A cooler is one of the most creative and convenient inventions ever, especially for people who love being out and about. Going out on a picnic, hiking, camping or chilling by the beach, of course, something's missing without food.
Naturally, you wouldn't want to spoil a beautiful day with spoiled food. This is what your refrigerators can't do. You can't take them out with you to store your food whenever you want.
And this is what coolers can do for you. Coolers are not only meant to store and keep your drinks cold. They can also serve as storage for food especially those that quickly spoil and need to be in a cool place.
However, doing a good job at keeping your food and drinks cold is not the only factor you should look into when buying a cooler. Like many other things, it must meet certain standards of quality most especially if you want to get the best deal out of your buy.
Today, we will be featuring an RTIC cooler review. But before that, we will be telling you important things you need to know about coolers. We will also guide you on how which cooler is going to be worth your money.
What to Consider When Buying a Cooler
Just as we mentioned earlier, storing and keeping your food/drinks cool is not the only standard you should have with coolers.
Different coolers use different materials. The cheapest and most popular cooler usually uses styrofoam as material. It does a decent job at keeping your drinks cool or slows the melting of your ice cubes.
However, Styrofoam tends to wear out very quickly especially if the amount of food/drinks/ice you store in it are a lot.
So, what should you be considering?
1. Material Used, Quality and Price
Plastic is the ideal material for coolers. However, if you want a more durable cooler, it is not only the material must check. You ought to check if a cooler is made through “rotomolding” or “blow molding,” as well. Blow molding is the most common way of assembling/producing a cooler. It is also the cheapest.
Why is that? Blow molding is the forming of hollow plastic parts separately. Those separate parts are then assembled to form a cooler. However, if you want something that’s more durable and less prone to damage, rotomolding might help.
Rotomolding or rotational molding is a process that uses liquid resin as an additional coating. This takes longer than blow molding because the resin is biaxially rotated inside the cooler until it dissolves. The finished product is a whole, one-piece item with little to no removable parts. This is what makes rotomolded coolers less prone to breakage.
You can look at the price as well. High-end and advanced coolers are expensive. So, think this through before buying. Do you need a high-end cooler? One with digital locks and LED indicators of temperature? If not, you can just stick to a high-quality cooler without frills and all.
2. Cooling Performance
Of course, coolers are meant to keep your drinks/food fresh. If you put ice in your cooler only to find out 3 hours later that it’s already a mini pool of melted ice, then that cooler is bad.That kind of coolers defeats the original purpose of coolers.
Don’t ever sacrifice the cooling performance of your cooler. You might’ve gotten a very cheap cooler, but if it doesn’t do its job, then you’re burning money.
Coolers aren’t only meant to “cool” food/drinks. They can also be used to keep your food hot. UV-insulated polyethylene is a chemical substance in plastics. This is placed in the inner and outer walls of coolers. This is what keeps whatever temperature you have in your cooler.
With the right thickness, a cooler with UV-insulated polyethylene might be useful for insulation, Especially if that is your purpose for buying a cooler.
Presenting the Product
Let’s check the RTIC cooler now that we made a rundown on the things that you need to consider. We’ll be using this product to give you an idea of what’s out there in the market. Who knows? Maybe the RTIC coolers can peak your interest!
RTIC coolers are one of the leading brands out there. It’s got a good reputation for being sturdy, sleek, and functional. We’ll be digging further into the brand’s features in the next section. For now, let’s review a particular product from RTIC coolers.
When you first look into the features of an RTIC cooler, you’ll notice the modern and sleek design it boasts. The RTIC 45 comes in a rich tan color that makes it a delightful product just by looking. However, aesthetics isn’t the only thing where this cooler excels.
This model is a great cooler for individual use. It’s not one of the bigger and bulkier coolers out there. This gives it the versatility for small groups and the portability for individual use.
One of the best features of this product is the longevity of the ice. RTIC cooler 45 has a cooling lifespan of 10 days. That’s quite longer compared to other brands making it an attractive choice. Moreover, the RTIC is at a reasonable price which should make it a real bargain.
- Rotomolded construction: Keeps the material intact and prevents breakages
- Simple but effective locking system that keeps hot air out of your cooler
- Locks and hinges are very durable
- Rubber latches make it easy to unlock
- Cooling performance lasts until ten days: Maximum ice retention lasts a good 4-5 days while it is still cold after nine days
- Sleek design
- Components are designed to ease your use
- Allows for easy draining through its drain spout
- Handles make it friendly to carry
- Lid is sealed tightly
- Not ideal to carry over long distances especially if it’s fully-loaded with cans, food, and ice
- Only a 30-day warranty
- The inside of the cooler is easily scratched
- Handles may be vulnerable to breakage if the cooler is always full and carried
Features of The RTIC Cooler That You Should Know
Several features are common with all RTIC coolers. These are standards that are unique to the RTIC brand to a certain extent.
One of the main benefits that you gain from buying an RTIC product is you get commercial grade insulation. This top-notch insulation prevents heat from entering your cooler once closed.
This is done through injecting commercial grade polyurethane foam. This foam is 2” in thickness and is present within the walls of RTIC coolers.
Furthermore, the coolers have 3” premium foam injected into their lids. Since the RTIC coolers have excellent insulation, it quickly translates to superior ice retention. As previously stated, its cooling performance lasts up to 10 days.
This is made possible through the closed-cell insulation foam. This foam stops air and moisture giving it exceptional thermal properties.
Furthermore, their lids have a freezer grade gasket. This gasket completely circles the surface of the lid. Thus, this gasket acts as a seal that further locks in the cold. Moreover, it’s also a safety net to prevent leakages if your cooler turns over.
The RTIC coolers boast a rotomolding feature. This makes the structure of the RTIC more intact and thus, durable. Furthermore, the use of high-grade polyethylene enhances the strength of the body and lid.
Apart from this, the hinges and latches of the cooler are made out of high-quality rubber and plastic. The rotomolding process of RTIC coolers was patterned from the process of making kayaks. In their site, RTIC even boasts that their coolers are built to resist bears!
Versatility in Components
Although insulation and durability are the two primary things that make this a great product, it also has great components.
Foremost, the integrated hinge system is one of the underrated aspects of the RTIC coolers. These hinges work together with the rotomolded body since it prevents tear or separation.
This hinge system keeps the parts such as the lids intact. These hinges are made out of steel which is resistant to corrosion.
Draining the water can be a big problem for your cooler too. The RTIC V-Drain System and drain plug lets the water out quickly while retaining the ice inside.
The inside of the RTIC cooler is also another bonus. It’s made of food-grade polyethylene that is UV-resistant. This feature also allows the cooler’s exterior not to sweat. Dry ice is also compatible with this product thus giving you extra versatility.
What Others Say
In this product site, the RTIC 45 was received with a lot of positive comments. Particularly, the RTIC’s strength and durability in the outdoors is famous among verified reviewers.
There are complaints about the weight being too heavy. However, the compact size of the RTIC 45 makes it easy for storage in the car. Overall, the product is on the better end of the stick.
Alternatives you can try
K2 Coolers started in 2011. They are designed to be heavy duty yet lightweight. They use UV-insulated polyethylene and polyurethane foam.
These are what makes K2 coolers lightweight, heavy duty and fit for their task. To keep your food/drinks either fresh or hot.
- It has an ice vault gasket.
- Insulation/cooling performance is still dependent on the user.
- You can avail of its seven-year warranty.
- Contains polyethylene and polyurethane
Pelican Coolers use stainless steel hardware and pull latches. But unlike most coolers with limited time warranty, a Pelican cooler is ensured with a lifetime warranty.
Another unique feature is its claim to be “bear proof.” Pelican coolers are meant to be used for traveling and hiking. This is why even if a bear attacks this cooler, it’s going to occur little if no damage at all.
- Can store more food/drinks because of its bulk
- It can keep your ice from melting for ten days at most
- Lifetime warranty
- It’s bear proof
Like the Pelican, YETI coolers are also boasting about their “bear proof” quality as well. Ice retention in YETI coolers usually lasts up to 5-7 days.
However, you would find that YETI coolers, in general, are a tad bit more expensive than usual coolers out there.
- Comes with a five-year warranty
- It uses aluminum technology
- It is more “rugged” than other coolers (perfect for outdoor use)
In a Nutshell
If you’re willing to invest in a long-term cooler, the RTIC could be just for you. Other brands have similar benefits as well, but the RTIC has a significant price drop compared to other products.
Moreover, the ice retention feature is longer than usual. You also get some neat features for its components. An example would be the molded tie-down slots that make it easier to transport. There are not any red flags when it comes to the RTIC cooler, so it’s a great bargain.