Igloo Trailmate Cooler Review
The Igloo Trailmate Cooler Series is a relatively new offering by the popular cooler company. These coolers are designed for those people who need a quality cooler with good ice life but also something that is easy to transport and entertain with. This combination is accomplished thanks to the unique Trailmate design that incorporates a large storage volume with oversized wheels, a host of features, and a really aggressive look.
- 1 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Review
- 1.1 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Lineup
- 1.2 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Features
- 1.3 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Toughness
- 1.4 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Ice Life
- 1.5 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Aesthetics
- 1.6 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Price
- 1.7 Igloo Trailmate vs. Yeti
- 1.8 Igloo Trailmate Cooler Review
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Lineup
At this time, there is only one size to choose from: 70 quarts. To add a bit of variety, there are 3 different variations of this size. These include the Trailmate Liddup, Trailmate Journey, and Trailmate Marine. There are subtle differences between each (which we will discuss below) but most of the features are common throughout all 3 models.
While we always prefer more size options, if we had to choose just one size, a 70-quart is pretty good. It is large enough to fit all of the food and drinks for a decent-sized group while still not being overly large to the point that it is a challenge to transport and store.
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Features
One area that the Igloo Trailmate Cooler excels at is in its features. There are a ton of great features that Igloo has included that really makes these ice chests stand out from just about everything else on the market. We will go over a few of our favorites below.
Easily the most recognizable feature has to be the massive wheels. These are some of the largest we have seen on any cooler. And they come with some really aggressive tread that allows for great traction through dirt, sand, and grass. And combine with the fact that they are never-flats, you have a great mobility solution that is designed to last.
And to provide additional support, there are a couple of aluminum stands (with equally aggressive grip) on the front of the cooler. These provide additional stability when the cooler is laid flat. The no-slip grip combined with the aggressive tire tread means that you can actually place this cooler on uneven surfaces and slopes without worrying about it falling over or rolling away.
The next most notable feature is glide handle that also doubles as a butler tray. This is a very intuitive design and we absolutely love it.
Seeing how the primary way to transport this cooler is by rolling it, having a handle that is designed to allow you to tow or push it is essential. This handle is a special Igloo Glide Design that allows you to pull your load up to 50% easier. This is accomplished by the added leverage that you get from the handle. In addition, the handle locks, is telescoping, and is adjustable.
And for some added space to serve food or drinks that are stored in the cooler, the Igloo Trialmate Cooler comes with a modular butler tray that can be laid directly on top of the aluminum handle. It has a gripped surface and two built-in cup holders. And when you aren’t using it, simply store it away under the cooler’s lid.
You will find plenty of storage space inside the insulated area but that is only the beginning. The Igloo Trailmate Cooler also comes with additional storage for your non-chilled items. You will find a special dry storage bin that is perfect for your electronics, wallets, or other items that you want to stay secure and not get wet. For less sensitive items, there is also a large storage pocket directly below the dry storage bin.
For items that you want to keep cold but dry as well, there is a food basket that is designed to hang at the top of the chilled section of the cooler. This is great for bread, fruits, and condiments. The storage options really are endless here!
As for convenience-related features, you will find that the Igloo Trailmate Cooler has you covered there as well. They include helpful items such as a mobile device stand, dual built-in bottle openers, various cup holders, removable accessory holders, tie0down loops, and more.
As you can see, the Trailmate Series has one of the most impressive lists of features that we have seen. It truly is trying to be the “all-in-one” cooler entertainment package that you are looking for. And while all models will come with the features listed above, there are a couple additional features you will find on certain models and not on the others.
For instance, the Igloo Trailmate Liddup also comes with built-in LED lights on the inside. This is very helpful for those times that you are using your cooler at night and it is difficult to see.
In the case of the Trailmate Marine, it comes with special UV inhibitors built into the wall. They help to protect against sun damage (which can be a major concern in marine settings). You will also find an antimicrobial liner that helps to offset bacteria growth and is very easy to clean up as well. In addition, it comes with an anti-skid base that helps to avoid creating scuff marks on your boat deck.
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Toughness
We’ve discussed many of the Igloo Trailmate’s features related to convenience and usability. But how is the build quality? Thankfully, Igloo has thought about that as well and implemented various measures to make these coolers up to the challenge.
The core metal parts of these coolers are made of marine-grade strength aluminum. This material provides very good strength and is rust-resistant while still managing to stay relatively lightweight. As for the hardware, it is made of stainless steel which is also rust-resistant and extremely tough.
The wheels, which are essential to the operation of these coolers, are made of tough plastic so you don’t have to worry about them popping.
To help with body toughness and ice life, Igloo has installed a thick layer of Ultratherm insulation in addition to its patented Cool Riser Technology. While we sort of wish that they would have gone with Rotomolded construction, this process would have likely greatly increased the size, weight, and cost of the cooler.
All in all, this combines for a pretty tough competitor. It won’t be on the level of toughness as an IGBC-certified rotomolded cooler but it will still be more than capable in most settings.
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Ice Life
As always, ice life is one of the most important metrics of a good cooler. And we have seen instances where a cooler loaded with features ends up having subpar ice performance as a result of all of these additional features.
Igloo states that their Trailmate Line has up to 4 days of ice retention. Compared to premium rotomolded coolers with huge gaskets and aggressive latches, 4 days would definitely not be anything amazing. However, 4 days is still nothing to scoff at. For most people, having enough ice to last for a long weekend is more than enough.
The big question is does this cooler actually make it 4 days?
We did some of our own in-house testing consisting of various amounts of ice. We believe in putting a cooler through real-life tests. This means keeping it out in the heat, occasionally opening it, and basically using it like a typical cooler is used.
Below are the results of our efforts:
Since there is only one size to work with (70 quarts), we decided to vary how much ice we put inside. As you probably would expect, the tests using more ice did better. We also tried throwing in some ice packs.
Overall, we are pretty pleased with what we saw. Why we didn’t quite reach the 4 day mark that Igloo suggested, it wasn’t far off. Filling the cooler with ½ ice is pretty extreme, however. Most people aren’t going to use this much ice as it would take up way too much valuable storage volume.
So more realistically, aim for around 2 ½ to 3 days of ice if you fill it up 1/3 to ½ way.
There are a few factors holding these coolers back from significantly longer ice life. They include: lack of rotomolded insulation, lack of thick rubber gasket, and lack of a more advanced latch system that creates a tighter seal. We felt that the wall thickness was just fine. It came in around 2” which is about average.
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Aesthetics
We absolutely love the styling of these ice chests. The combination of the aggressive wheels and the rigid exposed metal makes for a very tough and intimidating look. And the layout of this cooler is quite unique and is sure to stand out of the crowd.
The color selections, while limited, all look quite nice. If you go with the Trailmate Liddup or Trailmate Marine models you will only have a single color to choose from. The Liddup comes in a gray/red combo and the Marine comes in white (similar to all of Igloo’s other marine-inspired products).
The Trailmate Journey does open things up a bit. As of the time of this article, there were 3 different colors to choose from. A teal/dark blue, neon green/gray, and tan/brown. All 3 options look awesome to us but if we had to choose one it would be the neon green/gray.
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Price
Igloo Coolers have always been known for the attractive price points. While they typically won’t have the level of performance of higher ends brands like Yeti, RTIC, Orca, etc., they have always struck a happy balance between cost and usability.
The Igloo Trailmate, due to its many additional features, large size, and decent ice life, does fetch a higher asking price than most other Igloo products. For those on a tight budget or for someone who doesn’t care about the extra mobility features, there are cheaper options out there that will perform just as well (if not better) in terms of ice life. But for someone who is after a truly unique, mobile, and well-performing ice chest, the asking price is more than fair.
Igloo Trailmate vs. Yeti
The Igloo Trailmate is certainly one-of-a-kind, but how does it compare to Yeti?
Yeti has been the go-to premium cooler brand for many years. Its combination of impressive ice performance, great build quality, and helpful features make it a go-to for many outdoor enthusiasts.
The Igloo Trailmate won’t be able to keep up with Yeti when it comes to insulation ability. Also, it won’t be at the level of toughness that a Yeti is.
But where the Trailmate shines is in its mobility and features. There really isn’t anything that Yeti offers that can match Igloo in these areas. Also, despite all of these additional features, you will still find that the Trailmate is typically more affordable than a similarly-sized Yeti.
So which is better? We like both products and feel that it really boils down to the individual. If you are simply after an ice chest with the longest ice life and most impressive build quality (and have a very large budget), then stick to Yeti. But if you need something more mobile and plan on doing a lot of entertaining, the Trailmate should definitely be on your list.
Igloo Trailmate Cooler Review
Intermediate to Premium-Priced
Pros: Tons of great features, Extremely mobile, Awesome styling
Cons: Not rotomolded so less ice life, Only one size to choose from.
Features: Oversized wheels, Glide handle, Bottle Opener, Butler Tray, Cup holders, Drain plug, Food basket, Dry storage, Mobile device stand, Storage pocket, Tie-down loops, LED lights (optional)
The Igloo Trailmate Cooler is a new product by Igloo that aims to bring more mobility to a large cooler. By incorporating huge wheels and an intuitive glide handle, the Trailmate turns into a very easy-to-use ice chest that can go over some pretty rough terrain. In addition to this, you will find tons of great additional features and the styling isn’t bad, either. It is available in a 70-quart option.
Insulation Ability –
The big things missing from making this cooler excel in ice retention are not being rotomolded and not utilizing a large rubber gasket. This allows a bit more cold air to escape than we would have hoped. That being said, the inclusion of thick walls, Cool Riser Technology, and Ultratherm insulation do help make up for some of this. Ice life will vary depending on how much (and what type) of ice you use, but you can typically expect from 40 to 85 hours of ice life. This is still plenty for most people’s needs.
Mobility and Durability –
In terms of mobility, this cooler is industry-leading. The huge wheels have excellent grips and, combined with the glide handle, allow you to easily tow the ice chest over rough terrain. In addition to the mobility aspect, there are tons of other awesome features that very few other coolers can say that they have. This includes thing such as a butler try, storage pocket, built-in bottle openers, food basket, optional LED light, and more.
As for toughness, the cooler is comprised of an aluminum frame and utilizes stainless steel hardware. And the overall build quality is pretty good as well. You don’t have to worry about this ice chest falling apart when you are towing it to your next adventure. However, it still won’t be quite as tough as the simpler premium coolers on the market from Yeti, RTIC, Engel, etc.
Visual Appeal –
This is a really cool looking product that will stand out next to most other brands and models. The combination of the huge wheels, eye-popping aluminum framing, and progressive paint job makes this a really attractive ice chest. You have a few colors to choose from and we think that all of them look great.
While you will pay more for the Igloo Trailmate than most other Igloo products, we still feel that it is a bargain for what you are getting. The sheer number of great accessories justifies a lot of this higher asking price and even as a simple cooler, it does a decent enough job to not make us gasp too much at the asking price.
Overall Rating –
We really enjoyed checking out the Igloo Trailmate Cooler. A common complaint that people have when it comes to these large coolers is their lack of mobility. Igloo has found a way to solve that issue in addition to offering up a lot of really cooler other features. The ice life and build quality are at acceptable levels and the styling is really sweet. We definitely think you should add this product to your potential cooler list if you want something more mobile.