[Updated April 2019]Roto molded coolers, or rotationally molded coolers, are made to keep ice for a very long time, as well as keeping your perishables protected from forest creatures. In fact you can see just how long these coolers can last in [Our Video Ice Test Results Below]. This is in part due to being constructed with what is known as rotationally molded plastic. The rotomolding procedure ensures that every part of the cooler is made with a continuous thick wall with minimal imperfections. Furthermore, it can uphold to almost any degree of abuse, including being handled roughly by grizzly bears. Read more about bear proof coolers here.
Popular Roto Molded Coolers
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Roto Molded Coolers are made to last a lifetime. When manufacturers construct products using rotationally molded plastic, they have the expectation that the product will be the last that the consumer will need to purchase. Made with optimum performance in mind makes them some of the best coolers for sale.
Therefore, it is no surprise that roto molded coolers are certified by such organizations like the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, a group that focuses on products that are aimed at being animal resistance. Also certified coolers are to be made with materials that will not harm the animals if ingested. Keep in mind that even if a cooler is certified bear proof almost all coolers still need to use a lock to be considered bear proof. Roto molded coolers can be used for a number of activities, such as:
What you will find with roto molded coolers that you will not find with your budget cooler is sturdiness and durability. Roto molded coolers cost more than your average cooler, but (in our opinion) over time are worth every penny.
Pelican Elite: Durable Cooler
There are no better coolers on the market than roto molded coolers for keeping ice. Ice stored in a roto molded cooler can stay frozen for approximately 3-10 days, depending on the size. Ice retention performance like this lets you keep your drinks cold, but also keep fish or other game from spoiling on your fishing or hunting trip. Moreover, it doesn’t matter how extreme the weather condition. In our experience almost all of these types of coolers can last 5 days. External temperatures play a huge role in ice retentions times, so keep that in mind.
WATCH: Top Performing Ice Chest
More Video Reviews⇒
Coolers Made In USA Vs Foreign Made
One of the top questions we receive by our YouTube Subscribers is in relation to whether USA made coolers are better than foreign made. Rather than take a shot in the dark we decided to test it. After well over 50 different cooler tests, we have found the best of both camps. We matched up the best Made In America coolers and the best of overseas built.
Best of USA vs Best Of Non-USA
|Held Ice: 9.5 Days||Held Ice: 9.5 Days||Held Ice: 8.75 Days|
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|Made In USA: ✓||Made In USA: ✓||Made In USA: X|
|Warranty: Limited Lifetime||Warranty: Limited Lifetime||Warranty: Limited Lifetime|
|Coming Soon⇒||Full Review⇒||Full Review⇒|
The results were pretty convincing that American Made coolers provide superior ice retention as well as build quality. Although one Chinese made cooler was among the top performers, it was 24 quarts larger, which we have found to be a huge advantage. Size for size, team USA absolutely dominated the competition. We also feel that the build quality of domestic made coolers is far better than many Chinese made brands. The biggest area where we find a difference is in the lid. Over time we have found many cheaper (usually foreign manufactured) coolers are susceptible to pitting in the lid and warping. We have many people report back to us that when they left their cooler in the back of the truck for 6 months or a year and the lid is either bubbling or warping. Almost always this is with overseas manufacturer products. The pitting noticed in some lids can often be discovered directly from the manufacturer.
The caveat with US made coolers is the price. Many manufactures choose to source their coolers overseas for a reason…it’s cheaper. Even “All American Companies” like Igloo and Coleman source coolers and parts from overseas in an effort to reduce cost. To be fair, the Chinese made coolers put up impressive ice retention numbers, but for the sake of which is best..we have to go with team USA.
WATCH: Team America vs Overseas
Ice Retention Test Results:
If you watch all of our videos, you’ll soon discover there is one cooler that consistently lasts amongst the longest. That is the Orca Coolers 58Qt cooler. A close second behind the Orca is the Engel and the new model Pelican Elite. All of these coolers can maintain ice in excess of 5 days when external temperatures are 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperature, when exposed to the sun, the lids of the coolers often reach temperatures in excess of 150 degrees. Although these coolers have recently been outdone in terms of ice retention the build quality cannot be questioned. These are some of the original cooler that we tested (3-4 years old now) which have endured countless cooler test and regular use, yet still perform very well.
Roto molded coolers are also known as high end coolers because of their price. They cost much more than what you find with other coolers. However, when you figure that other coolers don’t possess the toughness and durability of a roto molded cooler, it really isn’t hard to figure out why the price tag is higher. While there are coolers on the market that claim that they can keep ice cold for a long time, they are not tested on the same level as roto molded coolers. While a barrel cooler, for example, may possess a section made for keeping drinks cold, its’ purpose is aesthetic appearance.
Besides the roto molded plastic, roto molded coolers have extra dense insulation and neoprene seals to keep the cold inside and the warm air out. Most roto molded plastic is UV resistant, which helps to prevent the cooler from warping or becoming brittle over time due to UV exposure. Another feature that makes roto molded coolers animal resistant are the roto molded hinges or heavy-duty latches.
Roto molded coolers are typically rectangularly shaped allowing them to easily fit in the back of a truck or on your boat. Many also have sure grip rubber feet to make sure that the cooler stays in place, even while the vehicle or boat is moving. Many of these coolers are leak proof, so if it happens to turn over, your interior will not suffer moisture damage. See Our leak test below.
In addition to the heavier price tag, roto molded coolers typically weigh more. This is why a large number of them come equipped with a rope or rigid plastic handles for easy transportation. While roto molded coolers are expensive, some manufacturers costs more than others.
Although many of these coolers cost more, they provide a much better warranty. Many USA made coolers provide a limited lifetime warranty. This helps to ease the pain on the pocketbook knowing that your purchase is backed up by a solid warranty.
Below is one of our favorite all around cooler. The Engel Deep Blue is what we often keep in the back of our truck and take camping. The 50Qt takes up little real estate, yet keeps enough food and drink for a few days of camping. In fact this is one of the few coolers that would fit in the bed of the truck with the tonneau cover closed.
- Yeti Tundra
- Pelican ProGear
- Engel Deep Blue
- Grizzly Coolers
- Orca Coolers
- Canyon Coolers
- Siberian Coolers
- K2 Coolers
- Igloo Sportsman Coolers