Blue Cooler Review
Last Updated by Brandon F. on November 5, 2021
Blue Coolers is another relatively new brand on the market. In fact, we just came across them ourselves. Their approach is simple enough: produce quality coolers with proven ice retention at a cheaper price than many of the big cooler names that you are used to hearing about.
At the time of this article, Blue Coolers offer up a few different cooler types and varying cooler sizes. We will go into more detail in the different coolers offered in later sections. But you will be able to select from what they call their “10-day coolers”, their “5-day coolers”, and they also have a soft-sided cooler option.
The history of Blue Coolers is pretty inspiring. It was started by a couple of hard-working American men who wanted to prioritize durability/performance, affordability, honesty, and service. We love seeing American companies try to take on the big dogs of the cooler world, so we went into this cooler review quite excited!
As is normal of our standard cooler reviews, we will test these coolers. We will analyze their features, build quality, aesthetics, cost, and also put them through an ice retention test. Finally, we will give a rating of 1 to 5 based on these criteria.
If you are in a hurry, check out the table below for the overview of the best Blue Coolers and links to purchase. But if you wisht to read more into the details, keep on reading!
- 1 Blue Cooler Review
- 1.1 Blue Cooler Lineup
- 1.2 Blue Cooler Features/Build Quality
- 1.3 Blue Cooler Ice Retention
- 1.4 Blue Cooler Aesthetics
- 1.5 Blue Cooler Price
- 1.6 Blue Cooler vs. Yeti
- 1.7 Blue Cooler Review
Blue Cooler Lineup
As we mentioned above, Blue Cooler has a surprisingly large selection of ice chests to choose from. They have 3 different tiers and different sizes within these tiers. Below we break down the different cooler selections and sizes available.
Blue Cooler “10 Day Ice Cooler” Lineup
The longest ice retention coolers that Blue Coolers offers are under their Coolers 2.0 – 10 Day Ice Coolers. As the name suggests, these coolers are advertised as having up to 10 days of ice retention. These are lofty numbers that we will put to the test in a later section of this article.
Currently available are 30-quart options, 55-quart options (both wheeled and non-wheeled), and 100-quart options. These fall into the mid, large, and huge-sized cooler options. We will also go into more details about the specific features in the next section, but these ice chests will have the highest specs of any cooler that Blue Cooler sells. But at these sizes, Blue Coolers are excellent candidates for applications such as a fishing trip, camping trip, or tailgating. The 100-quart size is large enough to accommodate a very large group.
Blue Cooler “5 Day Ice Cooler” Lineup
Blue Cooler also has a lower-end lineup of coolers that they call their “5 Day Coolers”. These coolers actually go by the name of Cobalt Coolers but are sold through Blue Cooler’s website. These coolers retain a similar fit and finish to the Blue Cooler 10-Day Coolers but with thinner walls that result in a more lightweight and affordable product. This weight reduction does come at the expense of ice retention as the names suggest.
These ice chests are currently available in 25-quart and 55-quart options (both wheeled and non-wheeled).
Blue Cooler Soft Cooler Lineup
This article will be focusing on Blue’s hard-sided coolers, but we did want to mention that they do also sell a 16-quart soft-sided cooler. While we want to try this cooler out in the future and see how it compares to other high-end soft coolers on the market from brands such as Orca, Yeti, RTIC, etc., we weren’t able to get our hands on one for this testing.
Blue Cooler Features/Build Quality
As we have mentioned quite a few times in other reviews, the cooler industry continues to be more and more competitive. It is becoming increasingly challenging for a new cooler brand to break into the market. As such, it is important that the smaller companies do things differently to help them stand out from the masses.
It appears that Blue Cooler’s way of tackling this is through trying to capture the “magic” of typical high-end coolers (great build quality, good ice retention, proven warranty, etc.) but at a more reasonable price point. They seem to have put a little less emphasis on offering an array of features.
Starting with wall thickness (which is directly tied to ice retention and durability), the “10 Day Coolers” have approximately 2” thick walls. This is right up there with the other premium cooler brands on the market.
We expected the “5 Day Coolers” to have significantly thinner walls since they are advertised as having half the ice retention. But to our surprise, the walls were very similar in thickness (maybe 1.5” instead of 2” thick).
And no matter which type of hard-sided cooler you go with (5 Day Cobalt Cooler or 10 Day Blue Cooler), you will enjoy quality roto-molded construction. Roto-molding construction assists both in ice retention (more on that in the next section) and also improved durability since the body is a single piece.
Other durability-related features include quality metal hardware that will help keep the lid attached to the body. This is the same type of hardware you are used to seeing on more expensive premium coolers from other brands.
Blue Coolers mentions that their ice chests are “Bear-Resistant”. Typically, this entails being IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) certified. And while we couldn’t find any information on Blue Cooler’s website that explicitly states that they went through the formal IGBC certification process, we have no doubt that the build quality is at a place that would make it a contender for this certification.
For handling the Blue Cooler, you will find side rope handles with a gripped handle. And for the 55-Quart Wheeled option, there is also a telescoping hard handle that allows you to lift one end of the cooler to roll it.
On coolers in these sizes (particularly the very large 100-quart model), it is important that you have quality handles that provide both good grip and also comfort. And, as always, we recommend utilizing the buddy system and not trying to carry an ice chest of this size (particularly when it is loaded up with items) by yourself!
Other features (that are pretty standard on most premium coolers) include non-skid feet, bottle openers on the corners of the cooler, oversized rubber gasket, lockable lid, high-flow drain port, and lockdown straps. These are oftentimes the most commonly requested features so we are glad that Blue Cooler included these.
But outside of these features, there aren’t a whole lot of other notable items to discuss. Missing are molded cupholders, dry goods baskets, pressure release valves, etc. Honestly, these features can be a bit gimmick to some and may not be utilized as much as the included features so not having them is by no means a dealbreaker. And by avoiding these features, Blue Cooler is able to offer their products at a lower price point which is their main intention.
In regard to warranty, Blue Cooler offers a 90-day 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee and a 5-year part and construction-defect warranty. This is about middle-of-the-road compared to other high-end coolers on the market. There are more and more companies offering lifetime warranties these days.
Blue Cooler Ice Retention
As always, ice retention is an important factor in coolers. And at this price point and category, long ice life is particularly essential if a brand hopes to survive. Blue Cooler mentions on their website that their self-named coolers also go by “10 Day Ice Coolers” while the Cobalt Coolers they also sell go by “5 Day Ice Coolers”. The primary difference in ice life, according to Blue, has to do with the wall thickness between the Blue Coolers and the Cobalt Coolers.
While wall thickness obviously plays an important role, the gaskets and latching system also are essential. All Blue Coolers and Cobalt Coolers utilize a quality latching system and help to really squeeze the gasket to form a good seal.
So do these coolers really see 10 days of ice life? As always, we prefer to put our coolers through internal testing instead of taking the word of the manufacturer. We have seen time and time again that they can be a bit aggressive in their numbers. While we don’t want to go so far as to say that they are being dishonest, we suspect that they may be testing the coolers in unreasonable scenarios (filling all the way up with ice, storing in a cool shaded area, rarely opening, etc.).
Our testing typically entails filling up around halfway with ice, storing in an outdoor location, and occasionally opening. Since the temperature is starting to cool off somewhere in Texas, this testing isn’t as demanding as it may have been a couple of months ago.
Check out our results in the chart below:
Overall, we are pretty content with these results. As expected, the larger coolers performed better than the smaller coolers. We also saw a small improvement in ice life when compared similarly sized Blue Coolers with Cobalt Coolers. So the thicker walls in the Blue Coolers do make a difference.
While we didn’t quite get to the alleged 10-day ice retention numbers, we weren’t far off on the 100Q Blue Cooler. We personally experience around 8.5 days. But we definitely see 10ish days being possible if you were to load up with a bit more ice, open up a little less, or store in a shaded area. So we are pleased to say that Blue Cooler wasn’t too far off on their advertised numbers on their largest size.
Also as expected, the smaller coolers did not approach 10 days. We have never personally tested a 30Q cooler that had anywhere near 10 days of ice life. If a manufacturer out there could ever come up with such a cooler, it would sell extremely well!
But with the ice numbers that were observed, Blue Coolers are excellent options for a tailgate, road trip, camping trip, or really any event that requires multiple days of ice retention and heavy use of the cooler.
Blue Cooler Aesthetics
The overall shape and styling of Blue Coolers are pretty standard. You would be hard-pressed to be able to decipher the difference between a Blue Cooler and many other brands on the market without the “Blue Cooler” sticker on the ice chest to tell you. This isn’t a necessarily bad thing as this traditional cooler style is obviously attractive as people have been purchasing it for years. But if you are someone who prefers a more aggressive styling that really “pops”, then the Blue Cooler design may be underwhelming.
As for color options, we came across 3 different colors. You can pick from Arctic White, Charcoal Gray, and Trademark Blue (could you really be called Blue Coolers and not have a blue color option?!). While all 3 colors look great, the selection is scarcer than most other cooler brands. In addition, there are no options for specialty multi-color layouts, team colors, or customization options.
For some, a cooler only serves its primary purpose: to keep things cool. For others, they want to make a splash at the next lake party with a fun cooler that stands out from the crowd. Everybody is different in this regard to the “safe” approach that Blue Coolers takes may be a deterrent or something that can be easily overlooked.
Blue Cooler Price
Since premium coolers (particularly large-sized ones) can be quite pricey, the brands that are able to capture the “magic” of a premium cooler but at a more reasonable price point tend to do well. And that is something that Blue Coolers has seemed to prioritize: an attractive price point.
Compared to other high-end cooler brands on the market, Blue Cooler is among the most affordable. That isn’t to say that their ice chests are cheap. You will stay pay more than you would for a typical Igloo Cooler, for instance. But if you are looking for longer ice life, better build quality, and a longer cooler life, then Blue Cooler offers up an excellent balance between price and performance.
The one caveat to this is that Blue Coolers is able to achieve its price point by keeping things pretty simple. You won’t find their products adorned with a lot of extra features. You won’t have a large selection of color options. And their reputations aren’t like, say, a Yeti, where you are paying for brand recognition. But for a lot of people, none of that really matters. And for those people, Blue Coolers are a great buy.
Blue Cooler vs. Yeti
A common question we receive is how does a certain cooler brand compare to Yeti. For over a decade, Yeti has been an industry leader in the premium cooler industry. So it is no surprise that a lot of people try to compare some of the lesser-known cooler brands to a Yeti.
From a performance standpoint, the Blue Cooler and Yeti are pretty similar. Both offer comparable build quality and stand behind their products. Both utilize rotomolded construction, premium hardware, and offer up impressive warranties.
Ice retention is similar for both as well. Yeti has a larger theoretical ice life but it is due to Yeti having larger cooler sizes available. But for a given size cooler, the 2 brands are quite close.
However, there are some clear differences between the 2 brands. Yeti easily wins the comparison when it comes to sizes available, color options, and accessories. With Yeti Coolers, you can select between over a dozen different sizes and near-infinite numbers of colors/pattern schemes thanks to their ability to customize.
When Blue Cooler is the clear winner is with cost. Yeti has and continues to be one of the most expensive cooler brands in the industry. And they can get away with this due to their established reputation and brand loyalty. Blue Coolers, while still certainly not cheap, are much more affordable than Yeti Coolers for a given size. But they don’t have the reputation or brand recognition of Yeti, so they need to do this in order to be competitive.
So which is better between Yeti Coolers and Blue Coolers? Well, that depends on who you ask! If you are strictly worried about performance and ice retention, then we will have to side with Blue Coolers simply because they can offer similar performance at a lower price point. But if you are after a more exciting color combo and looking for an ice chest to “show off” at the next lake party or tailgate, then paying the extra cost for a Yeti may be the way to go.
All we know is that no matter which cooler brand you go with, you will receive a quality ice chest that should last for many years.
Blue Cooler Review
Blue Cooler is a small and relatively new cooler brand that is striving to make a splash in the premium cooler market with its cost-effective coolers. These coolers attempt to capture some of the pros of high-end coolers but at a more obtainable price point. They do take a somewhat Spartan approach by not overloading their ice chests with lots of features. But this helps to keep the price point down. Currently, you can choose from a few different sizes ranging from 30 quarts to 100 quarts.
Pros: Good price for the performance, Great build quality, Acceptable ice life
Cons: Limited size and color options, Relatively few features
Features: Rotomolded construction, Oversized rubber gasket, Stainless steel hardware, Rubber grip handles, Lock-down straps, Rapid drain system, Non-skid feet, Corner bottle openers
Insulation Ability –
Ice retention for Blue Coolers is aligned with other high-end coolers we have tested for a given size. These ice chests enjoy up to 2” thick rotomolded walls, a large rubber gasket, and a strong latching system to help create a lot of squeeze on the gasket. Thanks to these features, you will enjoy anywhere from 2ish days up to a week or more of ice retention (how much ice you use and how often you open the cooler will also affect this).
With these sort of ice retention numbers, Blue Coolers are great choices for a camping trip, road trips, baseball games, or any other application where you need extended ice life.
Mobility and Durability –
As we mentioned above, you won’t find a laundry list of features on Blue Coolers like you may find on some other brands. But all of the “must-haves” are present: strong latch system, non-skid feet, corner bottle openers, etc. But for those that prefer an ice chest with more exotic features, you may be a bit underwhelmed.
As for durability, we have nothing negative to say. The build quality seems to be on point. Blue Cooler states that their products are bear-proof and the thick walls and quality hardware seems to suggest just that. They also stand behind their product with a quality warranty and, from what we’ve gathered, good customer support.
Visual Appeal –
We are a little underwhelmed with the styling of Blue Coolers. There are only 3 color selections that we could find and all 3 are pretty conservative. Also missing are any specialty color schemes, patterns, or any options for customizing. The cooler body is also pretty standard in its design. You will be hard-pressed to differentiate a Blue Cooler from other brands outside of its logo on the front face.
Probably the best selling point (pun intended) of Blue Coolers is their price. They are among the most affordable high-end coolers available. You will get similar build quality and features you find in other top-tier cooler brands but at a more reasonable price point. That isn’t to say that these ice chests are “cheap”. They are still in the upper echelon of the price range for ice chests. But if you after a long-term investment that will last for many years, this is a very attractive price point.
Overall Rating –
Overall, we are quite content with Blue Coolers. They keep it simple and prioritize what most people are looking for: build quality, ice retention, and price. While they aren’t going to win any awards for features or exciting styling, they will make most happy with their ice retention and durability. And given the positive metrics, the price point is quite reasonable. For those that are looking for a straightforward ice chest that is up to the task of most outdoorsmen, look no further than Blue Coolers.