Ultimate Blue Cooler Review: Unveiling Top Features, Quality, and Ice Retention
Looking for the perfect cooler to keep your drinks icy cold, no matter where adventure takes you? Look no further than the Blue Cooler lineup! In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Blue Coolers, exploring their impressive features, build quality, and stunning aesthetics. We'll also take a close look at the incredible ice retention of the Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault. If you've been searching for a blue cooler review, you're in luck! We will also compare Blue Coolers to other popular brands like Yeti, and even suggest some alternatives worth checking out. So, grab a refreshing beverage, and let's get started on your quest for the ultimate cooler companion!
Blue Cooler Lineup
Blue Cooler offers a wide range of ice chests to choose from. They have three different tiers and various sizes within each tier. Let's dive into the different cooler selections and sizes available.
Blue Cooler "10-Day Ice Cooler" Lineup
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Blue Coolers' longest-lasting ice retention coolers fall under their Coolers 2.0 - 10 Day Ice Coolers. As the name suggests, these coolers claim to retain ice for up to 10 days. We will put these claims to the test in a later section.
Currently, Blue Coolers offers 30-quart, 55-quart (both wheeled and non-wheeled), and 100-quart options. These sizes fall into the mid, large, and huge categories. Blue Coolers' largest size, the 100-quart, is perfect for accommodating large groups.
Blue Cooler "5 Day Ice Cooler" Lineup
Blue Cooler also offers a lower-end lineup of coolers called their "5 Day Coolers". These coolers, known as Cobalt Coolers, have a similar fit and finish to the Blue Cooler 10-Day Coolers but with thinner walls for a more lightweight and affordable option. The trade-off is slightly reduced ice retention, as the name implies.
The 5 Day Coolers are currently available in 25-quart and 55-quart options (both wheeled and non-wheeled).
Blue Cooler Soft Cooler Lineup
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While our focus is on Blue's hard-sided coolers in this article, it's worth mentioning that they also sell a 16-quart soft-sided cooler. Although we haven't tested it ourselves, we're curious to see how it compares to other high-end soft coolers on the market from brands like Orca, Yeti, and RTIC.
Where are Blue Coolers made?
There is no information available on the website about the manufacturing location of Blue Coolers products. To clarify, we reached out to the company directly.
According to Blue Coolers, their coolers are designed in the US but made in China. The coolers are imported to their facility in Salt Lake City, UT, from where they are distributed across the country.
While this information may disappoint those who prefer to buy US-made coolers, it's important to note that the quality of Blue Coolers remains high.
Blue Cooler Features/Build Quality
As we have mentioned in previous reviews, the cooler industry is highly competitive. It can be difficult for a new cooler brand to establish itself in the market. Therefore, smaller companies like Blue Cooler must find ways to differentiate themselves.
In Blue Cooler's case, they aim to capture the key features of high-end coolers, such as excellent build quality, good ice retention, and reliable warranties. However, they place less emphasis on offering an extensive range of additional features.
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Starting with wall thickness, which directly affects ice retention and durability, Blue Cooler's "10 Day Coolers" have approximately 2 inches thick walls. This thickness is comparable to other premium cooler brands on the market.
Surprisingly, the "5 Day Coolers" have walls that are somewhat similar in thickness to the "10 Day Coolers," despite their advertised shorter ice retention. These coolers have walls that are around 1.5 inches thick.
Regardless of whether you choose a 5 Day Cobalt Cooler or a 10 Day Blue Cooler, you can expect quality roto-molded construction. Roto-molding construction improves both ice retention and durability by creating a single-piece body.
Other notable features include robust metal hardware for lid attachment, which is commonly found in more expensive premium coolers from other brands. Blue Coolers claims that their ice chests are "Bear-Resistant," although they have not explicitly stated whether they have undergone the formal IGBC certification process. However, the build quality suggests that they possess the necessary standards for this certification.
For easy handling, Blue Coolers are equipped with side rope handles that have gripped handles. The 55-Quart Wheeled option also features a telescoping hard handle, allowing you to roll the cooler.
When dealing with larger coolers like the 100-quart model, quality handles are crucial for a secure grip and comfortable carrying. We always recommend using the buddy system and avoiding trying to carry such a large ice chest alone, especially when it's loaded with items.
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Blue Coolers also include other standard features commonly found in premium coolers. These features consist of non-skid feet, bottle openers on the corners of the cooler, an oversized rubber gasket, lockable lid, high-flow drain port, and lockdown straps. These features are highly sought after by consumers, and it's great to see that Blue Cooler has included them.
However, Blue Coolers do not offer additional features like molded cupholders, dry goods baskets, or pressure release valves. While these features may be enticing to some, Blue Cooler's focus on essential features allows them to offer their products at a lower price point.
In terms of warranty, Blue Cooler provides a 90-day 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee, as well as a 5-year warranty covering parts and construction defects. This warranty falls within the average range compared to other high-end coolers on the market, considering that some companies now offer lifetime warranties.
Blue Cooler Aesthetics
The overall shape and design of Blue Coolers are relatively standard. Without the "Blue Cooler" sticker, it can be challenging to distinguish a Blue Cooler from other brands on the market. This traditional cooler style has its appeal, as it has stood the test of time and remains popular among consumers. However, if you prefer a more visually striking and unique look, the Blue Cooler design might seem underwhelming.
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Regarding color options, Blue Coolers come in three different colors: Arctic White, Charcoal Gray, and Trademark Blue. While all three colors look great, the selection is more limited compared to most other cooler brands. Additionally, Blue Coolers do not offer special multi-color layouts, team colors, or customization options.
For some people, a cooler's primary purpose is to keep things cool. Others may prefer a fun and eye-catching cooler that stands out at social gatherings. Everyone has different preferences, so the more conservative approach taken by Blue Coolers may not appeal to everyone. However, it's essential to consider that Blue Coolers still offer excellent performance at an affordable price point.
Blue Cooler Ice Retention
Ice retention is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a cooler. At Blue Coolers' price point and category, long ice life is particularly important for a brand's success. Blue Cooler advertises their coolers as "10 Day Ice Coolers" or "5 Day Ice Coolers," referring to their claimed ice retention duration. The primary difference in ice life lies in the wall thickness between the Blue Coolers and the Cobalt Coolers.
While wall thickness is a significant factor, the gaskets and latching system also play a vital role. Blue Coolers and Cobalt Coolers feature high-quality latching systems that ensure a good seal by properly compressing the gasket.
But do these coolers truly provide 10 days of ice life? Instead of relying solely on the manufacturer's claims, we prefer to conduct internal testing. Manufacturers can sometimes overstate their ice retention numbers. While it's not accurate to say they are being dishonest, their testing conditions may be unrealistic (e.g., filling the cooler completely with ice, storing it in a cool shaded area, and rarely opening it).
Our testing method involves filling the cooler halfway with ice, storing it in an outdoor location, and occasionally opening it. Since the temperature in Texas is cooling down, our testing conditions are less demanding compared to a few months ago.
Check out the chart below for our results:
Overall, we are satisfied with the results. As expected, the larger coolers performed better than the smaller ones. We also observed a slight improvement in ice life when comparing similarly sized Blue Coolers and Cobalt Coolers. Therefore, the thicker walls in Blue Coolers do make a difference.
While we didn't quite reach the advertised 10 days of ice retention, the 100-quart Blue Cooler lasted around 8.5 days in our testing. With a bit more ice, fewer openings, or storing the cooler in a shaded area, achieving around 10 days of ice retention is possible. Blue Coolers are an excellent choice for tailgating, road trips, camping trips, and any event that requires long-lasting ice retention and heavy cooler usage.
Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault Overview
The Blue 60 Quart Ice Vault is the most popular Blue cooler. However, lifting a fully loaded 45-quart cooler can be challenging on the back.
To address this issue, Blue decided to add wheels to their popular 60 Quart cooler, making it much more portable. This prompted me to purchase one.
Blue also offers a 30-quart cooler, a non-wheeled 60-quart cooler, a 100-quart cooler, and a 110-quart cooler with wheels.
In my opinion, a 60-70 quart cooler is the ideal size for camping trips over the weekend. A 60-quart cooler can easily store food and supplies for a family of four for a three-day weekend, with ample space for ice throughout the trip.
Blue Coolers 60 Qt Ice Vault Blue strikes a great balance between top-end coolers like YETI while remaining affordable. I particularly love the addition of wheels, and the built-in pressure release valve makes it the best choice for using dry ice. This means you can keep your items cold for 10 days or even longer.
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You have the option to add wheels for an additional cost of approximately $50. In my opinion, the wheels are definitely worth it. Imagine yourself trying to lift a 110-pound cooler without wheels—it doesn't sound like a pleasant experience.
So, I highly recommend getting the wheels.
Blue Coolers also offers color options such as cobalt blue, white, and grey. I chose blue because I thought it would look better in photos and videos. However, white is the most reflective color and stays cooler for longer periods. On the other hand, darker colors like grey retain more heat.
Blue offers free shipping and a five-year warranty, ensuring that you're protected when purchasing a Blue Cooler.
Blue Coolers Blue Coolers incorporates unique design elements and performs on par with the best coolers on the market. Considering their price and distinctive features, you're getting excellent value for your money with any of Blue's coolers.
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Blue Coolers 60 Quart Accessories
Blue also offers a range of accessories that you can add to your cooler. These accessories include a dry goods basket, a divider that doubles as a cutting board, a marine-grade topper, and spare parts.
When I purchased my YETI Tundra 45, it came with a dry goods basket, which was incredibly convenient for packing. So I was a bit disappointed that the Blue 60 cooler didn't include any additional accessories. Nevertheless, the affordability of adding these accessories at the time of purchase makes up for it.
YETI coolers, despite offering a similar dry goods basket, are significantly more expensive than Blue coolers. Therefore, the absence of a basket in the Blue cooler doesn't take away from its overall value and performance.
Blue Coolers Review
The key aspects to remember about Blue Coolers are their exceptional value proposition. From the added insulation and long ice retention to being half the price of a YETI, Blue Coolers offer more bang for your buck than other coolers in the market.
Let's start with the construction and design. Blue Coolers are rotomolded, which means they are made from a single-piece construction that can withstand various stresses, including falls and impacts. Marc Sorensen, one of the founders of Blue Coolers, even conducted a drop test from a 20-foot height to showcase the durability of their product.
Blue Coolers stands out not only for their exceptional quality but also for their enthusiasm and attention to detail. They have numerous videos on YouTube and Facebook that explain different aspects of coolers and compare them to leading brands.
The Blue Coolers Ice Vault is a standout product, known for its thick walls and excellent insulation. The ice retention of Blue Coolers is tested and compared to Yeti in a video, demonstrating their ability to compete with premium brands.
Blue Coolers offer a range of sizes and colors to suit different needs. Additionally, they provide value bundles and unique offerings like an apocalypse kit, showing their commitment to providing customers with great value.
In terms of warranty, Blue Coolers offer a 5-year warranty on their hard coolers and a 1-year warranty on their soft coolers and drinkware. They also have a 90-day initial warranty that allows customers to return the product for a full refund if they are not satisfied.
Comparing Blue Coolers to Yeti, Blue Coolers offer comparable features and quality at a significantly lower price. While Yeti may have a stronger brand recognition and more variety in terms of sizes and accessories, Blue Coolers provide excellent value for money.
Other coolers worth considering include Pure Outdoor and Lifetime Coolers. Pure Outdoor offers similar capacities and color options at a lower price point and with a lifetime warranty. Lifetime Coolers have unique design elements and a slightly lower price but may not offer the same value proposition as Blue Coolers.
Ultimately, Blue Coolers strike a balance between price and performance, offering longer ice life and better build quality compared to traditional coolers, making them a great choice for those seeking value without compromising on quality.
In conclusion, Blue Coolers have certainly made a name for themselves in the world of outdoor coolers. With their impressive features, sturdy build quality, and eye-catching aesthetics, it's no wonder they have become a popular choice among adventurers and camping enthusiasts. The Blue Coolers 60 Quart Ice Vault, in particular, offers excellent ice retention and comes with a range of useful accessories to enhance your outdoor experience. While there are alternative cooler options worth considering, Blue Coolers hold their ground against established brands like Yeti. Furthermore, the reasonable price of Blue Coolers makes them an attractive option for those seeking quality without breaking the bank. All in all, Blue Coolers are a reliable and affordable choice for anyone in need of a durable and efficient outdoor cooler.
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