Gear Review: New KENAI 45 is an Affordable, Quality Rotomolded Cooler
June 08, 2018
In search of a quality rotomolded cooler that won't break the bank? Consider the KENAI, a new factory-direct line of coolers designed by Grizzly Coolers.
No fishing trip is complete without a quality cooler to keep your beverages ice cold. Premium coolers can be very pricey though, so what do you do when you've spent most of your paycheck on fishing gear, but still need a new cooler for that upcoming lake trip?
One of Grizzly Coolers' new KENAI line of rotomolded coolers offers some bang for the buck.
The new KENAI 45 has the same rotationally-molded construction and environmentally-friendly insulation as other Grizzly coolers, but is more affordable than many competitors because there is no middleman. These coolers are sold directly from the factory. To get one ($179.99), you must order it straight from the Kenai Coolers website.
More sleek and curvier than the Grizzly, the KENAI 45 offers superior ice-retention. Measuring 16 inches tall, 28 ¼ inches wide and 16 ¼ inches deep, it is a great size for a single- or multi-day fishing trip. Its 45-quart capacity can hold up to 60 (12-ounce) cans packed in ice â€“ that's enough beer to keep you fishing for days!
I took my KENAI 45 straight to the lake to test it out and, of course, validate my previous beer claim. Like any cooler, there are a few tricks you can do to obtain maximum ice retention.
Tips to keep the contents of your cooler colder for longer:
- Pre-chill the entire cooler before using it.
- Make sure drinks and perishables are cold before placing inside of cooler.
- Fill the cooler to its maximum capacity.
- Add plenty of ice and put it in last. The contents should be covered with the ice.
- Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight by placing it somewhere shady, burying it in the ground or covering it with a wet towel.
- Only open the cooler when necessary. When you need to open it, get what you need quickly and then close and latch it back up. It's important to keep as much of the cold air inside as possible.
- Do not drain any of the cold water from the melted ice.
I wasn't able to pre-chill the KENAI 45 before using it, but I did follow the rest of the tips to keep my cooler contents cold. If my deep freezer had not been full of venison, I would have placed it in there overnight to get it nice and cold. Since this was a day trip to the lake, I packed it full and tight with frosty cold ones topped with lots of ice.
Filling a cooler up to its capacity helps minimize air inside the cooler. Unfortunately, a full cooler can also be heavy and difficult to carry. The KENAI 45 does not have wheels, but it features two types of side handles for smoother carrying: molded-in handles and nylon-sleeved rope straps with rubber grips. The molded handles work well for single carry, while the ropes make it easy to carry and lift the cooler (especially when it's full and heavy) with a friend.
So feel free to load this cooler up! Even when the KENAI was completely full of beer and ice, my husband and I had no issues transporting it from the truck to our secret fishing spot.
The two lid latches on the KENAI 45 are simple and effective. A basic one-handed tug will open and close the lid, which is especially convenient when your other hand is occupied by a fishing rod. It was nice to be able to grab a drink from the cooler in between casts without having to put down my fishing rod.
Food and drinks stay colder longer in the KENAI 45 than a standard cooler. The leakproof silicone gasketed drain plug and rubber gasket around the lid ensure things are airtight. Not only did I take this cooler fishing, but I took it camping as well. It kept everything cold all day at the lake and the four days I camped in the mountains. The KENAI 45 is an excellent cooler offered at a fair price.
Key features of the KENAI 45:
- 45-quart capacity
- Rotationally molded construction
- Up to two inches of environmentally-friendly pressure-injected insulation
- Molded-in hinge on lid with aluminum pin
- Leakproof silicone gasketed drain plug
- Easy-to-use, heavy duty rubber lid latches
- Non-slip, non-marking rubber feet
- Two types of handles: Molded-in heavy duty handle and rope handle with nylon sleeved rubber grip
- 2-inch tiedown slots on each side of cooler
- Silicone rubber gasket around the lid
- Available in multiple colors: Gray, Lime, Olive Green, Orange, Red, Sandstone, Seafoam, Tan, Teal, White
- Constructed in the USA
- Lifetime Warranty
If you're interested in owning the KENAI 45, one of the best new coolers for the money, visit Kenai Coolers.