If you’ve been looking high and low online for the best patio cooler or best outdoor cooler to spice up your exterior home decor, you’ve come to the right spot.
The truth is, DIY home improvement and home decor has become a hot topic of late given the popularity of home makeover and property flipping shows — folks know how to touch up a place and make it look appealing, and nice outdoor patio furniture is just one of the factors they consider.
Fortunately, a handful of companies recently have thought to incorporate decent quality, fully-functioning coolers and ice chests into visually-appealing, even elegant-looking pieces of patio furniture.
In this article, we’ve hand-selected several of the ones that we think you’ll like best; great outdoor coolers that perform, are attractive, and are a good value for the price.
Best Outdoor Coolers: TOP Picks for Rolling Patio Coolers, Outdoor Cooler Tables/Stands, and Rolling Carts
Trinity TXK-0802 Stainless Steel Patio Cooler Cart with Shelf
This full-size stainless steel patio cooler cart is a nice, clean-looking design that would fit in well in a home with a modern exterior patio decor.
The large 80-quart ice chest, available right here, is constructed of high quality 304-grade stainless steel, and has a double-hinged lid with a very appealing bronze speckle finish – definitely a classy look that’ll turn some heads.
As far as insulation and ice retention, it will hold ice for up to two days, so two or three 10 lb bags of ice is more than sufficient for a full-afternoon’s outdoor get-together.
Also, the rolling casters make the whole unit really easy to move around, and they do lock down once you get it in the spot you want.
People are starting to use large rolling cooler carts like this more and more for hosting outdoor parties and entertainment, because they’re much classier and more convenient than stashing a bunch of cheap 20-quart Coleman coolers all over the place, or having people dig through a big bucket or bin of ice searching for a drink.
Why we like it
- Clean, classy, modern design – definitely adds visual appeal to an outdoor patio
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Smart integrated features: built-in bottle opener with cap catcher, x-large bottom storage cart, two-sided lid that opens in the middle
Rolling Patio Deck Cooler by Best Choice Products
Now here’s another really nice, quality outdoor cooler cart that’ll be guaranteed to win some comments and compliments at your next poolside get together.
We're talking about this one here.
Truth be told, it’s almost identical to the stainless steel Trinity cooler cart above, the only real difference is that it’s a bright candy red rather than bare steel.
For the vintage or antique Coca-Cola-style outdoor home decor entusiasts, this would be a perfect fit.
As far as features, it boasts all the same integrated designs as the Trinity, and in fact is constructed of the same high-quality 304-grade stainless steel.
Also, it’s got the same integrated bottle opener with the built-in cap catcher, and the same style screw-out drain plug in the back for easy cleanup once the party’s over.
Size wise it measures about 18” deep and almost 34” long — it’s an 80-quart cooler by volume and will hold up to 100 12-ounce cans, ice included.
Why we like it
- Really cool, appealing antique/Coca-Cola style design
- Large volume is plenty big enough to host a couple dozen people for an entire afternoon/evening
- Rolling/locking casters make placement and movement easy
Keter 7.5 gallon Outdoor Patio Cooler Table — Rattan Style
This is one definitely puts an emphasis on appearance and style – it’s not overpriced by any means, but it could legitimately fit right into the patio decor of any upscale home.
As far as size, it isn’t a large cooler by any means at 7.5 gallons, so don’t expect it to act as your single ice chest for a whole outdoor BBQ party. For reference though, it’ll hold up to about 40 12-ounce cans.
Most people who are really into hosting their BBQ/patio parties actually end up buying three or four of these, because they’re so nice to have around when you’ve got folks socializing and lounging around the pool/patio area — not only do they act as tables while you’re sitting down, the top part actually telescopes up to the perfect standing/leaning table as well.
Also, they can support up to 110 lbs, so you really can use them as a full-on tiki bar style table.
Keter is one of the most popular and reputable brands when it comes to outdoor patio furniture, and a lot of people like to decorate their whole pool/patio area with matching rattan furniture. (Check this page out for tons of patio Keter products to go along with the 7.5-gal cooler).
Why we like it
- Stylish, elegant, and classy looking
- We love how the table telescopes up to standing height – awesome to have three or four of these around for folks to gather and place their drinks while socializing
- Drain plug on the bottom for quick and easy cleanup
Igloo Party Bar Rolling Cooler Carts with LED Lights – Powered by LiddUp
Alright now this one is right up our alley – an outdoor, rolling cooler with bright LED party lights that operate on 4 AA batteries.
Seriously, if you’re looking for all the kick-butt props and little odds and ends that’ll set your outdoor party apart from anyone else’s, it’s little things like these that you’ve gotta keep an eye out for.
Not only is the cooler itself super functional, it’ll absolutely get some comments from your friends, and it’s just one of those things that puts guests in a pleasant, comfortable mood.
Honestly, imagine going to an outdoor party with no decorations and cheap, disposable styrofoam coolers, then imagine hanging outdoors around a nice patio with sleek, stainless steel coolers like this one that are illuminated to a soft glow — definitely adds that little extra something that a lot of parties lack, and your guests certainly will appreciate it.
Why we like it
- All the reasons listed above..
- Removeable drink dividers let you separate different drinks inside
- Integrated bottle opener and cap catcher
- Locking wheels for easy mobility
- Lid is fully removeable
- Quality insulation – a lot of folks mentioned theirs held ice all afternoon in 90+ degree sun
- Really large 125 quart volume holds a lot of drinks
Giantex Red Outdoor Patio Cooler Cart
This is another really unique ‘antiquey’ style cooler that’ll no doubt make your vintage decor-loving friends jealous. Not only that, it’ll surely attract some comments from anyone and everyone at your get together — not only the antique buffs.
Appearance and aesthetics-wise it’s up the same alley as the Best Choice Products rolling patio deck cooler, so if you’ve got that same vintage style outdoor decor going on, this would be another good fit.
In fact, it’s virtually the same cooler as both the Trinity and Best Choice stainless coolers, the only real difference is that instead of the basic metal legs with the cart at the bottom, it’s got broad angled legs that are the same color as the ice chest – definitely a step up in design and appearance. (However a lot of people do prefer having that extra storage cart at the bottom, which this cooler lacks).
Why we like it
- A little less expensive than the stainless steel rolling cooler carts… but more stylish in our opinion
- Built in bottle opener and cap catcher adds element of authenticity
- Really authentic vintage design
- Large 80-quart capacity (same as Trinity and Best Choice coolers)
Coleman 54-quart Steel Belted Cooler w/ Coleman High Stand
The Coleman 54-quart steel-belted series is another stylish cooler that’ll certainly add a nice appeal to your outdoor shindig.
Not only does it have that classic, antique steel design that a lot of people are after these days, it’s actually a really well-built performance cooler – it’ll hold ice at least for 48 hrs, and can easily get through an entire day in the hot sun with hardly any ice melting.
Of course though, our favorite part is the high stand that you can buy separately. People love to use the the stand (which folds up and stands about 28” tall) for the actual cooler, but a lot of folks like to toss a plastic trash liner in it and use it as an x-large trash bin during their parties.
And with its 100 lb weight limit, tons of people even use it as a stand for their full-size portable grill — no matter what you do with it, it’s definitely one of the most functional/convenient outdoor party accessories we’ve found anywhere.
And of course, you don’t have to use the stand for the Coleman cooler — tons of people just buy the stand(s) by themselves and use them for whatever cooler they’ve already got.
Why we like it
- Classic steel-belted cooler comes in seven different colors
- Fold-up stand has tons of different uses
- Cooler is well-built and durable enough to use as a performance hunting/fishing/camping cooler as well
10 Tips for Making Ice Last Longer During Your Outdoor Party
Naturally, one of the main problems that people run into when hosting outdoor summer BBQ’s and the such, is melting ice.
Unless you’ve made the investment in one of those several hundred dollar premium coolers, ice just doesn’t last more than a couple of hours in the summer heat.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to extend the life of your ice no matter what cooler you’ve got, ‘cos nothing’s worse than your guests having to dig through a cooler full of slushy water to find the drink they want.
- Blocked/cubed ice lasts longer than crushed/shaved ice
- Add a little salt to the ice
Adding salt lowers the freezing temperature of the ice, giving it just that little additional time before it starts melting. A simple tip, but definitely an effective one.(You can also just add some salt to tap water and then freeze the salt water in ice trays if you want to make your own salt ice).
- Remember that ice melts from the outside in
Taking this simple fact into consideration, one little trick that a lot of folks have caught onto is making one giant ice cube — one big cube will last a lot longer than a lot of small ones. (This is especially popular when serving chilled drinks like punch in a large bowl). To make a big ice cube, simply fill up a rinsed-out jug with water, freeze it, then cut the jug away. Or use this ice cube tray.
- Save your egg cartons!
One really obvious way to make sure you don’t run out of ice during your party is to stock up on it.
Simply save all your old plastic egg cartons, and use them a few days before your get together to stash away plenty of ice in your freezer!
- Chill your ice chest before you fill it up
This is probably the most popular and most effective tip for making ice last as long as possible in your cooler – whether it’s a cheap one or a super expensive one.Of course most folks don’t have an industrial-sized freezer or refrigerator to put their cooler in to chill it down, so what you can do is just fill it up with ice the day before, and let the whole thing get cold from the inside out.Then on the day of your party, just re-fill it with fresh ice, and it’ll last easily 3x as long than it would at normal temperature.
- Use ICE PACKS!
Adding a couple ice packs to your cooler will have a huge improvement on the ice retention — it’ll easily make the ice last 60% longer, or more.(Check out our article on the top picks for the best cooler ice packs).
- Chill your drinks/food before putting them in the ice chest
Another simple/obvious tip, but definitely a super-effective one
- Keep the cooler/ice chest in the shade as much as possible
- Keep the cooler closed as much as possible!
I.e., don’t leave it gaping open all afternoon or all evening long.
- Use dry ice
Using dry ice may help you keep your contents cold for longer but you have to remember to keep dry ice a bit aside from your drinks/meals so they don't freeze inside a cooler. Oh, and make sure you are using patio cooler which is dry-ice compatible. We published a nice post on the best dry ice coolers a while back – it's worth checking.
Best Patio Cooler – The Bottom Line
All things considered, the best patio coolers for your outdoor get togethers are designed with one main thing in mind: to enhance the overall experience for you and your guests.
Whether it’s aesthetic/visual appeal, a performance improvement, or an added touch of convenience and comfort for your guests, getting the best outdoor cooler will definitely be one of the best investments you can make to enhance your summertime get together.
Last update on 2020-07-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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