There are a variety of different variables that people will consider when shopping for their next cooler: factors including ice retention, storage size, durability, mobility, accessories, and more enter in to play. However, something that could trump all and stay a deciding factor in which product you decide to go with is definitely the asking price. Men and women will have a set budget and will have to be happy to compromise on additional features or performance in order to meet their budget needs.
Because of this, we feel it is essential to provide a lot of our recommendations for what we feel are the most useful budget coolers. “Budget” might be a bit subjective since there could be a huge variance in the actual size of a cooler. Obviously, a compact personal cooler will likely be cheaper than a huge plastic cooler that may fit 120 cans but does that automatically signify the Best Cooler is budget along with the large ice chest is just not? We don’t think it does. Therefore, we analyze items depending on how much it costs per quart of storage size. This allows us to more easily directly compare two products of vastly different size and application.
We define “budget” like a product that is normally located in the lower third tier of online prices. Since prices on the specific price can differ depending on availability, location, shipping, etc., we often avoid mention specific prices. However, many of these products will probably be good targets for people who are wanting to minimize the impact on their wallet. They need to fall under practically everyone’s range of prices even when they are a lttle bit strapped for cash.
Common Highlights of Budget Offerings: Just what are We Giving Up to Save Some Money?
We wish to emphasize that you have still Lots of great products available which can be within the budget cooler category, many of which may have lengthy ice life and also be quite durable. However, we certainly have seen common trends how the less expensive products usually share. Even with these common themes, we encourage you to do individual research to locate what product fits best to meet your needs. Remember: no two coolers are exactly alike!
Most of your budget coolers in this particular price tier will almost be exclusively created from plastic, rubber, or a kind of fabric. The majority of the hardware will be plastic instead of metal and the fabric being used won’t be of as good quality. For many this won’t become a serious problem but on several of the coolers that could be exposed to more extreme environments having plastic hardware and hinges might be a potential weak point in the foreseeable future. This might limit the life span from the cooler so you may need to break down and get another product quicker than you have hoped.
While you will still find many ice chests that may last two or three days with ice, you will see an overall decline in how long items stay cold budget cooler in comparison with higher-end offerings. This is caused by several things: lower-quality materials, shortcuts in build construction, weaker seals, etc. For an individual that is only needing a product or service to keep items cool for a day or two this shouldn’t be a problem but if someone needing a week’s amount of performance it might cause them to heavily consider looking at even more expensive offerings. However, even in budget coolers you will discover a significant variety of ice life from your best performing towards the worst performing so performing research is without a doubt necessary.
A number of these will be subtle, for example less intricate stitching, more “play” within the lid, looser hinges, etc. These shortcuts may affect both product life and also cooling performance. You will typically not find roto-molded construction in budget coolers, which is a type of selling point in many the premium coolers we have reviewed. That isn’t to mention which a cooler can’t still be tough without getting roto-molded however, there is definitely a direct connection.
Many of the higher-end products come with various additional features that can really help these people to be noticeable. Things such as modular ice trays, various external storage options, easy-access drain plugs, multiple ergonomic carrying methods, bottle openers, and in many cases included silverware! To some these may be items that are sorely missed in cheaper products as well as others, they could be nothing more than a gimmick. It will be your choice to choose do you know the core features you are searching for in a cooler.
Typically the most expensive products can last a lot longer. Obviously, this will vary quite a bit on what type of environment you expose them to, but to many buying one of many premium coolers that can cost several hundreds of dollars is noted being an investment in something they plan to last for many years. Unfortunately, some budget coolers might only last a season or two and then commence to break apart. Think about the way you plan on using the cooler and regardless if you are ok investing in a new cooler every few years to conserve a few dollars.
These are only a few things to consider when viewing budget coolers. With that said, here are several of our own top options for affordable ice chests.