Have you ever gone to a picnic and had the temperature rise as the time spent outside increased? Even if there's a breeze, it might not feel cool enough. The best thing you can have to keep your food and drinks cool during this kind of summer is a hard cooler. Not enough people know that the best way to stay cool in summer is with a hard cooler. They are easy to transport, compact, and temperature-retaining.
When you cool food with ice, the ice tends to melt faster than it would in the freezer. That means that your food stays cold for a shorter amount of time. With a hard cooler, the outside of the cooler stays cool. The insulation in it keeps the contents cool longer and your ice keeps your food and drinks the right temperature.
Features of a Quality Hard Cooler
You want to ensure that you get the best hard cooler on the market, so use our buying guide to help you find one that suits your needs.
- A good hard cooler is made with high-quality material. It will keep your food cool without getting it wet. The insulation is thick enough to leave things in there for weeks without them getting too warm.
- It will also be easy to clean, so you don't have to worry about rust or other deterioration on the inside. The lid is made of tough plastic that doesn't crack easily. The zipper (If that style of cooler) will not break out of place, so you won't have to repair it for your whole picnic.
- Thick protective walls. They're even waterproof so that you can use them in any situation.
The cost is another thing to consider. A cheap cooler might be a good deal, but it won't last long. For a few more dollars, you can get one that will last a long time and do a great job keeping your food fresh. Look at the reviews of people who have bought it to get an idea of its durability and if they are happy with their purchase.
Tips for Making the Most Use of a Hard Cooler
You want to ensure that you take care of your hard cooler so you can use it for as long as possible. This means doing a few things:
- Don't leave it in the sun if you aren't using it. It will warm quickly, affecting the insulation inside and causing it to break down earlier.
- Don't put sharp or heavy items on top of it. They could break the lid and make a mess inside.
- Don't stack things on top of it. They will weigh down the lid and keep it from opening up so you can’t get to your food.
- Wipe clean when you're done with it, then close it up before going on with your day. This will help keep it clean and ready for your next use.
- Keep it in a cool, dry place. It will keep working longer if it doesn't become too humid.
Popular Brands of Hard Coolers
The following are among the most popular brands of coolers:
- Yeti - Keeping it simple, Yeti is a brand known for making some of the best hard coolers in the business. They are more than affordable but still have all the features you need to keep your food cool.
- Pelican - If you want a hard cooler that will last long without breaking, you need to look at Pelican. They're priced well and should last for years. They're also made with strong and durable construction, so there's no chance they will break down or tear easily.
- Igloo - The Igloo Marine Extreme is a great hard cooler. It includes wheels so that you can roll it around wherever you go. It has thick walls and construction, so it will last long without getting damaged or torn. And if that's not enough, it is also water-resistant.
- Coleman - Coleman is known for making coolers that will keep your food cold. The Coleman Xtreme is a great hard cooler that will keep things fresh while you're at the beach, the park, or anywhere else.