I recently had the opportunity to do a product shoot for local high end Cooler manufacturer Canyon Coolers. I got to use their upcoming (2017) Scout model which is designed to be carried easily by one person as well as their heavy duty 75 Quart (71 liter) Outfitter 75 model.
This was my first time getting to use a cooler of this caliber and now that I have, I don't think I can go back. Being able to have ice out in the field wherever you are and in any climate for over a week really opens up some doors for the places you can go to and stay, while still having quality food and not just pasta every night.
The Scout is the perfect size for a solo weekend trip or a small group for a day or two. I could easily fit 3 large water bottles and enough ice to keep several sandwiches cold with still plenty of room to spare for other items.
It's fairly light for having as much insulation as it does, and has no trouble keeping items cold for extended periods of time. I don't know how long Canyon Coolers has tested the ice retention time but I think it could easily keep ice for several days. One of the days I had the cooler, I left it inside my truck sitting in the sun for most of a day in Sedona and when I opened it up that afternoon the ice inside hadn't melted at all. Very impressive.
The strap is cushioned enough that it doesn't dig into your shoulder much even when loaded full of food. Even though it is their smaller cooler it still has all the features of their top of the line models such as the ability to be locked and tied down in multiple places. I asked about the bear proof certification and was told it is pending so I would imagine it will be bear proof as the rest of their lineup is.
On to the bigger cooler. I also was able to use the Outfitter 75 for the duration of the shoot and in two words: Its massive. This is the cooler you want if you need to keep food for 5+ people cold for well over a week. For smaller amounts of people this can act as a fridge and I think Tiffany and I are going to use one for our fridge in the tiny house we are building. Canyon Coolers advertise that this behemoth can keep ice for up to 14 days and I don't doubt it. Empty it weighs in at ~ 30 lbs. FOURTEEN DAYS!!!!!
Packed full this is probably the biggest cooler one person could move by themselves but two would have no trouble. It takes up two seats in our Dodge Ram 1500 Mega Cab backseat to give you an idea how big it is. Its also bear proof and has a LIFETIME warranty which the other major brand of high end coolers can't touch. Just like the others it can be tied down, and has receded latches which is such a great design choice. Even putting it in my back seat or the bed of our truck i could see how latches that stuck out could get broken easily.
Compared to the Yeti
When spending so much on a cooler its worth taking a look at the competition. A friend of mine has the Yeti which is probably Canyon Coolers biggest competitor and when comparing the two its easy to see why the Canyon is superior.
Insulation & Ice Retention
Comparing models, Canyon Coolers last on average at least a day or two longer. This is the most important thing as you can spend more time outside doing what you want and less time draining your cooler and replacing ice or food.
Canyon Coolers cost less. The 75 quart model is $100 cheaper than the Yeti! That's more than the cost of a National Park Pass for an entire year!
The Canyon latches are receded and are far easier to use especially with gloves on, where as the Yeti can be caught on corners and other places. Also the Yeti latch is nearly impossible to open with gloves on.
The Yeti comes with a 5 year warranty but the Canyon comes with a LIFETIME! That's hard to beat.
Overall the accessories for your cooler are cheaper going with the Canyon Cooler. Not the same accessories are offered by each company but the bottle opener attachment for example is half as much for the Canyon Cooler model. That's the cost of a six pack!
All Canyon Cooler models are also certified Bear Proof. With upcoming trips planned for Yellowstone and possibly Alaska I am very glad to know that if I leave my cooler outside overnight I can expect my food to still be there in the morning.
Canyon Coolers win hands down the best cooler on the planet. If you are looking for something to last a long time and hold up to serious use, this is the cooler for you. They are based in Flagstaff and are in several chain outdoor gear stores such as Sportsman's if you want to pick one up in your area. I can fully recommend their products and am proud to say the best cooler on the planet is made in my home town.
If you'd like to pick one up or see the rest of their lineup, head over to their website at http://www.canyoncoolers.com/
The Scout model pictured below will be released in early 2017 and will be available via their online store and retailers.