Soft or hard cooler?

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Quonda
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by Quonda »

Looking at RTIC or similar. My boat does not have much room so looking for something that won't take up as much room. Are the hoppers just as good as the hard coolers? I like the fact that they are lighter and take less room to store too.

Just really want to know if the soft coolers https://under-the-open-sky.com/best-coolers-for-boat/ are just as good?!
Last edited by Quonda on 22 Aug 2019, 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

surfman
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by surfman »

I am not a fan of soft side coolers. They have improved them some and are now making them more like hard coolers with lids that open to give better access but really, I don't see the attraction, hard to clean too.

The only advantage I can see is they are lighter, especially when you compare them to these crazy new roto-molded coolers that are crazy heavy.

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BigTerp
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by BigTerp »

I haven't found a soft cooler that holds ice well at all as well as not leak once the ice melts. I have a few roll coolers, but I hate them. They never roll well and I end up carrying them, so the wheels are basically useless. I got an Ozark Trail 26q rotomolded cooler from WalMart and love it. Was $68. Holds ice extremely well and seems durable. Took it camping last weekend for 4 days. It started off with about 10#'s of ice and 25 beers. Was opened up very frequently :beer: and even refilled with beer/drinks daily. It sat outside the entire time. At the end of the trip I dumped it and used it to pack up some dry goods for the trip home. It still had some ice left. This cooler will definitely outlast other coolers I've had in the past.

I wouldn't hesitate to get the larger Ozark Trails. But I have a 75q Orca on the way (a gift) that we'll be using for our beach trip next month. Have heard good things about this brand. Looking forward to using it. They are definitely heavy. The 75q Orca weighs 40#'s empty. But if I don't have to refill it with ice every other day, like I do my Coleman Extreme 70q (which takes 2 people to carry when full anyway), then the extra weight won't bother me.
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uttexas
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by uttexas »

Soft cooler if you don't mind it leaking, and only need to keep items cool for one day.

I'll second the Ozark trail rotomolded coolers for value, strength, and ice retention ability.

The Coleman Extreme Marine (without the wheels), is a good compromise (lighter than the Ozark trail), but I wouldn't stand on it if you weigh more than 150lbs.

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wmk0002
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by wmk0002 »

I have a Yeti Roadie and it serves well as a middle seat in my open boat and it has a decent capacity for a days worth of stuff for 2-3 guys. It does a decent job at keeping stuff cool but not any better than a basic igloo imo. It's obviously heavier but for me that isn't a concern and it makes a better seat than an igloo. My biggest complaint is that it also holds heat, meaning if you take it out of the hot garage and immediately load it down and shut it, by the time the heat and ice come to a steady state its not very cold anymore. You really need to prechill them by adding bottles of frozen water the night before. Also, the fact that they are so expensive....you have to buy them for a pretty penny and then I always worry about them getting stolen out of the boat or truck bed anytime I stop.

I have a cheap small Ozark Trail soft cooler and I really like it for car rides and shady areas but being in directly sunlight really has a bad affect on it.If you had a good place to store one on the boat it would really help. I prefer it over the Yeti hard cooler when I'm out solo, want full floor space, and/or aren't having to drive the boat too far so a passenger can make do sitting elsewhere for a few minutes.
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thedude
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by thedude »

I love my 30 qt Rtic soft cooler. It is light enough to carry on your shoulder, keeps ice, doesn't sweat a drop and is waterproof. They go on sale for $80 periodically. My kids can sit on it without any issue(not and adult seat though).

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surfman
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by surfman »

They definitely have their place, Engle makes a real nice backpack cooler, it does not leak and will keep ice all day no issue or you can use the frozen ice packs but, it is what it is, a small cooler great for day trips to the beach or something like that. For camping or on the boat, I'm sticking with the hard ones.

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BigTerp
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by BigTerp »

wmk0002 wrote:
16 Aug 2019, 10:03
You really need to prechill them by adding bottles of frozen water the night before.
This is what I do with mine, especially if I'm trying to keep ice for an extended period. I keep a few 2 liter bottles of frozen water in my deep freezer. Throw them in the night before to prechill the cooler. If you put things in a warm/hot cooler, or warm beverages into the cooler it won't be nearly as efficient. Just simple thermodynamics.
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jethro
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by jethro »

I have two Yeti soft coolers and two of their hard coolers. Not a fan boy of Yeti or anything, both the soft coolers were gifts from family, my Tundra 75 was given to me by a vendor I buy from, the only one I bought was the Roadie 20 which is the one I use most. Any of these new coolers perform similarly to each other, don't waste your time on the endless videos of how much ice it melts over how much time, all of them are crazy heavy and super insulated and will keep ice far longer than any standard cooler you've had before the Yeti revolution. The soft coolers are way easier to carry, all the roto-molded coolers are super heavy. Not sure about other brands for the soft coolers, but the Yetis are 100% water and air tight. You can drive a truck over them (literally) and the air won't come out of them. They are that way because the zippers are super sealed and they are difficult to operate. Make sure you try one in the store before you buy one.
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hipster dufus
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by hipster dufus »

Hav an rtic 30 soft cooler. Works fine for day trips.i like to carry charger cords and junk, only drawback is a small pocket. I hooked asmall soft case to the straps to overcome this.the Toto molded ones r just too heavy to use as a daily cooler. My 30 rtic will hold 2 guys stuff for a day.i use frozen water bottles.if u must go roto molded rtic or ozark trail

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BigTerp
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by BigTerp »

Got my Orca 75 quart yesterday. Really nice cooler. A bit heavy at 40#'s empty, but it will serve us well, especially on our upcoming beach trip and subsequent camping trips. Lifetime warranty, so I expect it to last a long, long time.
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wmk0002
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by wmk0002 »

Since this is a cooler thread good of place as any to ask. As mentioned above I have a Yeti Roadie and use it as a passenger seat and even as a fishing seat for a 3rd person on occasion...Does anyone know of a good solution to add padding to the top? Have seen ones you can order fro SeaDek and similar places but not sure they offer much cushion and are pretty pricey. Be nice to have something a little more plush and more inl ine of the middle livewell seats you see in the stick steer panfish style boats.
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MrGiggles
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by MrGiggles »

Just depends on what you want to use them for.

I only take afternoon trips, when it's really hot I have an Ozark Trail 6 can soft cooler that I pack with two frozen bottles of water. They stay cold and keep my worms from dying at the same time.

If you take multi-day trips then a hard cooler is the only way to go, no soft cooler on the market will hold ice for several days like they can.

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LDUBS
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by LDUBS »

Well, I upgraded my $14 Igloo to a $26 Igloo so I could put bigger fish in it. Hard sided. Weighs nada. I don't take expeditions so it works for me. If we go camping we can walk over to the campground store for more ice, or maybe just call for a pizza delivery! Haha

I also have a soft sided "cooler" bag that I pad $6 or $7 for. I think it is for bringing groceries home. I used it a few times but decided now to just stick with the Igloo.
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bikerider
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Soft or hard cooler?

Post by bikerider »

I'm in the same dilemma as you, low on space but need a cooler. I bought a soft cooler from walmart for I think $5 or so and have been very impressed with it so far. I linked it at the bottom of my post. I had my ice last for 6-7 hours without it all the way melting. No leaks either. I did end up keeping it right side up all day so I don't know if it would have leaked through the zipper if upside down. But the nice thing about it is you can pretty much stuff it into a corner of the boat out of your way while you fish.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail- ... 0MQAvD_BwE
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