Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#237710 - 12/21/11 08:54 PM Rigid or soft coolers ??
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1154
Coolers have been mentioned and suggested in several threads like my thread ( Camo in urban environ) and the thread about car food stash ... I was wondering about coolers and have been thinking to add a SOFT insulated bag ( or soft-walled cooler)in the trunk of my car.

They have thick padded walls and some have reflective interior. So, the question is : which better, a classic hard walled cooler , or a soft-walled cooler ?

I think the soft ones are more versatile, and this is something important in an emergency. You can even fold it within another bag if you need to.


Top
#237711 - 12/21/11 09:13 PM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2902
Loc: USA
Soft coolers don't, as a rule, insulate as well as hard coolers. They also tend to fall apart more quickly. I have a hard Coleman cooler that's older than dirt and still does the job admirably well. I've never had a soft cooler last more than about one season of regular use.

On the other hand it's much easier to carry a soft cooler around for occasional use, and if they're small they're much easier to carry.

Top
#237713 - 12/21/11 09:26 PM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC

What's best depends on your vehicle and your usage.

I've had a Coleman stainless 54-quart cooler in my Honda Element the past two years. It serves as a trunk and grocery hauler in addition to occasionally being packed with ice.

It may not be as versatile as a soft cooler but it is far more sturdy, better insulated and holds more than any soft cooler I've seen.

Something I have found very useful - especially since DC instituted a grocery bag nickel tax a couple years ago - is this Mountainsmith Cooler Cube. I have a couple and use them for grocery bags and for ice haulers when we camp. The cooler cube folds down pretty flat.

http://www.altrec.com/mountainsmith/cooler-cube?sku_id=521062&cm_mmc=Mercent-_-Google+PLA-_-Mountainsmith-_-51921-521062&mr:trackingCode=E6FAE886-B115-E011-B31E-001B2163195C&mr:referralID=NA&origin=pla&mr:adType=pla&gclid=CPTcv_qKlK0CFUTc4Aodvz0FlQ

Top
#237737 - 12/22/11 12:31 AM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1626
Loc: Northern California
I have a Rubbermaid hard cooler that's magical the way it performs. However, if I anticipate a day when a soft cooler will get the job done well enough, I'll go that route. Obviously, a soft cooler's weight and pack-ability are great to have sometimes.
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

Top
#237743 - 12/22/11 01:47 AM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 551
Loc: Orlando, FL
For soft coolers I have used these and they work well,

http://www.polarbearcoolers.com/

Keeps cold or hot for hours and can be squished flat to fit behind the car seats.

Standard disclaimer.

Top
#237749 - 12/22/11 03:01 AM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
You'll get much better performance (e.g., insulating value) from a hard-shell cooler than a soft-shell. Soft shell coolers are primarily radiant heat reflectors, with little insulating value. I also find that they quickly develop leaks, making things messy when used with ice.

There are hard coolers that have great ice retention abilities. The Coleman XTreme 5-day and 6-day coolers, Engel DeepBlue and Yeti coolers are examples. Practical Sailor magazine did a comparison of large, high-end coolers in 2008. Engel won with the best ice retention time, Coleman Xtreme came in second, Yeti third. The Engel is also advertised as bear-proof when used with padlocks or carabiners on the corner hasps (hopefully, not a potential threat inside your car).

I keep a small 12V/DC Engel refrigerator in the back of the Jeep. It's over 4 years old now and has been to hell and back. Okay, not hell, but it has been to the remote mountains of Ecuador (as check-in luggage on commercial passenger flights, then bounced around in the back of pickup tucks and buses), high plains in Utah, and throughout the Rocky Mountains, which is close enough to hell. It still runs like a champ. The only problem is it will run the Jeep's battery flat if I don't use the Jeep for a couple of days with the fridge turned on.
_________________________
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

Top
#237751 - 12/22/11 03:33 AM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Mark_M]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3596
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Mark_M
You'll get much better performance (e.g., insulating value) from a hard-shell cooler than a soft-shell. Soft shell coolers are primarily radiant heat reflectors, with little insulating value. I also find that they quickly develop leaks, making things messy when used with ice.


I completely agree. Cold packs are better than ice when using a soft cooler but they aren't as good as hard coolers for keeping things frozen or cold. We've got a Coleman 5 day cooler that is awesome. We've had it for about 6 or 7ish years now and we still have ice left when we get home from a week-long camp, even in heat in the high twenties. (C)
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

Top
#237754 - 12/22/11 04:06 AM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1506
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
+1 on the Coleman Extreme 5 day 70qt...worked well for the 04/05 hurricane season... one for ice, one for food (didn't need to get additional ice)

Top
#238284 - 12/30/11 05:12 PM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: Chisel]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 854
Loc: Colorado
For insulation ability I haven't been able to beat the cheap styrofoam cooler we bought for a picnic 27 years ago. But it's taken some TLC to get it this far. (the lid finally got abused and stressed enough to crack on the last trip)

Softside cooler doesn't hardly seem to provide much more than shade. Hard sided Coleman seems to be in between.

Will probably splurge and buy another styrofoam one. :-)

Top
#238322 - 12/30/11 11:23 PM Re: Rigid or soft coolers ?? [Re: unimogbert]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3596
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: unimogbert
For insulation ability I haven't been able to beat the cheap styrofoam cooler we bought for a picnic 27 years ago. But it's taken some TLC to get it this far. (the lid finally got abused and stressed enough to crack on the last trip)

Softside cooler doesn't hardly seem to provide much more than shade. Hard sided Coleman seems to be in between.

Will probably splurge and buy another styrofoam one. :-)


DO NOT use styrofoam coolers to brine your turkey. Don't ask me how I know. Just take my word for it!
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  KG2V, NightHiker 
July
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (Phaedrus), 264 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
martinw, Birdman1776, tskinner, Abe, Flyingbforge
5255 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Woman rescued from wolves by helicopter
by Phaedrus
48 seconds ago
96 Hours in California Desert
by hikermor
Today at 02:55 AM
Favorite Related Forum
by Teslinhiker
Yesterday at 11:53 PM
Bear Sightings
by Montanero
Yesterday at 11:22 PM
Customizing Your Medical Kit
by Montanero
Yesterday at 08:49 PM
What's the Earliest News Event You Remember?
by Russ
Yesterday at 03:23 PM
Hikers in mudflats rescued
by M_a_x
Yesterday at 07:56 AM
New gadget to add to your medical kit
by hikermor
07/14/18 12:40 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.