Every once in a while you happen upon a solution to a problem you never knew you had. That’s what happened to me three years ago when I won an Engel high performance cooler. Fast forward to the present and I honestly don’t know how I have lived without an expensive high performance cooler. Whether it’s an Engel, Yeti, Rtic or Orion cooler, just to name a few, they all serve the same function; they keeper the contents of the cooler cold for a long, long, ridiculously long time. Still not sure what the fuss is all about? Below are four reasons to start thinking about pulling the trigger on a high performance cooler this summer. You won’t regret it.
Pull up YouTube and you can find countless videos on how long certain high performance coolers can hold ice, compared to other coolers. They do a great job of helping you identify which ones give you more bang for the buck, what unique features some have that justify the price and a myriad of other factors that affect your decision making process. However, the biggest argument against buying such an expensive cooler is that for the price difference between a standard cooler and a high performance cooler you can buy countless bags of ice. While that is certainly true, the problem with that argument is it assumes you have easy and cheap access to ice. For those hunters who spend a week in the backcountry hunting, or the fisherman who is offshore for several days, a regular cooler isn’t going to cut it. You simply cannot have enough ice on hand to keep a regular cooler cold enough for such a long period of time. You need a high performance cooler that is designed to hold in the cold. That performance comes at a premium and for those of us who demand more from our gear the price is worth it.
Have you ever pushed a cooler out the back of a moving pickup truck? Well Field & Stream did when they decided to test the top high performance coolers. You know what happened? Most of them survived with only a few minor issues. Why is this important? Because if you are going to spend upwards of $500 on a cooler you are going to want it to be the last one you ever buy. Today’s high performance coolers are almost all made out of roto-molded plastic; the same plastic used to make kayaks. This stuff is durable and can stand up to a beating. How many of us have experienced a broken hinge or latch on a cooler? With the high performance coolers these components are high quality and you can order replacement parts if they do happen to fail. These coolers have the potential to last a lifetime.
By now we have all probably seen the advertisements or product information to let us know that most of the high performance coolers are certified bear proof. Why should that matter to the average outdoorsman who doesn’t find themselves in the backcountry surrounded by grizzlies? It matters because most of us will be in situations where having a bear proof coolers can keep out more than bears.
Have you ever woken up from a camping trip and crawl out to your trash strewn about the campsite? That is the work of “mini-bears” as I call them, also known as raccoons. They are a wily adversary that can be found nearly everywhere you camp. But they aren’t the only animals you have to worry about. Stray dogs and even coyotes can find their way into your coolers if they aren’t secured shut. I have even been on a camping trip where there were wild horses, which had learned how to get into tents and coolers in search of food. They gave my cooler a nudge with their nose and went about their ransacking of everyone else’s campsites. My beer and venison steaks were safe.
As I previously stated most high performance coolers are pretty durable and offer replacement parts if things break, which is a lot better than your average cooler which gets discarded when it breaks. Another added bonus of the coolers being made out of the same material as kayaks is that they can serve other roles besides being a cooler.
Do you take your cooler fishing? Odds are if you did and stood on it to get a better vantage point it would eventually implode. Not so with high performance coolers. You can easily stand on one to get a better view and some even come with the ability to purchase a non-skid pad for the top of them. Whether you are fishing or camping they can also double as a nice place to park your bottom. Again some coolers come with the ability to purchase a padded seat top for your coolers to save your butt. Another great use for your cooler is as a table or butchering platform while out hunting. A cooler thrown on the tailgate of your truck puts the meat at a perfect height for you to stand and carve it up!
By Guest Blogger Shawn McCardell
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