Recommendations for coolers? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-13-2010   #1
 
lchastai's Avatar
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 42
Recommendations for coolers?

Hi all! I just bought my first raft - a 16' Avon bucket boat. 60-40 odds on me retro-fitting a self bailing floor in the next 2 years. The inside width dimension is 46.5, and the tubes are 21" in diameter.

I am looking at coolers - I am looking at the following:

Cooler Name
length
width
depth
Capacity (Qt)
Cost
Website
Rubbermaid Marine Cooler, 150 Qt White
45
19
20.5
150
$ 99.99
Rubbermaid
Igloo 150 Quart Ice Chest
41.63
18.69
19.75
150
$ 138.20
Amazon
Igloo MaxCold 165-qt.Full-Size Travel Cooler
42
19
23
165
$ 139.99
Amazon
Igloo Marine Series 162 Qt. Cooler
44
19
21.25
162
$ 294.78
Amazon
Down Under USA 168 Quart Tropical Cooler
45.1
22
20.9
168
$ 420.99
Amazon
Iowa Rotocast Plastics Wolverine Outdoor Cooler
47.75
24.5
28
192
$ 599.99
Amazon
Iowa Rotocast Plastics Wolverine Outdoor Cooler
40.5
20.5
21
135
$ 394.59
acitydiscount.com


Does anyone have any suggestions? Or does anyone have another cooler that I should be looking at? My day frame inner dimension is 41", so I would love to have a cooler to fit that, but it is not mandatory. I have an old POS that came with the boat that I can patch up for day trips.

I'd rather not pay $300+ for a cooler, but if it is *really* (really) worth it I would consider it.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Lynne

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Old 11-13-2010   #2
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Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
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Just don't buy a Galaxy unless you can physically put your hands on it when you hand over the cash. Marty still owes me a cooler or a refund for nearly a year now. He won't pay me or send me a cooler, nor will he answer his phone or return an email.
Sorry to keep bringing this up, but until he pays me, I will respond the same way to every cooler thread.
It's really not much different than someone stealing $300 of gear from your car/truck.
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Old 11-13-2010   #3
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,722
Do a search as this topic has been well discussed

The hi dollar units are good and it shows but depending on trip length and available funds, the discount igloo or coleman marine coolers will work pretty good. A lot depends on river time cooler management. Keep opening the lid mid day in the sun and ice melts rapidly. Let the cooler set in the direct sun and ice melts much faster than if you throw a wet cotton towel over the cooler and then one of those red side / reflector side little tarps over the cooler for shade.

I have both the hi dollar and the big box specials on igloo and both will do the job. I now use the hi dollar units and like them, but look for sales if you can.

Not sure if there is one near you but Academy Sports and Sam's Wholesale Club both run specials on the big box design igloo 120 qt coolers. Buy one and some closed cell foam to glue on top and a closed cell cover inside and the cheapo igloo will work well.

The hi dollar units will keep ice for several days longer than the cheaper igloo or coleman marine and it just depends on length of trip and how much you value a cold beer or steak on the trip's last night supper.
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Old 11-13-2010   #4
 
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Yeti and Engel are the other premium brands to look at. Definitely depends on the types of trips you are going to do and the budget. If you do decide to go the high end route wait until spring and go for the early sales. for example, DRE puts their Yeti's 20% off or something on their spring swap sale. if you can pick up a discontinued model like the Sherpa or Roughneck somewhere that still has them and would fit that would definitely be worth it.
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Old 11-14-2010   #5
 
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Spokane, Washington
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Nov 2010
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I personally use a Yeti 120qt and love it. The inside tube to tube dimension on my arie 156D is 40 inches and this cooler just squeezes into place. On a trip last spring I used 1 block of ice to keep things cool and put two bags of crushed ice in for cocktails and on the third day of the trip the inside bottom of the cooler was dry to the touch. I LOVE THIS COOLER. Other things to remember:
Always
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Old 11-14-2010   #6
 
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Spokane, Washington
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I personally use a Yeti 120qt and love it. The inside tube to tube dimension on my arie 156D is 40 inches and this cooler just squeezes into place. On a trip last spring I used 1 block of ice to keep things cool and put two bags of crushed ice in for cocktails and on the third day of the trip the inside bottom of the cooler was dry to the touch. I LOVE THIS COOLER. Other things to remember:
Always pre-cooler your cooler a night prior to loading it. Never to get into your cooler during the hot daylight hours (I use a seperate cooler for items such as lunch and beverages which I load in the morning before the day heats up). Some people I raft with even tape their main cooler shut just to prevent accidental openings by people looking for beverages. Also, cut a piece of closed cell foam to the inside dimensions of your cooler and place inside on top of everything (this helps with insulation). Lastly, it never hurts to drape a cold wet towel or large sleeping pad over your cooler to keep the heat and sun off. With some of these tips you can even get maximum perfornace out of a cheap cooler.
By the way, check your local Costco for the Yeit cooler. Thats where I found mine for $300, that's over $100 of savings from anywhere else. Thanks and happy floating.
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Old 11-14-2010   #7
 
Colo Springs, Colorado
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I can't speak for the higher dollar brands, but I'd give a good mark to that $100 Rubbermaid.

That's because how you pack and maintain the cooler probably is more important than which cooler you have. Search the cooler threads in the archives here for more info. The Buzz search program is easy to use.

I have a basic Rubbermaid (I don't think it's the Marine variety) and it holds ice very well for my needs. I don't pack it with 90% food, 10% ice. Maybe 50:50, no more than about 65% food, 35% ice. My cooler maintenance and how I use it is good.

And not that shitty ice from the grocery freezers. Again, search here for ice making technique details. A lot of great info has already been posted.
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Old 11-15-2010   #8
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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It's nice not having to constantly replace the hinges and latches with the old Gotts and the newer Rubbermaid. That being said--they work well if you follow the tips mentioned on this thread and the buzzillian other cooler threads. Are the top shelf coolers worth the money? Don't know yet, I've only had mine one summer. I didn't pre-cool, nor did I only open in the cooler hours of the day--I did store my beer and beverages alongside the food for a week long two boat Main Salmon trip. Without even trying to conserve ice, it did well. Just in case, I added two frozen gallon jugs at Buckskin Bill's along with more room temp. beverages and still had half the ice at the takeout.

So far, I'm happy with the performance of the 120 Tundra. I have a smaller Galaxy (30 qt ?) that sucks weenie in holding ice, and it leaked until I cleaned up the threaded drain hole and added an extra o-ring. It melted cubed ice in two days with me opening it three times.

Anybody wanna buy a small Galaxy?
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Old 11-17-2010   #9
 
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NorCal, California
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I think I might get flamed for saying this but I would go with the Rubbermaid, parts are readily available it it will probably work just as good as the more expensive coolers. That being said I have owned 2 Yeti's, my current Yeti is a 120 qt newer model that I have had less then a year, it appears to be bomber. Yeti replaced my first cooler under warranty because it developed a crack in the lid after I owned it for 2 years. I was impressed with their company and their staff for standing behind their product. I agree with David L, cooler management is more important then the actual cooler brand. IMO what your paying for with the premium cooler brands is durability but both probably have close to the same actual cooling ability.
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Old 11-17-2010   #10
 
Land of Lovin, Colorado
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I have this cooler:

150 Qt Gott

And it's awesome - it fits in our raft and has built in ice dividers and lid ice packs too. We haven't done any week long trips with it but on our 3-4 day trips with absolutely no cooler management we have yet to come home without ice still in the cooler.

Plus it has metal hinges and a replaceable latch, I say save yourself a couple hundred bucks and go Rubbermaid - I don't regret the purchase at all.
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