What’s a party without some ice cold beverages? Every tailgating event out there has cold beers, soda, and snacks on hand to make sure that everyone’s satisfied but how they get those beverages cold and how well they keep them cold comes down to the cooler. Back in the day, you pretty much had the Coleman coolers and that was it in terms of taking a cooler to a tailgate, picnic or other outdoor party. They were the hard plastic coolers that were heavy and rugged. Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of options from cheap portable coolers – like the soft duffel bag style or even the throwaway Styrofoam containers, to the portable cooler with wheels for carrying large amounts of food and/or beverage; there are all sorts of features such as plug-in electric cooling (instead of ice), compartments for different things, and just about everything is customizable with your favorite teams logo.
If you’re looking to buy a portable cooler for tailgating online, then you’ll definitely find the following tips helpful. If you think you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for check out the sale we’ve got going on over at Amazon. We’ve partnered with them to provide amazing deals on portable coolers for tailgating that have discounts upwards of 55%
Size – To start off with the first thing you’re going to want to decide is how much room do you typically need? Knowing that not all parties are libated equal, you’re going to have to pick a rough number of cans or bottles that you’re going to be bringing with you. As with most things in life, take that figure and double it. It’s almost always better to have more space than less. Think about it, you start out with thinking you’re just taking an 18 pack when you have to throw in some food, then you’ve got to throw in some wine coolers for the ladies, then you have to pack some water or Gatorades for the re-hydration after the game; you get the picture.
If you’re looking for brute force when it comes to cooler size, the hard shelled Coleman coolers are still the best. I prefer these because they’re rugged, they offer a place to sit, they have built in cup holders and you never have to worry about the ice holding up. There are some great prices on the following:
- The Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme Cooler has room for 98 cans and can store ice for up to 5 days. You could fit everything you need in one of these and then some. At nearly 3 feet wide, it’s going to fit in the back of your truck, SUV or trunk of the car but it’s going to be taking up the lion’s share of the space.
Convenience – If you’re looking for something that offers a little more convenience and you don’t need the 100+ can storage there are a variety of soft sided and duffel bag style coolers. Modern materials have made flexible plastic cooling storage very efficient which makes the cooler itself lighter and easier to pack into a vehicle. The nice thing about these modern portable coolers is that they have all sorts of pockets, compartments, dividers, and handles designed right in. These are perfect for the casual to serious tailgater that wants more than ice and beer in their cooler.
- The Igloo MaxCold Cool Fusion Cooler provides a comprehensive tailgate package with a 40-qt soft sided cooler that can hold up to 58 cans, a collapsible handle and wheels that makes carrying your cooler incredibly easy, 6 compartments for storing everything from directions to snacks to wrappers and other garbage. The best thing is it has a cube shaped design that makes it incredibly easy to throw in a spare seat (even the passenger seat of a compact car) or provide more room in the back for other tailgating gear.
No Ice – If you’re tired of dealing with ice melting too fast, soaking the cans and making a mess, you now have the option of getting a thermoelectric cooler. While the technology has been around forever, only recently have companies started making coolers with these devices, which use the Peltier effect, which use electricity to cool the air with in the cooler (they also will warm the cooler by reversing the way the device operates). With these electric coolers, you have a 12 volt adapter that plugs into the vehicles cigarette lighter and powers the cooler for hours. The cooler will maintain a temperature up to 45 degrees cooler than ambient, so if it is 85 degrees out it can hold a temperature of 40 degrees…just right for keeping cold ones cold and food from getting funky. One word of advice is that it takes a while to get room temperature things cold, so pre-cool your goods first.
- The Koolatron P95 Travel Saver Cooler is a 45 quart electric cooler which will hold approximately 72 cans, but more importantly has a domed lid specifically designed to accommodate larger bottles which means you can store 2-liter bottles easily without having to tip it down on its side and taking up more room. There’s minimal power draw and is perfect for keeping your cold ones cold in the back of your truck or SUV. If you’re not concerned about lugging your cooler anywhere, this is a nice alternative to dealing with ice.