How to Keep Drinks Cold in a Cooler without Ice?
If your anything like us, nothing beats an icy cold drink. That’s why we place them in a cooler stuffed with ice when we go on camping or fishing trips. But what if you forgot to bring ice? Will you be able to keep your drinks cool without them?
Yes! You can keep your drinks cold in a cooler without ice. But you need to cool the drinks before placing them inside the cooler.
Here Are 10 Techniques To Keep Your Drinks Cold In a Cooler Without Ice
- Use a high-quality rotomolded cooler
- Freeze the drinks overnight
- Pre-chill the cooler
- Wrap the drinks with wet clothes
- Newspaper Wrapping is Another Great Substitute
- Use insulated bottles
- Use ice packs or frozen bottled water
- Fill the air-space with foam or clothes
- Close the lid at all times and refrain from opening it
- Keep it under the shade
Ahead, we will look at how each method help in keeping your drinks cold.
Use a high-quality rotomolded cooler
There are several types of coolers, each of them serves a different purpose. But in keeping the drinks cold, rotomolded coolers remain king.
Rotomolded coolers are usually tight sealed and are lined with a thicker insulation material usually in the form of foam or plastic.
Compared to other types of coolers like soft coolers and regular hard coolers like the Coleman Xtreme, rotomolded coolers provide better insulation and can usually hold ice for 5-10 days.
A bigger, light-colored cooler will keep the temperature longer too.
Freeze the drinks overnight
Whether you know it or not, a cooler doesn’t cool your food/drink, it just works to sustain the temperature as long as possible. So keeping your drinks at room temperature and placing it inside the cooler won’t do anything.
Instead, freeze your drinks overnight if possible. Be careful though, because not all drinks can be frozen. Beers usually explode when frozen.
Pre-chill the cooler
As previously said, coolers have no built-in technology to cool things up, so we can’t expect their interior to be cool either. Contrarily, while staying empty and locked, it creates some sort of heat inside. So, when you equip those cold drink bottles into that heated cooler, the inside warmth will warm up the bottles in no time. This is why, before heaping the food/drink into the cooler, pre-chilling the cooler is vital.
Now the question is, how do you pre-chill a cooler? There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest is probably to store it in a cool place. It could be directly in front of air-conditioning, inside a huge freezer, or by simply placing frozen bottles of water inside.
Wrap the drinks with wet clothes
Since you won’t be using any ice to retain the coolness of the bottles, you need to back up with some tricks to keep the temperature consistent. According to our research, wrapping wet clothes around those frozen drinks works outstandingly and doesn’t let the coolness blow away through them.
Simply dip the clothes in cold water, get rid of the excess water, and wrap each drink one by one.
Newspaper Wrapping is Another Great Substitute
If you can’t find enough left-over pieces of clothes in your home that doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice this wrapping ritual. There are a lot of great substitutes out there, but now we’ll talk about the option that is easily accessible to all and extremely simple to implement. Yes, we are talking about newspaper wrapping.
To do so, cover the bottles in completely dry newspapers from top to bottom as soon as you remove them from the fridge. Double wrap them if necessary, to ensure spotless insulation, and then arrange them within the cooler. While newspaper wrapping does not produce the same results as wet clothing, it still works extremely well.
Use insulated bottles
If you have vacuum-insulated bottles collecting dust inside your cabinet, then it’s time to use them.
Simply pour your drinks into your vacuum insulated bottle before placing them inside your cooler. The only downside is that it can’t hold that much volume, so unless you have multiple vacuum-insulated water bottles laying around, you can save your vacuum-insulated bottle for your best drink.
Use ice packs or frozen bottled water
If you’re going on a fishing trip the next day and there’s no way to buy bags of ice, you can use your resourcefulness and grab all the ice packs (the ones with gel inside used for cold compress) and bottled water you can find and freeze them overnight. Not as good as ice, but it’s better than nothing.
Fill the space with foam or clothes
Since the cooler is lined with a kind of foam that acts as an insulator, why not add more?
Line your cooler with pillows or clothes to decrease the air space inside the cooler. This will act as an added layer of insulation that helps retain the coldness of your frozen drinks.
Close the lid at all times and refrain from opening it
To keep cold air trapped inside and warm air from entering your cooler, you have to keep the lid closed at all times. Even a few seconds that you keep it open unnecessarily will create a huge impact on the ice retention of your cooler.
So, if you’re getting a beer, ask your friends if they want one before opening the lid. This reduces the number of times that the lid will be opened.
Keep it under the shade
Where you are placing the cooler also has an impact on how long it will keep your drinks cool, so placing it in the right place is again crucial. It goes without saying that you need to avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Keeping it in the shade is a must. Besides, you also shouldn’t keep it in a place that has a high temperature. A high temperature can ruin all your effort, so make sure to keep the cooler in a room with a temperature of no more than 20°C. Also, when you open the lid to get a drink out, don’t open it all the way, and close it as quickly as you can.
This entire article will give you a clear picture of how to keep drinks cold in a cooler without ice. The most inevitable steps are getting the right cooler and chilling both cooler and drinks beforehand. Although wrapping them might make you work a bit, this process comes in handy. Lastly, to shut it down, make sure it is tightly locked, and with this, you’ll be able to drink an icy cold drink whenever you want without having to worry about putting ice in it.