Two great examples of quality coolers at a cheaper price are from the Igloo Sportsman Series. Igloo is a name synonymous with coolers, and the Sportsman is their version of the high end cooler. The question then becomes, can it keep up with Yeti, Engel, Pelican, etc? We put a 40Qt and 55Qt Igloo Sportsman to the test against the most popular cooler brand names. The results of our testing (see video & results below) will surprise most people, especially considering the price point of the Igloo.
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Igloo Sportsman Series Ice Challenge Results
In our Five Day Ice Challenge, where we tested all the name brand coolers such as Yeti, Grizzly, and Pelican, we also tested two Igloo Sportsman Series Coolers. We tested the Igloo Sportsman Series 40 Q and 55Q. Why would we test two of the same style and manufacturer coolers? We wanted to confirm if there was a difference in ice retention based on cooler size alone. Here we had two exact same manufacturers and model cooler, the only difference being quart size; a 40 Q Vs a 55Q.
After five days there was no noticeable difference in ice retention between the 40Q and 55Q. [This theory has since been tested further, see findings below] Furthermore, both coolers held ice on par with a Yeti Tundra 45 and longer than a Grizzly 40Q. The Igloo Sportsman series cooler often comes in at a significant discount compared to a Yeti. Therefore, if you are looking for a solid cooler for the money that can hold ice on par with the “name brand” coolers, the Sportsman Series needs a second look. (Individual Video comparisons at bottom of post.)
We also tested cooler color to see how much the color of a cooler affects ice retention times. We have tested a tan vs white, white vs blue, etc and every time, we have experienced no noticeable difference based on cooler color alone. We even saw the same result when testing different colored tumblers. Although the exterior of darker coolers and tumblers can regularly reach 20-30° hotter than a lighter color cooler, the internal results do not vary. This should not come as a surprise considering most roto molded coolers offer 2-3″ insulation in the walls and lids.
Available Sportsman Cooler Sizes
As mentioned previously, the Igloo line of coolers has stood the test of time. Igloo has been around much longer than most other coolers and they haven’t stopped working toward perfection. Igloo is constantly improving their products so that they can compete in the marketplace. Below are the available Sportsman Cooler Sizes.
The Igloo Sportsman Coolers 40-quart cooler offers 2 inches of insulation in the lid and a 3-point grab handle. Oversized T-Grip lid latches securely closed the cooler. You can rest assured when taking this cooler camping as it is certified bear proof, and there is an integrated fish ruler on its lid making it a perfect fishing cooler. However, you’ll likely want to lock your cooler shut to prevent wildlife or even unwanted hands from gaining entry. When hauling the Sportsman in your truck or on your boat, anti-skid feet will ensure it does not slide around. It also drains easily, thanks to its’ oversized drain/plug. Although this cooler is also large in size, it is not in weight at only 23 pounds. The best feature we liked about the Igloo, which is different from all other coolers, is the “notched lid hinge.” As you open the cooler you’ll feel a little notch at the 90 degree mark. This helps the cooler lid stay open and not blow/tip shut easily.
The Igloo Sportsman 55 has all of the same features as the Sportsman 40-quart cooler along with aluminum hinges. It weighs slightly more than the 40qt Sportsman cooler at 41.95 pounds. This also has a locking point on the front of the cooler so that you do not have to worry about bears or unwanted hands getting inside. It also features raised non-skid feet. This cooler also has the notched lid which allows for the lid to remain open. Again, this is a feature we haven’t seen in many other coolers. Ironically enough, the 55qt cooler is often priced cheaper than the 40qt cooler.
Igloo Sportsman Price Comparisons
When looking at cooler prices online, Igloo coolers that we reviewed are substantially less than other coolers of a comparable size. Strangely enough, the 55Qt cooler is often times cheaper than the 40qt cooler online. When comparing the 55Qt Sportsman to other coolers of a similar size there is usually quite the price gap.
What Our Ice Retention Tests Revealed
In addition to testing in Winter months (in videos below), we also tested in the summer months of FL with afternoon temps reaching the mid 90’s every day. The results were the same; Igloo can keep up in terms of performance. Thus, there is no reason to spend a fortune to obtain a more than capable cooler.