Shortly after Stella and I met (over ten years ago), we purchased a run of the mill hard-side cooler, which we have been using ever since. While that cooler had provided adequate cooling for short periods of time, this spring we decided that it was time for a major upgrade. I had come across an ad for the RTIC brand of coolers, whose mantra touts, “Over Built, Not Overpriced.” The RTIC brand of coolers only has one major market competitor, whose products have a higher price tag. We have compared the two brands, and find RTIC to be just as high quality as the other brand. Knowing that we had an extended trip planned later in the summer, our Epic Wild West Vacation, we needed to replace our basic cooler with something that would provide more space and better cooling abilities. We chose the RTIC 45 Quart Hard Cooler.
SIZE: The RTIC Hard Cooler is available in 20, 45, 65 and 110 quart sizes. As mentioned previously we selected the RTIC 45 Quart Hard Cooler, as we determined it would fit our needs for years to come, and it slips in nicely to a spot in the back of the Tahoe. If needed, it has the ability to store 36 cans of your favorite beverage. But for our trip, we packed it primarily with food, and even though we needed this for the vacation, we still use it every weekend when heading up to Grand Lake. The height of the cooler also works well for an extra seat or bench when needed.
FREEZING: It is all about the design. The RTIC Hard Cooler is built similarly to a chest freezer, except with the ability for it to be lugged around. The secret is a 2″ plus foam core that envelops the entire cooler, which according to RTIC, will hold ice for ten days. Our Epic Wild West Summer Vacation lasted thirteen days, with the need to keep items cold for that period of time. In addition to the cooler, we also purchased a 2 Pack of the medium RTIC Ice Packs, and placed them flat on the bottom of the cooler. From there, I added a bag of ice about every three days. We also randomly placed some smaller reusable ice packs. With that being said, the RTIC 45 Hard Cooler performed very well. I am impressed with the cooler’s ability to keep everything very cold. Additionally, the heavy duty rubber t-latches, combined with the freezer style lid gasket, make for a tight seal, which is vital.
DURABILITY: Rotomolded construction, virtually indestructible, provides a lifetime adventure and may be the last cooler you purchase. There is an optional integrated locking system, which makes this cooler bear resistant as well. The cooler also features no slip feet which prevent the cooler from sliding about in the back of your vehicle or out on your boat. This cooler is rock-solid!
TRANSPORTABILITY: The RTIC 45 Hard Cooler when empty weighs 25 pounds. For our trip, we packed this cooler full to the brim, which I estimate weighed at least 50 pounds. I was able to lug the cooler around relatively easily using the two molded handle grips. But RTIC has added heavy duty rope handles that would make the task easier for two people to move the cooler in tandem. As mentioned previously, the cooler is equipped with non-slip feet and there are molded tie down slots to anchor your cooler during transport as well.
Overall, the cooler has exceeded our expectations. It is durably constructed, and most importantly, keeps food cold for days on end. Also read our review for the RTIC Soft Pack 8.
Overall All: Excellent Purchase
Price Paid: $199 plus tax & free shipping
Place Purchased: RTIC Website
Link to RTIC Outdoors Website: RTIC Outdoors
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