What Size Cooler Do I Need: TOP Full Guide 2023

What Size Cooler Do I Need TOP Full Guide 2020

What size cooler do I need? That may be a question you have been asking yourself lately. Well, with these simple tips for choosing the right sized cooler, you can make your shopping experience a breeze!

Smaller coolers are the best cooler fit for a day at the beach or a picnic with friends. If you are packing fresh vegetables or meat, pack them on ice packs in the cooler size because the food will last for days.

The Ideal Cooler Size Keeps Food & Drinks Cold For Days

The Ideal Cooler Keeps Food & Drinks Cold For Days

The new cooler looks and plays much differently compared to the most well-known versions from a decade past. They keep contents colder for more utilizing effective insulation and improved construction.

When it’s been some time since you updated, it may be time for you to increase your expectations for cooler capacities.

Coolers are crucial to your outdoor experiences. There are lots available on the market to pick from. For simplicity, we will break down the purchasing decision into two questions: What sort of cooler do I want, and what size do I want?

Which Kind of Cooler Do I Need?

Soft-sided coolers

Ideal for cooling drinks and meals for one to four individuals without weighing you down.

Soft coolers’ performance was restricted to only packing lunch for work, college, and day excursions.

Traditional soft models nevertheless do package these lunches. Still, you have the extra choice of contemporary “super” coolers that benefit from technology that optimizes thermal efficiency a lot more than any prior generation.

Super Collars have burst in popularity due to their intense thermal efficiency and incredibly rugged construction. The majority of these super coolers are coated with high-density foam.

The greater the density, the greater the total heating efficiency. They’ve been analyzed to support claims the knobs will keep ice for up to a particular number of times in some specific problems.

The lightweight yet rugged construction of soft coolers provide them a distinct advantage over hard-sided versions, which are authentic back-breakers throughout transportation.

Soft versions make a simple option if you’re packing for a household on a day trip or weekend escape. Should you require more space, you measure up into hard-sided warmer land.

Extra cash on your soft-sided budget purchases you a super version with densely insulated walls and thermally efficient zippers for maximum heating efficiency. Splurge on those premium coolers to keep food and beverages cold for extended periods in extreme heat and throughout prolonged getaways.

Hard-sided coolers

Employed by outdoor enthusiasts who desire near-indestructible durability and also the most effective heating properties.

In the last several decades, hard-sided coolers have improved through improvements in insulation and freezer-grade lid gaskets. These super coolers would be the preferred alternative for enthusiastic outdoor enthusiasts who need the best cooler mix of dimensions, ice hockey retention, and endurance.

Due to their heavy-gauge construction, ultra coolers weigh over conventional coolers. A large, fully loaded version can be hard to transport.

Consider coolers with oversize handles and built-in wheels or another cooler cart to take the load from hauling them from house to area and back again.

Along with plastic, hard coolers are also accessible metal. They appease clients who enjoy sleek looks and conventional heirloom-type quality.

Steel does absorb and retain heat more than vinyl. Should you leave a metallic cooler in sunlight, the metal will heat up and keep sunlight long after you transfer into a safe site. This is only one of the explanations for the prevalence of vinyl in construction.

In case you choose to choose a hard cooler, then check if it’s an insulated lid and then seals tightly when closed. Most cooling is dropped via the lid.

Models skimping on these features won’t compete with versions that perform. Another valuable feature found on many coolers is that the drain plug to empty melted ice-hockey immediately. Premium super versions often consist of bear-resistant latching systems and raised non-skid feet.

Electric coolers

Intended usage – People who have access to your power source wish to get rid of the hassle of using ice or ice packs to keep things cool.

Like a midsized 12-volt version, an electrical is excellent for situations where your car will force the cooler to keep food and drinks chilled on extended drives.

Many 12-volt coolers can also be converted into a normal 110-volt AC wall socket, such as those in a cottage or lodge. The obvious disadvantage of this type of cooler is that when the electricity is cut away, so is your cooling capacity.

How long an electric cooler keeps its contents cool if not attached to a power supply is dependent on conditions like the ambient temperatures, how complete the cooler is, and how many times you open the lid.

Electric coolers are well-insulated and ought to continue to keep their contents cool for a couple of hours in the lack of power, but it also depends heavily on the ambient temperatures.

The temperature on many electrical coolers can’t be put to a specific number. Rather, most say that they are trendy to 40°F under the ambient temperatures.

This implies that if you keep the cooler at a 75°F air-conditioned home, the cooler’s interior could become as much as 35°F. But when the cooler is out in 90°F weather, it will only get as much as 50°F.

What Size Cooler Do I Need?

What Size Cooler Do I Need

The size you choose should depend upon the intended usage, the amount in your party, and how much time you’ll have to keep things cool. A small soft-sided or tough shell is good for a day trip, but more excursions need something larger.

How large? The cooler capacity is usually said in quarts or capability at 12-ounce cans. One quart equals about 0.75 headphones. Therefore a 24-quart will hold about three six-packs or 18 cans.

A different way to judge capacity would be to split the quartz’s capability from 30, so a 60-quart equals two cubic feet. When choosing a cooler, keep in mind about 30-50 percent of its capacity is consumed with ice hockey.

For three individuals on a day excursion, a 40-quart is usually fine. For the identical set on a weekend camping trip excursion, a 50- to 60-quart is great.

Do your best cooler not to purchase that’s too big, as closely packed coolers keep food colder and more. Buying a jumbo-sized cooler and filling the surplus space with ice may seem OK, but you’ll need to carry for the cost and additional weight.

Conversely, too much open or air space within an exceedingly large cooler makes the ice melt quicker. An exception to this conservative approach is overseas fishing stoves.

How large are the fish you intend to catch? We can not answer this, but we could say that many anglers are reluctant to reduce their trophy-sized grab in half to make it home!

Cases of coolers commonly employed for offshore fishing trips include Igloo, Engel, and YETI from the 150-250 quart class.

Two Coolers Could Be Better than One

Let us say you and your partner arrange a five-day camping trip excursion and are prepared to pull out the stops and buy a 100-quart.

But consider this: a 100-quart filled with food, beverages, and ice may weigh up to 200 pounds so unless you’re bulking up to get a bodybuilding occasion, buy two smaller coolers-just one for beverages and one for meals.

You’ll be opening the beverage cooler far more frequently than the meals, which means that the ice at the food will probably melt, and the meals will remain longer.

Electric Coolers

There are two dominant forms of electrical chargers, which operate on 12V DC supplied by your vessel or automobile’s cigarette lighter: mill driven and thermoelectric.

Thermoelectric coolers rely on digital phenomena called the “Peltier effect” to heat or cool their contents.

Along with not having to take care of slushy ice and moist food products, accessible space for storage has been raised due to lack of ice, and that at a traditional occupies a big proportion of space.

The drawback is that the cooling system is restricted by the ambient temperatures, signifying a thermoelectric cooler rated to trendy 40°F under ambient temperatures will onto a 90°F day cool down the contents approximately 50°F.

Compressor-driven coolers utilize a refrigerant alongside a compressor and an evaporator-like a family fridge -that gives them the capacity to cool or suspend their materials.

Unlike thermoelectric coolers, compressor-driven coolers can maintain a steady temperature irrespective of the temperatures outside. If you’re considering a compressor-powered, then have a look at the versions we provide by Norcold, Dometic, and Engel USA.

Key Factors When Picking a Size

Key Factors When Picking a Size

If it comes to picking the proper sized cooler, you want to consider a few fundamental factors to make your choice.

Internal Space

Internal distance is your #1 consideration for picking the perfect-sized. Just how much can you really should shop on your cooler, and for how long?

It would help if you also accounted for the fact that ice hockey will occupy a good deal of space. Yeti urges a 2:1 ratio of ice to consumables to get maximum efficiency from your cooler.

At least half of this will be full of ice, just leaving approximately a half to a third of this area for your drinks and beverages.

You can eliminate a couple of ice cubes in more compact coolers to last you the afternoon. However, in bigger coolers, you are going to want a larger ice to consumables ratio.

Ice Retention

Just how long you want your cooler to maintain ice for is also a large consideration. The mini/personal coolers will fight to maintain ice an entire day because there is not enough ice, to begin with.

Broadly the longer ice you begin with (in addition to the greater), the more time your ice will survive.

If you would like to maintain ice more than three times, you truly have to obtain a moderate-sized and keep ice for more than 5-7 times. You are going to require a massive.


Mixed in with your inner space and ice hockey retention demands is reliability.

Small coolers are excellent as they’re super mobile and easy to transfer. The bigger, the cooler gets, the more difficult it becomes to transfer.

It will become heavy and difficult to carry as one individual, and besides, it becomes difficult to match in your automobile if you move too large.

This is where you begin to create trade-offs between inner space/ice durability and retention. You can not have everything so that you want to discover the happy middle ground, which is suitable for you.

External Space

Together with portability is that the outside distance a cooler takes up.

Premium coolers like Yeti coolers have 2-3 inches of insulating material, and thus externally, they take a lot more room than their inner capability.

The larger you go, the more difficult it would be to match in certain areas.

Smaller soft coolers such as the Yeti Hopper are thin tote-like bags and will fit nearly anywhere. Tough-sized coolers occupy much more space.

The larger you go, the more space they consume, so if you’re short on space (that you normally are if a camping trip or performing any excursion), then just how much space they consume should be a consideration.

Again this becomes an opportunity to make compromises. You would like to obtain a large enough cooler to match all your things and have great ice retention, however little enough to fit where you want it to.

You have to attempt to locate the ideal size, which is suitable for your requirements.


The cost can be a consideration in what dimensions cooler you purchase. Smaller does not necessarily mean more economical on the smaller side of things (e.g., A Yeti Hopper 8 will be the same cost as a Yeti Roadie that is more than two times as large). Still, as soon as you get over 30-Quarts, it’s undoubtedly a case of larger = more costly.

A budget-conscious shopper might have fewer choices for dimension than somebody with more cash to invest.

By way of instance, if you would like to invest under $100, then you are confined to smaller dimensions of more economical high-end coolers or that Lifetime. Your choices begin expanding once you’re eager to spend more than 200.

However, something similar to a Yeti 110 is almost $500, whereas a Yeti 45 is about the $300 mark.


The larger and more you fill that cooler, it will become REALLY heavy.

That means you might choose to select a size that you feel you can carry. I will carry the Yeti 45 short distances when it has been full, making it ideal for living from the van.

Anything larger than that and that I might have been able to move it, and that could have been extremely debilitating.

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Features have less influence on how big cooler you choose, but they could still affect your choice.

If you need certain features on your cooler, then may restrict the dimensions of this.

Let us say you should have a cooler with wheels. Well, you will find just certain sizes of backpacks out there, and you also do not have as many alternatives to select from.

Or if you would like a roto-molded with cup holders afterward, they are just a cooler that is your Ozark Trail from Walmart, and they come in 3 dimensions.


Pick a cooler based on how much food you want to shop and the objective of your journey. Soft-shell coolers are suitable for brief excursions but do not expect them to maintain ice like a tough shell.

Do not purchase a cooler that will be too heavy to take, and if you want the additional capacity, consider buying two-just for meals and one for beverages. For supreme durability, roto-molded coolers are greatest. Offshore anglers believe big!

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