Summer is upon us, and there’s no better way to enjoy the sun than by the water. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, tubing down a river, or fishing on a lake, keeping your drinks cold is essential. Enter the floating cooler, a game-changing accessory that allows you to keep your beverages and snacks cool while floating alongside you. 

Now, let’s delve into floating coolers, their uses, and the top brands to consider. We’ll also review the best floating coolers for 2024 and answer frequently asked questions.

Floating Cooler

What is a Floating Cooler?

A floating cooler is a specially designed cooler that floats on water, allowing easy access to cold drinks and snacks while you’re in the pool, lake, or river. These coolers come in various shapes and sizes and are made from materials that ensure buoyancy and durability. Typically, a floating cooler features insulation to keep contents cold for extended periods, tow ropes or handles for easy maneuverability, and compartments to organize your items.

Reviews of Best Floating Coolers for 2024

Cuddy Floating Cooler Storage Vessel

The Cuddy Floating Cooler Storage Vessel is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who need a robust and reliable cooler. It offers a high storage capacity and is built with UV-resistant materials, ensuring longevity even under direct sunlight. This cooler is designed to be leak-proof and easy to tow, making it perfect for various water activities.

Pros:

  • High Storage Capacity: Can hold a significant amount of drinks and snacks, making it ideal for group outings.
  • Durable Build: Constructed from high-quality materials that can withstand rough conditions.
  • UV-Resistant: Protects the cooler from sun damage, ensuring a longer lifespan.
  • Easy to Tow: Comes with sturdy tow handles that make it easy to pull along in the water.
  • Leak-Proof: Ensures no water gets in or out, keeping contents dry and cold.

Cons:

  • Pricey: Higher cost than other models, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Heavy When Fully Loaded: Can be difficult to transport when filled.

RANGLAND Adventure 30 Insulated Floating Inflatable Cooler

RANGLAND’s Adventure 30 is a lightweight, inflatable cooler that is easy to inflate and deflate, making it highly portable. It’s ideal for quick trips and can double as a dry bag, providing versatility.

Pros:

  • Lightweight: Easy to carry and transport, even when inflated.
  • Easy to Inflate: Quick and hassle-free setup and breakdown.
  • Highly Portable: Compact when deflated, making it easy to store and transport.
  • Multi-Use as a Dry Bag: Can be used for storing dry items, adding to its versatility.
  • Affordable: Cost-effective option for those looking for a budget-friendly cooler.

Cons:

  • Limited Capacity: Smaller storage space than other models might be unsuitable for larger groups.
  • Not Very Durable: May not withstand rough conditions or hard-sided coolers.

CreekKooler Portable Waterproof Floating Insulated Cooler

The CreekKooler offers excellent insulation and a waterproof design, making it a reliable choice for extended trips. Its rugged design ensures stability on the water, preventing tipping.

Pros:

  • Excellent Insulation: Keeps items cold for long periods, ideal for multi-day trips.
  • Waterproof: Ensures no water seeps in, keeping contents dry and cold.
  • Rugged Design: Built to last, withstanding harsh conditions and rough handling.
  • Ample Storage: Large capacity to hold a significant amount of beverages and snacks.
  • Stable on Water: Designed to prevent tipping, ensuring contents remain secure.

Cons:

  • Bulky: Larger size can make it difficult to transport and store when not in use.
  • Difficult to Store: Requires significant storage space due to its size and shape.

Enthusiast Gear Insulated Dry Bag Cooler

The Enthusiast Gear Insulated Dry Bag Cooler combines a dry bag’s functionality with a traditional cooler’s cooling capabilities. It’s lightweight and compact, perfect for on-the-go activities.

Pros:

  • Dual-Use as a Dry Bag and Cooler: Its versatile design allows it to be used for both cooling and keeping items dry.
  • Lightweight: Easy to carry, making it ideal for hiking and camping.
  • Compact: Small footprint when not used, easy to store and transport.
  • Easy to Carry: Equipped with comfortable straps for easy portability.
  • Affordable: Budget-friendly option without compromising on functionality.

Cons:

  • Limited Insulation: Not as effective at keeping items cold for extended periods.
  • Smaller Capacity: Limited storage space, suitable for shorter trips or fewer people.

Intex Inflatable Floating Cooler

The Intex Inflatable Floating Cooler is budget-friendly and features multiple cup holders. It’s easy to inflate and deflate, making it convenient to store and transport.

Pros:

  • Affordable: Low-cost option that offers great value for money.
  • Easy to Inflate: Quick setup, making it ideal for impromptu outings.
  • Multiple Cup Holders: Convenient for keeping drinks within easy reach.
  • Large Capacity: Can hold a significant amount of beverages and snacks.
  • Easy to Store: Compact when deflated, making it easy to store.

Cons:

  • Not Very Durable: May not hold up well to rough handling and long-term use.
  • Needs Frequent Inflating: May require regular reinflation during use.

Ozark Trail Outdoor Equipment Cooler

The Ozark Trail Outdoor Equipment Cooler is built for durability with good insulation properties. It’s versatile, making it suitable for a variety of outdoor activities.

Pros:

  • Durable Construction: Made with high-quality materials that withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Good Insulation: Keeps items cold for extended periods, ideal for long trips.
  • Ample Storage: Large capacity to accommodate a lot of items.
  • Easy to Transport: Equipped with handles and tow points for easy mobility.
  • Versatile: Suitable for various activities, from camping to boating.

Cons:

  • Heavy: Can be cumbersome to move, especially when fully loaded.
  • Expensive: Higher price point compared to some other models.

Uses of a Floating Cooler

Floating coolers are versatile and indispensable for anyone who enjoys water-based activities. Their design allows them to float on water, providing easy access to cold beverages and snacks without the need to leave the water. Here’s a closer look at who needs a floating cooler and why they are beneficial:

Who Needs It?

Boaters:
For boaters, a day on the water often means hours away from the shore. Having a floating cooler ensures that refreshments are always within reach without needing to make frequent trips back to shore. Whether cruising on a yacht or paddling a kayak, a floating cooler can be towed alongside your vessel, keeping your drinks cool and easily accessible.

Anglers:
Fishing trips can last for several hours or even days, and keeping bait fresh and beverages cold is crucial. A floating cooler can store both bait and refreshments, ensuring that anglers have everything they need without cluttering the boat. It can be anchored or towed, providing a convenient storage solution that doesn’t take up valuable space on the boat.

Pool Party Hosts:
Hosting a pool party means keeping guests hydrated and happy. A floating cooler is an ideal solution for pool parties, allowing guests to grab a drink without getting out of the pool. It adds a fun and functional element to the party, enhancing the overall experience for everyone involved.

Campers:
A floating cooler is a must-have for campers who enjoy floating down rivers or lakes. It can be loaded with essentials like food, drinks, and even personal items that need to stay dry. As you navigate the water, the cooler floats, making it easy to access your items without stopping or getting out of the water.

Why You Need It

Convenience:
One of the main reasons to invest in a floating cooler is convenience. There’s no need to constantly get out of the water to grab a drink or snack. Everything you need is beside you, whether you’re lounging in the pool, fishing, or floating down a river. This convenience makes your water activities more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Portability:
Floating coolers are designed to be easy to transport. Many models come with tow ropes or handles, allowing you to pull them along effortlessly. Whether you’re tubing, kayaking, or just floating, a floating cooler can be towed behind you, ensuring your refreshments are always within arm’s reach. This portability makes them an excellent choice for various water activities.

Versatility:
Floating coolers are incredibly versatile. While they are perfect for water activities, they can also be used on land as regular coolers. This means you get dual functionality – use them in the water during the day and as a traditional cooler for your evening barbecue or camping trip. Their ability to perform well in both environments makes them valuable to your outdoor gear.

By understanding the uses and benefits of floating coolers, you can better appreciate why they are becoming an essential accessory for water enthusiasts. Whether you’re a boater, angler, pool party host, or camper, a floating cooler can enhance your experience by providing convenient, portable, and versatile storage for your refreshments.

Top Brands of Floating Coolers

Top Brands of Floating Coolers

Cuddy

Cuddy is known for its high-quality, innovative products designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Its floating coolers are robust and focus on durability and functionality.

Exceptional insulation, rugged design, and thoughtful features like UV resistance and leak-proof seals.

CreekKooler

CreekKooler specializes in portable, waterproof coolers perfect for water activities. Their designs emphasize durability and convenience. 

Dual-wall insulation, high capacity, and stable design that prevents tipping.

RANGLAND

RANGLAND offers a range of outdoor gear, including floating coolers that are both practical and stylish.

Lightweight, inflatable designs that are easy to transport and store.

Intex

Intex is a well-known brand in the inflatable products industry. It offers a variety of affordable and reliable floating coolers.

It is budget-friendly, easy to inflate, and has multiple cup holders.

Ozark

Ozark Trail is synonymous with outdoor adventure gear, providing durable and affordable products. 

Rugged construction, good insulation, and versatility in use.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Floating Cooler

When choosing the right floating cooler for your needs, several important factors must be considered. Ensuring that you select a cooler that meets your requirements will enhance your outdoor experience and provide you with the necessary convenience and reliability.

Capacity

Determine Your Needs:
The capacity of a floating cooler is crucial and should be based on how many people will be using it and for how long. Coolers come in various sizes, from small personal coolers to large ones capable of storing beverages and snacks for a group.

Consider the Duration of Use:
A smaller cooler might suffice if you’re planning a short trip or a day at the pool. However, for longer trips or events with multiple people, you’ll need a cooler with a larger capacity to accommodate more items.

Example Sizes:

  • Small: Suitable for 1-2 people, holding 6-12 cans.
  • Medium: Good for 2-4 people, holding about 12-24 cans.
  • Large: Ideal for groups of 4 or more, holding 24+ cans and additional snacks.

Insulation

How Long Will It Keep Items Cold?
The quality of insulation in a floating cooler determines how long it can keep your items cold. Good insulation ensures that your beverages and snacks stay cool throughout your activity.

Types of Insulation:

  • Standard Insulation: Keeps items cold for a few hours.
  • High-Density Foam Insulation: Can maintain cold temperatures for up to 24 hours or more.
  • Dual-Wall Insulation: Offers the best performance, keeping items cold for extended periods, sometimes up to 48 hours.

Consider External Factors:
Remember the external temperature and exposure to sunlight, as these can affect the cooler’s performance. Look for coolers with UV-resistant materials to enhance their insulation capabilities.

Durability

Materials Matter:
Durability is key, especially if you plan to use the cooler in rugged conditions. Look for materials that can withstand rough handling and resist punctures and abrasions.

Construction Quality:
Check the quality of seams and joints. Welded seams are usually more durable than sewn seams. Hard plastic floating coolers are often more durable than their inflatable counterparts.

Impact Resistance:
For activities like boating or camping where the cooler might be subject to impacts, choose a cooler with a rugged, impact-resistant design to ensure longevity.

Portability

Ease of Transport:
A floating cooler should be easy to carry to and from your activity location. Consider whether it has handles, straps, or tow ropes that make it easier to transport.

Weight Considerations:
While a cooler with a larger capacity can hold more, it will also be heavier when fully loaded. Ensure that the cooler’s weight, when filled, is manageable for you.

Inflatable vs. Hard-Sided:
Inflatable coolers are generally lighter and easier to store when not in use, as they can be deflated and packed away. Hard-sided coolers might be bulkier but offer more durability and insulation.

Additional Features

Cup Holders:
Many floating coolers come with built-in cup holders, which add convenience by keeping your drinks secure and easily accessible while you float.

Towing Ropes:
Towing ropes are essential for pulling the cooler behind you in the water. Ensure that the cooler has sturdy and well-placed towing points.

Multi-Functionality:
Some coolers can double as dry bags or have compartments for storing items that need to stay dry. For more versatility, look for coolers with additional pockets or sections.

Anchoring Options:
If you plan to stay in one place, having an anchor point on the cooler can be beneficial to keep it from drifting away.

Color and Design:

While functionality is key, you might also want a cooler that looks good and matches your style or the aesthetic of your other gear.

Choosing the right floating cooler involves considering capacity, insulation, durability, portability, and additional features. Understanding these elements allows you to select a cooler that perfectly suits your needs and enhances your outdoor adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long can a floating cooler keep items cold?

Most floating coolers can keep items cold for 24-48 hours, depending on the insulation quality and external temperatures. High-end coolers with superior insulation, such as dual-wall or high-density foam insulation, can maintain cold temperatures for longer. External factors like direct sunlight and ambient temperature also affect how long the cooler can keep its contents cold. For optimal performance, it’s recommended to pre-chill the cooler and its contents before use.

Are floating coolers easy to tow?

Yes, most floating coolers are designed conveniently and equipped with tow ropes or handles, making them easy to pull along in the water. Whether you’re tubing, kayaking, or just floating, these two features ensure the cooler stays close by and doesn’t drift away. Some coolers also have multiple attachment points, allowing you to secure them to various watercraft or to each other, providing added stability and ease of use.

Can I use a floating cooler on land?

Floating coolers are versatile and can be used on land and in water, providing the same cooling benefits in both environments. They function like regular coolers on land, keeping your drinks and snacks cold. Their rugged construction and excellent insulation suit them for camping trips, picnics, and backyard barbecues. Their portability and durability ensure they perform well in any setting when transitioning between water and land.