What is your favorite cooler?

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

  1. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    We have an igloo. It was a wedding gift, going on 18 years old. There's barely a scratch on it and its been on many a camping trip, along with some cookouts, parades, etc.

    It was probably $35 new.
  2. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    As an aside, I'm always surprised how so many people seek out wal-mart by default. I despise that store and only go there when I have to. I'd much rather frequent a local supermarket for groceries.
    Cruiser and Mausinn like this.
  3. Carlsbad

    Carlsbad Member

    Aug 19, 2014
    Few products ever deliver as promised. My ARB cooler just works. They are expensive, but so is a Yeti that needs ice and weighs a ton full. On a G31 battery and a solar panel the battery never dies. Go check out real-world testing on Expedition Portal.

    Last summer we were in 100F heat and my beer was 28F. My buddies were amazed. In freezer mode I set it to MIN and it will keep ice cream indefinitely.
  4. Carlsbad

    Carlsbad Member

    Aug 19, 2014
    It's easy to hate Walmart. On the other hand, mom and pop are often closed earlier than Walmart. Mom and pop might carry groceries, but not the other stuff you forgot or suddenly needed. I carry a pretty good supply of electrical repair stuff because every camper ever made will eventually need something fixed. Walmart carries a decent selection of electrical stuff, RV stuff, groceries, beer, HBA, and ammo for the hunting trip. In return they give me a free spot to spend the night. Sorry mom and pop.
  5. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
    I do want to temper my response. The Yeti has several things my Coleman will never have.
    • It's bear proof. If that's important to you (and some area's it's VERY important).
    • The Hinges are not a piece of plastic that just bends, it's a true hinge.
    I'm just not sure where people (and I for that matter) got the idea that they hold ice better than other coolers.

    For my particular use case, Ice holding power is the best metric I've got. I don't camp in area's where Bears are a thing, and the hinges can be replaced for about $3 (done it once already)
    bearman512 likes this.
  6. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Every cooler I own has a true hinge. I've never seen one that just bent the plastic... that would never last and I agree, would suck.
  7. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    It just is my store of last resort. I don't like their business practices, I don't find their employees helpful (around here you can barely find an employee, they literally duck down an aisle or the back room if they see you coming) and they often don't even speak English.

    What prompted this comment is the frequency I see people say things like "we go to the nearest WALMART and get ice" vs "we run into town and get ice". Or "Go to WALMART and buy electric contact cleaner" vs "Go to any auto parts store and..." etc.
    Mausinn likes this.
  8. Carlsbad

    Carlsbad Member

    Aug 19, 2014
    When we are travelling and time is limited I could either go to the grocery store, then the auto parts store, and then the sporting goods store, assuming I could find them, or I could just stop at Walmart.
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  9. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    I get that and I'd probably do the same thing on a camping trip, assuming I needed all of that.

    But if I just needed a fuse, It's about a half mile to the auto store or 8 miles to Wal-Mart... yet the suggestion here is usually "go to Wal mart and..." And if I'm camping and just need ice, or groceries, there's a pretty good chance there's a grocery store or a gas station with ice closer than the nearest Walmart

    Didn't mean to derail this whole thread. Just seems like a lot of people here like that store a lot more than I do. I guess that explains their profits lol.
    Mausinn likes this.
  10. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
    Feast your eyes on this:

    Most cheap coolers have hinges like this in my experiance.
  11. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Ah OK that's what you're calling a "bent piece of plastic". I thought you meant the type like some cheap blow-molded cases have where there is literally a thin strip of plastic that gets bent as a hinge, and eventually splits and wears out.

    At least this has a proper pivot point, etc. And in practice I've never had one wear out.
  12. daschnoz

    daschnoz Active Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    We have 2 coolers - a 40qt Igloo Max Cold Ultra and a 50qt Coleman Xtreme (both are 5 day coolers). I have a feeling that the "day" rating on the cooler is based on a 35°F outside temperature and not opening the cooler. The Igloo holds food (burgers, dogs, etc.) and the Coleman holds drinks. The drink cooler gets more action, so we generally need to add ice about every 2-3 days to that one. The food cooler is good for about 3-4 days.

    What ever you get, don't go cheap. You don't necessarily need to spend $400 on a cooler, but a $19.81 WallyWorld RollBack isn't going to cut it for more than about 2 days.

    I think I paid something like $60 for the Igloo a few years ago. DW told me that I got ripped off because I bought it at Bass Pro. After our first camping trip (we tented the first year), we discovered that we needed more than just that 1 cooler. She bought that $19.81 WallyWorld RollBack, 50qt cooler. This lead to more discussion about how I got ripped off and spent my money foolishly. That $20 cooler was ok for the weekend camping trips, but she did comment on how the outside of the cooler would sweat on humid days and how the ice melted faster in the cheap cooler than it did in the smaller, more expensive cooler. (does anyone else see an "I told you so" on the horizon?) When we did our first 1 week trip (PUP), she realized why I spent $60 on a 40qt cooler (to ensure domestic tranquility, I kept the "I told you so" to myself). We gave that cheap PoS away and bought the Coleman.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  13. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    DW and I got a Coleman Xtreme (like RoyBraddy's) in 2007 using credit card rewards points and we still use it to this day. We've had to replace the hinges once. I would LOVE to have a Yeti or something similar, but I'm far too cheap. The old Coleman works just fine for us - I've never tracked exactly how long it holds ice, but most of our trips are weekend trips and we always have cold drinks, and the food stays fresh. During the day I try to remember to shove the cooler under the camper (out of direct sunlight) to help. If our Coleman ever dies, I'll likely just buy another one.
  14. Lee's Alite

    Lee's Alite Member

    Apr 17, 2018
    Ocala Fl.
    We have one of the Ozark trails molded coolers 55 quart (high priced knockoff $135) it keep's ice good . For years we had a cube with wheels cooler and a smaller Colman cooler . The molded cooler has saved us money on ice but is heavy as well .
  15. nineoaks2004

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

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I just carry a regular Coleman cooler and it works fine for me. I also carry a portable ice maker that makes 21 lbs of ice a day. I usually end up giving ice to neighboring campers. I do have to remember to refill the water when the red light comes on (low water light)
    When canoe camping I carry a small cooler and a reflectix cover I made for it using aluminum tape. This usually lasts for several days. I also fitted me cooler with a piano hinge on the back and added a hasp and lock this keeps the raccoons out. Good Luck and Keep On Camping
  16. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I use a Big Coleman Extreme 5 day cooler that we use for Food only. I line the bottom with 5 blocks of ice and keep it out of the sun. This setup will keep ice for the 5 days in New England with ease.
  17. Solo camper

    Solo camper Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    West virginia
    Just purchased and tried out a Lifetile cooler, sold by Walmart on line. Not in store. Cooler was 97.00 to my door. Kept ice going into the seventh day. I am very pleased. Check them out.
  18. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    I've got the Yeti Roadie 20 and Hopper 30 soft cooler. Both of these were purchased for wilderness canoe trips. The small Roadie 20 is just too small to be very useful because by the time you put in ice there's not much room for food/drinks. So I got a Hopper 30 soft cooler which I love and has enough capacity for 2 people for about 3 days of ice. These smaller coolers won't go 4-5+ days but for wilderness canoe camping for 3 days they're great. I like the Hopper 30 as it will easily fit on the floor behind our seats when traveling and doesn't take up much room in the canoe.

    Fast forward to now with our recent PUP purchase and I can see how these smaller coolers may not work as well with popup camping unless of course we're getting ice every few days. Boondocking might require a much bigger cooler. We'll just have to use what we have and see how it works out for us.

Share This Page