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Best Ice Cooler

Discussion in 'Camping and Outdoor Gear' started by Grouseman, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Grouseman

    Grouseman

    Messages:
    693
    What are the best ice chests for camping trips? What holds the ice the longest, etc? I don't want to go into the 12 V refrigerators,freezers yet?

    SS
  2. sandcruiser

    sandcruiser

    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    coleman makes an "eXtreme" cooler that will keep ice frozen forat least 3 or 4 days... they claim 5. I've used it in 100+ baja weather and it lasted 4 days. Good stuff.
  3. Exiled

    Exiled SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,835
    Location:
    Round Rock, TX
    On expeditions in Venezuela we always had good luck with the big Coleman marine coolers, to which we added foam rubber gaskets on the inside of the lids. We used to pack them with blocks of ice, as big and as packed as possible, then sealed the edges with duct tape. When we got to camp, we placed them under shade, then only opened the big cooler in the early AM to chip ice off the blocks and fill the smaller coolers. Using this method, we could get a solid 5 days out of our ice supplies, even in the middle of the dry season. I have a 172-quart we call "the coffin" that lasted an entire 'Cruise Moab filled with block ice. Cumbersome and heavy, but great for long trips.

    At the Lone Star Land Cruiser Roundup two weeks ago I camped with a friend that has one of the big Engel 12v. ones, those things are UNBELIEVABLE! :)
  4. Throttleman_610

    Throttleman_610  

    Messages:
    56
    When on an expedition for a week or more without the possibility of ice resupply I purchase dry ice in 1 inch slabs. I carefully put them in brown paper bags and wrap zip lock bags around them. I then put them in the very bottom of my chest. We also judiciously keep the chests out of the sun. i have had near frozen beer three days later.
  5. stayalert

    stayalert SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Norwich, VT
    I have to assume the zip locks where not sealed. POP!

    Do not put dry ice (solid CO2) in sealed containers unless you provide pressure relief.
  6. Lochsa

    Lochsa

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    I use an igloo marine cooler for extended river trips. These coolers are not cheap, and may not be a whole lot better than some of the coleman alternatives, or the less expensive igloo coolers. In constant sun, you can get about 3-4 days of ice if you open the cooler sparingly. Also, use block ice and fill in the gaps with cube ice. It can also help to wrap the cooler in a sleeping bag or big blanket to help keep the cold in and the sun off. Dry ice also can be used to prolong the life of your regular ice. Biggest thing, I think, is not opening the cooler very often.
  7. LabRat11

    LabRat11

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Glen Allen, Va
    For week long trips we use the inch slabs of dry ice directly in the bottom of the cooler. Then a 2-3 inch layer of regular ice over that to insulate the cooler contents from the dry ice - pack the rest of the cooler as normal. Also - meats go in the cooler frozen and the nights menu is dependent on what's thawed that day. Also - a cooler cover in the cooler to fill up the dead space that doesnt need cooling. Have some rock salt on hand and dump it in the ice near the end for that last little ooomph (chemistry / physics at work !!)

    If you have a big enough freezer (meat locker - get to know the local butcher) 3-4 inches of water in the cooler and freeze it in place :D
  8. Kofoed

    Kofoed

    Messages:
    628

    I run the 100 quart Coleman Marine too. I don't use dry ice, but everything that can be frozen I freeze. Everything that has to be cool, gets colled to 35 degrees.

    That way, Gatorade, for example, serves double duty for ice and a cold drink.

    Also, if I need to really make the ice last, I'll buy it a week in advance and put it in my freezer with the temp maxed out.

    6 days in Vegas/St George area for 6 days in summer with cold beer on day 6.

    They run about 40-50 bucks.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  9. haystax

    haystax

    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Diamond Valley, Nevada
    Anyone have an Icey-Tek brand cooler? I have had pretty decent luck with the new 5 day coolers, my ultra bling Coleman stainless is about only good for a day or two - pretty much sucks - best use is for a sturdy seat next to the campfire and dry storage for the the condiments and appetizers.

    Vietnam era army surplus coolers that are tall and narrow with the 4 clamp latch on top are pretty good as well, super cheap if you can find them at your local surplus store. You can load them up based on access to food and never open one until it is needed with an entire days worth of stuff - we've used them on extended trips with pretty good luck.
  10. sandcruiser

    sandcruiser

    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    another tip: When the cooler starts running low, put empty plastic bags filled with air into it to take up space. This way when you open/close the cooler to get something, less air is displaced.

    I really like the idea of freezing the water into the bottom! Too bad I don't have a walkin freezer nearby.
  11. dawgdaze

    dawgdaze

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Hawkinsville, GA
    I use exclusively Icey-Tek coolers. I do a lot of offshore fishing in florida and keeping ice is a big priority. When on the road, I just keep my Engel 45 quart fridge plugged in.

  12. Trollhole

    Trollhole THC Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    18,603
    Location:
    Mauldin, SC
    The best cooler is the one full of beer. :grinpimp:

    The second best is a marine igloo full of beer.

    In my opnion.
  13. 65swb45

    65swb45

    Messages:
    13,028
    Location:
    so cal, going 45
    After breaking the plastic hinges on my old Coleman, I sprung for the Igloo 5 day chest just before my buddies and I were gonna do a 5 day Death Valley run. I took 2 one gallon jugs and froze them and put them in the bottom with my sodas, ice cubes and a sheet of 1/8 plastic separating the bottom from the top. Filled the top with the food and more drinks to minimize air space.

    Bounced that ice chest around for 5 days in an open top 40, average day time temp 85 degrees. Had ice cubes for 4 days! At the end of the 5th day, the water in the two gallon jugs was still half frozen.

    Truth in advertising!
  14. Rvl

    Rvl

    Messages:
    78
    I have 3 Coleman coolers
    -small 28 liter for one day trips (overnight and the ice is mostly melted in hot weather)
    -Extreme for overnight and 2 day (have had ice last 4 days)
    -marine for when I need to carry alot (usually club trips and carrying group meals)

    But mostly I carry the 2 smaller coolers instead of the one big marine behemoth. That marine is difficult to move around when it is full.
  15. LabRat11

    LabRat11

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Glen Allen, Va

    Just rereading some old posts and realized I left off an improtant detail. :doh:

    If you ever freeze water into the bottom of a cooler you must throw someting in the water for expansion / stress relief. Else as the ice expands as it freezes it will crack the cooler - guess how I know :doh:

    Thing that's worked the best is 2-4 empty styrofoam coffee cups (depending on cooler size) weighted down to create an empty column in the block of ice being created.
  16. 65-fj45

    65-fj45

    Messages:
    700
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca.
    I like the Coleman 54Q stainless ice chest, It has worked great and ice has lasted for 5-6 days,
  17. CELICA XX

    CELICA XX

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Any more opinions on these regular coolers ?

    I am not interested in a 12V fridge, and most of the discussion on MUD generally leans in that direction.



    I am trying to decide between a YETI or Engel cooler.
  18. mep1811

    mep1811

    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    El Paso, Texas
  19. CELICA XX

    CELICA XX

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    I have read a few reviews online that say the rubber latches on the YETI leaves black residue on your hands, clothing, etc... after extended use.

    Has anyone experienced this ?
  20. Josie'sLandCruiser

    Josie'sLandCruiser Stop calling it a "FJ." SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,483
    Location:
    Seattle, USA
    Hi All:

    I have been using a 60 quart Colman Extreme ice box/cooler for the last ~ 4 years.

    I got it at KMart for a good price. It holds block ice quite well, like 3 to 4 days

    Regards,

    Alan


    \\\

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