What is your favorite cooler?

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by lovelymae, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. lovelymae

    lovelymae Member

    Jul 19, 2016
    Hanford, California
    We have a fridge in the PUP but it basically holds drinks and a few snacks so we need a couple of coolers on hand as well. I'm not understand the Yeti trend, we see them everywhere in the stores but I don't know why anyone would pay hundreds of dollars for a cooler? Also they are super heavy and with us weight is always an issue with towing. What are some of your favorite coolers to use and why?
  2. Adirondack PUP

    Adirondack PUP Active Member

    May 8, 2015
    Upstate New York
    I'm a Yeti user and I've been using their coolers for almost a decade. I also have and use 3 other hard side coolers from different companies. I know Yeti's are expensive and have now become a symbol of status (I pay $400 for a cooler so I must know how to fish, hunt, camp, etc.)

    Both my Yeti's have seen a ton of abuse and thousands of miles of travel as well as a few curious bear encounters. They are as functional as the first day of use. Some of the replaceable parts are beginning to wear out like the rubber latches and rope handles but that's expected for the use they see. I got tired of cheap coolers having their hinges break, crack around the seams, not retain ice, warp when people sat on them, etc. I also need a bear proof cooler for my travels. For me Yeti addressed these issues.

    Are Yeti coolers for everyone? Nope. Like you mentioned they are heavy even while empty. Load up a Tundra 65 with ice and food and your looking at a two person job moving that cooler if you value your back. I've done some tests comparing my Yeti and a friends high-end Marine Igloo cooler and they are both great products.

    There are a number of companies that are making the Yeti style cooler but without the high price tag. Even the Wal Mart Ozark Trail brand Yeti style coolers (hard and soft sided) look like great coolers.

    Best of luck!
  3. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    I bought a Yeti 75 a few years back for a Canada fishing trip. On that trip, it held ice (3 frozen one gallon water jugs) until the end of the trip (6 days). The thermometer in the cooler still read 40 degrees on day 6 and the milk was still cold. Ice in the jugs was 2/3rds melted.

    I bring it along when I use my PUP because the fridge is so small. Once I have the Yeti stocked, I never have to buy ice for it on trips of 6 days or less.

    I just got back from Canada on Tuesday from another fishing trip. We used the Yeti to haul food into Canada and the frozen fish out. The fish were still frozen solid after the 10 hour drive home.

    Yeti's are expensive and heavy, but are well worth the investment! They are also bear proof if you put a lock on it.

    For best results, you need to prep them. Just throw in a sacrificial bag of ice overnight and make sure the food and drink you put in them is already cold. I also like to freeze anything I can before packing (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.). If you do this, there are no worries about spoiled food for the trip.
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I also couldn't see myself paying the high $ amount for the Yeti so bought my self a Coleman extreme cooler. they claim ice lasts 5 days. I personally only got 3 days in the hot summer using block ice until I layered the inside with reflectix and now lasts a tad longer. Works fine for my use. Then again it gets opened at least once every day. My cooler has wheels so easier to manage. Although try to keep it in the car. Which may also attribute to why the ice doesn't last as long.
  5. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

    Jun 19, 2016
    there are many comparison video's on you tube. I also have a yeti 100, and an very pleased with it...but i bought it before they became a status symbol .
    i also have "RTIC" products which i think are every bit as good, and they are half the price. you need to consider how long you want it to last. look at the hinges, handles, and latches.
    if you think it will stand a loaded drop on the highway without damage , you got a lifetime winner...[CC]
  6. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    We use the Coleman 5-day Ice Chest and it does just fine for us on our off-road trips... Fill it up with ice and then I have a clear plastic tub with lid sitting on top of the ice to keep food in so it doesnt get water logged...

    My truck becomes my PLAN B transport vehicle - Should be something in the covered and locked truck bed to keep me going a few more days when needed...

    Roy's image

    Roy Ken
  7. dlaudens

    dlaudens Member

    Dec 21, 2015
    Would I use a Yeti if someone gave it to me? In a heartbeat....they're really that good. Would I ever buy one? Heck no....I'm too cheap.

    My favorite cooler is actually two coolers. Brand doesn't necessarily matter, but opening and closing your food cooler does, so we take one small cooler with drinks (frequently opened) and another that holds the food (opened only at meal time). Our current food cooler is a Rubbermaid 5 day cooler. I like that it has a split lid so you can open just half the cooler. I popped a piece of rigid insulation to divide the cooler into two compartments and one half has the more frequently used food items and the other has our dinner meals (which stays closed until needed).
  8. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    Do you camp with power? I use an igloo thermoelectric cooler and a hybrid fridge to supplement the on board one. Both the hybrid and cooler run off 12v so I put them in the TV and plug then into the back. Once the pup is set up three hybrid goes inside on the counter by the door and the cooler gets plugged into the outside plug and lives under my camp kitchen table. I keep drinks and vacuum sealed goods in it and other stuff in the 2 interior ones. They only get used on extended trips though. Short weekends I usually only bring 1 spare.
  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Coleman Powerchill if you have 110 power... No ice needed... You can plug it into your cigarette lighter when driving. I used two when I has my Apache. I used them for about 8 years with no problems.
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    We used a metal Coleman for years, with 2" of extra insulation (pieces of a sleeping pad) and a Reflectix jacket. Where we camp, the metal would get hot enough to burn so extra insulation helped. We would buy ice at about the same intervals than previous Coleman coolers w/o the jacket, but less ice each time; in cooler weather we eked out another day or so between restocking ice.
    We had limited space to work with in the back of the 4Runner, so when the liner on that Coleman started to crackle, we looked around. We ended up with a Canyon - higher efficiency, not as $$ as a Yeti, but not as cheap as an Igloo or Coleman. We used the insulation and just a cap of Reflectix, for good measure. That really helped our ice usage, though as with almost every cooler we've had, it seems to settle and need replacing sooner at the beginning of the trip. It fit very well in the space we had.
    When we bought the TT and realized the refrigerator actually works well, as does the freezer, we decided we didn't need the Canyon on every trip. We bought a Pelican, which is among those rated for use in bear territory, when locked. It is about the same outside as the Canyon, with a little less capacity due to the insulation. That does hold the ice a lot better. We only keep iced tea and Gatorade in it, plus lunch items while away from camp, and shopping when we restock during a trip (the grocery stores can often be a ways away.). On our 8 night trip earlier this month, I think we added ice once. It could have used it on the last day or so, but we were heading home, so didn't bother, since we had no perishables in it.
    For us, the thermo-electric ones have never made sense, since they only drop the temperature 30-40 degrees from ambient temp. The outside temps are often 80 and above for us, so that is not a safe level for perishable food.
    I fill the cooler in the back of the vehicle. I can't lift any cooler once it's filled with ice and food, so it's been part of my routine for a long time. The Pelican is bulky, it's difficult to steer it out our front door, which is narrow (unless we open both halves) so empty is easier anyway.
  11. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2013
    Kansas City
    We have more coolers than we know what to do with -- everything from a couple small soft-sided "six-pack" style to a 60-quart Igloo and a five-gallon water cooler like the lawn cutters and construction crews have on the back of their trucks.

    I don't know that I'll need to ever buy another cooler, but if I do it's going to be a Rubbermaid.

    Why you ask?

    In 2003 I bought a Rubbermaid cooler in Alaska to bring home the salmon we caught along with some Alaskan Amber beer (good stuff). Anyway, a couple years ago, the cap on the spigot broke off. I looked around at several stores and couldn't find one anywhere.

    So on a whim I went to the Rubbermaid website and sent an email to the customer service. A couple days later, I received a response asking for some information about the cooler -- model numbers, etc.

    I sent replied back and a week or so later, I received a new spigot in the mail, no charge, along with a letter thanking me for buying a Rubbermaid product. [:)C]
    Cruiser, Mausinn and lovelymae like this.
  12. Carlsbad

    Carlsbad Member

    Aug 19, 2014
  13. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Active Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    LaLa land
    I use to bring three coolers. Now I am down to two. 2 yrs ago I bought an Igloo Sportsman cooler for $200 at Sams club.have to say I'm impressed with it. The I bought a Coleman 5 day extreme. I'm less impressed but still happy with it.to be fair we opened the Coleman more often. We also made curtains for under the bunk ends so the coolers are always out of the sun. I get my ice for free so I fill both coolers with ice the night before to pre cool them. You just have to figure out your needs and how much you want to spend. And go from there.
  14. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I use Igloo and Coleman, they both work really good, provided I use the insulated covers that I made . I have used a Coleman with the insulated cover, for a 6 day canoe trip and still had some ice left, we only opened it when necessary and used block ice which I made at home in our freezer. When camping with electricity I have a portable ice maker that makes 21 lbs a day and keeps us in ice for our drinks etc. We use the reefer inside for food. Happy Camping
  15. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

    Nov 29, 2010
    I use my Yeti Tundra 75 for extended trips. I use a Coleman or Igloo with wheels for 1 nighters because they have wheels and weigh less. We Just got back from 5 days off grid in the Adirondacks, used the 3 way Dometic on propane for most drinks, and the Yeti for milk, meat, eggs, etc. The kids open it and leave it open too much, but even so, I still had ice and 40 degree meat on the last day, and all I had in there were four 2 liter frozen soda bottles at the start.

    If I didn't already have a Yeti, I'd certainly consider one of the knock-offs. The Yeti works great though. The money saved in time, gas (driving to town for ice), and wasted food from sitting in manky water in the bottom of the cooler will someday make the Yeti pay for itself.
  16. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    I just used the Yeti 75 again this weekend for a short three day trip. Instead of adding my usual three frozen gallon jugs of ice, I only used two. The weather was in near 90 all three days. When I got home, I still had about 1/4 of the ice left and the thermometer read 39 degrees.

    We used the PUP fridge for keeping most of the drinks cooled and used the Yeti mainly the for food, milk and the drinks that we chilled before we left. We only restocked warm drink into the Yeti a couple of times (maybe a half dozen cans of soda) to keep the cooler warming to a minimum.

    I love having the confidence that the Yeti gives me that the cooler will keep my stuff cold.
  17. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    Webster, NY
    Bought the cheap $15-$20 coleman 48 qt coolers on sale, a 4x8 sheet of the 1" blue foam insulation and a tube of caulk. Cut the sheets to line the interior and use the caulk as the adhesive and to fill in the gaps. One of my coolers I have wrapped in the reflective bubble wrap (only because I had some leftover from a previous project). Have lined two coolers and have a little more than half the sheet of insulation left.

    A 10-day trip to Asheville, NC and split a bag of ice between the two of them on day 1 and again on day 5 (also had frozen water bottles in them). They were kept in the back of the minivan the entire trip.
  18. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
    Saw a online comparison the other day on youtube, where they compared all 8 of the "expensive brands" including 50 and 75 quart models. For a control, they threw in the 5 day Coleman extreme cooler (Same one @roybraddy , and also I have).

    The coleman extreme performed the same, holding ice for 5 days. The yeti held it for 5 and half. Some of the other held it 6 days, but that's about it.

    My Coleman cost me $40 about 10 years ago. I replaced the hinges once (After I let my sister borrow it). I'll probably replace it with the same if I manage to damage it somehow. Although that ARB that @Carlsbad posted has definitely caught my eye. It just went on my Amazon wish list.
  19. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Jul 3, 2008
    Yep, I have seen too many online comparisons to ever buy any of the new "ultra" coolers. I have two igloo extreme five day coolers. I can replace a lot of hinges (have only needed one set so far) for the cost of one of them.
  20. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    My salvation is my cooler is always in the tailgate corner of my covered truck bed... I also have a heavy quilt on top of the cooler as well. I am always backing my truck up under a shade tree as well... Seems like I have ICE for a long time which is great for us since we don't have the FREEZER SECTION in our fridge... We try to keep ICE in the cooler and have a plastic container with lid sitting on top of the ICE in the cooler for our meats and other cold items...


    When arriving at the camp site we always find the closest WALMART store that has groceries... Our stays are most often in excess of three to four days so a couple of trips back to the WALMART Store is normal for us to restock ice and fresh groceries...

    Roy Ken

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