Siberian Cooler Review
Siberian Coolers is another brand that we have recently learned of and we were lucky enough to get our hands on a 45 quart model for testing purposes. One thing is for certain: Standing out from the crowd in the premium cooler market is a big challenge and it is apparent that Siberian hopes to accomplish that feat by offering up some really unique features you won’t find on many other brands.
The Siberian Cooler Lineup
According to Siberian’s website, they offer up a lineup of both hard-sided coolers as well as a small selection of other cooler products including a soft-sided cooler bag, a Nomad tumbler, and a Cryo-Sleeve. We haven’t had a chance to try out their cooler bag or drinkware so we will leave judgment on those until we have the opportunity to give them a good test. For now, we will be focusing on their hard-sided coolers (dubbed the Alpha Series).
Siberian Alpha Series Coolers
The Siberian Alpha Series consists of 4 sizes. Their smallest size, the Alpha Sidekick 22, is designed to be a more portable unit and is notably different in shape than its big brothers. It is much taller relative to its base and comes with an overhead carrying handle (both of which are very typical design approaches that we have seen with other premium cooler brands that have a similar size). As you might have guessed, the “22” represents how many quarts of storage are available.
For those after a larger model, Siberian also offers up Alpha Series 45, 65, and 85 models. Similarly, these coincide with 45, 65, and 85-quart storage volumes, respectively. These three models stick to the more traditional cooler design, being wider and longer in shape relative to height. Also, instead of an overhead carrying handle, they stick to the nylon handles on the side with rubberized grips.
The sizes available are pretty typical of what most cooler brands are targeting, with selections in the small to large range. Really the only notable size absences are in the huge range (100+ quarts). However, people after that size of cooler are somewhat of a minority both because they simply don’t need that much storage volume and also they don’t want to pay the typically extremely high asking price for a premium cooler of that size.
Siberian Cooler Ice Life
Siberian Coolers offer up some helpful features that are designed to maximize ice life. Typical of most premium coolers, they are made of roto-molded polyethylene and injected with PE foam for added insulation. Wall thicknesses vary some depending on which side you are looking at but are up to 2.75” thick. However, we are primarily concerned with the thinnest walls as that is traditionally where most of the cold air can escape from. Compared to other premium coolers, these wall thicknesses are about average.
There is a nice, thick food-grade gasket that provides plenty of squeeze between the lid and the walls. This gasket and the lid are held shut by some very robust latches made of nylon fiber infused thermoplastic and military grade hard-anodized aluminum. These latches really clamp down and provide an excellent seal.
We tested this particular cooler in a unique situation: one of our friends who live in Houston and had their home flooded by Hurricane Harvey came up to stay with us while the storm passed. He brought a lot of items that he had stored in his freezer since there was a good chance his home would lose power and the meat would otherwise go bad. We loaded up the Siberian Alpha Cooler with veal, deer, and some homemade sausage and piled it in with a combination of ice as well as ice packs.
Leaving the cooler in the living room at 72-degree ambient temperature and opening occasionally to access items, ice life lasted about 5 days. Having tested numerous coolers on the site, this gave us a pretty good idea of what the ice life range would be like on both this model and the other models for various conditions given their consistent design and wall thickness. Check out our chart below for some guidance:
As we always mention, it is extremely important to take these ranges with a grain of salt. And this is also why we create such a large range: Someone using this cooler outdoors in 105-degree weather and constantly opening it will have vastly different ice life than someone storing it in 40-degree weather and rarely accessing it. It is important to understand and consider this when analyzing these data.
Siberian Cooler Toughness
We are very impressed with the build quality of the Siberian Alpha Series Coolers. Typical of most coolers of this caliber, they are made of high-quality polyethylene (in this case LLDPE) and take advantage of modern roto-molding technology. All of the hardware and various components are very nice as well. The latches (mentioned above) are great and the combination of infused thermoplastic and anodized aluminum material allow for the latches to not only handle typical wear and tear with ease but also be able to be exposed to extreme temperature ranges as well as corrosive environments commonplace in saltwater applications. The hinges (another common leak point on some coolers) are made of stainless steel and are plenty large and durable. All of this combines for a tough competitor that proudly displays the IGBC Bear Resistance Certification that many cooler brands strive for.
Siberian Cooler Features
This category is where the Siberian Alpha Series Coolers really shine. They are absolutely loaded with some great features that we have not seen in very many other coolers. These days, long ice life and tough construction aren’t enough: you need something that makes you stand out and Siberian definitely got that memo.
One of our favorite features is the reversible feet. One side of the feet are made of sticky rubber, making them great for surfaces where you are trying to avoid sliding such as in a boat or the back of a pickup truck. The other side is made of a slick material which is great for those times that you want to be able to easily slide the cooler.
The latches are of great quality (as we mentioned above) but their unique design is a feature in of itself. They sit flush when closed, not only reducing the storage space needed to house the cooler but making one less protrusion that you may accidentally get something caught on.
Another couple of cool additions are the included dry ice rated wire basket that sits comfortably on the inside (and can be easily removed) as well as the food-grade cutting board divider. These are small creature comforts that are very common necessities on camping or fishing trips and including them with the cooler was a nice touch that doesn’t go unnoticed.
Other more common (but certainly welcomed) features are tie-down strap slots and a high-flow drain plug.
All of this combines for a lineup of coolers that have one of the best combinations of features that we have come across.
Siberian Cooler Visual Appeal
One common issue we have with coolers is that they can oftentimes look very similar. While this may not be a big issue to some, others do strive for a product that looks the part (particularly when you are spending potentially hundreds of dollars on it!).
Siberian managed to create a product that looks really formidable and actually does stand out from the crowd. The main contributor to this lies in their intuitive latch design that we discussed above. By insetting the latches into the cooler itself, it creates a very progressive design aesthetic that looks both tough and attractive at the same time. The side handles are also built into the volume which not only reduces the required external storage space but adds to the progressive styling.
There are currently only two colors to choose from (granite and white) and as far as we can tell there are no options for custom logos, team colors, etc.
Siberian Cooler Price
Asking prices for Siberian Coolers, as expected, are well within the premium price range. This is definitely a high-end cooler and its asking price is representative of that. Compared to other premium cooler lines, it is about in the middle of the range. Comparable sizes are a bit cheaper than Yetis but more expensive than RTICs and Grizzlies. You will typically find prices to be around what you would pay for K2, Pelican, etc.
We really enjoyed testing out the Siberian Alpha Series Cooler. We also look forward to new competitors coming into the scene because you, the consumer, are the one that benefits from that. The Siberian Cooler series seems to build its selling point around sticking to a tried and true method but bumping it up a notch in the feature and styling department.
Ice life and toughness are nothing ground-breaking but are plenty acceptable for a premium-level cooler. These days, rotomolded construction, premium hardware, and bear-proof certifications are almost mandatory to compete in this tier of ice chests. Where Siberian stands out is with their awesome array of features. We love the reversible feet and the very innovative latch system that not only helps to create a great seal but also minimizes required storage space. The included basket and cutting board divider are also great perks. The latches also double to create a very cool styling aesthetic that allows Siberian Alpha coolers to stand out from many of their mundane competitors.
That being said, Siberian coolers aren’t going to be your best bang for the buck if that is your absolute top priority. There are cooler brands that offer better ice life and larger storage volume for the price. But they won’t come with the features or progressive styling you get here. And it is worth noting that, while a premium cooler lineup, asking prices are still notably lower than the very highest brands (notably Yeti and a handful of others).
Siberian Cooler Review
Sizes: 22, 45, 65, and 85-quart sizes
Materials Used: Plastic, rubber, and metal composition
Pros: Loaded with unique features, very attractive styling, adequate combination of ice life and toughness
Cons: Not the cheapest, lacking in color choices
Insulation Ability –
Ice life is more than acceptable for all but the most demanding of critics. Thanks to up to 2.75” thick insulation, quality rotomolded construction, and a great latch design that makes the most of the thick gasket, Siberian coolers will enjoy ice life of up to 10 days in optimal conditions. As is normal, you will see some variance in how long ice lasts and it will typically be maximum in the larger-sized containers.
Mobility and Durability –
All of the hardware used here is high-quality. From the stainless steel hinges to the reinforced latches, there really are no major weak points anywhere on this ice chest. As in normal for premium coolers, you will also have a one-piece construction which allows for this unit to handle the typical wear and tear an outdoor cooler will face. Siberian also proudly boasts bear-proof certification which is a further representation of the craftsmanship. You also get to enjoy many great features that you won’t find in most other products. These include things such as sunk-in latch design, an internal storage basket, and a cutting board divider. Probably our most favorite component is the reversible feet with one side being a sticky rubber designed to grip and the other side being a hard plastic designed to slide.
Visual Appeal –
These coolers are quite attractive and you will be able to see noticeable styling differences between most other brands. This is primarily centered on the aggressive latch and handle design that not only minimizes the required storage space but also really adds a nice aesthetic touch. Our only minor complaint is the lack of color options and little in the way of customization.
The Alpha Series fall well into the premium price range as is typical for high-end coolers such as these. Compared to other similarly-priced coolers you won’t be blown away by the ice life but the added features hope to make up for it.
Overall Rating –
The Siberian Cooler lineup gives us a small by rather varied selection of sizes, starting from the portable 22-quart to the large and capable 85-quart. Ice life is about average for this price bracket and the durability also meets the expected norm. What makes these ice chests stand out is in their refreshing selection of eclectic features that we haven’t seen in many other places. We also like how Siberian has designed their coolers to be as user-friendly as possible by minimizing how much space they take up and designing it so that the latches don’t stick out from the base of the ice chest. Overall, we are very impressed with these coolers and recommend that you check them out if you are not after absolute maximum ice life and you also value added features that you won’t find on many other coolers.
Disclaimer: We received a Siberian cooler for review purposes. The thoughts, opinions, and overall review is solely our own and we were not influenced by the manufacturer in our review of this product.