Igloo BMX Cooler Review
Last Updated by Brandon F. on 10/5/2020
Igloo appears to be going through a bit of a facelift among its cooler lineups. As you can see from the many Igloo Coolers that we have reviewed in the past, their lineup is enormous. It can be hard to keep up with all of the products and the oftentimes subtle tweaks that they made to them each year.
One area that Igloo has always seemed to lack in is their high-end “premium” coolers. These would be coolers that are designed to compete with the top brands on the market like Yeti, Orca, Engel, etc.
Recent attempts at this include their Igloo Sportsman Coolers and their Igloo Cold Locker Coolers. Both of these enjoyed relative success and we had many positive things to say about them in our reviews. They shared some of the special qualities that we look for in an ice chest that is designed to hang with the best.
Their latest attempt at this comes in the form of their BMX series.
In this review, we will go over the new Igloo BMX Coolers. We will elaborate on their features, discuss build quality, put them through our ice retention test, and finally give them a rating from 0 to 5.
If you are in a hurry, you can check out the table below for an overview of the most important features and a link to purchase one of these coolers.
- 1 Igloo BMX Cooler Review
- 1.1 Igloo BMX Cooler Lineup
- 1.2 Igloo BMX Cooler Features
- 1.3 Igloo BMX Cooler Ice Retention
- 1.4 Igloo BMX Cooler Aesthetics
- 1.5 Igloo BMX Cooler Price
- 1.6 Igloo BMX Cooler vs Yeti Cooler
- 1.7 Igloo BMX Cooler Review
Igloo BMX Cooler Lineup
At the time of this writing, Igloo has 3 different models of their BMX Ice Chest to choose from: The BMX 25QT, BMX 52QT, and BMX 72QT. These sizes hit the normal optimal size ranges that we see most people request.
You have a small/personal size for a short outing. This size is good for mobility purposes and it doesn’t take up a lot of space either. Next, you have a 52QT which falls nicely into the mid-sized category. This size is large enough to handle bigger outings such as a picnic or tailgate. And for people who enjoy camping and the outdoors, it will be able to handle ice more multiple days (more on that later). Finally, you have the largest size, the 72 quart. At this size, you have ample room for just about anything. It can store a week’s worth of food and drinks or all the items that a large outdoor party would need.
Also typical of these sizes, the smallest size will utilize a different carrying method than the 2 larger sizes. We will go into this more in the next section. But outside of this, most of the features are retained across all 3 models.
We don’t see any Igloo BMX Soft Coolers at this point. Perhaps they are still in the works or perhaps Igloo is going a different route with their higher-quality soft coolers.
Igloo BMX Cooler Features
If Igloo hopes to compete with the likes of the other heavy hitters in the premium cooler world, then they need to have many of the same features that people expect when they are spending this kind of money on a cooler.
Starting with the construction of these coolers, Igloo it utilized what they call “blow-molded” construction. As far as we can tell, this is very similar (if not the same) as roto-molding. Essentially, the cooler’s body is molded in a one-piece design. Taking away the need for having to glue/merge walls results in a much tougher cooler and it also assists in ice retention.
Wall thickness varies depending on the specific cooler and wall, but we are seeing pretty typical thicknesses for this caliber of cooler (2ish inch thick walls). While we have tested coolers with thicker walls than that, thicker walls do sacrifice storage volume and add weight.
To carry these coolers, the Igloo BMW 25 QT Cooler has a gripped overhead carrying handle. This is pretty normal for coolers of this size. It will typically be carried by only one person, so the carrying handle allows you to do so while still having a free hand for other items.
The 2 larger Igloo BMX Ice Chest sizes (52QT and 72QT), replace the overhead carrying handle with gripped swing-up handles that have reinforced stainless steel. We typically recommend that these larger coolers be carried by 2 people (particularly if they are filled up with items).
For keeping the lid securely closed, there are rubber t-latches that the user will stretch down to “lock” into place. These latches are very similar in feel/texture to t-latches that other brands have been using. We have no complaints about them.
Inside the lid, you will find an oversized rubber gasket for helping to seal. Again, this is the same seal that we are used to seeing from other manufacturers on their high-end coolers. This gasket, working in conjunction with the closing force that the t-latch produces, results in a nice squeeze that helps to lock in cold air.
We do recommend keeping an eye on this gasket and, from time to time, applying a sealant grease to the o-ring. This helps to reduce cracking and potential leak paths.
One of the other key features of a high-quality cooler is the hardware. The Igloo BMX Coolers have oversized hinges and stainless steel screws to hold the hinges in place. Oftentimes the hardware used goes unnoticed but it is a key piece to a long-lasting cooler. Being stainless steel, it will be much more resilient to rust and wear compared to lower-end materials.
Now we will discuss some of the other features that aren’t directly tied to toughness. Another clever feature that many Igloo Coolers use is what they call their “Cooler Riser Technology”. This registered feature that Igloo has entails putting legs on the underside of the cooler which literally “lifts” the cooler off of the ground. By doing this, you will enjoy a boost to ice life since there is less surface area for heat to travel through. The Igloo BMX series takes it up another notch by designing these risers to have aggressive grips similar to what you would see on some off-road tires. This is a smart move because the cooler may be more prone to slide around without having good grips on these risers.
A common complaint that people have (particularly when using a larger cooler) is how to empty the cooler of melted ice. Igloo has you covered here thanks to their high-flow threaded drain plug. A cool design feature of this plug is that it is garden hose compatible. This can make it helpful for quickly cleaning out after a fishing trip or camping trip.
Other notable features include tie-down slots, diamond plate metal inserts, and a molded fish ruler.
This is a nice selection of features but there are still a few missing that we would have liked to see. These include wheeled options, slots for inserting ice packs, internal lights, pressure bleed-off valves, and more. But overall, most of the “essentials” are here.
Igloo BMX Cooler Ice Retention
Having a tough cooler with helpful features is one thing. But for a cooler to truly be in the same conversation with the top cooler brands on the market, it needs to excel at keeping items cold.
On paper, the Igloo BMX Cooler seems to check most of the boxes for features that we look for in coolers that will hold ice for long periods. It has relatively thick rotomolded walls, a larger rubber gasket for sealing, and a strong latch system for providing a lot of squeeze. But another aspect of Igloo BMX Coolers that make them unique compared to other coolers that we have tested is the Cooler Riser Technology. As we mentioned in the previous section, this allows the cooler to be lifted off of the ground. We do not doubt that this assists with ice retention.
So how long does ice last in the Igloo BMX Coolers?
To find out, we put these ice chests through our ice retention tests. The way these are set up is that we fill the cooler up approximately halfway to the top with ice, leave them in an outdoor setting, and occasionally open the cooler up. By opening the cooler up from time to time, it better emulates real-life usage of the cooler.
The weather is starting to cool down some here in Texas so the outdoor testing isn’t quite as demanding as if this test were performed in August. Because of this, the ice retention numbers that we found may not exactly coincide with the true numbers that you will experience. There are a lot of variables at play here so we stress that our numbers only be used as a rough guide for what you can expect in similar conditions.
Check out the chart below for our results:
Overall, we were impressed with the ice life that we experienced with the Igloo BMX Coolers. Depending on which model you go with and the amount of ice you use, you can expect anywhere from around 2 days of ice life up to nearly a week with the large 72QT model.
With this sort of ice range, you can use these coolers for a wide variety of applications: a weekend camping trip, a fishing excursion, a large tailgate, or even a week-long road trip.
Compared to other high-end cooler brands on the market, these ice numbers fall about in line with those brands. They don’t quite reach the levels of, say, Techni Ice, but the ice life will far exceed the budget and even mid-range cooler brands on the market.
Another aspect that is somewhat limiting maximum ice life is the cooler sizes. Some of the other cooler brands have extremely large coolers that can be 100QTs or more. Typically, the larger the cooler, the more ice it can hold, and ultimately the longer the ice lasts.
Igloo BMX Cooler Aesthetics
While looks might not be a big deciding factor for some who are shopping for a new cooler, it is still worth discussing.
Igloo traditionally is known as a cooler brand with many different styles to choose from. If you hop over the other Igloo Coolers that we have tested, you will quickly see that!
But the Igloo BMX Cooler ramps up the styling. For a cooler that is intended to hang with the toughest brands on the market, it needs a tough look to match.
We like the design approach that Igloo took with their design of the BMX series. The complementing grays look great with the “pop” of the blue latches. And the diamond plate metal insert at the bottom adds that rugged touch.
But our one major complaint with the styling is the lack of color options. As far as we can tell, are only 5 color schemes to choose from right now. And while there is no denying that what is available looks good, we do wish that there were more color selections to pick from.
Another aspect missing from the Igloo BMX Coolers are specialty colors for matching your favorite professional or college sports team. We also couldn’t find anything in the way of custom options that allow you to put your company logo.
Perhaps these features will be rolled out in the future.
*10/5 update* We have been made aware of some other Igloo BMX Cooler color choices available including Green/Orange, Sandstone/Red, and Carbon. We have updated our rating for this metric accordingly.
Igloo BMX Cooler Price
Price is another big consideration when shopping for a new ice chest. Traditionally, Igloo has competed in the budget and mid-range categories. They strived to strike a nice balance between performance and costs. And overall, they are quite good at that. The fact that they are one of the most popular cooler brands to ever exist is good evidence of that!
That being said, the Igloo BMX series will be more expensive than most other Igloo coolers at the same size ranges. But this is to be expected considering that you are getting superior build quality, features, durability, and ice retention.
And despite being an “expensive” Igloo Cooler, the price point for these ice chests are still quite a bit lower than many of the other premium cooler brands with similar sizes. And the overall performance, while maybe slightly lower than some of these brands, is easily overlooked when you see how much money you are saving.
We consider the Igloo BMX coolers to be an excellent bargain considering what you are getting.
Igloo BMX Cooler vs Yeti Cooler
A really interesting comparison can be made when looking at Yeti’s Tundra series coolers and the Igloo BMX Coolers. Both are essentially targeting similar demographics, but they take a very different approach in doing so.
From a performance standpoint, Yeti has a slight advantage. While the Igloo BMX Cooler is no slouch, the excellent build quality and strong warranty of a Yeti is hard to match.
In terms of ice retention, Yeti also enjoys a slight advantage. We found that, for a given size, Yeti Coolers would hold ice longer than Igloo BMX coolers by anywhere from a few hours to up to a day or more.
In regards to features, both brands are pretty similar. Yeti has never knocked it out of the park when it came to built-in features on their coolers. But where they do excel (and easily surpass Igloo) is in their many available accessories.
Another area that Yeti wins at is in the size and color choices. The different model sizes and available colors on Yeti Coolers are seemingly endless. This is compared to just 3 sizes and 5 colors available for Igloo BMX Coolers.
Where Igloo easily beats Yeti is in the price point. Yeti has and continues to be one of the most expensive cooler brands in the industry. For many, the price that you pay to own a Yeti just isn’t worth the slight performance advantage you may see. Igloo offers up comparable performance at a fraction of the price.
So which cooler is better? It is a tough call and depends on what your priorities are. If you are after the absolute best, regardless of price, and also value the pride in owning an American-made product, then Yeti remains on top. They have their coolers dialed in continue to lead the pack after all of these years. But you will pay an extremely high price to enjoy one.
But if you are more budget-minded and just after the good performance without breaking the bank, then we have to give a slight nod to Igloo. Igloo also knows what they are doing when it comes to making coolers and they have impressed us with their BMX Coolers.
Igloo BMX Cooler Review
Pros: Competitive price, Good ice retention, Nice styling, Well-built
Cons: Limited color options, Not a lot of accessories
Features: Blow-molded construction, T-latches, Stainless steel hardware, Swing-up handles, Threaded drain plug, Skid pads, Fish ruler, Tie-down points, Cool Riser Technology
The Igloo BMX Cooler is Igloo’s attempt to compete in the premium cooler market. While this market isn’t new to Igloo, the BMX Cooler series is their latest rendition of this. These coolers share many of the same features that you expect to see in a premium cooler and offer great build quality. The ice retention is competitive as well. That being said, there are currently limited choices for sizes and colors, and for those after the absolute top in performance, these will be a slight step down. But they do come in with the great asking price that you expect from Igloo.
Insulation Ability –
The wall thickness across the Igloo BMX Cooler lineup falls about in line with what we are used to seeing in other premium cooler brands. While there are examples of coolers with thicker walls out there, Igloo strikes a balance between ice retention and mobility. Other helpful features include a strong latching system and a quality rubber gasket to help seal in cold air.
One of the features that make Igloo BMX Coolers stand out from the competition is in their Cooler Riser Technology. We don’t know exactly how much this feature assists in prolonging ice life but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Depending on which model you go with and the specific application that you plan to put it through, you should anticipate ice life that ranges from around 2 days up to almost a week.
Features/Build Quality –
The Igloo BMX Coolers come with pretty standard features. You will find features such as tie-down slots, a high-flow drain port, stainless steel hardware, and comfortable grip handles.
Some of the features that are a little more unique include a fish scale on the lid of the cooler and what Igloo calls their “blow-molded” construction. We suspect that this is just a fancy name for roto molding but we must admit that the name did catch our attention.
From a quality standpoint, this cooler should last for many years of typical use without issue. The extent of maintenance should entail cleaning out the cooler from time to time and also applying some oil to the gasket to keep it from drying out. Plus if you do happen to run into any quality issues, you are dealing with one of the largest cooler companies around in Igloo.
Visual Appeal –
While we think the styling of the Igloo BMX Coolers look great, we do wish that there were some more color options. The combination of grey, blue, and the metallic finish of the diamond plate insert results in a very attractive cooler that stands out from the crowd. When we initially wrote this review, we could only find one color option. Igloo has expanded things some and there is now a larger selection of colors. This was a much-needed addition. But still missing is any sort of team logos and/or custom color options.
Igloo has always been known for its reasonably priced coolers. And despite their BMX series creeping up in price, they are still quite a bit cheaper than other premium coolers on the market. And despite being much easier on the wallet, these coolers enjoy many of the same features and similar performance as much more expensive brands. So if you on an ice chest budget but still want a high-quality cooler, then these products check the box.
Overall Rating –
We came away from our testing of the Igloo BMX Coolers very impressed. These coolers truly do capture most of the “magic” of a high-end cooler but for a fraction of the price. Ice retention is strong and the build quality leaves nothing to be desired. There are a few features that could be added and more color options would be a welcome plus, but these are minor complaints. If you are after a great “bang for your buck” cooler, then look no further than the Igloo BMX Cooler.