Parties and outings are always fun with your favorite beverages! But did you know there’s an enjoyable way to store your drinks while you enjoy that pool party, river cruise, or getaway at the shore?
You could do that and more with the best floating coolers! They’re light, convenient for any travel, stylish, and affordable!
Don’t just shop for ordinary coolers. Choose the best and most durable floating cooler that lasts!
The mechanism of a floating cooler is straightforward. It is a cooler that can float!
Their internal design consists of conventional insulation techniques. It has lids for easy access and a standard drain plug.
But floating cooler brands have unique specifications and extra features that make them stand out from the rest. Many blow-up coolers are used in the swimming pool, the river or oceans, and calm waters.
To add a bit of excitement, you can even play beer pong with the floating drink holder. So you can save more by not buying the inflatable beer pong table.
These are our top picks for the best-floating coolers;
Top 5 Floating Coolers
1) Airhead Aqua Oasis – Best Overall
The Airhead Aqua Oasis is an ice-ready lockbox-insulated leak-proof nylon cooler that elevates from the inflatable vinyl base with an adjustable shoulder strap.
Its detachable main compartment in the middle can load up to 24 12-ounce cans under its closed lid.
What I like the most is the six separate floating drink holders along its inner tube. The cup holders are also marked with numbers to help trace which drink is yours.
Plus! It has a sundries holder for goggles or sunscreen. And you can tug it using its tether.
- You can attach two or more inflatables
- Cup holders have numbers
- Smaller capacity
2) Big Bobber Floating Cooler- Best Value
The Big Bobber floating coolers are so light that they can float in the pool, river, ocean, or any stream of water.
It can also stand still if you’re carrying it in your boat.
It’s fun to watch these floating ice chests that look like bombs, only that the inside is a blast of your ice-cold beer.
The cooler is insulated and can carry up to 12 cans of ice. It can keep your drinks cold all day.
If you are looking for the perfect gift for someone fond of tubing and kayak adventures, this is it. You can thank me later!
- Easy to carry with its built-in handle
- Robust cooler that can work with sharp objects
- Hinge can rust
3) Intex Mega Chill II – Best Budget
One of the most popular floating coolers is the Intex Inflatable Mega Chill II floating cooler.
A massive cooler that can carry up to three cases of cans or bottles. It has ample space to hold up to 72 12-ounce cans.
It’s used to tether to the Intex tube so that you can tow loads of beer sodas.
Its best feature is its flexibility. If you detach the insulated lid, you can brace a standard 48-quart cooler on the base. Thus, providing the landlubbing traditional gear for its floating island.
Intex Mega Chill is a mix of blue, black, and white colors.
- Bigger capacity
- Six built-in holders for cups
- It has three air chambers for safety
- You can easily attach it to the boat
- Not airtight, and the lid can float away
4) CrekKooler Floating Cooler
If you are fond of watersports and kayak trips, then CrekKooler Floating Cooler will suit you.
It looks like an inflatable kayak you can tow behind a small watercraft. It easily floats in the water, and you can pull it across the ground.
It consists of a blow-molded plastic hull, with two inches of insulation inserted into its hull and deck. So, it can pull off ice retention for up to two days.
It can hold 30 12-ounce cans or 20 lbs of ice for up to two days within its watertight dry storage compartment.
You can even choose to buy two for any of your kayak trips. One is a storage to keep your drinks chilling. The second one is for your other items to keep dry.
You can also use it when the lake freezes over the snow as it is aerodynamic, which you can throw in the ice. You can choose from variations of colors of yellow, tan, white, and blue.
- Built-in four cup holders at the side.
- Ice Retention for up to 48 hours
- Dual walled and consists of foam insulation
- Durable with large capacity
- Hard-to-reach areas for clean up
5) IceMule Pro XXL
The IceMule Pro XXL is a good example of a high-end product but on the more pricey side.
It is super durable, well-insulated, and watertight. Try to throw it on the lake, and it will float on the surface without inflation.
It consists of heavy-duty tarpaulin with a valve that allows you to fill the lining with insulating air. This will sustain the ice and keep it intact for days.
Its ergonomic backpack design is also perfect for hiking and water adventures. And bring out the cold drinks for a post-hike cooldown.
You can choose which capacity you prefer. The small one has enough room for 18-ounce cans of soda or beer. There’s also a medium, which can store 24 cans, and a large at 36 cans.
- The inner layer is 2x thicker than most soft coolers
- Weight-distributing sternum strap for comfort
- No leaky zippers
Pros and Cons of Using Floating Coolers
Before comparing these best floating coolers to other non-floating popular brands of coolers, consider its benefits and drawbacks.
Floating coolers are portable and convenient; you can bring them in the water.
Plus! They’re affordable too!
The cooler should be light, so you can transport it wherever you need to attend.
The floating cooler must be full of ice, food, and drinks. So, making the cooler as light as possible is a bigger priority.
This will make transferring the floating coolers easier than the traditional cooler and soft-sided ice chest.
One of the perks of floating coolers is that most of them can be deflated when not in use, so they’re super easy to put away.
A massive 50+ quart capacity floating cooler can sink and enfold that will only take small space as much as a softball.
Deflating is impossible with a hard plastic cooler, even with soft-sided coolers.
A lot of floating cooler brands are budget-friendly.
It consists of rubber and a few gaskets. They are not usually made of premium metal and plastic materials from high-end coolers.
So they are much more affordable. Yet, you can still find some fancy floating coolers that are more pricey than usual.
As much as it is fun to bring the best-floating cooler to your next party. We cannot deny that they have some drawbacks too.
Here are some disadvantages that you should know:
1: Limited Ice Life
The bargain of a lightweight floating cooler is giving up some of its cooling performance.
The reason for this is the fusion of less-insulated materials, alongside its thinner walls, and others not using the premium gasket between its lid and body.
Some coolers cannot even keep the chill for a few hours.
2: Limited storage
Most floating coolers have a small capacity to carry food, drinks, and ice. However, there are bigger sizes of floating coolers that are enough for a large group of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is some more information to know more about the floating coolers!
How Does a Floating Cooler Float?
There must be a system that will make the floating cooler to float.
It must be pushed above the water’s surface even if it contains a significant amount of food, beer cans, and ice.
This is made possible with the conventional system using air.
Air has a force that can easily carry a huge amount of weight. The air pressure should be at 14.7 psi.
One square inch of air can push up to 14.7 lbs.
The reason why a can of soda can float even though they’re quite bulky. The small air at the top is enough to keep the cooler floating.
What’s the Best Way to Clean a Floating Cooler?
If the floating cooler is inflatable, you must deflate and drain it first to drop excess water.
Use a non-chemical solution for cleaning. You can opt for natural soap, distilled white vinegar or baking soda, and lukewarm water.
Submerge the cooler and scrub its body with a sponge.
Wash it using clean water and leave it out to dry.
How Long Can Floating Coolers Stay Cool Under the Sun?
Generally, they can keep your drink chilling for hours or a day.
And some, like the Crekkooler, can stay up to 48 hours.
But they are unlike the traditional cooler that can keep the ice for days.
How Tight Is the Seal on Floating Coolers?
That depends on the cooler model.
Some of them are made for a gentle, cooler float, and their lids can float too. Others rely on secure zippers which can be waterproof.
Some are for water adventures, so they have airtight seals and locking o-rings.
Recap of the Top Picks
Here’s a quick recap of our picks for the best floating coolers!
Best Budget Pick – Intex Mega Chill II
It is an inflatable cooler with a massive that can keep up to 72 beer cans
It is made up for tethering to the Index tubing, so you can tow it from the boat. And you can easily attach it to the boat too!
Best Value – Big Bobber Floating Cooler
When you see the Big Bobber Cooler, you’re like watching balls that float in the water, only that they are way bigger.
It floats in the water and can stand steadily on boats. They’re also very portable for river and kayak trips!
The cooler has insulation which will keep your drinks cool for the day!
Best Overall – Airhead Aqua Oasis
Airhead Aqua Oasis is a detachable middle compartment that can chill up to 24 cans.
It’s the only cooler with numbered cup holders with an extra sundry for your suntan. They should gain one point for that!
It has a molded plastic rope connector attached to the board for tethering to a floating lounge, boat, and dock.
Airhead Aqua Oasis has a fun color design, making it the life of the pool party or your weekly river trips.
Floating coolers are super fun to use! And there are plenty of variations for your specific needs.
You can choose the inflatable ones for portability.
Or opt for the robust ones if you’re fond of kayaks and watersports. You can also use them during your hikes or the winter season.
If you fancy a cup holder, you can easily find those with built-in holders for your cups.
Remember to always save one for your next pool party!
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.