The Cooler Zone, A Review of the nICE Cooler
By Brandon F. in Latest Version on the 8th of February, 2022
The good people at nICE Coolers were kind enough to send us some samples of their wares to try out. In this massive report, we'll be discussing their product line and the performance of their nICE coolers in our rigorous lab tests. If you're interested in knowing how this brand stacks up against the industry standard-bearers like Yeti, RTIC, etc., then you should read our review. Check out nICE Coolers, and see if they're better than those other guys.
In the table below, you can see a brief summary of all of the different types of hard-sided coolers that we tried.
beige nICE 75-Quart Cooler
the nICE Cooler CKR-514256 in Seafoam Green, 45 Quart
gray 20-quart nICE cooler (CKR-514423).
Volume of Storage (in Quarters)
Validated Ice Time Horizon in Hours
NICE Beige 75-Quart 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
Twenty-Quart nICE Gray Cooler (CKR-514423).
Quantity of Space for Storing Things in Quarters
Range on Tested Ice in Hours
After some research, we learned that nICE coolers are actually Meadowcraft coolers under a different name. They also have many design and feature similarities to MILEE coolers. We were familiar with the brand Meadowcraft coolers through stores like Walmart, but this was our first actual experience with one.
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 cutthroat. You, the consumer, benefit when businesses have to compete for your business.
What to Expect From the nICE Family of Coolers
nICE sells several different types of hard-sided coolers, as well as a can holder and a few different sizes of tumblers. Intriguingly, nICE does not offer any soft-sided coolers for purchase at this time. Even though we've noticed an uptick in the number of businesses producing soft-sided coolers, this news came as something of a shock.
Cannon and thermafoam can coolers, however, set nICE apart from the majority of the competition. Even though thermafoam can coolers aren't the typical products we test, we received one to review and will discuss our thoughts on it below.
High-Quality, Insulated, Hard-Sided Coolers
Go to Amazon and look for nICE Coolers
There are three different sizes of nICE hard-sided coolers available: the nICE 20, nICE 45, and nICE 75. It's worth noting that in addition to the nICE 20, we also received a slightly larger model that we'll refer to as the "nICE 22." The main differences between the two are the nICE 22's larger size, its integrated bottle openers on the latches, and its distinctively different handle. Since the performance characteristics of both the nICE 20 and this cooler are so similar, we have decided to treat them as though they were the same and merge their respective reviews into this one.
These three measurements put us squarely in our small, medium, and large categories (20, 45, and 75). It's not surprising that nICE based their collection on these sizes given how ubiquitous they are and how well they cater to most customers' requirements. Neither extremely large (100 quarts) nor small (16 quarts or less) sizes are available, but in our experience, customers seeking these are the exception 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. The nICE 75 is also equipped with hefty rubber wheels on one side, making it much more manageable for one person to move.
The quart amounts indicated by the numbers in the names of the various coolers are approximate. We checked the posted sizes by filling each cooler with water. For those who are more comfortable with liters, a conversion sticker is located on the front of each cooler.
Above, we mentioned that nICE also offers a selection of drinkware. Since we are primarily a cooler review site, we haven't tried them, but we thought it would be helpful to let you know they exist so you have a complete picture of the options. From the looks of their website, they sell both 20- and 30-ounce tumblers, in addition to a can holder that can hold a 12-ounce beverage. These items come in a few distinct hues, are insulated on both sides, and are constructed from stainless steel. In general, this follows the same pattern as the drinkware produced by other high-end cooler manufacturers.
Can Cooler with nICE Cannon and Thermofoam
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 calls to mind the tumblers' production method. It's available in SINGLE3 and SINGLE6 sizes. Their capacities of three and six cans, respectively, are implied by their names.
The spring-loaded end is a neat addition that makes it much less of a hassle to dispense cans. nICE claims that their cans will remain cold for up to 48 hours thanks to the puck insert. Incredibly, this works The SINGLE3 has a carry handle on one side, and the SINGLE6 has two large straps attached to its ends for portability.
Our team was given a thermafoam 6-can cooler to test out. It's not constructed from stainless steel like water bottles, but rather from foam, like your favorite pool noodle from your youth. The main difference between this 6-can thermafoam cooler and a regular noodle pool toy is that the center of the thermafoam cooler has a larger diameter hollowed out to accommodate standard 12-ounce cans.
You can also remove the carrying strap and use the threaded drain plug to secure your cans. In conclusion, nICE adds that the material is thermafoam, which will keep your cans colder for longer.
Life Is nICE Coolers Ice
The nICE coolers undergo the standard set of tests we administer to all of our 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? If a lot of the 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.
How long 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 brim with ice.
As a measure of uniformity, we iced down each cooler to its halfway point. Contents like beer/food/etc. are included to show how it would be done in the real world. would require space, too
Making an initial ice load for testing purposes
We'll get to how well the nICE Coolers worked in a moment, but first, let's talk about how they work.
Thicker, roto-molded walls are standard for high-end coolers and are present in nICE coolers as well. These walls are not only tough but also do a great job of blocking out outside air. Here and there, we took wall thickness readings, and we found that they ranged from about 1 75" up to 2" It's plenty thick and holds its own against other high-end coolers that emphasize ice retention.
This is a standard thickness for high-end coolers, and it strikes a good balance between ice retention and portability (thicker walls mean a cooler that is heavier and bulkier). Additionally, if the cooler is already set to its maximum size, thicker walls will reduce the amount of space available for storage.
Have a look at nICE Coolers on Amazon.com.
Features such as the thick rubber gasket are also helpful. The larger the gasket, the tighter the squeeze, so we appreciate it when coolers have them. In addition, the tighter you clamp down, the less room there is for the warm air to escape. nICE has excellent performance thanks to its freezer-grade gaskets.
One must have sturdy latches with a good bite to ensure a snug fit for this gasket. Particulars of the latches will be discussed further below, but in general they feature a nice bite that aids in maximizing the large gasket.
We put each of the three hard-sided nICE coolers through their paces in both ideal and practical testing conditions, and here are the findings:
Actual Time: 40 Hours
The best 60 hours
An actual 60 hours
The ideal time frame is 85 hours.
Actual Time: Ninety Hours
Maximum effectiveness after 140 hours
NICE Coolers is available on Amazon.com.
How does it stack up against other high-end coolers, then?
For its intended purpose, nICE's ice performance was satisfactory. The largest size, as with most coolers we've tested, shows the most variation. This is because there is so much more space for data storage. As the cold air escapes when the larger coolers are opened, the ice must "work" much harder to bring the temperature back down to the desired level.
When directly compared to a cooler of the same size, nICE performed adequately, 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. Most people find that the ice life at this level is ideal for their needs. The weekend spent boating A back door or gate A BBQ nICE's larger cooler sizes would perform admirably in any of those settings.
Strength of nICE Coolers
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has certified nICE's hard-sided coolers as being bear-resistant, a status that is sought after by many high-end cooler manufacturers. We doubt many of you will ever put this theory to the test, but it's comforting to know that the resilience is there if you do. Thick walls, high-quality hardware/components, and meticulous craftsmanship are the backbone of a bear-proof cooler.
We've already established that nICE's walls 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 exposed to things like drops, scrapes, and even harsh weather conditions.
This image illustrates how substantial the walls of a nICE cooler are.
When it comes to the actual hardware and components, nICE opts for a minimalistic but functional design. When compared to cheaper alternatives, this product's lid and body are held together by concealed hinge hardware that is designed to prevent the lid from being opened too far.
It has a very basic latching mechanism. 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. Rather, nICE went with a heavy-duty rubber T-latch that you stretch to close (like Yeti and RTIC). Simple yet effective, these rubber latches can go for a long time without needing to be replaced.
The handles, whether overhand (on the nICE 20) or side (on the nICE 45 and 75), are substantial and comfortable to grip. During testing, we carried these items up and down multiple flights of stairs, and the handles always felt safe and provided a good grip.
As for the products themselves, we saw that the packaging clearly stated that they were manufactured in China. Several emails have asked us where they can find "Made in the USA" coolers. Some people might be turned off by this, but are you interested in a well-kept secret? Almost all high-end cooler manufacturers source some of their materials from Asia.
We've looked into a wide variety of coolers, and we can say with certainty that imported coolers can and do compete with American-made coolers in terms of performance, and usually at a much lower price. And it was nice to see that after production and before shipping, the cooler had undergone a quality check, as evidenced by the presence of a quality inspection checklist inside. In our opinion, nICE immediately becomes a cut above the competition because of this unique feature.
These features, taken together, make for a collection of coolers that, in our estimation, can handle pretty much 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 these products' toughness and durability have already been mentioned above (T-latch systems, quality handles, enclosed hinges, etc.). ) however, nICE also has a number of features that contribute to an improved UX in other ways.
nICE coolers have a cool pressure release button on the front of the device.
Go to Amazon and look for nICE Coolers
The pressure-release button is the most distinctive characteristic and the first thing you will likely notice. When pressed, this button brings the internal pressure back to the same level as the exterior. You could be forgiven for wondering what the point of this is. Those who have spent significant time around coolers know that the lids can be a bit of a pain to open at times.
The gasket may be to blame for this, as it prevents the much colder air inside from escaping. Because of the vacuum that can form inside a closed, cold space, it may be more challenging to open. If you combine a large gasket with extremely cold air, as is often the case in a high-quality cooler, the problem can become even more severe.
One of the latches also functions as a bottle opener, which is a nice touch.
The nICE 75 also includes a molded measuring ruler on the lid, built-in cup holders, anti-skid feet, a quick drain system with a threaded drain plug, and rather sturdy rubber wheels, all of which are great additions. Internal shelves and storage baskets (which are somewhat common extra features in other cooler lines) are the only things missing.
The large nICE 75 cooler is a lot more manageable to move around thanks to 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's not extended far enough, it might get caught on the drain plug and prevent you from taking the plug out entirely. The nICE 75 doesn't have this issue because the drain plug is situated in a different spot.
Finally, the available features are more than sufficient and competitive with other cooler brands. You'll also benefit from the pressure release function, a feature offered by very few other brands besides nICE.
nICE Coolers' Eye-Catching Design
Although aesthetic preference is highly personal, we do seek out coolers that have unusual characteristics that set them apart from the pack. In terms of design, nICE coolers' shells have a few distinctive curves and contours that set them apart from the pack, but this is largely true of all brands. Their attention-grabbing feature is a bright red pressure release button.
Several different brands of coolers were lined up outside at a recent BBQ party we threw. Many people have been curious about the nICE coolers, specifically the "big red button." Having a molded ruler on the lid gives the whole thing a little more visual interest.
See nICE Coolers on Amazon.com.
Five distinct color options are available at the moment: beige, gray, light blue, seafoam, and white. When compared to other manufacturers, this range of colors is fairly standard. The more reputable and well-known cooler manufacturers can provide you with a rainbow of options, including custom colors and team logos. It appears that nICE hasn't explored this direction just yet, 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 it is priced competitively with other premium cooler lines on the market, but is superior in many ways. When compared to high-end brands like Yeti, Pelican, and others, their price per volume is significantly lower. Their asking prices are more in line with those of companies like RTIC and Grizzly. These coolers offer comparable performance at a much lower cost, though they are still not considered "cheap." Features, durability, and ice life all add up to a product that is competitive with many more expensive alternatives.
Discrepancies and Conclusions
In the rapidly expanding premium cooler market, nICE Coolers is a new contender. They provide a limited selection of hard-sided coolers, drinkware, and unique items like can coolers made from Cannon and thermafoam.
After putting the hard-sided coolers through their paces, we have to say that we are very impressed with nICE's efforts. As far as we measure, which includes ice retention, durability, features, aesthetics, and cost, their coolers perform admirably.
In particular, the ice life is comparable to that of other high-end coolers of similar dimensions. Regardless of the size you choose, you should have plenty of ice for several days. In fact, the larger sizes can provide ice for up to a week in the best conditions.
This bear-proof cooler has everything you could want in a durable product: roto-molded construction, high-quality hardware, and an IP rating of 50.
A pressure release valve, integrated bottle openers, and a molded measuring ruler on the lid are all features we appreciate and some that are unique among coolers.
Last but not least, the total cost is on the low end of the premium price range while still being very affordable. Although these coolers are on the pricier side, they are built to last and will outperform the vast majority of their competitors in the budget and midrange price points.
If you're looking for a cooler, whether it's a small, medium, or large size, we suggest looking into nICE coolers. They are not as well-known as some of the other brands we reviewed, but we can say with certainty that they are on par with, if not superior to, many of them in the areas that matter.
Below, we've summed up our main points:
Review of a NICE Cooler
Have a look at nICE Coolers on Amazon.com.
nICE Coolers, formerly known as Meadowcraft Coolers, is confident that it can provide a competitively priced, high-quality product line. 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 to choose from.
Soundproofing Capabilities -
The ice retention is about average for a premium cooler of this size. Even though larger sizes have a much greater ice retention time, any size should be able to deal with 90% of typical uses. This is possible because the walls are sufficiently thick, there is a sizable gasket, and the latches provide a great squeeze. Depending on a number of factors, ice will keep for anywhere from 40 to 140 hours.
Versatility in Use and Longevity -
The same factors that contribute to an ice sheet's longevity also contribute to its resilience. This refrigerator has sturdy construction and high-quality parts, so it should last for years despite regular use. Additionally, the IGBC has certified it as bear-resistant, which is reassuring because grizzlies are formidable foes.
The 75-quart model has extra-large wheels and a built-in pressure release valve for convenience. The products are also equipped with comfortable carrying handles with a good grip. The downside to having a large cooler is that they are still quite heavy and cumbersome when full. Unscrewing the drain plug from the base was a bit of a challenge because of the metal chain, but this was an easily fixed issue.
Assembled Beauty -
These coolers have a conventional look, but the bright red pressure release button "pops" and causes many customers to approach us with inquiries. There are five color options, which is about par for the course when compared to the competition. The only real complaint is the lack of personalization options like adding a team's logo, colors, initials, etc.
In terms of cost per unit of capacity, these refrigerators are pricier than average. Despite this, they are much more affordable than the majority of high-end coolers on the market. Think of them as a high-quality cooler you can afford. Despite their high price, they are now within reach of the typical consumer because they are so comparably priced to more well-known but less innovative brands.
Analytical Summation -
We had never heard of the nICE cooler brand before this testing, but we were blown away by their performance. They provide products that are reliable in both form and function, with plenty of helpful extras 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 makes them stand out in terms of functionality and style. In addition, the asking price is reasonable for everything you get. If you are in the market for a new cooler, we strongly suggest you consider nICE coolers.
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