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Last updated: July 10, 2022
Summertime means backyard barbeques and outdoor parties. You’ve already updated your patio furniture and grill to prepare, but have you given any thought to where you’ll chill the drinks?
Plastic coolers aren’t a great addition to outdoor decor and running inside every time you or your guests need another drink isn’t the way you want to spend the party.
Outdoor patio coolers are a brilliant solution to both problems. They function as a traditional camping cooler would, but are purpose-built to look great on your deck or patio. Plus, many come with extra features to quickly elevate any backyard party.
To help you find the best option for your needs, we have tested and reviewed five of the best outdoor patio coolers on the market.
Top 5 Patio Coolers:
|1||Outsunny Rolling Patio Cooler||Price|
|2||SereneLife Outdoor Bar Cooler Table||Price|
|3||Permasteel Outdoor Patio Cooler with Wheels||Price|
|4||Keter Modern Patio Bar Cooler Table||Price|
|5||Black+Decker Mobile Cooler Cart||Price|
Top 5 Patio Coolers
Let’s have a closer look at these five patio coolers and see how they stack up against each other.
1. Outsunny Rolling Patio Cooler
Whether you’re after something sleek and stylish or just ultra-functional, the Outsunny Rolling Patio Cooler has you covered.
This elevated chest-style cooler has a huge capacity of 20 gallons, and a wide design with removable double doors that make accessing the contents as easy as it gets. Even with that wide design, this thing is deep enough to store standard wine bottles upright. With minimal ice, you could store up to 110 cans in this cooler!
The large chest sits on four metal legs attached to castors for easy maneuvering. These wheels lock in place when needed. Between the legs is a lower shelf that works perfectly for storing your recycle bin, cups, or other party essentials.
The dry weight of the Outsunny Rolling Cooler is 41 pounds. The hollow legs aren’t as sturdy as others we’ve seen, so it’s not recommended to roll this once it’s fully loaded. But, each side does feature large, sturdy handles that can be used to move the full cooler in a pinch. Additionally, this cooler features a handy bottle opener with a built-in cap receptacle.
The Outsunny is available in three colors, flashy stainless steel, red, and matte black, so you can easily find the right model to blend in with your patio decor.
2. SereneLife Outdoor Bar Cooler Table
If you’ve got a little less space to spare or are in the market for a more elegant way to showcase your beverages, the SereneLife Outdoor Bar Cooler Table is a great choice.
This gorgeous rattan wicker ice-bucket-style cooler is perfect for pool parties and large gatherings where space is at a premium. Not only does the round base have an impressively small footprint, but the lid doubles as a tabletop.
The lid extends and locks into place to hover above the open bucket. This allows easy access to chilled drinks and a place to set drinks and snacks that won’t be disrupted every time someone needs to access the cooler.
With a capacity of 7.5 gallons, this isn’t the largest patio cooler in the world, but with the top popped it can easily hold up to 40 12-ounce cans. Since the top sits 10″ above the lip of the cooler, it also works well for tall-neck wine and champagne bottles.
The rattan finish on the SereneLife isn’t as detailed as others, but it is remarkably weather-resistant. Once the party is over, you can simply lower the top and leave the unit outdoors with the rest of your patio furniture without worry. In this position, it makes a great end table.
The SereneLife Bar Cooler Table weighs just over 11 pounds when empty and features a drainage hole for easy cleanup. It is a little pricier than others of this style and has a bit of a plastic feel to it, but it’s highly functional and very durable.
3. Permasteel Outdoor Patio Cooler with Wheels
For those that value looks as highly as functionality, you’re going to love the Permasteel Outdoor Patio Cooler with Wheels.
This beauty is built to impress. The powder-coated steel shell is molded to look like wood planking with black accents on the frame. It blends perfectly with wood patio furniture and composite decks.
Inside that impressive frame is a wide, insulated, 20-gallon plastic basin capable of holding up to 110 12-oz cans. Like the Outsunny roller, this one features a double-door top that is fully removable for easy access and showing off your beverage selection.
The dry weight of this unit tops the scales at 49 pounds but features thick, stable legs that better support the weight of a full cooler than others we looked at. The easy-glide casters make maneuvering this chest a breeze. Once in place, simply lock the wheels and get on with the party.
The Permasteel cooler comes in brown and gray, with both models featuring that gorgeous faux-wood finish. These carry a reasonable price tag considering all the extras you get, including a bottle opener and cap receptacle, drain plug, and durable lower storage shelf.
While the powdered coated steel is meant to resist weather and rust, we still recommend buying a cover for this unit if you plan to keep it outside.
4. Keter Modern Patio Bar Cooler Table
For a more modern take on an ice-bucket cooler, we give you the Keter Modern Patio Bar Cooler Table.
This sleek cooler table looks like it belongs poolside at some hip, high-end resort. Don’t let those looks fool you, though! Not only is this table cooler highly affordable, but it’s the perfect piece to add to your home patio, pool or no pool.
Like the SereneLife, this model features a deep 7.5-gallon bucket capable of fitting up to 40 cans of soda or beer. The top can be extended 10 inches above the rim and locked into place, providing easy access to drinks and a convenient place to set cups and food.
The long, rounded legs and smooth resin finish on the outside of the cooler give it a futuristic look. That durable finish also provides this little piece with the thick skin needed to resist weather and fading. More so than most coolers we looked at, this one was designed to be left out in the elements all summer long.
When closed, this sturdy table, which weighs only 15 pounds, can support an impressive 330 pounds. With the top up, the table piece can still hold a respectable 80 pounds.
The Keter Patio Bar Cooler is available in gray and teal, both at a price that truly is a bargain for all you get.
5. Black+Decker Mobile Cooler Cart
Another great option in the rolling chest cooler category is the Black+Decker Mobile Cooler Cart.
This classy-looking cooler is a similar size to the Outsunny with a 20-gallon capacity and a nice, wide top for easy access. It has similar double doors that can be removed for showcasing the drinks inside. And, like other chest options featured here, it comes with a bottle opener and cap catch.
What sets this sleek model apart though, are some small but important details. For one, it features stainless steel lid handles and industrial-style stainless steel side handles. This, along with a bright white finish and black accents gives it a graceful, tuxedo-party kind of look.
The matte black legs and standard castors don’t add a ton to that overall look but they do work well to stabilize the unit. The dry weight of this cooler is about 43 pounds and it gets much heavier once filled, so that is an important quality.
One issue users report with the Black+Decker is that the alloy steel is prone to rusting over time. This rust doesn’t look great on that bright white finish. But, as long as you spring for the additional cover or store this indoors when not in use, it should last for years without issue.
When it comes to finding the right cooler for your patio and party needs, there are a few things you need to consider:
- Type of cooler
- Design and looks
Let’s go through these factors in more detail in this handy buying guide.
1. Type of Cooler
Patio coolers come in three basic types:
- Rolling cooler
- Standing cooler
- Bucket-style cooler
Rolling coolers, like the Black+Decker Mobile Cooler Cart, have wheels affixed to the legs so the unit can be easily moved around the deck or patio as needed. These types tend to be chest-shaped with a lot of room for drinks and ice. Because they roll, they can be very large, making them a great choice for people who love to entertain.
On the downside, roller coolers can take up a lot of room. And many were not designed to spend all their time under the sun or being subjected to the weather. If you want one that will last, you’ll need to store it under a roof or buy a cover for it.
Standing coolers can look very similar to rollers but these do not have wheels. They tend to be a little smaller than rollers since they must be maneuvered by hand. But they are often made to be more weather resistant and durable since most customers buy them to set and forget.
These types also tend to be more decorated to fit in with different aesthetics. On the downside, you need a permanent space to place these types of coolers since they are difficult to move.
Bucket-style patio coolers, like the Keter Modern Patio Bar Cooler Table, are much smaller than the other two types. They are built to be deeper than they are wide and typically are meant to be used with the lid off. Some models, like the bucket coolers we featured above, have lockable lids that double as a table even while the cooler is in use.
One plus of bucket coolers is that they can be used as end tables with your patio furniture when the cooler part isn’t being utilized. Because of this double use, they tend to be very durable and weather resistant. On the downside, they can only fit so many beverages and don’t stay as cold as true cooler options.
Patio coolers come in a wide range of capacities from the small bucket units that can fit around 7 gallons, or about 40 cans, to the very large chest units that can hold 20 gallons, or 110 cans.
Large capacity coolers are great if you plan to throw large get-togethers with many people. With these kinds of coolers, you can easily put out a variety of beverages from beer to soda to bottled water. But these will also take up more room on your patio and may need additional room for storage.
Smaller coolers won’t hold nearly as many beverages. Those with narrow openings, like bucket-style coolers, may require you to dig down to find the drink you want. But, if you’re using the cooler just for the family or for a peaceful evening for two, this isn’t likely to be a big deal.
These smaller coolers are nice because they take up a lot less room. Many can also double as tables, providing a use even when you aren’t entertaining.
3. Design and Looks
The style and size of your new patio cooler aren’t the only things that will determine how much you love it. How the unit looks is also important to consider, especially if overall backyard decor is something you care about.
These coolers range from the sleek and simple, like the SereneLife Outdoor Bar Cooler Table, to the elegantly decorated, like the Permasteel Outdoor Patio Cooler with Wheels.
Whether you opt for simple or bedazzled depends on your style and how well you want the cooler to match your current decor. You should also consider if your cooler will only be used on your patio or if it will travel with you.
For those restricted to patio use, will you want to leave it out at all times or store it away between parties? If it will be a permanent fixture on your patio then you may want something that can double as a table or blend flawlessly with the other furniture. Or, at the very least, something that can easily be placed out of the way.
Most patio coolers are going to be made of the following materials:
Metal coolers are nice because they tend to be strong and durable. Those with powder coats are especially great choices for leaving in the elements between uses. But, these coolers always run the risk of rusting, especially around joints and bolts where raw metal might get wet.
Plastic and resin coolers are going to be much lighter than metal models and therefore easier to move around. But, depending on the quality, these can look a little cheap. You also need to be aware that lighter models may blow around in high winds when not in use. On the plus side, though, heavy-duty plastics and resins are very water-resistant.
A lot of standing coolers are made of wood to better blend into the outdoor environment. If finished well, these will last for a couple of years without needing maintenance. Cheaper products should be protected from the sun and water when not in use. But, on the plus side, these tend to look really nice; most people don’t even realize they’re coolers!
An outdoor patio cooler is a great way to provide your family and guests with refreshments so they never have to step away from the party or dinner get-together.
For big gatherings, the Outsunny Rolling Patio Cooler is a great option. This stylish and functional rolling chest cooler is big enough to fit up to 110 drinks and provides easy access to all your guests. Plus, it’s available in three colors so you can pick the best finish to match your patio or deck decor.
If you’re after something a little smaller but equally functional, the SereneLife Outdoor Bar Cooler Table is worth a look. This bucket-style cooler features an extendable tabletop that can be used while the cooler is full of chilled beverages or between gatherings.
Whatever you’re looking for in the patio cooler department, you’re sure to find something that’ll fit your needs on the list above.