Test results for nine hard, medium sized coolers priced from $90 to $450.
Now is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor picnic, but no one wants warm drinks, a leaking cooler (affectionately known as the esky, after the brand), or most of all, to finish a great day out with a bout of food poisoning.
We found big differences in performance! We'll show you the better product options if you intend to use your cooler for storing food.
In our testing, we;
- find out which keep cool the longest
- are the easiest to use
Check below for the Brands and models tested tested, plus How we test.
- Caribee 47L Family Cooler with Wheels
- Chillco 50 L Sky Blue Cooler SB50L
- Coleman Xtreme
- Esky 50L ES0500BL 1219784
- Esky 50L Wheeled Cooler 1257323
- Techniice Signature Series
- Waeco Cool Ice WCI-55
- Willow Quickserve Wheelie Cooler 20888
- Xtracool Long Ice Box - IBCAM055 Pink
Our tester, Corinna Horrigan, tests the coolers by loading each cooler with drink bottles to about 20% of its capacity. The coolers are preconditioned to 32°C. She fills each cooler with ice equivalent to 15% of the coolers’ volume, closes them and places them in a temperature-controlled room at 32°C. Corinna measures the time taken from when the average temperature inside the bottles rises by 0°C to 2°C, and then 2°C to 8°C. The slower the warm-up time, the better the performance score. We open the coolers for only a few seconds during the test to tamp down the ice; they’ll warm up more quickly with more regular opening.
Ease of use
Corinna assesses how easy each cooler is to carry, load and unload, and how easy it is to open and close the lid.
Strapped for picnic food ideas?
Try Cook’s CHOICE creations, such as egg and dill salad with crusty bread, potato and tomato salad, or watermelon with kaffir lime syrup.
Get access to our independent testing reports and save yourself time and money.