There are tons of several variables that men and women will consider when searching for their next cooler: factors like ice retention, storage size, durability, mobility, accessories, and many others enter into play. However, something that may trump all and be a deciding factor in which product you choose to go with will be the asking price. Men and women will normally have a set budget and will need to be ready to compromise on other features or performance in order to meet their budget needs.
For this reason, we feel it is essential to offer some of our tips for what we should feel are the best budget coolers. “Budget” might be a bit subjective since there can be a huge variance in the size of a cooler. Obviously, a tiny personal cooler is going to be cheaper than a huge plastic cooler that will fit 120 cans but does that automatically mean that the Best Cooler is budget and also 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 permits us to easier directly compare two products of vastly different size and application.
We define “budget” as a product that is typically located in the lower third tier of online prices. Since prices on a specific price may differ based upon availability, location, shipping, etc., we usually avoid mention specific prices. However, every one of these products is going to be good targets for people who are wanting to minimize the influence on their wallet. They must fall into nearly everyone’s budget range even if they are a lttle bit strapped for money.
Common Features of Budget Offerings: Just what are We Quitting to Save Some Money?
We want to emphasize there are still Lots of great products around that are in the budget cooler category, many of which might have very long ice life and be quite durable. However, we certainly have seen common trends that the cheaper products often share. Even with these common themes, we encourage anyone to do individual research to get what product fits best to meet your needs. Remember: no two coolers are exactly alike!
Your main budget coolers within this price tier will almost be exclusively made from plastic, rubber, or a type of fabric. Most of the hardware will be plastic instead of metal along with the fabric being utilized won’t be of as high quality. For most this won’t become a serious problem but on several of the coolers which might be open to more extreme environments having plastic hardware and hinges can be quite a potential weak point in the foreseeable future. This can limit the lifespan from the cooler so you might have to breakdown and buy another product quicker than you have hoped.
While you will still find many ice chests that will last two or three days with ice, you will see a comprehensive decline in how much time items stay cold budget cooler when compared to higher-end offerings. This is due to several things: lower-quality materials, shortcuts in build construction, weaker seals, etc. For someone that is only needing a product or service to keep items cool for a couple of days this shouldn’t be a challenge however if someone needing a week’s worth of performance it could get them to heavily consider considering even more expensive offerings. However, even in budget coolers you will find a significant selection of ice life in the best performing to the worst performing so performing research is definitely necessary.
Most of these will probably be subtle, for example less intricate stitching, more “play” inside the lid, looser hinges, etc. These shortcuts can affect both product life along with cooling performance. You are going to typically not find roto-molded construction in budget coolers, which is a very common selling point in several the premium coolers we have reviewed. That isn’t to say that a cooler can’t be tough without being roto-molded but there is however definitely a direct connection.
Lots of the higher-end products come with various additional features that can certainly help them to stand out. 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 a few these may be things which are sorely missed in cheaper products and to others, they may be merely a gimmick. It will likely be up to you to choose do you know the core features you are looking for in a cooler.
Typically the most costly products lasts a great deal longer. Obviously, this may vary a great deal on what kind of environment you expose those to, but for some buying among the premium coolers that can cost several hundreds of dollars is seen as an investment in something they want to last for many years. Unfortunately, some budget coolers may only serve you for a season or two and then set out to crumble. Think of the method that you plan on while using cooler and regardless if you are ok purchasing a new cooler every couple of years to save a few bucks.
These are simply several things to consider when looking at budget coolers. Having said that, below are a few of the top alternatives for affordable ice chests.