Do you have a company picnic around the corner? Maybe your home team is in the Super Bowl and you’re ready to celebrate. Either way, no party is complete without a good portable cooler!
Which types of coolers are out there? What are some of the most popular brands? Break the ice at any event by finding the right style for you!
Are Hard or Soft Coolers Better?
Coolers are made from either soft materials, like vinyl or cotton, or harder materials like plastic or metal. Generally speaking, any style can keep your food and drinks nice and chilly. The main difference comes down to why you need the cooler, how well it’s insulated, and how much you store inside.
Coolers can be made from the following materials:
- Hard plastic
Coolers made from durable plastics are well-suited to outdoor events. They typically come equipped with an easy carrying handle or wheels.
Aluminum and stainless steel are the most popular metals for coolers. This style is heavy to carry, but great for large events like family reunions or weddings.
The beautiful thing about canvas is it won’t get damaged from moisture. This makes for a great cooler to bring along to lunch meetings or networking events.
Cotton is another fabric that’s moisture-resistant and lightweight. If you need something simple for a picnic in the park, this is the cooler for you!
Pack a lunch for your next water park visit or trip to the amusement park in an easy-to-clean neoprene cooler!
Nylon is insanely strong, meaning you don’t have to worry about any wear and tear. This durable material is a good choice for long road trips that require soda and bottled water.
The best part about polyester is it dries quickly and is super easy to clean. Are you packing a lunch for messy kids? This material is your new best friend!
Soft and hard coolers can be made from polypropylene. The rigid design makes this material great for hiking expeditions or camping trips.
Most coolers are meant for outdoor events, but Styrofoam is better for indoor use. Since it isn’t recyclable, it’s best to avoid getting this type of cooler too dirty or gunky.
Are you on a budget? If so, a vinyl cooler is for you! This style is great for one-and-done events like music festivals or town fairs.
There’s no wrong choice when it comes to choosing a cooler. All of these options have a rich history of keeping things nice and chilly. Add as many as you can to your personal collection!
How Much Can Fit in a Cooler?
Coolers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You’re able to fit anything from a small snack to a full buffet, depending on the capacity. If packed correctly, small coolers can fit about 5 to 10 items, medium can fit roughly 15 items, and large anywhere from 20 and beyond.
Does food mean more to you than numbers? If so, this is a general idea of how many snacks you can get packed!
6” x 8” x 6”
6 soda cans
A couple sandwiches & bags of chips
Package of cookies
11” x 19” x 9.75”
10 to 15 bottles of water
Subs with fruit & veggies
Box of cupcakes
16.5” x 24” x 14.5”
3 or more 2-liter bottles
All the ingredients
Whole pie for dessert
Every cooler and food package is built differently, meaning there’s no right answer to how much can fit. Plus, if you play a little Tetris anything is possible! The more creative you are, the more space you’ll end up saving, no matter what the cooler’s size.
What Are Some Styles for Portable Coolers?
When you think of a cooler, you probably picture a box fitted with a white lid. You might even imagine wheels to make it easier to lug around. It turns out, those are only a couple of the portable coolers currently on the market. You can also find the following styles:
- Duffel bag
- Tote bag
- Drawstring bag
- Picnic basket
- Wine bag
- Car organizer
Keep in mind not every cooler is suited to every event. For instance, a standing cooler would be awesome at your kid’s birthday party, but you can’t carry it with you to work. With that in mind, it’s definitely worth investing in a variety of coolers to fit the occasion!
The BBQ Cooler has everything you need for a tasty meal! Store your food and drinks in the top section, unzip for the grill, and then put on your “Kiss the Chef” apron and get to work!
Hop on the Krewser and impress everyone at your next outdoor event. This cooler scooter is customizable, can be fitted with speakers, and sits at well over $1,000.
Technology and cold temperatures don’t typically mix, but this cooler camera bag is an exception to the rule! It works double duty, serving as a carrying case one day, and a six-pack cooler the next.
Are you tired of all that cooking? Take a load off with the Folding Insulated Cooler Chair! This is the perfect cooler if you have limited storage space, but still want to have an epic cookout.
If you’re throwing an elegant dinner party, and want to hide any tacky coolers from site, this Wayfair table is the perfect solution! The top expands upward to store all your bottled beverages.
Ready to get the party started? The Event Speaker Cooler is the perfect way to crank up your jams and eat them too. It’s a must-have for summer barbecues and pool parties.
Take your delicious treats on the water with an inflatable cooler, available on Amazon. This handy carrier will float right by your side during your next beach trip or rafting adventure.
Never worry about your phone losing battery with this convenient cooler-charger combo! The SolarCooler, invented by entrepreneur Ryan McGann, is also fitted with eco-friendly solar panels.
These styles are unique and work for a variety of occasions, whether it’s hosting a pool party for all your neighbors or carrying drinks to a family reunion. Add as many as you can to your collection!
What Are the Most Popular Cooler Brands?
There are a variety of popular coolers on the market. As it stands, these are the brands that are keeping things the coolest at tailgates and backyard barbecues:
Igloo, Yeti, and Coleman are the biggest brands in the bunch. In fact, combined they have an estimated annual revenue of over $1.5 billion. Still, that doesn’t mean the other brands aren’t awesome as well. Orion features cool tie-dye options that are perfect for any free spirit, while Orca has bright, trendy colors and designs.
No matter what, there’s a cooler out there that matches your personal style! Look into the brand that works best for your budget.
Adding a Personal Touch to Your Portable Coolers
The best part about portable coolers is you can customize them for your event. All it takes is the right print method to add a design, name, or message right on the front. It’s well worth taking this extra step to make your cooler unique, especially for the right occasion!
Are you having an outdoor wedding? Print your initials on the front of all the coolers you’re using at the reception.
Whether it’s your town’s 100th anniversary or a big event at the local library, customized coolers are a great way to show community pride!
Show off by coming to the reunion with a cooler featuring your last name. At the very least, it’ll help Great Aunt Carol remember who you are!
Your booth will be the one to visit if you hand out branded coolers. These giveaways will stand apart from all the pens and stress balls out on the trade show floor.
5Ks or Marathons
Those runners are going the distance! Keep branded coolers full of bottled water, energy drinks, and protein bars at every mile.
Whether you’re dancing at your wedding or running your first marathon, a branded cooler brings a personal touch to any event!
The Bottom Line
There are many choices out there when it comes to portable coolers. It’s all about finding the one that reflects your style, fits within your budget, and above all keeps things nice and cool at your event!
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