If you’re like me you’ve seen a lot of the “expensive” coolers out there for a while on the market but couldn’t imagine spending that kind of money on just a cooler. I have a perfectly good Coleman cooler that seems to work fine, why spend the money on something 4 times as expensive? I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.
In the summer of 2014 I was on a camping trip on the Snake River in Idaho and a friend of mine had one of those expensive coolers. Long story short after the first day of 100 degree heat there wasn’t one cube of ice left in my cooler. My friends; well after day 4 the ice still looked like it was just dumped in there fresh from a freezer. I couldn’t believe the difference and I started to see the reason in why spending that much money would be worth it. Keeping your food and beverages (beer :) ) cold for days on end in extremely hot heat has a lot of value. Still it wasn’t enough to make me pull the trigger and there were so many high end coolers on the market now that I didn’t know which was the best option for me or where to start.
About six months later in January of 2015 I was at the ATA show in Indianapolis when I came across the Orion Coolers booth. I decided to stop in and see what all the fuss was about and frankly the coolers just looked cool with fishing rod holders and drink holders hanging off the sides of them. After getting the run down on the coolers I was extremely impressed and asked if I could order one for myself to test out and use.
Fast forward 11 months with a lot of use and abuse of the Orion coolers I have nothing but extremely positive things to say:
First and foremost they do what a cooler is designed to do and they do it as good as any company on the market, keep ice for a REALLY long time! I’ve used the coolers on camping trips, scouting trips, hunting trips and float trips. I have yet to come home without ice left in the cooler which is a pretty amazing feat. There was a recent review on the Rokslide forum that was a head to head test of all the high end coolers and the Orion Coolers in ice retention out performed everything keeping ice for 11 days!
Secondly, the build quality is amazing. If these coolers don’t last you 20+ years of hard use I would be surprised. If I take into account the 6 or so cheaper coolers I’ve owned in the last 10 years that have suffered from broken latches, handles, lids etc you can easily pay for an Orion cooler off that alone. All it takes is one look in person at an Orion cooler and you can quickly tell they are made to last.
Lastly, these are very well thought out and designed coolers. From the sizing, the latches, the handles and all the features you can tell this wasn’t a product that was slapped together overnight or just designed on a computer with no field testing. They spent a lot of time tweaking and perfecting the design / features to be as functional as possible.
Orion Coolers Review:
I recently just got home from a 5 day Steelhead fishing trip where we floated 35 miles of river. I took my Orion 45 with me and it was the perfect trip to highlight all of the great features Orion coolers have.
You can see in the pic I have it strapped to the back of my 9’ Pontoon raft. In years past with no tie down attachments on my cheaper coolers I have had to run bungees straps over the top of the cooler to keep it secured. With the Orion Coolers’s built in attachment points on the corners you are able to securely attach your cooler to whatever without blocking access to open the lid. Second, you can see I am taking full advantage of the Yak traks mounting system. I was able to mount two rod holders and the drink holder off the right side of the cooler. This feature was awesome!!!
The optional divider / cutting board came in handy cutting up Salmon Roe for bait!
The oversized motorcycle grip handles made it easy to carry the cooler back and forth from the boat to camp every night.
The secure latches came in handy in the rough water, not having to worry about the cooler coming open, or even worst case if I flipped the boat it still wouldn’t come open.
All in all the cooler performed flawlessly.
A few other pics:
The Orion 25after bouncing around in the back of my truck in 3 days of 90 degree heat. I just dumped one bag of ice in before I left town.
My Orion 45 loaded up with my Antelope buck quarters. I filled the cooler with ice and two days later in August desert heat almost zero of it had melted.
A look at the padded sitting / standing pad on top of the cooler.
At the end of the day even considering the cost of the Orion Coolers I feel they are a great value. They took a product that had a lot of flaws (cheap coolers) and improved upon it in every way. If you are thinking of making the jump to a high end cooler I highly suggest you give the Orion's a serious look. S&S Archery is proud to be offering Orion Coolers in any color combination you can imagine. We're also looking forward to a rumored 125 coming soon!
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