When you’re looking to purchase a quality outdoor cooler/patio cooler, you’ll want to know which metrics are important to consider when it comes to comparing coolers. As of late, a lot of manufacturers and retailers have been pushing forward with a term known as “ice retention”, which translates to the amount of time that the ice remains inside without melting. However, said quoted metrics do not account to varying external temperatures, which seems to suggest that this cool new metric can be a little misleading. So, we took it upon ourselves to show you what to actually look for in a good outdoors and patio cooler and we’ve also presented a few top rated options below.
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Patio & Outdoor Cooler Comparison
Outdoor Beverage Coolers
Now, before we go into any actual products, let’s first try and explain what some of the terms surrounding cooler metrics mean, and maybe make your choice easier for you.
Ice retention time
Simply put, ice retention is the length of time a cooler can maintain ice. We have a ton of these videos on our YouTube Channel showing which cooler can last the longest. Several factors can significantly effect ice retention times, most notably being external temperatures as well as frequency of opening the cool. Because outdoor coolers and patio coolers are often used for parties or cookouts which leads the cooler being opened and closed more frequently, ice retentions time should not be the main concern. Thus, it does not make much sense purchasing a high end cooler which works on forming a tight seal and maintaining internal temperatures for longer durations. This will be negated with frequent open and closes. Coolers with speakers and radio coolers now exist as well, this may be a consideration to make when choosing and patio cooler that is portable.
Weight and size
These metric are clear cut, the weight of the cooler when empty is important, though most models today are made out of plastics that keep them relatively light. However, what you’re interested in is interior volume, as well as exterior volume. Also, remember that an outdoor cooler needs to be stored, so think about your particular space you have available for it. In addition to weight and size, you may want to consider the aesthetic appearance of your cooler. A barrel cooler can work great as an outdoor cooler yet provide a classy appearance to your patio.
Top 10 Outdoor and Patio Coolers
As far as full size patio coolers go, the 65 Quart cooler is definitely not a winner in terms of portability. However, if you just want a high capacity true patio cooler, that can hold a week’s worth of cans, this one is it. The cooler can hold up to 100 cans and sits high enough so that you won’t have to bend down to reach it. Also, it is a rolling cooler, which means that if you want to move it around in your front or back yard, it will be done almost effortlessly. And, best of all, it comes with an included can opener! And, at about $100, this sturdy rolling deck cooler is very well priced too. See Available Color Schemes Here⇒
If a bit of style is also on your mind when considering a cooler, and if you don’t like the plastic look, this metal [almost furniture like] cooler can be the option for you. Capacity wise, it’s smaller than the Party Cooler 65 above but it can hold about 60 cans. The powder finish and the square geometry make it easy to store in small places and the wheels make moving it about a breeze. Being relatively low, its great kept close by a lounge chair. Also, it makes bottle opening very easy, as it has an integrated bottle opener, plus a bottle cap catcher. A really neat product. See All Color Choices⇒
This patio cooler is truly unique in the fact that it has an impressive ice retention and LED lights. It is a true party cooler that enables you to easily find what you are searching for, even during the nighttime hours. The LED lights are integrated into the cooler liner. It also has removable drink dividers so that you can keep items separate. Without dividers, you can hold 212 12-ounce cans. A separate caddy can hold your favorite bottles of wine or two bottles of your preferred beverages. It has a leak-resistant drain plug that is garden hose compatible to make cleanup after the party easier. There is also a bottle opener with a catch bin for the bottles. You also do not have to lift it thanks to locking wheel casters which will make moving it easy. The wheels are removable as well so that if you prefer, it can sit like a normal cooler. It weighs in at 32.43 pounds and measures 21.5 x 26.77 x 39.13 inches.
This cooler is ideal for any patio thanks to its attractive style. The exterior is made out of eucalyptus hardwood. The interior is insulated plastic. Handles on both sides of it make for easy transportation. It comes fully assembled and looks more like a storage bin than a cooler. It can hold approximately 48 cans or two cases of bottled beverages along with ice. It comes fully assembled so that all you have to do is load it up and get ready to party. It measures in at 20.5 x 23 x 17.2 inches. It is also 36.4 pounds. Most owners say that it is perfect because it looks like a piece of furniture rather than a cooler. Many also appreciate the fact that it does not leak, even on the hottest summer days and nights.
This rolling party cooler features a unique lift-off, industrial design. It is made of steel and injected with foam. It has a bi-fold lid, which closes securely enough that ice will hold for up to three days. It can also hold a lot with its 77-quart capacity so that you can keep up to 100 cans for your party guests. It does have wheels and they can be locked into position; additionally there are also carrying handles on the side. This makes it easy to move around. Other features include a bottle opener and a cap catcher, along with a drain spout that will not let water seep through. With it being made of steel, some may expect it to be very heavy. This is not true. It measures in at 32 x 17 x 15 inches and still only weighs 33 pounds when empty.
This sleek cooler meets almost any party requirement in every way. It can hold up to 100 cans and uses thermafoam insulation to keep drinks cold for up to a few days’ time. It is made of stainless steel and features a molded split top lid. There is also a lower storage tray on the bottom, under the cooler, for extra storage. It has an easy access drain, a towel rack, bottle opener, and cap catcher. It can roll out onto the patio for parties and roll where you want to store it when not in use. It measures 33 x 18 x 29 inches and weighs in at 46.9 pounds.
This cooler is made of rattan or wicker, but features a galvanized steel interior. It weighs in at 47 pounds, but has wheels to make moving it around easier. It measures in at 43.3 x 23.4 x 34.6 inches. There are two extendable shelves that lift up from the side and they each measure 6.7 x 23.4 inches. Under the cooler area, you will find a wine glass holder and an extra storage shelf for your convenience. It is beautiful enough in style to fit well on all patios and it will enable you to keep the party outside with everything that it can hold. Most people say that it blends in well with their other outdoor furniture and most are happy with the ice retention since it can hold cold beverages for the entire party.
This 150 quart cooler is definitely on the larger side and constructed out of a specialty thermazone material. Most coolers rely solely on an air cushion between the plastic walls to keep the ice inside cool. The Coleman has an extra insulation layer inside, a porous material that holds air and is a better insulator than air alone. In terms of size, with over 223 cans that it can hold, it’s the perfect cooler for a larger family gathering. Filled, it’s a 2 person carry, so this isn’t your portable camping kind of cooler, but, it works great for patios or for an outdoors trip. The best part about this cooler is the price. This is one of the most affordable large coolers. See Available Coleman Color Choices⇒
Of course, not everyone owning a patio needs a large, hard to manipulate cooler. So, for a one person, or for a very small family, this type of cooler can be more than enough. Yes, some would not think of it as a patio cooler, but, in terms of its portability and ease of carry, this one is definitely a great option. This product is also priced much lower than some of the larger outdoor coolers. That is why some might consider to have several of theses coolers spread about their party or gathering. This cooler is available in a variety of colors as well. Available Colors FlipLid⇒
Following on the same idea of portability, even a better choice is this easy to carry, strap based cooler. It looks like a hard body satchel that can hold up to 9 cans. The Coleman has a zip pocket as well as a mesh pocket lid for additional storage. The shoulder strap is adjustable for even easier carrying. This is one of the top selling soft sided coolers. One of those might be much better for you, if you’re looking for a day in – day out type of cooler, instead of going for a very large one. See All Four Color Choices⇒