Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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Written By:  Bobbie

With camping comes the need for some good coolers.  The last thing you want is for food to go bad because it did not stay cool.  Igloo was kind enough to send me some coolers to test out on my camping trip in exchange for my honest review.

The largest ice chest I received was the Igloo Glide Pro 110 Roller.  This is a very large ice chest that has a capacity of 110 quarts.  For the weekend camping trip I packed food for six people, and some extra as we were camping with two other families.  I was thrilled to be able to set in a gallon of milk, and still have enough room on top for more food.  I loaded the ice chest up with fruits, veggies, hot dogs, burgers, lunch meats, and all the fixings.  I pretty much just emptied out my fridge into the thing and still had room.

You would think that maneuvering such a beast would be a problem, but it is so well designed it is actually easier to move around than our smaller cooler. The wheels are huge and the locking telescopic handle makes pulling it around very easy. I like that the wheels are set a little on the outside of the cooler, so there is minimal space lost on the inside of the cooler to accommodate the axle and wheels themselves.

Getting the cooler up into the back of the SUV did take two people, but it was a quick lift and some wheeling around and it was perfectly in place. The top of the ice chest has a measuring guide, so if you use this for catching fish, you can make sure the catch is legal right away. I'll admit that at first glance the latches seems kind of flimsy, and not what I expected from Igloo. After a weekend of abuse by 6 of us, plus a few other family members, I no longer have that opinion. The latches are just meant to keep the lid locked in place. A quick pull back and the lid can be lifted. They are not meant to be fully flipped back, just a little tug back and they are free. Draining the cooler is easy as there is a plug with a threaded cap on one side. A slight tilt using the handle, and all the water started pouring out.

Igloo also sent me the smaller Custom Contour cooler. This is available in a variety of colors and I picked purple. This cooler looks small but is an impressive 30 Qts. What this translate in to real words use is 14 bottles, 16 juice pouches, and 17 cans of soda, with room for ice. Even when it was full, while heavy, it was still manageable for everyone in the family to pick up and move around. I've always liked having one cooler for all the food, and one cooler for all the drinks, so I don't worry if a little one forgets to close the top after grabbing something to drink. Between the two coolers we used five 7 lbs bags of ice (some of that was scooped into cups for drinks) and we had ice in both coolers by the time we left Sunday afternoon.  This is actually less ice than we have used in the past with our old coolers.
The last item I received from Igloo was the Collapsible Picnic Basket, also available in a variety of patterns. This ended up solving a real problem for me with keeping the chocolates and marshmallows for s'mores cool but not too cold, and not melted from the sun. The Picnic Basket is fully insulated and deceptively large as well. I had it packed with 3 ice packs, a 3lb box of strawberries, 2 bags of marshmallows, a bag of giant marshmallows, and wells as a bunch of chocolate bars, and some snack bars that were covered in chocolate. Even stuffed it was easy to carry around and the foam on the handle was comfortable to grip. When I got the the campsite Friday afternoon I put the strawberries in the big cooler, and zipped up the picnic basket and just left it in the shade of the canopy on the table. We were rained out Friday night, but when Saturday night rolled around, my chocolates were cool, but easily melted by the gooey toasted marshmallows. My marshmallows were also cool, but not wet like they have been in the past when they get shoved into the big ice chest.  The Picnic Basket fit perfectly on one of the camping chairs, so all the kids could go grab marshmallows and chocolates as they were making their s'mores.

A huge thank you to Igloo for the opportunity to try out these products.  I had a blast using them, and enjoyed showing them to my other family members.  These worked out perfectly for us and I looke forward to many more years of camping and day trips with these products.

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