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This website is all about coolers. However, every now and then, we need to take a break from talking about the star of the show and give some of the spotlights to the supporting cast. Do we hear you ask who the supporting cast might be here? Well, we’re talking about the best cooler accessories.
A Brief Into to Cooler Accessories
Ideally, a cooler should be self-contained. It should have everything you’re ever going to need in a cooler and you shouldn’t have to worry about anything more. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world and cooler makers can’t foresee every possible addition you might want to make your cooler.
We need accessories because they help us personalize our coolers. They help us to make our coolers truly our own. There are few feelings as good as being able to hear people say “That’s John Doe’s cooler,” simply because they recognize you. It is so authentically yours that it would be impossible to confuse it with another. Let’s cut cooler brands some slack anyway.
They are focused on giving you a good cooler. They are going to make a large number of identical ones since making a unique one for every customer that comes along is going to drastically increase the price. The customization and accessorizing falls to you, dear reader.
That said, there are lots of accessories for coolers out there. Some of them are branded, meaning they are made for specific coolers only. Others are universal, meaning they are made to fit any brand of cooler. The one you get pretty much depends on the type of cooler you have and also your preferences.
We’re going to be looking at a bunch of them and even suggesting some of the best buys in each category. So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!
Ice Packs for Coolers
The whole point of an ice pack is to replace your dry ice and water ice. You don’t have to worry about dirty water coming into contact with the contents of your cooler or whether the children are going to be safe or not, especially in the case of dry ice (remember, not all coolers are dry ice compatible).
We had a dedicated write-up on some best cooler ice packs you can get but, for your convenience, here's a quick summary of some good options you can consider:
Cooler Shock Gel Packs
These gel packs come in groups of 3 and are packed with refrigerant gel, colder than ice at only 18 degrees Fahrenheit. They are reusable and replace up to 18 pounds of ice, which means you will have more than plenty of ice for your average sized cooler.
Arctic Ice Chillin Brew
These ones freeze at a higher temperature than the Cooler Shock gel packs at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. They are mostly great for simple trips, tailgating parties, barbecues, and keeping your beverages cold. They won’t be very good for the more heavy duty stuff, though.
Cooler baskets are there for separation. You sometimes want to keep certain contents in your cooler separate from other contents. You might want the breads dry and separate from the drinks so they don’t get soggy, for example. Some coolers will come with baskets fitted in as part of the package. If yours isn’t one of those, then you’ll have to get yourself a cooler basket.
Yeti Tundra Baskets
These are baskets made especially for the Yeti Tundra line of hard coolers. This is an example of a branded cooler accessory, which means you won’t find it very useful unless you own a Yeti Tundra. It’s made of black coated steel wire that keeps your dry goods dry and cold at the same time. You can use it as a spare basket for the one that comes with your Yeti Tundra hard cooler.
Pelican Cooler Baskets
Here is yet another branded accessory built specifically for Pelican coolers. There are cooler baskets available for all sizes of hard coolers. They are powder coated and highly resistant to corrosion, keeping your dry goods dry, cool, and safe.
A cooler divider falls in the same category as a cooler basket in the sense that it is supposed to keep certain contents in your cooler separate from others. However, a divider isn’t there to keep anything necessarily dry. Instead, it’s there to section off certain parts of your cooler for different things, such as meats on one side and drinks on the other.
RTIC Divider/Cutting Board
The RTIC divider is a branded accessory built specifically for RTIC Cooler. In the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, it also doubles up as a cutting board where you can place your meats as you cut them. It comes sized to fit RTIC hard coolers of just about any size.
This divider is made specifically for the Deep Blue line of Engel hard coolers. It is built to fit coolers of all sizes within this line but won’t be much use if you have a differently branded cooler.
Have you ever noticed how large your cooler is and thought it would make an especially good seat? It would be large enough to fit a few people and could even do double duty on your boat the next time you’re out on the water.
However, it might not be the most comfortable thing to sit on when it’s hard and raw. That’s where the cooler seat cushion comes in. simply attach it to the top of your cooler and you have a brand new seat that also keeps your beer cold!
Wise Cooler Seat Cushion
This cooler seat cushion comes with 500 denier Cordura, which is tear resistant. It also comes with a mesh panel on the bottom to get rid of moisture if it builds up from your cooler. There are 3 inches of dense foam so your cooler is going to be good and comfy.
YETI Tundra Seat Cushion
The Yeti Tundra seat cushion is made especially for Yeti Tundra hard coolers and is built to last. The cushion is made of marine vinyl and can stand the harsh sun and elements that come with the outdoors. It also comes with stainless steel studs to help you fit the cushion into place.
Wouldn’t it be great if your cooler lit up every time you opened it, just like your fridge? It would be pretty convenient when you opened your cooler in the dark or in especially poor lighting conditions and had a little light pop on and then conveniently pop off as soon as you closed your cooler. That is exactly what a cooler light is for.
Coleman Cold Glow Cooler Light
The Coleman Cold Glow light is motion activated, which means it comes on as soon as you open the cooler and also as soon as you close it. This is the automatic mode. However, if you want, you can also put it in manual mode, where you manually switch it on and off as you need it. It’s water resistant, has a long runtime of 40 hours, and uses LEDs which won’t contribute to the melting of your ice.
Coghlans Cooler Light
This is a simple universal plastic light that illuminates the inside of your cooler with an adhesive tape to enable you to attach it. It is automatic, which means the light comes on automatically when you open the lid of your cooler. It also turns off when you close the lid and automatically after 20 seconds of continuous use.
Cooler wraps are among the coolest (pun intended) accessories you could get for your cooler. They add some dynamism to your cooler and give it a uniquely personal touch that just oozes your personality.
They look like stickers that you put on your cooler, but they stick better and last longer. They also protect your cooler from wear and tear.
USATuff is well known for making lots of wraps for different cooler brands. They have a wide range of wrap and skin designs from which you can choose, including the famous American flag. The material is off-road racing grade so you know it’s going to last a long time.
MightSkins is a skin and wraps making company that specializes in skins and wraps for Yeti coolers and tumblers. If you own a Yeti cooler or drinkware item and want to customize it to showcase your personality, then you can consider getting a MightySkins wrap for it.
Your cooler is already lockable. You can lock it to stop people (or bears) from gaining access to the contents of the cooler. The manufacturer of the cooler already has that sorted. However, something that the manufacturer doesn’t have sorted out is how to keep people from taking your cooler itself.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could secure your cooler to your kayak or boat to prevent theft? That’s what a cooler lock is for. We've got a separate write-up on the cooler locks here, but to give you some quick examples, here are some products of that type:
Master Lock 8417D Python Keyed Cable Lock, 6ft long, Black
This adjustable cable lock is used for a lot of things but can also be used to secure your cooler. It’s pretty strong and comes with patented cable locks with vinyl coated cable lock threads. It’s made with braided steel, which is both strong and flexible, as well as being rust resistant.
Schmidt-Riffer Metalcrafts Yeti Cooler Lock Bracket made of Stainless Steel
This isn’t a lock for your cooler. It is a lock bracket. Basically, you attach a lock bracket to your cooler and the place the cooler lock in the hole in the bracket. This is useful if your cooler doesn’t have holes to secure a lock with. It’s also made of metal, which is likely to be stronger than the plastic of your cooler.
Cooler Wheel Kits
Wheel kits are pretty easy to understand. When you have an especially large cooler, it can be tiring to haul it around in your arms. That’s why it makes sense to have wheels on it.
However, not all of them come with wheels straight from the manufacturer, which makes for a large market of third-party produced wheel kits out there.
Badger Wheels Large Wheeled Single Axle for Yeti Tundra 35-160
These are some pretty sleek wheels for your Yeti Tundra. They come with a single axle and are very sturdy, ensuring you get to haul your cooler around without having to suffer too much. They can handle weights in excess of 500 pounds. Suitable for all Tundras, but of course their new wheeled Yeti Haul doesn't need them.
Here is a Badger Wheels Demo video.
Cooler Cart Carrier Wagon
This universal wheel kit is a full-blown cart you can use to carry your cooler. It works for just about any Yeti, Pelican, Coleman, or Igloo cooler. However, you can place any cooler of roughly the same dimensions on it. The wheels are sturdy and made of rubber while the cooler can haul up to 350 pounds.
Best Cooler Accessories – The Bottom Line
And with that, we’re done with cooler accessories. As you can see, there is a whole universe of things you can add to your cooler to enhance it out there. Depending on what your needs and designs for your cooler are, there’s something in the market for you.
We hope we helped a little. Feel free to let us know what are your favorite cooler add-ons!
Last update on 2023-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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