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Old 03-26-2014   #1
windriver's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 66
Too much cooler?

Trying to decide between the NRS 146 Qt and 175 Qt.

I plan on sitting on the cooler, so I will have to bring it anytime I use the boat. I do short 1/2 day trips mostly, with one or two multi-day trips a year thrown in. It seems like on the 6+ day trips I will be happy to have the extra space, but would it be a pain to have such a massive cooler for over-nighters? I wonder if it's even possible to carry the 175 empty without a second person. Lastly, I like that the 175 Qt is 2.5 inches shorter; lower center of gravity is always nice, plus I'd rather sit lower from a rowing standpoint.

146 Qt: 42.5'' L 21.25'' H 17'' W 146 Quarts
175 Qt: 43.25'' L 18.75'' H 21'' W 175 Quarts


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Old 03-26-2014   #2
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
personally I've never liked sitting on the cooler. cooler and me are 2 of the heaviest things, and raft frames rarely put the rower on the centerline. I like it in front of me to help trim the boat. also a passenger in front of the cooler ensures my fists don't take out the passenger while rowing, because the space over the cooler is open.

I have a lot of old bucket boat expedition frames. they are all nice frames with a lot of life left, except for one major flaw: they are built around a specific cooler as the rower seat. So I have a stack of 5 coolers between 60 and 105 qt that each go with a certain frame and only fit that one frame. If I lose any of them, the frame will have to be modified to work with something else. too limiting.

then there's the issue of seat height, which I often feel is ideally lower than a cooler.

but hey lotsa people do it so it must work just fine.

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Old 03-26-2014   #3
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
I've always gone with the mantra that bigger is better, especially when it comes to coolers but I recently got a 150 qt Gott and it is BIG. I can't even imagine bigger... I don't know what my future mantra will be, but I definitely don't need a bigger cooler...

On the other hand I'd like a lower cooler vs higher. I guess it would really depend on how much space I have to give elsewhere... My 150 is about 20" wide, not sure how tall but taller than I'd really like. The main problem is it took up 3" of my rowing bay. doesn't sound like much but it sure looks a lot smaller. That's a tougher call than originally thought. I'd really keep thinking about how they'd fit. Maybe make a mock up out of cardboard? Crazy waste of time maybe but it might show you someting as well...
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Old 03-26-2014   #4
AndTheLab's Avatar
SLC, Utwah
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 106
I have a 155 yeti tundra and a 145 yeti sherpa. Im 6'4" with a big wingspan. I can picks up both coolers by the sides and move them around empty. Load them to 1/4 capacity and it is tough due to the physics/ geometry of lifting them.
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Old 03-26-2014   #5
Wavester's Avatar
NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
The 145 is plenty big enough, especially for 6 day trips. I think you could get away with a 120 or so for anything except a Grand trip.
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Old 03-26-2014   #6
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Westfield, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 178
I would get the big cooler, more ice is very nice....On the next multiday, you can be the food boat, and let the groovers go on someone's rig.

For day trips, you can fashion a piece of thick plywood with a foam pad to sit on, or a board with a tractor seat' and leave the cooler at home. Attach the board to the frame with some u bolts, straps or cordage. You can also put a smaller lunch cooler inside the big cooler, and use the remaining space as dry storage. Coolers make decent semi-dry boxes.
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Old 03-26-2014   #7
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
The only thing I dislike about sitting on the cooler is the height. Go short!
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 03-26-2014   #8
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
I do sit on a cooler in my current fishing rig and I have it in a drop bag which allows me to drop it for bigger water or more commonly I lift it so I can see around the angler in the front as they are not usually looking for obstacles. I like the view better when I am sitting high. It's one of the reasons I don't have a drift boat.
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Old 03-27-2014   #9
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
The only thing I dislike about sitting on the cooler is the height. Go short!
+1 I wish there were more coolers that are wider and shorter. Most are too high for practical seating. The best I've seen for short height is Canyon sailor 105 but that is only if you need that length.
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Old 03-27-2014   #10
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
175 for sure. I did a bunch of research on that specific cooler. The dimensions are awesome for such a large cooler. The best dimesnions from any manufacturer of coolers from 140 Qt +. I bought the NRS 123 QT (smoking deal) but i wish i would have bought the 175 QT.

You can easily make the interior smaller. 1/4" plastic cutting boards, with a little slicing to fit in the preformed grooves are perfect.

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