ozark expedition 52 qt cooler

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by g-man, May 11, 2017.

  1. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    I just bought an ozark expedition 52 qt cooler at walmart. It's basically a Yeti rip-off, roto-mold cooler.
    I paid 147.00. It seems to be built to last a lifetime (kept out of the sun). While this seems pricy it is cheap compared to yeti at around 400.00. Looking at this site/thread

    Ozark Trail "High Performance" cooler - any good? - Expedition Portal

    where comparison tests were done, it looks like it goes above and beyond it's rated 7 day ice holding capabilities. I'm going to need this for my first week long remote camping.
     
  2. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    Just to save you a bunch of reading the thread mentioned above has several tests and this cooler holds ice for 11.5 days under 70 to 80 degree days with no pre-cooling and 8 room temp 12 oz soda cans added and 40 lbs of cube ice. I see this a lasting longer with pre cooling of the cooler with ice and/or place in walk-in or large freezer for a few days; adding block ice or frozen gallons or 1/2 gallons, or any larger chunks. Also packing it full with minimal amount of air.

    If you want to read thru the thread look at pg 2 where poster "SgtMac" starts his test, then skim thru the pages looking for his updates.
     
  3. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    Why I like a cooler like this over a fridge:

    1. price
    2. portable
    able to expand my sleep space inside the truck
    can switch vehicles easily
    can set up on a table at an event away from vehicles
    3. Not draining power
    4. I'm not planning to stay on the road for weeks.

    disadvantages:

    1. ice takes up space for food/drinks
    2. will melt and warm eventually. Its rated for 7 days, test done in 90 degree weather??
    3. the rubber snubber type latches will need replacement as they look to be wear and tear item.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  4. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    It has rubberized feet/pads on the bottom corners for non-skid that seem work very well. the feet can be flipped over to a hard surface foot made for sliding. I have flipped mine as the rubberized sides were not sliding at all on my carpet when I went to pull it out. (I'd like it to slide some) Some images of the cooler and the feet attached. The foot bottom with several holes is the slick/hard side.

    DSCN0127.JPG

    DSCN0130.JPG

    DSCN0128.JPG

    DSCN0132.JPG

    DSCN0133.JPG
     
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  5. Mogwai

    Mogwai SILVER Star

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    RTICs are good too.
     
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  6. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member

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    On the one hand I want to give the original Mfg. my business. On the other I know they are outsourcing to China and are no better than Walmart. Working in manufacturing I know how easy it is to send a design to China and have product drop shipped to customers in the US or anywhere for that matter. Huge temptation to just book orders and collect cash without all that messy making stuff and monitoring quality.
     
  7. chudly

    chudly

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    I've been hoping to get lucky and find one of these at Walmart. No luck so far... great find!
     
  8. ferg

    ferg

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  9. chudly

    chudly

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    larger size available too!
     
  10. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    After 7 days of camping on the beach in 80s I can say this cooler stayed cold for 7 days. Put plenty of block ice in the bottom, use the basket for food/meats/cheese. Top with ice. Open only as necessary and quickly close. After 7 days I did have mostly water but kept my food cold. I had to continually move the cooler to keep it in the shade of my truck and canopy. Very humid and warm conditions. Drinks were kept in a different cooler so as to keep the food cooler shut as much as possible.
     
  11. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Good find, looks well built. I have a YETI cup and an Ozark Trail cup and they are exact same. Don't get me wrong, I love the YETI stuff, but if I can get comparable for cheaper then I could care less about the brand. I might sell my Yeti Tundra and grab one of these.
     
  12. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    After using this cooler more I have a few more observations. First the metal bottle opener plate on the front of the cooler has two sharp edges. I guess they are there to protect the cooler but they are leg getters! Also they force you to pick up the cooler with the lock side facing out. I will probably take a grinder to these 2 edges and smooth them down a bit.

    Also the weight of this cooler is probably 3 times that of a regular cooler. Not a big deal until you load it with ice and food. I haven't weighted it but I would guess 80 to 100 lbs loaded. I'm glad I opted for the medium size and not the large.

    The straps are a bit close to the lid but I haven't pinched my hands yet. They may stretch a little but a little longer strap may be just as bad as too short.

    Loose ice will clump together and freeze like a block in this cooler. So food can get frozen into a clump of ice. Best to use the basket for the food. I had to take a screwdriver to the ice like an ice pick to loosen it.

    I still like it and will use it for food only (no drinks) on week long camping trips.
     
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  13. chudly

    chudly

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    in regards to weight. I picked up a yeti and they are heavier than your standard coleman cooler as well.
     
  14. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Sounds good still for the money, but I think you get with you pay for. I was researching the RTIC soft coolers. I was wondering how they could produce something identical to the YETI for less less than half the cost???? The material even looked identical, but upon research people were showing where the material was separating, mold was growing under first layer, etc. In the end you have to weigh the cost versus the quality.

    I researching this 52 qt Ozark cooler too and people were having issues with leaking drain plugs, warping tops from the sun's heat, etc. Again, I think it's a good buy for the price, but it's not something that can be abused like a YETI.

    So, in the end, it seems YETI and the other high dollar items are made to last. If I was going on a camping trip twice a year I'd go economy, but I plan to be rough on my items so likely I will continue to eat the cost of the better made items.
     
  15. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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  16. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    My cooler was drying. I left it outside in the yard upside down with the lid open for a day and a half. I just went out to check it and low and behold the bottom warped!! It warped on the inside and like de-laminated. Not as bad as the picture above but I will take it with my receipt and get my money back. So this cooler is sensitive to heat from the sun, exhaust etc.
     
  17. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Dang that sucks, no bueno
     
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