Originally Posted by joejacksonframing
I've got a 146 and love it. Held ice for 2 wks. @ around 100 deg. on Middle Fork, drive back to CO across southern UT then sitting in my garage waiting to be unpacked. All with zero cooler maintenance, no wet burlap, in and out of it the whole trip, not a lot of shade on the MF in July. Bomber latches, nice gasket. Spendy but nice.
I moved up from a Yeti Sherpa 120 to a NRS Big Sky 146 last summer. I loved the Yeti, but it left a lot of available cooler bay space on the table in my Aire 143r with Recretec frame. The dimensions of the Big Sky 146 were nearly optimal for maximizing my cooler bay space without being too tall. I would have gone with whatever type of rotomolded cooler fit my bay the best; kind of funny how the cooler manufacturers don't really seem to hit that sweet spot of 40" length that would make them fit in most 14-16' boats. The NRS 146 is a little longer than 40" overall, but it tapers down from top to bottom which allows it to just fit in between the tubes and frame bars. It is very well constructed and finished.
In use, the NRS seems to hold ice just as well as the Yeti, and imho has better latches and handles. Hinges are solid on both. Like joe, I've found myself putting block ice back in my freezer after week+ trips, but I did that with the Yeti too. Then again, I'm a cooler nazi that always runs with wet burlap and paco pads for shade when it's hot out. I did just fine with my old Coscto special Igloo 150 that lasted 12 years before finally needing replaced.
Probably the biggest advantage of the Yeti, Big Sky or similar is the way they latch and seal. If you happen to flip, you don't fill your cooler with river water like you would with the cheaper coolers (first hand experience). I think that alone makes it worth the upgrade, especially if you go on longer trips or on your own where the spoiled food would be major problem.