Are you planning a picnic for this summer with your family or friends? Have you been struggling to pack your cans and meals when you go camping for a while? Either way, no festive outing is complete without a good cooler and we're going to help you choose the best one.
Coolers offer an easy way to keep food and drinks at the right temperature during an outdoor trip. It used to be so easy to buy them. All you had to do was go to the store, pull one of the many identical products off the shelf and pay for it. However, things have become much more complex in recent years with the advent of modern coolers. Indeed, the world of coolers is saturated and it can be difficult to determine which product will best suit your lifestyle.
Today, to choose the right cooler, there are several selection criteria to consider. These include size, thermal performance, ease of use and the type of cooler available on the market.
To make it easier for you, we will detail the above-mentioned criteria in the following lines. At the end of the article, you will also have the opportunity to choose one of our best coolers.
What size for a cooler?
The first criterion to think about when choosing your cooler is the size of the cooler. To this end, the selection of the size should depend on:
- The intended use;
- The number of people for whom the contents of the container are intended;
- The amount of time you need to keep the items cool.
For example, a small cooler is suitable for a few hours at the beach. On the other hand, day trips such as camping or hiking require larger coolers. In any case, you have various models on the market offering capacities ranging from 10 liters to 40 liters depending on your needs.
What thermal performance for a cooler?
Basically, a cooler is made to keep your food fresh, but the data has evolved relatively. It is now possible to buy a cooler that is also capable of keeping your picnic meals warm. Once you have identified your need, we recommend that you check the thermal insulation of the cooler.
Clearly, this is its ability to keep the cold or heat in for as long as possible. For example, if you have a morning of fishing planned, it is important to keep your fish cool until you return. At Healthy Lunch, all of our coolers have been insulation tested and offer the best shelf life.
What accessories are needed for an easy-to-use cooler?
- foldable carrying handles ;
- wheels and non-slip feet;
- a lid with hard plastic latches to keep it sealed;
- drain plugs.
Of course, the list is not exhaustive, as you can also look for bottle openers, a shoulder strap, built-in cup holders and more.
What types of coolers are there?
Even though the French market totals millions of cooler sales, you can find the one that suits you. You just have to choose one of the three main types of models:
- Soft coolers;
- Rigid coolers;
- Electric coolers.
Focus on soft coolers
Soft-sided coolers are ideal for storing food and drinks for at least 24 hours. It should be noted that their designs vary in materials. In fact, these bags are made from nylon, PVC and TPU with insulating liners inside. This lightweight, yet sturdy construction gives them many distinct advantages over rigid models.
First, soft coolers are flexible inside and out. Second, they can be compressed and folded, allowing you to store them in small spaces. Further, some models offer padded shoulder straps for easy carrying. Finally, they're perfect for carrying your meals to work, on hikes or on picnics.
Focus on rigid coolers
This type of cooler offers you the ultimate in durability. Hard-sided coolers can handle any amount of abuse and are shock resistant. In addition, most of these coolers come with rubber latches.
When it comes to portability, you can count on their non-slip feet. And if you decide to adopt this cooler, don't forget to check if it has an insulated lid that closes tightly. Finally, you should know that rigid coolers are a great option for long truck trips or for hunting, camping, bivouacking, etc.
Focus on electric coolers
Do you have access to electrical power and want to eliminate the inconvenience of using ice packs to keep cold? An electric cooler is the tool you need most. In stores and online stores, there are 3 main types of electric coolers. They run on 12-240V DC power supplied either from your wall outlet or cigarette lighter.
Designed using the Peltier effect, this category of cooler is capable of heating or cooling your food products. To this effect, it integrates controls to adjust the temperature as you wish. However, its performance is limited by the ambient temperature of the environment where it is installed.
You can use it in the car or truck where its ignition responds to a voltage of 12 or 24 volts. Unlike a traditional cooler, the thermoelectric cooler does not have to deal with melting ice and wet food. Its interior space is therefore better optimized to accommodate more items.
The compressor cooler uses a refrigerant with compression and an evaporator to operate. In a nutshell, it acts like a home refrigerator, allowing it to cool or freeze its contents. Unlike a thermoelectric cooler, a compressor cooler can maintain a constant temperature regardless of the outside temperature.
These are absorption coolers that can be used in any location and use various power sources: 12v, 12v, 230v, etc. To operate and keep your products constantly cool, it does not need a cooling element. Also, it is very competitive on the market because of its decibel level. Indeed, it is a device that makes almost no noise compared to its predecessors.
It is important to close this section with a few reminders. Once you've selected your electric cooler, consider whether it comes with features to make it easier to use. These include a spare battery, a remote control or a remote connection.
What are the best coolers?
At Healthy Lunch, we've thought about your convenience by providing a rich line of coolers. Here, we'll review two of our best coolers.
The Black Soft Cooler 9L
Designed as a cooler bag, this soft-sided cooler has a capacity of 9 liters to carry your food. And for your convenience, it has compartments to separate solid and liquid foods. We also point out that the cooler is made from 600D Oxford and benefits from three perfectly insulated layers:
- An inner waterproof layer;
- A waterproof outer layer;
- An insulating foam.
Such a design allows it to keep your meals cool for up to 6 hours which you can increase with ice packs. On the other hand, it also helps to maintain heat for 6 hours.
The Brown High Performance Cooler
True to its name, this Healthy Lunch cooler will be your best partner for excursions, fishing weekends or RVing. Indeed, it is made of high quality materials and its interior is covered by PU foam. It is a particularly waterproof and leakproof material. In terms of performance, it is a rigid cooler of 25 liters that can maintain a constant temperature for at least 3 days.
With this feature, it defies any external competition, but that's not all. We deliver it with a built-in thermometer, an easy-to-handle handle and a tightly sealed lid.
As we finish this article on our products, we realize that the choice of a cooler meets very specific criteria. Between soft, hard and electric coolers, you just need to know how much food you want to take with you and what portability accessories you need.