Igloo Playmate Push-Button Lid Small Cooler

Last updated date: November 15, 2021

DWYM Score

8.8

Igloo Playmate Push-Button Lid Small Cooler

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We looked at the top Small Coolers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Small Cooler you should buy.

Update as November 15, 2021:
Checkout The Best Small Coolers for a detailed review of all the top small coolers.

Overall Take

This U.S.-made hard-sided cooler with a push-button swivel lid is sturdy and engineered for high-quality performance. It is leakproof and provides excellent cooling for 16 quarts' worth of food or drink.


In our analysis of 26 expert reviews, the Igloo Playmate Push-Button Lid Small Cooler placed 4th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The IGLOO Playmate Elite 16 qt. Hard Cooler is tried, true and loved around the world. This versatile 30-can cooler keeps your food and drinks cold with style. The grab-and-go convenience of IGLOO's iconic trademarked tent-top design is easy to use and carry. It features a push-button lid designed for convenient one-handed operation. The lid swings open to either side for easy access to contents and stays secure to help prevent spills. The molded-in handle provides one-handed carrying capability. Features: Capacity: 16 quarts / 15 liters. Fits 30 twelve oz. cans. Iconic design. Swivel lid. Made in the USA. Care Instructions: Wipe interior and exterior surfaces clean before storing and between uses. To prevent stains and odors, empty cooler of contents after use. Light dirt or stains can be cleaned with water or mild detergent. Tougher stains may be cleaned with diluted solution of baking soda and water. Ensure all cleaning agents are thoroughly rinsed and the cooler is dry before storage.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.0
2 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
14,058 user reviews

What experts liked

Features easy one-hand opening. Durable, with Ultratherm insulation. Locking lid, and molded-in handle. Resists odors. Lid swings open to either side.
- BestReviews
This new model has a diamond plate exterior and is constructed of impact-resistant plastic. It has a new rugged look that says it is ready to hit the job site.
- House Grail

What experts didn't like

The pin holding the hood closed can easily spring open, particularly when the cooler is full.
- BestReviews
Locking mechanism faulty. Poor customer service.
- House Grail

An Overview On Small Coolers

Whether you’re heading to a tailgate with friends or want to make sure your refrigerated grocery items stay cool on the way home from the store, having a small cooler on hand is a great idea. A small cooler will not only keep your food safe, it’s easy to carry around with you anywhere.

Start by figuring out what size you need. Think about the number of food items you need to keep cool most often. For example, if you’re just going to be carrying your lunch back and forth from the office, then a small cooler works well. If you frequently go out to spend the day at the beach with the family, you may want a slightly larger cooler so you can bring along a supply of drinks and snacks.

The size of the cooler is typically shown in quarts. Note that coolers can have different lengths and widths, so keep those dimensions in mind when looking at quart volume.

Keep in mind that hard-sided coolers will not be flexible if you’ve got a couple of extra items, but tend to have a larger capacity overall. Most hard-sided coolers are made from plastic, which is a durable, cost-effective and sturdy option. Opt for coolers that have roto-molded construction, which means that the plastic is all one piece, rather than multiple pieces attached together. This way, you can eliminate any weak points in its construction, which results in better insulation.

Soft-sided coolers are typically made from a tough fabric on the outside and a plastic lining on the inside along with closed-cell insulation. They tend to be more portable and lighter with convenient carrying straps. However, they’ll also be smaller, harder to clean, and less durable. Quality will vary widely, so you’ll have to be extra careful when shopping for a soft-sided cooler. 

The Small Cooler Buying Guide

  • Small coolers are meant to be portable, but how easy they are to carry will depend on their design. With hard-sided coolers, opt for ones that have handles on the sides and top, so you have different options for holding and carrying. Soft-sided coolers should have a shoulder-carry strap as well as a shorter handle you can use when you have your hands free. If the cooler is on the heavier side, check to see if it has wheels. This can make moving it significantly easier.
  • The amount of insulation you should have will depend on your needs. For example, if you are using the cooler for lunch, you probably only need your cooler to work for a few hours. If you plan to take the cooler camping with you for a week, then you’ll want one that can last as long as possible.
  • If you’re thinking about getting a soft-sided cooler, check that it is made from waterproof material. This way, if the ice melts inside or the outside is exposed to water, the cooler will still be usable and effective. Most hard-sided coolers are waterproof.
  • You might want to consider a small cooler with external storage pockets. You can use these for cutlery, napkins and plates.
  • Optimize your cooler usage by thoroughly cleaning your small cooler on the outside and inside, especially if it has been in storage. Then, pre-chill the cooler by placing cold water or ice packs inside the cooler for a few hours. If the cooler is small enough, you can even place it in the fridge. Remove the ice and water from the cooler just before you’re ready to pack it, dry it thoroughly, and then place a new ice pack at the bottom.
  • Pack as efficiently as possible: Put all the food you want to take with you in water-tight containers and remove any excess packaging to save space. Pile your food containers in tightly, and add in loose ice to fill up any gaps.