Best Cooler Comparison and Review June 2019

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Best Cooler Comparison and Review June 2019


Editor: Johnny LeMaster


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With the weather finally getting warmer, summer is fast approaching, and the rain is not a constant of everyday.  We are starting the season for camping and backyard cookouts.  That means it is time for the annual cooler review.  This year was a little different than years past, we had 5 different companies that wanted to be a part of our annual cooler review.  3 in the range of 70-84 quart coolers, 1-55 quart, and 1-20 quart cooler.  We still put them head to head against a Yeti 65 quart as the control.  This isn’t a pure head to head test and should not be taken as such.  There is too wide of a size variation among the coolers this year to have a pure head to head test.  The three laws of thermodynamics do vary with the sizes of the systems.  This year’s testing is to show just how well a variety of different high-end coolers performed, in different sizes to help you decide what cooler fits your needs the best.

The ice retention test was performed in an a controlled environment for this years tests.  We wanted to try to take out the varying temperature swings that happen through the days and nights and keep it as steady as possible.  The coolers were placed in a heavily insulated room with a heater running to keep the temperature at a fairly steady 95˚ F temperature for the duration of the test.  The coolers were checked daily to determine if the test was complete for the cooler.

For this review we looked at a few different categories that best fit the outdoor person.  We look at the things that most people want to know before spending their hard earned money on a cooler.  The following categories and coolers should help you with determining which of the many available roto-molded coolers out there will be the best for you.

Categories:

Cost-How much is the cooler

Features and thoughts- What are you getting for your money

Warranty – How long and what type

Made – Where is the cooler made

Ice Retention – How long does it hold ice at 95˚ F

Cooler Companies Tested:

AO Coolers 80 quart

Camp-Zero-84 quart

Lerpin-70 quart

LifeTime-55 quart

Nice-20 quart

We will go through each cooler individually and then provide a summary at the end of how each cooler did in each of the categories.


AO Coolers Everest Series -80 quart cooler

Just the facts:

AO coolers has been building soft coolers for over 25 years. We’ve now taken our knowledge to make the best 80 Quart hard sided cooler – we are excited to introduce The Everest Series! Built tough to handle the abuse of the great outdoors. Keeping your food, drinks or catch ice cold for days. Roto-molded polyethylene construction, the same process to make whitewater kayaks, ensures excellent impact resistance and long-lasting durability. The Everest Series features a screw-in gasketed 1” dia drain plug – a quick twist drains it all. Extra thick 3” walls giving the cooler outstanding resistance to outside temperatures. Foam padded handles are designed to make carrying a loaded cooler easier on the hands for two people. The Everest Series also features one divider to help separate contents of your cooler. High quality coolers at a reasonable price. Our Everest series roto-molded cooler is as tough as the mountain. Dims: 33″ x 18″ x 19″ Wt: 35lbs.

Cost: $275

Features and Thoughts:

The AO Coolers Everest is fairly basic in terms of a roto-molded cooler, with one exception that makes it very unique.  AO did not add a bunch of frills to the cooler, which makes this cooler one of the more affordable coolers on the market for the quality and size.  The latches are very similar to the yeti, with the exception that the rubber is much more elastic.  This does allow you to over load the cooler a little with ice, latch the cooler and have it seal up as the ice melts.  The handles are a rope with foam hand hold.  The foam handhold is comfortable for carrying the cooler.  The cooler has the corner holes in the plastic for tie downs or putting a pad lock on the cooler, to help keep the honest people honest.  The best feature of this cooler is the divider. The cooler comes with a plastic divider that can be put into one of the three routered channels that divide the cooler into quarters.  This allows you to separate food items or ice for when you do not want direct contact between specific items.  The channel is not water tight.  As the ice melts the water will flow between the sections, but this is a unique useful feature.  The large drain plug was easy to use, drained water quickly, and didn’t leak.  The lid has a rubber gasket for creating a good seal between the lid and body of the cooler when closed.  This cooler way exceeded my expectations with the 12 day ice retention in our controlled environment.  It outlasted our control cooler by 2 days.  Good cooler for the price.

Warranty:

AO’s Roto-molded Everest has a 5-year limited warranty for manufacture defect.

Over time AO Coolers may change and improve its products.  Colors and styles of coolers will change and may no longer be in stock.  If needed AO Coolers will replace the cooler with a similar product or may be replaced with a product of the same value.

Made:

USA

Ice Retention:

12 Days

Find it here:

https://www.aocoolers.com/coolers/everest-hard-coolers/everest-series.html

What Could Be Done Better:

This is a good all around cooler, the latches do feel like they are going to be the weak part of this cooler.  They do stretch more than the rest allowing you to get that tiny bit extra amount of ice in the top of the cooler that will melt down and still give the lid a proper seal, but they do not feel as durable as the other latches.


Camp-Zero-80 Premium Cooler

Just the facts:

Camp-Zero 80 premium cooler in Beige is the perfect companion for all your adventures. Ideal for daily outings, camping, boating or any ruggedly cool adventure you have in mind. The roto-molded compact construction will keep it cold for days, days and day

  • Virtually Indestructible Roto Molded Construction
  • Grizzly Bear Certified
  • Commercial Grade Insulation
  • Molded-In Latching And Locking System
  • Screw In Quick Drain System With Never Lose Plug
  • Freezer Grade Sealing Gasket
  • Stainless Steel Hardware & Rod Connections
  • Integrated Molded Tie Down Slots
  • Food Grade SCG FDA Certified
  • Oversized Reversible Anti-Skid Rubber Or Hard Slide Feet
  • Four Molded In Cup Holders, Non-Slip Textured Lid
  • Easy Carry Comfort Grip Handles
  • Dry Ice Compatible
  • Holds 80 Cans Plus Ice
  • 80 Liters | 21.13 Gallons | 84.2 Quarts
  • 13” L x 21.26” W x 19.29” H
  • Wt: 41.47 lbs.

Cost:  $299.98

Features and Thoughts:

The Camp-Zero 84 quart cooler is a tough cooler with very little in the way of frills.  It has all of the same basic features as the rest of the roto-molded coolers.  This truly is a no frills cooler.  By no frills I do not mean in anyway that it is not a quality cooler.  Quite the opposite.  This cooler is very durable.  It was tested and rated as bear Resistant by Camp-Zero.  It is a solid cooler that feels like you are getting what you are paying for.  The cooler has similar latches to the Yeti Control.  They are made from a very solid rubber that will hold a tight seal.  The lid has a non-slip finish with 4 cup holder intentions.  The handles are made of rope with a molded plastic grip for comfort in carrying the cooler.  The cooler features the corner holes for securing your cooler.  The feet are a reversible anti-skid rubber on one side and hard plastic on the other.  The drain plug features a never-lose system that keeps the drain plug attached to the cooler so you do not pull the plug and loose it while it is being stored.  The lid has a thick rubber seal that seats on the cooler body when closed to help keep that hot air out and the cool air in.  Camp-Zero boasts its cooler is dry-ice compatible.  This cooler was the best performer in the ice retention test this year.  Camp-Zero was able to retain ice for 14 days in our controlled environment, a full 2 days longer than any other cooler tested this year, and 4 days longer than the control.  If you are in a hot climate, and need ice to last as long as possible, this may be the cooler you want to look into.  This cooler is very reasonably priced for what you are getting.

Warranty:

5-Year limited Warranty- Camp-Zero hard-sided roto-molded coolers carry a 5-Year Limited Warranty against any defects in material and workmanship. The warranty applies only to the original owner and will be void if the product is used commercially, altered in any form, or used beyond the intended limits of the original design. Normal wear and tear is not warranted.

Made:

USA

Ice Retention:

14 Days

Find It Here:

https://camp-zero.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=5

What Could Be Done Better:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this cooler.  The only thing that could be done better would be to add some extra frills and goodies to the design.  It performs well, but you are getting just a stock cooler, no extra, eye catching frills.


Lerpin-70 quart

Just the Facts:

Excellent Ice Retention:

  • World-class design keeps ice frozen for days
  • Coolers are made with air-tight construction
  • Lids have a freezer grade, 360 degree seal
  • Built in thermometer that reads inside cooler temps

Durable, Secure Latches :

  • Easy to use latches keep lid closed tight
  • T-Shaped handles are easy to grasp
  • Our latches are guaranteed to last

Rugged and Secure:

  • Stainless steel hasp plate fits most padlock
  • Hasp plate also functions as a bottle opener
  • Built in tie-downs ensure safe transportation
  • Built in removable basket included (13 x 9 x 4 inches)

Outside Dimensions:

  • 30.1 x 19.5 x 18.5 inches

Inside Dimensions:

  • 5 x 13.4 x 12.5 inches

**Each Roto-Molded Cooler Comes With A 5-Year Manufacture Warranty!

Cost:  $235

Features and Thoughts:

This cooler comes loaded with little extra goodies that make it stand out from the rest of this years coolers.  It features the high quality roto-molded design as the rest of the coolers that were tested this year.  The latches are made out of a stiff rubber similar to the Yeti control cooler.  The handles are made out of a nylon web, with a molded plastic hand grip for comfort during carrying.  There is a built in thermometer to tell you the interior temperature of the cooler during use.  The cooler also comes equipped with a metal basket that keeps your items separated from the ice, and other items.  There is a metal bottle opener that seconds as a padlock hasp plate.  The lid has 2 cup holders, and a tape measure for quick reference for the day on the water.   There are built in tie down holes formed into the plastic at the corners for securing your cooler during transport.  The drain plug features a two part plug.  An inner smaller plug for slow draining, that is integrated into the larger outer drain plug.  The plugs are attached to the cooler by a small chain to help keep the pug from getting lost.  The cooler lid has a rubber gasket that seals on the top of the body of the cooler to keep the cool air in.  The feet are a non-skid material.  This cooler performed well in the ice-retention test lasting 12 days, two days longer than our control cooler.  For all of the features that this cooler boasts it is a great price.

Warranty:

5-Year Manufacture Warranty.

Made:

China

Ice Retention:

12 Days

Find It Here:

https://lerpinoutdoor.com/collections/coolers/products/70-quart-cooler

What Could Be Done Better:

There is nothing that I would like to see different for this cooler.  It has all sorts of goodies, performed well, and is of a great value.


Lifetime 55 quart

Just the Facts:

The Lifetime High Performance Cooler is perfect for anywhere you want to go. Its performance exceeds most premium priced coolers both in strength and in the all-important ice retention. With an insulated lid and body that provides strength, protection, and insulation, the Lifetime cooler is light enough for everyday use, solid enough to keep your ice, and durable enough to go anywhere you go. With a 5-year warranty, 7 days ice retention, and room for 60 cans with ice, the Lifetime cooler will more than stack up with the competition.

  • Durable Stainless Steel Hinge Rod
  • Two Rubber Latches – Easily Opened with One Hand
  • 7-Day Ice Retention
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Heavy-Duty Polyethylene Construction
  • Easy-to-Drain Spout with Garden Hose Compatibility
  • Foam-Filled Lid with 300 lb. Distributed Weight Capacity
  • Stainless Steel Bottle Opener with Padlock Compatibility
  • Injection Over-Molded Feet with Slide Guard
  • 27 in. L x 17.6 in. W x 17.3 in. H
  • 5 year limited Warranty

Cost:  $129.99

Features and Thoughts:

This is one of the most underrated coolers.  Do not let the price fool you it is a good cooler at a low price.  The cooler is a bit different from the rest that were reviewed.  Lifetime uses Blow-molded technology instead of the roto-molding to keep the cost down.  To start with the latches an inverted rubber tee.  The tee locks into the lid, and the latch levers help to tension the lid down.  There is not much stretch to the latches overall, so you can not over stuff this cooler and secure the lid.  The Drain plug has a plastic keeper to help you not lose the plug cap while draining.  The biggest difference here is that the plug has a male threaded end that is compatible with a hose.  If you have your cooler in a trailer or an area you can not directly drain, you can hook a short piece of hose to the drain plug and direct the water away from the area.  The cooler is tough.  It was put through the grizzly bear test and was certified bear resistant.  The exterior is not the typical smooth finish, this cooler is textured for grip.  The handles are made of a rope with a plastic carry handle.  There is a metal bottle opener that seconds as a padlock hasp plate.  The rubber gasket seal is different on this cooler from the rest as well.  This cooler has the gasket on the body of the cooler and the lid comes down and seals around the inside edge of the cooler.  The feet are plastic with a rubber non-slide pad in the center. In our controlled environment testing the coolers ice retention was better than advertised.  The ice lasted 9 days, almost as long as the control cooler.

Warranty:

Lifetime offers a comprehensive warranty on all of our parts and products. This warranty covers any manufacturing defect for varying durations of time

Made:

USA

Ice Retention:

9 Days

Find It Here:

https://www.lifetime.com/lifetime-90820-55-quart-high-performance-cooler

What Could Be Done Better:

Overall this is a great cooler for the price.  The quality of the handles, and the clasps are not quite what the other coolers tested this year are, but you are getting what you pay for.  The cost of this cooler is very low comparatively.  Which would account for the slightly lower quality on these items.  Do not get me wrong they work well and serve there purpose.  These are just the only items I could see being better for this cooler.


nICE Coolers – 20 quart

Just the Facts:

The incredibly durable nICE line is designed for the toughest outdoor conditions. Whether it’s the job site, campsite, backyard, wilderness, truck bed or fishing boat…each cooler is designed with enhanced features – like extra strength handles, a thick outer shell, reinforced hinges and rubber latches, lockable storage, enhanced foot pads, can/cup holders and MORE!

  • Double Walled Insulation
  • Bear Resistant
  • Keeps items cold for days
  • Quick Drain System
  • Integrated Lockable Lid
  • T Shaped Anchor Locks
  • Hearvy Duty Carrying Handles
  • Convenient Measuring Ruler
  • Built-in Cup Holders
  • No Sweat Dry Exterior
  • Holds 24-64 Can Beverages
  • Threaded Drain Plug

Cost: $150

Features and Thoughts:

The nICE 20 quart cooler was a category all its own this year.  All of the other coolers of the various sizes are larger coolers for extended use.  They are the cooler you are going to be taking with you for keeping large amounts of stuff cool, or for an extended camp trip.  The nICE is a personal use cooler.  This cooler is perfect for a day trip, keeping your snacks and drinks cool during a road trip, or for taking your lunch to work.  The carrying handle is a rotating aluminum handle with a foam grip.  The handle can be rotated to and locked into three different positions, front, back and top for carrying.  The lid comes with a measuring tape for the quick reference when out on the water going after the big one.  The feet are a made of a non-slid rubber  that are replaceable.  There is a metal bottle opener in the front that doubles as a padlock hasp for securing your goodies.  The lid comes equipped with a gasket that seats on the body when the lid is closed for a good seal.  The latches are the typical t handled rubber latch.  One of the unique features of the nICE cooler is the pressure release valve on the front of the cooler.  With the cooler filled with ice for some time, or sitting in the sun a differential pressure will build in the cooler making the lid stick when trying to open.  This is how you know you are getting a good seal.  The pressure release valve will let the pressure equalize in the cooler making the lid open easily so you are not jerking on the latches to open the lid.  For a little cooler  the ice retention did well.  In the controlled environment it lasted 4 days.  This little cooler is tough.  It has gone through the bear resistant test as well.  Great cooler for you quick trips.

Warranty:

5 Year- All nICE branded coolers and stainless steel products carry a 5-year limited warranty from the date of purchase against defects in material and manufacturing. This warranty applies only to the original owner and is void if the product is used commercially, altered in any way, or subjected to uncharacteristic abuse. Common wear and tear is not warrantied.

Made:

China

Ice Retention:

4 Days

Find It Here:

https://www.nicetumblers.com/product/nice-20/

What Could Be Done Better:

This is a great little cooler.  There is nothing that comes to mind that I would like to see any different to make it better.  It performs admirably for it purpose, it is durable, and has some extra frills that make it stand out.


Final Conclusion:

All of the coolers tested this year exceeded expectations.  It is hard in this day and age to differentiate often between different makes and models of coolers with some many manufactures all coming out with rotomolded coolers.  Each cooler has its own unique strengths and features that make it stand out from the pack.  Any one of these coolers would be a great option for someone looking for a quality cooler that is going to retain ice well and not break the bank.

This year the Editors choice goes to the Lerpin- 70 quart cooler.  This cooler performed very well in the ice retention test, is loaded with frills and goodies, and wont break the bank.  They packed in a lot of cooler for the price.

An honorable mention goes to Camp-Zero-84 Quart for being an absolute beast at ice retention with 14 days!

Most Economical mention goes to Lifetime Coolers 55 Quart.  Great cooler for a very affordable price.

Ice Retention Comparison:

Camp-Zero-84 Quart: 14 Days

Lerpin 70 Quart-: 12 Days

AO Coolers Everest-80 Quart: 12 days

Yeti-65 Quart: 10 days (Control Cooler)

LifeTime-55 Quart:9 Days

nICE-20 Quart: 4 Days


Ice Retention Test
Day – 0

       nICE                                                                LIFETIME

LERPIN                                                 CAMP-ZERO

AO COOLERS                                              Yeti (Control)

 

Day – 8

LERPIN                                                        CAMP-ZERO

                          AO COOLERS                                                LIFETIME

DAY – 10

LERPIN                                                          CAMP-ZERO

                             AO COOLERS

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About Johnny LeMaster

Johnny is a life long enthusiast of the outdoors. His passion and background have lead him to experience the outdoors from a multitude of adventures. You will typically find him hunting, fishing, backpacking, or hiking somewhere in the world unspoiled. If you liked his review please comment below.

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