The Cooler Zone, A Review of the nICE Cooler

nice cooler review headliner

Brandon F. Updated February 8th, 2022

NICE Coolers, our friends, sent us some samples to try. In this massive write-up, we'll look at their product line and analyze how well the nICE coolers performed in our lab tests. Read on to find out how this product stacks up against the industry standard-bearers like Yeti, RTIC, and the like. Check out nICE Coolers, and see if they're better than those other guys.

Below is a table summarizing our findings from our tests of various hard-sided coolers.


Beige 75-Quart nICE Cooler

CKR-514256 Seafoam Green 45-Quart nICE Cooler

Gray 20-Quart nICE Cooler (CKR-514423).

Quantity of Space (in Quarters)

Range on Tested Ice in Hours


A+ Ice Life


Beige 75-Quart nICE Cooler

Volume of Storage (in Quarters)

Range on Tested Ice in Hours


nICE 45 Quart Seafoam Green CKR-514256 Cooler

Volume of Storage (in Quarters)

Range on Tested Ice in Hours

Awesome Deal


Gray 20-Quart nICE Cooler (CKR-514423).

Volume of Storage (in Quarters)

Duration of Ice Tests (Hours)

Although we were unfamiliar with the brand name, our research revealed that nICE coolers are actually rebranded Meadowcraft models and are strikingly similar to MILEE coolers both in terms of design and functionality. Before this, we had only heard of Meadowcraft coolers through stores like Walmart, but we had never actually handled one.

nice cooler logo

We have no problem with nICE's decision to rebrand and/or update their products; they are not the first and won't be the last company to do so. We're glad to see they're making an effort to compete in the premium cooler market, which can be fierce. You, the consumer, benefit when businesses have to compete for your business.

The nICE Family of Coolers

Hard-sided coolers, a can holder, and two sizes of tumblers are all available from nICE.   One interesting point of note is that nICE currently don’t sell any soft-sided coolers Even though we've noticed an uptick in the number of businesses producing soft-sided coolers, this news came as something of a shock.

While most of the competition sells can coolers, nICE's Cannon and thermafoam models stand out. We don't usually review non-standard coolers like thermafoam can coolers, but we were sent one and will discuss our findings below.

Coolers with nICE Durable Shells

nice cooler lineup

NICE Coolers is available on

There are three different sized nICE hard-sided coolers available: the nICE 20, 45, and 75. You should know that in addition to the nICE 20, we also got a slightly larger model that we'll refer to as the "nICE 22." It differs from the nICE 20 in several key ways: it has a different handle, built-in bottle openers on the latches, and a slightly larger storage volume. Since the performance characteristics of both the nICE 20 and this cooler are so similar, we have decided to treat them as one in this review.

Our small (20), medium (45), and large (75) sizes are well-represented by these three options. It's no surprise that nICE based their collection on these sizes, as they are extremely common and should accommodate the vast majority of customers. They don't have any small or personal sizes (16 quarts and under), but in our experience, those are the exceptions rather than the rule.

The nICE 20 has a convenient padded carrying handle that can be slung over your shoulder; the nICE 45 and nICE 75, meanwhile, have the more conventional padded side handles. To make things even more portable, one side of the nICE 75 features some rather sturdy rubber wheels.

Each cooler's name includes a number that corresponds to its capacity in quarts. We checked the posted sizes by filling each cooler with water. Each cooler also has a sticker on the outside that provides the equivalent in liters for those who are more accustomed to that system of measurement.

NICE Glassware

nICE Cooler Review

NICE, as was previously mentioned, also offers a selection of drinkware. Although we are primarily a cooler review site, we felt it was important to include these products so that you have a complete picture of the market. A 12 ounce can holder, 20 ounce, and 30 ounce tumblers are all pictured on their website. There are a few color options available, and the products are made of stainless steel with double-sided insulation. Similar approaches to design can be seen in the drinkware of other high-end cooler brands.

nICE Thermofoam Can Cooler with Cannon

We haven't tried anything like the nICE Cannon or their thermafoam can coolers before writing this review. The Cannon's double-walled stainless steel construction evokes the technique used to make tumblers, suggesting that it was inspired by that process. There are two sizes available: SINGLE3 and SINGLE6. Their capacities of three and six cans, respectively, are implied by their names.

One of its neatest features is a spring-loaded end that makes it much simpler to dispense cans. nICE claims that their cans will stay cold for up to 48 hours thanks to the puck insert. Really, this is astounding. The SINGLE6 has a large strap attached to both ends, and the SINGLE3 has a built-in handle on the side for portability.

nice cooler cannon

cannon of nICE

To test, we were given a thermofoam 6-can cooler. It's not made of stainless steel like tumblers but rather foam, just like your favorite pool noodle from your childhood. The most obvious distinction between this 6-can thermafoam cooler and a regular noodle pool toy is the larger diameter hole cut out in the cooler's center to accommodate standard 12-ounce cans.

You can also remove the carrying strap and use the threaded drain plug to secure your cans. Last but not least, nICE adds that the material is thermafoam, which will keep your cans colder for longer.

Life Is nICE Coolers Ice

The nICE coolers go through the same procedures as our other products. We were able to put them through their paces in two different settings: first, in a climate-controlled environment with no access to the outside (more closely mimicking real-world applications), and second, in the hot Texas sun with occasional access. The term "ice life" also has a lot of ambiguity. How long do you let the timer run until there is not even one remaining ice cube? When a certain amount of ice melts, do you let it continue or do you stop it? Or do you keep it running if the water in the storage tank is still cold after the ice has melted?

All of these methods work, but we primarily rely on timing until the ice is completely gone.

The length of time ice lasts in a cooler is also directly proportional to the amount of ice placed inside. Comparing filling an empty cooler with ice cubes and The outcome will change if you fill it to the top with ice.

To ensure uniformity, we iced down each cooler to its halfway mark. Beer, food, and other consumables are included to show how it would be done in the real world. would require space, too

nice cooler loaded with ice

The procedure of filling the coolers with ice to use in tests has begun.

Before we get into how well the nICE Coolers worked, though, it's important to go over the features they employed to keep things cool.

NICE coolers, like most high-end models, feature thick, roto-molded walls that are not only durable but also great at keeping outside air out. We took readings from several different points on the walls and found thicknesses ranging from about 1 75" up to 2" It's plenty thick and holds its own against similarly designed high-end coolers that emphasize ice retention.

It's a good compromise between maximizing ice retention and keeping the cooler's overall size and weight manageable (thicker walls equal a bulkier, heavier cooler). This is about the average thickness for high-end coolers. And if the cooler is already set to its maximum size, thicker walls will reduce the amount of space available for storage.

nice cooler gasket

NICE Coolers is available on

The thick rubber gasket is another useful addition. Large gaskets are preferred on coolers because they provide a tighter seal when squeezed. The tighter the seal, the less room there is for the warm air to escape. Freezer-grade gaskets are used in nICE, and it performs admirably.

Last but not least, you'll want sturdy latches with a good bite to ensure this gasket can be squeezed tightly. We'll get into the specifics of the latches below, but rest assured that they give the large gasket every advantage possible.


The following are the results of our testing of all three of the hard-sided nICE coolers in both ideal and practical conditions:

nICE 20

Actual Time: 40 Hours

The best 60 hours

nICE 45

60 hours of actual time

A perfect 85 hours

nICE 75

90 hours in the real world

Most effective: 140 hours

nICE cooler ice life

Go to Amazon and look for nICE Coolers

When compared to other high-end coolers, how does this one fare?

Overall, nICE's ice performance was satisfactory. The largest size, like most coolers we've tested, shows the most variation. This is because there is so much more space for data storage. When you crack open a big cooler and let all the cold air out, the ice has to "work" much harder to bring the temperature back down to normal.

When directly compared to a cooler of the same size, nICE performed admirably, though we didn't see the insanely high numbers seen with the largest Pelican and Grizzly sizes. We have no doubt that if they released a 150-quart cooler, it, too, would have impressive ice life statistics. This ice lifespan is sufficient for the vast majority of uses. Three days at the lake A back door   A BBQ nICE's larger cooler sizes are well-suited for any of those settings.

nICE Coolers are Built to Last

igbc bear proof

Many high-end cooler brands aspire to meet the certification standards set by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, and nICE is pleased to announce that their hard-sided coolers have achieved that goal. We hope most of you will never put this theory to the test, but rest assured that the resilience is there if you do. A thick exterior wall, high-quality hardware/components, and meticulous construction are the backbone of a bear-resistant cooler.

As was previously mentioned, the walls of nICE are sufficiently thick for most uses and should be able to withstand the usual abuse that a cooler is subjected to. This includes being occasionally subjected to things like dropping, scraping, and even harsh weather conditions.

nice cooler leaded with ice 2

You can see the substantial wall thickness of a nICE cooler in this image.

Hardware-wise, nICE uses a minimal setup that gets the job done. The lid's hinge hardware is concealed within the body, and its design prevents the lid from being opened too far, which can damage or break the hinge in cheaper products.

The latch mechanism is also quite basic. The latches on some competing brands are more complex, with multiple moving parts, and can look like they belong on a tool chest or fishing tackle box. More parts means more places for something to go wrong, no matter how nice it looks. Instead, nICE went with a heavy-duty rubber T-latch that requires a physical stretch to secure (like Yeti and RTIC). This is easy and efficient, and these rubber latches can go for a long time without needing to be replaced.

Each model's handle, whether it's the overhand grip on the nICE 20 or the side grips on the nICE 45 and 75, is substantial and feels well-made in the hand. During testing, we carried these items up and down multiple flights of stairs, and the handles always felt safe and provided a good grip.

In terms of manufacturing, we saw that the packaging clearly stated that these goods were manufactured in China. Several emails have asked about our availability of "Made in the USA" coolers. Some people might be put off by this, but are you interested in a well-kept secret? Almost every high-end cooler manufacturer sources some of their supplies from Asia.

After extensive testing, we can say that imported coolers are just as effective as those made in the USA (and usually cost much less). A quality inspection checklist, which was located inside the cooler, reassured us that the product had been checked for defects after production but before shipping. In our opinion, nICE immediately becomes a cut above the competition because of this unique feature.

When taken together, the aforementioned features make for a collection of coolers that, in our opinion, can handle just about anything you can throw at them.

Advantages of nICE Coolers

The nICE hard-sided coolers have all the features we look for in a quality cooler, plus a few extras that set them apart. Some of the features that double as contributing factors to the toughness and durability of these products have already been mentioned (T-latch systems, quality handles, enclosed hinges, etc.). ) but nICE also includes a number of features that contribute directly to an improved overall user experience.

nice cooler pressure release

There is a cool pressure release button on the front of nICE coolers.

Go to Amazon and look for nICE Coolers

The pressure-relieving button is the most distinctive characteristic and the one you will likely notice first. When pressed, this button brings the inside pressure up to the same level as the outside. You might be wondering why we're doing this. If you've used coolers for any length of time, you know that the lids can be difficult to open at times.  

This could be because the gasket effectively blocks the entry of the inside air (which is much colder). A vacuum formed by the cold air and the enclosed internal volume can make it more challenging to open. This is especially problematic when working with a large gasket and extremely cold air, as is often the case in a high-quality cooler.

nice cooler bottle opener

Bottle openers ingeniously built into the latches

There are also anti-skid feet, a quick drain system with a threaded drain plug, a molded measuring ruler on the lid, cup holders, and rather sturdy rubber wheels on the nICE 75, among other great and useful features. Unlike other lines of coolers, this one doesn't come standard with convenient extras like shelves and baskets for stowing away items.

nice cooler wheels

The large nICE 75 cooler can now be moved around with ease thanks to the addition of these rubber wheels.

When attempting to unscrew the drain plug, we ran into some difficulty due to the metal chain holding it in place. If it isn't fully extended out of the way, it may catch on the drain plug and prevent you from removing it. This is not an issue with the nICE 75 because the drain plug is situated elsewhere.

In conclusion, the available features are more than sufficient and competitive with other cooler brands on the market. You'll also benefit from the pressure release function, a feature offered by very few other brands besides nICE.

Visual Appeal of nICE Coolers

Although aesthetic preference is highly personal, we do seek out coolers that have unusual characteristics that set them apart from the pack. The shells of nICE coolers feature subtle curves and contours that give them a distinctive look, but this is standard practice across brands. The bright red pressure release button is what really makes them stand out.

Several different brands of coolers were lined up outside at a recent BBQ party we threw. Several people have questioned the nICE coolers, wanting to know what the "big red button" does. The unit has a little more "pizazz" thanks to the molded ruler on the top.

nice cooler color choices

You Should Buy nICE Coolers From Amazon

The available color palette consists of white, beige, gray, light blue, and seafoam. When compared to competing brands, this palette is about average. A few of the more well-known manufacturers of coolers even offer custom colors and team logos, in addition to the standard rainbow of options. To the best of our knowledge, nICE has not yet explored this avenue, so if you're hoping for a tailored appearance, you may be left wanting.

However, we recognize that the aesthetic appeal of a cooler is not a major factor for many people when making a purchase decision.

Cost of nICE Coolers

NICE Coolers' main selling point is that they are able to compete with other premium cooler lines on the market at a much lower price point. Comparing quarts to dollars, they are much more affordable than high-end brands like Yeti, Pelican, and others. You'll see that their prices are much more in line with those of RTIC, Grizzly, etc. These coolers offer comparable performance at a much lower cost, though they are still not considered "cheap." By comparing its feature set, durability, and ice life to those of more expensive alternatives, it is clear that nICE holds its own.

Concluding Remarks

The premium cooler market is expanding rapidly, and nICE Coolers is a new player in this space. They have a small selection of drinkware, including the unusual Cannon and thermafoam can coolers, and hard-sided coolers.

We have been very impressed with nICE's efforts after using their hard-sided coolers for an extended period of time. We found that their coolers have satisfactory ice retention, durability, features, aesthetics, and cost.

The ice life is comparable to that of similarly sized premium coolers on the market. No matter what size you get, you'll have ice for several days, and in ideal conditions, the larger sizes will last you closer to a week.

Roto-molded construction, high-quality hardware, and a bear-proof rating—this cooler has it all.

The pressure release valve, integrated bottle openers, and molded measuring ruler on the lid are all features that we appreciate and that are uncommon on other coolers.

Last but not least, the total cost is on the low end of the premium price range while still being very affordable. These coolers are still pricey, but they are built to last and perform better than their more affordable and mid-range counterparts.

If you need a small, medium, or large cooler, we suggest looking into nICE coolers. Although they are not as widely known as some of the other brands we tested, we can say with certainty that they are on par with, if not superior to, many of the others in the areas that mattered most to us.

Below, we've outlined our main points:

A Review of a nifty New Cooler

nice cooler review image

NICE Coolers is available on

nICE Coolers, formerly known as Meadowcraft Coolers, is confident that they have created a line of products that both delivers excellent performance and is priced competitively. Designed to take on the industry's "big boys," nICE coolers are feature-rich and built to last with an emphasis on durability. There are 20, 45, and 75-quart versions of the hard-sided coolers.

Capacity for Insulation - 4 star

The ice retention is about average for a premium cooler of this size. As might be anticipated, larger sizes have significantly better ice retention, though all sizes should be capable of handling 90% of typical applications. This is because the walls are sufficiently thick, there is a sizable gasket, and the latches provide a tight seal. Depending on a number of factors, ice will keep for anywhere from 40 to 140 hours.

Ability to Move and Last - 4.5 star

Many of the characteristics that contribute to an ice's long lifespan also contribute to its resilience. This cooler, with its sturdy construction and high-quality components, should last for years of everyday use. It has also been given the seal of approval by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) as being bear-resistant.

Features like the built-in pressure release valve, ergonomic handles, and oversized wheels on the 75-quart model contribute to the products' ease of use. The downside to having a large cooler is that they are still quite heavy and cumbersome when full. We had a little trouble unscrewing the drain plug because of the metal chain, but that was easily fixed.

Appearance - 4 star

Although these coolers have a fairly conventional look, the bright red pressure release button has attracted a lot of attention and inquiries from customers. There are five color options, which is about par for the course when compared to the competition. Customization options, such as adding a team's logo, colors, initials, etc., are conspicuously absent.

Cost –  4 star

In terms of cost per unit of capacity, these refrigerators are pricier than average. They are still much less expensive than many other high-end coolers. Think of them as a high-quality cooler you can afford. Although they are still pricey, they are more affordable for the typical consumer and provide features and performance that are on par with those of more premium brands.

Complete Score - 4.5 star

We were very pleased with the nICE coolers after this testing, and it was our first time using them. Their products have a high standard of quality and performance, and they have many convenient features that make using them a breeze. They have a reasonable ice life and can be used repeatedly over many years. The pressure release valve is just one of the unique features that sets them apart from the competition. And the asking price is reasonable for everything you get. When looking for a new cooler, you should definitely consider nICE coolers as an option.

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