Best Beverage Tubs

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

50 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
631 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best beverage tubs

Last Updated November 2019

When you’re throwing a party, you want your guests to have easy access to the delicious food and drinks that you’re serving. It can be a little tricky to keep your beer and soda cold unless you have a beverage tub that can hold all your drinks and plenty of ice. Keep it in one central spot and your guests can help themselves.

A beverage tub is exactly what it sounds like: a large container that holds cans and bottles of your favorite beer, soda, and wine. The tubs are also big enough to hold ice, which helps keep your drinks cold. Many tubs are made of materials that help retain the cold, so your beverages can stay chilled even longer. You can also find tubs with handles that make it easy to move the tub around your home or yard.

There are so many beverage tubs on the market that finding the right one can be a challenge. Continue reading our buying guide for all the tips you need to find the best beverage tub for your next party. We’ve also included some specific product recommendations to get you started.

You can keep drinks chilled longer in a beverage tub if you pour some cold water over the ice. That allows the entire surface of the bottles and cans to be in an icy bath that can keep them cold longer than ice alone.

Key considerations

Capacity

Large: Beverage tubs are designed to be large enough to hold enough beverages to accommodate a large group or party. These tubs can hold as much as 34 gallons.

Midsize: You can also find midsize options for smaller gatherings. These have a capacity of approximately 5 to 10 gallons.

Small: Some smaller tubs hold enough beverages for one to two people if you just need to chill drinks while hanging out at home. These tubs hold 30 to 40 ounces.

Material

Beverage tubs are made of a few different materials: stainless steel, plastic, and acrylic.

Stainless steel: This is usually the best option, though it’s also the most expensive. It is extremely durable, won’t crack if dropped, and helps retain the cold better than other materials, so your beverages stay chilled longer.

Plastic: This is more affordable than stainless steel. Plastic is fairly durable, but some plastic tubs can crack if dropped or knocked over. Plastic doesn’t keep beverages cold as long as stainless steel, but you can find some plastic beverage tubs that are double-walled, with foam insulation, to help keep your drinks chilled longer.

Acrylic: Another durable option, acrylic isn’t as likely to crack the way some less expensive plastic tubs can. But it doesn’t retain cold as well as stainless steel, so your beverages may not stay cold as long. Many acrylic beverages tubs are clear, which gives them a striking look when filled with ice and beverages.

Portability

When you’re throwing a party, it might be necessary to move your beverage tub around during the course of the event, so it helps to choose a beverage tub that allows for portability. Many tubs have convenient carrying handles on the side, which makes it easier to carry the tub without your hands getting too cold.

EXPERT TIP

It’s best to use bagged ice to keep cans and bottles cold in a beverage tub. You’ll likely need the ice cubes from your freezer to put in the drinks.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Stand

If you want to set up your beverage tub in one spot at a party, you may want to look for a model that comes with a stand. It elevates the tub, so your guests won’t have to bend to get a bottle of beer or a can of soda. Some stands also have additional shelves below the tub where you can store cups, napkins, or other items that your guests might need.

Drain spout

You fill your beverage tub with ice to keep drinks cool, which means you’re going to wind up with a puddle of water at the bottom of the tub at the end of the night. To make it easier to empty the water, some tubs have a drain spout. You only have to remove the plug and tip the tub slightly to drain the water from it.

Design

Beverage tubs are designed to be functional, so their appearance may not be particularly decorative. However, some tubs are designed to have a more attractive appearance. They may feature a hammered metal finish for an elegant look or come in fun, bright colors that add to the festive feel of your party. 

EXPERT TIP

Have a separate cooler or bucket of ice with tongs for guests to use in their drinks. You don’t want them to have to reach into the beverage tub to scoop out ice with their bare hands.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Bottle opener: Axim USA Bottle Openers
You need a durable bottle opener on hand so your guests can easily open beer, soda, and other beverage bottles at your party. This set of three rubber-coated stainless steel openers will do the trick for a very reasonable price.

Wine opener: Foho Best Wing Corkscrew Wine Bottle Opener
If you’re keeping white or rose wine in your beverage tub, you’ll definitely need a good wine bottle opener. This traditional “butterfly” opener is strong and efficient, and it comes with a bottle stopper to keep any leftover wine fresh, all for a very budget-friendly price.

Party tent: American Phoenix Canopy Tent
You can help keep your beverages cold longer if you keep the tub in the shade of a party tent. The American Phoenix tent offers 200 square feet of space under a water-resistant canopy that’s easy to set up.

Beverage tub prices

Beverage tubs vary in price based on material and size. Most models range from $13 to $195.

Inexpensive: The most affordable beverage tubs generally cost between $13 and $40. These typically have a capacity of 1 to 10 gallons. They may not have carrying handles and usually don’t include a stand.

Mid-range: These beverage tubs typically range from $40 and $82. They have capacities between 10 and 20 gallons and may have carrying handles to make them portable, but they usually don’t include a stand.

Expensive: The most expensive beverage tubs cost between $82 and $195. These have capacities between 20 and 34 gallons. Most have carrying handles to make them easier to move, and some include a stand to raise them off the ground. 

EXPERT TIP

In particularly hot weather, you may want to prechill the beverage tub itself. Fill it with cold water and a bag or two of ice approximately 12 hours before your party. Drain it just before you plan to fill the tub with beverages and fresh ice.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Chill beverages in the refrigerator or freezer first. Before adding the bottles and cans to your beverage tub, chill them in your refrigerator or freezer for a few hours. That will help them stay colder longer after you put them in your tub.
  • Add beverages to the tub, then ice. Cold air sinks, so you’ll keep the cans and bottles chilled longer if the ice is on top.
  • Keep the tub in the shade. For outdoor parties, keep the ice in your beverage tub from melting by placing the tub in a shady area of your yard.
  • Buy more than one tub. If you have the room, you may want to have a few beverage tubs at your party, so you can separate wine and beer from nonalcoholic options like soda.

Other products we considered

There are plenty of quality beverage tubs on the market that we couldn’t include on our shortlist but are still worth checking out. The Sunnydaze Decor Drink Cooler is an excellent option if you want an elevated tub. It includes a durable iron stand with a bottom shelf that can also double as a serving tray. The tub’s thick, galvanized steel walls are highly effective at keeping your drinks chilled, too.

We also love the BREKX Beverage Tub if you’re looking for a highly decorative model. Its double-walled stainless steel construction is leakproof, sweatproof, and rust-resistant, and it can keep drinks cold for up to ten hours. The mirror-like hammered finish gives it a striking look that makes the tub more than merely functional. You’ll be happy to pull it out for any party.

If you’re in a hurry to chill the cans and bottles in your beverage tub, gently turn them around in the ice every few minutes to help send the already cold liquid throughout the container to bring the overall temperature down.

FAQ

Q. How long do drinks usually stay cold in a beverage tub?
A.
It depends on a variety of factors, including the material the tub is made of, how warm your location is, whether the tub’s in the shade, and if the beverages have been chilled beforehand. Some tubs can only keep beverages cold for five to six hours. However, other models can keep your drinks chilled for twice that long.
 

Q. When should I fill my beverage tub before a party?
A.
It’s usually a good idea to pack your tub with cans, bottles, and ice about two hours before your party starts if the beverages aren’t chilled beforehand. That gives the drinks plenty of time to get cold before your guests arrive, but it doesn’t give the ice time to melt. If you’ve chilled your beer, soda, wine, and other beverages beforehand, you can fill your tub right before guests arrive.
 

Q. How do I drain a beverage tub?
A.
Some beverage tubs have a drain spout at the bottom. You simply remove the plug or cover and tilt the tub to drain it. If your tub doesn’t have a drain spout, you’ll need to tip it over. It’s best to let the ice inside melt completely before draining the tub. Don’t waste the water. You can use it to water your lawn or garden!

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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