Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler
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- Keeps the Ice: 3-day ice retention at temperatures up to 90 °F
- Holds 63 cans; Added height to hold 2-liter bottles upright to help prevent spills
- Leak-resistant drain lets you remove water without turning the cooler upside down
- Hinged lid for easy, one-handed access; 2-way handles for easy lifting and carrying in a space-saving design
- Low CO2 insulation for reduced carbon emissions from foam manufacturing
- Dimensions: 14 W x 14.5 H x 26 L in Inches
- Made in the USA
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Keep your food and drinks cold, and keep the fun going, for up to 3 days when you bring a Coleman 48 Quart Performance Cooler. Large enough to hold 63 cans and tall enough to hold 2-liter bottles upright, you'll have plenty of space for refreshments for a whole group of people. Whether you're headed on an overnight camping trip, to a tailgate party, or out to a BBQ, the 2-way handles make getting to your destination easy. When the fun is done, the leak-resistant drain makes it easy to empty any excess water, so you're ready for your next fun adventure.
The Coleman 48-Quart Chest Cooler combines the easy-to-carry convenience of two-way handles with the rugged durability of a hard plastic exterior and hinged lid, making it the perfect cooler for afternoons on the beach or on the game field. This innovative cooler is constructed with Thermozone insulation to keep food and beverages fresh and cold. This American-made cooler also features a rust-proof, leak-proof drain for easy emptying and cleaning, and it has the capacity to hold up to 63 12-ounce cans.
The Coleman Company has been creating and innovating products for recreational outdoor use since W.C. Coleman started selling gasoline-powered lanterns in 1900. Inventor of the hugely popular fold-up camp stove, Coleman developed a plastic liner for his galvanized steel coolers in 1957--the birth of the modern cooler--and the company has been improving their utility and design ever since. The array of products that bear the Coleman name now includes just about everything you might need to work or play outdoors, from tents and sleeping bags to boats, backpacks, and furniture.
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The weather was 85-90 degrees every day, and I was worried that my food wouldn't stay cold for the 6-day trip. However, this cooler worked like a champ. There were still chunks of ice in there on day 5. When I got home last night (day 6), there wasn't any actual ice left, but the last of it must have melted very recently because the water was still ice cold. And the last of my food (in zip lock bags) was still nice and cold. I couldn't be happier with this cooler.
I used a few tricks to help make the ice last the longest:
1) I used block ice. I found a local ice company that sells block ice (grocery stores don't seem to sell the block ice anymore). I put three 10-lb blocks in there, and that fit perfectly across the bottom. Then I put in my food, etc, and topped it off with some loose chopped ice to fill in the gaps. But the block ice makes a big difference. It lasts a lot longer.
2) I used my home refrigerator to pre-chill everything that I put in there. You can lose a lot of ice just doing the initial chilling of warm food and drinks, so it really helps to only put things into the cooler that are already cold. This also means I wasn't adding new warm drinks to the cooler during the trip. So, most of the time I was drinking un-chilled water, which isn't ideal, but that's the trade-off for trying to maximize how long the ice would last for my food.
3) I made a point to frequency and duration of the times when I opened the cooler. If you're opening your cooler and digging around in there every hour, that's going to melt the ice a lot faster. I only opened the cooler 2-3 times a day.
4) Of course, as always, you want to leave the water in there as the ice is melting. Don't drain the water! Keep all your food in zip-lock bags so it can sit in water and still be fine. The cold water helps keep the remaining ice from melting, better than air can.
I ended up going with this because of the severe price difference.
It stored about 20 lbs of food, packed full with frozen meats and it handled great. Yes, it is completely plastic, but the handles were solid and didn't feel like I could break them with basic lifting.
It also kept sufficiently cold. I transported individually wrapped popsicles for over an hour, and they kept their shape!
There are some annoyances, but for me not enough to dock a star given its price. The lid shuts very tightly and the handle to open it is not very large or grippy. I end up using a pocket knife to pry it open. Also the lid does not stay open, it wants to close if let go - I wedged my keys near the hinges to hold it open while I filled it.
This is a very basic cooler for a great price. It's solid, heavy duty enough and does it's job well.
The handles are pretty flimsy, I haven't had a problem yet, but I won't be surprised when they come off, keep loads light. And most importantly, its claim to keep ice for 3 days at 90 degrees... It didn't keep ice for 3 days at 50-70 degrees, that doesn't give me much hope that 90 will suddenly make it colder. This is going to be a cool weather/party cooler, it just isn't good enough for anything more.