I'm looking for a cooler for my fishing season. Particularly for dipnetting in Chitina. So ideally i would like to find a cooler that keeps ice for 5 days or so, that is big enough to hold 60+ red fillet's. Any suggestions? Any coolers to stay away from?
8 years ago you could go into Sams Club and get a Rubbermaid Cooler 120 quart for $39.99 that was and still is for me a great Chitina Cooler. The big white ones, something has happened the the price though, I bought 3 then and still have two of them. They have managed to be packed, shipped, and sent as checked luggage several times throughout the US and all over Alaska. They keep fish and ice for days. They now cost about twice what they were the Summer 2000 but the same type of cooler is at Sams and Costco, and probably the best deals there too. Some thin walled coolers such as coleman (some models) and cheaper coolers will not work for long, my advice is to pay a little more now and buy one that will last. There are some top of the line models out there now too, upwards to $300 which have to be good setups, but I'd stick with something around $80-90.
Last edited by AKFishOn; 06-10-2008 at 21:08.
Sportsman's Warehouse, and I'm sure others as well, have some really ugly gray ones with very thick walls full of insulation. I'm sure they are great, but are hardly affordable. I used a huge 250 qt. version of one of these (or one just like them) on a 21 day float down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. At the end of the trip I still had 20 pounds of ice in it. We took all the usual precautions to make it last, but I was still quite surprised.
I think those are overkill for most of us, so I bought a Rubbermaid 150 Qt at Sam's last year, and it seems to be good. We'll see if it holds up. They are priced a bit under $80.
I just picked a 150 qt cooler up from Sam's club. Its a rubbermaid (i'm pretty sure). It claims to be a 7 day cooler. I only had ice in it for 5 days but after 5 days i opened it up and it was still about 3/4 full of ice. So needless to say i'm pretty impressed. I think i paid aroud $85 for it.
We own many makes of cooler which work fine for most things.
The Igloo Marine coolers though seem the best of the lot.
Well insulated. Sturdy handles. Leakproof drains.
One is 14 years old.
We use 'em all, but
Igloos are the "go to" coolers here.
Just did an 11 day float on the Chitina & Copper Rivers with a 150 quart Igloo, and we still had a bit of ice left at the end. My 150 quart Rubbermaid got out at Chitina as we didn't need it after that. But it was still packing plenty of ice, and I'm sure would have made it the last 5 days to Cordova if needed.
But adding fish fillets will suck up a lot of ice to cool them down.
I would pick a white one if at all possible. I ended up buying a green one in a semi-emergency one year, and it gets really hot in the sun and seems to melt ice just a bit faster. That being said, it has had ice in it on my back porch for the last 10 days or so. No sun in Anchorage though....