If you're an "outdoorsy" individual or family, then you know the importance of a decent cooler. In 2011, the company that made K2 Coolers was established. Like most brands, they aim to produce coolers that are durable and have high insulation performance.
Their K2 Summit Series Coolers are definitely worth the consideration. They come in different colors and sizes, but all are equipped with the same features fit for any outdoor situation.
To help you pick out the best cooler for your needs, you first need to consider a few factors. Learn how to choose a cooler and read on for our K2 Cooler Review for even more information.
What To Consider When Buying a Cooler
Size and Capacity
One of the first things you need to consider is how large or small you want the cooler to be. To determine this, you need to know how much you want to pack or fit in it. Furthermore, you need to know how many people you are packing for and how long your excursion will be.
The size of a cooler also affects its portability and insulation performance.
Your cooler is probably one of the heaviest things you’ll be carrying on your journey, so portability is important to consider. Obviously, a small one is easier to transport than a large one.
You should also look into the handles of the cooler and see how comfortable they are to use. If you need a larger cooler, consider designs with durable wheels for easy transport.
Of course, we want something that can keep things cold as long as it can, right? After all, that’s the primary function of a cooler. Some coolers do it better than others, and usually, they’re the more expensive ones. Regarding insulation, you practically have two choices: traditional or high-end.
Considering how rugged the outdoors will be, durability is another important factor to consider when buying a cooler. Look into the hinges, the handles, lids and walls of the coolers. High-end models offer more rigidness and durability than traditional ones.
Ease of Use
You will be opening and closing the lids of a cooler a lot, so look for a cooler that allows you to do so easily. Draining the cooler should also be easy and require little to no manual effort.
Search for coolers with low drain plugs and a recessed channel to guide the flow of water. These designs make draining a lot easier.
K2 Cooler Summit Series
The K2 Cooler comes in different sizes and colors, but all have the same features. The smallest is the Summit 20, and the largest one is the Summit 120. Between the two, you can find five other sizes. The Summit 20 can fit about 14 cans, while the Summit 120 can fit about 86 cans.
Features and Benefits
All K2 Coolers are made by an intensive process of rotational molding. As mentioned earlier, this is the process high-end coolers go through that make them durable and perform better. The inner and outer walls are at least 1/8 an inch of UV stabilized polyethylene, which is a durable and insulating plastic.
In between the walls is a polyurethane foam that is of high-density, premium-grade and up to 3 inches thick, depending on the size of the cooler.
Here are the other impressive features of all K2 Coolers that make them worthy of the investment:
One feature you should look for in a cooler is a good sealing mechanism. A good one keeps the cold air in and the warm air out. It should also be anti-leakage. Sometimes, your cooler is tilted when you carry it or when it’s in your vehicle, so it’s important that it doesn’t leak.
The ice vault feature refers to the sealing mechanism of the K2 Cooler. The gasket uses thick, malleable rubber that perfectly fits around a channel that goes around the entire lid. It seals like a refrigerator, keeping the cold in and the heat out.
SureGrip and Smoothglide
We don't want to coolers to be moving around, especially when you take them fishing or boating. That’s why you should look for some sort of rubber feet or locks that will keep the cooler in place.
On the other hand, a slides around easily for when you want to pass on the cooler or transport purposes. Both features are another advantage of K2 Coolers. Not all coolers offer both; it’s either one or the other.
The SureGrip refers to the rubber feet that keep the cooler in place when you don't want it to move around. Even with a swaying boat, the cooler is still and doesn't slide around. However, if you do want it to slide around, you can screw on the SmoothGlide covers, which comes with the cooler.
Draining a cooler can either be messy and frustrating or a piece of cake. You want a cooler that requires little to no manual effort. This is common in coolers with drain holes that are low and have a recessed channel that allows for an easy flow of water. You also don’t want the holes to be too large. otherwise, ice could flow out too.
The drain plug should also be somehow attached to the cooler, to minimize the risk of losing it. All K2 coolers have the Torrent drain plug, which won’t need to be completely taken out. You will only need to turn the plug partially to drain water. It also has a silicone gasket, so it seals tight.
ENDURA and POSITRAC
You will be opening and closing a cooler a lot, so it’s important to look into the hinge and seal system. The Endura hinge system is molded into the cooler and uses a metal rod to keep the lid attached.
It’s durable and functions wells. The Positrac refers to the rubber latches that keeps the lid closed correctly. It holds the lid down and keeps it from opening unnecessarily.
EASYhaul and REALgrip
As we mentioned earlier, portability is a major factor in choosing a cooler, so you need to look carefully at the handles. Try out how they feel on your hands, possibly on a full load. Even if you’re not lugging it around for a long time, handles affect the cooler’s portability.
The EASYhaul rope handles are comfortable even when lifting heavy loads.They’re ideal for a two-man carry. If you don't want to use the rope handles or for one-man carry, you can use the REALgrip integrated handles.
This EASYhaul feature is not available on the Summit 20 since the size doesn’t warrant rope handles. However, it does have shoulder straps with thick padding for comfort.
This refers to the anchor points on the two sides of the cooler. All coolers, except the Summit 20, has two padlock holes for when you want to lock and secure the contents. This is necessary for keeping contents extra safe.
When buying anything, you will always want to how the company backs up their products. A warranty assures you that you're getting good quality and that the manufacturer is ready to back up any issues according to their conditions.
With every K2 Coolers, you get a limited warranty for seven years. It covers any material and artistry defect.
Disadvantages of K2 Coolers
- The latch points upwards, so it sometimes gets in the way when you close it. Releasing the latch can also be tricky.
- The EASYHaul rope handles are not as comfortable as they say.
- K2 Coolers are quite expensive.
K2 Coolers have only been on the market since 2011, but they've already made a lasting impression in the world of coolers. It has a lot of positive reviews, mostly on how it works as well as other high-end brands like Orca and Yeti. Also, they are cheaper than these brands.
Yeti Tundra Series
Yeti is a favorite brand of coolers that also uses the Roto-molding process. They have sizes between 20 quarts to 125 quarts. They are a more expensive than K2 Coolers but are very durable and reliable.
RTIC Coolers are also relatively new, but they offer high insulation performance, like other roto-molded coolers. The advantage of RTIC coolers is that they are much cheaper than Yeti and even K2 Coolers. However, they are not as easy to get as these brands because they are on a pre-order and first come, first served basis.
Coleman has been a household name for a long time, not just for coolers, but other brands outdoor equipment too. They have a wide variety of coolers with different prices, so you can choose one that fits your budget. They are not quite like Yeti, RTIC, or K2 Coolers, but they do have some high-quality ones that can be enough for your needs.
There are so many coolers to choose from, but if you want something that’s tough and can keep things cold, then a roto-molded cooler is the way to go. However, there are still many options to choose from in this category.
K2 Coolers are pretty new on the market, but it’s gaining momentum in the market. They offer high insulation performance and a tough build that can withstand the ruggedness outdoors.