Forum Thread

looking for a travel cooler

sdslick 2,590 268 August 4, 2016 at 09:37 AM
I don't normally use a cooler for anything. But now I have a child and starting to take long (4+ hours) car trips. So I want to invest in a cooler that is medium sized and easy to travel with. I would put in milk, yogurt, and expect it not to spoil if I change the ice a few times a day.

After looking into it, I think a soft cooler with a shoulder strap or a back pack should meet my travel requirements. The ones with the wheels on the bottom have bad reviews and don't seem very travel friendly.

I looked at the research online and my takeaway was that Polar Bear and AO are good brands. Then I looked at the pricing and was blown away. $60+ for a 24 can AO soft cooler.

So some questions.
1. Are these the only brands worth considering?
2. How can I get a good deal?
3. Any alternatives you would suggest.



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are you walking or biking after you park where you could not go back to the car easily? Do you need 24 can capacity or would more/less be better?

I know you gave a list but is that only what you will have?

I would try one with wheels if you will walk a lot. better for your back.

Also are you near a walmart kohls or other big box type store? just thinking of return policies. walmart has 90 days. kohls does not have one just keep your receipt (take a picture to be safe or order online). it will let you try a variety than you can return within 90 days to wally or whenever to kohls. you would look fir a better deal elsewhere and return the original.

Soft coolers are better for short trips to give you something vs a hard cooler imo. Hard should hold longer than soft unless as you saw you spend a ton.

I keep a 10 quart in my trunk at all times. a cheap 20qt plastic cooler may be all you need. if your traveling often invest in some ice packs you can refreeze. I never see them on sale though but just to be economical and use less ice I am always looking for those or I make my own ice to supplement the packs I have.

Since becoming a dad I started buying a variety of sizes in all capacities to just have for future parties and trips. Sears is good if you have shop your way points and they put a sale on the coolers. I think I got two 48qt stationeries for about 13 each from a sale and shop your way. Slickest was a bit less.

I am hesitant to spend more on a cooler with wheels. I think I may just try to get a small collapsible dolly instead and put the money saved towards that. its more versatile. I have not gotten there yet and don't plan to walk far so I would be going back to the car or carrying the cooler to the picnic spot at this point.

Sorry for long post. Hope it gave you some ideas from what I have done/thought through.
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Last edited by burner1515 August 4, 2016 at 12:05 PM
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