This Wood Pulp Cooler Is Cooler Than It Looks

Consider the Styrofoam cooler: blank, white, stacked like bricks above countless grocery-store cold cases every summer. We pitted this cheap and (momentarily) reliable staple against a compostable cooler, Igloo’s Recool. But even though we found the Recool to be a better choice if you absolutely need a disposable cooler, we still think the best option for keeping your food and drinks icy cold is one of our more efficient hard- or soft-cooler picks.

There are a few reasons you might reasonably choose a disposable cooler over a conventional one: If you’re unexpectedly lucky while fishing. If you’re transporting something too messy or malodorous to let touch your “real” cooler. Or if you’ve forgotten your cooler at home, which has happened to me more than once while making grocery runs in the summer heat. In these cases, a disposable cooler is a welcome back-up, but it’s one that comes at an environmental cost. Debris from discarded plastics is found in the most remote regions on earth. Simply put, disposable products aren’t truly disposable. They will last forever, when they should last only for a moment.

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