High-performance coolers come in handy all year. From tailgates to beach parties, hunting and fishing trips, van camping, and even backyard barbeques, a quality cooler won’t disappoint. Sportneer’s eponymous Sportneer Portable 25-quart cooler claims a place with high-end recreational coolers from Yeti and Otterbox.
Sportneer states its rugged cooler with 20 pounds of ice can keep beverages cold for up to five days. The manufacturer claims the cooler’s roto-molded polyethylene is break-proof, scratch-proof, crack-resistant, and even bear-resistant. Polyurethane foam lines the thick interior walls for additional insulation.
The cooler lid has a leakproof rubber sealing gasket and two rugged, hard rubber closure handles to keep hot air out. Two additional features help maintain inside temperature less directly. A screw-off drain cap near the bottom of the cooler makes it easy to drain melted water before adding ice. The cap is attached by a strong chain to prevent loss. A thermometer on the front displays the interior temperatures so you won’t have to open the lid to check.
The Sportneer cooler measures 20.3 inches wide x 13 inches deep (front-to-back) x 14.5 inches high externally and the interior is 15.9 inches x 9.2 inches x 10.5 inches (WDH). Sportneer refers to the cooler’s capacity variously as 25 quarts and 25 liters. Quarts and liters are slightly different, but close enough that it won’t be an issue for most people.
If you haven’t lugged around a high-performance cooler before, be prepared for an initial surprise. Unlike inexpensive styrofoam coolers, which weigh almost nothing, the Sportneer’s heft is immediately apparent. An empty Sportneer Cooler weighs 20.5 pounds. If you decide to test the 5-days with 20 pounds of ice claim, that means you’ll be dealing with a bit more than 40 pounds of weight before you fill it with beverages, fish, bait, or whatever.
Fortunately for anyone transporting the cooler, a rugged metal carry handle has a comfortable foam grip and locks into place with indents on the side brackets. The handle folds to either the front or back when not in use. As shown in the photos above, standing on the cooler isn’t out of the question. I can attest that a 170-pound male who stood on the cooler didn’t feel any give in the surface.
Sportneer added two convenience features to the top of the cooler lid. A 17-inch ruler molded on the lid can settle arguments about fish length. There are also two 3.5-inch diameter cup or can holders, each about one-third of an inch deep, to help you from spilling your beer or coffee.
We had a chance to use a Sportneer 25-quart cooler on a short trip during the summer. We loaded it half full of ice and added a dozen cans of seltzer plus the first day’s worth of sandwiches. Most of the ice was still frozen the second day. About one-third of the ice had melted by the third morning, and the water and cans of seltzer were still cold, but the ice was all melted on the fourth morning. The cooler wasn’t full, and we opened it a few times more than necessary to check that state of the ice.
The Sportneer Cooler sells for $130 on the company website and Amazon, although it was sold out on Amazon when we last checked.
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