Going to the beach is at the same time fun and relaxing. You get to enjoy the sun, listen to the noise of the waves hitting the shore, and you also get a nice tan. Using a beach cooler will not only keep your drinks cold as you bask in the sun, but it will also lower your beach going expenses. Instead of purchasing your drinks from beach bars at exorbitant prices, you can simply store them in the cooler and consume them when you feel like it.
But can beach coolers really keep your drinks from getting warm?
Of course, they can. The best beach coolers can keep your drinks cold for up to 12 hours or more, so you’ll run out of sunshine before you’ll run out of cold drinks.
In the following article, we take a look at the top 6 beach coolers currently available and the features that make them worthy of your investment.
Best Beach Cooler Reviews
- Aruba Mesh Tote Bag
- PRICE $$$
- Cold For : up to 8 hours
- Capacity: up to 10 - 12 drinks
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 7.6 x 1"
- Made : Mesh and canvas
- VINA Wine Tote Bag
- PRICE $
- Cold For : up to 5 hours
- Capacity: 2 wine bottles
- Dimensions: 8.1 x 3.5 x 13"
- Made : 600D polyester
- Beistle Inflatable Boom Box Cooler
- PRICE $$$
- Cold For : Several hours
- Capacity: 48 can
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.5 x 1.8"
- Made : Plastic
- Ricdecor Insulated Tote Bag
- PRICE $$
- Cold For : up to 6 hours
- Capacity: up to 10 cans
- Dimensions: 16 x 5 x 20”
- Made : 600D Polyester
- Arctic Zone Self-Inflating Cooler
- PRICE $$$$
- Cold For : up to 24 hours
- Capacity: up to 30 cans
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 11.2 x 9.5”
- Made : Polyester
- Rachael Ray Thermal Tote
- PRICE $$$
- Cold For : up to 12 hours
- Capacity: 10 gallons
- Dimensions: 22 x 8 x 17.2”
- Made : 600 denier material and Triple-Tek insulation
Aruba Mesh Tote BagThe Aruba mesh tote bag is a fashionable and lightweight cooling solution for every beachgoer. This model might seem like a normal mesh and canvas beach bag, but it comes with an additional insulated compartment.
We were impressed by this model’s cooling capacity. The insulated pocket is not very large, but it will hold up to 10 cans of soda or beer and some snacks beside the ice that keeps them cool. Even though the pocket’s insulation layer is rather thin, this bag will keep your drinks cold for up to 8 hours if you keep it out of the sun.
The mesh and canvas bag is spacious, and it will fit 2 – 4 beach towels, depending on their thickness. The straps are sturdy and the stitching is nice, and the straps’ length will allow you to either carry the bag or toss it over your shoulder.
- Good Cool Storage Capacity – The cooler compartment can fit up to 10 – 12 drinks.
- Tends To Fall Over – The bag tends to fall over when the cooling pocket is empty and the mesh part is loaded
VINA Wine Tote BagFew things in life are more pleasant than watching the sunset over the sea while you’re on the beach enjoying a cool glass of wine. But keeping your wine cool until the sun sets can be a challenge. Luckily, the VINA tote bag is perfect for moments such as these.
This tote bag is large enough to accommodate 2 wine bottles, some ice, a corkscrew, and a few small accessories like napkins or magazines. Each wine bottle fits perfectly in its compartment, and the thick padding of the walls will keep them from clinking when you walk.
Unfortunately, the cooler is not large enough to fit some glasses beside the wine bottles, so you will have to make due. However, the exterior aspect of the cooler is very nice, and it surely makes up for the lack of space. Moreover, the cooler bag comes with a good corkscrew, so you won’t need anything else but glasses for a wine-drinking outing.
- Stays Upright – This cooler stays upright, so it will keep your wine bottles from tipping over.
- No Room For Glasses – The bag’s design would have been better if it could fit two glasses beside the wine bottles.
Beistle Inflatable Boom Box CoolerThe Beistle inflatable boom box cooler is a great model for parents who go to the beach with their children or for those who enjoy beach parties. This unit offers an ample storage space, it’s easy to inflate, and it will stay inflated for a long time.
One of the things we liked about this cooler is that it’s very easy to clean. Beach coolers have to be easy to clean because you place them in the sand, and the wind blows the sand into their insulated compartments. Luckily, you can clean this model in a matter of moments using only water.
As far as the cooler’s storage capacity is concerned, this model won’t fit the 48 cans advertised by the manufacturer unless you skip on adding some ice to keep them cool. If you add enough ice to keep the drinks cool for several hours, the cooler will most likely fit up to 36 cans.
- Fun And Inexpensive – The cooler is shaped like a boom box, so the kids can mess around with it.
- Can Tear Easily – You should be careful not to place the cooler on seashells or rocks if you want to protect it
Ricdecor Insulated Tote BagThe Ricdecor insulated tote bag manages to incorporate everything you need when going to the beach. This model offers you the possibility to store some towels in the mesh and canvas compartment, some valuables or small gadgets in the front zippered compartment, and food and drinks in the insulated pocket.
As far as the bag’s insulated pocket storage capacity is concerned, this model can hold up to 10 cans of soda alongside the ice it needs to keep them cool. The cooler will keep your drinks cold for up to 6 hours if you’re careful to place it out of the sun.
We liked the bag’s design. The mesh part of the bag is perfect for storing 2 – 4 beach towels, depending on their thickness. You can store your wet towels in the bag without any worries. The mesh will allow the air to circulate, so your towels won’t smell bad when you get home.
- Lightweight But Sturdy – The bag is lightweight, but it’s capable of holding a lot of things.
- Handle Padding Could Be Thicker – The handle padding is somewhat thin, and the handle might get uncomfortable when the bag is heavy
Arctic Zone Self-Inflating CoolerThe Arctic Zone self-inflating cooler is a lightweight solution for those who want to keep their drinks cold when they go to the beach. This model weighs so little when it’s empty you can barely notice it’s there, and you can roll it into a small bundle and store it anywhere you want when you’re not using it.
Even though this is an inflatable cooler, its efficiency blew our minds. The cooler is capable of keeping your drinks cold for up to 24 hours or more if you place it out of the sun and you’re careful to close it after you use it.As far as the cooler’s storage capacity is concerned, this model will hold up to 30 cans of beverage alongside the ice it needs to keep them cool for several hours.
The cooler has a low maintenance, and you can clean it using water and a mild detergent. The cooler is water-resistant, and it will actually float if you place it in water.
- Good Cooling Capacity – This cooler is capable of keeping your drinks cold and your food fresh for up to two days.
- No Padding – Both the shoulder strap and the handles lack padding, so they will bite into your skin when the cooler is heavy.
Rachael Ray Thermal ToteThe last item on our list is one of the most popular cooler bags among beachgoers. The Rachael Ray thermal tote offers a storage capacity of 10 gallons, giving you the possibility to store enough drinks in it to quench the thirst of an entire party.
We were impressed by the bags’ cooling capacity. This model not only holds a lot of drinks, but it will also keep them cool for a good amount of time. If you pack enough ice in the insulation compartment, your drinks will be cool for up to 12 hours if you place the bag out of the sun.
Thanks to the bag’s good storage capacity, you will be able to pack everything you need for a beach outing. You can easily fit some drinks, a few towels, flip-flops, sunglasses, lotion, and have room to spare.
- Cheap – This model is really cheap, which is surprising considering how well it handles itself and how popular it is
- Zippers Are A Weak Spot – This cooler is pretty sturdy, but the zipper is a weak spot. Make sure you don’t force the zipper, as it can break.
10 Features To Look For In A Beach Cooler
Going to the beach is not only tremendous fun, it also offers a lot of benefits. But to really enjoy your outing at the seaside, you need to take some accessories with you. Beach coolers remark themselves with their functionality. Most of them offer both insulated and dry storage pockets that will hold your drinks and your towels at the same time. Let’s take a look at some of the features that make a cooler suitable for beach going.
- Lightweight – You don’t need to carry a heavy cooler when you go to the beach. A lightweight model that’s easy to carry is better suited for beach going. This is especially important since the towels, the beverage cans, and the other accessories like toys or gadgets can be pretty heavy at times.
- Good Storage Space – You don’t need to carry as many drinks when you go to the beach as you would when you go camping, but you still need to pack some stuff so having a good storage space is important. Most beach coolers can fit up to 10 or 12 drinks in the insulated compartment, but models like the Rachael Ray Thermal Tote have a storage capacity of up to 10 gallons.
- Dry Storage – Using a cooler that comes with one or two dry storage pockets can really be helpful when you go to the beach. This will allow you to use the cooler to pack your beach towels, flip-flops, lotion, and other accessories you might need to enjoy the day. One of the tips on how to pack a beach cooler is to make sure you take napkins and eating utensils with you. Having a dry storage compartment made out of mesh and canvas is a plus because it will provide enough air circulation so your wet towels won’t smell bad until you get home.
- Portability – Beach coolers have to be portable. If you’re going to the beach, chances are you’ll have to park your car at a considerable distance from where you’re actually going to spend your day, so it’s very important to be able to transport the cooler with ease. Beach coolers usually come with comfortable shoulder straps or handles that make them easy to carry. True, they might not be as comfortable as backpack coolers, but they won’t get wet from the condensation either.
- Low Maintenance – Beaches are not the most hospitable places you can go. Sure, they’re pleasant and enjoyable, but they’re full of sand that goes everywhere. The sand can spoil the cooler’s exterior, and it can get into its pockets from where it’s difficult to remove. Moreover, some of the things you should pack in your beach cooler can be messy at times. That’s why good beach coolers have a low maintenance. You can clean their exterior using water and a mild detergent, and you can remove all the sand in their pockets with ease.
- Cost Effective – Beach coolers are usually not expensive, and that’s generally a good thing. Even though there are some cheap destinations you can choose, beach going is usually expensive, so you shouldn’t have to invest a lot of money in a cooler as well. And since you don’t use the beach coolers all year round, it’s important to find a model that provides a good value for your money.
- Work Well With Water – Just like the inflating coolers, beach coolers also have to work well with water. Whether they’re waterproof like the Arctic Zone Self-Inflating Cooler or made out of a mesh like the Aruba Mesh Tote Bag, these coolers have to be able to handle wet situations. In certain aspects, a mesh and canvas cooler is superior to a waterproof one because it will allow some air circulation, preventing your wet towels from smelling bad.
- High-Quality Lining – Beach coolers have to use high-quality lining that prevents the water from leaking. Just like soft-sided coolers, these models rely on ice to keep your drinks cold, so some water will certainly pool on the cooler’s bottom when the ice melts. Without a high-quality liner, the water will leak out of the cooler and spoil the unit’s exterior. A good lining will also keep the food you pack for the beach cool throughout the day.
- Secure Pockets – It’s inevitable to take some money, keys, or other valuables with you when you go to the beach. Good beach coolers come with secure pockets you can use to store your valuables. Whether they use Velcro straps or zippers, these pockets will prevent your stuff from falling on the sand.
- Durability – Beach coolers have to be durable. Sure, you might not use them every day, but you’re more likely to abuse them when you do. Most of the times, these coolers will end up somewhere in the sand, and that can really harm their exterior. Moreover, beach accessories such as toys or flip-flops can be quite large, so you might force them into the bag at times. The coolers have to be durable enough to endure the punishment for multiple beach seasons.
Best Beach Coolers Comparison Chart
|Aruba Mesh Tote Bag||$$$||up to 8 hours||up to 10 - 12 drinks||16.5 x 7.6 x 1"||Mesh and canvas|
|VINA Wine Tote Bag||$||up to 5 hours||2 wine bottles||8.1 x 3.5 x 13"||600D polyester|
|Beistle Inflatable Boom Box Cooler||$$$||Several hours||48 can||9.8 x 7.5 x 1.8"||Plastic|
|Ricdecor Insulated Tote Bag||$$||up to 6 hours||up to 10 cans||16 x 5 x 20”||600D Polyester|
|Arctic Zone Self-Inflating Cooler||$$$$||up to 24 hours||up to 30 cans||14.2 x 11.2 x 9.5”||Polyester|
|Rachael Ray Thermal Tote||$$$||up to 12 hours||10 gallons||22 x 8 x 17.2”||600 denier material and Triple-Tek insulation|
As you could see from our short reviews, beach coolers have different designs. However, even though their designs might be different, one thing remains constant. These coolers will keep your drinks cold, despite the warmth of the ambient environment.
The best beach coolers come with dry storage compartments as well as insulated ones. This will allow you to carry all the things you need for a beach outing in a single bag. Some models even have special pockets for your sunglasses, smartphone, and other valuables.
If none of the cooler models we presented looks like the most suitable cooler for your needs, make sure to check our other articles. We guarantee that after reading our reviews, finding the right model is only a matter of time.