In the past few years, several companies realized that if they built super-coolers — even if the price reached several hundred dollars — sportsmen would buy them.
But in hindsight, it’s amazing it took so long for these coolers-on-steroids to emerge. What’s more important than keeping bait fresh, your fish and game iced down and keeping the chill on food and drinks for your adventures? These things are essential. That’s why we’re seeing even more options on the market, like the new Pelican ProGear series and Canyon’s Outfitter series, which are looking to gain market share from the original extreme ice box, Yeti.
We decided to check these three out. The good news is, all of these options are, well, very cool.
- Yeti started this craze of beefed-up coolers in 2006 when it came out with the first in the Tundra line. This Tundra is a durable, practical high-end cooler. At nearly $350, it’s the most expensive of the ones we’ve tested. The Tundra seems to bring together practical gear considerations but remains sleek and utilitarian. For example, the drain plug is practical in that it starts to drain well before you finish unscrewing it. Non-skid plates on the bottom really grip a truck bed. You get a number of features that seem to take the edge off the hefty price tag for the cooler. This cooler kept ice for more than six days. The Yeti seemed to have a little ice left when the others had none. Exterior: 25 1/2 inches L x 16 W x 15 1/2 H
Interior: 19 inches L x 10 W x 10 3/8 H
Weight: 23 pounds
Price: $ 349.99
Quick Tips to Make the Most of Your Ice
1. Keep your cooler in a cool place. If it’s warm, you’ll use much of the ice to cool the walls and air inside the cooler. Put in a few bags of ice hours before you plan on loading it. Then take out the old ice and put in new ice with your drinks, food or bait.
2. Ice temperature could be 32 degrees or sub-zero. If you buy ice from an outdoor ice vendor whose machine sits in the sun, you get what you pay for. Ice should be hard and crisp, not wet.
3. Use as much ice as possible to keep the air space to a minimum. Large areas of air will cause ice to melt faster.
4. Block ice melts slower than cubes. But, as ice melts, it absorbs the heat; so smaller pieces of ice chill things faster. Use a mixture: Put food on top of block ice, cover it and fill empty spaces with cube ice.