In the past 5 years or so it seems as though a cooler war has begun.
Coleman is the trusted brand that has been around forever. They make a good product for a fair price, nobody can deny that.
Yeti is the new kid on the block. Yeti has successfully disrupted the market and changed the way that consumers view their coolers with aggressive marketing and extremely high-quality products.
We have seen people start to think of their cooler as an investment that will last a lifetime rather than a few years. It has also become an expectation that your cooler should keep your food cold and ice frozen not just for one day but for at least a solid week.
Other high-end coolers are becoming more popular as well, such as Engel Coolers, Grizzly Coolers, Igloo Yukon Coolers and Coleman Xtreme Coolers. While each of these coolers has subtle differences, they are all high-end solid coolers that will keep your food cold much longer than a standard cooler.
Today, I wanted to test the cheaper everyman cooler, the Coleman Xtreme and see how it compared to the rest. You see, the Yeti, Engel, IRP, and Yukon are all great coolers, but they are all quite expensive, from $200-$500. These coolers are solid, bear-proof and boast of abilities to keep food cold for 5-10 days.
But the Coleman Xtreme is a bit different, Coleman went for a cooler with high-end cooling capabilities without the price to match the other big boys.
In theory, the Coleman Xtreme is meant to compete on the cooling side of the equation while still maintaining an incredibly affordable price. The 100 qt Coleman Xtreme is available from Amazon for well under $100 and the 52 Qt Coleman Xtreme is well under $50. Both also have 4+ star ratings on Amazon.
What you don’t get with the Coleman Xtreme is the durability of the other coolers mentioned (but you also don’t have the extra added weight either!). This includes being bear proof. So, if you are looking for a cooler that will keep things cold for a long time at a great price, the Coleman Xtreme should be a good option. If you are looking for something that will last a lifetime as well, then one of the other coolers is probably a better fit.
Does The Coleman Xtreme Really Last 5 Days
I decided to do my own test of the Coleman Xtreme and put it against my personal favorite cooler, my 50 qt Yeti.
For this test, I placed each cooler so they would be in direct sunlight for approximately half of each day and in shade for the other half. This is typical of what you might run into if you have a cooler with you out camping.
I then packed each cooler with 20 lbs. of ice and 1 drink (so you can better see where the ice is at).
NOTE: Yes, I do realize that both coolers are slightly different size. This is not a 100% perfect scientific test, it is a practical, real-world test of how people use similar coolers.
Each cooler was opened only once per day to photograph where the ice level was at and how well each cooler was doing.
Note: If you are looking to get maximum results, all coolers recommend that you pre-chill the cooler before packing it with ice and food. This will prevent the loss of cold due to initially cooling down the cooler. Potentially this could get you an extra day out of your ice. I chose not to pre-cool our cooler because we have found that most people do not actually do this and I wanted to best represent what a typical family would experience. Also, every cooler manufacturer recommends filling your cooler to the top with ice in order to get the longest cold time.
Check Out Our Complete Guide To Camp Cooking Here
After 1 Day
After the first 24 hours, each cooler was doing great. Each had a little bit of water in the bottom of the cooler and experienced a bit of melt due to cooling down the room temperature coolers. The temperature on day one reached roughly 75 degrees.
After 2 Days
Day three experienced more of the same, a little bit more melt, but still lots of ice. High Temp: 74 degrees.
After 3 Days
After the third day, the water and ice were getting pretty low in the Coleman Xtreme. It definitely was looking like the Yeti was starting to outpace the Coleman. High Temp: 72 degrees.
After 4 Days
After 5 Days
The Coleman Xtreme was officially done on the 5th day (this included the start day). No ice was left but the water was still very cold. It would definitely be time to pack in some more ice or wrap up your camping trip. The Yeti wasn’t too far behind either, it had roughly 10% of its ice left in the cooler. High Temp: 70 degrees.
After 6 Days
After the 6th day the Yeti joined the Coleman Xtreme and was all out of ice as well.
I expected the Yeti to go at least one more day, but I wasn’t really disappointed as I know that their claim of 7 days is with a pre-cooled cooler that is full to the top with ice, so 6 days was pretty good.
In the end, if the price isn’t your deciding factor, the Yeti Cooler is still an amazing cooler. It will keep your food cold for an incredible amount of time, last a lifetime and is safe to bring on any camping trip. You can purchase the Yeti Tundra 45 below:
On the other hand, the Coleman Xtreme is an incredible cooler for the price. For roughly $30-90 you can have a cooler that will keep your food cold for an entire camping trip. While it may not last a lifetime, it also doesn’t come across as cheaply made, it is definitely a solid cooler. You can purchase the Coleman Xtreme below: