We’re in the heart of the outdoor travel season here in North America, and in my household, our array of coolers are in full swing. This month, I tried out two offerings from Arctic Zone, the Titan Roto cooler and the Titan backpack cooler. Here’s what I discovered, and how they compare to comparable coolers on the market.
Arctic Zone Titan deep freeze roto cooler: This 55-quart hard-shell cooler (which also comes in a cute 20-quart version) is just under 30 inches long and 17 inches deep and 16 inches tall, and weighs in at 35 pounds. I can compare it directly to my Yeti Tundra 45, as it sits just slightly larger and features (virtually) all the same assets, right down to the fitted wire basket that is removable at the top, the drain spout (which is actually wider on the Titan) and rubber T-latches. Like my Yeti, the Titan roto cooler is certified bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, and it features anti-skid feet and a 360-degree rubber gasket along the seal.
The Titan promises eight days of ice retention, and just like Yeti, I think they’re being optimistic. That said, I did get a solid six days of icy cold food storage when I tested the Titan out in my hot garage for a week. And, I appreciate the fun fish ruler on the top of the lid, to keep people honest. Plus, it’s worth noting that this Titan is the only Roto-molded cooler available on the market that incorporates any type of antimicrobial protection (the Microban) that protects against bacterial stains and odors. The Microban is injected into the cooler during the Roto-molding process (not just coating the outside but protecting the entire piece) which not only protects your contents from bacterial exposure, but it also extends the lifespan of the cooler, as many people opt to buy a new cooler once it starts to smell.
It comes in blue or gray for $245, a full $55 less than the Yeti 45.
Titan backpack cooler: Maybe you don’t need a hardshell cooler, but do want something more portable for that day at the lake, to strap onto your paddleboard or kayak, or to commute with. The new Arctic Zone Titan deep freeze series backpack cooler is just four pounds and carries easily, without sacrificing some fun bells and whistles.
The best feature is the ‘ice wall’, which is a zippered vertical pocket at the back and the front of the backpack, into which you can slip ice packs. You keep the main compartment of the pack cool without using all the room on ice packs! This leaves the interior free for cans, stacked food storage containers, sandwiches and the like.
You also get multiple interior and exterior pockets, which I love. My main complaint about my other backpack cooler (original IceMule) is that it lacks pockets for my keys, my phone, snack items that don’t require refrigeration, etc. the Titan backpack has that category well-covered, which still prioritizing food storage with its Cold Block base (three layers of insulation). The leak-proof microban lining keeps the cooler from getting stinky with food odors or moisture, and the whole backpack is easy to keep clean.
Neat Ice: Hey, this is neat! If you want to supplement your Arctic Zone cooler (or any cooler at all) with a cool (no pun intended) new ice storage system, check out Neat Ice. It’s such a simple idea, I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it: this waterproof bag holds your store-bought bag of ice, sealed away from the contents of your cooler. You get the same refrigeration, without the melting puddle! Forget about that soupy mixture that breeds bacteria at the bottom of your cooler…the Neat Ice bag keeps all the melting ice contained. And when you’re done with it, the cold, melted water in the Neat Ice bag can be used keep dogs hydrated while camping or picnicking with you!