Best Inflatable Floating Cooler for Fun on the Lake, River or Pool

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People have invented some brilliant things over the years – ingenious improvements on everyday products which leave you thinking, how did I ever live without this!?

For instance, and umbrella with a cup holder. Or, outdoor park benches with rotating seats that you crank over to the ‘dry side’ after it rains. Pure genius.

Now, would ‘genius’ be a good adjective to describe the advent of floating coolers? Well… we’ll leave you to be the judge on that one. Can you live without a floating cooler? Um, we certainly hope so. But take the idea for what it is, and surely you’ll come to the conclusion (like we did) that the idea of an inflatable cooler is actually pretty darn practical, and pretty darn fun too.

Make no mistake – these pool cooler things are designed for party people. Would the most mature person on earth spend hard-earned money on something whose main function is to let them get a fresh beer without having to get out of the pool? Doubtful.


pool cooler

What follows is a list of our top-picks for inflatable floating coolers and ice-chests. We’ve checked out a lot of products and sifted through a lot of gimmicks, but these ones are legit.

Now, keep in mind this isn’t a grade-school persuasive essay on why you should buy a floating cooler – the review is simply to help you party folks out there who are already considering buying one, choose the right one that has the right features for your needs. And who knows, if we happen to convert some pessimists along the way, then so be it! Enjoy!

Floating Cooler  – Quick Comparison Table

 PictureProduct NameMain FeauturesPrice
No products found.Intex Mega Chill 35-inch Circular• small circular design
• 4 cup holders
Check Price
editors-choiceNo products found.Editor's ChoiceIntex Mega Chill II• 48-quart capacity
• removable lid
Check Price
No products found.Intex River Run II Sport Lounge• seats for two people
•cooler and drink holders in-between
Check Price
No products found.SwimWays Kelsyus• holds 6 cans or bottles
• easy to setup
Check Price
byers 1700 big bobber floating coolerByers 1700 Big Bobber• unique shape
• hold up to 12 cans or bottles
Check Price
No products found.Amscan Palm Tree• hold up to 40 cans or bottlesCheck Price
No products found.Chuzy Chef Inflatable Serving Bar• 51” x 24” x 4.5”
• can float
Check Price
No products found.Greenco Inflatable Buffet and Salad Serving Bar• 54” x 27”
• can float
Check Price
No products found.Body Glove Music Station• 21” x 15” x 9”
• built-in waterproof speaker
Check Price
No products found.Sevylor Inflatable Cooler Float• fits coolers up to 28-quartCheck Price

Floating Ice Chest & Inflatable Coolers: Our TOP Picks

Intex Inflatable Floating Coolers (Various Models and Designs)

These three different offerings from Intex are fun, ‘entry-level’ floating coolers that are durable enough to last quite a long time, yet inexpensive enough that you won’t be too disappointed if they happen to pop or get damaged in the pool or on the beach. And by the way, if you're interested in finding the best beach cooler, go here.

No products found.

Intex Mega Chill II Floating Ice Chest

This is a floating ‘base’ cooler (no seats) that has a removable lid and a 48-quart capacity. It’s also got 6 built-in cup holders. A great option for pool parties or for anchoring on the sandbar during summer boating days.

Check it at Amazon.

No products found.

Intex Mega Chill 35-inch Circular Pool Cooler

This is essentially the same thing as the Chill II Float cooler, but with a slightly smaller circular design. Also, instead of 6 cup holders, it’s got 4 cup holders and two ‘trays’ for holding drinks, snacks, etc. Perfect as a pool cooler.

Check it at Amazon.

No products found.

Intex River Run II Sport Lounge

This product could be titled the “best floating cooler for river“. Measuring in at 95.5” x 62”, this is a ‘love-seat’ designed with seats for two people and a cooler and drink holders in-between. A true commodity for relaxing in the pool, on the lake, or for taking a leisurely float down the river with a 6-pack of cold ones an arm’s length away.

Check it at Amazon.

SwimWays Kelsyus Floating Pool Cooler

No products found.
This is an awesome, heavy-duty fabric covered insulated floated ice chest that’s built with a little more quality and durability than the Intex products. However, at only 16.5” tall and a little over 1.5 pounds (unfilled of course), it’s a pretty small pool cooler that, with ice, only holds 6 cans or bottles at a time. For personal use or for strapping to a raft, it’s a great buy.

inflatable cooler

However if you’re looking to entertain larger parties of people at your pool, you’ll need to look for something a little bigger, or at least buy a few of these.

Check it at Amazon.

Byers 1700 Big Bobber Cooler

byers 1700 big bobber floating cooler

Now this is the one that will grab some comments and produce some laughs out on the water. Shaped and colored exactly like a traditional fishing bobber, this rigid plastic floating cooler is 14” x 14” x 15.8” and is designed to hold up to 12 cans or bottles (ice included).

Big Bobber Cooler is non-inflatable, so storage and transport is a little less convenient than a blow-up cooler, but its durable plastic material will be much more long-lasting than the inflatables, and will also offer a fair bit more insulation, keeping your drinks cooler for longer. An absolute gem that like we said, is guaranteed to grab some comments out on the lake, river or pool.

Go and check it at Amazon.

Amscan Palm Tree Inflatable Cooler

No products found.

Like the Byers Bib Bobber cooler, this is another unique, fun, ‘novelty cooler’ that is bound to get some laughs and compliments out on the water.

A little more tropically designed, the inflatable cooler features a circular design with a palm tree standing up in the middle. It’s constructed of a fairly thick vinyl material, but in no way should you expect it to last a long time – possibly a summer’s use, at the most. This is probably the lowest-quality option of all our picks.

It’s a fairly large pool cooler at just over 3 feet in diameter, and can easily hold up to about 40 cans or bottles (ice included).

If you’re looking for a fun, neat conversation piece that can hold a lot of drinks (fantastic choice for a one-off pool party), but don’t want to spend a chunk of money on a better-quality cooler, than this is your pick.

Salad Bar / Serving Bar Food and Drink Inflatable Floating Coolers

These inflatable coolers are designed to be able to hold a combination mix/salad bar spread of snacks and vegetable dips, ice, and also beverages. They are functional, to be sure, but don’t expect to be able to load them down with a full buffet-style spread; they are inexpensive, generally low-quality products that you have to load down lightly (top quality coolers can be found here). Go easy on the ice, and be sure to spread the contents out uniformly and you won’t have to worry about it folding in or tipping over on you.

No products found.

Chuzy Chef Inflatable Serving Bar

This rectangular design is 51” long, 24” wide and 4.5” deep, this is a darn good-size cooler that can hold a good mix of spreads and beverages. Like we said, it will work, and it does float of course, but load it down lightly if you actually plan on using it as a floating cooler. Else you’ll have a pool full of carrots, celery, and ranch dipping sauce.

Check it at Amazon.

No products found.

Greenco Inflatable Buffet and Salad Serving Bar

This is more or less the same item as the Chuzy Chef, although slightly larger at 54” x 27”. Made of the same BPA-free PVC material, this cooler will float also, but only if you don’t load it down too much.

Check it at Amazon.

Body Glove Music Station – Waterproof Floating Cooler with Speakers

No products found.

This floating cooler with speakers is for the true party people. At 21” x 15” x 9”, it can easily hold a 6-pack of cans or bottles, but the true catch is in the built-in waterproof speaker, allowing you to jam out as you chill out. The waterproof speaker is decent quality, but unfortunately you have to load your own music into the Mp3 storage box – there’s no Bluetooth capabilities or wireless syncing or anything like that.

Also, don’t expect to blow people out of the water with the speaker – this isn’t a Bose full-range sound system. It’s loud enough for you and a few buds that are within speaking distance, but that’s about it. A cool design and a cool idea, but don’t expect a high-quality floating stereo with this one.

Check it at Amazon.

Sevylor Inflatable Cooler Float

No products found.

This one is designed to actually carry and ‘float’ your 28-quart or smaller cooler or ice-chest. In our opinion, this is actually a better idea than trying to load up a flimsy, plastic cooler with ice and beer and expect it to perform well out in the warm summer sun for too long. With the cooler float, you get the convenience of a floating ice chest while still keeping the performance of your standard, better quality ‘real’ cooler.

Check it at Amazon.

floating ice chest
Tip: It perfectly fits this Coleman 28-Quart Cooler

Pool Coolers – The Bottom Line

Like we stated in the intro, floating, inflatable coolers for the pool – or beach, lake or river – are probably not the most important invention of all time.

However, they actually really are fun ideas, and they’re a practical way of adding a little more convenience and enjoyability to your summer day out on the water.

These aren’t Yetis (these are), so don’t expect a 10 lb. bag of ice to last for 10 hours out in the sun, but for an afternoon’s use of lounging around, we can virtually assure that you’ll get a good amount of enjoyment out of whichever one you decide on. Plus, with their inexpensive price tags (the ones in our list usually range from about $10 – $40), you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank with a major investment.

>> Check out all floating coolers available at Amazon .

Floating ice chest in action:

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Greg’s a co-founder of and author of 100+ product reviews and comparisons on this website. When not at work, Greg’s an avid sportsman who enjoys running marathons, loves snowboarding, hiking and discovering new single tracks on his bike.

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