The Lifetime 77-Quart High-Performance Cooler is a high-quality investment.

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Buying a high-performance cooler can feel like a step into adulthood for anyone who enjoys traveling and being outside, emancipating them from the drawbacks and drawbacks of inferior cloth or styrofoam vessels. We all ought to be free of sandwiches that are soggy from quickly melting ice, spoiled steaks, and lukewarm beers floating in water that has been tainted with hotdogs. If you're like me, you've probably lusted after a large Yeti for a long time but were unable to make the purchase because you couldn't afford to skip a mortgage payment for a month.  

My family and I recently planned a summer vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is somewhat of a drive from our home in Michigan. We made the decision to pack our own healthier alternatives so that we wouldn't need to stop for stomach-rotting fast food every few hours. For the time being A 12 by 18-inch plastic Igloo that is likely older than I am, an 8 by 10-inch little guy meant for picnics, and a 14 by 14-inch cloth cooler given to me at my high school graduation 19 years ago were the only small coolers we had. to be able to only hold a six-pack You get the idea: We had to upgrade in order to meet our needs.

It can be challenging to find a cooler a week after the Fourth of July and during one of the hottest weeks of the summer. I originally wanted a Rtic Cooler. Every summer, my friends and I go backcountry camping, and for the past few years, we have heavily relied on one guy's RTIC. We visited several stores, but all we could find were bare shelves and sporadic Igloo or Coleman coolers with more conventional styling. We found a single Lifetime cooler at our local Walmart, which at first glance I mistook for the final Rtic cooler in the area. Because I tend to judge a book by its cover, I was disappointed to discover that it wasn't and quickly wrote it off as a subpar brand.  

Days later, during thorough cooler research—by my wife, not me (I’m more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” purchaser)—we (she) found a lot of great reviews for Lifetime coolers and with only days remaining before our road trip, we decided to pull the trigger on a Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler The cooler, which cost just under $200 and represented a premium price for a relatively premium investment, was delivered the day before we left. Here is how it performed on a road.


The cooler was delivered in a sizable cardboard box, as one would anticipate from any delivery. When it was opened, there were no unnecessary frills or excess styrofoam padding that would disintegrate and drift across our living room for days like tiny white tumbleweeds. A few brand stickers, a "Certified Bear Resistant" sticker, and a "Made In The USA" sticker were placed on the cooler's exterior. All of these stickers were easily removable and left no sticky residue that needed to be scrubbed off with rubbing alcohol and foul language. The cooler was only minimally packaged, and other than a small instruction manual attached to the padlock eyelet, it was ready for use.

The Lifetime cooler's sturdy construction caught my eye right away. The Lifetime coolers are sturdy and feel comfortingly heavy, similar to those of its rivals. I subscribe to the antiquated school of thought that weight frequently indicates quality and durability in the era of lightweight plastics. The 77-quart cooler is 29 pounds. When you load it up with all your belongings, it weighs 95 pounds (empty), making it a beast to move. Measuring between 12 and 14 inches wide and between 23 and 25 inches long on the inside 3 inches high, this cooler has plenty of room for storage.

Review: Keep things chill with the Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler Brett Allen Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler

Although the Lifetime cooler appears to be similar to its rivals Yeti and Rtic from the outside, Lifetime is actually made differently. Rotomolding, also known as rotational molding, is a technique used to create Yeti and Rtic coolers that results in exterior walls that are thicker and without seams. The Lifetime coolers are made using the "blow molding" method, which results in a thinner exterior wall and is a much more economical method. One of the main reasons the Lifetime coolers are more affordable is the way they are made; while you might automatically assume that this translates to lower quality, this isn't always the case. When compared to rotomolded coolers, blow-molded coolers have occasionally equaled and even surpassed rotomolded coolers in terms of ice retention. And even though their exterior walls are thinner and may not be as strong, they are still "Certified Bear Resistant" and more than strong enough for your typical cooler needs. In other words, if you're going to skydive with your cooler or expect it to fall into rocky gorges, you might want to choose a rotomolded cooler.  

The Lifetime coolers feature two nylon rope handles with rubber grips in the shape of diamonds. The handles on the cooler feel sturdy and long enough to be comfortable to lift, but not too long to make carrying it difficult or burdensome. When carrying a cooler with a partner around corners or down a narrow trail, the rope handles are an advantageous feature because they let the bearers move more freely without straining their wrists as they would with fixed plastic handles.  

Unlike the flexible rubber clasps I've seen on other brands, the Lifetime cooler's front clasps are solidly molded plastic. Time will tell if this is a benefit, but I'm occasionally wary of the rubber clasps because I've had similar products tear or break after being exposed to harsh weather or constant moisture. The molded plastic won't necessarily be any different, but I'm cautiously optimistic nonetheless. The clasps tighten the lid's downward pull on the rubber seal inside, locking everything in place. In order to allow the user to lock the cooler with a padlock if desired, the front of the lids are fixed with a stainless steel eyelet that sits just above a stainless steel bottle opener on the base of the cooler. An easy-to-grip screw-off cap on the cooler's bottom allows for quick drainage when necessary. Rubberized feet on the bottom of the cooler stop it from flying around the bed of your truck every time you apply the brakes or make a turn.

Review: Keep things chill with the Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler Brett Allen Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler

How the Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler was evaluated

Our first test of the cooler was a trial by fire because it arrived the day before our road trip. We piled on the sandwiches, fruit, a variety of snacks, sodas, and beers before heading out with two seven-pound bags of ice. We didn't intend to live entirely out of the cooler, so even though the journey was only moderately long (660 miles over 12 hours), it was only about half full.

When we reached our destination, the cooler's ice content had significantly decreased, which was initially discouraging. We quickly discovered a number of mistakes we had made that had negatively impacted the cooler's overall performance. The cooler wasn't properly prepared at first. It is advised to ice down the cooler before packing it with ice with all coolers, not just Lifetime. This prolongs ice retention by preventing an initial shock-melt as the cooler walls warm up to the desired temperature. Second, we only filled the cooler halfway, leaving an excess headspace that, each time the cooler is opened, immediately fills with warmer air. This significantly shortens the time your ice will last.  

The cooler performed much better in our second test, which involved continuous use over a long weekend in the sun. We threw a few frozen water bottles into the cooler and let it sit for a few hours before using it. When combined with the food and beverages, the additional ice we added to the cooler almost completely filled it. These two easy steps significantly increased the cooler's ability to retain ice. We have retained about 85% of our ice after two days of the test, even after removing a sizable amount of the food and drink, as of the time I'm writing this review.  

Overall, I'm very pleased with this second test of the cooler and am confident that, with proper use, it will perform to the same level as its rivals and significantly outperform any cooler I've previously owned.

The Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler's positive attributes

Review: Keep things chill with the Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler Brett Allen Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler

The Lifetime cooler has a sturdy build and a comforting weight that is not overpowering, as I previously mentioned. When it comes to items made primarily of plastic, it's frequently simple to determine from the first touch or lift if the item is of high quality construction. The Lifetime cooler feels just like the premium performance coolers it was designed to imitate.

The cost: Compared to its more powerful rivals, the Lifetime cooler's price is much simpler to comprehend. The cost of the 77-quart Lifetime cooler was $40 less than that of a smaller Rtic cooler and less than half that of a Yeti cooler of comparable size. I'm confident that the price discrepancy is primarily caused by the manufacturing process (blow molding vs Rotomolding), but I haven't noticed a difference in quality up to this point. Paying more for the rotomolding may not be necessary if you are not preparing for an extreme adventure with the potential for significant effects.

The claim that the cooler is certified bear-resistant is even stamped into the plastic of the inner lid, as shown in the bear video. You might be curious as to how these products are tested, and Lifetime Coolers demonstrates how with a fun video of their coolers competing with some persistent but ultimately unsuccessful grizzly bears. View the complete video here:

The Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler's drawbacks

There wasn't much about the Lifetime cooler that we didn't like. The performance seemed to match the claims made on the website and in the reviews once we figured out how to properly prepare the cooler. Time will tell if the blow molding and thermoplastics' quality holds up, but things are looking good so far. A few customer reviews on the company website speculate that the cooler's hinges may occasionally become loosened or that the lid may warp over time, but few of them specify the circumstances under which these problems first appeared.  


The Lifetime cooler is undoubtedly a good option if you're looking for a cooler for regular use, for typical camping trips, or for lengthy road trips over flat terrain. Less than half the cost of Yeti's cooler of a comparable size, the Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler retails for $209 on their website (and is occasionally less expensive through retailers like Walmart). You won't receive the adoring looks and campfire groupies that come with Yeti brand recognition, but you also won't perform worse than the competition. With a five-year warranty, it should be simple to determine whether the Lifetime cooler is built to last, long before the warranty expires. The cooler seems sturdy and reliable. And if nothing else, at least you know those annoying grizzly bears won't get to your beers.

Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler FAQs

More inquiries Here is a briefing from Task & Purpose.  

Q What is the price of the Lifetime 77 Quart High Performance Cooler?

A The price of the 77 Quart cooler is $209 according to the Lifetime website. 99 (with shipping included) The same cooler is available for $168 on Amazon. 00, with shipping costs varying by location (only $10 more for my location).

Q A sizable cooler is the 77 Quart one. What's the weight?

A It takes up 29 pounds. 95 lbs when empty It can be quite a lift once it is filled with food, drink, and ice, and is frequently a two-person job. Lift with your legs if you intend to carry it alone.

Q Is the Lifetime line of coolers very diverse in terms of colors?

A According to what I can tell from looking at their website, a buyer only has access to three color choices: gray, white, and a khaki/taupe shade. A few of the khaki coolers have orange accents, while the grey coolers have blue latches and handles as accents. In addition, you'll need to decorate your cooler yourself or cover the walls with bumper stickers from all of your travels.

Q Do Lifetime's products include other things, or are they primarily coolers like Yeti and Rtic?

A Lifetime is a 1986-founded plastics manufacturer with a wide range of goods, including furniture, kayaks, garden sheds, and playground equipment. This has both positive and negative aspects. They might not give cooler technologies the same amount of attention as their rivals, but there are probably few cooler companies that can compete in terms of overall experience in plastics manufacturing.

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Brett Allen is a humorist and former University of S Army Cavalry Officer from 2006 to 2010 who spent the majority of his time with the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment. His most recent book, Kilroy Was Here, a dark comedy highlighting the absurdities of war, was inspired by the events of his 2009 deployment to the Logar Province of Afghanistan. With his wife and children, Brett lives in Ada, Michigan, and is currently writing his next book. He enjoys all things outdoors, including backwoods camping, backwoods cooking, hiking, and boating, but is more often seen doing backbreaking yard work like mowing or weed whacking.  

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