Esky guide: Everything you need to know about eskies and coolers

Keep your food chilled for longer by buying the right cooler.

It’s no secret that Australians love spending time outdoors. Many of us practically live outdoors in the warmer months, whether we’re spending a day at the beach, having friends over for a barbeque or going on a camping trip.

No matter how you’re spending your summer days, you’ll often want to be able to bring something to eat or drink with you. An efficient esky or cooler is one of the best ways to preserve your food and keep your drinks at an ideal temperature.

Coolers come in hard and soft materials and can be as cheap at $15 or as much as $500.

Read on to find out how to choose the best cooler to meet your needs.

Compare popular eskies for 2018

Data obtained on September 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Price (AUD) Type Colour Purchase Today
Coleman 30 Can Xtreme
Coleman 30 Can Xtreme
$39.99
Soft
Black-Green
Keeps your ice frozen for up to 24 hours in warm temperatures.
Coleman Fliplid 6
Coleman Fliplid 6
$48.35
Hard
Blue
Carry a full meal or up to 6 cans to work, a picnic or the gym.
Techniice 28L
Techniice 28L
$125
Hard
White-Blue
An airtight 28-litre cooler ideal for the beach, lunches and BBQs.
Coleman 47L
Coleman 47L
$150.5
Hard
White-Blue
Can fit 2-litre bottles upright or over 70 cans.
RTIC 45L
RTIC 45L
$249.95
Hard
Pink, White, Blue, Tan, Green
3" insulated walls can keep items cold for up to 10 days.
Dometic Cool-Ice CI 85
Dometic Cool-Ice CI 85
$255
Hard
Stone
Thick insulation and sealing to keep ice frozen for up to ten days.
Dometic Cool-Ice 55
Dometic Cool-Ice 55
$272.5
Hard
Stone
Keeps your ice frozen for up to ten days in a range of climates.
Chillco ARC 50L
Chillco ARC 50L
$299
Hard
White
Contains an integrated locking system, holding approximately 90 cans.
Evakool Icekool 56L
Evakool Icekool 56L
$279
Hard
Blue
Contains a drainage bung to keep your ice cooler for longer.
Evakool E047
Evakool E047
$542.5
Hard
White
A durable fibreglass icebox ideal for camping, boating, beaches and picnics.

Compare up to 4 providers

Hard vs soft eskies

Choosing between a hard or soft esky depends on how you want to use it. Soft coolers are usually lighter, easier to transport and collapsible so they take up little space when not in use. This makes them handy for short or day trips, such as taking lunch to work or bringing a smoothie to the gym.

Hard eskies are more durable, offer more storage and typically keep items cold for longer, but they can be bulky. These eskies are ideal for longer trips and outdoor use. However, even if you’re taking a long trip, you might want to consider bringing a soft cooler or two in case you want to take food on day trips or hikes. When you’re not using them you can fold the coolers up so they don’t take up precious space in your car or campervan.

How much do eskies cost?

Esky prices range from $15 to $500 based on size, material, insulation and brand. Cheaper eskies are typically small and can only keep food cold for a few hours. These eskies are handy for short activities like afternoon trips to the beach.

If you need an esky for an extended trip, you will need to pay more for an esky that offers multiple days of ice retention.

How to choose an esky

When buying an esky, the main factors to consider, aside from cost, are the size of the esky and how long it can keep ice frozen for.

When choosing an esky, look for the following additional features:

  • Wheels for easier manoeuvring.
  • A drain plug that allows you to remove melted ice from the bottom of your esky without tipping it over.
  • Sturdy and easy to grip handles so that you can lift your esky without straining.
  • Latches and lids that are durable enough for outdoor activities and don’t come undone if the esky moves around or tips over.
  • A lifetime warranty or a warranty of more than one year.
  • Additional outer storage pouches.
  • Easy to clean surfaces.

8 additional tips for keeping your food cool

Australians are spending more time camping than ever before. Here are 8 ways to make your esky more efficient on your next trip:

  1. Cool the inside of your esky for at least a few hours before you pack. This way, the esky will already by the right temperature when you start loading your food and will stay colder longer.
  2. Use ice blocks instead of cubed ice. Ice blocks melt more slowly and help keep your esky cold for longer.
  3. Freeze water in plastic bottles in advance. You can place them in the cooler to help keep things cold and drink the water when the ice melts.
  4. Pack the coldest, most frozen items on the bottom of the esky and fruit and vegetables on the top. If you are packing raw meat, make sure to wrap it well and place it below any fresh foods.
  5. Keep your esky out of the sun and limit the time your esky will spend in hot environments like the boot of your car.
  6. When your ice melts, don’t drain the water. The cold water will help to keep your food cool better than air would. If you have to drain the water, try to fill the empty space with more ice.
  7. Open the lid as little as possible. Every time you open the lid you let out cold air. If there are certain items like drinks that you want to access regularly, consider putting them in a separate cooler.
  8. Limit the amount of air space in the esky as air is not efficient at keeping food cool. Pack your items with as few air gaps as possible.

Check out the latest deals and coupons for your home and garden

Real Smart Real Smart
Exclusive

Extra $10 off when order is $99+

Use the code take an extra $10 off items of furniture, appliances, homewares, sports, electronics and much more with orders over $99 at Real Smart. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sunnylife Sunnylife
Exclusive

FREE shipping on your orders

Get your orders shipped for FREE. Not to be used with any other offer. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Koala Mattress Koala Mattress
Exclusive

$150 off any mattress

Save $150 on a Koala mattress by using this code. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Cotton On Cotton On
Exclusive

15% off all full-priced items

Receive 15% off all full-priced items across all the brands at Cotton On by using this code. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Zapals Zapals
Exclusive

10% off orders over $50

Register or log in to get 10% off orders over $50 at Zapals. Excluding promotional items. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Koala Mattress Koala Mattress
Exclusive

10% off orders over $1000

Exclusive code: Get 10% off when you order over $1000 at Koala mattress by using this code. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

David Jones David Jones

40% off glassware when you spend $50 or more

Save 40% when you spend $50 or more on glassware from Amalfi, Luigi Bormioli, Spiegelau and Nachtmann at David Jones. Conditions apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

David Jones David Jones

25% off selected full-priced women's fashion, shoes & accessories

Celebrate the party season in style with 25% off Tigerlily, Alice McCall, Thurley, plus offers on beauty, men's, kid's, home and more at David Jones. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

eBay eBay

5% off everything

Excluded Items when you spend $50 or more in one transaction during the offer period, up to a maximum discount of $300 per transaction.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sheridan Sheridan

40% off all orders

Valid for a limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends