Which premium cooler? Yeti & Pelican seem to be the two that are the most familiar, however those were not our choice. Yeti was great, except even more expensive than most. Pelican was less expensive, and available in retail locations for inspection, but SO overbuilt, oversized and heavy that we immediately rejected it.
Now that we’ve had the Grizzly 40 for 3 months on the boat in the Florida Keys and 3 months in our Lance travel trailer in southwest Utah, what do we think?
We chose our Grizzly 40 cooler because it maximized space for size and weight, plus it was less expensive than the Yeti 45 which was our 2nd choice. (An interesting note: we were told that Yeti doesn’t allow their coolers to be discounted, so you’ll never find a new one for a different price than any retailer. Prices vary, I did considerable shopping and got our Grizzly 40 for $255 on Amazon with free shipping – the price went up the next week and bounced around, so it pays to keep checking)
We’ve met people with Yeti’s galore, as it seems to be the most popular brand, both for cruisers and campers. Haven’t seen a single other Grizzly, but we have met a few folks with Pelicans and Engels. We also head to head tested our Grizzly 40 against a friend’s highly touted “your expensive cooler isn’t better than my old Coleman cooler“.
By the end of our month camping with our friends, the Grizzly was the cooler that was in use constantly with the “old Coleman” only seeing use when we had excess stuff to fit in the Grizzly. Hmmm…. Having said that, we’ll also admit that the “old Coleman” worked almost as well, it just needed ice more often. And for the price of the premium coolers, you can buy lots of ice!
So are we happy with our choice? Would we buy a “premium” cooler versus a “regular Coleman/Igloo (insert your favorite brand here)” again? Definitely.
As any cooler, it works best when pre-cooled and also when the stuff we put in it is already chilled. But any cooler, inexpensive or premium, is the same in that regard. It also works better with a block of ice than cubes, no surprise here either, any cooler works better with a block than cubes.
The thing that made us use it more was the longevity between the times we needed to buy ice. Typically several days (not 7 – 10 as advertised, but several)…. which meant we didn’t need to go hunting for ice as often.
It also keeps the chilled water (when the ice is all melted) cold longer so that even when there’s no ice left, the beer may be chilled enough to enjoy (and David likes his beer CHILLED!). His comment is when the Grizzly has a new block of ice, it keeps the beer colder than the refrigerator in the Lance travel trailer.
If we had it to do over again, would we buy a Grizzly 40 over a Yeti 45 or an Engel? Maybe. Would we buy either of the three above the Igloo Yukon or any of the Pelican coolers? Definitely, but our choice has more to do with weight and size than quality of the cooler. Our choice between Grizzly, Yeti or Engel would have more to do with price as they seem very very similar.
Which cooler do you prefer and why? Please leave comments and share! Cheers! Jan