When the climbing gym in my hometown of Jackson, WY closed down unexpectedly, I took it as a sign to diversify my outdoors portfolio and spend more time floating rivers and fishing. And what better way to make the river really nice than test a  Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler.

On many outings this past summer I counted on the Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler to keep my beverages and tasty treats cold for multiple days. It was burly enough to stand up to the summer heat, river rocks, sand, truck beds, and time.

I also used the Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler as a seat, attaching it to to the front of our raft frame. Its thick walls easily supported my husband’s 200 pounds without showing the slightest hint of flexing. The textured, UV-resistant outer material (in a nice khaki-grey color) also resisted scratches and scuff marks throughout the season, and remained durable after  lots of loading and unloading between the shed, truck, and boat. Its anti-skid feet kept it in place  in the back of the truck on the way to the boat launch and campsite. After four months of regular  weekend use and a bachelor party, the Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler still looks almost new.

My husband and I really enjoyed discovering all of the Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Coopler’s handy features in both whitewater and fishing stretches of the river. The cutting board that stows under the lid came in handy for assembling a classy salami, cheese, and veggie spread on an evening float with family. The dry storage basket was perfect for holding energy bars, utensils, and cell phones. Two drain hole options and an antimicrobial lining made cleaning the cooler a breeze. The bottle opener hidden under the handle was a nice touch, as was the fish ruler molded into the lid. The sturdy rubber latches and gasket kept the cold in and the river water out! However, the  latches took a little getting used to; we soon discovered that instead of pulling and twisting them, all they needed was a little twist.

The Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler has a vault-like interior that kept ice for days, even weeks. We had a late-summer barbeque and ended up with two full bags of ice that wouldn’t fit in our freezer. We stored them in the Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler in the shade of our back deck, in 70-degree temperatures, and they were still going strong after two weeks! Another bonus, we tossed the cooler in the back of our truck on a three-day weekend getaway to Montana, during which the temperatures rose into the high 80s, and our ice stash wasn’t even fazed.

When the cooler is full, it works best to lift our Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler using its rope-slung handles with a person on each side.  At 29 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than a comparable 50-quart Yeti cooler. Although the Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler is perfect for day and for weekend raft trips, on a longer river trip when space is at a premium, our group opts for a cooler that’s not as tall  or wide (because a shorter cooler is better for sitting on in whitewater and takes up less space  between the bars of the frame). That said, for most outdoor uses, such as camping and hunting, this is a nonissue.


IMG_5733The Coleman Esky Series 55 Quart Cooler is available in  White or Khaki in four sizes: 55, 85, 135, and 205 quarts. We found the 55 to be the perfect weekend warrior size (exterior dimensions, 27.4 x 19.6 x 19.6; interior dimensions, 17.1 x 10.5 x 13.4). Esky coolers come with a confidence-inspiring 6-year warranty and are proudly made in the USA. They are high-quality, look really cool, and hold ice longer than the competition.

Bottom Line: A rugged, feature-laden super cooler that keeps ice solid for an absurdly long time.

Manufacturer’s Site: http://www.eskyseriescoolers.com

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