If you’ve ever been on a multi-day fishing trip, or any extended outdoors excursion that requires keeping food cold for days at a time, you’ve probably noticed a distinct lack of gas stations selling bagged ice in the middle of lakes, oceans, or forests. That’s why Igloo offers their Yukon™ Cold Lockers.
Designed to be the most durable cooler for the toughest environments, the Yukon™ series are professional grade, with features to match. Keeping ice for up to seven days requires serious insulation, so the lid contains a full three inches, and the rest of the body has two. In addition, it utilizes Igloo’s Cool Riser Technology™ on the underside, which helps prevent heat from the ground, a truck bed, or boat deck from being transferred to the cooler, at the same time allowing air to flow underneath. All that insulation, plus the rotational-molded polyethylene shell add up to a 36.4 pound weight in the 70 quart model. Rope handles wouldn’t cut it once it’s loaded, so Igloo molded in handles on either side. They are sized to accommodate the largest of hands, even with gloves, and since they’re integrated into the cooler, can be used as an attachment point for tie-downs. If security is an issue, there are two locking points on the front corners of the lid.
Since we didn’t have any epic trips planned, we figured the best way to test the Yukon was to throw a party. We loaded it up with ice and beverages, which it kept cold as expected. But we waited several days before draining it. Not surprisingly, there was still plenty of ice four days later. Emptying it via the huge drain plug was simple enough, and the short chain pretty much ensures the plug doesn’t get lost. Although that doesn’t sound like a concern in your driveway, while on a boat or in the middle of nowhere, that feature is most appreciated. We found the latches to be sturdy, yet could be undone by smaller hands, and although we didn’t need the integrated fish scale (molded in measuring tool) on the lid, we found that it make a fine seat for up to three small children.
While we didn’t do any scientific testing regarding internal temperatures, and couldn’t find a bear to thrash it, we’re confident in Igloo’s claims for both durability and keeping ice. The handles made it easy to lift and transport, and the drain plug made emptying a snap. During our review period, we left the reversible skids on the anti-skid side, but being able to flip them over for easier sliding is a nice touch. If you want a cooler that will “outhaul, outchill, and outlast” all the others, this is it.
If the Yukon series is a bit much for your needs, don’t fret. Igloo offers several cooler bags that will keeps things cold over multi-day adventures. We took their Marine Ultra™ SS for a test drive on a road trip. Although it’s clearly marketed towards fishermen, our rental car was something of a boat compared to our usual economy cars, so let’s roll with it.
This 36 can cooler loads easily, and includes handles as well as a detachable shoulder strap. A generous front pocket has room for your phone, keys, and more. We managed to fit four camping plates and plastic ware, plus some napkins, with space to spare. Other noteworthy features include an exterior treatment that offers both UV protection and resists mildew. Inside, the liner repels stains and odors, in addition to being anti-microbial.
At around 4AM , we packed our soft cooler full of ice and non-alcoholic beverages, zipped it shut, buckled the lid down, and hit the road. When we stopped for a late lunch, everything was still icy, icy cold. Arriving at our destination some time after 6 PM, the remaining drinks were just as cold. The following afternoon, after a bit of hiking around Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, we decided to see how well the 1.1″ foam managed to keep our remaining drinks cold. While most of the ice cubes were now slivers floating in chilly water, our Gatorade and ice tea where still refreshingly cold, a full 36 hours later. Cool indeed.
Either of these coolers would make great Father’s Day gifts. If your dad is exceptionally deserving, we highly recommend filling them with his beverage of choice. That’s a generous touch which will surely be appreciated. See them and more at www.igloocoolers.com