The Perfect Cooler: A Vacation Essential

Choosing the Perfect Cooler for You

What do coolers and people have in common? Well for one, they come in every shape, color, and size imaginable. They can be found everywhere, in every walk of life. They might be rugged, tough, soft, or pretty. I’ve seen them plain and I’ve seen them very colorful. Some are huge while others are tiny. And, as the saying goes, there’s someone for everyone. Ok, that’s a stretch, but you better believe the perfect cooler exists out there just for you!

the perfect cooler

So, where does one begin when selecting the perfect cooler?  Consider the function and purpose you intend for your cooler. Will you use it frequently throughout the year or just a few times during family trips and whatnot? Will you have help carrying it or do you need something portable and hands-free? These are all things to consider before driving yourself insane blindly shopping around or grabbing the cheapest thing off the nearest shelf.

“You Get What You Pay For”

Naturally, the price tag is usually where most people begin with any purchase.  That being said, I’m a big believer in “You get what you pay for,” and I refuse to pay for poor quality. Yes, I know how that sounds but I urge you to adopt the same attitude towards your beach gear. Items that can be used for a lifetime are an investment in your vacation arsenal. This goes for chairs, sun shelters, and, of course, coolers. If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time. Am I right or am I right? These coolers are not your ordinary cold plastic boxes, because, well, you’re more than the ordinary beach-goer. Let’s explore & find you the perfect cooler, shall we?!


the perfect coolerOh my goodness, the Yeti. This company is all the rage, and for good reason. The products they make are of superb quality and functionality. I seriously doubt you’ll find  coolers and hoppers built to take more hard-knocks than these! Although the sticker shock may cause purchase hesitation, it’s like I said before, you get what you pay for in quality.

Now, size DOES matter when you’re purchasing a Yeti. There is a variety of sizes available including hard coolers, soft hoppers & an assortment of other goodies. Yeti even makes a backpack cooler called the Backflip.  Did you get that? Hand-free Yeti… yaaassss!!!

the perfect cooler

Although the Yeti hard coolers are amazing, I personally  prefer the hoppers and backpack-style coolers, only because I’m all about going hands-free when possible.  Ice stays cold for about a million years, keeping everything in the coolers fresh all day long.  The zippers on these hoppers are designed like a water-proof wet suit zipper, creating a watertight seal with no leakage if the hopper tips over accidentally. Oh, and let us not forget about the incredible insulation built into these fantastic coolers. As far as I’m concerned, Yeti’s are worth their weight in gold doubloons.

Tommy Bahama

the perfect cooler

Now, this is cute… and functional. Perfect for a smaller sized family to enjoy a picnic on the beach! I like this Tommy Bahama’s Insulated Backpack Cooler because it is a breeze to carry, freeing up your hands for the more important things (like holding onto your toddler, for example.) Although this cooler isn’t monster-sized, it has plenty of room for all of your beach day edibles.  The top portion even has a spacious dry compartment and pockets galore to stash snacks, valuables and beach treasures! When you pack this baby full of cold food, your goodies will stay cold and sand-free (I’ll teach you all about cooler packing in my next post!)


I stumbled upon IceMule in my research and this brand has me completely impressed! These soft-pack, wearable coolers seem to be up to par with the quality of a Yeti but with an innovative design not seen on most coolers.

the perfect cooler

The exterior is highly durable, with a foam insulation layer and an air valve that allows you to add or remove air within the insulation layer. (Adding air thickens the insulation layer, keeping the interior colder even longer!) Best feature of all, it rolls up and stashes for easy storage! This means you can pack it in your suitcase and bring it out when your ready for your day on the sand!

The IceMule line is appealing to me, especially with their built-tough quality, watertight seals, and easy-to-carry designs. Not only is it far less bulky than a standard hard cooler, but it is also much easier to transport! You know I’m all about that!

Get the Perfect Cooler, ‘Cause You’ll Need It!

I truly care about your vacation happiness, which is why I happily do what I do! You need, and deserve (yes, you do!) to be here on Emerald Isle, relaxing with your friends and family. I’m simply here to nudge you in the direction of things that will make your vacation life much easier. When you have what you need, from the perfect cooler to the comfiest chair, it makes the entire experience that much more pleasant. Take it from me, investing in your vacation arsenal is an investment in your sanity and peace of mind. Having a wonderful time is the main focus, not worrying about if the ice is melting. In the next post, I’ll let you in on some clever tips and tricks to packing an awesome picnic suited for a sunny day on the Crystal Coast!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.


Author: Christine Britten

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