Choose coolers or lunch bags that are the right size for your needs.

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What size cooler should I get?

Choose coolers or lunch bags that are the right size for your needs.

A 25-quart cooler is too much for a few sandwiches, and a 6-packer will not suffice for a beach party. Select a cooler based on its intended use: if you're just one or two people headed to the beach for lunch, your cooler should be fairly small – just large enough to hold your lunch, some beverages, and the ice or ice packs that will keep your food cold. If you have a larger group or are bringing food to last a longer amount of time, you should have a larger cooler. A good rule of thumb is to choose a cooler or cooler bag that will hold your food comfortably, leaving enough room for air flow, but not so much as to let there be a lot of dead space or that will let items knock around. Coolers should seal tightly, and you might want one with hard sides if you will be packing anything fragile. A soft-sided cooler bag or lunch box can be convenient – and tends to be lighter – for daily items like sandwiches and sodas. For larger needs, consider getting a cooler that has a spigot, as this will make for easier cleaning and draining of melted ice.



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