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We all have one—shoved in a kitchen drawer or a golf bag or perhaps even in a child’s stroller (no judgment here). Often overlooked but indispensable when the time comes, this item oozes low-key utility. I am, of course, referring to the humble koozie. Typically just a piece of poly foam with a logo or a wedding date (are Sam & Chris still together?), a koozie serves its purpose well as an intermediate between hand and cold, canned beverage. While summer provides daily usage, winter in a geothermally-active Idaho prompts this particular deep dive.

In order to see how effectively different materials keep my beverages cold, I tested four different koozies against one another and an un-koozied control can on my counter. As a throwback to the last time I broke out a digital thermometer in service to the Boise Weekly (mid-aughts Coldest Beer in Boise), my beer of choice was “the Champagne of Beers,” Miller High Life. The ambient temperature in my house was a balmy 69.4°F; the cans exited my fridge at 37.1°F. The race was on.

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