A DIY Insulated Cooler Cover is a simple solution for extending the life of the ice in your cooler. This will allow you more time camping and less time going to buy ice.
It is camping and barbecue season, which means that coolers and ice chests are working overtime to chill drinks and food. Hot or humid weather quickly melt the ice in your cooler.
Our camping friends, Peggy and Paul, created an insulated cover for their cooler that kept their ice frozen much longer. We love this idea, so we made one for ourselves.
Peggy and Paul graciously gave us permission to share this insulated cover idea with you.
Homemade Insulated Cooler Cover
The construction of this Reflectix cooler cover is easy. It requires just a few supplies and takes around 20-30 minutes to create.
I am not providing specific measurements since ice chest coolers vary in size. It will be easy for you to adapt this tutorial, which is at the bottom of this post, to fit your cooler.
Ice Chest Cover Tutorial
You just need a measuring tape and scissors for this project along with the supplies below.
Here is the finished Reflectix cooler cover. It is not pretty, but it sure is effective. We also used this insulated wrap to make Fire Reflectors for our camping chairs.
It was really hot and humid this weekend and we returned from two days of camping with most of the ice in the chest thanks to this thermal cooler cover.
How to Make Ice Last Longer
To optimize this DIY cover, we recommend a long-lasting cooler. We have this cooler, but a Yeti cooler would benefit from one too. When we are camping for an extended period, we make replacement ice with a portable ice maker.
This was a very frugal project for us because we already had some insulated foil bubble wrap on hand from a home project. We used the foil tape for our RV Window Shades project.
Another homemade insulation idea for camping are these Solar Bunkend Covers that to keep your pop-up or hybrid trailer cool. Leftover thermal reflective tarp from that project can be used as a cooler insulation blanket.
How do you keep your food and drink cold while outside during the summer?
- insulated foil bubble wrap
- foil-backed tape
- ice chest cooler
- measuring tape
- Lay the insulated wrap around the cooler and figure out how you are going to cover it.
- The wrap we had came in sections, so we figured out the best way to section it together to cover the top and sides of the cooler.
- We found it easiest to cover the sides of the cooler first, create a top, and then join them together.
- Cut the insulated wrap as needed.
- Tape the sections together using the foil-backed tape.
- Smooth down the tape.
- Adjoin the top and bottom to form the cover.
- Create a handle at the top or on the sides.
- Slip it over your cooler.
The supplies cost more than $5, but you can make several covers out of one roll of the wrap.