Updated: May 29, 2015
Best Coleman Coolers - Coleman Xtreme CoolersThinking about buying a Coleman Cooler? See why the Coleman Xtreme is so popular..
Anybody who has ever done any camping anywhere in the world has used a product designed by the famous Coleman company. Most famous for its lamps and lanterns, which were the very first item the company ever built way back in 1900, Coleman also builds watercraft, mattresses, tents, tent trailers, hot tubs, sleeping bags, and the list goes on and on. While camping is the first thing you may think of when it comes to this solid American company, many of Coleman's products come in handy for any outdoor excursion, be it a day at the beach, a picnic in the park, or a week long hike in the Adirondacks. Known for the reliability and the durability of its products, Coleman has a large assortment of coolers and thermoses amongst its offerings as well (they make steel belted coolers, wheeled coolers, marine coolers, thermoelectric coolers, just to name a few..). Coolers are an incredibly important part of any outdoor excursion, and the longer you're going out for, the more important they become. We've had a look around at various sites with a lot of information on two of Coleman's most popular cooler models, the Steel Belt and Coleman Xtreme Cooler lines. Which of these Coleman coolers will best suit your needs? We've summed up all the information you need below!
Coleman Xtreme Coolers - 5 Day Xtreme Cooler
Coleman's Xtreme coolers are one of the best known and most reliable lines of coolers on the market today. They are made from tough plastic and have plenty of insulation. How much is plenty? Well, the Xtreme Cooler line comes in two different models, the five day coolers and the six day coolers. The inherent promise here is that when you're out camping (and Coleman guarantees this to 90 degree Fahrenheit) your food will stay cold, and your ice intact for five or six days respectively. That's a pretty long time out in the bush, and should meet anyone's needs as long as it works. Well, the Coleman Xtreme wheeled cooler and its mates certainly live up to the bill. Reviews such as those at 4x4 review put them to the test and found that the ice in the cooler had hardly melted after five days, despite repeated openings. These coolers are also easy to drain thanks to the Channel Drain, no tilt trademark that is part of the Coleman coolers standard makeup. There are a number of sizes available, from the Coleman 70-quart Xtreme cooler to the 32 Quart Extreme Cooler, a 62 Quart model and a 100 Quart Coleman Xtreme as well (all Xtreme Coolers listed here). You can also buy the 100 Quart Xtreme Coleman Wheeled Cooler which makes it a lot easier to haul the cooler around. Tests from Consumer Digest say that the wheels make the cooler easy to move by one person even over rough terrain, using only one hand. The only negative spot that anyone seems to come up with when it comes to any of the Coleman Xtreme Wheeled or regular coolers is that of durability. These coolers sell from $85-$160 depending on their size, and people do expect them to last. For the most part, shelf life for the Xtreme Coolers and their capacities seem to be around four years. While the materials they are manufactured from tend to be quite durable, there seem to be two recurring problems. The first is their susceptibility to impact damage, the second to sun damage. This is of particular concern for those who like to go out for rougher excursions, as noted by 4x4 review, when there is a high likelihood not only that the cooler will get banged around, but that it will also be in the sun an awful lot. Your contents will stay cold, but expect the nice color of the cooler to fade over time.
Coleman Steel Coolers - Coleman Wheeled CoolersColeman produced steel coolers for four decades, but dropped the line in 1994. These models have made a recent comeback, thanks to the demand of outdoor lovers everywhere who wanted a bit of extra durability and let's face it some nice aesthetics too. Nothing says rugged camping quite like a Coleman 54 Quart Steel Cooler. By all accounts, they are certainly the durable cooling option that campers and outdoor adventurers were looking for; the tough steel makeup is impervious to the sun's rays and can really take a beating. However, looks and even long term durability have to take a back seat to the true function of the cooler in the camping context, and that is of course keeping your food and beverages cool. In this respect, reviews of the Coleman steel cooler were disappointing across the board. From Amazon to Consumer Search to 4x4 reviews, review after review noted that the Coleman Steel Cooler just didn't keep things cool the way the Xtreme line does. Within 24 hours, most campers found that they were adding ice to the cooler. In addition, the latching mechanism on the Coleman Steel cooler was found to be inefficient; it was easy to open with a tug, and a sharp jolt or a tumble would send contents tumbling across the ground or the back of a truck. The Coleman Steel cooler is the most expensive of Coleman's cooler offerings at $159-$210, quite an investment for a product that doesn't do what it's supposed to at least in the long term. If you want the look, the trade-off will be performance.
Coleman Cooler Recommendations
If you love to go on longer camping excursions, then the Coleman Xtreme cooler line is definitely the choice for you. Get the six or five day Xtreme coolers and you are guaranteed to have cold drinks and preserved food for your whole trip. With the Coleman Xtreme wheeled coolers, you will also have an easy time with transportation. If you are looking for a hardier cooler which can stand up to rough treatment, you may want to take a chance on the Coleman Steel cooler line. However, keep in mind that these are best for day trips or overnight, they are not as easy to carry around, and you will have to watch out for that latching mechanism.