We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Does Pre-Chilling Your Cooler Keep Drinks Cold Longer?

People reach for bottles out of a cooler filled with ice.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Whether it’s a tailgate or a day at the beach, a cooler is a must-have accessory. After all, no one wants a warm beer or a bottle of water that’s the same temperature as their morning shower. But is there a way to make your cooler even more effective?

A recent TikTok from content creator Anna Truth argues that you should be pre-chilling your cooler. Turns out, she’s right!


it’s literally life changing!! dry ice works too but that’s expensive 🤧 #summerhack #lifehack #outdoorhack #campinghack #festivalhack #fishinghack #summertrips #coolerhack #lifehackvideo #coolers #yeti #lifetime #coleman #hydroflask #fyp #foryoupage #camping #festival #rave #lifehackstiktok #campingtok #ravetok #festivaltok #worksmarter #lifechanging

♬ The Home Depot Beat - The Home Depot

The reason pre-chilling makes your cooler more effective comes down to insulation. Your cooler is designed to keep the interior cool, right? Well, unfortunately, it also does the same thing with heat.

If you store your cooler in a garage or shed that doesn’t have air conditioning, that heat gets trapped inside and stays there. Pour ice into a hot cooler, and it won’t last nearly as long, cutting short your time with ice-cold drinks.

Blue Cooler Cobalt 25-Quart Roto-Molder Super Cooler

Keep ice, well, ice for up to 10 days with this cooler from Blue Cooler.

But Truth’s suggestion isn’t anything new. Major cooler brands like Blue Cooler recommend pre-chilling your cooler before use. So how do you do it? You’ll need a little forethought.

You’ll need a bag or two of ice, depending on the size of your cooler. You’ll dump all that ice into the hot cooler and wait several hours before dumping the old ice and adding in a fresh batch alongside your food or drink. Blue Cooler also recommends pre-chilling your food and drinks to prevent heat from being reintroduced into the cooler.

If you’ve got a big event coming up, you might want to grab an extra bag of ice. If you pick up some beers and wine while you’re grabbing it but forget to chill them, this handy quick-cooling trick should help.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?