Hands on Review
When summer rolls around, camping and cooking out become part and parcel of having warm weather, but when you are out in nature for days, you need a way to keep your food and drinks cold. A portable cooler is a great tool to have, but since there is a variety available on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
The Engel Deep Blue 65 is considered one of the top coolers on the market, so let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the features that make it a worthy competitor against the rest of the high-end coolers on the market.
One of the most important features that a high-end cooler should have is good insulation. This cooler is designed with two full inches of polyurethane insulation that surrounds not only the sides of the cooler but the top and bottom as well. It also has an airtight ArcticVault gasket to ensure that the ice inside the cooler remains cold for an extended period of time.
Due to this seamless construction, the Engel Deep Blue is capable of holding ice for a period of up to ten days. Even at relatively warmer temperatures, the cooler was able to keep the ice for a period of five days. This amount of insulation makes the cooler the perfect option for weekend hunting trips or kayaking trips that last for more than a day.
The Engel Deep Blue Cooler is made with a single form hard shell construction that makes it one of the most durable options on the market. Whether you are dragging it across the ground of your campsite or taking it on a kayaking trip with you, this cooler will be able to withstand any wear or abuse that it experiences on your trip. It is designed to last for several years, and our tests indicate that it should continue for more than a decade of use.
The structure of the cooler is not the only thing that is durable; in fact, the seal is completely leak-proof. We rocked the cooler and stood it on its side, and we were pleased to find out that not a drop of water was spilled from the cooler. The handles are solidly made; the latches and hinges are marine grade features that are even coated with a layer of UV-resistant powder to protect them from the sun.
With all of this durability, it is easy to see why the Engel Deep Blue Cooler is an IGBC certified bear-resistant container. A wild animal would have a tough time getting the latches open, especially if you have them secured with a lock on both sides of the unit.
Ease of Use
This cooler is very easy to use; in fact, one of the features that make it most convenient is the solid hinges. Once you arrive at the campsite, the hinges are designed to keep the lid of the cooler open when you need, so when you are prepping the grill, you can simply reach into the cooler to get the food with ease.
The cooler has legs on the bottom of the unit so that it does not leave markings on your floor or get extra dirty on your outing. Also, this cooler is designed with a simple drain valve that is easy to use, and due to the raised bottom of the unit, the water will run right under the cooler.
The lightweight design of this cooler makes it a portable unit, but once you fill it with food, it can be a bit on the heavy side. The handles are solid handles that are attached with durable ropes to the base of the cooler, but the design is a bit flawed for a single person to carry. The handles tend to pinch your hands, and it ‘s hard to carry for more than a few minutes. However, it is very convenient for two people to transport from your vehicle to the campsite. Unfortunately, this cooler does not have wheels to make it easy to transport, so you will have to carry it to get to your hunting location or campsite.
When it comes to features, the Engel Deep Blue Cooler is packed with useful ones, but there are two that we found to be the most useful. The first is the fact that there is a spot inside of the cooler for a divide, which is ideal for separating your food and drinks on a camping trip. Though the divider is not included with the cooler, it is well worth considering when you plan to be gone for a few days.
The second feature that is extremely convenient is the fact that the latches double as bottle openers. It is not quite as good as a traditional bottle opener, but when you are camping or hunting, it works like a charm. Since this is a cooler that you will most likely be using outdoors, the bear resistant aspect of the cooler is also ideal for hunting, fishing, and camping excursions.
|Gear Capacity (L)||65 liters|
|Gear Capacity (cu. in.)||3966.5 cubic inches|
|Material(s)||UV resistant polyethylene|
|Dimensions||29.25 x 16.75 x 16.75 inches|
We really dislike the fact that the drain plug is not connected in some way because that makes it easy to misplace in the great outdoors. The handles are not great either, which makes it difficult to carry the cooler alone. It is great if you have a friend to help you, but a set of wheels or more ergonomic handles would have made this issue non-existent.
We find that the cooler is perfect for hunting and camping, especially if you choose the tan or the gray color options. Also, there is also a camouflage lid option that you can select if you decide to go with the tan cooler. At a campsite, there will be no need to worry about bears and other wild animals invading your cooler because the seal is designed to keep them out. No worries for camping trips last for about a week or so, as the ice that you put in the cooler when you arrive will be able to maintain the cool temperature in the cooler for the entire trip.
This product offers great value to someone who spends a good bit of time outdoors. It is a bit on the expensive side for those of you who will only use it a few times a year, but if you are using it a few times a month, you will find the value of the Engel Deep Blue Cooler in no time. If you take other high-end coolers into consideration, you will find that this price is actually on the lower end of the table. Also, the insulation, durability, and ease of use make it a great cooler for most situations.
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Other Versions & Accessories
Though this cooler does not have a lot of color options to choose from, it does come in a number of sizes that may better accommodate your needs. There are a 35-quart option and a 50-quart option that are smaller in size than this one, which is great for an overnight trip. There is also an 80-quart option and a 123-quart option for those situations when you need a larger cooler to keep food and drinks cool for your entire family.
Insofar as accessories to enhance the cooler, there is a divider that the company makes that you can place in the cooler to separate your food and your drinks. If you are on a fishing trip, it can be a great tool to have that allows you to separate your drinks from your bait. If you are fishing on a boat or you simply wish to secure the cooler, there is also a tie down kit that you can purchase.
For those camping trips that last for days, you will not want all of your food getting soggy as the ice melts. This hanging wire basket assures that items like cheese and potato salad will not be soggy when you are ready to enjoy them. The company also designed the cooler to have a durable lid that can withstand your weight, so if you are inclined to sit down, there is a cushion as well.
BEST CAMPING COOLER
Canyon Cooler Outfitters 55
While the Engel Deep Blue is a great cooler, we feel that the Canyon Outfitter outperforms it slightly in our opinion. The features are extremely similar; both are durable, bear resistant coolers that will retain ice for a week of time or more, but we found the Canyon Outfitter slightly outperforms in terms of ease of use and features.