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Schroder
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PostThu Aug 11, 2016 6:26 pm 
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I'm tired of ice in my cooler disappearing after a couple of days so I'm looking for something better than my cheap Coleman.  Does anyone have experience with the pricier models like Yeti, Orca, Pelican and Engel?  I see some of them are bear certified but they're all in the $300-400 range.
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bobbi
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PostThu Aug 11, 2016 7:31 pm 
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https://www.rticcoolers.com

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Schroder
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PostFri Aug 12, 2016 6:40 am 
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Thanks, Bobbi.  It's a 2 month wait to get one of those.  I suspect it's someone putting together a large enough order to get them shipped from China.
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PostFri Aug 12, 2016 7:07 am 
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I've got a Yeti, which works great.  But the price isn't great.  Here's a review from Outdoor Gear Lab.  Take it for what it's worth...
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Cooler-Reviews

Interesting claim on the RTIC landing page that it "holds more ice".  They're either comparing apples to oranges in relation to overall exterior dimensions, or they're claiming they have thinner wall thickness, which is not necessarily a good thing.
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Grannyhiker
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PostFri Aug 12, 2016 8:57 am 
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I found that by buying (or freezing) a block of ice, rather than a bag of cubes, the ice lasts a lot longer.

A few years ago, I bought a block of ice on Thursday for the Friday-Monday July 4 weekend.  My car was parked in the sun (with ice chest inside) Friday mid-afternoon through Monday late afternoon, with temps getting into the upper 90s each day.  Despite the conditions, there was a good-sized hunk of unmelted ice when I got home Monday evening.  It would probably have lasted at least another day, maybe even two!  This in a cooler of slightly lower quality than a Coleman.

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George Johnson
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PostFri Aug 12, 2016 6:06 pm 
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Check out Canyon coolers. I was in the market a while back and almost got one, but something came up and I've delayed purchase.
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Schroder
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PostSat Aug 13, 2016 9:03 am 
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Grannyhiker wrote:
I found that by buying (or freezing) a block of ice, rather than a bag of cubes, the ice lasts a lot longer.

I always get block ice. On the last trip it lasted 2 days.

George, those Canyon cooler look pretty good.  I found a sale on an Engel Cooler for about the same price so I went for it.
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texasbb
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PostSat Aug 13, 2016 1:27 pm 
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Of course, the reason block ice lasts longer is the same reason it doesn't keep your food as cold.  If that's okay for whatever food you've got, it's win-win.  If not, it's win-lose.
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Blue Dome
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PostSun Aug 14, 2016 9:20 am 
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Schroder wrote:
I found a sale on an Engel Cooler for about the same price so I went for it.

That Engel cooler should serve you much better than common, less expensive coolers.

One caveat: I used to have a couple of Engel coolers, but sold them, and now use Yeti coolers. I've found the Yeti coolers to keep ice noticeably longer than Engel and here's probably why.

Over time, the (replaceable) Engel latches -- which IMO, aren't the best design, a folding rubber and metal thing which is sort of loose to begin with -- lost their ability to firmly hold down the lid and create a tight seal. This was probably partially my fault, as occasionally I'd overfill with ice and close the lid, which stressed the latches.

The Yeti coolers have a simple, more-robust, rubber-only (replaceable) latch that creates a tighter seal. I use block ice and cubes in one Yeti for food, opening 5 times a day in 90 degree weather, which keeps most of the ice for 4+ days. Cube ice in a smaller Yeti for beer/juice, opening more often, keeps drinks cold for 4 days. Haven't tried longer yet for both, but I bet 6 days wouldn't be a problem.

I also think pre-chilling the coolers with bags of ice the night before I leave, and then draining the water and adding contents and more ice until full, helps keep the ice longer.

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markod72
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PostSun Aug 14, 2016 10:36 am 
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put a towel over the top of the contents of your cooler to before you close it. And a towel over the outside of the cooler as well.
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jackchinook
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PostSun Aug 14, 2016 11:23 am 
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JonnyQuest wrote:
Interesting claim on the RTIC landing page that it "holds more ice".  They're either comparing apples to oranges in relation to overall exterior dimensions, or they're claiming they have thinner wall thickness, which is not necessarily a good thing.

If you look at the comparisons across brands you'll find that the Yeti 65 is not indeed 65 quarts. Their model numbers over-report their true volume/capacity.  Why this is is beyond me. Converting to liters does not explain the numbering convention.

Yetis demand perhaps the highest premium in terms of price AND most of them are NOT made in the USA. This was an issue for me personally. I found there were multiple options that perform as well or better than Yetis in the tests, are less expensive, AND are made in America. I ended up buying a Grizzly 60 cooler recently and am quite impressed so far.
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moonspots
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PostSun Aug 14, 2016 3:54 pm 
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jackchinook wrote:
...perform as well or better than Yetis in the tests, are less expensive, AND are made in America.

That does it for me. Made in US is most important, all else being (more or less) equal. Thanks for the heads up on that one.

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Blue Dome
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PostSun Aug 14, 2016 8:09 pm 
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Here's a pretty thorough cooler test for the Canyon Outfitters 35, Engel DeepBlue 35, Grizzly 40, Igloo Sports-man 40, Pelican Elite 35, and Yeti Tundra 45. All were in the 35- to 40-quart range...

http://expeditionportal.com/the-big-chill-overland-journals-cooler-test/

Spoiler alert and conclusion for those who don't want to read through the entire test:

Quote:
When the dust settled (or the ice melted), the Engel DeepBlue 35, with its IGBC certification, solid build, performance near the top of the pack, and $245 price tag edged out the Canyon Outfitter 35 to go home with the Value Award. The Yeti Tundra 45, which outranked all takers in nearly every subjective and objective evaluation, save the $350 sticker shock, receives my nod for Editor’s Choice.


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treeswarper
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PostMon Aug 15, 2016 6:39 am 
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Or you can build an insulated box to put your cooler in.  I've wrapped mine with the cheap foily bubble insulation but that didn't seem to help.  Folks on other internet sites (so it must be true!) have built such things and say it works.   I have also read that the much hated Walmart has an Ozark cooler that is spendy, but not as spendy as the brands mentioned, that performs well.

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Schroder
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PostMon Aug 15, 2016 10:21 am 
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Blue Dome wrote:
I also think pre-chilling the coolers with bags of ice the night before I leave, and then draining the water and adding contents and more ice until full, helps keep the ice longer.

Great suggestion!  I always preheat my thermos with hot water but never thought about precooling the ice chest.
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