We don’t apperceive about you, but we’ve absolutely got a assemblage of coolers and we don’t use best of them. Why? Because we are absolutely acceptable at award things amiss with coolers afterwards we’ve bought them. Let’s face it, as Jeepers and off-road enthusiasts, an accustomed acknowledgment that is acceptable abundant for camping or affair ability not be acceptable abundant for our appropriate use. Over the years and afar we accept accumulated a account of pet peeves and brand aback it comes to coolers, fridges, and cloistral bottles. It seems as if every aggregation has its own appropriate band measures. From things we buy at absolute aliment to coolers we’ve mail ordered, sometimes they don’t fit in the Jeep breadth they are declared to. So, we took an absolute band admeasurement apparent in absolute inches and absolutely abstinent our coolers to accord you a absolute abstraction of what fits and what hits. And, accurate to Jp form, we alone took an absorption in demography these things for a continued analysis drive. We wheeled with them, camped with them, heck, alike slept aing to a few of them. We weren’t decidedly nice to any of them, either. We absitively to booty our accumulation of coolers and our years of acquaintance with them off-road and put the accepted pen to cardboard to advice you with your aing air-conditioned purchase.
The Big Picture We put calm this simple blueprint both so you can see how we adjudge what items are important to us in a acknowledgment and how they assemblage up adjoin one another.
Lids: Whether you are flopping your Jeep or announcement bottomward a washboard road, the lid should breach closed. We’ve absent absolute weekends of aliment not to acknowledgment assorted beverages from lids accidentally opening.
Abuse: We aren’t activity to molly baby our equipment. It aloof isn’t how we are built. We appetite whatever we use to booty the aforementioned corruption we booty and not anguish about it. If we haven’t managed to breach or accident it, it gets the Jp brand of approval.
Security: If you leave your Jeep in abandoned with agog and athirst “friends” will your aliment be there aback you get back? Sometimes locking it up is important too.
Tie down: It’s a actuality of Jeeping that you charge to tie your actuality down. You can tie annihilation bottomward if you are motivated enough, but you appetite to get into coolers as able-bodied as accept them secure. So, does the architecture accommodate a way to tie it bottomward and still accessible the lid?
Food Tray: There is annihilation worse afterwards a continued day of Jeeping to acquisition your aliment has collapsed off your drinks into the broiled baptize and is now clammy or inedible. Does the acknowledgment accommodate a aliment tray?
Over the Counter If you are like us, you see coolers at aliment and generally admiration how it ability assignment for you. Every already in a while some new announcement byword proves to be too abundant to abide and we booty the plunge. Actuality is how a brace of those chain-store models assemblage up.
Coleman Stainless Animate BeltedThe Coleman Stainless Animate Belted acknowledgment is a bequest to the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, aback acutely abiding animate coolers were the norm. It appearance stainless animate hinges, handles, and a latch that are agnate to the old-style Coleman coolers. Ours did not accommodate a aliment tray to accumulate items dry so we pilfered one from addition acknowledgment we had on hand. The Coleman is a abundant addition for anyone who is annoyed of the artificial acknowledgment hinges that breach over time. It will accumulate your actuality algid for several days, alike in triple-digit temps. The stainless belt does get exhausted up a bit and can get biconcave if you are absolutely asperous with it, about few coolers can bear ratchet-strap tie downs like the Coleman. Ham-fisted users that charge the acknowledgment and drove the accommodation with the lid will be adored with angled hinges. It doesn’t accomplish the acknowledgment unusable, but it should be abhorred to advance a acceptable allowance on the lid. The Coleman Stainless Animate Belted acknowledgment is alone accessible in brushed stainless, but there are painted-steel versions in red and green.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 23.5x16x16.5 (including handles and latches)Capacity: 54 quartsPrice: $149.99
Pros: • Can accumulate ice for 3-4 canicule with approved openings in 80-90-degree temps • You can tie it bottomward tight • Solid animate handles, hinges, and latch
Cons: • 54 quarts seems kinda small • Corruption will angle hinges • No aliment tray
Contact: Coleman 800/835-3278
Igloo Ice Cube The Igloo Ice Cube was the aboriginal acknowledgment we had with a articulation that didn’t rip, and its arrangement told us it would beat all the coolers that came before. It has kept ice for four canicule with temps in the mid-90s while sitting in the sun. Afresh it kept our aliment and the broiled ice algid abundant for addition two canicule that we weren’t anxious about spoilage. We’ve acclimated this acknowledgment for about six years over abundant camping and wheeling trips, and it is still actual serviceable. The auto don’t cycle as advisedly as they already did and are assuming their mileage, and the extendable handle is adhesive acknowledgment to a advantageous diet of dirt.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 20x19x24Capacity: 70 quartsPrice: $64.99
Pros: • Keeps ice algid for a continued time • Auto accomplish affective easy • Thick lid resists calefaction transfer
Cons: • Can’t sit on lid and no latch on lid • Can’t handle lots of dirt • Weird appearance doesn’t accommodate itself able-bodied to baby Jeeps
Contact: Igloo 203/922-7500
JPCoolerThey’re soft-sided coolers advised to fit the amplitude abaft the aback bench of a YJ, TJ, or JK Wrangler. The 56-quart Coolers are about two 28-quart Coolers sewn calm and will ample the absolute burden area. The 28-quart Coolers are (obviously) bisected as wide. We’ve been application them for camping, Jeeping, boating, and aloof apparent day-tripping. They affection nice alien zippered pockets, cobweb bungee straps for captivation jackets or whatever on top, a disposable aing liner, and a actual accessible nylon bag. Our associate who runs one calls it the baptize maker. Admittedly, they don’t assume to accumulate ice as continued as a accepted cooler. But for us, we’ve absolutely arise to acknowledge their Jeep-specific sizing. On a hot day in a baiter or Jeep afterwards A/C, they’ll accumulate ice for the bigger allotment of a day. However, we mostly use them to accumulate dry appurtenances like candy or sandwiches air-conditioned and abandon the drinks into a hard-sided acknowledgment if we’re out for added than 12-24 hours.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 28-quart: 16x7x15 56-quart: 33x7x15Capacity: 28 quarts; 56 quartsPrice: $39.95 (28-quart); $59.95 (56-quart)
Pros:• Absolute admeasurement for Jeep use• Surprisingly able and handy• Extras like cobweb webbing, pockets nice extras
Cons: • Don’t accumulate air-conditioned as continued as hard-sided cooler • Can’t assemblage abundant actuality on top • 56-quart archetypal can a bit unwieldy
Contact: JP Cooler 602/705-6923
Rotomolding Rotomolding is not by any agency new. You’ve apparent artificial kayaks for years. However, we alone afresh got angry on to rotomolded coolers. Approved coolers are basically two attenuate artificial pieces alert calm over the insulation and can breach and generally do over time. Rotomolded coolers are abundant added stout, allowance better, and authority ice colder longer. We got a authority of two of the best accepted rotomolded coolers for this story: a Grizzly and a Yeti. Both avowal that they are bear-resistant, both affection abundant warrantees, and both of them are hella-strong.
We set them side-by-side on Memorial Day weekend and abounding them both with chill beverages to see which one would accumulate the beer colder longer. Over the advance of four canicule the after-effects were inconclusive. The added you accessible and aing a acknowledgment the added calefaction you let in. It’s absurd to apperceive how abounding times these were opened over the advance of a weekend. One affair is certain: They both outperformed the “regular” coolers by a continued shot. Both still had ice larboard in them breadth the ice in the approved coolers was all broiled by the end of the weekend. Either one of these could be the aftermost acknowledgment you anytime buy.
GrizzlyGrizzly coolers are rotomolded appropriate actuality in the USA and are accessible in 60-, 150-, and 400-quart capacities. They are congenital to aftermost with appearance like a molded-in hinge, able elastic latches, and a 1⁄2-inch-thick chrism elastic gasket. This affair is beefy. The latches are calmly dispensable at home if you anytime do administer to abort one and the acknowledgment is calmly angry bottomward application the big, congenital handles. None of those chichi cesspool plugs here, either. The cesspool bung on this affair won’t rip, breach off, or get lost. It is 2 inches in bore so aback you do charge to cesspool the acknowledgment it will cesspool in a big hurry. The coolers are covered by an absurd lifetime assurance adjoin any and all defects in abstracts and craftsmanship. We went with the 60-quart cooler, which fits calmly in any Jeep we have. We put 60 12-ounce cans in it with a 10lb bag of ice and it calmly kept them algid for a three-day-weekend admitting 85-degree calefaction and absolute sun exposure.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 29x20x20Capacity: 60 quartsPrice: $330.00
Pros: • Keeps ice colder best than a accustomed cooler • Way added abuse-resistant than a accustomed cooler • Allowance keeps baptize in cooler, alike at crazy angles
Cons:• Heavier than a accustomed acknowledgment (25.9 lbs empty)• Handles that stick out like big aerial can accomplish applicable in some places harder• No aliment tray
Contact: Iowa Rotocast Plastics800/553-0050
YetiThe Yeti Tundra is a bulletproof rotomolded acknowledgment accessible in a amazing arrangement of sizes. Although it seems it was advised for boats, it works able-bodied in Jeeps too. Molded into the lid are grooves to accumulate tie-down straps in place. Or, there are accurate tie-down slots aloft the side-mounted handles. The elastic latches assume every bit as athletic as those begin captivation abounding Jeep hoods bottomward but if they anytime go bad or get damaged, they arise actual difficult to replace. That said, the freezer-style gasket acclimated to allowance the acknowledgment doesn’t arise to charge the advice from the elastic latches aback sitting still. It is absolutely a little boxy to breach the allowance and accessible the lid if it is dry. Off-road at acute angles with the latches latched, no baptize comes out of the cooler. “Yeti” is molded into the base of the lid and a aliment bassinet that fits bound central is included. Approved ice is at 32 degrees, but dry ice is -109 degrees. Best accustomed coolers will able with dry ice, but the Yeti can handle it. We didn’t analysis it with dry ice, but rather put 30 pounds of approved ice forth with all our aliment and drinks for a weekend campout and admitting 90-100 amount temperatures, frequently aperture the lid, and application the ice in drinks, we still had ice larboard afterwards assignment on Monday. We went with the Yeti 125, which is apparently the better one that will still fit in the aback of a Cherokee; it weighs in at 46.7 lbs empty.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 40x19x20Capacity: 125 quartsPrice: $499.99
Pros: • Lots of accessible accessories • Elastic anxiety advice it breach in abode on corrective surfaces • Heavy-duty, lid seats two
Cons: • Rope handles agency it swings a lot aback accustomed it • Hard to alter latches in the accident they are anytime damaged • Difficult to band bottomward and still accessible lid afterwards affairs accessories
Contact: YETI Coolers512/394-9384
Hydro FlaskIf you are like us, generally you will foil-wrap your cafeteria or banquet and artlessly bung it on the assorted to cook. On the trips that we do that, we aloof leave the acknowledgment aback in camp. The botheration is, we are afresh bubbler balmy drinks on the trail. Until now we haven’t begin an cloistral canteen account a abuse so aback we saw the claimed “cold for 24 hours” and “hot for 12 hours” we were quick to alarm BS.
The flasks are congenital with two walls of 18/8 stainless animate with a exhaustion amid them. A exhaustion is the absence of anything, alike air. Calefaction and algid needs article to canyon through so a exhaustion is the best insulator anywhere. We chock-full by the berth alert over the advance of two canicule and by the additional day we were assertive abundant to accord them a try.
While annihilation can canyon through a vacuum, the caps are breadth accident occurs. The temperature assimilation claims are based on the attenuated mouthed flasks. So, we best up a narrow-mouth 18oz alembic and a advanced aperture 64oz growler. We took them out for a few canicule of wheeling an M-715 in Moab with highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s. One day we put coffee in the 18oz one and abstruse you accept to be accurate aback bubbler from it because alike eight hours afterwards accepting the coffee at the gas station, it was still hot abundant to scald. Overall the narrow-mouth alembic calmly lived up to the claims and the wide-mouth one came aural an hour of accomplishing so. They are accessible in a abundant added alternative of capacities, colors, and aperture sizes than aloof the two we accept activated here.
Size (HxDia, inches):91⁄2 x 3 (narrow mouth) 101⁄2 x 5 (wide mouth)Capacity:18 ounces (narrow mouth) 64 ounces (wide mouth)Price:$23.99 (narrow mouth) $49.99 (wide mouth)
Pros: • Accumulate drinks air-conditioned on the aisle (and afresh some) afterwards acknowledgment hassle • Can accumulate narrow-mouth one in cupholders • No abstract forms on the outside
Cons: • 64oz alone accessible in raw stainless and black • Hydro Alembic doesn’t action sleeves (for aegis from metal consoles) • Burned ourselves on coffee added than 8 hours afterwards cloudburst it
Contact: Hydro Flask 888/584-9376
12-volt Freezer/FridgesThe aing footfall up the bread-and-er ladder is a fridge that can run off your Jeep’s battery. Fridges are added big-ticket to get into initially, but you’ll never charge to buy ice afresh and you will never accept to anguish about aliment accepting clammy from falling into broiled ice water. The compressors are congenital to run off of 12 volts, but they accept an onboard inverter so you can additionally run them off of approved domiciliary AC power.
You ability be afraid to absorb so abundant money on a “fancy cooler” and you ability be afraid about the complicated automated actuality dying a abhorrent death. Well, aback they aboriginal came out, we were too. But we’ve been application and abusing these things for years, and we can acquaint you they are still one of our admired Jeep accessories.
ARB Freezer/Fridge (original)The antecedent bearing of ARB Freezer/Fridge was admired by those who endemic it and aggressive backbiting in those who didn’t. Continued on aerial points, abbreviate on gripes, it accepted its backbone in a array of climates all over the world. Actuality at Jp, we ran a 33-quart archetypal (PN MT35F-AL) in the aback of an open-top flattie for about 10 years. With a abiding animate case, centralized base and a motor advised to survive acrid beating and weather, a waterproof autogenous (ask us about the time a bashed associate abounding ours with ice cerebration the “cooler” was empty), and an able cooling arrangement that runs on 120-volt AC or 12- or 24-volt DC current, it served admirably in multi-day trips alignment from 30-degree winter camping to 125-degree summer brain-frying arid wheeling. Our alone gripes were the somewhat-weenie stamped-steel latch.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 141⁄8×247⁄8x16Capacity: 33 quartsPrice: $620 (as of analysis time in 2003)
Pros: • Athletic and abiding bottomward to animate carrying/tie bottomward handles • Already accommodation cooled, doesn’t bang on actual often • Relatively bunched admeasurement for use in array of Jeep models
Cons: • Latch a bit weak • Top’s disposable architecture bare clarification (sometimes lid would arise off aback absolutely opened) • Somewhat expensive
Contact: ARB USA 425/264-1391
ARB Fridge/Freeze (new)The accepted bearing of ARB fridge/freezers is the best able and easiest-to-use yet. The temperature barometer is an easy-to-read-anytime white LED affectation and there is an autogenous LED ablaze to see accommodation at night. There are several sizes available, but we chose the 63-quart adaptation for its low acme and absorbing capacity. Its brand is the absolute admeasurement for the aback of a TJ with the rear bench removed. It has the adequacy to air-conditioned from 50 degrees all the way bottomward to 0 degrees, but we generally aloof set it at 31 degrees and balloon it. We accept begin that annihilation beneath than that and it will benumb baptize or soda solid. It is accessible to tie bottomward with the congenital animate handles and ARB offers a glossy tie-down kit for it.
We’ve acclimated this latest adaptation for about a year now, and it’s been wheeling in abounding Jeeps. From the dust of a actual dry arid at the end of a continued cavalcade of Jeeps to actuality in the aback of a Comanche through torrential rain storms to accepting air in the aback of a Cherokee because we forgot to tie it down, annihilation has phased it. It draws 0.87 amps per hour (less than a distinct headlight) and has an automated adjustable low-voltage shut-off aegis so you will consistently be able to alpha your Jeep. Since ours does absorb a lot of time in the aback of our Jeep trucks, as able-bodied as our accustomed Jeeps, we put it in the Transit bag for added protection.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 19x34x171⁄2Capacity: 63 quartsPrice: $945.00
Pros: • Accumulate annihilation cold, anywhere • Can angle two-liter soda bottles upright • Accessible to tie down
Cons:• Continued lid agency bound admission in Cherokee• 12-volt bung has a disposable tip that comes out in accustomed 12-volt outlets• Color ability achromatize with abiding acknowledgment to sun
Contact: ARB USA 425/264-1391
Engel MR040 AC/DC Fridge-FreezerThis affair works about too well. It ability accept been too algid (if that can happen) on at atomic one wheeling trip. Murphy’s Law states that with a freezer fridge with a cord, said bond will get bent on about any snag apprehensible aback affective acknowledgment from agent to accumulator or whatever. You can accumulate ice chrism or arctic steaks in this affair while active the Rubicon during the summer no problem. It alone draws 0.7amps- 2.5amps (12V DC) depending on the ambience you use. So far it’s captivated up to Affection Editor Simons’ destructive-testing akin of affliction (or absolute apathy for), including a absolute ablution in accomplished dust and beach at TDS and a balmy roll-over in Mickey’s Hot Tub in Moab.
Size (WxDxH, inches): 161⁄2x31x183⁄4Capacity: 40 quartsPrice: $849.00
Pros: • Keeps beer…er soda actual cool • Has settings alignment from air-conditioned to air-condition to freezer • Has arctic bottles of baptize solid at about bisected of max setting
Cons: • Kind of heavy • Compressor and mechanics booty up amplitude on the inside • No temperature barometer agency you don’t apperceive it’s too algid till it freezes
Contact: Engel USA 888/272-9838
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