You did not want to be a cooler during this two-day test. We scorched four of the best in 116-degree heat, and in appreciation for their service we proceeded to sit on them and dump them out the back of a moving pickup truck. You can see the video here, but for now, here’s how they withstood the heat.
Cabela’s Steel-Belted Cooler
Coolest Points: has a hardy retro look, and is up to the most basic abuse. The sidewalls are relatively narrow, so the available volume is as deep as the 54-quart capacity touts. A steel latch locks down the lid — both it and the handle are easy to use. Still had remnants of our original ice after 24 hours.
Lukewarm: Metal painted green practically turns red-hot in direct sun — don’t touch! Not a ton of insulation, so the ice was totally gone by noon on day two. Keep in mind that we let it sit in direct sun, where the ground temperature reached 116 degrees, all day.
Tip: Cover it with a beach towel to prevent heat buildup.
To see the coolers go head-to-head check out our video.