A Field Review of the new Coleman Stainless Steel Cooler
By: Tom Cannon
Looking for a cooler that you can pass on to your grandchildren? Look no further than Coleman's new Steel Cooler.
It's probably a safe bet that at least one of every two households in the United States owns a cooler. Most are constructed of typical plastic or Styrofoam materials which gets the job done inexpensively, however, it doesn't take much to damage one of these cheap coolers, which are often seen sitting on the curb on trash pickup days. Hunters, campers, fishermen, and other outdoors enthusiasts prefer a sturdier cooler, much like the old Coleman steel model that was manufactured until the nineteen nineties. Well, have no fear, the Coleman Company of Wichita, Kansas has re-introduced the venerable steel cooler, and even improved it quite a bit.
The first feature one notices about the "new" Coleman cooler is the shiny exterior. No longer does the cooler feature a painted finish, it has been blessed with a fashionable, but durable stainless steel body and lid. The bottom portion of the cooler is wrapped in a heavy-duty black plastic material, and contrasts nicely. The entire package looks like something that would be right at home in a high tech kitchen or out on a picnic table at Yellowstone Park.
Yeah, the exterior is quite attractive, but the interior is what makes a cooler, right? Well a quick glance inside reveals that Coleman, did some improvements here as well. The interior of the cooler has been filled with more insulation than found on typical coolers. The lid also sports an airtight seal to effectively seal in the cold, and is mated to the body with a pair of heavy-duty steel hinges. Spills and stains are easily cleaned from the one-piece plastic interior, which has a smooth finish.
Looking at the exterior again, reveals two great features that make the cooler user friendly. First, a set of quality handles has been added to the "new" Coleman Cooler. These are built of stainless steel material as well, but feature rubber coated grips that don't cut into your hands when carrying. Secondly, and possibly the most thoughtful idea, was the introduction of the cam action lock. I can't tell you how many time I have had a cooler tip over in the bed of my pickup, during a rough back country ride. Of course, not only did the cooler tip over but the contents spilt out, often spoiling the food, or at least causing a major mess. The "new" Stainless Steel Cooler features a bombproof cam lock, to prevent this and also ensure an airtight seal.
All right, enough about the looks right? Heck serious outdoorsmen and women know better than to rely on good looks alone. I tested the cooler for several months in a range of conditions, although I have yet to subject it to one hundred degree heat, I must say I am impressed. First the cooler has a solid feel to it. I immediately gave it the strength test, and used it as a step stool. Since I weigh a hundred and eighty-five pounds, I was impressed that it held up with no noticeable flex. The stainless steel body is all one-piece construction, which allows mud, dust and other stuff to be easily cleaned off with soap and water.
Once inside the cooler, you realize it is actually taller and roomier than it appears. A full gallon jug of water fits easily inside, as does the normally, too tall, two liter bottles of soda. I was able to fit three gallon jugs of water inside the cooler, and still had plenty of space for other contents. I lived out of the cooler on a dozen occasions for three or more days and had all the liquids and food needed for the duration of my trip.
Coleman has obviously built a rugged and durable tool for the outdoorsman, family camper or weekend "tailgater". The Stainless Steel Cooler features a 6-year limited warranty. This is a rarity among products that are built to take a lot of abuse. Although the initial cost of the cooler is higher than typical plastic coolers, the life span is also going to be longer and the quality is better. Remember the motto, "You get what you pay for..." that applies to many things in life, but especially this cooler. Since I was so impressed, I can honestly say, that this will be the last cooler I'll own. Take a close look at the "new" and improved Coleman Stainless Steel Cooler, and you will be impressed as well.