Kong Coolers came highly recommended by our YouTube Subscribers, so we were excited to put it through our rigorous testing. We actually tested two 50qt Kong Coolers, one white and one grey. We wanted to do this to see how much of an effect cooler color plays on ice retention. More on that later. Our viewers did not let us down with this recommendation in terms of ice retention or the awesome accessories that are available with these coolers.
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Kong Cooler Performance
Long story short, Kong kicked serious butt in the ice retention testing we conducted. For those not familiar with our ice retention testing procedure, you can read about the best cooler test here (coming soon). The Kong 50qt in white held ice among the longest of any cooler we have ever tested at 9.5 days. The grey 50qt cooler held ice for about a half day less at roughly 9 days. Every day during our test the lids of the cooler reached 100°. Check out the performance by Kong below.
Aside from superior ice retention, Kong coolers really standout in terms of build quality. We feel that these are among the most robust coolers we have reviewed. The lid, latches and accessories are all built out of quality materials; all of which are made in the USA. One of the biggest complaints we have among roto molded coolers is in relation to the lid. After a summer in the sun, many cheaper made coolers will experience lid warping and pitting. This is not the case with Kong, the lid is solid and sturdy enough to sit and stand on and does not contain the same pin holes/pitting as seen in some of the cheaper coolers. The latches of the cooler contain metal hinges whereas most coolers would use rubber t-latches or an all plastic assembly. Needless to say, overall the build quality of Kong is far superior to most other manufacturers.
It should come then as no surprise that Kong backs their coolers up with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Not only does Kong offer a lifetime warranty, but they also offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not happy with your purchase. We also feel that the handles of the cooler are sturdier than most. These are not rope handles, but rigid plastic/rubber which make carrying with two people easier due to less sway when walking/carrying.
When we first decided to review/test Kong coolers we were told we must also check out the accessories that are available. Kong offers accessories that we have not seen on any other coolers, and we have tested A LOT of coolers. Many of the add-ons available utilize the “kicker” which is a metal hinge that kicks out the handle of the cooler. On top of the handle, multiple sized cutting boards can be attached. When not in use, the large cutting board stores over the entire inside top of the cooler. The divider which also can be used as a small cutting board, stores in the middle of the cooler dividing the cooler into two sides.
The “crush guards” are little rubber inserts that fit in the same area that a kicker would go. These function to prevent the lid from crushing down on little fingers. The rubber crush guards can fit on either side or both sides of the cooler. The nice thing about these are they can be pulled back and the cooler can be properly closed, yet flip down into place when the lid is opened. If the cooler is going to be used around young kids, these are a fantastic idea.
Last but not least, is the gorilla face bottle opener which attached to the outside corner of the cooler. What makes this unique, aside from the fact that its shaped like a gorilla face (resembling Kong’s logo), but the way it contours to the cooler. As I mentioned in the video review, I consider this cooler an engineering marvel, and this is why. Every accessory on this cooler was well thought out and fits on the cooler seamlessly.
Cost & Conclusion
Considering the outstanding build quality and top ice retention performance, one might be quick to assume that these features have to come at a premium price-point. Initially we thought the same, especially considering the fact that these coolers are Made In America. However, for the performance and quality, we feel Kong coolers are very fairly priced. They certainly are not the cheapest coolers available, yet they are far from the most expensive when comparing similar sizes.