This 2020 may have introduced us to the concept of staying indoors and social distancing, but deep down, we like to believe that these uncertain times will be over soon and we will be back entertaining our friends and family in no time.
When great days decide to come back into our lives, chances are there will be a boom in the number of outdoor parties to make up for the lost time. But are you prepared for hosting one?
One challenge of outdoor gatherings is keeping the bottles and cans of your favorite drinks chilled.
While you surely can make frequent visits to your kitchen refrigerator, it goes without saying that this either will keep you distracted or your guests will end up queuing in your kitchen more than on your deck.
Keep the chill of your outdoor parties outdoors.
Upgrade your entertainment space with a trendy and handy patio cooler. A great one is guaranteed to make your parties as cool as it can get, both literally and figuratively.
We ventured into the world of patio coolers, did a lot of testing and research, and jotted down everything there is to know about the top 10 best models of 2020.
Why did we go through such lengths?
To land you with the best patio cooler there is.
A patio cooler is a storage system that keeps your drinks chilled for a long time in an outdoor setting. It is meant to sit on your patio/ deck/ backyard/ poolside or wherever you prefer to hold a gathering of friends.
All you need to do is fill the cooler with ice, keep your favorite bottles and cans inside and enjoy the sunshine!
They are more than your standard ice chests and different models come with different interesting features.
Patio coolers come in a variety of shapes and capacities. Three major categories are:
Chest coolers are generally medium height rectangular storage boxes with lids, and stand on four legs. They have a drainage system coupled with additional features that vary across manufacturers and models.
The rolling variety stands on wheels. Therefore these are portable.
The standing variety, on the other hand, acts more like a fixed adornment of your deck or patio.
Standing bucket coolers are usually smaller. Even though they are ‘standing’, they are fairly portable because of their smaller size and lightweight demeanor.
They are more suited to shaded locations. Some sport a lid while others do not. We prefer the ones with lids as they keep drinks chilled for a longer period of time.
Now that we have gone through the elementals together, let’s not keep you from the top 10 charts of the best patio coolers any further.
Here goes everything.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
With an ergonomic design, a stylish look, a huge capacity, and supreme cooling performance, Belleze 80-Quart Portable Rolling Chest is the king of this listicle.
It is sleek and carries a modern air. This beauty comes in four profiles- black, red, stainless, and rattan. One of them is bound to suit your decor and make your patio look gorgeous.
The sturdy body of this rolling patio cooler is built with high-grade materials. This cooler is completely insulated. Therefore it keeps drinks cool for long hours, no matter how much the sun shines or how often your guests open the lids.
An 80 quart or 20-gallon capacity means that you can keep 100 quantities of 12-ounce aluminum cans at the same time. We are confident you won’t need a storage capacity larger than this.
The casters allow you to move your Belleze cooler cart with ease. Two of these wheels are lockable so that it remains firmly fixed wherever you choose to station it.
A low shelf acts as additional storage for cups, food, and other party supplies.
This patio cooler has been designed keeping functionality as the topmost priority.
There is a built-in bottle opener and a cap collector. This takes a lot of post-party cleanup from your plate as you won’t need to pick up after littered bottle caps.
The drain is located at the back of the cooler, conveniently out of sight.
This stainless steel patio cooler is strong and durable.
The only con is a tricky initial setup process, but that is only a one time hurdle and not a good enough reason to miss out on this amazing cooler.
If you are looking for a patio cooler for a medium to large entertainment space, this one is the one for you.
With its great look, ergonomic design, insulated body, and spacious capacity the Belleze 80-Quart Rolling Chest Patio Cooler is our pick of the day.
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Type: Bucket Cooler/ Patio Furniture
Next in line is a bucket cooler, although it is far more than the term ‘bucket cooler’ can describe.
Keter Pacific Cool Bar Outdoor Patio Furniture is a versatile standing patio cooler. It acts as a patio cooler, an outdoor coffee table, and a bar table simultaneously.
The polypropylene resin body with a rattan contour will give your poolside or your deck a classy look.
The resin material comes from eco-friendly recycled plastic, so feel free to feel good about your patio table. Furthermore, it is weather-resistant, so you can leave it outside all summer.
It has a smaller capacity than its rolling chest and standing chest contenders. It has a capacity of around 7.5 gallons and is ideal for small decks and patios.
It cools pretty efficiently and keeps your beverage bottles and cans chilled for as long as 12.5 hours. Your party will be well over by then.
What’s more interesting about this cooler is the extending top. Simply adjust the locking ring, and this will turn your patio cooler into a cocktail table.
Cleaning the Keter Pacific Cool Bar Outdoor Patio Furniture is fairly easy. The handy drain makes the job easier, although there is an opinion out there that the drain plug could be more convenient.
This unit is lightweight, so you can relocate it anytime, anywhere.
If you have a limited entertainment space or are just not looking for a huge unit in the name of a patio cooler, then look no further.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
A zesty ice cart that will steal the center stage in your parties is Giantex 80 Quart Beverage Cooler Cart.
This one is classic red, attractive, as well as highly functional. Giantex maintains its reputation of making quality home appliances with this metal rolling chest patio cooler.
What does it offer?
A refrigeration insulation system that guarantees chilled beverages for a long time.
The durable stainless steel body with a powder coating is corrosion resistant. The rubber wheels glide easily even over rugged surfaces. Moreover, the two side handles make it more conveniently portable.
The top is easy lift-off. The front houses a bottle opener and a cap collector. There is a bottom shelf that acts as extra storage.
This cart is easy to put together. Cleaning and maintenance is also a piece of cake. The drain is located at the rear of the unit and its port is user friendly.
In terms of reliability, this rolling chest cooler by Giantex is a winner. This will serve you for many years without any rusting or denting issues.
Red, fun, and functional, this metal patio cooler will adorn your entertainment space and serve you with finesse.
If you are looking for an eye-catching, large capacity ice chest that offers supreme performance and great reliability, bring this one home.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
Permasteel PS-203F1 is a large patio cooler and carries antique air. This metal patio cooler comes in four colors- cream, red, white, and dark wicker. Each has its own appeal but the Pepsi-cola inscribed cream variety is our favorite.
This one is also an 80-quart storehouse. You can store up to 110 12-ounce cans easily. They will remain chilled for an extended period of 36 hours.
There are four swivel wheels made of rubber. Moreover, the presence of 2 slide handles adds to the maneuverability of this cooler.
The body is made of the highest quality, powder-coated steel. On top of that, the color is corrosion resistant. Even then some users have found that it has a tendency to rust.
The unit contains a built-in bottle opener and a cap catcher. So, this patio cooler will save you from unwanted littering of bottle caps.
There is a bottom shelf that acts as additional storage.
Assembling the unit is easy. So is cleaning and maintenance.
Bring this retro style patio cooler home if you love entertaining large crowds and your backyard needs a vintage look. It is efficient and ergonomic and absolute value for money.
Type: Standing Tub/ Bucket Cooler
We are back with another bucket cooler and yet again this is a Keter.
One huge difference between this one and the Pacific Cool Bar is the appearance. If you don’t want a rattan or wicker signature in your patio and are looking for a more sleek look, Modern Cool Bar by Keter is an attractive option for you.
This is a low set bucket patio cooler with an adjustable lid that acts as a tabletop. The belly of the unit acts as the storage for your cans and bottles.
This is extremely lightweight compared to its other contenders. So it can be moved around with ease. This feature makes it ideal for on the go outdoor gatherings like picnics and fishing trips.
A small demeanor makes it more suited to patios with limited space. You can use it indoors as well.
With a 7.5 gallon capacity, it is just the right cooler for a union of close ones.
It comes in three colors- black, coral, and teal. While the black model is designed to give your entertainment space a sophisticated look, the eye-catching coral and teal versions are set to add a funky dimension to your parties.
The only trouble with Keter Modern Cool Bar is that it is not insulated. So, your drinks will be kept cool only until the party lasts.
This small patio cooler is great for small decks and is best for on the go social gatherings.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
This wicker patio cooler is built with quality PP material with a polyurethane inner side that is durable and weather resistant. There is no question of rusting and denting here. This unit will look pristine for ages.
This wickerwork will add an elegant air to your patio or deck.
It boasts an 80 Quart storage capacity accommodating more than 70 cans and more than 50 bottles plus ice.
The refrigeration insulation keeps your beverages cool for 36 hours. The lid is dual hinged and removable. There is a bottle opener, a cap catcher, and a bottom shelf.
Two of the wheels have brakes in them so that it won’t start rolling once you keep it where you want to.
The patio cooler by Giantex is neither extravagant nor insufficient. It is simple and effective.
What we loved about the 80-QT patio cooler on wheels is that it does not involve the possibility of denting, rusting, or getting scratched. And that doesn’t mean that it is not as sturdy as the metal ones.
It is strong, durable, efficient, spacious, and good looking. This is the best rugged patio beer cooler and you can totally go for this one.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
Outsunny Ice Chest on Wheels is red, zestful, and fun.
This one is not made to blend with the background. It stands out instead. There is a milder stainless steel version and a handsome black version also.
However, it is not only made to please the eyes. It is 80 quart, so you won’t ever need to worry about the size of the crowd you entertain.
There are two access doors on the top. The casters are lockable. Also, there are carrying handles so that you can move this unit where wheeling is not possible.
The steel body is smooth and attractive. Just make sure it doesn’t bump on walls and corners as it is prone to denting.
Another thing is, Outsunny 80 Quart Ice Chest tends to get too heavy once you load it up. A word of advice; station the empty chest where you want to before putting ice and beer bottles inside.
There is a built-in cap collector and a bottle opener on this one as well.
If you are whimsical and want your patio or poolside to match your persona, this metal patio cooler is for you, and you only.
Type: Standing Chest Cooler
Looking for a standing chest patio cooler? Look here.
Backyard Expressions Outdoor Beverage Cooler is a rustic piece of art that will give your patio or backyard a beautiful expression.
Made of wood and galvanized steel this mid-sized cooler is jewelled with cast iron details including an emblem.
This wooden patio cooler reminds us of ship decks, sailors, and seashores. We don’t know why though.
It has a capacity of 45 Quartz, which means it will house around 45 cans and sufficient ice.
The system is fully insulated with foam insulation and galvanized steel liner. Therefore, rest assured that your beverages will stay cold for a long time.
There are side handles so that you can move it around with ease. You can even move it and use it indoors.
It has a bottle opener but not a cap collector.
This beauty in the name of a patio cooler is efficient, lightweight, easy to assemble, and value-priced. The only catch; it is not as sturdy as one of its metallic contenders.
Backyard Expressions Outdoor Beverage Cooler is the best standing patio chest on our listicle.
It is medium-sized yet has a generous room. It doesn’t have wheels, yet it is quite portable. Furthermore, it ensures good cooling performance and looks good.
If a cart on wheels isn’t an absolute necessity, also if you don’t really need a behemoth in the name of a patio cooler, this one should be a perfect match for you.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
As the name suggests the UPHA 80 Quart Rolling Outdoor Patio Cooler is a large capacity portable patio cooler.
This outdoor patio cooler has an elevated wheel stand, a stainless steel lid that is easy to lift, and a bottle shelf to hold extra beverages, cups, and other party supplies.
Like other supreme chest coolers, this one sports a bottle opener and a cap catcher.
The design is stylish and will surely bring a classy air to your deck/ patio or backyard. The wheels can turn 360 degrees ensuring great navigation.
The building material is durable but not completely rust-proof. The handles tend to rust. Another ‘nay’ point of this unit is it is not watertight.
In short, the UPHA Rolling Outdoor Patio Cooler on wheels is strong, sturdy, durable, and looks impressive.
This metal patio cooler is a great option currently available in the market. If you are looking for a large capacity cooling system that will serve you for a long duration, go for this one.
Type: Rolling Chest Cooler
This blue patio cooler is another attention grabber. This cooler cart sports a retro look and comes in several other color profiles, all of which are loud and fun.
It is a powder-coated steel construction that comes with all the features a patio cooler chest should have.
It keeps your beer bottles cool for a stretch of 36 hours, which is quite commendable.
It is on wheels, two of which are lockable. Also, it has two side handles for easy maneuverability. It contains a built-in bottle opener as well as a cap catcher.
However, this unit does not have a bottom shelf, contrary to other popular rolling chest patio coolers.
One thing we didn’t like is that the nuts and bolts are not coated. They have a tendency to rust. Some users have also mentioned that the inner surface is not rust-proof.
A large capacity efficient cooling cart is what Permasteel PS-203-TURQ PS-203 is. It is soothing to the eyes as well.
It may be our 10th but definitely not the least among our favorites. This beauty, in fact, is pretty good at being a patio cooler.
When you set out to look for a patio cooler that is perfect for your parties, a checklist of what it should look like is a must.
Defining the type of patio cooler that you think will serve you the best should be the first thing on your to-do list.
How do you decide which to bring home- a rolling, standing, or a bucket?
Let your guest list answer this.
If you mostly entertain large crowds, then a chest is better for you. Chest patio coolers are usually spacious enough to be able to satisfy a large group of guests.
Now, if you have a dedicated area for hosting parties, you can always go for a standing chest patio cooler to permanently adorn your patio.
However, purchasing the rolling variety is safer since it allows portability. You never know when you hit the roads, go camping, or take your friends on a fishing trip.
Even if you feel you strictly need it for your home, you may feel like hosting parties in different locations from time to time.
A rolling patio cooler like the BELLEZE Portable Rolling Ice Chest Cooler Cart will come handy in such a case.
For trips involving small groups though, a bucket is ideal. It is compact, lightweight, and portable.
Bucket patio coolers are also great for entertaining a select few in small patios and decks.
You wouldn’t want a large chest to engulf most of your limited space. Would you?
Versatile bucket patios such as Keter Pacific Cool Bar Outdoor Patio Furniture can also work wonders in a large entertainment area or a poolside.
If you host a versatile group of guests who belong to a mixed age group, you can place several Keter bucket tables over your party area, each with different kinds of beverages.
This again is best answered by your guest size and the size of your patio.
Where do you want to place your patio cooler? Is it a large area or a small one?
How large is your party usually?
For a small patio or backyard choose a small bucket patio cooler or a small to medium-sized chest patio cooler.
For a small gathering of friends, a bucket such as Keter Modern Cool Bar Outdoor Patio Furniture is good enough.
However if your guest list is larger than that but your patio is compact anyway, then go for a medium-capacity chest such as the Backyard Expressions Outdoor Beverage Cooler.
This one is spacious enough to entertain a generous crowd and, at the same time, will not engulf your entire space.
If you are used to hosting grand parties and space isn’t a problem, don’t hesitate to bring an 80 Quart capacity cooler such as the UPHA 80 Quart Rolling Outdoor Patio Cooler home.
Purchasing a patio cooler with good insulation is probably the best. This way, you won’t have to worry about your ice melting into ice and cold beverages turning into hot ones before your party ends.
Many patio coolers offer extended ice retention time like 12.5 hours, 36 hours, and so on. The insulated varieties are insulated in different ways.
We like the refrigeration insulation system. Giantex 80-Quart Cooler Beer Cart Outdoor Entertaining Rolling Party Steel Bar Bistro Beverage Cooler Cart provides just that.
Hunting down the details is the fun part of shopping for a patio cooler. Here is the checklist that we follow:
Does that patio cooler we are eyeing have
The appearance of your patio cooler is really vital. It is here in the first place to entertain, remember?
Your patio cooler should complement your entertainment space and the mood of your parties.
Classic wicker such as Giantex 80 Quart Rattan Rolling Cooler Cart can add elegance to your patio or deck, whereas a zesty Outsunny 80 QT Rolling Cooler Ice Chest on Wheels will make your poolside look fun and whimsical.
A vintage look such as one that Permasteel PS-203F1-PEPSI-AM 80 Quart Portable Rolling Patio Cooler is pretty attractive too.
Most great patio coolers are made of weather-resistant materials. Even then it is a good idea to keep them covered when not in use.
Patio cooler covers are available for sale and come in all sizes. Another great idea is to move your patio cooler indoors during harsh weather conditions.
Yes, the Backyard Expressions wooden patio cooler comes in pieces and requires the user to assemble it.
If the temperature outdoors is not too hot, you can use a chest patio cooler to serve ice creams without any issue.
Yes, the external surface of the Giantex Rolling Cooler is magnetic.
When fully extended, a Keter Pacific Cool Bar is 33’’ in height and when the table is down, it is 22” in height.
Be it with pool parties, house warmings, birthday blasts, or simply a hearty conversation on the patio, we love to entertain our favorite people outdoors. This craving magnified during our homebound days of 2020.
The best patio cooler could be just the icebreaker you need once friends start knocking at your door once again.
Better be prepared with some chilled beer bottles!