Evaluate the Engel 65
The Engel is a two-handled, indented-lid rotomolded cooler that can hold most standard wine bottles. It has bottle opener latches, a non-skid lid and feet, and tie-downs.
Taking a Look at the Performances
The Engel could be the perfect cooler for you thanks to its decent performance, cheaper-than-average price, and unique color options.
Jenna Ammerman is due credit for this.
Among the rotomolded coolers we examined, the Engel was one of several that featured a rubber gasket for a leak-proof seal. Its above-average performance in our rigorous insulation tests can be attributed, in no small part, to its impressive build. When compared to the typical value of 4, Engel lasted 5 days at or below 40 degrees. Above-average duration of 6 days during which the interior temperature was maintained at or below 50 degrees (think cold beer) Only slightly more than a day is added to the lifespan of the best performing models at food-safe temperatures in this test.
With two inches of high-performance insulation and an interlocking hinge to keep that rubber gasket sealed tight, this ice chest has no problem keeping things cold for an extended camping weekend with your friends. While it did not achieve the Engel's claimed ten days of ice retention under our testing conditions, we did not hold this against the cooler because none of the other coolers we tried came close.
Insulation testing equipment loaded and ready to go
Authorization: Maggie Brandenburg
The Engel is one of several coolers we tested that earned the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee's official seal of approval for resistance to grizzly bears. In addition to filling it with water and turning it on all sides, we discovered no leaks from the "never loses shape" silicone gasket that Engel boasts about. The interlocking hinge is not only one of the quietest hinges we tested, but it also remarkably withstood all of the abuse we threw at it.
Nonetheless, it had some quirks in our testing that brought its overall score down relative to competing models. Some of these specifics include complaints of the rubber latches stretching out over time and a lid that moves visibly when a 225-pound tester jumps on it (although we acknowledge that this is outside the scope of 'normal' usage). We haven't had the pleasure of using this cooler over and over for many years, but our prior experiences with the latches have shown that they have a tendency to stretch.
Engel's rubber gasket and hinge are responsible for its IGBC approval.
To the credit of Maggie Brandenburg
Simplicity of Operation
With its sturdy rotomolded build, interlocking hinge, and double carry handles, the Engel is reminiscent of several of its rivals. However, unlike its rivals, Engel did not adopt the rubberized T-grip pull latches. We think this could be a plus for the cooler because it's easier to use than the T-grip latches, but we weren't impressed by how well they worked. We couldn't easily and quickly clasp them shut because of the awkwardly long, narrow shape. More precise movements were required to close the cooler because they tended to wobble slightly side to side. We found that switching to this latch from the T-grips required less physical effort and more mental focus.
The Engel's drain is simple to operate, and it comes in two different sizes for optimal water evacuation. Its claimed capacity is 58 quarts, but our measurement puts it at 56 quarts. Despite being slightly smaller than some of the other models we tried, we found this to be an excellent size that strikes a balance between being able to carry a lot of food and drinks and being manageable for one person to carry. It has a textured lid, making it one of the easiest to set things on top without worrying about them falling off if the cooler is bumped.
Contrasted with the other coolers we examined, this one has a latch that conceals bottle openers.
Photo by Maggie Brandenburg
At just 25 The Engel's 5.9-pound weight makes it the lightest rotomolded cooler we tested, and its portability is definitely noticeable when you're on your own. The slightly reduced width of this ice chest makes it easier for a solitary explorer to transport. We love its light weight and capacity that won't let you overstuff it, but it does become increasingly difficult for one person to move around with the more you pack into it. It also features the standard set of double handles found on most coolers of this type, making it possible to use a second person to help you transport the cooler.
However, we're not thrilled with this chest's dual rope carrying handles. These grips are molded finger grooves on one side of a stiff, clumsy plastic handle. At first, we didn't think anything of it, but after some use, we found that the grips weren't nearly as comfortable as we'd hoped because they were too narrow and too rigid. Sweaty hands make the smooth plastic even more dangerously slippery than it already is on hot days. Still, so long as you aren't lugging this box a mile to the beach, the handles will prove to be more of an asset than a liability. After all, two people carrying one cooler is always easier than you carrying it by yourself.
Although the Engel's hard plastic hand grips aren't our favorite, the cooler's compact size makes it relatively easy to transport when not fully loaded.
Jenna Ammerman is due credit for this.
The metal hooks that the latches attach to on the Engel have a second use: they can be used to open bottles of beer. The Engel has non-skid feet, can be used with dry ice (yay), and can be tied down in place without preventing it from opening. ), and as of this writing is supported by a whopping 10-year guarantee, which is seriously impressive among its contemporaries.
The Engel's lack of a dry basket and other storage options is our main gripe with the product, but this is a common problem across brands. Like the vast majority of the other models we tested, this one lacks a leash for the drain plug, so it's important to keep track of its location if you ever need to remove it.
The Engel drain is assisted by its small channel and low lip.
All credit to Maggie Brandenburg
This cooler's original MSRP was significantly less than that of competing high-end models. While the gap is still there, it has shrunk considerably. However, if you keep an eye out for sales and deals, you can still find the Engel at a discount. We think it's worth the price, even at retail. Though it doesn't blow away the competition in any one area, this cooler does a decent job across the board and costs less than its rivals. We already think it's a great deal, but at the more typical sale prices we've seen, it's a steal.
Coolers of similar design lined up for comparison. Orca 58, Engel 65, RTIC 65, Yeti Tundra 65, OtterBox Venture 65, and Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70Qt can be seen in this image, starting at the left.
Thank you, Maggie Brandenburg!
With its above-average features and low-average cost, the Engel 65 is a steal. This cooler may be the best investment you've ever made, thanks to its reasonable price, high level of insulation, and long service life (not to mention its hidden bottle openers).
The Engel (lower middle) is an excellent cooler that you should consider purchasing.
To Jenna Ammerman's Credit
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