Food & Drink

Cooler suggestions

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 6th, 2020 1:08 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5936 posts
5121 upvotes

Cooler suggestions

I wasn't sure what forum I should post this in but this one seemed most logical since I want to keep food and drink cold. I'm looking to buy a cooler for a canoe trip that will keep things cold for 3-4 days (5-6 days would be optimal) without replenishing ice - will be stuffing the cooler with frozen foods and water (bottles, plastic pouch from wine boxes that way we have drinking water once melted).

Any suggestions on what kind/brand of cooler to get? Collapsible one would be ideal but I already have 2 soft shell coolers but I'd be lucky if kept things cool for more than 2 days so I'm thinking hard shell would be better?
18 replies
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5936 posts
5121 upvotes
Oh wow...yeah I was looking at $100 or less. I think I might stick with my soft shell and pack more non-perishables.
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
4745 posts
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If you need the stuff to stay cold for 3-4 days you probably want to get some dry ice too:

Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28460 posts
14028 upvotes
100% hard sided, preferably one with a gasket.

Soft side you'd be lucky to get a day.
Hard side is better, but the $20 Walmart special is going to last 2 days at best.

$100 is gonna be a bit low for a decent cooler of decent size.
I think Costco has a cheap "high end" one but I think that's still outside your budget.
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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death_hawk wrote: I think Costco has a cheap "high end" one but I think that's still outside your budget.
I had a look.

$160 for an "8 day" with latches.
I'll post a picture if you're curious.

EDIT: I should post some details.
It's this:
https://www.lifetime.com/lifetime-90983 ... nce-cooler
Item #1364166
Last edited by death_hawk on Jul 3rd, 2020 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28460 posts
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Image

Credit: @Thatdealguy

There's this too (and on sale this week) but doesn't have latches.
It's a "5" day which is probably closer to 2-3 depending on how much you open it.
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Deal Guru
Sep 2, 2008
12246 posts
2018 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: Image

Credit: @Thatdealguy

There's this too (and on sale this week) but doesn't have latches.
It's a "5" day which is probably closer to 2-3 depending on how much you open it.
With a cooler like this, how much ice do you need (assuming you also have a few frozen foods in there as well) to keep it cool for 3 days? We have a couple real cheap Walmart Coleman coolers and they work fine but I load it up with at least 2 maybe 3 bags of ice in each. It works fine but takes up a lot of space.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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slowtyper wrote: With a cooler like this, how much ice do you need (assuming you also have a few frozen foods in there as well) to keep it cool for 3 days? We have a couple real cheap Walmart Coleman coolers and they work fine but I load it up with at least 2 maybe 3 bags of ice in each. It works fine but takes up a lot of space.
I'd say half (including frozen food)
If you drain the water frequently you might be able to buy a bit more time out of it too.
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Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
727 posts
117 upvotes
Markham
We just purchased a Coleman 120-Quart Xtreme 6 Marine Cooler, 204 Cans from Amazon for $100 last week ($127 now). Amazon has a smaller Xtreme cooler 70Quarts 100 cans on sale for $60. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00FQT6BQW/ref ... aFbY239BV8

It survived a camping trip - 3 night 4 days. I actually had to dump my ice out at the end. I only used ice cubes and ice packs. However it was strategically place - based layer with all ice packs, layer in food based on order I was planning to cook, drinks and food on different ends with ice cubes in between and topped off. I then added a reflective layer on top (might be overkill). I threw some drinks in the freezer to double as "ice".

We also had someone bring an IGLOO cooler (one from Costco) that lost half of its ice by the end of day 1. They only had crush ice in there.
Last edited by saw_mui on Jul 6th, 2020 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
727 posts
117 upvotes
Markham
death_hawk wrote: I'd say half (including frozen food)
If you drain the water frequently you might be able to buy a bit more time out of it too.
Actually, you shouldn't be draining out the water that has melted, it should be left in the cooler to help keep the stuff chilled.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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saw_mui wrote: Actually, you shouldn't be draining out the water that has melted, it should be left in the cooler to help keep the stuff chilled.
The problem with that is that the ice now melts faster.
So while technically speaking your stuff is chilled better, it's not going to be chilled for nearly as long compared to draining the water.
Plus unless everything is perfectly sealed, something is gonna get soggy.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
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Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
727 posts
117 upvotes
Markham
death_hawk wrote: The problem with that is that the ice now melts faster.
So while technically speaking your stuff is chilled better, it's not going to be chilled for nearly as long compared to draining the water.
Plus unless everything is perfectly sealed, something is gonna get soggy.
I originally had your same thought, however doing some online searches and even the tip sheet from the manufacturer indicates you should keep the water in. If you plan to drain the water you will have more air and that would melt the ice faster. Unless you plan to replenish the ice you shouldn't drain it....
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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saw_mui wrote: you will have more air and that would melt the ice faster.
Water for sure melts ice faster.
There's a reason I defrost things under running water instead of air.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5936 posts
5121 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: Water for sure melts ice faster.
There's a reason I defrost things under running water instead of air.
But you use warm or hot water not cold, right? So that comparison is illogical. Also it's wasteful to use running water to defrost. Just place item in a bowl with hot water.

Water melts ice faster? I thought it was common knowledge water keeps ice longer than air. Test it out for yourself. Get 2 of the same glasses and put equal amounts of ice in them and then pour cold iced water in one of them and see which one melts faster. I bet that it's the one without the water.

Or you could read the same debate on here and the end result is that water keeps that ice longer:

https://www.bisoncoolers.com/blogs/news ... -ice-chest
Last edited by hierophant on Jul 6th, 2020 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
727 posts
117 upvotes
Markham
death_hawk wrote: Water for sure melts ice faster.
There's a reason I defrost things under running water instead of air.
Like I said earlier I had the same thought until looking online....

https://www.yeti.com/en_US/ice-retention.html

https://www.colemancanada.ca/en_US/Cole ... olers.html

https://www.igloocoolers.com/pages/faq#

https://elitecooler.com/blogs/news/how- ... ite-cooler

https://www.freshoffthegrid.com/how-to-pack-a-cooler/
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28460 posts
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hierophant wrote: But you use warm or hot water not cold, right? So that comparison is illogical.
Cold water.
Also it's wasteful to use running water to defrost. Just place item in a bowl with hot water.
No disagreement on the wasting of water, but you don't need a lot. It's not a full force tap. It's just enough to get convection going. A very fine stream is really all you need.

Also as unintuitive as it sounds cold running water is faster than hot water.
Good Eats tested this for defrosting things years ago. Here's a very poor quality youtube video:

Water melts ice faster? I thought it was common knowledge water keeps ice longer than air. Test it out for yourself. Get 2 of the same glasses and put equal amounts of ice in them and then pour cold iced water in one of them and see which one melts faster. I bet that it's the one without the water.
Common knowledge is wrong.
Think of it this way:
You'd have no problem going out when it's 0C right?
But would you jump in a 0C pool?

Same concept as to why an air "fryer" is stupid.
You can stick your hand in 400F air just fine. 400F oil? Not so much.
Or you could read the same debate on here and the end result is that water keeps that ice longer:

https://www.bisoncoolers.com/blogs/news ... -ice-chest
That article basically states that for refrigeration purposes, ice water is better than cold air. I don't dispute that.
Water IS a better conductor of cold. But aren't you looking for longevitiy? If so, drain the cooler.

Also your article also states that ice melts faster in water.
I can't copy paste, but look under "reasons to drain your cooler" and the 2nd last point.
Last edited by death_hawk on Jul 6th, 2020 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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saw_mui wrote: Like I said earlier I had the same thought until looking online....
Those would be wrong.

Liquids have a huge capacity for heat capacity instead of air.
So if your end goal is lifetime of ice, water is a bad bad thing.
If your end goal is to get things as cold as possible, water is a very good thing.

There's a reason you can safely go outside in 4C weather but not jump in a 4C lake.
If you're the ice cube, heat is gonna be sucked out of you by the water but not so much the air.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.

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