Lifestyle image of two people carrying an Igloo hard-sided cooler from the waist down with the Igloo logo on the left side of the banner
Lifestyle image of two people carrying an Igloo hard-sided cooler from the waist down with the Igloo logo on the left side of the banner

About Igloo Coolers

No outdoor adventure or event is complete without a trusty cooler to keep drinks and snacks cold and fresh. While the majority of coolers today in American homes are from the Igloo brand, many people aren’t aware of what makes this brand so popular. They often just buy them because they offer the best deals and the most unique designs, not to mention long-lasting durability. Here are some interesting facts about the background of Igloo coolers to show why they’re one of the best brands to choose from today.


Igloo Manufacturing Company began in Houston, Texas, in 1947 to address the needs of thirsty field workers who had to drink from wood barrels and buckets. The company designed one of the first metal water coolers with an insulated core to keep the water cool despite the heat of the summer sun. These coolers were handmade and featured double-locked seams designed to prevent leaking, which was common with other metal water containers at the time. Within a few decades, the inner metal liner in these coolers was replaced with layers of plastic to ease cleaning.

The company soon expanded into many other types of coolers and ice chests for everyday consumers as demand grew for cold drinks during leisure activities. Igloo was responsible for releasing the first all-plastic ice chest in 1962 and, thus, became a part of American history and many people’s fond memories of summer. Some of the company’s most popular products were commercial or nearly so, such as the Giant Sea Chest for deep-sea fishermen that could hold up to 300 pounds of fish and ice combined.

How Are Igloo Coolers Still Different Today?

Igloo’s modern coolers are still on the cutting edge of design and manufacturing, which makes them both durable and stylish. They utilize multiple manufacturing methods to ensure each line of products best fits the needs of a specific group of users. For example, the largest and toughest Igloo hard-shell coolers are made with traditional rotomolded construction. This allows for the safe use of dry ice for the ultimate in ice retention and cold temperature control without damage to the cooler itself. Other product lines use injection molding for a lower price and lighter weight, making it ideal for campers. Consumers can choose the exact product line that’s right for them based on factors like how long ice will last and the total volume within each ice chest or cooler.

Types of Igloo Coolers

Of course, Igloo makes much more than just water coolers today. They have a full line of complementary coolers and ice chest products, ranging from small personal insulated lunch bags to huge ice chests that can hold an entire refrigerator’s contents in case of a power outage.

Hard Coolers

Igloo’s hard-shell coolers are their best-known products. Many people today still use Igloo ice chests manufactured decades ago because they can last that long with care. Igloo's cases are traditional in their design and function, but they tend to come with attractive prices that make the Igloo-branded cases easier to afford for that quick camping trip you've been thinking about.

Soft-Shell Coolers

Expanding into soft-pack coolers and ice chests has allowed Igloo to corner the weekend and day event market as well. These lightweight and easy-to-compact coolers are ideal for when you quickly empty the drinks and snacks within just a few hours. Many are still designed to keep ice frozen overnight or longer, thanks to extensive insulation. Igloo lunch and snack bags are some of their smallest insulated products.

Wheeled Coolers

For hauling along more drinks, ice, and food than one person can carry, wheeled coolers make the job easy. Both hard-shell and soft-pack coolers are available in wheeled designs. It’s even possible to find Igloo coolers that convert from backpacks to wheeled coolers as needed to help you cross any type of terrain.

BMX Coolers

For affordable Igloo models, look to the BMX line. These blow-molded coolers are extremely light because they’re mostly foam, allowing them to travel farther than most coolers despite being packed with ice and food. They feature an extra rugged design that’s great for the boat or truck as well.