Coolers are the perfect companion to take on a hot summer day. Whether you’re going to the beach, camping or on a picnic, they make sure your drinks are always chilly.
However, they’re not only for summertime! You can also use them conveniently in winter as the non-conductors in them will maintain a stable temperature inside. As a result, it makes the cooler a versatile product. And just by upgrading it, you can enjoy more benefits from even the cheapest of coolers.
Why are Cooler Lids Hollow?
Coolers typically have insulation between their walls. It makes sure the cool air inside is trapped, keeping all the food cold. They also usually come with a buffer that ensures the food is not freezing without heat. But you may find the lids are often hollow.
It is because filling the lid adds to the expense of the cooler. The more insulation, the more expensive it is.So cheaper coolers usually come with a hollow or uninsulated lid.
Moreover, it takes away from the lightweight nature of the coolers, making it heavier. Coolers are preferred lightweight to make it easier to carry them. So companies prioritize convenience over boosting the cooling and cost.
Ways to Upgrade Your Cooler
Even though you can find many coolers on the market that can provide excellent cooling, they’re also usually expensive. If you don’t want to spend that much money on a cooler but wish to get similar benefits, consider these methods to upgrade your cooler.
Using Spray Foam
You can simply fill the lid of your cooler using spray foam. It usually comes with a straw end to insert it conveniently into the lid. Don’t forget to wear gloves while handling the spray foam.
Start by making multiple holes on the bottom of your cooler lid using a drill. Before adding the foam, remember to spray the lid with PAM cooking spray. It will make it easier to take the foam off the surface.
Fill all the holes properly with the foam by making sure there is no gap left. The foam will expand and dry over time, so you need to wait almost a day for it to happen. Once completely dry to the touch, you can break off the excess foam.
Cutting the Lid Open
Another way to add insulation directly to the lid is by cutting a part of it open. Cutting it open will give you the freedom to add the filling of your choice and the amount you need.
Carefully cut a part of the cooler. You can use a saw for cutting, but make sure to wear safety equipment before starting the process. Once you have cut it open, fill the inside with foam or spray foam or pipe insulation tape, etc.
If there’s any gap left that needs sealing, you can use foam tape or tape with a strong adhesive. Although with tight lining, you might not need any sealing.
Using Pipe Insulation Tape
An alternative to using foam is using pipe insulation tape. It’s typically a foam and or foil material. It helps to maintain the temperature of the material used on it. You can apply the tape on the bottom of the lid to help keep things cooler.
Additionally, you can use foil to wrap the lid’s bottom after applying the tape for better results. It will help to maintain the temperature inside, making it suitable for all-weather purposes.
Reflective Tape and Reflective Insulation
Reflective tapes are similar to foil wraps, but it comes with an adhesive. You can use them as a way to improve the cooling system of your cooler. However, make sure not to get a colorful tape; an average silver reflective tape will give you the best results.
Now, all you need is to cover the inside of your cooler with the tape. It will act as a heat regulator and keep the inside air cooler.
Another similar method is to use reflective insulation tape. It is a self-adhesive bubble wrap tape made of aluminum foil. You can easily add them to the bottom of the lid, and inside the entire cooler, for better cooling.
Using Foam Sheets or Mats
Foam sheets and mats are an efficient way to keep your food cold. They work excellently as regulators without needing to cut or drill the cooler. Place the foam sheets at the bottom of your cooler covering the food. It will ensure your food stays cold longer. Similarly, you can use a mat, preferably a yoga mat, to do the same.
Likewise, to make sure less air escapes your cooler, you can cover the top and bottom of the lid of your cooler with a foam sheet or mat. It will make sure that no gap is there while closing the lid.
Upgrading Using Two Coolers
You can conveniently get the benefits and cooling of an expensive high-end cooler using two coolers of different sizes. It’s an excellent way to get the best of both worlds. To start, find a cheap cooler that fits into your current cooler or vice versa.
Once you’ve found the perfect match, apply some spray foam to the bottom of the bigger cooler, and before it dries, place the smaller one on it, securing it in place. Next, as spray foam expands, apply a moderate amount between the two coolers’ gaps.
Accordingly, when dry, remove the excess foam and cover it entirely with foil tape to ensure no water gets in. You can also wrap the entire lid of the smaller cooler with foil wrap and apply insulation tape on the bottom of the bigger cooler’s lid to get the most out of it.
Adding Seal to the Top Edges
To keep the cooler airtight to let as little air out as possible, you can seal the top edges. It is to make sure it’s always sealed shut whenever you close it. You can use foam tape for this. Take the self-adhesive foam tape and carefully place it to the top edges of the cooler box where it meets the lid when it closes.
Ensure that you cover all the sides of the edge well with the right amount of tape. Thus, it will result in an airtight seal every time you close it.
Add a Latch
Coolers usually don’t come with latches. It is mainly for its convenient and easy to use nature, but having one can make a whole lot of difference.
So, attaching a latch to the cooler will not only make it secure but also airtight. You can find many easy to attach latches in the market. All you need is to screw the parts in place to the front of the lid and the cooler box.
Follow the guide provided on the product if necessary. After adding the latches, you don’t have to worry about spilling any liquid or your cooler leaking out air again!
Coolers are convenient and versatile at the same time, making them a favorite among seasonal travelers. With the insulation making it possible to keep a stable temperature inside the cooler, you can make it work for any season or weather, using the right hacks.
An average cheap cooler will last you decades. Plus, with a little bit of tweaking and care, you probably won’t need another cooler for the rest of your life.
So why spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive cooler when you can get the same benefits upgrading a cheaper one? Besides, something is exciting about customizing it according to your needs.