Whether it is packing a bag for lunch, transporting perishable goods over a long distance, or trying to preserve the freshness of beer all the way to the beach, we all know the importance of having a cooler. Yet, have you ever asked yourself why is it important to know the weight of a cooler when comparing coolers?
You might not know this, or be reluctant to actually believe it, but coolers are a more complicated issue than most people expect. They come in a wide variety of weight, shapes, sizes, and features, which makes the various models suitable for different needs and purposes.
When you do a quick search, you can literally see thousands of different models, brands, and features with unique merits and drawbacks. These factors make it even more of a challenge to find the perfect cooler for your needs. For that, allow us to help you out.
Asking the Important Questions
Considering all that we have mentioned above, if you find yourself in need of a cooler, you might very well fall into the trap of researching too closely and failing to ask the important questions. Here are some of them:
What weight of cooler should I use?
The weight of the cooler is closely related to its capacity, the thickness of its insulation and many other aspects that matter. The weight is key, which is why answering that question should be done by going through a couple of sub-questions that are important when comparing coolers.
How much storage space do I need?
It is only logical that, in most cases, the larger storage would mean a heavier weight. Space and weight are quite tightly related, after all, which is why when comparing coolers you have to consider their capacity as well.
Let us take, for example, large sized coolers. By large, we mean anything that is between 60 and 99 quarts of volume. It is, by definition, the second largest category between giant and medium.
Thus, coolers of that size would be suited for large groups and gatherings and will have a capacity to keep food and beverage cold for a longer time. At such a cooler size, most are always hard-sided, which means that they are made out of either hard plastic or metal.
What is it made of?
Now, here, weight becomes an issue too. You have to pay attention to the materials. If you have a cooler made of plastic, obviously, it is going to be lighter and as the material is cheaper, so will be the cooler. However, you have to ask yourself: how long will you be using I need the cooler for? Do you need to use it in rougher environments?
A metal container may weigh more, but it will definitely be sturdier and more durable. Also, consider that when it comes to coolers of this size, they will almost always be transported by vehicle rather than by hand. The only problem with weight in that sense will come with loading and unloading.
Furthermore, due to the size of such coolers, they tend to be purposed for multiple carrying methods and sometimes even are in wheeled configurations. A wheeled configuration can change quite a lot in that it will make transport much easier and justify the heavier weight.
How durable is it?
See, we already touched on the subject of durability by answering the previous question. Some coolers are made of soft foam materials, some have hard casings, and some are made of metal. It can all vary! And the different materials provide different levels of protection too. More than that, they also weigh differently.
Why Is It Important to Know the Weight of a Cooler When Comparing Coolers?
Considering weight is important for more than one reason here. We already discussed the issues that might arise from large sized coolers. What about small and medium sizes? Those are used mostly by solo travelers, couples, and small groups.
In the case of a solo traveler, the weight will be very important, but so will be durability. If you are going on an adventure by yourself or with only one other person, chances are you will want to ensure maximum quality, especially since more than convenience might be at stake.
Aside from that, with having to support the need of only one person, the difference in weight would be neglectable when it comes to small coolers. What if we are talking about medium size, though?
Medium size is roughly defined as those coolers between 36 and 59 quarts. It provides just enough space for a medium sized family or parties of between four and six people. There are some things to consider here with regards to weight.
For instance, who will carry it? If you have a car, the reasoning goes similarly to the larger coolers. The car will be doing the heavy lifting. However, if you need to trek in a group, you are going to need something that is more mobile and easy to carry. In that case, you can allow yourself cheaper and lighter materials.
As opposed to the solo traveler, in case there is an issue, and the cooler breaks, a good part of the content can be split to be carried between the participants of the group. In such a scenario, we would recommend focusing on more lightweight coolers.
To give you a better idea of why is it important to know the weight of a cooler when comparing coolers, we are going to make a simple enough comparison for you. For this, we will be looking at the Grizzly 40-Quart Cooler and the Pelican Elite 45-Quart Wheeled Cooler. Both of them have similar storage capacity, and they are considered medium-sized.
The Pelican comes at 20 pounds, while the Grizzly, albeit smaller, weighs 26. Not only is it heavier, but it is also less mobile. That’s right. The Pelican is a wheeler, which means that it can be pushed and dragged with ease.
If you were to think, “Well, I can handle six pounds, it is not that much”, you must consider for a second the fact that, in one case, you will need to carry the cooler, and in the other, you have the option to drag it. Of course, if you are going over rough terrain, that advantage would be lost, as you would need to carry either option.
Last but not least, you should also consider that although the Grizzly is quite heavier, it is also bear-resistant! The materials are heavier and chunkier, but they provide extra protection that you might need in the forest, which justifies the higher weight.
As you can see, the matter of weight is crucial when choosing a cooler. You first need to determine your purpose, which includes how much storage you need, its overall size, as well as durability. Luckily, with the knowledge you have gained here, we are confident that you will be making the right choice.