Cabela's Outfitter Ice Otter Cooler XF-517034

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The best cooler I ever bought ! Cabela's Outfitter Series: Ice Otter 70 Qt. Cooler

Mar 24, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Extremely sturdy build quality, Excellent insulation stainless steel hardware !

Cons:Price ! No cup holders. Wheels might be a good idea.

The Bottom Line: An excellent cooler which has proves itself to be rugged, durable, extremely and well insulated. Expensive, but you get what you pay for !

My family is very outdoors oriented.
I have preferred backpacking to any other form of camping. When my wife and I got married and had our boy we started car-camping. Nowhere near as adventurous, but far more comfortable.

One of the things I hate about going car-camping is having to leave camp every other day to go and get more ice for the coolers. The last time I went camping we used the Coleman Xtreme 70 Quart Cooler (Which I have reviewed separately. See my profile.). We ended up going for ice darn near every day. It’s not like we took a case of hot soda cans from the oven-like confines of a car trunk and plopped then into the cooler with just a 2.5 lb bag of ice and left the cooler sitting in the sun all day.

Well, I’ve finally found the perfect cooler.
I’ve been using one of the Cabela’s Outfitter Series Ice Otter Coolers for about a year now. Be warned, this is not the kind of cooler you want to take for a day at the beach. Oh it’s not really that big. This model is the seventy quart size, and it measures 25 L x 17 W x 18 H just like most other seventy quart coolers.

Here’s what makes this cooler better than any other cooler I have ever used before:
it’s built like a tank, the housing is made of polyethylene with UV blockers. This means the plastic material which forms the housing is extremely durable and resistant to the UV rays of the sun which can cause other coolers to become discolored, brittle and break upon light impact. Like when you toss an old, empty cooler into the bed of a pick-up and watch it break.

all the interior spaces are filled with insulating polyurethane foam. Every other cooler I’ve used has a hollow space and relies on the “Air gap” for insulating. Polyurethane foam is used for adding buoyancy to things so they will float and as such it composed of millions of tiny closed cell bubbles creating an extremely rigid and well insulated housing for this cooler.

Some of the other features are;
... a continuous stainless steel “piano” hinge that will not wear out or break. This is a very nice feature, I’ve had the hinges break or fall off several other cooler’s I’ve owned in the past. Carry handles are molded into the sides eliminating another pet peeve of mine; broken carry handles.

There is a drain valve molded into the bottom on one side but this is not the typical puny plastic spigot who’s cap breaks or falls off causing the cooler to leak ice water all over the back of your car. This is the real deal. This drain valve could have been taken right off the side of your house. That’s right, this is the same kind of spigot you screw your garden hose onto. The housing is molded around the valve so it’s not going to fall off and it is fairly well shielded too. There is minimal possibility the valve will catch on anything as you push this into the back of an SUV.

The latches used to secure the lid onto the housing are very well made, stainless steel and lock able to boot

We used this cooler on a week long trip to a lakeside state park in Massachusetts and kept all the meats and dairy items in this cooler. I used ten pounds (four small bags) of ice and by the end of the week there was still quite a bit of ice left, no I didn’t weigh the remaining ice, I’d say about a third remained after six days. I’ve written several reviews on coolers so I’m not going to add any tips here on how to best pack a cooler for an extended trip. If you want to, visit my profile and read my other reviews.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking.
This guy sounds like a Cabela’s salesman ! Well there are a few things I did not like about this cooler. Other coolers I have feature holes molded into the lid or housing for elastic bungee cords so you can hold additional gear on top. These are lacking here. Likewise for cup holders. There are four rounded recessed areas on the lid of the Ice Otter Cooler but they fall short as far as securing any kind of beverage container. Some coolers also have some kind of cutting board molded into the lid, which is useful if you are using the cooler as a bait locker for fishing, but this cooler is too nice to use for storing bait or the fish you’ve caught.

If there is one thing about this cooler which will prevent the average person from owning one it would have to be the price. At $200.00, shipping not included, this clearly is not for everyone.

HOWEVER, if you plan on car-camping or if you want to be prepared for the next big hurricane and need to keep some food items secure and fresh when ice will not be available on a daily basis then this is the cooler I would recommend hands-down. Remember you can use a cooler like this as a lock able dry storage device also.

Not going camping ? OK, this will hold two cases of beer and enough ice to keep it really, really cold. [Big cheesy grin]

This is a very well insulated and rugged cooler suitable for an extended trip The locking latches keep little fingers and small furry creatures out. If you set up a camp kitchen in a screen house you could even take an old length of garden hose to connect to the drain and run the hose outside the screen tent.

The Ice Otter series is available in a 150 quart and a whopping 420 quart size for use at an extended stay at a base camp. These coolers definitely aren’t cheap but they will provide you with a lifetime of dependable use.

Recommend this product? Yes

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