Let’s take a journey into our imagination for a brief moment. When your child becomes a suitable age and a true connection needs to be established, what better idea than a fishing experience down the river. This would be perfect and provide a great ambience for you both! Or imagine, you and your buddies are feeling a bonfire experience would be of great service to you. Or maybe even that you are doing a long distance drive or tour across country. One vital item that you will need to keep your food and drinks cold will be a quality cooler. The benefits of having one with you are enormous: ensures that you will have fresh food as if you had just prepared it, a cold drink to counter the hot air and thirst and keeps safe foods ensuring that they have not been contaminated.

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Initial coolers were galvanized and very heavy, after a while though, they were developed of plastic materials. Simple cool boxes for light tasks like getting groceries and milk are made of plastic exteriors. Their interiors are padded with hard foam and vary in size from hand held ones to trolled ones. There are coolers made of polystyrene foam (the material used to manufacture coffee tumblers) which is about a centimeter or 1 inch thick, they have build in moulded handles and shoulder straps.

Most cool boxes have ice cubes placed inside of them to keep them cool longer. Ice packs are also an option used because they may contain melting water inside or have a gel sealed inside that they contain remains cold much longer than plain ice, this mechanism absorbs heat as it changes phase. Simple cool boxes for simple tasks are made with plastic interiors and exteriors and that’s the reason they are light.


More modern coolers are thermoelectric. This means they use direct conversation of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. This device creates voltage when there is a difference in temperature on each side. These appliances can be used as temperature controllers. They use Peltier effect mechanism (it is the effect achieved by heating or cooling at an electrified junction of two different conductors). This mechanism is used together with an external fan to draw away heat. It is of interest to note that this process can be reversed in that this concept can also be used to heat. This is quite handy in achieving a reversed role of keeping meals warm or preventing items from freezing in extreme template climates.

Thermoelectric coolers can practically decrease the temperatures by about 40o F which is 22o C below ambient temperature, the temperature of the surrounding air, in a room. Some more recent units have digital thermostats (display in numerical digits) the conventional ones have a pointer or hand on dial.

Thermoelectric coolers draw large amounts of power and can drain a static car battery to a flat state thus making it not to start. However, most thermoelectric coolers have an under voltage shutoff that is activated at around 10 or 10.5 volts to prevent this.

Most coolers come with power adapters, which use an electronic transformer to convert Alternating Current down to 12 volts Direct current, with a lighter-like socket for the cooler’s cord to plug in. Several also have a crossover or connection device to reverse the current for heating.


Cool boxes come in different sizes, designs and shapes.  These modalities are given to ensure various adaptability functions are achieved in regard to usage and utility. Different exceptions are to be met due to their various applications, from conventional uses to those never thought of before. Cool boxes are a must have for any trip, camping, fishing or a work out session in the gym. It is highly recommended that thorough inspection is done to the insulation, because if the box cannot maintain or hold the temperature then its output is not optimal as frequent refills of ice cubes or ice gel are required and more power is consumed. To give clarity into the type of cool boxes now that we have dealt with designs and materials. Let us classify them in regard to their application.



 (4.1 / 5)


It comfortably fits 30 cans of soft drinks. The soft TPU material covering the surface is heavy duty and waterproof.

Amazon customers reviews give it a five over five star rating. It attains it credits from being an all rounded utility cool box. Some of the features include:

-Study for different outdoor activities.

-Its straps are well located to accommodate different weights.

-Extended Content cooling time

 (4.6 / 5)


It varies in content fit anything from 12packs to 48 packs. Its canvas liner is soft covering the whole box with detachable straps. It has an Amazon customer review rating of 4.5 over 5 stars. Its’ rating is attributed to:

-Its’ guaranteed ability to maintain ice blocks for 24 hours in 120 degrees for the 12 can capacity.

-Can handle different outdoor activity without compromising its’ utility function.

-It has an additional pocket to the side for extra storage.

-In comparison to other of its peer, it has a double insulation liner which is leak proof.


 (4.5 / 5)


It has been rated as the number 1 hydration pack backpack cool box.

It has earned a BEST COOLERS AVAILABLE IN 2020  among Amazon products, with a 4.4 out of 5 star rating of 83%.

The backpack has a 2 liter water belt and cooler bag that keeps water cold. It boasts of a lightweight comfortable leak proof insulation that allows air to flow.

The materials are reflective and attractive. The bag has a 6 liter capacity and it has the best interest for sports lovers.


Meadowcraft coolers vary in size, but they have very unique features that apply across their product range and this gives them 5 out of 5 of 100% (one customer) ratings.

Has a 5 year warranty

The interior and exterior are UV rays proof.

Have bottle openers attached to the casing.

These products have steel locking system and the handles are small and easy to grip. Perfect as a camping cooler.

 (4.6 / 5)


It comes with additional features of extended lid and Bottom

It has a customer review rating of 4.5 out of 5 star rating of 73%. They are of various sizes and hues; the price range is from $174.70-$539.85

Has a reliable utility function when used moderately holding ice up to ten days. The size variation gives it an edge since it gives the customer an array of space considerations.

Its downside is that it does not fit a straight up bottle for the smaller range coolers.

 (4.5 / 5)


BEST COOLERS AVAILABLE IN 2020 The market product name is Vibe element 45Q. It has an integrated bottle opener for on-the-go drinks. The product has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating of 80%, making it a top rated product.

The Vibe Cooler derives its credit from:

The technology applied – it is rotomould hence giving a compact product that is durable and best suited for rough handling. It has a 3 inch insulated casing and the gasket around the lid is freezer styled

As an additional utility of Altitude pressure release valve

It has a biased customer review of quality and utility on function, doing good time with the ice cubes on normal usage.

The prices are reasonable compared to its peers, it retails at $169.99

 (5 / 5)


Retails under the name SMAD Compact Thermoelectric car cooler travel warmer. It has an electric current option of DC 12 volts and AC main 110 volts. SMAD has ensured that it has a 6 liter capacity.

It has a rating of 5 out of 5 star rating with a retailing price of $55.00.

Have a two in one function capability thermoelectric cooler and warmer.

Has an appealing image, with easy to use appliances

It has been credited with a green zone compliance 100% CFC and HFC free.

It has polyurethane foam for high insulation and performance emitting low noise.


 (4.2 / 5)


Retails as Wagan (EL6224) at price of $77.72

Wagan has a 24 liter capacity

It has a 4 out of 5 star rating of 62% with a best seller label.

Has a duo function capability as a cooler and a warmer.

Comfortably holds four 2 liter bottles standing upwards

Its performance is good to 32 degree Fare height below ambient temperature and can heat up to 140 degree Fare height.

Customer review put it as true the manufacturer’s claims and functional utility have proved to be of integrity.

Offers generous space and has only one  down side of its cord being undetectable.



These hand held cool boxes are perceived as a fair option for light cooling activities like short distance trips, backyard sun downer gazes or picnics. 

They need to be used with freeze packs for maximum cooling of the content in the box if the outdoor activity is extended, alternatively some use foam insulation to attain the same function.


  • Light activities like picnics, short shopping trip and gym sessions.
  • If the trips or activity takes longer use ice cubes or ice gel.
  • The material used for insulation is foam thus handle with caution.


Passive cool boxes are the most common cooler boxes you interact with. Their exterior and interior is plastic designed in a manner that withstands rough handling and ensures it is still safe enough for the content inside. 

They are filled with ice cubes or ice gels used together with foam insulation to keep the contents inside cool.


  • Tough exterior.
  • Best results are achieved when full.
  • Insulated with foam but for maximum utilization add ice cubes or ice gel.
  • Good for extended trips, drives, fish storage, and backyard parties.


They bear reference to three way fridges; they are humongous starting from 30 litres in size. They are powered by electric circuits from a car’s 12 volts battery or AC mains interestingly even gas. They produce minimal to no noise, meaning minimal disturbance in your outdoor activities and even when they are near you.

They have the ability to cool food to 33 degrees Celsius below ambient air. Their size depicts a usage to family or group outing or long trips in really hot areas.


  • If you are running the cooler on gas ensure it is out in a very well aerated area
  • It does not run in a tilted position, ensure it is well placed and if possible on raised ground to help in cooling the fans.


These set of cool boxes are in a class of their own, they have preset functions that allows you to set temperatures for the content inside the box with an ability even to freeze them.

They are unperturbed by the surrounding environment, however, due to their ability to cope with hotter environments they have higher power consumption because they have more function ability.

They have a duo capability in regard to electric circuits, and can run on a car’s 12 volt battery power, or on AC mains and some also have the capability to function on solar power. They have power saving modes to regulate unnecessary consumption.

Standard power consumption over long periods happen to be lower in comparison to other cool boxes in the electric class because the compressor will only work when need be.

They are more bulky and heavier due to the additional mechanism.

They vary in size and functionality capabilities.

These types of cooler boxes are best suited for hotter climates and real scorching sun. In this environment, they won’t disappoint.

best coolers


  • Some and most models will freeze contents when on AC Mains
  • They are not influenced by outside climatically condition
  • They have power saving modes


Powered cool boxes keep content inside fresh or cool for longer. Though we earlier stated that a reverse mechanism can be used to warm the content, the ideal situation would be to pack the content cold and they are made cooler, hence that state is extended for a longer period of time. 

They are powered by the electric function in the car through the cigarette lighters’ 12 volt circuit or an AC power source. In comparison, they offer extended time than their counterparts. 


  • It uses an electric circuit (12 volts car system or AC mains). 
  • It keeps the components inside cool for a longer time. (It depends on the ambience air). 
  • High performance thermo electric cooler box can keep contents inside, to below 30 degrees Celsius.


A good cooler should be able to meet functional integrity as stipulated by the manufacturer but more so it should match the customer need in outdoor activity. Different cool boxes have different designs. The type of a cool box that you require will depend on the nature of outing you want to have. Power availability is also another consideration since different cool boxes have different power usage. At the end of the day, it is prudent to check out the suitability of the cool box that you’ll require for your outings.


How much available space do you have?

What are the accommodation plans?

How big or how small is the cooler box that you need?

Precedent outdoor activities are a great pointer of the volume needed of the cooler box. To figure this out, picture out the size of individuals accompanying you, friends or family. The number of days the activity is to last. Portions of serving and types of meals.  Efficiency and power consumption options.


Consider the outdoor activities, what is the temperature that you are set to encounter and most likely scenarios to help in understanding the options of power saving models? How do you want to serve the contents and at what temperatures would they seem consumable? What model would best serve you in regards to the environment you are headed to?


Different activities will lead to various destinations, if you are headed to hotter climates then powered models would serve right there, so the question would be what power options do you have? How long do you intend to stay in the activity and what will be the running cost on power? Frequent opening of the box and quality insulation come to play here, the less times the box is opened the less it lets hot air get which warms the content inside.