Coolers are great for camping, football tailgate parties and for keeping the beer cold.
But, really, do you need an expensive super cooler that keeps ice for days? You might be surprised.
by Leon Pantenburg
Disclaimer: Patriot Coolers supplied the product in this review. At the time of publication, there is no sponsorship relationship with Patriot. Patriot had no input into this post. All I ever promise is a fair shake.
The Patriot 50 quart cooler was going to be wrung out under some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. I tossed in two bags of ice, and locked it in the back of my SUV during 95+ degree temperatures, with a heat index in the triple digits. Inside the vehicle, temps would go as high as 150 degrees. The cooler had been riding around in the back for a day or so, and had not been cooled down when I added ice. I can’t imagine a more rigorous field test.
If it could keep ice under those circumstances, the Patriot was worth considering.
Some 72 hours later, there was still ice in the cooler. If a cooler could be in that intense of heat, for that long, and still hold ice, there is little doubt it could hold ice for a week or more in normal conditions.
I used to collect chest coolers. For years, I would fly from Virginia, Idaho or Oregon in the fall to Mississippi to hunt deer. When I killed a whitetail, I would bone out the meat and freeze it solid. Then, I’d go to the local box store and buy a cheap chest cooler. (It cost less to buy a cooler than it did to fly one in.)
Once the meat was frozen solid, I’d pack it in the cooler, secure the lid, and fly it home. The meat would stay completely frozen over the 12-hour flight, and would go directly into my chest freezer in the garage. For my purposes, these inexpensive coolers worked just fine.
For picnicking, when you’re going to be out for several hours, any of these inexpensive coolers would suffice. Or at a tailgate party, the cooler only has to keep the food and beer cold for a few hours. An expensive ultra-cooler is overkill and a needless expense.
Do you need one of the expensive, fancy, ultra-deluxe coolers?
In some circles, they might be status symbols, another expensive big boy toy to take tailgating, fishing, river rafting or to hunting camp.
In other cases, a super cooler could be a life saver. Here’s a very possible scenario: Suppose you had to evacuate your home during hot weather in the face of a hurricane. Your child has diabetes. That super cooler could keep the insulin cold.
Or there is a forced evacuation in the face of an impending flood, and elderly people need medications that must be kept cold. Or you might be in a hunting camp where a super cooler was needed to keep things from freezing.
In these situations, a super cooler can be a sound, solid survival tool that is worth the investment.
Here are the specs on the Patriot 50 quart Rotomolded cooler, according to the company website.
Inside Dimensions – 23″L x 12″W x 10.75″H
Outside Dimensions – 28.75″L x 17.5″W x 15.75″H
The Patriot features:
Heavy-Duty Rubber Latches: Requires no hardware and keeps the lid secured.
Bear Resistant: Designed to keep unwanted guests out.
Freezer-Grade Rubber Gasket: Commercial-grade Rubber Gasket makes a perfect seal.
Roto-Molded Construction: Built to withstand the toughest conditions.
Quick Drain System: Easy flow drain spout to drain water, keeps ice in place.
Molded Side Handles: For balanced heavy load lifting.
Keeps ice up to 10 days: Like a portable freezer.
Measurement Guide: Embossed 17″ ruler on lid to measure your prized catches.
Temperature Retention: Built for Maximum Temperature Retention with up to 3” insulated walls.
Non-Slip Lid: The perfect platform to cast off into the ocean.
Sweat-free Design: No condensation on outside.
- Non Slip rubber feet: Prevents sliding around.
- Made in China: Designed in Houston, TX.
- 1 Year Limited Warranty
The Good Stuff:
The latches are great. They readily lock the lid shut. I particularly like the halfway stop, which allows the lid to be propped open for air circulation.
Bear resistant: It looks good, but I couldn’t test this aspect, since there are no bears in Brandon, Mississippi, and none in my vehicle.
Quick drain system: Yep – this works well.
Side handles: A cooler this sturdy is going to be heavy. Empty, the cooler weighs in at 33 pounds. Do the math – if you put 50 pounds worth of things inside, it is going to weigh upwards of 80+ pounds. The side handles work well for distributing the weight. Still – this is not a cooler that is easily handled by a single person.
Condensation on outside – I didn’t notice any.
Non-slip lid: I didn’t fish off the top of mine, but I did sit on it a good bit, and it was a sturdy comfortable seat.
I REALLY like the philosophy of the Patriot Coolers. Founded in Houston, Texas in 2017 by the father/son duo, Peter and Paul Hirsch, Patriot Coolers produces a wide variety of high-quality outdoor living products designed to withstand the harsh environmental conditions. Rated the #1 rated Cooler Brand in the USA, according to the company website, Patriot Coolers has committed 20% of the company’s net proceeds from all drinkware and cooler sales by the company, to the not-for-profit organization, Homes for Our Troops, making it possible to give back to U.S. Military Veterans across the country with every purchase.
Sidenote: I also checked out the double-insulated, stainless steel 30-ounce Tumbler. It is a superb container to carry cold or hot drinks in. It keeps the liquid hot or cold.