Pro Tips

Capt. Jonathan Moss

Summer, my favorite time of year, is here, and it’s hot out there! Last month, we discussed ways to keep you safe and protected in the heat. This month, I want to talk about coolers! No, this will not be an article about the best cooler on the market. There are a large variety of rotational molded, better known as roto-molded, coolers available for you to purchase, and all offer the capability of keeping ice for multiple days. In this article, I would like to share with you some tips on how to do get the most out of the ice in your cooler!

Roto-molded coolers, such as my Icon Cooler 50, contain up to 3 inches of polyurethane foam insulation. This is what allows roto-molded coolers to stay cold and keep ice for up to 7 days. So how do we keep the ice from melting?

1. Pre-Ice the Cooler:

Generally, coolers are kept in the boat, outside, tied down in the back of the truck or on a shelf in the garage. All of these areas can get pretty hot during the summer. Pre-icing a cooler the night before it is needed brings the core temperature of you cooler down below room temp and will prepare your cooler to have items placed in it. I pre-ice my cooler by adding a 10 pound bag of ice inside the cooler before closing and latching the lid. The following morning, drain any melted ice, replace the ice, and your cooler is cold and ready for food and drinks!

2. Pre-chill cooler contents:

According to, “Two six packs of soda or one gallon of liquid will melt approximately 2.5 lbs of ice just to cool from room temperature.” To eliminate ice melt, simply pre-chill your food and drinks in the refrigerator over night while your cooler is pre-icing. Adding cold items to a cold cooler will aide in making your ice last longer.

3. Don’t drain the water:

The common misconception is to drain the melted ice water inside your cooler. But the water plays a vital roll in keeping your cooler cold and the remaining ice to last. Each time you open the cooler lid to get an ice-cold soda, warm air enters the cooler. The melted ice water fills the empty space in you cooler, keeping the warmer air out. When the water is drained, there is more space for the warm air to enter between ice cubes, increasing the speed at which the ice melt. The only time to drain the water is when you are replacing or replenishing ice.

4. Keep your cooler in the shade:

Of course, keeping your cooler in the shade is common sense, but it may require physically moving your cooler several times throughout the day to ensure it isn’t sitting in direct sunlight. If it has to be in direct sunlight, placing a wet towel on top of your cooler will help keep it protected.

By: Capt. Jonathan Moss
Go Castaway Fishing Charters