You Need A Cooler!
In the heat of the summer, there is nothing more refreshing than ice-cold waters and beverages out of a good-quality cooler. It is much better than reaching into lukewarm water to find that nothing is cold and all your ice has melted causing your snacks to start floating around in the pool of water. A quality cooler is well worth its price for those dog days of summer. Hopefully, we can give you a push in the right direction as far as what cooler you should be looking into for bringing to your next softball tournament.
There are a few different sizes of coolers that we’re going to recommend. Each one having it’s own uses around a softball family. There is nothing wrong with having a few different coolers for different situations. We usually throw one big one in the back of the truck and then have smaller ones that we use throughout the day for bringing food and drinks around the park. Trust me, we spend enough money at concession stands that I don’t feel bad about having a little cooler hidden in our pull cart for when we don’t feel like standing in line to get a cold water or beverage from the concession stand.
- Before we get into it, we’d like to add some ice retention tips. Ice will eventually ALL melt. The cooler is just going to slow it down, so to slow it down even more try these tips.
- Keep food surrounded by ice.
- Start off with as much ice as possible.
- Keep the lid closed as much as you can.
- Pre-chill all food and drinks before putting them into the cooler.
- Keep the cooler in a shady/cooler area.
- Layer from the bottom to top food/ice/food/ice etc.
- Always make ice your top layer.
Best large cooler
LIFETIME 65 Quart High-Performance Hard Cooler
The LIFETIME 65 Cooler is a heavy-duty cooler. It’s built to even tout the spec of being bear-resistant. With up to 8-day ice retention and the ability to hold up to 75 cans. This cooler will serve you well on long tournament weekends. The 5-year limited warranty is just a little icing on the cake for this cooler. The cooler sports rope handles, 2 bottle openers, one-handed latches, and lift & slide feet. All of this at a price point much less than many similar coolers on the market today.
Best rolling/wheeled cooler
This cooler isn’t going to go out and win any sexy cooler awards ok? But, it’s what’s on the inside that counts right? Well, the inside of this cooler stays cold! We have literally just about rolled the wheels off of ours we have had it so long. This is a very durable cooler that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles other than the fact that it keeps your food and drinks cold and it’s easy enough to move around thanks to its wheels. It has a telescoping handle and cup holders built into the top. At a very good price point, you won’t regret investing the money into this cooler. Especially great for single-day or two-day tournaments when you don’t need as much room as our recommended LIFETIME cooler above.
Best Soft Cooler
RTIC Soft Cooler 20 Insulated Bag
Honestly, most people probably don’t even need a soft cooler for softball tournaments unless you just really like the look, feel and function of them. A good medium size cooler would do better at a lower price point than most soft coolers as many of the soft coolers have a surprisingly high price tag. If you do like the soft coolers, however, you can’t go wrong with the RTIC Soft Cooler 20 (or 30 if you want to move up a bit in size). You can usually find this cooler in a few different colors if you just really want to try and match your team color. This cooler will hold up to 20 cans plus ice. It has a zippered closure that is leakproof and it does not sweat on the outside, so less mess. Also of note, this cooler floats, which hopefully won’t be too much of an issue at softball tournaments! If soft coolers are your thing, definitely check this rugged, but good-looking one out.
Best Small Portable Cooler Bag
Carhartt Deluxe Dual Compartment Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag
So this is probably our most used cooler due to the fact that it spends its life riding around in our cart all day keeping our drinks cold. No, it doesn’t hold a lot, but that’s the point. We like to throw a few waters or sports drinks into this with some ice packs or frozen water bottles and we have cold drinks until we run out. At that point, we go back to the vehicle, refill this little cooler and do it again. This is a small cooler but will hold up to a 6 pack of cans (or fit in some bottles long ways). Also has a separate insulated top portion for food items such as granola bars or beef jerky. Nothing too fancy here. Just a good way to keep your drinks cold off and on throughout the day at the ballpark.
So those are our favorite picks for coolers for fastpitch softball games. In the south, where we live, our scorching hot, triple-digit summer days make bringing coolers a big priority. We take them seriously down here, but we also try not to overspend for brand names. Hopefully, this list helps you find the cooler that fits your ball family. Don’t forget, there are always other ways to stay cool other than coolers.
A few other low-cost things you can look into that should keep you cooler and more comfortable are: