Best Water Jug Coolers of 2020

Updated
Keep your water cool even on a hot summer day with these top water jug coolers.

Are you planning a camping trip? Maybe the annual football game is coming up? Either way, consider taking a water jug cooler with you.

With a little forethought, it’s easy to find the best water jug cooler in no time. We’ve got you covered with a detailed buying guide and reviews — everything you need to know is right here.


Finding the Best Water Jug Coolers

Shopping for water cooler jugs can be a little confusing at first. Yes, they come in many different sizes and have various features; here’s what to keep in mind.

1. Size

How big you need the water jug to be is the most crucial factor. They come in a range of capacities starting from half a gallon up to 5 gallons.

Which size you should go for depends on your needs. If you’re often hosting or helping at sports events, a large 5-gallon jug is the best choice to keep the team hydrated. However, if you only need a jug for family picnics or outings, a 1- or 2-gallon should suffice.

Naturally, the bigger a water jug is, the heavier it is. Keep in mind that a water jug is made up of one or more layers of insulation. This can make it bigger and heavier than expected.

Smaller, half-gallon jugs are sometimes confused with water bottles. You’ll most likely be unpleasantly surprised by the size and weight of these. But, a water jug cooler will keep your water cold for much longer compared to a regular bottle.

For instance, a popular half-gallon water bottle on Amazon weighs 7 ounces. Whereas, the best half-gallon jug on our list weighs 1.5 pounds — that’s quite a difference. However, the water bottle cannot keep your water from going warm on a hot day.

2. Material

The material used greatly influences the thermal effectiveness of the jug. Some of the most common materials used include BPA-free plastic and stainless steel.

Which material you should choose depends on whether the jug will spend most time indoors or outdoors. For indoor use, plastic will suffice — although it’s less durable, it’s cheaper.

On the other hand, if you’re going on frequent camping trips or hiking, you’ll need a material that can take a few hits. Stainless steel is the way to go since it’s highly durable and won’t stain or rust. However, most large water jug coolers are made of hard plastic.

Stay safe

If you choose plastic, make sure it’sBPA-free to ensure you’re not consuming any toxins through your water(1).

3. Price

Water jug coolers aren’t the cheapest investment; however, lower-priced products are available. Keep in mind that in most cases, you get what you pay for.

If you choose to spend less, you can’t expect the quality to be as high. The cooler might not be able to keep your water cold for long. High-quality jugs can sometimes be used for hot beverages too.

In saying this, it’s still important to not blindly trust a high price. We highly recommend that you find a product within your budget, then research real customer reviews to see how they found it. Some coolers will come with a warranty — this is usually either one year or a limited lifetime.

Our product review section further down covers these points for you, so we’ve already done the hard work!

4. Maintenance

Keeping your water jug cooler clean is crucial for you and your family’s health. Mildew is a common issue due to the moist and dark environment. On top of this, some minerals can quickly start to build up on the inside and in the spigot.

Cleaning a water jug cooler isn’t always an easy task. Smaller jugs, such as half gallons and maybe even 1-gallon jugs, might fit in a dishwasher. However, you should always check if yours is dishwasher-safe. To keep it clean, we recommend that you give the inside a quick wash after every use, to prevent bacteria from settling.

Also, consider creating a disinfecting solution. A good way to do this is by mixing either unscented bleach or white vinegar with water. Let the solution sit for a couple of minutes in the jug and then drain it through the spigot. This will also ensure there’s no mildew building in the tap (2).

Warning

If you do use this disinfecting solution, make sure the cooler is rinsed through thoroughly afterward!

5. Insulation

Insulation is critical in a cooler — without proper insulation, the jug simply isn’t worth it. Double-wall insulation is highly effective for outdoor use since it can withstand higher temperatures.

Another point worth checking is the lid. If the jug isn’t properly sealed at the lid, it won’t matter how good the insulation is. Look out for water coolers with a vacuum-sealed top for incredibly efficient insulation; others are sealed using a gasket.


The Best Water Jug Cooler Reviews of 2020

We’ve taken all the above factors and combined them with customer feedback and industry expert advice.

Finding the best water jug coolers isn’t difficult when you know what to look for. Consider an option from our list below, taking into account your specific needs and budget.

1. Igloo 5-Gallon Heavy-Duty Cooler

Best Overall

Igloo 5 Gallon Portable Sports Cooler Water Beverage Dispenser with Flat Seat Lid, Bright Orange
Check Price

If you’re planning an event for a large number of people, this Igloo cooler is a serious player.

The jug can hold up to 5 gallons of water — enough to please a large crowd. It’s made of heavy-duty material and insulation that will keep your beverage cold on a hot day.

Cleanliness is often a concern when it comes to water coolers. However, Igloo has fitted this jug with a pressure-fitted lid that won’t trap mold or dirt.

Another smart feature in the lid is a built-in tether that keeps it close. The spigot is angled to help you get the last few drops out before refilling. This will also help children to fill their cups when needed.

Why We Love It

Maintains Ice

There’s nothing better than ice-cold water on a hot, sweaty day. But, some coolers tend to fail under these conditions. Due to the heavy-duty build of this jug, however, your water will be kept consistently cold. Igloo claims the jug can maintain ice for up to three days in 90-degree weather.

Easy to Pour Spigot

A common problem with water coolers is the spigot — you often have to be careful where you place it due to dripping. But, this spigot has been installed at an angle, making it resistant to drips. This also makes it easier to fit a cup underneath.

Stackable Product

Storing a water jug can be tricky if the lid is bulky. This flat one, however, makes for a much better fit since you can stack other items on top. Also, if you’re out with the family and a child needs a rest, they can sit on the lid!

Easy to Keep Clean

A major concern with water jugs is bacteria and mold gathering around the lid where moisture gets trapped. Igloo has avoided this problem by fitting the jug with a pressurized lid, keeping germs at bay.

Keep In Mind

Push-Down Lid

Most water jug coolers have a screw lid, but this one uses a push-down function. A few customers noticed some minor spilling when the jug was full, and that water pushes against the lid.

Additional Specs

Quantity5 gallons
Size13.5 x 13.5 x 20.25 inches
Weight6.63 pounds
Warranty1-year warranty
Water DispenserSpigot

2. Rubbermaid Water Cooler

Best Water Flow

Rubbermaid Commercial 5-Gallon Water Cooler
Check Price

When you’re serving water for a large crowd, you need that line to be moving. But, it can go rather slow if the water jug tap doesn’t provide a good flow.

Rubbermaid has fitted its cooler with a fast-flowing faucet that won’t keep your guests waiting. It can hold up to 5 gallons, so you won’t have to refill it often.

The cooler will keep your water fresh and cold for hours due to the thick insulation. It’s an excellent addition to any camping trip or large gathering in the garden.

Getting the lid on and off shouldn’t be a difficult task. It’s fitted with tracks to help you get a good grip as you screw it on or off.

Why We Love It

Thick Insulation

The thick insulation will keep your water cool and crisp for hours at a time. Multiple customers mentioned that they also used it to hold hot liquids such as coffee and even soups.

Fast-Flowing

Having to wait a minute for your cup to fill might not sound like a lot. But, if you’re 10 in a line, it can be stressful. Luckily, Rubbermaid found a solution to this issue and fitted its jug with a fast-flowing faucet.

Drip-Resistant

You often have to watch where you place your water cooler due to drips. However, the spigot fitted to this model is resistant to drips, and it keeps the area dry.

Splash Seal

Transporting a full 5-gallon water jug cooler can be tricky. Water can quickly splash against the lid, compromising the seal. Thankfully, the screw lid here uses a splash seal. This will keep all of the water inside the jug, even on a bumpy road.

Keep In Mind

Difficult to Pour

The spigot on this model goes straight down instead of at a 45-degree angle, which would be better. As a result, some customers found it difficult to pour.

Additional Specs

Quantity5 gallons
Size19.25 x 14.5 x 13 inches
Weight6.45 pounds
WarrantyNot specified
Water DispenserSpigot

3. Igloo Proformance Half-Gallon Sport Jug

Best for an Active Lifestyle

Igloo Proformance Half Gallon Sport Jug, Black/Yellow
Check Price

When you’re living an active lifestyle, water is even more essential — and you need a jug to keep your H2O cool at all times. This sports jug from Igloo might just become your new workout partner.

The compact jug holds half a gallon — enough to get you through a tough workout. It has thick insulation that will keep your beverage cool for hours at a time.

Igloo has fitted the jug with a few smart but subtle features. These include a rubberized handle and durable hooks, so you can hang it anywhere.

Why We Love It

Fully Insulated

Having a nice cold drink ready after a game can be a life-saver. This fully insulated jug will keep your water cold for hours.

It’s also made with “cool riser” technology. This improves the jugs’ performance by elevating it from hot surfaces, minimizing contact with hot areas and keeping the water cooler. (3)

Easy Grip

When you’re sweaty after a workout or taking your jug out on a run, a cooler can be hard to keep hold of. However, this sports jug is covered in a non-slip rubber that makes it a breeze to carry.

Swing Handle

In order to make this jug even easier to bring with you on a jog, it’s fitted with a swing-up handle. It’s a nice size to hold and won’t feel bulky when you’re on the go. A bonus feature is that the handle folds down easily when stored.

Keeps the Jug off the Ground

Having to put your water jug down on the ground when practicing or working out is not always possible. For example, the weather might not be suitable, or the ground simply won’t make it a clean choice. Keeping your water jug off of the ground can limit exposure to dirt, grime, and bacteria.

To avoid this, this jug is fitted with two rotating hooks so you can hang it on a goal post, a line or any other elevated object.

Keep In Mind

Leaks

A few customers noted that the lid would leak a tiny bit when the jug was laid on its side. This was mostly noted when the jug was full.

Additional Specs

Quantity½ gallon
Size6.5 x 11.6 x 6.6 inches
Weight1.5 pounds
WarrantyNot specified
Water DispenserSpout

4. YETI Rambler Vacuum Insulated Jug

Best Insulation

YETI Rambler Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Half Gallon Jug with MagCap, Stainless Steel
Check Price

If you’re looking for a small jug with powerful insulation, this little guy is it. This tiny YETI jug is fitted with double-wall vacuum insulation that will keep your beverage icy cold or even hot.

The stainless steel body doesn’t just look good; it’s also highly durable and will last you a long time. It’s fitted with a MagCap that locks into its dock and will not budge as you drink.

Cleaning a water jug can sometimes be tricky. YETI, however, has made it a bit easier by making this jug dishwasher-safe.

Carrying the jug along on an adventure is easy with the help of the large handle. It’s comfortable to hold and makes it easier to pour yourself a refreshing drink.

Why We Love It

Heavy Duty

The body is made of kitchen-grade stainless steel that won’t rust. It can also take a few hits without puncturing.

Stainless steel jugs can be tricky to hold on to, depending on the beverage inside. However, this jug won’t sweat, even if you’re transporting a steaming hot soup.

Double-Wall Vacuum

High-quality insulation is just what you need to get you through the day. The YETI Rambler is made to be out in the wild, no matter the weather. It features double-wall vacuum insulation, which maintains the temperature of your beverage inside.

Compact Design

Having to carry a bulky jug with you can be frustrating at times. The manufacturer took this into account and created a compact jug to hold half a gallon. It measures 10 inches tall and 6 inches wide, making it an easy fit for most trips.

For Hot and Cold

Cold water is not always the only beverage needed on a trip. This jug allows you to bring whatever your heart desires. If you want to fill your Rambler with refreshing iced tea or nice hot coffee, the choice is yours.

Keep In Mind

Difficult to Grip the Lid

Several customers noted that they wished the lid was easier to screw on and off. Some said it was hard to get a good grip.

Additional Specs

Quantity½ gallon
Size10 x 6 x 6 inches
Weight3.86 pounds
WarrantyNot specified
Water DispenserSpout

5. Under Armour Sideline Jug

Best Budget

Under Armour 64 Ounce Foam Insulated Hydration Bottle, Black
Check Price

If you’re looking for a colorful water jug to bring with you during a workout, this could be the perfect choice. The sleek-looking water jug is available in 10 different vibrant colors.

It uses double-wall foam insulation to keep your beverage cold for up to 12 hours. Another attractive feature is the leak-resistant lid, which is fitted with a flip-top cover that keeps the spout clean.

When you need to go for a run or a hike, this jug is a perfect companion. Holding the fold-down handle is comfortable, and it securely locks into place due to the integrated fence hooks.

Why We Love It

Excellent for Athletes

Whether you’re training or going to a tournament, this jug will make sure you’re staying hydrated. It holds 64 ounces and keeps your water as cold as you need it to be, for up to 12 hours.

Protected Spout

The spout on a jug can sometimes be worrisome, especially if it’s exposed all the time. However, this jug features a flip-top cover that easily opens with the push of a button when you need it.

Convenient Carrying Handle

The carry handle makes transporting this water jug a little easier. It’s comfortable to hold and locks in place using the built-in hooks.

BPA-Free

The BPA-free material will keep you safe from possible toxins. It’s highly durable and built to be taken with you, no matter the occasion.

Keep In Mind

Difficult to Clean

A smart thing about many smaller water jugs is that they’re dishwasher-safe. However, this one comes with quite a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to maintenance. If you don’t follow the instructions, the jug might leak, as several customers found out the hard way.

Additional Specs

Quantity64 ounces
Size6.4 x 6.1 x 11.7 inches
Weight10.1 ounces
WarrantyNot specified
Water DispenserSpout

6. Coleman One-Gallon Jug

Best 1-Gallon Jug

Coleman Beverage Cooler
Check Price

This compact water jug cooler is the perfect addition to a bbq night with the family. It’s easy to bring out into the garden or on a picnic thanks to the large handle.

There’s no spigot at the bottom, but there is a flip-top spout that easily dispenses chilled water. You can effortlessly fill the jug through the wide-mouth top that also accommodates large ice cubes or fruit chunks.

The insulation will keep your beverage cool for a long time. You also won’t have to worry about harming the environment since the insulation is free of CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs. These are gasses or liquids commonly used in foam insulation, despite being destructive to the ozone (4).

Why We Love It

Easy to Carry

Carrying a cumbersome water jug can be annoying. But, thanks to the large handle, you can easily take this jug with you. The small and compact size also makes it a comfortable fit on a picnic table or in the back of your car.

Wide Top

Filling the water jug is made a little easier due to the wide-mouthed top. You won’t have to spend time chopping ice into small bits or freeze dozens of cubes. The lid is screwed on and off, and it’s resistant to leaks and spills even on bumpy roads.

Eco-Friendly

Solvents such as CFCs are often used in insulation foam. Even though this process is effective, it’s not good for the environment. Thankfully, Coleman has avoided using unsafe materials and created its ThermOZONE Insulation that’s effective and eco-friendly.

Keep In Mind

Spills

Unfortunately, there’s no spigot for easy water dispensing. Several customers pointed this out, saying it was difficult to pour without a few spills.

Additional Specs

Quantity1 gallon
Size8 x 12.8 x 8.2 inches
Weight1.6 pounds
WarrantyNot specified
Water DispenserFlip-top spout

7. Stanley Insulated Water Jug

Best 2-Gallon Jug

Stanley Adventure Water Jug 2 Gallon, Green
Check Price

When you need a little more water than 1 gallon, but don’t want to carry around a 5-gallon jug, this is a good option. This Stanley water cooler can hold 2 gallons, making it an excellent choice for outings with the extended family or friends. Because it’s only slightly heavier than the 1-gallon, it’s easy to carry with you.

It comes with a large spigot with a fast flow of water. You can take it apart completely when it needs a clean — this is a convenient way to keep mildew at bay.

The BPA-free body is durable and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. To keep the lid secure, Stanley has fitted the jug with latches to lock it in place.

Why We Love It

Nice Size

The 2-gallon jug provides just enough water for a large family outing. It also only weighs a little over a pound more than a 1-gallon model. You can easily pack it into the back of the car or place it on a small table.

Easy Maintenance

Mildew or mold is often a concern within the spigot, mostly because it can be difficult to clean properly. However, this jug allows you to take it apart to clean it thoroughly.

Foamed Lid

The foamed lid is fitted with a leak-proof gasket that locks it in place. It effectively keeps the icy temperature on the inside while keeping the heat outside.

Fast-Flow

Having to wait for your cup to fill when you’re thirsty can be frustrating — especially when a line is building behind you. Stanley solved this problem by creating a fast-flow spigot that keeps the water and line running smoothly.

Keep In Mind

Leak Points

Even though it’s easy to take apart for maintenance, this also created a few leak points. Several customers noted that the jug would leak around the spigot and even out the lid when full.

Additional Specs

Quantity2 gallons
Size11.7 x 11.7 x 13.5 inches
Weight4.43 pounds
WarrantyLimited lifetime warranty
Water DispenserSpigot

Detailed Comparison

ProductBestQuantitySizeWeightWarrantyWater Dispenser
Igloo 5-Gallon Heavy-DutyOverall5 gal.13.5 x 13.5 x 20.25″6.63 lbs1-year warrantySpigot
Rubbermaid CoolerWater Flow5 gal.19.25 x 14.5 x 13″6.45 lbsNot specifiedSpigot
Igloo Proformance Sport JugFor an Active Lifestyle½ gallon6.5 x 11.6 x 6.6″1.5 lbsNot specifiedSpout
YETI Rambler Vacuum InsulatedInsulation½ gallon10 x 6 x 6″3.86 lbsNot specifiedSpout
Under Armour SidelineBudget64 oz6.4 x 6.1 x 11.7″10.1 ozNot specifiedSpout
Coleman One-Gallon1-Gallon Jug1 gallon8 x 12.8 x 8.2″1.6 lbsNot specifiedFlip-top spout
Stanley Insulated2-Gallon Jug2 gal.11.7 x 11.7 x 13.5″4.43 lbsLimited lifetime warrantySpigot
Jump to the Full Water Jug Cooler Reviews

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial, but it’s no fun if all you have is warm water. The best water jug coolers will keep your H2O cool and crisp throughout the day.

When searching for the right product to suit you, consider the size and how easy it is to transport. If you’re living an active lifestyle or you’re often on the go, a light and compact jug is the best choice. However, if you’re planning a family outing or a sports event, a 5-gallon jug is what you need to keep everyone hydrated.

Have any questions or comments for us? Please get in touch with us in the section below!

Headshot of sylvia

About the Author

Sylvia Jones

Sylvia Jones is a hands-on, DIY aficionado from Indiana. She is passionate about home improvement, gardening, and environmental conservation. In her spare time, you can find Sylvia getting involved in home improvement projects around the house with her husband, or spending quality time out in the yard.
The Best Ways to Get Clean H2O (7 Types of Water Filters Explained)7 Types of Water Filters Explained
How to Install a Water Filter (4 Step Guide)How to Install a Water Filter (4 Step Simple Guide)
5 DIY Water Filters (Anyone Can Make)Fast and Easy DIY Water Filters (5 Simple Ways)
How to Remove Calcium from WaterHow to Remove Calcium from Water (4 Simple Methods)
How to Change a Water Filter (4 Step-By-Step Guides)How to Change a Water Filter (4 Different Ways)
How to Remove Chlorine from WaterHow To Remove Chlorine From Water (5 Ways)

Leave a Comment