Review of the 55 Quart Lifetime Cooler by the Milky Way Photographers
I purchased a 55-quart Lifetime Cooler from Walmart in 2019, the devastation of consumer hopes and dreams. I suppose it's time to give this high-performance cooler a review after a year and share my opinions with the world. However, before you ask why MilkyWayPhotographers exists One of our aims at com, which runs a food cooler review, is to cover all facets of night photography. That means we'll provide you with concepts that you won't find on other websites devoted to Milky Way photography. When you go out to take pictures of the night sky, we want you to have the best experience possible.
When Yeti introduced a novel style of outdoor cooler to the market in 2008, the recreational cooler industry was completely turned on its head. The business was able to gain a foothold with its distinctive goods, which included a hard shell and insulation that guaranteed to keep food and drinks cold for days on end. But many people could not afford the cost of a Yeti cooler. But soon, the market would be inundated with countless counterfeit coolers.
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Even when I covered off-road races, which were frequently held during the hottest months of the year, I was content to purchase a fresh bag of ice whenever necessary. When I noticed Lifetime brand coolers at Walmart last year for a fraction of a Yeti's price, I decided to take the plunge. I made the decision to buy a 55-quart model and use it. My trip to Arizona and Utah served as the inaugural voyage.
THE LIFETIME COOLER'S FEATURES
This is not your 1970s foam-lined Coleman cooler; instead, it has a hard shell, rubber straps, and a rubber seal that mates the lid to the main body. Although Lifetime has been in business since 1986, it didn't launch a line of coolers until 2018.
The Lifetime 55 Quart cooler has the hardware you need if you frequently travel through bear country. You can actually lock the lid to prevent Yogi from stealing your lunch.
I should state a few caveats before I begin this review. I was not paid. I paid hard-earned dollars in the United States for this specific cooler. My experiments were hardly scientific. In fact, I'll highlight a different person's real-world test that was conducted. Everything else will be based on my experience using this cooler in the real world.
WHAT IT'S MADE OF
Nowadays, many coolers are produced using rotomolding. Compared to earlier generations, this process results in a cooler that is heavier but better insulated. The outdated coolers that some of us are familiar with used plastic and foam as insulation. Over time, this foam degraded, and on warm days, one could easily break through ice.
I probably spent around $100 on my 55-quart Lifetime cooler. There are comparable prices for other brands. Furthermore, some companies will gladly accept twice as much payment for a similar-sized product.
The cooler is getting used even though I did not anticipate doing so much. I use it frequently; at the moment, it is filled with food and ice for three to four days a week. Throwing some large blocks of ice 12–24 hours prior to use has proven to be the most effective technique I have used. Fortunately, I have a sizable freezer in my garage. I turned several gallon milk jugs I had into ice. This causes the cooler's interior to cool.
It is best to fill your cooler as completely as you can to remove any air pockets in order to maintain the cold. I prefer to use the tiny blue artificial ice packs even though the cooler has a drain plug. I'll pack the cooler with everything I'll need for the trip. I also frequently add a few gallon blocks of ice to help fill the space. The cooler is fully occupied by the third or fourth day.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE 55 GALLON LIFETIME COOLER?
There is only one scientific test, as I previously mentioned. Truth be told, the Lifetime cooler did fairly well.
Regarding the real world, I have not yet experienced disappointment. I recently went on a 4-day trip during which the cooler was left in the 4Runner for the entire time, with daily highs of around 100 degrees. Although it was hot outside, I was able to keep the windows open. The ice blocks were still present on Day 4 but contained at least 50% water. The small artificial ice blocks were still cool but were battered.
I did have a thermometer with me, so I briefly placed it in the cooler to check the temperature. The answer was 51°F. I was genuinely shocked but delighted.
To be completely honest, I love this cooler. Compared to other widely used models, the buy-in is significantly lower, but the cooler performs as I would expect. Yes, it is heavy when fully loaded, but moving it is easy thanks to the rope handles.
Every 55-quart cooler is substantial. The 55 gallon Lifetime High Performance Cooler is 27 inches tall. 00 x 17 60 x 17 30 Inches Consider purchasing a smaller version if your vehicle is anything other than a 4Runner. I will admit that because my trips to photograph the Milky Way are so brief, the cooler doesn't get filled with food and beverages. In those circumstances, I simply add as much ice as I can. A 28-quart cooler is available from Lifetime.
As in this instance, the adage "you get what you pay for" can be misleading. I don't have to worry about purchasing a bag of ice for a cheap cooler nearly every day. I'm happy I bought the Lifetime Cooler.
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