this or not. Like fish scales and rulers is a great help for the people who want to take their coolers on fishing for storing but is a complete waste for a person who wants to use for camping or picnics.
Look out for details and try to understand these features and then go on to buy the cooler best suited to you. As if you are spending your money on something you don’t need to be turned out a complete wastage. Be precise and clear as to what you need it for. As specific coolers come in the market that caters to specific need so it is sensible to buy those than any other. I hope this blog helps you in understanding your cooler better and now you can do your research and buy the best one you need.