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Coolers

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Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 20, 2021 •  [Post 1]

What is your opinion: Are the large hard rotomolded coolers worth what they cost for an extended campout? How much would you pay, and which would you choose?
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Re: Coolers

Postby 7mmfan » 07 20, 2021 •  [Post 2]

It depends on what your intended use is. They certainly keep ice much longer, but if you're in and out of them constantly they are only so good. What I have found them to excel at is keeping frozen stuff frozen for a long time. I precook all my meals ahead of time, vac seal them, and freeze them. I then use one of my 65qt Rtic coolers and fill it strictly with frozen goods. I only get in it once a day to pull that nights meal out to thaw. At the end of 10 days the last meal or two are usually thawed out in the cooler but cold.

If using it to store or transport meat, especially bone in elk quarters, you need a long 120 qt to fit them. Having a dedicated cooler for it with frozen milk jugs of such in it to make sure it is precooled helps a lot. Pre cooling is very important with them. They have a lot of mass to cool down before putting items intended to keep cold in them.

Lastly, they are heavy. My 65 weighs at least 25#, and the 110 weighs 40#. Keep that in mind when it comes to loading and moving.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Tigger » 07 21, 2021 •  [Post 3]

pretty much what 7mm said. If you keep them shut, they really shine by keeping food frozen for a crazy amount of time. For a cooler that is going to get opened a dozen times per day, the cooler just cannot combat the warm air that you introduce -- that is not the coolers fault. I like RTIC a lot. they have some nice sales. I like the Lifetime that is sold at Walmart.
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Re: Coolers

Postby 7mmfan » 07 21, 2021 •  [Post 4]

In regards to brand, I see no reason to pay the Yeti premium. Rtic comes from China like most things, but it is half the price of a Yeti and basically the same cooler. There are lots of other high priced options out there, I think they are all basically the same. The Lifetime ones at Walmart look interesting, I have no experience with them.

For what it's worth, I'm actually moving away from my bigger rotomolded coolers that I got for meat, because the times of year that I hunt deer and elk, I just don't need that kind of cooling power. I'm looking at the larger Coleman Extremes as a more cost effective, lighter weight but still very efficient cooler for meat storage.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 21, 2021 •  [Post 5]

I am seeing some good information on what I asked plus some other valuable advise. Thanks for the feedback. I have no doubt it is asking too much of a cooler to keep ice for days when you open and shut it a lot. Two smaller coolers in that situation makes a lot of sense. Precooling the cooler also strikes me as solid advise. Thanks
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Re: Coolers

Postby Tigger » 07 21, 2021 •  [Post 6]

Swede, we always give you good advice. remember that time we convinced you to wear undergarments made out of bacon? That turned out pretty good.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 22, 2021 •  [Post 7]

Well I have ordered a Cabela's 80 quart Polar Cap Equalizer cooler. It is supposed to get here next week. Based on some good advise I received from you jerks, I am going to put smaller coolers inside of my old 164 quart cooler so I have the extra insulation and the smaller coolers can be opened and closed independently from the others. That too should help keep things cold longer. In addition the large older cooler will be readily available to transport an elk back home.
I do not care how dumb RJ says you Stooges are, you come up with some good information every once in awhile. :D
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Re: Coolers

Postby Lefty » 07 22, 2021 •  [Post 8]

I guess I times out when I posted my response the other night.
But here is part of it,..10lbs of dry ice and filled the cooler with block and bagged ice in a Yeti 65 made it 18 days and still had 2 small blocks of ice and cold water :P From the last days in august to the middle of Sept.
This year, I think the generators and a little $100 freezer will be at camp
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Re: Coolers

Postby 7mmfan » 07 22, 2021 •  [Post 9]

Swede wrote:Well I have ordered a Cabela's 80 quart Polar Cap Equalizer cooler. It is supposed to get here next week. Based on some good advise I received from you jerks, I am going to put smaller coolers inside of my old 164 quart cooler so I have the extra insulation and the smaller coolers can be opened and closed independently from the others. That too should help keep things cold longer. In addition the large older cooler will be readily available to transport an elk back home.
I do not care how dumb RJ says you Stooges are, you come up with some good information every once in awhile. :D


I'll say that I never considered putting a cooler inside another cooler. That is all Swede, and I like it.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 23, 2021 •  [Post 10]

Well, the cooler came in today way ahead of the scheduled arrival date. It won't need a cooler inside the cooler. It is heavy with thick walls. I am looking forward to testing it out in camp.
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Re: Coolers

Postby >>>---WW----> » 07 24, 2021 •  [Post 11]

Why wait !! Put some ice in it now and see how long it last. Let us know how things pan out! :D
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 24, 2021 •  [Post 12]

How about this? I will freeze four one gallon milk ice jugs. I will put two in the new chest. I will put two in the old ice chest, but one will be in a chest inside the old chest. They will all be kept in the same room in our house and each will be opened the same amount at just about the same time. We will see how it turns out. I have no ice now but will get started soon.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 24, 2021 •  [Post 13]

At this time I have four gallons on water in the freezer. The milk jugs are filled to the same level as exactly the same as my eyes can tell. I even leveled the water in them while on my table using a cup to add a little water so they are all alike. We are precision here. :D I have three coolers in the basement now where the ice melt will be measured. All three coolers are wide open. The temperature of the basement is warm, but not hot and it remains pretty constant. This experiment will not approximate what you will experience on your hunt, but will measure how they perform against each other.
The smallest cooler which will go inside the largest cooler is a small picnic Igloo. It has more than enough room and will have one milk jug.
The largest cooler, that will hold the smaller cooler and a second milk jug, is an older traditional 164 quart Igloo.
The other cooler that will also get tow milk jugs is the Cabela's Polar Cap Equalizer.
The coolers will be opened just once a day to check how things are going. Each will be opened for exactly 15 seconds, except for the smallest cooler. I cannot open and close the large and small cooler at exactly the same time.
Your job now is to wait and see how this all turns out. I suspect it will take over a week.

My wife likes the idea of the experiment is already helping. She will do the timing for the opening and closing of the coolers.

In case you are wondering, there are a lot of on-line comparisons between different brand hard rotomolded coolers, so we do not need to reinvent that experiment. This will compare the newest rotomolded cooler with a large traditional one.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Billy Goat » 07 25, 2021 •  [Post 14]

interesting test lab you're running here Swede.

in my own experience, the new cooler styles are neat, but they are danged heavy, and you lose A LOT of capacity via the thicker walls. yes they'll keep ice a really long time, but in rifle season, thats not a big deal to me. we camp at ~10k and it gets into the teens most nights, so we really dont "lose" much ice over time, and I'm in that camp for 2 full weeks. likely a different experience at lower elevations during bow seasons (hotter).

like others above, we never store elk meat in those coolers. we hang the meat in the shade all week, then the night before we pack up to come home, put the 1/4's in "normal" 80-120 quart Igloo type coolers. thus far, it hasnt been a problem.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 25, 2021 •  [Post 15]

No doubt the newer coolers are heavy. The Polar Cap cooler capacity is 80 quart. The weight is about the same as my cooler that is twice the size. Hunting and camping in July, August and September is different than in the rifle elk season. We experience temperatures in the 90s at times. It usually cools down some in the second half of September, but you still need your ice.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Tigger » 07 26, 2021 •  [Post 16]

I can just picture Swede and his wife in white lab coats with clipboards running this experiment. I will contact Gary Larson, i am sure he would like to make this into a Far Side cartoon.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 26, 2021 •  [Post 17]

It has been just a little over a day that the ice has been in the coolers. The ice in the Igloo cooler has melted a lot. The ice in the small cooler is not doing much better. That may be not help. The ice in the Polar Cap is holding up well. There is a little water around the ice, but not much.
BTW: Mrs. Swede is not getting involved. :( She is making cookies for the kids and grandkids. Anyway, I just kept the lid open for just a very short time to check on things and tried to keep things as equal as possible.

The next time I can check the ice will be Thursday afternoon. The ice in the Igloo may be gone then.
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Re: Coolers

Postby 7mmfan » 07 26, 2021 •  [Post 18]

Glad to hear no one has been injured during your experiment so far. These cooler tests can be quite dangerous.

I would be curious to see how your coolers stack up against each other after a healthy pre-cool session. If you were to put a couple of frozen jugs in each one for 12 hours or so, and then switch out to fresh jugs for the experiment. I know that I've noticed enormous benefits with the heavy roto-coolers even with just an hour or two of precooling before putting the goods in it.
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Re: Coolers

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 07 26, 2021 •  [Post 19]

Don’t sleep on drilling a few 3/4” holes in the lids of the inexpensive coolers and and shooting it full of crack seal (helps the insulation properties a ton). Most of the low end brands don’t insulate the lids, go figure?
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 26, 2021 •  [Post 20]

7mmfan wrote:I would be curious to see how your coolers stack up against each other after a healthy pre-cool session. If you were to put a couple of frozen jugs in each one for 12 hours or so, and then switch out to fresh jugs for the experiment. I know that I've noticed enormous benefits with the heavy roto-coolers even with just an hour or two of precooling before putting the goods in it.


And when I get a spare freezer so that I can just freeze water in milk jugs you will get a test like that. I would have liked to have had more ice for this experiment, but our little freezer is too full.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Tigger » 07 27, 2021 •  [Post 21]

then throw out what is in that freezer so you can entertain us! Sheesh, it is all about us. Or go buy block ice maybe? We don't care how much it costs!

Gary Larson would like some pictures..... :lol:
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 27, 2021 •  [Post 22]

Tigger wrote:then throw out what is in that freezer so you can entertain us! Sheesh, it is all about us. Or go buy block ice maybe? We don't care how much it costs!:


After this first run I think I will try a second test. I can precool the coolers with some cold water and put in four jugs of ice in the larger cooler. It should have twice the ice to be fair since it is twice the size. One of you jerks (7mm) could bring me some extra ice so I don't have to rearrange things in the freezer.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 29, 2021 •  [Post 23]

I was gone from home for three days. When I got back this afternoon the ice in the large cooler was all melted. The ice in the Polar Cap is still about 1/2 there. I will start another test with more ice in the large cooler later if I can.
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Re: Coolers

Postby 7mmfan » 07 30, 2021 •  [Post 24]

Swede wrote:I was gone from home for three days. When I got back this afternoon the ice in the large cooler was all melted. The ice in the Polar Cap is still about 1/2 there. I will start another test with more ice in the large cooler later if I can.


That's a pretty good test I think. I'd bring you a bunch of block ice for your next test but I have a birthday party for my 4 year old son this weekend. Plus, It would all melt before I got down to you. I'd have to use it to precool my coolers and I don't have enough freezer space to store more... I feel like I've heard this before.
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Re: Coolers

Postby Swede » 07 30, 2021 •  [Post 25]

I have another plan for the next round. Since there is not enough space in the freezer to hold all of the ice needed to do the test for both coolers at the same time. I will do the test with one, then another. The basement has a constant temperature 24/7 within a very limited range. I think we all know how this will turn out, but it should be interesting to see just how big the difference is.
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