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Old 11-17-2010   #11
tallboy's Avatar
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 175
Ruby thru westwater, 4 days in 80 degree heat. Yeti tundra 120 was the main cooler on my boat and I was in and out of it all day every day. On the last day the special beer cooler on the back of the boat that had been covered and unopened the whole time had cold beers and it was a cheap 150 qt gott...but the beers were not icey as they were in the it because it is MADE IN THE USA and it works like a champ!!!

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Old 11-25-2010   #12
Billings, Montana
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
For what its worth look at the weights of the various 120 qt coolers you are considering. I know Yetis are heavy but that means heavy duty wall and lid thickness which means less breakage as time goes on. I have owned numerous Gotts and Rubbermaids over the years and after 10 + years the interiors slowly get busted up from from dropping ice blocks and such inside them. The corners slowly get dinged up from slinging around a heavy cooler. The old two piece lids are nice for day outings but hamper the insulating qualities. Coolers get walked on and sat on a lot and most cooler lids flex when you stand on them which tends to crack them in the center inner reinforced mold points and then water starts saturating into the foam. Rope handles are a must for a heavy loaded cooler and make certain the cooler has a recessed drain plug so it doesnt get busted sliding the cooler in and out of the frame. A couple of things you will experience on the big box igloos and colemans are lighter plastic walls that will not hold up as well as better coolers and broken lid tethers which will cause your hinges to break and the latches will fail and you will never get parts locally if at all. Getting replacement parts is very key. Yeti has excellent customer service and replacement latches and drain plugs. Look for a sale on a good cooler so your not sending a cheap one to the landfill in 5 years.

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Old 11-25-2010   #13
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 394
I normally don't buy the premium brand of anything. That goes from beer to cars. I did find a Yeti cooler for half price at Downriver last winter and had to throw down. I am very glad I did. I currently work on sailboats for the winter and our cheap coolers are constantly falling apart. Whereas my Yeti feels so tough and durable that I know it will last me until I am done rafting, which I estimate to be in 80 or 90 years. Seriously, if you are going to raft for twenty years, there is no way that you wouldn't go through at least 5 of those Rubbermaids. While I am certain that I will never buy another cooler. Replacement latches are cheap; I keep an extra set in my repair kit. And the latches aren't going anywhere. Shelling out $400 once is the less than shelling out $100 every five years 'til you're old.

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Old 11-25-2010   #14
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
One vote here for the Igloo. We pack the bottom with blocks of ice, then jam in a bag of cubes hoping that the cubes are "sacrificial" meaning they melt between the time we load it and launch (often 2 days). We also use the foil backed bubble wrap (hardware stores for ducts) and place 1 layer over the ice. That keeps the ice and such separate from the food, so the food doesn't fall down between it (as it melts). Then 2 layers of the same stuff over the food. Works great, have had great luck even on Main Salmon trips where it was 100+.

Have a blast!
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 11-25-2010   #15
Billings, Montana
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Cooler Tip

I have a cooler nut for a customer who brought up the fact that the thinnest area on any cooler is the bottom. Even though a Yeti has a 3" thick lid the thinnest wall is the bottom and where does cold go..down. Even if the cooler is kept out of the sun and under a damp towel the bottom has the least R value because of the thin wall. We have been cutting to fit a 1" closed cell foam, ethafoam or minicell work great, and put it in the bottom of the cooler. This does numerous things, it adds more insulation to the bottom, protects it from dropped heavy stuff and any small amounts of spilled water migrate under the foam keeping the dreaded cooler water to a minimum. I also put all my ice in a nrs big basin bucket which can conform to most any space and it keeps water from melting everywhere. On day floats lunch is in one bucket and beer, water etc is in another bucket with ice. No cooler water to contend with and lunch is always dry. On multiple day floats I still contain my ice so it cant melt everywhere.
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Old 11-25-2010   #16
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
question? is that closed cell foam inside the cooler or glued to the bottom of the cooler?

Thanks, I glue closed cell foam to the lid of my coolers, never thought about the bottom tho.
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Old 11-26-2010   #17
Billings, Montana
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
I have glued ethafoam to the bottom of older rubbermaids mainly to protect them when dragging them around loaded as Ive seen many worn thin. This is just a panel of foam that lays in the inside bottom of the cooler. I wouldnt glue it in or it will probably get all skanky. It needs to be pulled out and cleaned and air out in between uses depending on what kind of cooler water it is exposed to. The down side is that it does take up valuable space inside the cooler. If your going to glue foam to the lid always use white foam as it absorbs less heat than black or gray. White foam looks gray quite soon anyway.
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Old 11-26-2010   #18
Greenville, South Carolina
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
I would go with Yeti

I have the 25 quart roadie as my main shuttle rig cooler and love it. Also, John Wilber is their rep for Georgia is a NC raft guide.

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cooler, ice chest

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