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Thread: Cooler purchase

  1. #1
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Default Cooler purchase

    My beater Rubbermaid cooler is just a bit too long to fit between the tubes of my new Aire Tributary 12' SB. So I'm in the market for a new cooler, and I'm split between satisfying my Scottish heritage and getting something that is made to last.

    The old Aire 12' SB that the Trib replaced was rigged with a small frame and had the cooler as the oarsman's seat. So the cooler I purchase has to be able to withstand the weight of a large man. I'm afraid if I go cheap, the coolers that are in the $50 to $100 price range will not hold up to the abuse that I will likely be dishing out. Bottom line is that I'm willing to spend up, but I'm curious if anyone knows of a cooler that is robust and under $150. Otherwise I'm looking at a Yeti / Grizzly / Engel / etc.

    By the way, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee that does the bear-resistant container certifications keeps the list of approved containers here: http://www.igbconline.org/index.php/...stant-products

    I don't have an immediate need for a certified cooler, but if I'm gonna spend some coin I may as well get this too.

    I appreciate any advice folks may have specific to using a cooler as an oarsman's seat. I understand that there are lots of strong opinions about the merits of individual brands but I'm hoping not to stir up a Coke vs Pepsi vs Royal Crown Cola thread.

  2. #2
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Look into Canyon Coolers also. However, they are also in the high price range.with Yeti, Engel,etc I'm interested in a long but narrow cooler to fill the space between my tubes but does not reqire excessive frame space..

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    There seems to be a new model, the Canyon Coolers Sport 100. It is long and low unlike the Outfitter modles that are more cube shaped. Wanting something in the 36 x 18 x 18 ballpark.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Ugh, last post was on smart phone. Make that models above, please. I've actually put together a spreadsheet of the various coolers under consideration. If i figure out how to post it on Photobucket I'll link it here. Important criteria are pretty much in this order:
    1) Fits within 36.5" space between tubes
    2) Supports weight of a 300 lb person standing on it, as I am sure at some point it will be a step stool
    3) Keeps ice for duration of my trips. For fall hunts even the Rubbermaid keeps some ice after 10 days. Dunno how it would have fared on a long float this summer.

    And if I'm spending multiple hundred dollars I want...

    4) IGBC certified, or at least same design as a model that is certified.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    So Photobucket is images and videos only. Duh. Anyways the latest list of certified containers is what I'm starting from. The link is here. I've checked out every cooler manufacturer on that list. In addition there are K2 Coolers, Marpac Too Cool coolers, and probably one or two more that don't come to mind.

    One that has my interest is the TechniIce Signature Series, here. Made in Australia, it's available at http://techniiceusa.com. If you live in Aus you can get the Classic model for pretty low price, looks like they want to clear out inventory of the old model.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I have two of the 95 quart pelican coolers. I have been extremely impressed in their performance. A one gallon jug of frozen water will keep the cooler cold for a week out on PWS in 70+ temperatures. Way better than the old 150 quart igloo coolers we used to use. Costco has carried them in a couple of sizes the past two summers. Check them out.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    I have a yeti 50 that is impressive as well. Be warned, all these fancy coolers are heavy. My small yeti is about 35 lbs empty. The big 95 get are 50 lbs empty.
    I have jumped up and down on the yeti and have seen no adverse wear. I weigh 300 lbs and I don't think the lid even flexes. Can't say the same for my fancy marine Coleman that I sat on the other day.. Lid made terrible cracking sounds.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks JR2 for that comment on the Coleman marine. That's been my fear, that the stuff we used to sit on in years past isn't made the same now. Margins are razor thin so if the market wants a cheap cooler the suppliers will sure satisfy the market. Problem is my old Rubbermaid is still functional and still pretty darn tough. Just too dang big.

    The premium coolers I'm looking at run 70 to 110 quarts in size. Probably should focus on the low end so that it's still somewhat manageable by me solo when filled with ice and goods. Although there are a few wheeled models out there. The Kysek Ultimate Ice Chest is another one grabbing my eye.

    Spoiled one, thanks for the feedback on your coolers. I like the Pelican features and brand reliability. They just are too tall for me in this application. Actually, I just double-checked and there is a 65 qt model that is pretty darn close to my target size. Will have to check it out.

  9. #9
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Check out rtic also. They're basically a yeti knock off, so their specs are probably fairly similar.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

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    I will second others endorsement of the yeti's. They are bomber construction, will support a lot of weight, and are on the heavy side when unloaded. Have used mine for about ten years as the front seat in my raft and other than a lost drain plug cover, it works as well as it did on day one. Worth the $$$.

    I can't remember the model or size anymore, but for width, it just fits between the tubes of a 14' NRS E-series.

  11. #11
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    Here's an update on researching some of my options.

    My old Rubbermaid is apparently a 150 qt similar to this model. Specs say it has a height of 19" and that's about what I measure on mine. Mine's many years old so it may or may not be from the same mold. I bring this up because I think for my purposes I want a lower profile for my cooler / seat. With a few less inches in height I'll have some flexibility in adjusting the seat position for a taller or shorter rower.

    Was eyeing the Canyon Cooler Sport 100. Limited info available on this so I sent an email to the company and got back a response that was essentially "meh, we don't plan on carrying that any time soon." It looks like a fairly nice cooler but has no apparent means to lock it. TheBestCooler.com will sell you one for $414 delivered.

    The Yeti 110 is a little tall for my needs, but if it were available in town I probably would have already bought it. On backorder at every reputable web site I've been to.

    RTIC Coolers has Yeti knock-offs at about half the Yeti price. But their biggest model is only 65 liters. Plus they seem to be batch ordering from the manufacturer and looking like 60+ days for delivery.

    The best Pimp My Cooler candidate is the Orion 85. At $549 it might be a little more than I'm willing to spend.

    Remaining coolers under consideration have the following features: less than 18" height, lockable, and at least 75 quart capacity. More is better.
    Mammoth Coolers Discovery 95 (98 qt, 37" x 18" x 16") available on Amazon for $364
    Black Rock Coolers Expedition 90L (84 qt, 36" x 18" x 16") $359
    Engel DeepBlue 80 (80 qt, 33.75" x 16.4" x 17.6") for $349
    Bison Coolers (aka Brute Box) 75 (75 qt, 35" x 16.25" x 17.5") for $379
    Grizzly Coolers G75 (75 qt, 31.13" x 17.75" x 17.88") for $369

    I'm leaning towards the 98 qt cooler, will report back on availability and shipping.

  12. #12
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I was looking again at the Mammoth Coolers web site last night and it occurred to me that the Titan 110 or Titan 125 model might have enough taper to fit between the tubes of my raft. I sent an email to their support address and was surprised by two things. First, it automatically created an account with their support system for me. Second, when I awoke this morning my inbox had a reply from the company, Blackbird Products. They sent me an image with the detailed measurements of those two coolers, which unfortunately is a little too long for the Trib.

    The slightly smaller Discovery 95 model is available online at Home Depot (link here). I purchased the cooler for $364.54 and free shipping. Should arrive by the 24th. I was impressed by the promptness I got from Blackbird and the fact that this cooler is warrantied for life.

  13. #13
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    Will the cooler rim rest on the top of the frame or will it need mounts/hangers to support it? I really like my drybox that has welded brackets that just drops into my frame and is secured by loop straps over the top. I'd also like a cooler that woould do the same and not need additional mounts. I have 2 sets of barely used NRS mounts I'd sell if anybody is interested? http://www.nrs.com/product/12051/nrs...-cooler-mounts

  14. #14

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    I've got the Yeti Tundra 75 - in fact I have two. I also use as seat and passenger seat up front. It will fit your frame. Can be pricey but you can offset that a little bit. I got mine at REI - used my dividend and purchased during 20% off sale. They'll ship for free for store pick up. I got the 75 because it's easy to handle for one person - I've got short arms. The interior dimensions are nice as well. I like block ice and it fits 3 standard blocks on the bottom. Very tuff. Lots of choices for sure but I've not regretted mine at all. Used them for two week trips and still had ice at the bottom. Good luck.

  15. #15
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    HomeDepot.com almost let me down. I hadn't heard anything for a week and went online, only to see that HD now lists the item as out of stock. Did the little online chat thing and was told that it is ready to ship from the factory and will go out on Thursday or Friday. I thought to myself "Yeah sure, and the check's in the mail."

    Woke up to an email notification today that the cooler has shipped. According to HD it should be here in 3 to 5 days. Assuming it arrives promptly I will post up some pics of the cooler. I've not held Home Depot in very high regard, but this transaction may force me to change my opinion of them. Standing by with fingers crossed.

  16. #16
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I suppose I should get used to disappointment. Whether the fault lies with HD or the supplier I don't know, but my cooler never shipped. I have a UPS tracking number but UPS shows that the product never made it to their facility. It's just a generated tracking number, apparently printed up to satisfy an annoying customer.

    My low regard for HD remains undiminished. I'm heading out on a hunting trip in two weeks and don't have a cooler that fits my raft. Woe is me.

    Might have to compromise and get a locally-sourced cooler that isn't the optimal dimensions. That, or make my own.

  17. #17
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    It's probably easier and lighter to change your menu to dry goods that do not require being kept cold. There's no need for Mt. House. You can make great meals with couscous, instant mashed potatoes, canned chicken, etc. if you have a dehydrator you can get even more creative.

  18. #18
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Your points are all true, but I still need something to sit on. And for the upcoming trip I'm taking my dad out hunting. He's 81 so our camp has a lot more amenities than I would need for myself. One of those amenities is my dad's Texas chili with cornbread baked in the dutch oven. Dang, I'm getting hungry just writing about it.

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    I too would like a good quality cooler. Until I get one, I use one of those blue cheap coolers with the white lid(I think it is a Coleman). To reinforce the lid/seat, I bolted tongue and groove ceder boards to the lid. I also bought a snap on cushion for comfort. It is still holding up for this 200 lb rafter. The only negative side to this is that I use it as a seat around the fire and the ice will melt quickly. This is where I think a better insulated cooler will come in hand like your Orion.

  20. #20
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    I'm seriously looking at one of these. It will be the first purpose built cooler for rafts. It will make maximum use of the space between the tubes, hang from the frame without brackets, and have an easily accessible drain plug to avoid lifting melt water.

    Hopefully they'll be available the first half of 2016.

    http://www.canyoncoolers.com/prospector-100.html

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