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Thread: Cooler opinions?

  1. #1
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    Default Cooler opinions?

    Hopefully this will get some people talking! Iím trying to figure out which brand of cooler I should get for camping and just general outdoors use. I have access to an old Coleman cooler that my family has but itís busted. I mostly use this gnarly Bacardi rum cooler that I donít care about if it gets trashed. But I need something decent that Iíll care about. Not getting a Yeti. Iíve seen some reviews online and Iíve tests for the Cabelaís Polar Cap being the best for ice retention. Just want to see other peopleís opinions. I would rather not keep buying ice every day or every other day either. But letís get some opinions! Thanks guys!

  2. #2

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    Sounds like you already ruled this out, but in my experience nothing beats a YETI. Super-durable and it keeps for days. Or you can pack it with their special cooler packs that freeze colder than 0F and work even better than ice (that's what I use). I bought a set of wheels that makes it very easy to move the YETI far away from camp at night, cable it to a tree and lock it shut.


  3. #3

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    I'm also in the market for a cooler. Why no yeti? Just the price?


    Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk

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    Your usage may be different than mine, but for overland road trips with camping, I have been using Colemans 40qt powerchill thermoelectric cooler for the past 4 years, it has never failed, and I have really enjoyed it. At a current price point under $80.00 it has long paid for itself. It is not a true fridge like ARB so it does not require a lot of power, it plugs into a cigarette lighter and the cooling fan allows the cooler to reduce ambient temperatures by around 40įF. In 80-90į weather it will struggle on it's own, so I will throw a couple frozen water bottles or a small bag of ice in a sealed bag into the cooler to help it. In 50-60į weather stuff inside can start to frost.

    I have a 2nd battery (deep cycle) in the Jeep with a solenoid under the hood that disconnects it from my main battery when the vehicle is off, this way I can't kill my starting battery if I leave the cooler running too long. I am generally driving all day, so everything is powered and charged, then when we reach camp around dinner, the cooler just runs off my deep cycle battery. What I learned over time is to unplug the cooler when I am going to sleep as the battery cannot run it all night without dying, then when I wake up I plug it right back in. The small bag of ice or frozen water bottles can last nearly 3-4 days doing this. The bag of ice is also beneficial for mixed drinks ;P.

    I am not sure how it would do on its own without power, but with the fan assembly I wouldn't pack it with bare ice, I at least keep the ice in a freezer bag to keep things from getting wet or the fan getting full of water. The reviews on Amazon are very mixed, I am speaking from experience with it. You do want to make sure the fan has space around it for circulation.

    Just another idea in case it can help!
    Last edited by Jeepin; 06-13-2018 at 02:48 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I also have a Yeti and absolutely love it, but that said, I don't think I'd buy one these days. Keeps things cold forever and I can't believe how much abuse it takes without showing, but there are a number of competitors out there that are about half the price that don't give up anything on durability or ability to keep ice. I'd probably grab an RTIC, which is really just a Yeti knockoff, but seems like a much better deal. Still pretty far from cheap, but much more in the "worth it" realm.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by onedomino View Post
    I'm also in the market for a cooler. Why no yeti? Just the price?


    Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk
    The price is definitely a factor. Like someone said after you, thereís coolers that are the same for half the price. Iíve been checking out RTIC but if I had to buy one right now, Iíd snag a Cabelas Polar Cap. I watched some reviews online and ice retention tests and it outlasted alot of them. Iím not completely sold though. Right now, Iíd love a cooler that Iíll have for a long time. But at the same time, a Coleman 5 extreme is cheap, but gotta buy ice every day. Definitely let me know what you end up getting!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooster View Post
    I also have a Yeti and absolutely love it, but that said, I don't think I'd buy one these days. Keeps things cold forever and I can't believe how much abuse it takes without showing, but there are a number of competitors out there that are about half the price that don't give up anything on durability or ability to keep ice. I'd probably grab an RTIC, which is really just a Yeti knockoff, but seems like a much better deal. Still pretty far from cheap, but much more in the "worth it" realm.
    This exactly. Been checking out RTIC. How big is your yeti?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepin View Post
    Your usage may be different than mine, but for overland road trips with camping, I have been using Colemans 40qt powerchill thermoelectric cooler for the past 4 years, it has never failed, and I have really enjoyed it. At a current price point under $80.00 it has long paid for itself. It is not a true fridge like ARB so it does not require a lot of power, it plugs into a cigarette lighter and the cooling fan allows the cooler to reduce ambient temperatures by around 40įF. In 80-90į weather it will struggle on it's own, so I will throw a couple frozen water bottles or a small bag of ice in a sealed bag into the cooler to help it. In 50-60į weather stuff inside can start to frost.

    I have a 2nd battery (deep cycle) in the Jeep with a solenoid under the hood that disconnects it from my main battery when the vehicle is off, this way I can't kill my starting battery if I leave the cooler running too long. I am generally driving all day, so everything is powered and charged, then when we reach camp around dinner, the cooler just runs off my deep cycle battery. What I learned over time is to unplug the cooler when I am going to sleep as the battery cannot run it all night without dying, then when I wake up I plug it right back in. The small bag of ice or frozen water bottles can last nearly 3-4 days doing this. The bag of ice is also beneficial for mixed drinks ;P.

    I am not sure how it would do on its own without power, but with the fan assembly I wouldn't pack it with bare ice, I at least keep the ice in a freezer bag to keep things from getting wet or the fan getting full of water. The reviews on Amazon are very mixed, I am speaking from experience with it. You do want to make sure the fan has space around it for circulation.

    Just another idea in case it can help!
    This is great advice! In the future I very well may be in the market for something like this. Right now, I need something that can get me through a week of camping that I wonít need to power. Once my rig gets bigger and better, this will be an option when wheeling! Thanks for the input!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattJ View Post
    Sounds like you already ruled this out, but in my experience nothing beats a YETI. Super-durable and it keeps for days. Or you can pack it with their special cooler packs that freeze colder than 0F and work even better than ice (that's what I use). I bought a set of wheels that makes it very easy to move the YETI far away from camp at night, cable it to a tree and lock it shut.
    What size is your yeti? I like the wheels. Also, LOVE your rig!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dun_right View Post
    What size is your yeti? I like the wheels. Also, LOVE your rig!
    Thanks. My YETI is the Tundra 65. It's the largest YETI that still fits perfectly in the cargo area of a JKU. I usually have up to five people in my Jeep on treks (usually me plus four Boy Scouts). So cargo space is important. I always get jealous when people post pics of their overlanding setup with just one or two people in the Jeep. So much free space!

    Attached is a photo of the YETI ice blocks I mentioned in an earlier post in this thread.

    Today I went to the batcave and pulled my tent and hardtop off. I switch to a soft top for summer trail and beach runs!







  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattJ View Post
    Sounds like you already ruled this out, but in my experience nothing beats a YETI. Super-durable and it keeps for days. Or you can pack it with their special cooler packs that freeze colder than 0F and work even better than ice (that's what I use). I bought a set of wheels that makes it very easy to move the YETI far away from camp at night, cable it to a tree and lock it shut.

    what do you means freezes colder than 0*f?
    It's all gone.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSSFC View Post
    what do you means freezes colder than 0*f?
    I went back and read the fancy labels on the blocks. It looks like it has a freezing point colder than water (28F) and I freeze them to 0F before I use them. But you can also freeze water to 0F (or even colder). These blocks work well, and have the obviously benefit of not turning filling the cooler with water as they warm up.




  13. #13
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    I use a Coleman extreme, has kept ice for 5 days while using it, longer if it stays shut. The price difference between that and the Yeti buys a metric ton of ice, but I'm admittedly a cheap SOB.

    I have a Coleman thermoelectric, but its loud as hell and sucks a lot of power. Doesn't make warm things cold, just keeps cold things cold, so freeze anything you can and make sure everything's cold before it goes in. I rarely use mine these days.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattJ View Post
    I went back and read the fancy labels on the blocks. It looks like it has a freezing point colder than water (28F) and I freeze them to 0F before I use them. But you can also freeze water to 0F (or even colder). These blocks work well, and have the obviously benefit of not turning filling the cooler with water as they warm up.



    Ok that makes sense. I was thinking ??? That was some interesting marketing!
    It's all gone.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dun_right View Post
    Hopefully this will get some people talking! Iím trying to figure out which brand of cooler I should get for camping and just general outdoors use. I have access to an old Coleman cooler that my family has but itís busted. I mostly use this gnarly Bacardi rum cooler that I donít care about if it gets trashed. But I need something decent that Iíll care about. Not getting a Yeti. Iíve seen some reviews online and Iíve tests for the Cabelaís Polar Cap being the best for ice retention. Just want to see other peopleís opinions. I would rather not keep buying ice every day or every other day either. But letís get some opinions! Thanks guys!
    Ice retention test bonanza

    https://youtu.be/zu-V0ZqfYHg?t=3s

    Lifetime cooler.... american made

    https://youtu.be/JuHQxVFlciI
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