Igloo Sportsman 40 Cooler Review
Editor: Cory McLaughlin
Just the Facts:
Virtually indestructible rotomolded construction
Minimum 2″ foam in gasketed lid and 1.5-2″ body foam for superior cooling performance
Robust swing-up side handles provide easy, stable transport and fold flat for space-efficient storage
Oversized, threaded drain plug allows quick draining and easy cleaning, with a tether to prevent loss
Durable rubberized T-handle lid latches keep contents secure during transportation
Self-stopping integrated lid hinge opens and closes efficiently
Anti-skid feet on base keep cooler stable and secure on smooth surfaces
Corrosion-resistant aluminum hinge rods and latch pins for durable performance
Lockable lid for maximum security: uses standard-size lock
Fish-measuring ruler molded into lid tells you if you should keep it or throw it back
Raised, nonslip textured lid makes a perfect work surface
Certified “Bear Resistant” by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
40 quarts (37.8 liters)
Item Weight: 23 lbs
Item Weight: 10.44kg
Exterior Dimensions: 23.88″ L x 17.98″ W x 16.4″ D
Exterior Dimensions: 60.65cm L x 45.66cm W x 41.66cm D
Interior Dimensions – Top: 17.68″ L x 11.74″ W x 11.07″ D
Interior Dimensions – Bottom: 17.37″ L x 11.3″ W x 11.07″ D
Coolers are turning into a pretty hot topic around the campfires and picnic tables of our great outdoors and the adventures we have in them. I remember a time not so long ago that we just went to the local hardware store or Walmart and bought a cooler based on size rather than brand or rating. They used to all pretty much just do the same thing for about the same amount of time. Boy how things have changed.
Rotomolded coolers have become the new standard in most circles of serious outdoorsman. When we go into the wilds we want to make sure that our trip is as successful as possible and having properly cooled food is absolutely a top priority. While ice is plentiful in cold boxes and freezer doors I’ve not yet found the type of tree or bush that can refill the melted ice in my cooler. For this reason it is imperative that I chose a cooler that can make the limited ice supply that I have carted into the hills with me last for the maximum amount of time. In steps the Igloo Sportsman series coolers.
To fit my personal and testing needs I chose the 40 Quart cooler as I was looking for a high quality option that would be small enough for the trunk of the car or back seat of the truck. I needed a cooler that could handle being beat around a bit and left in the hot sun while I was out adventuring. So, I arranged for the Igloo Sportsman 40 to be the subject of my needs and my test.
The first thing that I noticed when I took the cooler of the box was that it was extremely well built and very nice to look at. This think felt sturdy and looked slick! Unfortunately I received the cooler after the hot months where over and I was going to have to struggle to find ways to test this baby out. Luckily, us sportsman almost always need coolers and though it was not warm I found that my annual Montana hunting trip was a great place to test this great cooler.
I packed the Sportsman 40 with frozen meat and precooked meals hoping that it would stay frozen for the 2 days I needed before I was at camp. Test number one went off swimmingly as the temperature was around 65 degrees most of those two days I opened the cooler to find minimal thawing.
Our annual bird hunting trip can prove to be very exciting and more often than not very successful. This means that we have a huge need for storage of the harvested meat. While we do stay in a nice warm trailer which has a small freezer it is never enough space. So, we freeze the daily harvest and then pack it into a cooler. The Igloo Sportsman 40 was coming home just as full as it had arrived. At home I unpacked Ziploc bags full of frozen meat from the cooler and into the deep freeze. Test number two was also a success.
I found a few other random uses for this great cooler over the cold months of winter. I used it to keep things from freezing on overnight trips. Yes, you read that correctly. The cooler is so well insulated that it can also protect from extreme cold and keep food from freezing. This proved to be very useful as this was an unusually cold winter.
I also used this to rest and slowly cool a smoked pork roast. The Sportsman 40 is the perfect size for a large pork butt and it does a fantastic job of holding the heat and allowing the meat to rest, making it moist and delicious.
The features of this cooler are pretty self-explanatory. You have a great drain with an attached tether, 2’’ of insulating foam, lockable lid, bear proof rating, fish ruler, and easy to use latches. This thing just feels solid and it looks like it was built for serious sportsman.
I had only one complaint about this cooler. I had a malfunction with the handle and it came unscrewed.
Luckily I was able to find all the pieces and put it back together but this is not something that I like to see with a cooler marketed as top of the line. Additionally, I worry that the plastic handle will be prone to breakage and have to be replaced.
All in all this is a really great cooler from a company that has been a centerpiece in millions of outdoor adventures. Igloo really has outdone themselves with this great product line and I think you will be very happy with a purchase of an Igloo Sportsman cooler. The 5 year warranty will also help you buy with confidence. And if you’re not sold already that great little sticker that reads “Made in America” should help push you over the edge.
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What can be done better?
As I said above I was disappointed that the cooler handle fell off. It was not a difficult thing to repair but only because I was lucky enough to have recovered all the pieces. The plastic construction of the handles also makes me a bit nervous. The cooler was a rock start aside from that issue. I truly believe you will love the Igloo Sportsman 40.
I give this cooler 4 stars and would easily go to 5 if the handle had some redesign.