Best cooler update please

beachbunny

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Oct 12, 2013
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Men, Ive got a 3K drive in front of me and then a 3day boat ride to get where I am going.Meat is expensive,so I've decided to buy a cooler and take a load of venison.I am from the coleman cooler era so if you all could update the ole' boy and who is happy with what, I would appreciate it. TIA, BB
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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Sounds like an adventure in the making? Checkout Canyon coolers and RTIC, I like both of mine. The Canyon is awesome and overbuilt
 
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406

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Nov 28, 2016
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Cooler management has alot more to do with things than the type of cooler to be honest.

Are yetis great at what they do? Hell yes they are, I own two. They are also heavy as hell (my big one is 40# empty!), hold less per square inch, overpriced, and these days likely to get stolen just due to brand recognition.

A Coleman type cooler will work well if you're smart about it.

Rule #1 is open it as little as possible! As in twice a day is once too many.
On the river or on the road, we use a "day cooler". A smaller one that contains everything for the next 24 hrs. In the morning, when it's coolest, open up the "big" cooler with a plan, grab what you need quickly, and close it back up. Use tomorrow's breakfast or tonight's dinner, frozen prior to trip, as your ice for the day.

Just doing this alone should buy you 4-5 days easy.

Next is improving your "cheap cooler". Cut up that old (or new) cheap closed cell foam pad into a top and bottom piece that exactly fits your coolers inner dimensions. This adds a surprising amount of insulation and should leave enough leftover to make that glassing pad you've always wanted. Cardboard works too, but not as well. I've known guys to use bubble wrap, even a chunk of old carpet (yuck).

Shade is good for a cooler but not always possible. find an old burlap bag (Murdock's usually has em) and drape it over the cooler and then soak that down with water. This adds a swamp cooler effect and will stretch out your ice.

Last but not least, make your own ice! Store bought "blocks" are almost always just ice fragments pressed back together. Lots of air pockets = faster melting.
We use a combo of frozen ice jugs and hard frozen meals.
Bonus..... Clean water to drink and no "cooler soup" after 3-4 days.


This topic is a high priority among rafters. Go to mountainbuzz.com and you'll see cooler threads that will make the "which stove for my floorless shelter?" threads here look like child's play! The above tips are hard won tried and true methods developed over years to keep dirtbag boaters on the river with money left over for beer and Bob Marley bumper stickers.

I can teach you how to freeze beer too. Those Colorado hippies actually do have some useful knowledge after all :)

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wyosteve

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Jul 1, 2014
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cheyenne
Don't know there is a 'best'! I have a Yeti, 2 Rtics, and a Cabelas Polar Kap. Even though very different price ranges, they all work equally well.
 

Boudreaux

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Nov 29, 2015
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Cabelas polar caps no doubt,
Dry Ice is your friend, so much better than regular ice.

Thanks,
Boswell
 

Backpack Hunter

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Some wilderness area, somewhere
K2 makes some nice coolers that work well. If you are looking for cooler longevity the higher end models are where its at. If just worried about ice retention pick the cooler with the most insulation.

Esse quam videri
 

oldgoat

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Mar 5, 2015
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Arvada, CO
Get a white cooler, i used to have one of those green metal Coleman coolers, would burn your hand touching it in direct sunlight, ice wouldn't last a day, scuffed it up with sand paper, rattle canned it white and used an old sleeping bag to keep it covered up and ice would last a week! I still keep my coolers covered with an old light colored sleeping bag and my ice lasts way way longer!
 

Gunnersdad49

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Feb 21, 2017
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I have a few Pelican coolers and they are awesome! They hold their own with a yeti, have a latch instead of bungee, and a lifetime warranty at a better price point.
 

C Bow

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Jun 13, 2016
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Walmart has a cooler that looks like a Yeti at 1/3 the price and when some friends put ice in them to see what the difference was it was none
 

406

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Nov 28, 2016
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410
Spill the beans...What is your method?
Simply put... Total submersion in water while freezing. Cans packed tightly in a container (dishpan, diy form, bucket, ...), filled with water, and placed in a freezer for a week or longer. You have to rig a weighted lid to cover the container (or even better, push the cans under the water) and not let the cans float up. As long as the cans are completely submerged they, almost always, won't explode.
It's a slow process, freezers work really slow. Anyone that has ever tossed a couple hindquarters into the chest freezer to "cool them off" understands...

Slightly longer winded but still intentionally non scientific answer:
If you toss a can of PBR into the freezer we all know what happens next. Weird foamy semi ice bubbles coming out of the weakest part of the can (there's always a weakest part of the can). Inside pressure exceeds outside pressure and the can fails as the "stuff" inside attempts to equalize opposing (inside/outside pressure) forces by pushing through the thin can....

We've all done this once or twenty times. The reason it happens is because H2O is a pretty interesting element. It expands when both frozen or heated.

The solution is to maintain equal pressures on both sides of the cans.

Freeze your beer in a cube, that's your ice block for the first several days. I've come off both Main and Middle Fork Salmon River trips with beer still frozen solid and having to bargain for thawed drinkable beer on day 8. I figure I average, when I do it right, about 1 lost (blown up beer) out of 24.

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Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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Simply put... Total submersion in water while freezing. Cans packed tightly in a container (dishpan, diy form, bucket, ...), filled with water, and placed in a freezer for a week or longer......

This is the best evidence yet that science and religion can coexist and even compliment each other. After all as the quote goes...

"Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy."
 

rn.jones053

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May 16, 2015
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Oregon
I ended up ordering an Orion from S&S Archery. Very pleased ended up ordering another for my father. All the high end ones are nice but S&S had easily the cheapest shipping cost, I think it may have even been free
 
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