Before you embark on your next pool or lake day, come prepared with a cooler you can take with you in the water. The best floating coolers are designed with compartments to hold ice, drinks, and snacks, and close shut to block the interiors from the sun. Beyond that though, they come in an array of sizes and styles to best suit your chilling needs.
As you scour the internet to shop, you’ll likely come across several different types of floating coolers. Some floating coolers are inflatable and collapsible, which can be incredibly convenient if you’re short on storage space. Others are specifically designed with portability in mind and can be worn as backpacks. You can even find durable coolers made for outdoor adventure, which can come equipped with everything from a strap to wear it as a backpack, built-in tow points, and dry-bag functionality. Finally, some floating coolers are attached to inner tubes, making them a fun choice for days spent lounging on the water.
If you’re looking for a place to set down your drink, opt for a floating cooler with built-in cup holders — they can, of course, be used to store extra beverages, but they can also be a handy place to set down snacks and other small items. And when you’re in need of a cooler that can keep drinks and snacks cool for extended periods of time, opt for one with extra insulation that can keep drinks cool for upwards of a day. These can be great on extra-warm days or when you’re somewhere it’s harder to restock ice (like when you’re camping).
Read on for the best floating coolers available on Amazon — plus, an Instagram-worthy pool float that can hold drinks.
1. The Best Inflatable Floating Cooler
- Dimensions: 34.7 x 26.4 x 20.5 inches
- Capacity: 49 liters
This insulated floating cooler offers a secure lid and nearly 50 liters of storage space — leaving you with a “large area to hold drinks,” according to one reviewer. It also features four built-in cup holders, and convenient handles to move it around. One reviewer attested, “It works great, alleviating trips to shore for a beverage or snack.” Another described, “I take this camping, day at the lake, or even swimming at the pool.” Plus, it’s easy to collapse and transport between uses.
While the 2.8-pound cooler is constructed from a vinyl that’s 0.27 millimeters thick, reviewers have noted that it doesn’t feature a ton of insulation — ice can melt within a couple of hours, according to one shopper, but another innovative reviewer fit a small styrofoam cooler inside to improve the insulation.
Promising Amazon review: “Awesome! [...] It survived a float down the river! One of my favorite purchases.
2. The Best Floating Cooler For Outdoor Sports
- Dimensions: 39.5 x 21 x 12 inches
- Capacity: 28 liters
Featuring a durable double-wall construction with foam insulation (2 inches of it!) and a water-tight lid you can lock in place to ensure everything stays inside, this CreekKooler Floating Cooler is designed to keep things cool and contained. One reviewer described its synthetic material as “very sturdy, built to hold up in the wilderness.” The two handles and two tow points make it an excellent choice for boating and other outdoor adventures. Plus, it can function as a dry bag and has four built-in cup holders on the outside.
Although it’s on the heavier side at 17 pounds, it can retain ice for up to 48 hours — the longest specified time range of all the floating coolers on this list. It also provides a large storage capacity: It can hold 30 quarts (approximately 28 liters), which equates to about 30 drink cans and 20 pounds of ice. Choose from five colors, ranging from this prominent red to a more neutral beige.
Promising Amazon review: “No drag when paddling, we had 2 on our Wisconsin River Trip. The cold cooler kept ice for 48 hours. Used the other one for dry storage. [Definitely] worth buying!”
3. The Best Backpack-Style Cooler
- Dimensions: 22.8 x 15 x 10.2 inches
- Capacity: 15 liters
Looking for a more compact option that’s super easy to carry? Consider this cooler backpack, which floats in water, weighs just 1.9 pounds, and doubles as a dry bag. Instead of two traditional backpack straps, the waterproof cooler has one longer padded strap you can loop across your body. According to the manufacturer, the PVC bag is insulated and “designed to keep ice frozen for up to 30 hours”— plus, it can hold up to 10 cans, along with ice packs to keep them cool. It doesn’t have cup holders, and rather than a lid, it has a roll-top closure to create a tight seal. The backpack is also available in green.
Promising Amazon review: “The best adventure cooler for the price! [...] I love how this cooler is thick enough to keep our drinks cold insulated but light enough to carry on short hikes or take on the paddleboard. I also put dry goods in here to keep safe from water when on the boat and you can’t beat the warmth this provides. Wonderful product!”
4. This 2-Person Inflatable Raft With A Built-In Cooler
- Dimensions: 95.5 x 62 x 20 inches
- Capacity: Unspecified
This inflatable two-person raft features a built-in cooler, making it a great choice for a casual day spent floating on the water. While the manufacturer doesn’t specify the exact capacity of the cooler, one reviewer described, “The cooler fit our six pack and big water bottle no problem and had room to spare.” However, it’s not the most insulated option. The lid doesn’t seal shut tightly, and one reviewer wrote, “Obviously my beverages don’t stay that cold in a warm lake and on a really hot day,” adding, “but it’s something, for sure.” But on the bright side: It includes two built-in handles and two cup holders for your convenience. And it’s easy to inflate before use and deflate for transport or out-of-season storage, according to reviewers.
Promising Amazon review: “Used this down the river and it worked amazing, the cooler was the best thing so we could keep our drinks cold.”
Also Great: A Unicorn Pool Float That Holds Drinks
- Dimensions: 32 x 24 x 27 inches
This playful floating drinks holder was practically made to be Instagrammed. It’s made of plastic and has a lightweight (less than 1 pound) design. Since the inflatable float lacks both insulation and a lid, it’s not the best at keeping stuff cold for long periods of time, but it does have a 20- by 14.5-inch open-top compartment to hold ice and drinks (up to 36 drinks, according to the manufacturer). It also has four cup holders around the rim of the float.
Promising Amazon review: “This float is beautiful, it such a great idea when you want to lounge in the pool and have something to drink. This is great for parties, it's smart if you put the drinks in cups that have lids. So awesome to have on hot days when you want to have a cold drink and stay hydrated. You can put a whole bag of ice in the center, and fill it will water bottles or any drink of choice.”