Floating Beer Cooler

Our Top Picks
In the floating coolers we reviewed, we found that our top pick was the Intex Mega Chill II with the largest capacity and ability to store up to 30 cans and holds 6 cup holders. The Kelsyus can store up to 18 cans and has six cup holders. The Airhead Ahao-2 Aqua Oasis also has the capacity to hold up to 18 cups and comes with 6 cup holders.

The Byers 1700 Big Bobber can hold up to 16 cans, but does not have any cup holders. The Sevylor has a varying capacity of storage as the cooler is available in numerous sizes and has four can holders.

Floating Beer Coolers are a fun accessory for folks who engage in water sports or even if you simply love lazing by the pool sipping on some ice-cold beer.

The cooler works great to store your favourite brews and is highly convenient as you need not interrupt the fun and leave the water to grab yourself a cold one. No matter where you are– the pool, the beach, the lake or even the river – you will always have cool drinks within easy reach and especially when it’s hot.  

Floating coolers are available in a variety of styles, and come equipped with a range of features, benefits and options. They are also easy to use – just place them on the water’s surface and watch them float.  

Floating coolers differ from “inflatable beer coolers” which although while ideal for beach parties, tailgating and chilling by the poor side, aren’t meant for in-pool use. Floating coolers, on the other hand, are designed with a floating base to keep it above the water along with a compartment to store the drinks.

Basic design of a floating beer cooler

  • Floating coolers are designed to maintain buoyancy and stay above the water’s surface even when drinks and food are stored in it.
  • Most of the coolers use air pockets to do so. And while there are other methods available as well, air-filled pockets are found to be much more reliable in their ability to keep the cooler afloat while also matching up to the weight of foodstuff and drinks stored within the cooler.
  • In scientific terms, air has a pressure of 14.7 psi, meaning a single square of air can comfortably carry a weight of up to 14.7 pounds of air.
  • You will notice this in an unopened can of soda– it still floats despite the can being heavy. The air sealed in the top of the can pushes the can to the surface.  

Here we review some of the most popular floating coolers on the market. Alongside, we have also included popular inflatable coolers in our reviews so as to provide you with a variety of options while selecting a cooler that best suits your needs.

That being said, most floating coolers share a similar design concept in terms of their internal design and use traditional insulation methods. However, while choosing a floating cooler may seem simple at first, remember that there are plenty of specifications to look out for so that these coolers thrive in the environment they are designed for.

Wow Sports Cooler Floating Fridge

The Wow Sports Cooler Floating Fridge is made from a solid hardwearing PVC construction and has a capacity of up to 30 quarts. The durability of the cooler is excellent, including its stability and strength.

The base is made up of dual layers and the cooler has wide sidewalls ensuring that all your beverages are kept cold. The lid has an EZ zipper making it easy to access the cooler.

The Wow Sports Cooler Floating Fridge weighs 6.3 pounds and its tote handles on each side make it comfortable to carry and transport the cooler.

Airhead Aqua Oasis Insulated Nylon Cooler with Removable Floating Base 

The Airhead Aqua Oasis Insulated Nylon Cooler can be used in the water as well as on land. The cooler is light in weight at just 3.4 pounds and features numbered cup holders in the base which make it easy to identify each person’s drinks.

It is also has rope connectors that can be used to tether the cooler to something solid which will keep it from floating away. This cooler has gathered plenty of positive reviews from verified owners on Amazon.

Intex Mega Chiller II

If you are looking for a floating cooler that has a large capacity, the Intex Mega Chiller is the one we would recommend. This cooler can comfortably store up to 72 cans of brew. The six can holders around the top can be safely used to hold your drinks while in the water. For better portability, the cooler has four handles, one on each side of the cooler.

The cooler features a two-toned design that consists of a navy blue and white. We used this cooler in rough waters and found that it has no problem withstanding those conditions. The cooler is extremely durable to boot and is built with high quality materials.

The ice chest of the cooler is removable and it also has three large air chambers. Other variants that Intex offers which are similar to the Intex Mega Chiller II are the Intex River Run Connect Cooler, Inflatable Floating Cooler, 22.5″ Diameter.

Swimways Kelysus Floating Cooler

Swimways Kelysus is a portable inflatable cooler that can folded into a bag making it easy to carry around.  It is a small sized cooler with a capacity of 12 cans with 6 can holders designed around the base. 

This cooler is ideal for use around the pool for small pool parties and even for personal use. This floating cooler is designed in fabric which is covered with a sturdy insulation. Its dimensions are 3.5 X 13 X 16.5 inches.

We found the cooler easy to inflate and the material that it is built with is fairly tough. One drawback we noticed was that with ice packed into the storage compartment, the cooler could hold just 6-8 cans of beer, but then again, it’s probably meant for just single person use.

Intex 58820E Mega Chill

Intex is known for the durability of its products in this segment and the Intex 58820E cooler is no different. The material used for its construction is sturdy and reliable.

The cooler has a depth of 28 inches and is 20 inches in height. It can hold 24 cans of beverages plus ice and is a 16 quart cooler. The cooler has two heavy duty handles on the side along with 6 cup holders. In terms of durability, this cooler is most recommended in the small segment range of coolers.

Byers 1700 Big Bobber

Known for its unique shape, the Byers 1700 big Bobber Floating cooler has a capacity for 12 cans and is manufactured in the US. Its dimensions are 15.8 X 14 X 14 inches and it weighs in at 4.5 pounds.

This cooler is recommended if you are looking to carry drinks for personal use as it is not known to carry heavy weight.  The plastics used are decent and overall it is a perfectly functional cooler.

Blue Wave Sports Lay-Z-River Inflatable Cooler Float, 44 x 33-Inch, Green/Black

This cooler float is available in ultra-sized dimension that is fun to use for group outings. The Blue Wave Sports Lay-Z-River Inflatable Cooler Float is available up to 32.5” X 42.5 inches that makes it easy to store larger quantity of beverages. To add to the user convenience, four inbuilt beverage holders are incorporated into its design.  The cooler is designed with sturdy PVC vinyl materials that help with better insulation. The cooler weights just 2 pounds making it easy to carry around and transport.

Types of Floating Coolers on the Market

While we all know that air is the primary driver that keeps coolers afloat, cooler manufacturers use plenty of ways to accomplish this in their designs.

  • DIFFERENCES IN DESIGN: Some coolers have a variety of single inflatable base designs on which the coolers is placed, others have an inflatable ring surrounding them while still others have a whole bottom section filled with air and then sealed to allow the cooler to float on the water semi-submerged.
  • APPLICATIONS: Besides being able to float, these coolers also come with a wide variety of applications depending on your requirements. These vary from light weight coolers that can be used in swimming pool settings to coolers being able to offer better insulation to those capable of performing in rough water conditions. As a result, it is always suggested that you first identify the usage of the cooler so as to help you make a better buying decision.

How do I identify the best floating cooler for me?

Here is a general pool of considerations to help you identify your needs.

  • The type of the water conditions that you plan to use the cooler in
  • The amount of time you plan to spend in the water
  • The amount of storage capacity you would need
  • The ease of accessibility of the cooler while in the water
  • The mobility of the cooler
  • The price range

Advantages of a Floating Cooler

The floating cooler has plenty of benefits which is why it has been widely used in the water by so many users.

It Floats

One of the obvious but primary functionalities of a floating cooler is that it is designed to stay afloat. Traditional coolers lack this feature and having a cooler with the capability to float is certainly a nice feature to have when you are in a pool, a lake or a river.  Without a floating cooler, you would have to keep getting out of the water to grab yourself or your guests a drink thus interrupting the fun and your relax mode.

Floating Coolers are Compact and Light in Weight

One of most critical factors that impact any buying decision is size. Like in other traditional coolers, floating coolers also come in several weight classes. The quantity of drinks has an impact on the size of the cooler and if large sizes are a priority, the heavier the cooler would weigh. In comparison to traditional coolers, however, floating are a whole lot easier to transport as they are less heavy.

Portability

Another popular feature of floating coolers is that they can be deflated which means that they can be easily transported or stashed away when not in use. Manufacturers have cleverly designs that allow one to fold even large 50 quart coolers into the size of a small package. This is something that isn’t possible with a hard plastic cooler.

Affordability

Most floating coolers are made from rubber as their primary material making it a cost effective cooler in the market.

Limitations of Floating Coolers

  1. As these coolers are made only out of rubber, they are prone to cuts and tears and often wear out faster. These coolers must thus be kept away from sharp corners as they tend to get easily ruined not only when they are in use but also when they are being transported or stored. In terms of durability, these coolers are a step below the hard plastic coolers as a result.  
  2. These coolers are primarily designed to stay afloat, be lightweight and offer decent cooling for your drinks. Hence, they are more about convenience and not big on insulation.  Insulation is limited as the coolers are made of rubber and have thinner walls in which a high quality gasket in between the lid and the body cannot be integrated. These coolers are excellent for a few hours of chilled drinks in the water rather than a couple of days of chilling.
  3. Lastly, these coolers do not hold large quantities and are meant for smaller quantities.

Floating coolers are perfect for summers when most folks love spending time at the pool, beach or your favourite swimming hole. Open top coolers are not ideal at rivers or lakes as the current or waves can lead water inside the cooler as compared to the calm waters of a swimming pool which are ideal for open top floating coolers. If you are at a busy pool, however, a floating cooler with a top cover works best.