Cold drinks are non-negotiable on a hot summer’s day, so if you are arranging a backyard party you will need a cooler to keep your guests refreshed.
In This Article – We will help you find the right garden cooler for the job with a helpful selection of 10 of the best coolers for backyard parties.
Coolers are a must for backyard parties
Garden or patio coolers are a stylish and effective way of keeping you and your guests supplied with cold drinks during your backyard party.
They may also be called rolling or standing chest coolers or standing bucket coolers.
A large cooler is the most practical and convenient way to store your beverages and keep them cold for the duration of your party.
Long gone are the days of filling a bucket with ice and water to throw your cans in.
You can now entertain stylishly with smart coolers that make a beautiful addition to our patio or decking.
Most coolers have a straightforward chest design, but also include features like casters, shelving, and bi-fold lids.
Simply load your cooler with ice and add your wine bottles, beer, and soda cans and cover the cooler to keep everything ice cold for 24 hours or more.
Buying guide for the best cooler for backyard parties
If you have great weather and a packed social diary, your new garden cooler is going to be working hard.
Make a great investment by using our buying guide to evaluate the patio coolers for your garden.
Type of Cooler
You can choose from a wide range of designs to find the ideal cooler for your party.
Here are some of the most popular options:
- Bucket coolers: These are compact coolers that are ideal for a small group as they are lightweight and portable.
- Rolling garden coolers: Larger coolers set on casters are very practical as you can wheel them round to where guests are congregated and there is no heavy lifting.
- Standing chest coolers: These high-capacity coolers are great to have on hand for catering a large outdoor party with large numbers of guests. If entertaining is a regular activity at your house, you may want to locate a large cooler as a permanent patio feature.
Check out the cooler capacity usually given in gallons or quarts.
If you are dealing with a large crowd on a hot day you will require a cooler with a capacity for over 100 cans, or bottles along with the ice.
This means that an 80-quart cooler is likely to be a better match for your hosting than smaller bucket coolers.
Many of the larger coolers are not insulated, but a garden cooler with insulation is a better investment because it will prolong the cooling and slow the added ice from melting.
Some coolers are simply an open chest, but lidded coolers also prevent the ice from melting and beverages from warming up in hot weather and direct sunlight.
Look for bifold lidded coolers that make it easy for guests to help themselves.
This is a vital feature for emptying and cleaning the cooler easily (especially if it is large).
Quality models will have the plug on a chain.
Features like shelves, bottle openers, cap collectors, and handles are all useful features for a backyard cooler.
Of course, the appearance of the cooler is important too, so look for a design that coordinates well with your existing garden design.
10 best coolers for backyard parties
We’ve searched high and low for smart coolers that are great for a backyard party.
Here are some of the best available.
1. Nightcore 108 Quart Rattan Rolling Cooler with Shelf & Hanger
- Material: Steel and rattan
- Volume: 108 Quart (123 liters)
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 43.3 in (L) x 23.4 in (W) x 34.6 in (H) (110 cm x 59.4 cm x 88 cm)
- Weight: 47 pounds (21.3 kg)
This beautiful cooler on castors will make a stunning addition to your patio.
You can serve guests at garden parties and patios with ice-cool beverages all day long as the 108 Quart stainless steel lined chamber is enough for multiple sodas, beer, or wine bottles.
Ice cream may even hold up in the cooler for a decent amount of time.
With this smart garden cooler, you won’t need to haul buckets of ice and water around your yard.
The cooler is on lockable wheels with full 360° mobility when needed.
Guests can reach in and help themselves via either of the two sides of the easy access lid.
- Great volume
- Fully mobile
- Stores your snacks and glasses
- The drainage plug makes emptying and cleaning easy.
- The cooler is stainless steel lined rather than insulated so ice in the cooler can melt quickly.
- Some reviewers complained that the rattan finish was not even.
The patio cooler has added practicality with a storage shelf for snacks and a rack for slotting in wine glasses.
When you’re done, the cooler has a plug to let out melted ice water and the whole unit cleans down beautifully.
2. Permasteel 80-Quart Outdoor Rolling Cooler with Wood Grain Accent
- Material: Plastic
- Volume: 80 Quarts (90.9 liters)
- Color: Gray
- Dimensions: 35.5 in (H) x 20.25 in (D) x 32.5 in (W) (90.1 cm x 52 cm x 82.5)
- Weight: 48.5 pounds
This is a tidy and compact garden cooler that will look great on your patio and decking throughout the summer months due to its UV-resistant finish.
Capacity is not a problem as it can hold up to 110 ice cold cans plus ice!
There’s also additional storage for bottles and an integrated bottle opener to keep the beverages flowing.
You can wheel this cooler around or frankly carry it using its sturdy side handles.
- Pleasant wood-grain effect
- The plastic exterior is weatherproof and easy to clean
- The plug hole in the bottom of the cooler makes it easy to drain melted ice
- Some reviewers report warping of the cooler plastic in hot weather.
- The paint finishing of the cooler can peel.
It has a bifold lid that is completely removable if needed and a plastic-lined interior that can be clean and drained easily using the drainage plug to let out water.
3. Pearington 80 Quart Rolling Drink Cooler Cart with Bottle Opener in Onyx
- Material: Aluminum
- Volume: 80 Quart (90.9 liters)
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 30.5 in (W) x 15.1 in (D) x 33 in (H) (77.47 cm x 28.3 cm x 83.82 cm)
- Weight: 41.4 pounds (18.77 kilograms)
This sleek and shiny black cooler cart was made for outdoor cookouts.
Keep guests refreshed on even the hottest days with the capacity for up to 96 aluminum cans.
Wheel this beauty around your yard on strong caster wheels which can be locked for safety.
- The classy, shiny black finish will stand out in your garden.
- Side handles make moving easy
- Reviewers say that this yard cooler is easy to assemble
- The shiny finish can easily become scratched outside.
- It does not have a shelf onboard.
When you’re done, clean-up is quick and simple with a draining plug in the base of the cooler.
4. Outsunny 80 Quart Ice Chest on Wheels
- Material: Stainless steel
- Volume: 80 Quart (90.9 liters)
- Color: Silver
- Dimensions: 35.5 in x 15.25 in x 32.75 in (90.1 cm x 38.7 cm x 83.1 cm)
- Weight: 41 pounds (18.77 kg)
This is a robust catering quality stainless steel cooler with plenty of space for the bottles and cans you need to have on hand when you are entertaining outdoors.
Guest can open their bottles using the attached bottle opener and cap catcher, keeping everything contained and tidy, while you can store additional supplies on the base shelf.
Stainless steel is hardwearing and hygienic and the robust handle and wheels with two locking casters make this sturdy garden cooler easy to transport to guests.
- Durable and hardwearing stainless steel exterior.
- Dual doors for easy access to your cold drinks.
- Spacious lined interior.
- Some owners report problems with the fit of the plastic lid on the cooler.
After the party let out the melted ice quickly via the integrated drainage plug.
5. Backyard Expressions 57 Quart Natural Wood Beverage Cooler
- Material: Cast iron, stainless steel, and natural wood
- Volume: 57 Quart (64.7 liters)
- Color: brown, red, white, and blue
- Dimensions: 18.11 in x 26.7 in x 31.1 in (45.9 cm x 67.81 cm x 14.1 cm)
- Weight: 44 pounds (19.95)
This rustic all-American design would not look out of place on any front or back porch.
Sip your iced tea or lemonade while this steel-lined ice chest keeps your beverages cool in style.
The patio cooler has an antique finish with a charming American flag design.
Capacity is probably enough for your family and a few guests with room in the cooler for up to 64 cans and ice.
This foam insulated cooler also has a bottle opener and cap holder to keep everything tidy.
- Compact design
- Antique chest look
- Foam insulation and stainless steel lined lid
- Despite the Americana styling, this cooler is made in China
Cleaning is easy with the drain plug to let out used water when everyone’s done!
6. Keter Breeze Bar Gallon Beer and Wine Cooler
- Material: Resin
- Volume: 14.8 gallons (67 liters)
- Color: Brown
- Dimensions: 15.9 in (D) x 32.8 in (W) x 29.5 in (H) (40.3 cm x 82.3 cm x 74.3 cm )
- Weight: 28.13 pounds (12.76 kg)
Keter is a well-known brand for quality outdoor furniture, so you can buy this clever beverage cart with an integrated table with confidence.
The cart is the perfect accessory for stylish entertaining on the porch, or by the pool or hot tub!
The most interesting feature of the garden cooler is its pop-up top that rises to ten inches (25.4cm) creating a serving surface that is perfect for snacks and drinks!
The build quality of this chest is excellent, the sturdy resin is designed to hold up against the worst of the weather and intense sun.
- Pleasing coffee table design.
- Stylish practical serving area.
- Not easy to move around once full.
- The drain plug can only be removed from the inside.
- The locking mechanism for the raised table can be difficult to use.
Cleanups are also easy, with a drain plug in the bottom of the chest.
7. BLUU Outdoor Patio Cooler Bar with 10 Gallon Coffee, Beer, and Wine Cooler
- Material: Polypropylene
- Volume: 10 gallons (38 liters)
- Color: Taupe
- Dimensions: 19.69 n (L) x 19.69 in (W) x 17.13 in (H) (50 cm x 50 cm x 43.9 cm)
- Weight: 16.72 pounds (7.58 kg)
This 2 in 1 garden cooler and cocktail table is a cute accessory for a family garden.
You can enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon with cold beverages to hand with up to 50 cans of soda or beer cooling in the barrel-like chamber.
The strong polypropylene is heat and UV resistant meaning it will be able to endure even the hottest summer days.
The height-adjustable lid pops up to provide a surface that is made for corn chips and salsa.
- This little cooler is a compact and popular design that makes a centerpiece for entertaining by your pool or hot tub.
- The smart barrel design works in most gardens.
- This garden cooler is not on wheels.
Assembly is easy, with all the parts and instructions for the 2 in 1 cooler supplied. When you’re finished pull the drainage plug to let out the melted ice.
8. Coleman 40 Quart Portable Thermoelectric Cooler
- Material: Plastic
- Volume: 40 Quarts (37 liters)
- Color: Gray
- Dimensions: 24 in x 17.25 in x 16 in (60.96 cm x 43.8 cm x 40.64)
- Weight: 17.04 pounds (7.73 kg)
If you are a BBQ aficionado you will want to have this handy thermoelectric garden cooler on hand.
Not only can this compact unit keep your cold drinks refrigerated, but you also have the option of flipping the switch to using it as a food warmer that keeps your hot dishes warm.
This powered cooler has an eight-foot power cord that you can un indoors to supply power to your chest. Open the fridge door from the right hand or left-hand sides as needed,
This versatile design is ideal for chilling in the garden with friends or packing up for a road trip or camping.
It fits easily into almost any vehicle, especially since you can lay it down for use as a chest cooler or turn it upright to fit in narrower spaces. The door converts to open from the right or left sides to offer even more placement flexibility.
- As this is an eclectic cooler, there is no need to use ice, making it very convenient.
- The added option of keeping food warm makes it a great option for cookouts.y
- Though this cooler has great functionality, its capacity is limited compared to the other coles we’ve shared.
No matter where you set it up or how far you travel, with this cooler, you can always be sure to have some cold refreshments on hand to keep you going during your adventure.
9. Permasteel Pepsi Portable Rolling Patio Cooler in Blue
- Material: Powder-coated steel
- Volume: 80 quarts (75 liters)
- Color: blue and white
- Dimensions: 36.5 x 18 x 33.5 inches
- Weight: 34 pounds (15.4 kg)
This vintage-style steel garden cooler with Pepsico detail and a classic bottle opener makes a charming addition to any garden.
Entertain family and friends with up to 110 cans on hand plus ice in the roomy, insulated 80-quart storage.
- Fun retro design that even Marty McFly would be proud of!
- Insulated for a prolonged cooling period.
- Casters make it easy to move the cooler.
- The cover cannot be replaced if it becomes chipped or cracked.
10. Keter Outdoor 7.5 Gallon Beer and Wine Cooler with Side Table
- Material: Rattan effect resin
- Volume: 7.5 gallons (34 liters)
- Color: Gray
- Dimensions: 19.5 in (D) x 19.5 in (W) x 33.2 in (H)
- Weight: 15.43 pounds (7 kg)
This 3 in 1 garden cooler will provide you with iced beverages you can set on a coffee table or cocktail table!
The clever design includes a table surface at two heights that can be set up by lifting the lid and twisting the locking ring.
This cooler is very compact but would be beautifully paired with your garden recliners or as part of a buffet or BBQ setup.
Beneath the table surface, you have a generous 7.4-gallon space that you can fill with ice and the bottles and cans of your choice.
- Compact size is great for smaller gardens.
- Buy more than one to match to seating as side tables.
- The lack of wheels makes moving this cooler around difficult.
The small size of this garden coole makes it a great choice for a roof terrace, balcony, or courtyard garden and like other Keter quality outdoor products, it will stay in good condition if left outside all year round.
Frequently asked questions about the best cooler for backyard parties
Can I store ice cream in my backyard cooler?
A decent quality lidded cooler with insulation is just as effective as a coolbox for keeping iced deserts cold.
You can also use the cooler to keep dips and other cold food cold and fresh on a hot day.
Should I leave my cooler outside all year round?
These quality patio coolers are hardwearing and designed for outdoor use.
However, leaving the cooler out in rain and sun for a prolonged period may weather special finishes and cause the cooler to become dirty.
If you do choose to leave it outside, remove the plug so it does not accumulate stagnant water, and be sure to clean it thoroughly before use.
Do I need to use ice in the patio cooler?
Ice is essential for providing the cold that will cool your drinks. Though some coolers are insulated, they almost always rely on the cooling action of ice.
With one of these quality beverage coolers in your backyard, keeping drinks cold never has to be a worry again.
They are so useful that you will soon find your cooler becomes indispensable for relaxed and fun entertaining.
Buy your new cooler, fill it with your favorite beverages and sit back and enjoy the party!