What are the Best Coolers for Hunting Big Game?
Hunting, just like any other outdoor activity, is a fun pursuit that can be undertaken by an individual or group of people to relax their minds and have a good time.
For you to enjoy any hunting pursuit, you need to be well equipped with some essential gear designed to make your adventures more fun and bearable. One of the apparatus that you need to have in your inventory is the hunting cooler.
Hunting ice chests are vital in any hunting trip because they help keep the catch fresh; in addition to providing storage room for other useful hunting tools.
As you might be already aware, there are no coolers specifically manufactured for hunting purposes, and most coolers are multipurpose. Therefore, a cooler suitable for hunting expeditions has to meet some specific requirements.
We have done all the footwork and sorted through all the coolers, looking for an ice chest with the necessary features to qualify as hunting coolers. The coolers that meet our merits as viable hunting cooler have been reviewed below.
All the coolers discussed below are highly durable, given that hunting activities could get rough sometime. Take all the time you need to peruse the article, and we guarantee you won’t regret the purchase you will make.
Our list of the best hunting coolers is as follows:
Top Hunting Cooler List
|① Cordova Coolers -TOP PICK|
|② Grizzly Cooler|
|③ Orca Coolers|
|④ Orion Coolers|
|⑤ Siberian Coolers|
① Cordova Coolers
The coolers from Cordova come in a variety of colors and different sizes, ranging from 35Q to 125Q to choose from depending on your preference. They are our best pick, and we highly recommend that you buy this ice chest.
They are manufactured using a rotational molding process; this technique eliminates joints and weak spots, making the coolers strong and durable. One major problem that faces the coursing ice chest is the weight.
A good hunting cooler should be light just like the Cordova coolers; this helps you save some energy you will use during hunting. This ice chest’s excellent ice retention capability is because of two features; airtight rubber gasket and insulation foam.
The gasket ensures that the air inside is trapped and outside air doesn’t mix with the inside air, thus increasing air ice retention. The dense foam also contributes to the efficiency of the ice chest.
The drain plug will help you get rid of the melted ice inside the cooler. For durability, it is made of delving plastic. Another interesting feature of the cooler is the non-slip rubber feet. While you are transporting your ice chest in a truck or boat, it will always be stable and steady in one position.
The padded shoulder straps fitted on the cooler will allow you to have an easy time while moving from one place to another. Above all, these models of coolers are cheap, but they do deliver as promised.
- Excellent ice retention capabilities.
- The cooler comes at a pocket-friendly price.
- Not as durable as the YETI coolers
- The cooler has no high-end features.
② Grizzly Cooler
Another great hunting cooler we thought was worth looking into was the grizzly coolers manufactured in the USA. For many years, products made in the USA have been seen as a top-notch symbol and high quality.
The ice chests are made using a rotomolding technique, which results in uniform wall thickness, thereby eliminating weak joints. The material used is LLDPE plastic.
For maximum cooling efficiency, the cooler is pressure injected with the Ecomate polyurethane foam, forming up to two-inch of insulation wall. The rubber gasket contributes to the remarkable ice retention capabilities of the grizzly coolers.
If you reside in the regions where bears are present, then the grizzly coolers are your best choice. They are bear certified; in the rare event that you have an encounter with the bear, they will handle any rough attack in the woods.
The sturdy handles on the coolers is also another great feature worth mentioning; they are strong enough to handle any weight.
- Has a lifetime warranty.
- IGBC bear-resistant certified.
- High-quality ice chest.
- The cooler has good ice retention but not the best.
- The bulky design tends to take up more storage space.
③ Orca Coolers
Orca is one of the best ice chest manufacturers on the market; they have managed to stay on top of the market because of its long chain of high-quality products. Just like many other hard-sided coolers, Orca ice chests are made using the rotomolding process.
This process is common in many durable coolers because of the continuous layering of the material. This means there are not parts or joints. One thing to smile about is that the coolers from Orca come with a lifetime warranty.
One thing you can draw from this is that the manufacturer truly trusts their products, and who are you not trustworthy? If the product becomes non-functional due to manufactures flaws, you can always return and get a replacement.
If you are going for a hunting adventure of two to three days, Orca coolers are your best choice. With their well-designed lid gasket, the ice chest becomes airtight once closed; this increases the ice retention duration for up to three days.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
- Airtight lid gasket makes the cooler to have excellent ice retention
- Highly durable
- Quite expensive compared to others.
- Finite color options
④ Orion Coolers
These ice chests can not only be used for hunting but also camping and fishing; this makes it your best choice because it is a multipurpose product. One outstanding feature of the Orion coolers is their ability to retain ice for up to a week.
This can be attributed to the two-inch-thick insulation foam. The larger Orion cooler with a storage capacity of about 85Q can hold food enough to accommodate you for a week because it is made using food-grade material; also, it can store large game meat.
As a plus, it comes with a bottle opener; there is no need to carry one. The no-slip bottom pas makes it easier to transport the cooler at the back of your truck or on a boat.
.These ice chests are made using high-end materials and can survive the harshest environment nature has to offer. The only downside of the Orion coolers is that they are slightly heavier than other types, but that is to be expected.
- Comes in a variety of colors.
- The cooler has an inbuilt bottle opener, which also acts as a bumper for the cooler.
- Bear-resistant certified.
- They don’t offer sizes larger than 85 Q.
- The ice chest is quite heavy, but that is to be expected.
⑤ Siberian Coolers
The last ice chest in our review list is the Siberian Coolers, and they come in different sizes. The cooler is IGBC bear-resistant certified; this means that under attack by a bear, your stuff will be safe inside the ice chest.
The lifetime warranty should make you want to buy these particular ice chests. If the product becomes defective due to manufacturers defect, you will be liable to receive a free replacement.
A hunting ice chest is just as good as its handles; if you have killed a large game, it is obvious that once packed, your cooler will become heavy. The part of the ice chest that receives all the stress is the handles and hinges.
For this reason, the Siberian coolers have latches that are made using anodized aluminum for durability. Also, the hinges are made of stainless steel. One thing you might find unsatisfactory about the cooler is the limited color options; they are only available in color white.
- It is constructed using a rotational molding process, making it highly durable.
- Superior ice retention.
- User-friendly latches.
- The brand is not well established.
- They have limited color variety.
Factors to Keep in Mind before Purchasing Hunting Cooler
There are many coolers on the market that you can go within your coursing trip. Unlike other types of coolers, you need to be very careful when choosing a hunting cooler. Many ice chests have similar features, and you may not be able to notice the distinguishing features that matter the most.
Ice chest purposed for hunting trips must be very durable and sturdy. They need to be able to handle all that weight of your game and keep them fresh. Below is a buying guide we have prepared for you.
The portability of the cooler should be one of the first factors to consider. You need to determine whether you will be going for that hunting spree alone or with the company. If you are solo, then you surely need something that you can easily carry by yourself.
On the other hand, if you will be accompanied, you could decide to go for a much larger ice chest, one with side handles for easy transportation. Just because you are accompanied doesn’t mean that you have to use a massive cooler.
Try to see if you will be able to carry it by looking at the weight when empty and full. Many manufacturers appreciate the fact that it can be tedious to move around with a cooler and try to address the issue.
To make transportation, much more bearable coolers are manufactured with rubber wheels, shoulder straps, hand handles, or both. Wheels are mainly used in larger coolers.
You also need to look for tie-down knots, which are very useful when securing it down to your truck or boat. The non-slip rubber feet are also important features.
Another crucial factor that defines a good hunting cooler is the duration it holds the ice. Ice retention of any cooler is determined by the two things; insulation and lid gasket. For maximum ice retention, Ecomate polyurethane is commonly used.
The thicker the insulation walls, the longer the ice retention duration. While you are eager to buy an ice chest with longer ice retention duration, you need to be ready to live with their massive size and substantial weight.
To ensure that you buy the appropriate product, factor in the duration of your hunting trips. Is it a one day trip or one week trip? This will put you in a better position to know whether to buy one that keeps ice longer or not.
An ice chest with poor ice retention means that the ice will thaw out faster, as your meat will warm up, creating a conducive environment for bacterial growth, which will result in your meat rotting.
One thing that distinguishes hunting coolers from the other types is the durability keeping in mind the rugged terrain in the woods and harsh conditions. Coursing coolers need to strong enough to survive in the wilderness.
It needs to be able to withstand your weight, for that time when you will improvise to use it as a chair or a table. The durability of the cooler is affected by the type of materials used. Make sure you know the strength and material used before making any purchase.
Construction also affects the service life; the cooler, rotationally molding technique is particularly known for producing sturdy products due to the absence of weak points and joints. Buying a rotomolded cooler will be a smart move.
This is straightforward; before buying any hunting ice chest, make sure you are comfortable with its size. If you are hunting large game; make sure you buy one that its meat will fit in properly.
While larger ice chest offers large storage rooms, at the same time, they present a challenge of transportation. The good thing is that hunting coolers come in different sizes ranging from 25Q to 125 Q getting one that suits shouldn’t be a problem given you the size of the game you will be trapping.
Hunting requires some energy; you don’t want to spend all the energy you have in carrying your massive ice chest. Purchase a cooler whose weight is right for you. If you are trapping large games, I suggest you look for those with wheels.
Also, you can use those fitted with side handles for two people to carry on each side. The most important thing to remember here is that whichever the cooler you decide to buy, you need to be able to handle its weight.
Many people often overlook this factor; remember your game meat will always be staining the cooler with blood, which, on many occasions, has proven difficult to wash away. The material can determine how easy it is to remove blood stains.
Ice chest can be made using materials like; neoprene, polypropylene canvas, and polyester. Of all the materials, Neoprene is the easiest to clean. You want to have a cooler with a drainage plug, which is used to remove the water inside the ice chest.
To minimize dirtying your gear, we suggest that you pack your meat in a waterproof game paper bag before storing it in the cooler.
While hunting, it is crucial to make sure that you blend in with the surrounding environment. You can do this by matching your clothes and even the ice chest with the surroundings.
One important reason for doing so it not to scare away the animals you are trying to kill. Many animals that are preyed on have highly adapted to ensure they survive wilderness full of predators; as a result, anything out of the norm will scare them away.
Popular colors for hunting ice chest include; green, white, and camo cooler, making sure that yours has one of the colors would be wise. Apart from the idea of camouflage, the choice of color also presents the aspect of aesthetic appeal.
Some of the best hunting coolers are IGBC bear-resist certified; this is very important, especially if you are going for your hunting spree in a bear-infested region. Bear tends to be aggressive, and while you may manage to escape, you will leave your ice chest behind.
You need a gear that will withstand any kind of abuse from any wild animals. Coolers that are lockable are the best. Aside from ensuring that your game meat is safe, the locks will keep your friends away from drinking your drinks if need be.
Another vital thing to keep in mind is the storage capacity of the hunting cooler. This is often confused with the size of the ice chest. Size means the overall space occupied by the icebox, while storage means the available interior volume for storing your game meat.
The size of the game you will be hunting will guide you on the storage capacity you need. Additionally, you should choose an icebox that gives you additional storage space for your other important gears like bottle openers and knives.
The price will always affect the purchase of any product; with the poor economy; you need to be smart because you have to pay for other bills. Hunting ice chest varies in prices depending on the efficiency and design.
If you are going for high-end products, your pockets need to deep enough. We understand that we all have different financial capabilities. If you are having monetary issues, we advise that you settle for the cheap ones provided they can keep ice for a day or two.
The most logical way to approach this is by having a budget, know the amount of money you are willing to spend, and stick to coolers in that range.
You should also keep in mind the warranty terms, granted to any item before making a purchase. Be wary of some products with vague warranties that have been masked in wordy terms.
It’s true; some products have lucrative guarantees than others; it is up to you to do some digging and then purchase the one with the longest warranty. The best ones are those with lifetime guarantees.
The good thing about warrants is that if your cooler becomes defective due to manufacturer error or materials, you can receive a free replacement from the producer once you have registered the issues.
Tips for storing you game meat in an ice chest
Although it may look like an easy task, it is not storing your catch meat needs attention, or you may end up spoiling your meat. After you have killed your game, it is advisable to cool the game meat evenly.
By doing so, bacteria growth is inhibited. Warmer meat is prone to bacterial attack, which may result in rotting. Also, you need to avoid having your meat sitting in the water, and this could ruin the taste.
Use waterproof game bags or containers to hold the meat before placing it inside the ice chest. Keeping the above tips in mind, you will be able to keep your catch in good shape until you return home.
All hunting coolers have revolutionized trapping sport; keeping the game fresh has been made much easier. Unlike in eras before coolers were around, hunters used redundant methods like smoke and salt to keep their catch fresh.
Thanks to creative minds, we now have portable ice chests that can be used for coursing purposes. As we have stated earlier, all the ice chests reviewed in this article are top in the market.
Nevertheless, if you are still unsure which cooler to settle on, we would like to recommend the Cordova coolers. They are our best pick, and they come in different sizes and colors, ranging from gray, orange, and white.
The cooler is light in weight; as a result, moving around with it will be easy; in addition, the padded shoulder strap contributes to its comfortable transportation. With superior ice retention capabilities, the ice chest will keep your game fresh for an extended time. The Cordova coolers are also pocket friendly.
It has all the features to make it suitable for coursing trips and yet costs half the price of most similar coolers. Why don’t you get one for your next hunting trip? Don’t wait until, the last minute, order a Cordova cooler today!