Whether you are looking to keep your drinks cold or your catches fresh there is one thing that many kayak anglers want…a good cooler. There are many different coolers on the market with a variety of prices to go with them. Just like everything else, you need to find the one that works best for you and your needs.
After hearing about a variety of different coolers I decided to check out Grizzly Coolers. These coolers Made in the USA, have a lifetime warranty, are rotationally molded, and have their BearClaw Latches. Plus they have a molded in ruler on the top for a quick measure of your catch! I was excited to test out and review a cooler that was American Made and sounded great!
When the cooler arrived I was very excited to test it out and see how long it would hold ice. When I pulled it out of the box and opened it up I noticed that it came with a little tray that sat perfectly on the top. Perfect for the small items that you want to keep cool and within reach. After I snapped a couple pictures and then went straight to the test. I dumped all the ice out of the ice tray into the cooler and set it outside on the deck. At that point it was in the mid 50’s in the daytime and 40’s at night. I kept it latched shut except for the times I opened it to look inside. I was very pleased to see that barely any ice melted within the first 4 hours. About 8 hours later there was little melted but barely anything. I never drained the water, just let everything stay in there. There was still ice floating in the water 24 hours later. About 36 hours later there was still ice but it was floating in the water. After 48 hours there was still a little bit of ice floating in the cold water. Then about 60 hours after I dumped the ice in there was no ice left, but the water was very cold. I was extremely happy to see how long it kept ice and how cold the water was after 60 hours.
My next couple test were more realistic test for a kayak anglers purpose. I filled it with ice from the ice tray and drove to the water. Each time I strapped it in behind my seat instead of the crate. After paddling and fishing for 4-6 hours each time there was little to no melting happening! I then left the cooler either in direct sunlight or partial sunlight/shade. The results were the same both times. After 48 hours there was still ice floating in the water. About 60 hours later there was no ice but the water was very cold.
The latches were a little tough to pull off and relatch at first but after the 2nd time it became a lot easier without losing the seal. This cooler had molded in handles on each side. They are a little small which made it tricky for me to hold onto them one handed. I assume this is because it is a 15qt cooler. If it was a bigger one, the handles would probably be bigger. The ruler on top is a nice way to measure your catches quickly. The 15qt cooler weighed 12 pounds. It’s not light, but does a great job keeping ice and drinks and catches cold! My one complaint about their coolers is that it doesn’t have any spots to add mounts anything like that. For many of us, it will probably have to take the place of our crate unless you have another spot available in your kayak. The lack of mounts makes it difficult to carry the gear you may usually carry. Now you can drill into it and put your own mounts in, but then it would most likely affect the coolers effectiveness a little.
Pros: Made in the USA, Built Tough, Molded in Handles, Kept Ice for 48+ hours, Cons: No built in mounts
The cost of the 15qt cooler is $170 not on sale. This puts it in the price point of other brands like Yeti, Orca, and others. These coolers are built tough and can take a beating plus they kept ice for over two days without draining any water. If you are in the market for a cooler just to keep your drinks cold for a couple hours then this cooler may not be for you, however, if you go on any overnight or multi-day trips this cooler would be a great addition to your gear! So are Grizzly coolers a catch or a release? If you are going on longer trips, then a Grizzly Cooler is definitely a CATCH!