Choosing a cooler is a harder process that most people think. Once you get down to research, you quickly realize that with the plethora of options, designs, types, and subtypes out there, it is easy to get confused and lose sight of what is truly important. Yet one of the most common questions asks is this, “What size cooler do I need?”.
In order to answer this question, there are quite a few things to consider first. Lucky for you, you have us to help you out. Here, we will closely examine one by one all the essential factors to consider when buying a cooler. Before that though, are you certain that you do need a cooler?
Do You Actually Need a Cooler?
Unless you are in need of keeping perishable goods cold for more than a day, a cooler might be a bit of an overkill and a general waste of space and money. If you simply need to keep thing cool, say, for several hours, then you might as well go for a soft, cheap cooler or an insulated bag.
Although not as fancy as a cooler, both a soft cooler and an insulated bag can get the job done, especially for those who plan on having a picnic at the beach or the park. However, if you find yourself in need of something more serious, then continue reading for you are in the right place.
What Size Cooler Do I Need?
For your convenience, we have divided the answer to this question into two sections. Both of these sections cover the two perspectives you need to take into consideration when trying to figure out the size of cooler you need to buy.
Each of the following two sections is consequently divided into sub-sections so that it is easier for you to where exactly your needs fit. In the end, we hope to help you answer the question, “What size cooler do I need?”.
Perspective 1: The Level Of Usage
Obviously, it makes the most sense to start where it matters most—the usage. By this, we mean mostly the number of people who will be utilizing the services of your cooler. For the sake of simplicity, we have split that into three groups: solo travelers, small groups, and large groups.
- Solo Travelers
Of course, it makes sense that solo travelers will get the smallest coolers. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that in some cases you won’t need something bigger. The key is to consider the length of your trip.
If you are going to need fresh supplies for more than a day, it might be prudent to get a bigger cooler, even if it will drag you down. If you are going in a car, especially, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Small Groups
When it comes to smaller groups, we would like to focus on families mostly. Groups of friends are more likely to have more than one cooler on the assumption that more than one person would be into that sort of experience. This, to a large extent, solves the issue with size.
On the other hand, when it comes to families, you have to think more strategically. A cooler needs to be big enough to sustain the needs of all members, but also mobile enough that it can be carried by only two adults. For this reason, we advise medium-sized coolers, which have a volume of between 36 and 59 quarts.
- Large Groups
Large groups get large and giant-sized coolers; it is that simple. However, large and giant sizes are a tad more different than you might think. Large sizes go between 60 and 90 quarts, while giant ones are often well above a 100.
If you are planning a family event with many relatives coming, it might be prudent to opt for the large option. This is because the chances are, people will also be bringing their own supplies, which reduces the need for too much space.
If, however, you are organizing the event, then keep in mind that bigger is better. If you are responsible for all the drinks and fresh food, you would want to be sure about your capacity and stock properly. This is especially important if you are organizing an event at a remote location.
Perspective 2: The Level of Activity
In order to decide on a cooler’s size, you must first carefully consider the level of physical activity you will be doing with it. Coolers range as much as the specifics of the activity you plan to do. And, as we well know, activities can vary greatly. Let’s review the most popular ones, shall we?
- Keeping the Cooler Immobile
Going to the beach is a perfect example of what we are describing. Spending the day at the beach is something that many of us are tempted to do on hot summer days. And even more tempting is the prospect of having a can of cold beer in hand.
If you are simply going for a leisure experience of sunbathing, occasional dips in the water, and enjoying the calming sounds of the waves, chances are you are not going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting to get there. This means that you would be able to afford yourself a larger sized cooler, as chances are you will be going there with some mode of transport.
Bigger cooler means more weight, of course, which would be your primary worry when it comes to owning coolers that are larger in size.
- Getting a Ride for Its Money
Hiking is definitely more tricky than a day at the beach. It will involve movement, maybe even through rough terrain and in rough weather. In such a case, of course, you cannot afford a heavily sized cooler to drag you down, which means that you also won’t have the opportunity to choose a larger size.
It would mean not only more weight but also more inconvenience in carrying it. Many coolers come with wheels, but if you are going in the forest, this is not going to be very useful, as the terrain would hardly be suitable for such a method of dragging it along.
There you have it! Those are the basic things to consider when it comes to cooler size. Remember to always think strategically regarding the level of usage and level of activity you will need the cooler for.
With all of what you have just read, remember that it is only advice. Certainly, your specific situation may differ from one another. However, we hope to have demonstrated not only the basics of how to make a decision regarding cooler size but also showed you the way you should reason when doing your research.