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zahava

Need cooler while camping

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Hello guys, I would love some camping coolers opinions before I invest $200 plus dollars. Will be used for tent camping in the summer and traveling.

just some suggestions that might help

Thank you !

Edited by zahava

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Coleman extreme series, pre cool as instructed and I got 3 days of use when we did weekend/ overnight boating.

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37 minutes ago, zahava said:

Just some suggestions that might help

Thank you !

There are lots of comparison videos on YouTube. Basically, people love you a bunch of coolers, fill them with the same amount of ice and water, and see which one keeps water the longest.

Check them out, buy the one that lasts the longest and fits your budget.

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I did way more research on coolers than I should have before making a purchase.  Here's the thing, they are all going to hold ice for 10 days in January.  Nobody is bragging during the month of July that their Yeti just held ice for 10 days. I wound up buying a 55 quart Lifetime from Walmart for just under $100. Priming the cooler is crucial to ice retention. I have the ability to put mine inside of a freezer for a little while before I use it and it does a really good job. It will keep ice over the weekend if I prime it correctly and keep it out of direct sun. I've been really happy with the cooler and its durability and construction. Lifetime is also made in the US.

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A tip I learned is to put a 1 or 2 Liter frozen water bottle in the cooler along with the food/beverage items & ice, they will last a couple days and extend the ice.  Even old 16oz coke bottles work as well to preserve the ice. 

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RTIC is having a labor day sale, some up to 50% off.  The trick to making a cooler stay cold longer (supposedly)  is to pre-chill the cooler before use.  When you're ready to use the cooler, put a couple of hard Ice packs in the bottom then cover contents with ice.  As the ice melts, it re-freezes on the ice packs and extends your cooling time.

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The "keeping a cooler cold" is about what kind of insulation and how much insulation there is. One of mt coworkers took a cheap white foam coolers you get at the corner market, a can of spray form in a can. Made a mold from cardboard, with the can of foam added 4 to 6" of insulation to the bottom, sides and top of the cooler. His name is Ron, he called his cooler the "Ronyetty" cooler. The thing worked great, it would keep ice in the sun for all day. Cost was less than 15 dollars.

Another factor is getting the water from melting ice out as water left in would cause the ice to melt faster. Keep the lid shut and no air leaks are a plus, kids will get into a cooler every 5 mins and leave the lid open, there goes the cold air out and warm air in.

Now if we could buy a double wall vacuum insulated cooler like the drink mugs and cups we have then you would have the best insulation money can buy, but alas one is not made, yet.

Long story is buy what you can afford, freeze bottles of water for the cooling and then for drinking when they melt, cause the ice will melt.

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Publix sells dry ice. Put a couple of pieces of dry ice in the bottom of the cooler and then the regular ice on top. Makes a huge difference in how long the ice lasts. 

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If you are trying to keep stuff frozen don't use ice. I use cooler shock packs or dry ice. My cooler stays much cleaner and with the cooler shocks you get more cooling per weight.

 

Ice is almost always warmer than what you are carrying that is frozen. The only exception is beer. I use my cooler shocks to keep it cold but I pile ice on top because I don't  want my first sip warm...

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We buy our ice ahead of time or freeze in jugs in the deep freeze to get it down to -10 degrees before we put it in the cooler, ice out of the local ice seller box is usually around 10 degrees or warmer. My wife also made a quilted insulated cover for over the cooler to get an extra layer, she made it white to reflect sunlight if we don't get it dragged into the shade in time as the sun moves. Our cooler was very good 10 years ago but we could probably do better now.

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I am a heavy user of coolers, with kids in travel sports, and working in garages...lets say I keep a lot of cold water around.

I am a big fan of Orca Coolers, based here in Nashville TN and produced 100% in the US of A (unlike YETI and the like). My 75qt cooler, when properly prepped can and will keep ice for 7+ days in 90* temps. It has kept ice for over 2 weeks in cooler weather (70-75*)  So yes, it does what it says its going to do. More importantly though, their customer service is without a doubt some of the best in any industry. I had a wheel crack, I sent an email and within 48 hours a new wheel kit was drop shipped to my house, no questions asked. This year on our annual Colorado trip while at a team grill out the top of my cooler was open and some of the teenagers were rough housing the cooler (full to the brim) fell and ther was a small crack on the hinge.. Again, I sent an email and without any question they sent me a whole new cooler..

Yeah, so I'll definitely recommend ORCA

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I guess it really depends on how often you're going to use the cooler. If I was going to use it frequently I'd rather pay once for a nice cooler than have to go buy dry ice every time.  I will eventually treat myself to a high quality cooler. 

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If you’re going to camp where there is electricity, buy a small refrigerator.

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Just about any cooler prepped right and packed well will perform well for most weekend type trips. 

That said, I’ve probaby consumed a line of coolers that would stretch from here to Mobile over the years.  

A Yeti or Orca or RTIC type injection molded, dry ice capable cooler is worth the investment if you’re going to use it more than once or twice a year. 

These days, there’s no functional difference between a Yeti and the less expensive Orca or the third-to-half as expensive RTIC.  You’re paying for the brand on the more expensive coolers.   I’d have no qualms about buying one of those - and have and use all of the above. 

For that matter the rotomolded foam filled Yeti-knockoffs at Walmart will hold ice just fine as well, too.  

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