The role of a cooler is obviously to keep things stay chilled. We can see it everywhere in daily life with many forms, sizes, colors since its function is well needed. When we need foods to be preserved and stay edible as well as needing cold drinks or frozen ice creams, here comes the coolers. Hunters, campers, boaters, fishers,… are quite similar with these.
There are different kinds of coolers base on each person needs and preferences. But, coolers are mostly cared for one thing, ice retention. That is one vital feature decides how long a particular cooler can keep the ice from melting completely.
Types of Cooler
We can divide coolers into three types: Hard coolers, Soft Coolers and Electric coolers also called portable fridge.
- Hard coolers are the big chests you can see at camp, on boat of a fisher or at house of a hunter. There are two smaller types in hard coolers which are traditional and high end. The main difference between them is just the technology used for more efficiency. And of course, high end is the one with developed technology with higher price as a result.
- Soft coolers are the one with shoulder bag, pack back or lunch box designs. They are light, easy to use, often used for picnic, short day camping, outside parties or lunches, et cetera. Therefore, they’re the one with the least ice retention of all types.
- Electric coolers (portable fridge), these one use energy from electricity or battery for functioning. They’re mostly used in trailers.
Soft coolers are for daily uses, have least quality of ice retention feature in three types. And electric coolers are sourced by energy so they’re used in specific conditions. That leaves us hard coolers are the ones commonly used with people who do outdoor activities with long period of time. Let’s discuss about this type.
We care about the ice retention most when talking about coolers. So, there’s no debate which is better between traditional and high end type. High end is obviously better with the higher price since it’s invested with more technologies. So, if you’re serious about hunting, fishing,… as well as you’re outdoor activity people and you’re able to afford better one, think about the high end coolers
Though keeping ice longest as possible is the most focused one but it’s just one role of the simulation. Simulation is vital function and feature of a cooler. It has two roles: food temperature maintenance and ice retention. In most cases, it’s not the ice that you want keep but the food. The ice retention has correlation with food preservation, the better the role of ice retention, the longer food can be preserved. They are coolers with preservation method of cooling, so not a doubt that people always thought about the ice keeping feature in stead of food keeping feature. They’re connected to each others after all.
However, this leads people to a mistake that the foods are edible as long as the ice does not melt completely while they’re absolute different. The Drug and Food administration said 400F is the maximum temperature that perishable food can be preserved. Therefore, as long as the coolers can keep temperature under 400F, the food is safe. And this period of time is difference from time of ice retention.
There are people who have tested the food maintenance and ice retention of coolers. We’ll see some of the researches:
- One:A group of people at “Outdoorgearlab” has carried out a research and claimed that the ice would melt completely after 1 – 2 day which the food safe temperature is reached. In the research, they picked the high end model of each famous brands for the test. They are ORCA, Pelican, Yeti, Igloo, Engel, Grizzly, et cetera.
- Yeti, ORCA and Pelican are well known for their quality and price reputation. ORCA maintains food safe temperatures for six full days and more while Yeti and Pelican make it nearly 6 days. Igloo follows after with more than 5 days. Let’s take a look at their ice retention then. As the research indicated, Yeti, ORCA and Pelican make the ice retain for 7 days. Followed right after with 6 days are Engel and Igloo. The Grizzly and Coleman are 5 days. Note that ORCA, Pelican and Engel are claimed to be up to 10 days by producers.
- Two:Let’s digging into another testing from Derek Lobato at “FourWheeler”. They take the six top claimed coolers for outdoor activity for the test. They are from ORCA, Pelican, Canyon, Grizzly Yeti and Coleman. As no surprise that ORCA, Pelican and Yeti always have the best in quality of ice retention feature, they last for six and a half days. The most surprising one is Canyon, Canyon Coolers Outfitter model particularly, the ice lasted seven full days and it has been rated quite fondly by the testers. The rest are Grizzly and Coleman are not as well as those mentioned above.
In short, Yeti, ORCA, Pelican and Engel are your best choice brands when talking about long last keeping ice coolers. This is a well known reputation in cooler world not just the claim I deduce from just those two tests above. Of course, they will come with a bitter price but we are discussing what are the best coolers for keeping ice the longest, not what are your suited coolers. However, there always might be some models from some not too much famous brands which exceed in quality or have quality as good as the famous ones. Life always has surprises, so look for reviews on the internet or test them out yourself. You may have a good but cheap cooler or another aspects in cooler market.
Coolers are important for keeping your food in outdoor activities. Above are some points about which brands and which types of coolers give the most efficiency. The better ice retention, the better food temperature maintenance. But remember, the time of preserving food is shorter than the time of retaining the ice. Moreover, If you’re wondering about motormolding, most of high end coolers are designed with motormolding technology for better ice retention and durability. Therefore what you need to do is noticing if it’s really motormolded or not.
One final thing, the ice and food can be kept in long period of time or not also depends on your using and some notices from the producers. For instance, you need to eliminate the melted ice, fill the coolers full for better functioning, or you have to precool, et cetera. Pay attention, or your coolers won’t function as you wish.