The best cool boxes for summer 2024

Whether you’re a tech-savvy adventurer, an outdoor enthusiast, a vibrant personality or someone who appreciates timeless design, there’s a cool box out there for you. These are the best ones to buy this summer

Warm beers are best left undrunk. Nobody wants fermented barley tea with their cold potato salad on a hot summer’s day. Whether you’re tearing up the North Coast 500 or eating prawn sandwiches in Royal Ascot’s Car Park 1, the trusty cool box is a necessary piece of kit in the battle against global warming.

Cool boxes are the unsung heroes of every beach picnic, sporting event and village fete, but nobody really knows quite when they first came about. Once a utilitarian slab of plastic, questionable insulating performance and flimsy handles, the cool box has evolved in recent years to become almost fashionable. Popular Texan manufacturer Yeti has successfully proven that we are willing to pay top dollar for something as mundane as a cool box and other brands are hopping on the bandwagon. We believe your choice says a lot about you as a person – so, which cool box are you?

Dometic ‘CFX3’: The techy one

Forget about annoying plastic bags of ice, Dometic has come up with the ultimate portable fridge. Plug it into a twelve volt and off you go. Perfect for carting on road trips and storing transplant organs, you can maintain a precise level of chill using the smartphone app. Customisable with protective covers, a bit like an iPhone case, its sleek design makes it a seamless accessory for any off-road vehicle.

Starting at: £699 (25 litres)

Perfect for: Content creators, 4x4s and surgeons

Yeti ‘Tundra’: The adventure one

Life doesn’t get much more outdoors than Texas, the ultimate birthplace for a bear-proof beer cooler. Whilst such claims may have little relevance in places like the UK, it is comforting to know that seagulls don’t stand a chance. The Yeti Tundra's leakproof seal not only makes it exceptionally good at keeping ice frozen, but also a handy floatation device should your boat unexpectedly sink.

Starting at: £250 (45 litres)

Perfect for: Extreme sports, fishing and trans-Atlantic cruises

Igloo ‘Tag Along Too’: The rainbow one

If you have a colourful personality, but are also practical and don’t like showing up to dinner parties or picnics with warm beverages, then Igloo's Tag Along Too is the cool box for you. Igloo has been making coolers since 1947. The Tag Along Too’s retro over the shoulder look has an element of cool about it. You could take one to a festival or boat race, without feeling too dorky and putting your back out.

Starting at: £59.95 (10 litres)

Perfect for: Events, gifts and graduations

Coleman ‘1900 Collection’: The old-school one

Things were built so much better back in the day and therefore stood the test of time. If it’s timeless style you’re going for, look no further. Coleman’s cool box wouldn’t seem out of place in the back of a Series One or Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. You can rest assured that its steel handles won’t suddenly snap off, leaving you with purple toes. A handy vantage point in any crowd, its solid construction can handle the weight of most rugby players. (Igloo does a similar ‘legacy range’ which is more readily available in the UK.)

Starting at: $239.99 (10 litres)

Perfect for: Elevenses, point-to-points and Twickenham

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