Igloo Cooler, 12 Quart
Last updated date: November 24, 2019
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We looked at the top Small Hard Coolers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Small Hard Cooler you should buy.
Update as September 14, 2021:
Checkout The Best Small Hard Cooler for a detailed review of all the top small hard coolers.
In our analysis of 110 expert reviews, the Igloo Cooler, 12 Quart placed 6th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Whether it's a jam-packed stadium or a quiet bend on a river, carry cold drinks and food with you anywhere. 12-quart capacity can hold up to 14 soda cans. Cube shape produces superior cold retention, and molded corner feet add stability. In the lid, there is a dry compartment for non-perishable goods and accessories. Curved design easy conforms to your body for easy carrying, and swing-up handle is comfortable to grip. Keep your hydration cold wherever you go with a compact, personal cooler.
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An Overview On Small Hard Coolers
Whether you’re heading out to the beach or going to work at a job site, a small cooler can keep you stocked in cool beverages, snacks and even lunch until you return home. But small coolers vary dramatically in build and features, so it’s important to research the many options before you buy.
One big variation between coolers is capacity. You’ll want a cooler that’s small enough to be portable while also being able to hold everything you plan to take along for your outing. Some coolers will only hold a six-pack, while others have the capacity for long-neck bottles, cases of canned beverages and snacks for a large group.
If you regularly need higher capacity, make sure your cooler has wheels and that the locations you’ll be visiting don’t include stairs or other difficult-to-navigate surfaces. For smaller coolers, a hinged lid can come in handy, as you’ll only need to open it partway to reach inside and retrieve items stored there.
Many hard coolers also have lids that serve multiple purposes. Some will flip over and become tables, for instance, making them perfect for picnics. Lid indentations can come in handy for setting your drinks in between sips. Others have features that serve as storage for items like your thermos or a couple of bottles of water.
Small coolers aren’t limited to lunches and snacks. In fact, a new trend has campers taking a set of coolers along with them on their excursions, similar to a set of luggage. You can find a small cooler that matches your much larger one and tote all of it along with you to your campsite, beach towel or picnic table.
Although many features are important, none are as vital as the cooling capacity of your chosen cooler. The build of the cooler itself influences this. Many of today’s coolers are built with insulated walls to keep outside temperatures out and ensure the inside retains its temperature for as long as possible. The lid of your cooler can be a leak hazard, though, so make sure you choose one that seals tightly.
The Small Hard Cooler Buying Guide
- Perhaps the biggest differentiator between coolers as a whole is size. If you’re looking for one that’s portable, make sure you choose a cooler that has a smaller build. Bulky coolers can be tough to tote around and store, especially if you’re using them for work.
- There are a couple of features that can make a cooler easier to carry. One is the handle that you’ll use to tote it around. Some coolers feature molded handles to keep your hands comfortable even when they’re loaded down. Another useful feature, though, is a shoulder strap, which will help balance the weight across more of your body, rather than relying solely on your hands to transport it. As coolers get larger, they often include wheels that make even a big, heavy cooler portable.
- You may want to invest in a few ice packs for a mess-free way to keep your items cool. Without them, you’ll be relying on ice, which can cause leaks and saturate items you want to keep dry, like sandwiches and chips.
- As handy as a small, lightweight build can be, you may find that you sacrifice capacity. A cooler that will only hold a few cans won’t help if you’re trying to pack for a picnic or camping weekend. Still, in some cases, you may just need a small cooler to carry a few items around. Consider this when shopping and try to find a cooler that will fit your own lifestyle best.
- As you’re shopping, take a close look at the lid. Some coolers come with lids that flip around so that you can use them as trays. If they have molded cupholders, you can even rest your drink. Other lids have a weight capacity that allows you to sit on them once you’ve retrieved your items, providing extra seating for your next adventure. You’ll also find coolers that include storage for keeping cutlery, napkins, thermoses or water bottles.
- The big-name, vacuum-insulated coolers that have become popular have shown just how much consumers are willing to pay for a good cooler. But competitors have put similar insulating technology to use to keep your food and beverages ice cold without forcing you to shell out half your paycheck. Some well-known name brands have decades of history in the cooler market and have constantly tweaked their technology to provide the best cooling power available today at an affordable price.
- Cooler manufacturers strive to outlast the competition when it comes to cooling power. Although you’ll find plenty of coolers that keep your items cold throughout the workday, there are still others that can go 24 hours or longer. Even if you’re only out for the day, though, these longer-enduring coolers may still be the better choice, as they can protect internal contents against extreme temperatures.
- When you’re finished using your cooler, make sure cleanup is easy. With smaller coolers, this isn’t as much an issue as with larger ones. If you can’t easily tip your cooler and pour out the water, look for a drain plug that will let the water out from the bottom.
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