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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research, he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.
No one wants a warm beverage, on a hot day. If you entertain in your backyard frequently during the summer, you are probably aware that nothing makes a great party a flop, like warm drinks.
Having a great patio cooler is a must if you are planning on having a great party, or want to up your entertaining game.
Of course, you could just put your drinks in the kitchen fridge, but do you really want people mulling through your house? Not to mention that moving the drinks inside, is almost a sure fire way to end up with all of your guests, in your house.
So what is the solution? A patio cooler is the perfect answer to your backyard entertaining needs.
The only problem with patio drink coolers is that there are a bunch of choices, and picking the right one can be challenging.
We understand this challenge, and we also understand that you would rather be hanging out with your guests, than worrying about beverages and ice.
To solve both of these problems, we’ve researched a number of patio coolers, and we’ve come up with a list of nine coolers that we think fit a variety of entertaining needs and budgets.
Our favorite is the Belleze 80-Quart Portable Rolling Chest Patio Cooler. For the money, it is a perfect option for any backyard function. Not only does it do a great job at keeping beverages and food cool, but it also looks great and is easy to move around.
The 80 quart Belleze has that fresh look you hunger after, but with all the features you need. The stylish stainless steel build and functional base blend industrial with a touch of modern.
So, whether your backyard leans towards traditional or more avant-garde, this transitional cooler will fit right in.
How to Choose the Perfect Patio Cooler?
Before we can give you the products that we love, we need to give you an idea of the features you should look for, when you’re shopping for a patio cooler.
This should be relatively straightforward. You’re going to want to find a cooler that is big enough to suit your needs, but it shouldn’t be so big or so heavy that you can’t easily manage it.
When you’re shopping for your patio cooler, you may also consider the places where it is likely to be used or stored. If you’ve got a small patio, a giant cooler might be too much for your space. If you’ve got a tiny storage space, consider this carefully when shopping.
Capacity means how much your cooler can hold. Most coolers are measured in gallons, quarts or cubic inches. You’ll want your patio cooler to be big enough to hold at least a couple of cases of soda, beer (if you don’t have a kegerator) or water, plus ice. So before you run out and shop, think about how much you want to put in your cooler at one time.
Ice Retention Time
This is a really important feature for your patio cooler. You don’t want to have a puddle of water, where your ice used to be, only a couple of hours after your party has started.
When you’re looking for a patio cooler, look for those that have a good rating for ice retention time. Coolers that are known to keep ice around longer, will lead to cold drinks, for more of your party. And frankly it does translate even with frequent opening and closing of lids or open air coolers. Knowing this, spend a bit extra for a better quality cooler, but don’t worry about dropping cash on a super high end cooler.
The material that you want your cooler made from, really depends on looks, durability and portability. There are lots of great plastic coolers that have excellent ice retention, but they might not be the most attractive. For style, consider metal or even wood or wood-look. These will fit better in your décor, but maybe a bit heavier to move around. In terms of durability, If it’s just for patio or backyard use, then there are a lot of coolers that you can purchase, but if you plan to use a cooler for camping or travelling then its advisable to get the best igloo cooler that you can buy. Regular patio coolers aren’t made for heavy-duty use.
Wheels are a handy feature, especially if you know you’ll need to move your cooler while it’s full. Wheels are easier on your body, and they make moving your cooler, without tearing up your deck or patio, a ton easier.
Keep in mind when you’re considering wheels, that metal wheels may rust and plastic wheels can break, so maintenance and durability are two factors that you’ll want to consider.
This is the fun stuff. Does the cooler have a lid? Does it come with a bottle opener? What about a towel rack or shelves? Depending on the kind of cooler that you’re thinking about, you can get a ton of cool features. Features can also aid in ice retention and make cleaning your cooler easier, so look for lids and drains for more functionality.
Belleze 80-Quart Portable Rolling Cooler
Belleze 80-Quart Portable Rolling Cooler
Clevr Rolling Cooler Ice Chest
Clevr Rolling Cooler Ice Chest
Keter Outdoor Patio Table
Keter Outdoor Patio Table
9 Best Outdoor Patio Coolers Reviews of 2021
1. Best overall - Belleze 80-Quart Portable Rolling Chest Patio Cooler
- Very solid construction.
- The drainage plug is located on the back, out of the way.
- Dual flip-up lids.
- Metal exterior is magnetic.
- Initial assembly is tricky.
Our favorite pick? The Belleze rolling chest cooler offers you both amazing functionality combined with beautiful styling. It is perfect for any patio décor, and will be the hit of your next party.
The Belleze 80-Quart cooler provides ample space for all of your beverages. The well insulated cooler is capable of holding a whopping 100 12-ounce cans of your favorite beverages.
Even on the hottest days, this cooler will amaze you. It’s premium materials and outstanding insulation means that your beverages will be cold, for the duration of your party.
Other things we love about the Belleze 80-quart patio cooler? Locking casters keep your cooler in place, while at the same time, making it easy to move where you need it. It also has a built-in bottle opener, a cap catcher and a bottom shelf, to provide extra convenience and storage. When the party is done, the handy drain will make the clean up breeze.
If you are the neighborhood party director, look no further for the perfect patio cooler. This great cooler will fit all of your entertaining needs. It’s functional, keeps beverages cool for a good period of time, and looks great in any backyard. When it comes to beverage containers, this one is our pick.
2. Runner up - Clevr Rolling Cooler Ice Chest for Outdoor Patio
- Dual hinged lid is removable.
- Rolls around smoothly.
- The color choices and Foosball option.
- Can be used indoors.
- Not stainless steel.
- Challenging assembly.
- 4 locking wheels would be better.
The Clevr rolling patio cooler is the perfect solution to entertaining a crowd. The 80-quart model provides enough room for 70 cans or 50 bottles of your favorite beverages. More than enough for a thirsty crowd.
The Clevr cooler comes in a variety of colors so you can pick the one that is best for your décor. Multi-directional wheels make this cooler easy to move, and to tuck into those snug, out of the way places. The wheels lock so no worries about it moving when you don’t want it to.
With sturdy stainless steel construction and PP insulated interior, this cooler will look great, work great and last a long time. This cooler comes with solid metal side handles designed for easy carry and is available in Grey and Black, Brown Wicker, Seafoam Blue, Hunter Green, or Red with a Foosball Top (who doesn’t love that)!
For convenience, it features a handy storage tray, removable lid, bottle opener and cap catch. The cooler box is also removable, so it can become a great portable cooler when you need it.
3. Best budget patio cooler - Keter Outdoor Patio Table with 7.5 Gallon Beer Cooler
- Ideal for small spaces.
- Sturdy engineered legs.
- Easy to assemble, easy to maintain and easy to use.
- Drain plug is inconvenient.
- Silver piece of hardware on top unattractive.
If you just don’t need a giant cooler, or if you have a tiny space, check out the Ketter outdoor table cooler.
This tiny, but efficient cooler, is more than meets the eyes. One minute it’s a cooler, the next? With a twist of the locking ring, it becomes a handy cocktail table, or bar!
The 7.5 gallon cooler will keep you beverages cool for nearly 12.5 hours. More than enough time for a great party. It’s made from durable, rust-free materials, so you leave it outdoors all summer long. The handy drain makes this cooler not only a great entertaining center piece, but it’s also easy to clean.
This lightweight and fashionable cooler will be the perfect centerpiece for your next patio party.
4. Best rolling patio cooler - Outsunny 80 QT Rolling Cooler
- Easy to assemble.
- Keeps ice cold for a long time.
- Easily moveable.
- Comes in Black, Red or Stainless Steel.
- Can rust after exposure to rain.
- Only 2 locking wheels.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to manhandle a cooler into the right spot. The Outsunny cooler is the solution to that problem. This easy to move, 80-quart cooler features the most easy to maneuver wheels on the market.
It features study handles to make moving simple, a two-sided opening so you can get to your beverages from both sides, and best of all, the stylish color, makes this cooler a perfect fit for any backyard.
With a bottle opener and built-in cap catcher, this functional cooler is perfect for your next outdoor party. And since it’s so easy to assemble, you’ll be ready to party in no time at all.
5. Best large patio cooler - TRINITY TXK-0806 Stainless Steel Cooler with Cover
- High quality 304 stainless steel is solid.
- Cover is included.
- Steel bottom shelf is spacious and strong.
- Water and UV resistant cooler cover included.
- Some consider pricey.
There’s a ton we could say about this cooler. The Trinity 80-Quart cooler is a beautiful addition to your backyard décor. This beauty is made from stainless steel and features a sleek design that looks amazing on any patio.
This cooler can be treated as a mini beer fridge because it’s not only perfect for entertaining large groups, but with a large interior capacity, this cooler can keep all of your beverages cool for multiple hours, even on a hot day.
The Trinity cooler features a raised design that keeps beverages at the perfect height for easy access. It also has a built in bottle opener with cap catcher, and a handy bottom shelf that provides storage for extra beverages.
And with four easy roll casters, you’ll be able to easily move your cooler to the perfect location.
The cooler cover is water and UV resistant, so there’s no worry about moving it indoors after every party. This durable and stylish cooler can hang on your patio, all summer long.
6. Best small patio cooler - Giantex Outdoor Rattan Style Patio Cool Bar Table
- Perfect for small patio.
- Top raises to a good height.
- High temperature tolerant, weather resistant, UV resistant.
- Compact shape & design.
- Not the most stable.
- Small capacity.
- Drain is not the best.
Looking for a cooler that matches your yard’s tiki theme? Or maybe you just want a softer looking cooler for your patio décor. Look no further than the Giantex rattan cooler.
This portable, but small cooler is made to keep your drinks cool, while also looking great. Made of rattan and wicker, this cooler looks great but also keeps beverages cool for hours.
The locking lid will stay open at certain positions, and if you need, it can be converted from a basic cooler to a handy cocktail or coffee table for your deck or patio.
This tiny cooler is easy to clean thanks to the handy drain, and is the perfect, functional fit for even the tiniest of patios.
7. Best portable patio cooler - UPHA 80 Quart Rolling Outdoor Patio Cooler Cart
- Durable material.
- Attractive look.
- Holds up to 100 cans / 50+ bottles.
- Wheels can turn 360 degrees.
- Handles can rust.
- Not watertight.
Another popular wicker cooler is the UPHA, 80-quart ice chest. This attractive patio cooler combines an attractive cooler on an elevated, wheeled stand. This cooler can hold up to 80 cans of your favorite beverages, plus ice.
The stainless steel lid is easy to lift and is durable in a variety of weather conditions. It features a handy bottom shelf that can hold extra beverages or other items that you may need for outdoor entertaining.
We also like the built-in bottle opener, and cap catch, which keeps your patio tidy and free from random loose bottle caps.
Cleaning up is easy, thanks to a handy drain on the back of the cooler. This is also one of the easier coolers to assemble, so you’ll be ready to entertain quickly, and with less effort that with some other patio coolers.
8. Best standing chest patio cooler - BACKYARD EXPRESSIONS 905469 Outdoor Beverage Cooler
- Rustic appearance.
- Light enough to be moved easily.
- Easy to assemble.
- Value priced.
- Smaller capacity.
- Not as sturdy as others.
The Backyard Expressions chest cooler is the perfect option if you are looking for an attractive, mid-sized cooler. The 45-quart cooler sits firm on your patio, and holds more than enough drinks for any party.
This cooler features beautiful wood construction that gives it a rustic and charming feel. It has a bottle opener, and attractive cast-iron details that will make it fit perfectly in any backyard. It can also be moved indoors for winter-time entertaining. The galvanized steel liner and foam insulation in this ice chest will keep drinks cold for hours, for worry free entertaining.
9. Best high-end patio cooler - Igloo 49271 Party Bar Cooler
- Sleek design with useful lighting.
- Extra-large capacity.
- Garden hose attachment is convenient.
- Removable lid, dividers and base.
- It’s pricey.
- Batteries NOT included.
Igloo has been a trusted name in coolers for years. So it makes sense that we would include them in our list. The Party Bar cooler gives you all of the features that Igloo is known for – high quality insulation, durable construction and all-weather materials that last for years.
This cooler has other great features, including the LiddUp LED lighting system that brings the party atmosphere, with your beverages. It also allows you to see exactly what is in your cooler, when the sun goes down.
This great looking cooler will make you feel like you’ve entered a Texas roadhouse, and features a removable lid, dividers and locking caters so it’s a sturdy and reliable part of your décor.
Part of the fun of summer is enjoying a cold beverage on the patio with your friends and family.
Don’t worry about having a gang of people rummaging through your fridge at your next party. Move the drinks outdoors to a handy patio cooler.
When you are shopping for a cooler for your patio, keep in mind that your main goal is to create a comfortable and convenient experience for your guests.
While looks are nice, shop for function and ice retention, to ensure that you have plenty of cold drinks from the start of your party to the end.
Our favorite cooler for patio entertaining, the Belleze 80-Quart Portable Rolling Chest Patio Cooler is great looking, fits well with a variety of décor styles, and has a sound ice retention time. It also has plenty of capacity for plenty of beverages.
And while we love the Belleze, we know that there are tons of options on the market that may be better for your outdoor entertaining needs.
Whatever those needs may be, remember to shop for a cooler that is durable, has plenty of capacity and will keep your guests well hydrated, with cold beverages, for the long haul.