As a result of conducting over 30 cooler challenges and comparisons, we have received numerous requests for even more coolers to be tested. Thank you to all our YouTube Subscribers who have made these suggestions. Of those, the brands that were most commonly requested, were Techni Ice, Kysek, nICE, Sub Z, Siberian Alpha and a smaller Orca. In almost all of our prior Ice Challenges, the Engel 50Qt and the Orca 58Qt consistently lasted the longest.
In our Best Of The Best Ice Challenge, we set out to test how these new brands/models stacked up against our consistently top performing coolers, the Engel and Orca. In short, our viewers that made these suggestions did NOT let us down. In fact, we witnessed something that we never thought we would see in a cooler challenge; a smaller size cooler beating out our [up to this challenge] top performing cooler, the Orca 58. So which one(s) were they?
- Ambient Temperature: 90+ Degrees Daily
- Lid Temperatures: 100+ Degrees Daily
- Pre-Chilled: Coolers Pre-Chilled 24 Hours
- Fresh Ice: After 24 Hours, Topped Off With Fresh Ice
- Maximum Ice: Filled To Capacity With Ice & 2 Beverages
- Simulated Use: Coolers Opened Three Times A Day (Morning, Afternoon, Evening)
- Location: Coolers Remain Outside Through Duration Of Test
This test was conducted in June 2017 with afternoon temperatures into the 90's every day. The lids of the cooler reached 100+ every day of testing. We opened the coolers 3 times a day (Morning, Afternoon, Evening) to simulate actual use. Two beverages were added to each cooler, as we have found this provides a better visual of ice melt in the video. Video below.
Here are the results of the Best of The Best Ice Challenge in order of how long they lasted:
Watch The Ice Challenge Video Here:
Important Takeaways From Testing Coolers
As stated previously, the biggest shock that came of this test was the ability of not only one cooler but THREE to beat the Orca 58Qt cooler. This has been our go-to cooler for "the cooler to beat." The catch was, in many of our prior challenges, this has been one of the larger sized coolers. Now that the Techni Ice Signature Series 47Q cooler and the Kysek 53 Q cooler has beat out the Orca we have a new baseline (at smaller sizes) for future testing.
We had a feeling when looking at the Techni Ice out of the box that it could last quite a long time, and came highly recommended via our YouTube Subscribers. The cooler looks like a tank at a first glance. However, it was surprisingly light and easy to move around. The Kysek on the other hand looks sleeker, but is significantly heavier than any of the other coolers in this test. Luckily, Kysek was smart enough to include recessed wheels which makes moving this cooler around a heck of a lot easier. The wheels are similar to roller blade wheels, which on concrete or pavement roll super smooth.
Not to be forgotten is the Siberian Alpha 65, it did last the longest after all. The Alpha Series is a nice improvement from the first model from a few year ago. Although this was the largest cooler in the test, it held ice among the best. The new latches are a nice bonus. We will outline all of the features in the individual review. Suffice it to say, a cooler to go 8+ days in the heat that we experienced is truly impressive. I'm fairly confident that if I re-test this cooler in the winter time it could go 2 weeks or more! I will surely need larger data cards for my camera.
Every cooler we tested lasted 5 days in some of the most extreme heat that a majority of our readers would ever experience. Ok, I know, from the countless YouTube comments everyone thinks it's hotter in AZ. But for the vast majority of us, lid temps hitting 100+ every day should be the extent of almost any adventure we are taking our coolers on. The Techni Ice is one of the most impressive coolers from a durability yet portability standpoint, especially for its size. I really can't stress enough how light it was in comparison to its' heavy appearance. If you're looking for the cooler that will last the longest, it is pretty apparent from the video that Siberian and Kysek have their game together on ice retention times. The Siberian Alpha Series comes in at a cheaper price point compared to comparable size of the Kysek. However, a 50+ Quart cooler filled to capacity with ice and beverages can get heavy quite quickly. Therefore, if you are one to be moving your cooler around, up boat ramps, docks, getting to a tailgate etc, those wheels present on the Kysek are a fantastic feature.
By no means are we detracting from the Engel, Orca, nICE or Sub Z. These are coolers that went 5+ Days! Furthermore, there are many reasons why one cooler may be more suitable to your needs than another. For example, many people ask us which cooler we take with us camping. It's the Engel 50Qt. Why? First, it holds ice longer than we need while camping and second, it fits the best in between the rails of my tonneau cover. It may seem odd, but I know that these nuances exist when choosing a cooler. So long story short, pick a cooler that will last you as long as your adventures AND provides as many additional features as possible for your desired use.