Giantex Cooler Review
Giantex is a brand that sells a huge selection of products that span many different product lines. This makes them a lot different than most of the cooler brands that we have tested (which tend to focus more specifically on coolers and cooler accessories).
So you might be asking yourself why would someone want to buy a cooler from a company that sells everything from picnic tables to jewelry kits? And the answer would be because of their price.
Despite their name not carrying the same weight as many of the other more established cooler companies that we have tested, Giantex has managed to offer up a small lineup of hard-sided coolers that capture much of the magic of high-end coolers but at a very reasonable asking price. While by no means a budget cooler, you will find many of the top-tier specs that you are used to seeing in much pricier models from other brands.
In this huge review, we will discuss Giantex coolers. We will break down their build quality, features, styling, and price. And we will also test their ice retention capabilities.
So let’s get started!
- 1 Giantex Cooler Review
- 1.1 Giantex Coolers Lineup
- 1.2 Giantex Coolers Features and Build Quality
- 1.3 Giantex Coolers Ice Life
- 1.4 Giantex Coolers Aesthetics
- 1.5 Giantex Coolers Price
- 1.6 Giantex Coolers vs. Yeti
- 1.7 Giantex Coolers Review
Giantex Coolers Lineup
At the time of this writing, Giantex appears to sell 5 models of hard-sided coolers. This includes a 27 quart, 32 quart, 40 quart, 64 quart, and 80 quart model. The 4 largest sizes all come in the pretty standard rectangular shape that most of you are used to seeing. However, the smallest size (the 27 quart) is actually in an oval shape.
All models have pretty similar overall construction and feel. The 80 quart does enjoy a few additional features that other models don’t possess, however (more on that in the next section).
It is worth mentioning that Giantex Coolers appear to actually be Stakol Coolers. Stakol is a brand that we have seen for sale through other stores under their own name. In addition, Stakol makes other products outside of hard-sided coolers. We aren’t sure if Giantex simply bought out Stakol’s supply of hard-sided coolers to sell under the label or what.
Giantex Coolers Features and Build Quality
Giantex has managed to capture many of the components that you are used to seeing on much more expensive coolers. And this all starts with the overall build quality.
When it comes to premium coolers, people expect a resilient ice chest that is well-made and capable of handling years of typical wear and tear. And the foundation of this lies in the walls of the cooler.
Giantex utilizes proven rotomolding technology on their coolers. This consists of a single-piece body design. By going with a single piece construction, many of the traditional weak points that plague cheaper multi-piece cooler are eliminated.
Specifically, the walls of Giantex Cooler are comprised of essentially three layers: an outer layer of LLPDE material, a middle layer of PermaFrost Insulation Foam, and an inner layer of LLPDE. In addition, Giantex states that their coolers have over 2 inches of commercial Permafrost insulation. In actual tests, these thickness numbers are little lower on most walls, but by no means are slouches.
In fact, Giantex has also stated that their coolers are certified Bear-Resistant. We assume that this is referring to the IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee). IGBC-certified coolers are very popular and are a good testament to the overall toughness of a cooler.
Beyond the walls, you will enjoy quality hardware. This consists of metal bolts and hinges which appear to be made of stainless steel. Any time there is metal on a cooler, we prefer for it to be stainless steel due to the improved anti-corrosion capabilities of that material.
For keeping the lid down, there are two rubber latches that have holes in the middle for “hooking” the latch onto the attached bolts on the face of the cooler. There are really two main ways that cooler brands design their latches: in this configuration and in the “T” latch design. We find both styles to work fine.
Any high-end cooler needs a great sealing gasket between the lid and the body. And Giantex answers this demand with their large rubber gaskets. This gasket provides plenty of squeeze and helps to be spread out thanks to the integrated channel that it rests in.
For carrying, you will have either molded side handles or rope handles depending on what size you go with. The smaller-sized Giantex Coolers (27, 32, and 40 quarts) will have the molded side handles while the larger sizes (64 and 80 quart) will utilize side rope handles.
Another great feature that we are glad Giantex included are the integrated cup holders. For whatever reason, we have noticed that more and more cooler brands are doing away with cup holders on the lid. We aren’t sure if this is to improve ice performance or to cut down on manufacturing costs, but it is something that we don’t really support! We love the added convenience that having cup holders offer up.
The 27 quart and 80 quart models come with two cup holders. While the 40 and 64 quart models come with four cup holders. The 32 quart model is the only Giantex Cooler that doesn’t come with cup holders (we aren’t really sure why they decided not to include them on that particular model).
For draining out melted ice, there are high-flow drain plugs located on the sides of all models. Upon a quick inspection, the drain plug seems to be universal across all sizes.
Other specific features worth noting will vary depending on the exact model that you are shopping for. For instance, the largest model, the 80 quart, comes equipped with a pair of wheels. This can be quite helpful for transporting since these larger coolers, when full of ice and drinks, can be quite heavy!
Another great feature found on the 80-quart model is stainless steel bottle openers located on the corners of the cooler body. We all know how frustrating it is trying to keep up with a mobile bottle opener while out on the boat are at the campsite. So any time that a cooler brand builds these devices into their coolers, we are definitely grateful! The only complaint that we have about the wheels is that there isn’t an extendable side handles that helps with rolling the cooler. You will have to utilize the rope handles while towing. It isn’t a deal breaker but we felt that it was worth mentioning.
Overall, your best selection of additional features will be found on the 80 quart model. The other models, while having many of the great build quality aspects that we are looking for, are noticeably lacking in the feature department.
Giantex Coolers Ice Life
With relatively thick walls of quality insulation, a large rubber gasket, and a solid latch system, one would expect Giantex Coolers to produce impressive ice life. However, the best way to know for sure is to test it yourself!
We filled up our test units with a recommended amount of ice, left them in a typical outdoor environment, and occasionally opened the lids. This gives a more accurate “real life” scenario.
You can check out our results in the chart below:
Overall, Giantex Coolers put up solid ice retention numbers. Depending on the specific model that you go with, how much ice you fill it up with, and outside conditions, you can anticipate anywhere from 2 to 2 ½ days on the smaller models all the way up to nearly a week on the largest models.
While these numbers are good enough for most typical applications, the ice life is a tad below what we have found with other similarly-sized premium coolers on the marketplace. The results aren’t massive: we are talking about maybe a day or so on the largest models. But for someone who is looking for the absolute maximum in ice retention, there are units out there that will perform a bit better (but at typically a much higher asking price).
If we had to guess, we would assume that the slight decline in ice life could be attributed to the walls. Depending on the model and which wall you are looking at, you can expect around 1.75 to 2” of insulation. While still good, this falls in comparison to some of the other ice chests that we have tested that have 2.5” and even 3” of walls. The tradeoff here is that you give up a bit of ice life but in return have a smaller and lighter cooler for given storage capacity.
Giantex Coolers Aesthetics
While the styling of a cooler typically isn’t at the top of the “want” list, it is still worth discussing. With all of the cooler brands coming out on the market now, designing attractive coolers that “pop” are ways that brands are managing to stick out from the rest.
Giantex, however, takes a very traditional and safe approach on their cooler design. In fact, we might argue that it is TOO safe of an approach.
In terms of aesthetics, these ice chests are about as plain as they come. There are some very subtle curves on the sides and face of the cooler but outside of that, you won’t find anything in the way of unique curves. In addition, the only logo located on the cooler is for the actual model of the cooler: Stakol. If Giantex hopes to make a name for themselves in the premium cooler market, the least that they could is put their actual logo on the cooler for brand recognition.
In addition, these coolers are very limited in color choices. Many of the models only come in one color: white. And other models are only available in gray (64 quart). And the models that happen to offer up more than one color only increase it to two: white and tan. To add salt to the wound, there are no options for multi-color layouts, custom decals, team logos, etc. For those that like to stand out from the crowd, you will be quite disappointed in the selection of colors.
Giantex Coolers Price
As we mentioned earlier, a big reason that Giantex Coolers are increasing in popularity is due to their asking price. They are among the most affordable “premium” coolers that you can buy. In fact, their asking prices are so low, that you could actually argue that they are mid-range coolers but with many of the premium features that you are used to seeing.
Following our ice retention tests and overall feature listing, we do notice a slight drop between Giantex Coolers and the traditional big-hitters of the premium cooler world. However, the cost savings that you will enjoy for a slight dip in performance is a great compromise. Quite frankly, most people don’t need 10 days of ice retention or the ability to drop their cooler off of a cliff. And for those people who prefer saving money, Giantex makes a very strong case.
Giantex Coolers vs. Yeti
For years now, Yeti has been known as the premiere premium cooler. Its combination of great build quality, impressive ice retention, and unmatched reputation has allowed it to climb to the top of the cooler world.
So how does a small fish like Giantex compare?
In terms of raw performance, Yeti does have a slight edge. Thanks to superior construction, thicker materials, and more years in the game, Yeti has fine-tuned their coolers to the point that they are always in the conversation as being a top performer in the industry. Giantex, while no slouches, just can’t quite keep up with Yeti’s numbers.
In addition, Yeti has a clear edge when it comes to size and color choices. No matter if you want a small cooler, a huge cooler, a red cooler, or a blue cooler, Yeti likely has something for you.
Furthermore, Yeti’s warranty and overall customer support will trump that of Giantex.
So where does Giantex shine?
It all boils down to price. Giantex, despite not being able to put up the numbers that Yeti can claim, is able to price their coolers at a much cheaper asking price. So cheap, in fact, that you could even argue that they creep into the mid-range price tier.
Is this huge price cut enough to overlook their disadvantages? That will depend on the person. For someone who is on an extremely tight budget and simply looking for a serviceable hard-sided cooler, Giantex will likely be the more attractive price point. But for someone who values extended ice retention, increased features, and overall reputation, the higher price that Yeti Coolers demand is justified.
Giantex Coolers Review
Pros: Fantastic price, Lightweight given the size
Cons: Limited color choices, Questionable warranty
Features: Oversized gasket, High-flow drain plug, Bottle openers (certain models), Wheels (certain models), Side rope handles, Built-in cup holders
Insulation Ability –
While ice performance isn’t terrible, you will notice a step down compared to other premium coolers. This can be attributed to having walls that are a bit thinner than other high-end coolers that we have tested. Wall thickness average around 1.75 to 2” thick. However, we are happy with the rubber gasket and latch system (which should remind you of other coolers that have produced impressive ice retention numbers). Depending on which size cooler you go with and certain variables, you can expect anywhere from around 2 days of ice life up to a little over 6 days.
Mobility and Durability –
The build quality isn’t terrible. You will enjoy rotomolded walls and premium hardware (stainless steel). The overall size and fitment of the lid to the body is acceptable as well. Furthermore, Giantex has stated that their coolers are bear-proof.
Easily the best Giantex Cooler when it comes to features is the largest model, the 80 Quart. It utilizes additional features such as built-in bottle openers and wheels. Nearly every model will come equipped with at least a couple of cup holders (which we love). Other notable features include a high-flow drain plug and side rope handles.
Visual Appeal –
We are quite underwhelmed with the overall styling of Gaintex Coolers. Not only is the body shape and aesthetics quite plain, but there are very few colors to choose from. In fact, you will be stuck with either white or tan on every size. There is nothing in the way of customization options nor specialty designs that have team colors.
Where Giantex really does shine (similar to their other products that fall outside of the cooler category) is in their price. They appear to have outsourced their coolers to a company called Stakol. And that has certainly paid off as their asking prices are among the most affordable that we have seen for premium coolers. They are so cheap, in fact, that you could argue that they should be considered a mid-range cooler by price point. And when you are able to price your products this aggressively, it is much easier to overlook some of the issues that we have with it.
Overall Rating –
Giantex Coolers present an interesting approach. On one hand, they are a step down from the other big dogs of the cooler industry but a solid step up from your typical budget models. On the other hand, their price points are much more reasonable then these other high coolers but a bit higher than your typical low-cost ice chests. Because of this, they are sort of a “hybrid” premium cooler. This comes with its own unique pros and cons. For someone who is focused on saving money while still, in part, enjoying the benefits of a roto-molded cooler, then Giantex should be on your radar. But for someone who is after an ice chest to compete with their Yeti, Orca, Engel, etc., you will leave a bit underwhelmed.