If you are heading to the beach this Summer why not make your day cheaper and more affordable by investing in a quality cool box? The best coolers on the market will help your beers and prosecco stay chilled all day, whilst also having room for a family picnic.
In this article we want to show you why you need to invest in a cool box and help guide you to choosing the right cool box for your family.
This Cool Box is fantastic quality and very durable so you should only need to buy this once in your lifetime.
It is on the high end of most budgets but you are getting an amazing piece of kit.
Why Do I Need A Cool Box?
As a family of surf enthusiasts we spend many hours at the beach. With young kids this means we need to feed and water our cherubs regularly or else we get ear ache! In the early days, this meant a trip to the local beach café for sandwiches and treats; on a hot day, they’ll want an ice cream too. Before we knew it, we would have spent up to £50 just on food and drinks for an afternoon.
If you are doing this on a regular basis it begins to have a negative effect on your finances and becomes unsustainable. As we regularly holiday in the UK and make day trips elsewhere we needed to find a way to save cash, but still enjoy our time at the beach.
The solution was a high quality cool box.
Now I will admit, the high quality section of that line was a lie, as the first thing we did was buy the cheapest cool box available. While that seemed like a good idea, we soon found that you get what you pay for. The size of storage inside the cheap cool box was tiny, so we couldn’t get much gear inside. The length of time it stayed cold was also an issue, as the ice packs quickly melted, so before long our food was no longer staying chilled, and worst of all, my beer was warm!
This led us to properly test the best coolers available. We focused on three key areas when reviewing coolers: Quality, Features and Value for Money.
The better performing cool boxes are rotomolded and this is where the quality comes in. Rotomolded coolers keep the internal storage area colder, for a much longer period of time when compared to your standard ice box. Rotomolded coolers are built with a rotational moulding process to help build thick internal walls. If you plan on taking your cool box to the beach for the day, you will really want a cooler of this nature to ensure your food and drink stays chilled.
A downside of taking a cool box to the beach is the weight involved in carrying them. You can overcome this with a beach trolley, however each cooler has it’s own unique features to help you get your cool box around. We will highlight those that come with wheels, straps or those that are made to be more portable. These features are worth bearing in mind so that you get the most use out of your cool box.
In terms of value for money, you can choose to go for a really basic type of cool box, but I think you’ll end up disappointed and out of pocket as you don’t actually get what you want. Each cool box we have looked at gives good performance and there is a range of prices that will suit most budgets.
Our Top Picks for Beach Cool Boxes
Yeti Tundra Haul
The Yeti brand of cool box is premium in terms of quality, features and overall performance. This is their first ever cool box with wheels, so in terms of features, it’s got the added benefit of being mobile. The “Never Flat” wheels are puncture resistant, so you can take this cool box over rough terrain and not have to worry about a flat tyre. This really solves the problem of getting a fully loaded cool box to the beach.
The build quality on this product is fantastic. The outer shell is incredibly tough so everything inside is well protected and you don’t need to worry about damage to the cool box. The handle and arm is made from a durable aluminium material that makes transporting it easy.
One main performance parameter is how well your food and rinks stay cold. The Yeti comes out top for us when tested. These cool boxes come with a fat wall design that keeps the external heat out and the internal cold locked in. The interlocking lid system creates a solid seal so that the temperature inside stays constant for longer.
This is a family sized cool box so you get plenty of storage space inside. Depending on your needs, it can keep lots of beers and prosecco cool on a hot day, provided you stock it well with ice. The overall build quality and attention to detail is what sets Yeti apart from it’s rivals. The latches and comfortable handles make this an exceptional cool box.
The only downside with this cool box is the price. It’s a premium level cool box, the Rolls Royce of the cool box world, so you therefore have to pay that little bit more than you might have intended.
G Cooler Box
This cool box is robust and hard wearing and perfect for beach and camping trips. The rotomolded material performs well, with food and drinks staying cold all day. You will want to make sure you get your ration of food to ice right, but this affordable cool box will do the job for you and your family on a hot day at the beach.
The durable sealing gasket ensures excellent leak proofing. A nice feature with this product is the release valve which is found at the side of the box. It acts as a drain plug, so once your day at the beach is over, you can leave it drain off any excess ice. It’s also helpful for cleaning after use.
The bottle opener is often the thing that you leave behind, despite your best efforts to be prepared for a day at the beach. Well you don’t need to worry about about that with this cool box, as you get one attached to the lid of the box.
Echo Smile Cooler
The Echo Smile cooler is a heavy duty, family size cool box. It claims to keep cool for up to five days when using the 2:1 ice-to-food ratio. We didn’t have this much time to test it, however, we do know that it kept food and drinks cold for our whole day at the beach.
The silicone tension latches create a solid seal to keep cold air locked in. Combined with the freezer style gasket, you get to take your fridge to the beach!
The Echo Smile cool box comes with a robust handle to help you transport it to the beach or a campsite. Lugging the cool box around is always an issue, and unfortunately with this one, you’ll need to find a way to get it to your location as it doesn’t have wheels and is heavy when fully loaded. We recommend a beach trolley as it means you can take your whole beach set up with you.
Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler
The Yeti range features quite a lot on our best cool box reviews. This is because the Yeti products are purpose made for keeping your goods cool. They have made a varied range of products that make each one seem like a new creation.
While the Tundra Haul is made for large picnics and family days out, the Yeti Roadie is one of their smaller capacity designs. You still get the high level of insulation and robust material, but it’s daintier size makes it easy to put in and out of a car and easier to carry around.
This cool box can still be used for family days out and even though it’s smaller, the level of insulation is still top notch. Our drinks were kept cold all day, despite it being a very hot day outside. This latest version allows for a bottle of wine to be stored vertically, which makes for easier packing and space storage.
The Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler comes with a carry handle that is designed to go over the shoulder to help with carrying. I’d say it’s fine for small journey’s to the beach. The kind where you drive to the beach, unload the car and then have a short walk. If you are buying this to walk long distances with then I think you might be struggling after a short period of time.
The Yeti Roadie 24 is a high quality cool box that is more affordable than some of their other products. It will serve any family well at the beach.
Igloo Cool Box
This is a great option to consider as an alternative to the Yeti range of premium cool boxes. The insulation comes from extra thick foam walls that are protected by a heavy duty, blow-moulded shell. Under testing these worked well to keep drinks cold throughout a 24 hour period.
It comes with a versatile handle that makes carrying the cool box achievable even when fully loaded. The rubber grip that comes on the handle is perfect for sunny days, as it’s less likely to slip out your hands once you’ve got your sun cream on.
The latches lock down tightly to create a waterproof seal. It doesn’t have the drainage feature, so when it’s time to empty out water you need to go the old traditional route of turning upside down (which is no hassle at all!).
I think this product is perfect for anyone with a beach trolley. It’s easy to fit into a car, it’s heavy duty and keeps your food all day. The reason I say it’s best with a beach trolley is that transporting for a long distance will eventually become tiresome.
Red Paddle Portable Cool Box
When I picture a cool box, it’s normally a large piece of kit that needs a reasonable amount of heavy lifting and lugging around. Well the Red Paddle Cool Box dispels the image of heavy lifting. This is the perfect cool box for a Stand Up Paddle Boarder or Kayaker.
The Red Paddle is a waterproof soft cooler that has 18 Litre’s of storage, enough for 23 cans! You can strap it to the end of your SUP and enjoy your day’s adventure.
It comes with thermal lock insulation to help keep your goods cold throughout the day! This was surprisingly effective as our drinks were still cool after a 12 hour stint outside. The luggage system makes it easy to transport and given that it’s smaller than traditional coolers, you don’t feel the burden of too much weight to carry around.
This type of cool box is perfect for a couple who wants to go out on an adventure for the day. Alternatively, I can see a keen fisherman using this. With all the gear needed to carry down to a fishing spot, a lightweight, transportable cool box is the perfect addition to help enjoy your day outside.
Yeti Hopper Portable Cool Box
The Yeti Hopper Flip 18 is another soft shell cooler that is great for days out, whilst still having excellent cooling security.
As a family we have picnic bag that has your bog standard insulation. This is fine for a quick picnic. However, if you want something that’s transportable and keeps your food cold for more than an hour or two then you will need to invest in some kind of technology, so why not try the Yeti Hopper.
It has capacity for up to 16 cans plus ice. It’s 100% leakproof thanks to the Hydrolock zipper. The runs all the way round the top, so you get good access to your food and drink.
The carry handle is adjustable so it can fit to your own requirements. It has two sturdy D-rings that mean it’s not going to break easily once you have it loaded up with all your food and drinks for the day.
This is another solid cool box for those days when you are out and about and require your food to be with you at all times.