Pre chill your cooler & goods

Pre-chilling a cooler box before using it is essential for reaching optimal preservation of your perishables and beverages. By cooling the cooler for 24 hours in advance, you create an insulated environment that is already at a lower temperature. This initial cold environment helps to counteract the heat transfer that occurs when you place items at room temperature or higher into the cooler.

If the cooler is not pre-chilled, the stored items would have to compete with the initial warmth, leading to a longer time frame for the contents to reach the desired chilled state. Pre-chilling minimises this temperature differential, allowing the cooler to efficiently maintain the desired internal temperature and extending the freshness of your items during your outdoor adventures or gatherings.

How much ice should you use?

In a rotomolded cooler (premium cooler), the insulation and ice retention capabilities are much more advanced than a standard cooler. As a result, you can use less ice compared to traditional coolers while still maintaining excellent temperature control for an extended period.

A common guideline for using ice in a rotomolded cooler is the 1:2 ice-to-contents ratio. This means that you would use roughly one-third of the cooler’s capacity for ice and the remaining two-thirds for your items. This ratio takes advantage of the cooler’s superior insulation properties and allows you to optimise space while ensuring effective cooling.
Keep in mind that the actual amount of ice you use may vary based on factors such as the size of the cooler, the ambient temperature, the length of time you need to keep items cold.

The best way to pack your cooler

  • Packing a cooler efficiently is crucial to maintaining the cold temperature of your items for as long as possible. Here’s a step-by-step guide on the most efficient way to pack a cooler:
  • Layer of Ice: Start by placing a layer of ice at the bottom of the cooler. This helps establish a cold base for your items.
  • Heavier and Denser Items: Place heavier and denser items at the bottom. These items tend to retain cold better and act as insulation for the rest of the contents. This could include items like drinks in cans, bottles, or jars.
  • Ice Packs or Blocks: Position ice packs or ice blocks on top of the initial layer of items. These will help keep the temperature low and provide even cooling. Ice packs are generally more efficient than loose ice as they don’t create water runoff.
  • Top Layer of Ice: Add another layer of ice packs or ice blocks on top of the lighter items. This further insulates the contents and helps maintain the cold temperature.
  • Fill Empty Spaces: Fill any empty spaces with additional ice packs, crumpled newspaper, or other filler material. Minimising air gaps reduces heat transfer.
  • Minimal Opening: Try to minimise opening the cooler as much as possible. Each time the cooler is opened, warm air enters and cold air escapes, affecting the internal temperature.

By following these steps, you can maximise the efficiency of your cooler packing and keep your items cold for an extended period during your outdoor adventures.