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- 1″ Closed Cell Foam Insulation
- Waterproof Tarpaulin Outer Shell
- Leakproof DuraTemp Liner
- Quick Release Shoulder Strap
Polar Bear Coolers Review – "This Bear Is Your New Best Friend For Life"
April 03, 2018
Outdoor Gear Lab
Polar Bear Coolers - Awarded "Best Buy" by Outdoor Gear Lab Read More"
As one would expect, there is a range quality in soft coolers. The higher-end coolers like the Yeti Hopper Two 30 live up to their brand names. What was unexpected was how well other inexpensive soft coolers could rise in comparison. The Polar Bear 24 Pack was the proverbial little cooler that could, and it stood up to the competition. The Polar Bear 24 kept our beer cold on hot days, was just as easy to carry as most other models, and had only a slightly smaller capacity than the Yeti Hopper Two 30, and it surprisingly held ice for almost as long. To top off the surprising performance, the Polar Bear 24 Pack comes in at a price that won't cut into your beer funds. For these reasons and a few others the Polar Bear 24 Pack Soft Cooler has earned the Best Buy Award.
The updated version of this cooler features double coated nylon for the interior liner and updated side buckles. There were no major aesthetic updates; the cooler still looks very similar to the old model. Here's a summary of the key differences between the new model and the previous version:
- New Liner — The new liner is made of TPU double coated nylon.
Updated Buckles — The cooler has been updated with YKK side-release buckles.
While we haven't had a chance to test the new model ourselves, we expect it to perform in a similar fashion, if not better, than the model we reviewed here. The text in this review still refers to the older version.
When comparing soft coolers a few important features come to mind: portability, capacity, and how well they work; meaning how cold will they keep your beverage of choice. To find out our reviewers put a selection of coolers through their paces, carrying them to parties, picnics, campfires, and just out for the day. Every so often when you are using a piece of gear you get surprised. The Polar Bear Coolers 24 Pack was one of those pieces of gear. It has the same look and basic design as the AO Coolers 24 Pack Canvas Cooler, and at first glance appears to be like just about any other middle-of-the-road soft cooler, but when compared to side-by-side with significantly higher priced products, it was up to the challenge. Amazing insulation value, solid performance, and a surprisingly durable build at an affordable price earned the Polar Bear Coolers 24 Pack Soft Cooler a Best Buy Award.
When testing the Polar Bear 24 Pack, testers expected it to perform like other coolers in its price range and hold ice for maybe 24-36 hours like the Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler or the AO Coolers 24 Pack Canvas Cooler. However, we were pleasantly surprised with how well the Polar Bear 24 Pack performed. After 72 hours in an unlit and un-insulated shed it held onto nine ounces of ice from the starting seven pounds. By comparison, the Editors' Choice winning Yeti Hopper Two 30 held onto 14 ounces of ice, and none of the other coolers had anything left. For that matter, none of the other coolers even had much left after 48 hours. Our Polar Bear kept drinks and food cold and out-performed our expectations. Even just the feel of the insulation is a step up from others in the Polar Bear's price range. The insulation is thicker and the internal liner feels much more durable than others of a similar build, size, and shape, like the model from AO Coolers.
Ease of Use
The Polar Bear 24 Pack is simple and utilitarian. It has the standard top zipper and comes with a shoulder strap and handles much like the very similarly constructed [AO Coolers 24 Pack]. Testers didn't find anything special about it, but that said, this didn't detract from its overall usability. For shorter distances it is easy to carry and could indeed carry 24 beers (or your canned beverage of choice) plus ice pretty well. The shoulder strap has a movable pad, as opposed to a rubber piece like the AO, and is overall better constructed. For longer hauls it is a little awkward, unlike the Ice Mule Pro with its backpack straps that is super easy and comfortable to carry. This was to be expected, and truly longer carry distances doesn't seem to be something the Polar Bear 24 Pack is designed for anyway. But much like the AO Coolers 24 Pack, there are side buckle straps that allow the cooler to assume a lower profile square-ish shape. This is nice and helped packing the thing in a car a little better, but made opening and closing the zipper difficult when they were in use. Testers found that the external pocket wasn't really big enough to be very useful, much like the pocket on the AO, but that the included bottle opener on the zipper could open a bottle and is super convenient.
Durability was a question. With a nylon canvas exterior, repeated jostling could cause problems. After significant time bouncing around in the back of a truck and being thrown around, it did look a little "well-used." However, it held up pretty well overall. For what it is designed for, everyday use and short distance carries, it should hold up really well. The zipper on the front pocket, which really isn't big enough to be terribly useful, did have some problems. It is a small tooth "sealed" zipper that didn't seem to catch every time. This could be a fluke on our testing model, but that was the only real durability complaint testers had for normal use.
With the standard bag handles and a shoulder strap, the Polar Bear was just as portable as other coolers of its type in this category. When hopping from the car to the beach, or down the street to a potluck, the Polar Bear will get you by. If you are looking for something to take a few miles out or on that moderate to long approach, this may not be your bag. Other options like the Ice Mule Pro can give you that ability with features like backpack straps and a padded and ventilated back panel. Packing the Polar Bear 24 Pack into a car or truck is easy enough, and the ability to clip the corners down and turn it into a rectangular package, rather than an inverted wedge, made it easier to fit into small spaces.
This is the shining glory of the Polar Bear 24 Pack Soft Cooler. At a reasonable $90 you get similar insulation value to a competitor nearly 4 times the price. It doesn't quite have the durable construction of the Yeti Hopper Two 30, but it does keep things cold almost as long. And for only $30 more you get more than twice the insulating power of the very similar and same size AO Coolers 24 Pack. You also get more insulation than the $99 Ice Mule Pro. You may not get the same durability as the Yeti, or the same easy usability and carry-ability of the Ice Mule, but what you do get is an easy to use basic soft cooler that will keep your stuff cold at an affordable price.
It's not often that someone can give Yeti a run for its money when it comes to a cooler. This is for good reason. Yeti has established itself as the preeminent leader in the industry, coupling bombproof construction with high insulating power. That is why testers were so excited and surprised by the Polar Bear 24 Pack Soft Cooler. While it still couldn't hold a candle to the durability of the industry leader, it made up for all of that with incredible insulating power. This little guy held its own against much more expensive and storied competition. The simple fact that the Polar Bear was able to keep only slightly less ice than the Yeti Hopper Two 30 in our tests and costs almost $220 less, justifies the Best Buy Award given to this little cooler that could.
If you are looking for something for the long haul or that will put up with serious abuse, this may not be the cooler for you. The Polar Bear 24 can't stand up to the Yeti Hopper Two 30 or the Ice Mule Pro on those fronts. But if you are after something simple that works and are not looking to break the bank, this is a great choice.
Mar 20, 2015"Click here to read the full review on Outdoor Gear Lab's website
"Polar Bear Coolers, makers of high quality performance, soft coolers for over 10 years, announces the all-new..." Read More
"Polar Bear Coolers, makers of high quality performance, soft coolers for over 10 years, announces the all-new Polar Bear EC (Extreme Chill) line.
The patent-pending, closed-cell foam design allows the Polar Bear EC to keep things colder longer than ever before. It also offers a dynamic new structure and feel, making it totally waterproof inside and out.
The Polar Bear EC is the most well-insulated, soft cooler ever made. It features a 1.5-inch closed-cell foam base enclosed in a heavy nylon bottom saddle that is surrounded by a 1-inch thick closed-cell foam body with complete coverage top to bottom. This makes Polar Bear EC the only “zip down the middle” cooler with this level of insulation and coverage. Its unique fold-down design combines a large mouth design for easy access and maximum storage capacity with the ability to buckle down and tighten up for maximum space to maintain chill retention.
Polar Bear EC Coolers house the strongest and most durable TPU liner material conceivable. The Tuff Skin Dura Temp™ liner is eco-friendly and FDA approved for consumer safe, perishable storage and consumption. The heavy-duty welded, leak-proof/sweat-proof liner is puncture resistant, flexible when frozen and crack resistant to -77 degrees Fahrenheit. The liner easily pulls inside out for easy cleaning.
Other features include a heavy-duty weatherized, rubber coated, splash-guard zipper, two aluminum side release buckles that double as bottle openers, eight stainless steel tie downs and four carabineer bow tie daisy chains making it easy to attach to anything that moves.
The Polar Bear Cooler is tough, rugged, durable and dependable. The EC line is available in a variety of sizes and colors, including Mossy Oak® camo, to suit a wide range of demands. Prices range from $90 - $180 depending on size and style. To find the cooler that meets your needs, visit www.polarbearcoolers.com.
Polar Bear Coolers produces officially licensed products of Haas Outdoors Inc.
Mar 20, 2015"Click here to read on mossyoak.com
Florida Sport Fishing
"Designed to withstand the harshest elements, high capacity Polar Bear soft-sided coolers perform like hard coolers..." Read More
"Designed to withstand the harshest elements, high capacity Polar Bear soft-sided coolers perform like hard coolers, yet feature the storage and portability not common with full size rotomolded coolers. Utilizing the finest materials and insulation, these coolers are waterproof inside and out. With metal tie downs and carabiner bow tie daisy chains, you can take these coolers wherever your adventures take you. Available in 12, 24, and 48 can capacity in a wide range of colors.
MSRP: $99.95 – $140.00
polarbearcoolers.com"Click here to read on floridasportfishing.com
Look below for a full list of reviews
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- The Cooler Zone Review
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