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Your 2023 Inflatable Cooler Guide

A floating inflatable cooler seems like a nifty idea, but we wanted to know if they really keep your drinks cold. 

Having an ice chest out on the open water with you is convenient, but only if it works. No one wants a warm beverage on a hot summer day.

Today, we’ll discover if inflatable coolers are worth the money and which brands offer the best insulation and extra features.

Let’s dive in!

About Inflatable Coolers  

Whether you’re headed out to the pool, river, or beach, you might want to consider adding an inflatable cooler to your packing list. We love that deflated ice chests barely take up any space, so bringing one in case you need it later is easy. 

Depending on what you want to use the ice box for will help you decide which one to purchase. Some inflatable coolers are designed to float around your backyard pool, supplying party guests with refills and making hosting duties a breeze. If you splurge for a nice one, it might even have cupholders around the sides.

You can also take one of these air-filled coolers tubing on the river. Models made for open water activities usually have lids that zip closed and handles to attach a rope to for easy towing. 

How Do You Choose an Inflatable Cooler? 

No matter the ice chest’s intended purpose, you’ll want to find one made with high-quality materials. Look for vinyl or PVC options because these thick materials will stand the test of time. You can also read online reviews about the product’s durability before you make a decision.

The activities you intend to use your floating ice chest for will also help you decide which one to purchase. The size, for example, is one significant factor. A larger cooler can hold more drinks, but if you plan to use it in a small pool, it might take up too much space. 

However, if you want to take it out on the open water, a larger size might help it be more sturdy. Check for lids that latch or zip closed to help your beverages stay cool. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to pack these 5 Best Road Trip Snacks in your inflatable cooler.

Drinks in a cooler
Keep your drinks cool in an inflatable cooler.

Fun and Practical Inflatable Coolers That Work 

In no particular order, we’ve listed some of the highest-rated options for these floating ice boxes. They’ll keep your drinks cold and nearby while you spend time in the water.

#1 Intex Mega Chill II

The Intex Mega Chill II has a unique design that allows it to be used alone or in conjunction with a regular ice chest. This flat float has a cooler section in the middle with velcro closures. You can toss your drinks in the center section with some ice, or for extra insulation, you can set an ice chest in it. 

The Mega Chill also has cupholders, handles, and eyelets to tie ropes to. So no matter what adventure you’ve got in mind, this cooler will be great for chilled beverages along the way.

#2 AirSkirts Inflatable Cooler

If you don’t have any water activities in mind but would still like to bring an ice chest along during your next camping trip, consider the AirSkirts Cooler. Since its foundation in 2020, this brand has developed various products to make life on the road a little easier.  

The inflatable cooler has a volume of 58 quarts, making it a sizable option. But when not in use, it easily stores in a small duffel bag. It even comes with a pump, making inflating and deflating the ice box quick and easy. 

Reviewers note that this ice chest performs similarly to a regular Coleman brand one, but they love saving space in their rigs. 

#3 Inflatable Palm Tree Cooler

With summer around the corner, you might be planning some pool parties, and you won’t want to be without this decorative cooler. Inflatable palm tree coolers will delight your guests and keep their drinks cold. You can buy one of these functional decorations online from several brands at a pretty low price point. 

Just blow it up, fill it with ice, and toss in the pool. Unfortunately, this fun cooler doesn’t have a lid, cup holders, or handles, making it a lousy option for open water. But you won’t be disappointed watching it float around your pool.

Getting drink from cooler
An inflatable cooler can be easily packed away for almost any adventure.

#4 Tube Pro Cooler Carrier

For a no-frills option to bring your ice chest floating with you, look no further than the Tube Pro Cooler Carrier. Its sturdy vinyl construction makes it very durable. Some reviewers have even used it to float with their pets. It’s the perfect size for small to medium dogs.

This inflatable rig has a cooler-sized indentation in the middle. You blow up the raft and place your ice box inside to turn your regular cooler into a floating one. It can carry over 200 pounds and snuggly fits chests between 36 and 50 quarts in volume. 

#5 Air Pong Table Cooler

If you enjoy playing games while out on the water, you’ll definitely want to invest in one of these floating Air Pong tables. Reviewers love the built-in cooler in the middle that can hold up to 18 cans and enough ice to keep them cool.

It’s seven feet long and made of heavy-duty vinyl, so it can also be used as a raft after you play a few rounds. It has a tray to hold cups upright without spilling your beverages and also has some built-in cupholders. We think this option will be the talk of your next pool party or lake day.

Pro Tip: Discover Should You Use Dry Ice in a Camping Cooler to keep your camping treats cool.

Inflatable Coolers Really Do Work

An inflatable cooler can be easily packed away for almost any adventure. A blow-up version will do the job if you plan to hit the beach, host a pool party, or just want an ice chest for your rig. Don’t forget to look for heavy-duty materials and read reviews to find a durable option. 

We hope you have the pleasure of enjoying ice-cold beverages on your next trip, thanks to an inflatable cooler!

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