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Old 08-09-2018, 11:01 AM   #1
Hillcountry
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Default Coolers that don't break the bank

Time to update my 30 year old coolers with something better suited to ice retention.
What has everyone got that they're happy with that doesn't cost as much as the YETI coolers. Personally I would never buy one of these as they disassociated themselves with the NRA, which I support.

I have looked at the ice retention tests all over youtube and it seems as though there are a lot of the yeti "type" coolers out there, some less $$ some more $$.

Any recommendations for what you are using and why? My main uses are on the toon keeping drinks and fish cold..
Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:18 AM   #2
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I have a bunch of coolers, mostly coleman, and a couple are what they call Xtreme. Outwardly they look the same and the Xtreme does not seem to be any heavier but they hold ice for noticeably longer then the standard coolers.

I spend the winters camping in the desert in Southern California and have held ice for several days in 100 weather


I also have a couple igloo brand and those are crap by comparison.

Took one cooler that had a broken lid and made a roller for the house out of scrap wood. I added some extra foam around the outside and this thing still hac some ice 4-5 days later.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:26 AM   #3
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I have a Yeti 60 and an RTIC for the record I bought the Yeti heavily discounted when Bass Pro first opened in Hookset because it was "scuffed". They are about the same quality in my opinion but the RTIC was half the MSRP price. They both hold ice after being precooled amazingly well. Like so well I will put ice in them on Monday, drain the water on Tuesday and add drinks etc and more ice on Tuesday and then the following Monday after the weekend of it opening and closing all weekend when its time to clean it out the ice is still there.

Igloos and Coleman's are sufficient for a day on the lake nothing fancy. Not as rugged as above but that's up to your desire and needs.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
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Nice job on the cart!
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:03 PM   #5
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I bought one of these two summers ago, and I'm always impressed with how well it works. We get a whole day on our 'toon with a gallon Ziploc of ice barely melting. NB We put cold things in (as opposed to warm things getting cold) as the above poster mentioned "pre-cooling."

https://www.truevalue.com/island-breeze-cooler-28-qt

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Old 08-09-2018, 12:14 PM   #6
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I recently needed a cooler that would hold ice for several days. Looked at the Yeti 65 ($350.00) and the RTIC 65 ($240.00), with free shipping. Went with the RTIC and it held ice for 5 days with a lot of being opened.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:03 PM   #7
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I have an RTIC hopper and a YETI hopper (both same size). I've had the RTIC for a couple years now with no complaints at all. Holds ice very well. Received the Yeti hopper this past Christmas and have been using it this summer and highly dislike it. I think the RTIC significantly blows the YETI out of the water (and that's coming from a guy that likes name brands). The YETI doesn't seem to hold the ice very well...I've lubed the zipper and make sure it's shut all the way.

For the record, both were gifts...just that I genuinely enjoy the RTIC more than the YETI.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:09 PM   #8
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I have an RTIC soft cooler and 2 South Jetty 60L coolers. Both work fine.


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Old 08-09-2018, 03:21 PM   #9
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Ran out of "Thanks" but I appreciate the info from all!
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Save your money ..... go to the local thrift store .... buy an oldie moldy cooler for under five dollars ..... and more like two dollars ..... is very good how Clorox Clean-Up disinfects that grungy black mold out of a yucky thrift store, bargain cooler.

If you get lucky, you can score a very yucky Yeti for like five dollars from some thrift store that don't know about Yeti prices.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:29 PM   #11
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the key to long lasting ice is to put in cold drinks, keep it out of the sun and don't open the lid too much. even the most basic junky cooler can keep drinks cold for a day

I keep meaning to experiment with one of my old coolers and fill the hollow walls with spray foam. Will report back if I ever do it
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:24 PM   #12
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Default Cheap is better

The longest I need to keep ice is 48 hours and have found regular igloo / coleman type coolers do just fine. BUT, if you get one with wheels DO NOT get the ones that pull from the side where the wheels are on the long dimension. The extendable handles just collapse down when cooler is loaded and you try to tip it into pulling angle. Get one with the wheels on one end on the short dimension and a handle on the other end.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:10 PM   #13
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I have a Koolatron cooler which I can attach to a battery or plug in. It has a heat sink. I don't know just how long it will keep ice when not in its own cooling mode. I connect it directly to the battery.

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Old 08-10-2018, 08:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody38 View Post
I have a Koolatron cooler which I can attach to a battery or plug in. It has a heat sink. I don't know just how long it will keep ice when not in its own cooling mode. I connect it directly to the battery.

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I have one of those for car trips. They keep drinks and snacks cold as long as it's cold to start with. Seems pretty sell insulated.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:25 PM   #15
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http://thecoolerbox.com/coolers-like-yeti-but-cheaper/
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:40 PM   #16
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I purchased an ORCA cooler. Similar to the Yeti, but still made in the USA in Nashville, TN as opposed to the Yeti which is now made in China. Pricing was slightly less. Ours held ice in direct sun for 5 days while on vacation up in Maine two summers ago sitting on the deck being opened fairly regularly for drinks. It is bulky and heavy when loaded up so more suited for being loaded up and placed in one spot, not really lugging it all over the place. I strap it to the swim platform of the boat loaded up with our perishable groceries for the week when we travel up. It is pretty ruggedly built and should last quite a while. My buddies like to joke that it "makes ice" while sitting outside.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:00 PM   #17
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Save even MORE money... for $4.99 at Rand Hardware in Plymouth...get the $4.99 styrofoam cooler! But wait... there’s more! Add foam noodle insulation!!.. Thread those $0.99 pool noodles from Walmart with that rope you have left over from off season (your snowmobile life preservers !) Closed cell pool noodle insulation wrapped around the foam cooler will keep ice until snowmobile season! Win Win!!

Down and out and living WAY too close...

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Old 08-11-2018, 06:07 PM   #18
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Sad fact...I have a couple of those styrofoam jobbies! Good for getting ice home from the store!
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Save your money ..... go to the local thrift store .... buy an oldie moldy cooler for under five dollars ..... and more like two dollars ..... is very good how Clorox Clean-Up disinfects that grungy black mold out of a yucky thrift store, bargain cooler.

If you get lucky, you can score a very yucky Yeti for like five dollars from some thrift store that don't know about Yeti prices.
I'd go right to the NRA and ask them what they recommend. I imagine they like their beer cold.

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Old 08-11-2018, 10:22 PM   #20
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Somehow I have managed all my life without needing a four day cooler.

No Yetti's (plastic or otherwise) for me.

The Igloo Marine cooler I use for fishing keeps ice all day and cost me very little at WalMart.

I like it because it is light in weight and the top hinge cannot break.

One can buy a lot of other stuff with Yetti money.

My son put a Yetti sticker on his Igloo cooler so it wouldn't picked on at cooler camp.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:53 AM   #21
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Me too! With all the “coolah hoopla” these days I was thinking of upgrading to something “better” than my cheapo Coleman and igloo ones.
Before going out fishing, I always stop at Cumberland and buy one bag of ice for the day in case I catch anything.
The last time it wasn’t even a half day before the ice was just water with only 2 fish in the cooler and I had to buy another bag for the ride home. I know, buy more than one bag and problem solved. Why not have something a bit more insulating than than what I have?
Trouble is nowadays there are a thousand choices! Still, there are reasonably priced coolers out there that will be leaps and bounds better than mine.
Thanks all for the suggestions...I think I have enough to make a decision!
I’ll post what I end up with.
Also, there is no all-fired rush to buy one either...
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:40 AM   #22
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Default Island life or campgrounds that are remote

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Somehow I have managed all my life without needing a four day cooler.

No Yetti's (plastic or otherwise) for me.

The Igloo Marine cooler I use for fishing keeps ice all day and cost me very little at WalMart.

I like it because it is light in weight and the top hinge cannot break.

One can buy a lot of other stuff with Yetti money.

My son put a Yetti sticker on his Igloo cooler so it wouldn't picked on at cooler camp.
I would agree that at my family gathering on any given Saturday, where I live 5 minutes or so from a place to buy ice, I don't need a $200+ cooler.

Now, if I spent my weekends on an island or at a campground out in the boondocks, rather than make a trip to get ice every day, I would probably find this to be a worthwhile purchase. In fact, in our tent trailer camping days, I think we would have made such a purchase. We did spend some serious money, at the time, for s Coleman cooler with metal exterior construction. Did a pretty good job. Oh, and it did have a bottle opener as part of one handle frame. Still have it, still use it for those all day gatherings.

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Old 08-12-2018, 08:19 AM   #23
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I have a Yeti 45 that was given to me as a gift. Great cooler, holds ice well but it's heavy. Last year I picked up a Ozark Trail cooler at Walmart. Zipper top, holds ice very well and it's light. Perfect size for day on the boat. If I recall it was about $30. This year they have three different sizes. I may get another one.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:46 AM   #24
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Ozark Trail seems to reverse engineer much of their stuff. Their insulated cups, at $7, are easily as good as Yeti and, in my experience, often better.
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I have a Yeti 45 that was given to me as a gift. Great cooler, holds ice well but it's heavy. Last year I picked up a Ozark Trail cooler at Walmart. Zipper top, holds ice very well and it's light. Perfect size for day on the boat. If I recall it was about $30. This year they have three different sizes. I may get another one.
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:13 PM   #25
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Default Thermal mass?

Why buy ice? I have a few Costco mixed nuts plastic jars, wide round top on sqaurish container. Maybe 5" x 6" x 7". Filled 80% with water and then frozen they nestle into the bottom of a cooler nicely. Throw in one or 2 doses of cubes from the fridge ice maker & I get a solid weekend of cool in moderately cheap coolers.
Packing ice for 7 day island camping? YETI or similar might be worth it. Maybe. Even then, dry ice used to be a commonly available thing in the upper midwest. Lotsa loads of walleyes brought back in ragged coolers back then...
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:13 AM   #26
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I know yeti’s are expensive but I bought 2 of them as my son worked at Dick’s sporting goods and was able to get a huge discount on them. One soft bag and the other is a 65 hard cooler.
I’ve had them both for a few years and if my calculations are correct the savings in ice purchases over the years have nearly paid for the hard cooler, especially when the jokers at New Hampshire motor speedway get like $4 for a 5 pound bag.

Yes, there are cheaper coolers (RTIC) makes a nice cooler and much cheaper than the YETI
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:02 AM   #27
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Default Free?

We use and re-use the "free" Styrofoam shipping coolers from Omaha Steaks. Ugly, but surprisingly rugged. Great price. May be too small for a multi-day camping trip, but using multiples (of any brand) means folks don't have to keep opening and removing stuff to find something packed at the bottom.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:55 AM   #28
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We have 2 Coleman Xtreme Coolers, currently $43 from Walmart. Love them!
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:36 AM   #29
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I have seen these online and they might be a real inexpensive alternative!
I also get the fliers from Tractor Supply and they carry the ORCA coolers which excel in ice retention tests that are all over YouTube. They have a Labor Day sale going on now that I need to check out.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:21 PM   #30
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I hope you have that cooler filled with tall cold ones, I'm comin over!
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:53 PM   #31
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Default IGLOO MaxCold

$50 at Sam's Club when it is on sale. Load it up with ice on Friday. Scooping out ice on Monday!
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:31 PM   #32
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IGLOO best bang for the buck!
https://www.fieldandstream.com/artic...d-and-reviewed
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:34 AM   #33
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We have many coolers but gravitate to our yeti 75.
It is a beast though when full.

I picked up some freezer packs on amazon which can be reused. They work well and definitely pay for themselves quickly.

https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Shock-...ref=mp_s_a_1_6
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:31 PM   #34
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The cooler saga is over!
Went over to Ocean State Job Lots to find a couple of clothes storage bins to keep my hunting clothes in along with some evergreen boughs to keep my scent down...especially being the owner of a clingy, Springer!
Anyway, going around the first corner are some blue/white coolers and they were the Coleman Extreme 5 day jobbies. I had looked at one at Bass Pro the other day and they didn’t look any different than my old cheapo Coleman. Thin walls and all. Well, these have much thicker walls with the “reduced volume” look inside just like the expensive ones. Price tag: $39.99 made my mind up for me as the ones at BPS we’re almost 70 bucks! Heck... my cooler search is done.
Even better, it rang up at the register for $27.99!!!
Thanks all!
PS: There are a half dozen more there if anyone wants a deal!
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