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Thread: Coolers for a raft

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    Default Coolers for a raft

    I have an AlaskaSeries 14' Kenai Drifter raft. I have been trying to decide on a cooler to carry in it. I don't think I will be doing any trips over 5 or 6 days. What suggestions do you guys have out there? I don't want to spend a ton of money. Thanks Jon

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I read about these on Mountain Buzz the other day. Sounds like a sweet cooler and one of the guys commented that they could be found at Costco in Alaska. Not cheap though.

    http://www.yeticoolers.com/?gclid=CN...FdtL5Qod5luIIw

    http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...now-29073.html
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akracer View Post
    I have an AlaskaSeries 14' Kenai Drifter raft. I have been trying to decide on a cooler to carry in it. I don't think I will be doing any trips over 5 or 6 days. What suggestions do you guys have out there? I don't want to spend a ton of money. Thanks Jon
    Do you have a frame that limits your dimensions?

    How do you like the drifter? I've been researching rafts nonstop the last three weeks and am considering an alaska series.

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    Member AK-Bandit's Avatar
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    I too am in the market for a new cooler. It seems like I'm buying a new cooler every couple of years; either from wear and tear or from disappointment in not holding ice for very long. These are usually the sub-$50 coolers from walmart.
    I looked at those Yeti coolers at Sportsmans Warehouse last weekend. The first thing I saw was the $300-something dollar price tag. I said "hell no!"...But these coolers seem to be built very well, and they have very think insulation. I might do some more research to see if they truly are worth the money.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I read about these on Mountain Buzz the other day. Sounds like a sweet cooler and one of the guys commented that they could be found at Costco in Alaska. Not cheap though.

    http://www.yeticoolers.com/?gclid=CN...FdtL5Qod5luIIw

    http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...now-29073.html

    I HAVE to have one of those yeti coolers! Thanks for the link.

  6. #6

    Default Yeti coolers

    I have had great luck with my YETI coolers. Sure, they cost quite a bit more, but as always you get what you pay for. They are the only coolers that are "certified bear resistant" by the INTERAGENCY GRIZZLY BEAR COMMITTEE and are made of the same roto-molded uv polyethylene material as white water kayaks, with twice the urethane insulation as most marine coolers.
    Last summer after catering a big barbque, I left the lid shut and a week later there was still ice in her!!
    In fact i just bought another 85qt. yesterday!!
    Hope my input helps.
    Goo

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Well as stated by others hard to beat a Yeti however spendy at best.

    I have had great luck with Coleman Marine Coolers been using them for 20 years and they hold ice well. Cost well about 200 dollars less then the Yeti however that being said they are not a Yeti which of course are just about bomb proof. If I were doing extended trips i.e. remote with bears and over 5 - 6 days I would invest in a Yeti type cooler. If I were float the Gulkana, Kenai etc..... IMO no need to spend the extra bucks.

    http://www.thefind.com/sports/browse...-marine-cooler

    Rafting and renting I get about 7 years of of one before something bad happens because people abuse. Replacement parts for hadles and lid covers easy enough to find.

    5 day trips I use two blocks of ice and three bags of cubed ice and I alwasy have to toss ice away at the end of the trip.

    Best of luck with your purhcase.

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    I too have looked at the yeti coolers, but dang thems expensive. I wanted to check the wieght difference in the yeti and a comparable igloo or coleman Seems like the yeti is cosiderably heavier? Thanks Jon

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    How do you like the drifter? I've been researching rafts nonstop the last three weeks and am considering an alaska series.[/QUOTE]


    I got it at the end of last summer and have only done one float so far. The matanuska from chickaloon to kings river. I like it lots. It handles great with very quick response. I have a neighbor that has been rafting since the 70's (he owns a sotar), and he was impressed with it as well. I did a lot of shopping around. I know there are other boats out there but just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money. I bought the boat and frame from Jim and all the accessories from alaska raft and kayak. Later Jon

  10. #10

    Default Igloo Marine

    I've pondered the Yeti's for awhile, but my 162 Quart Igloo Marine Cooler works perfect and fits between the tubes on the NRS E140 perfectly. If you pack it with some soft coolers inside and keep entry to a minimum you can keep ice for over a week easily in the summer. Those Yeti's seem heavy to me. I'd save the money and put it into something else for the raft if it were me.

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    Default Call me cheap

    Almost any large cooler will hold ice for a week or better for most Alaska trips. I just buy the cheapest large cooler that will fit between my frame tubing, and always seem to have good luck with them. Sam's Club has one they still sell for less than $90 that I've been using for a couple years. I usually use it for the rowers seat too.

    There are times when a cheap cooler just will not do though. I did a 21 day grand canyon trip with a large cooler that looked a lot like a very large Yeti. I had nearly 20 lbs of ice left at the end of the trip.

    One thing to always remember is ice will last a lot longer if you use the cooler carefully. Plan out what you're going to use last and put that in first. Then stack earlier to use stuff in layers going to the top. Know exactly what you're going to get before you open the lid, get in & out fast, and get it all out in one grab. Drain the cooler regularly of excess water.

    You also might consider using multiple coolers on longer trips. Then put the early to use food in one cooler, and keep the other taped shut until you're done with the first. But this only works if you are going to use two large coolers and not two smaller coolers, because larger coolers are more efficient than smaller ones.

    A common practice that works well in some situations is to freeze your drinking water and use it for the cooler ice. This can work if you're packing your water anyway, and you have room in your cooler for the drinking water and other ice too.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Cooler-seat

    Just purchase whatever length of sturdy cooler that sets between the ubes and in place of a thwart. Straped to your frame and suspended an inch off the floor, makes a great seat for oarsman or passengers.

    Spend whatever it takes to get the perfect lenght, high quality cooler-seat. They gonna last a long time, many many summers of great rafting. It's only money.....

    ...and pls do listen to Jim S in the post above.

    Dennis

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    Engle has a cooler comparable to the Yeti's and they are just a tad less expensive... NRS is carrying them but there are better prices elsewhere...

    For example..

    http://www.google.com/products?q=Eng...e+Coolers&aq=f

  14. #14

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    I've owned my Alaska Series Kenai Drifter (14 footer) for 4 years now and while I have stayed on the upper Kenai for fun and fishing, I love the boat. It's well built and has all the features, parts, and pieces I have ever wanted. I have yet to see another boat I would prefer to have over this one. Jim also honors his guarantee completely. As I didn't know exactly what I wanted as a frame, I pieced one together through trial and error with NRS knuckles and tubes until it was just what I did want. Orange boat. If you see me on the river, I'll be glad to chat about my experiences with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    How do you like the drifter? I've been researching rafts nonstop the last three weeks and am considering an alaska series.

  15. #15

    Default coolers

    For what its worth-- the ENGLE is not rated "bear resistant" by the INTERAGENCY GRIZZLY BEAR COMMITTEE, which is required in more and more parts of Alaska. It is also made of a different polymer than the YETI and tends to put off an odor in really hot weather. There are discounted YETI's sold here in Alaska.

  16. #16
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default no cooler !

    In summer thru sept I don't use coolers anymore when rafting. . I take cheese and skinny meat beef, chicken etc. but I don't like the amount of room i loose with coolers, and the big ones don't fit on airplanes as well as action packers.
    I like action packers for keeping food stuff in because you loose almost no space, and they weigh almost nothing compared to a cooler. an Action packer weighs about 4 lbs vs a cooler of similar inside dimensions weighs over 12 lbs
    Its like when people come to my campground here in the summer and catch a bunch of fish and then pack it in their coolers to take back on the airplane, I ask them to weigh the cooler first, and then tell them that the 12 lb cooler weight gives them only 38 lbs of fish to take home with the 50 lb weight limit on the plane. ( use light boxes with light styrofoam instead they weigh less than 2 lbs) so you can take home 48 lbs of fish ...
    I have been doing summer and fall float trips for over 20 years now in Alaska and have figured out how to take a 14 foot raft and all the gear. a nice tent, 6 man timberline and comfortable equipment with good food for 8 to 10 days and three of us and our gear in a 206 or beaver on floats in one trip..
    that is a total including the people weight with that total at or below 1200 lbs,,
    an extra 20 lb or more with the 120 qt cooler will make the difference between something you would rather bring alonng on the trip..
    If someone else is paying the airplane ride I guess you can haul the kitchen sink. I have seen outfitters do that. !
    for road access rivers, I may use the coolers, but not for flyout hunts etc.
    I have never lost any meat or had to toss any of my food using the action packers. You just have to be very careful and know how to pack the containers etc.
    River water temps in alaska are usually as cold as any fridge will keep your food, so use the river to chill your pershibles at night.
    I use a three layer system of water tight packaging and sink my food in the river at night. this keeps any smell of food away from camp and the bears won't go swimming for something they can't smell or know about.
    I do the same with my harvested meat.
    I tie my bags of sunken food with two different ropes to two different tie off points to Insure I don't wake up to my stuff floating down the river with the tree I tied it too..I make it air and water tight and sink it at night.. its chilled to the bone very quickly this way and then I place it in the raft in a way as that other gear and dry bags insulate it during the day as I float.. I don't let the sun see the perishibles boxes or bags unless the temperatures are low enough to not let them heat up..
    After a little practice, its very fast and you feel safe.
    The water temp of the river keeps the floor of your raft cool also, and I suspend my meat bags on tarpolines about 3 inches off the floor of the boat, then as said earlier, I put the insulation dry bags that have sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents and personel duffle dry bags on top.
    I make the days lunch at breakfast and put it in a dry bag I keep on the floor of the boat. this way snacks and lunch don't need to be dug out from under the insulated gear.. I can stop and make a nice hot lunch of soup and grilled sandwiches etc..
    When I serve ribeye steaks on the 7th day of the trip and they are in perfect condition, some folks just can't believe it..
    This is just how I do my trips, and it may not fit your style, but I thought I would share a few of my No cooler neccessary methods..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  17. #17

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    echo Jim's comment on freezing water bottles. I NEVER have ice in a bag in my cooler. I have lost more food due to melt water sloshing around the cooler than I have ever lost from warmth. ALL my ice is frozen in plastic milk jugs and back up drinking water late in the trip.

    Some times the cheapest solution is the best solution. Every thursday (or wednesday I forget) walmart unpacks their tropical fish order. A hole stack of styrofoam boxes inside cardboard boxes . . . . . free.

    Smash 'em up, burn 'em before the plane comes

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