Siberian Cooler Review
Last Updated by Brandon F. on December 9, 2021
Siberian Cooler is a brand that we have been familiar with for quite some time. In the past, we thoroughly tested out their popular 45-quart Alpha Pro model. We have decided to expand this and try out their other models as well as their new Outback Cooler Series and Sidekick Soft Cooler Series. We will condense all of their hard-sided coolers into this review. For those who want to read up on their Sidekick Soft Coolers, you can check out our review here.
Before we get into our full analysis, check out our table that lists our favorite Siberian hard-sided coolers.
- 1 Siberian Cooler Review
- 1.1 Siberian Cooler Lineup
- 1.2 Siberian Cooler Features
- 1.3 Siberian Cooler Ice Life
- 1.4 Siberian Cooler Aesthetics
- 1.5 Siberian Cooler Price
- 1.6 Siberian Cooler vs. Yeti
- 1.7 Siberian Cooler Review
Siberian Cooler Lineup
As we mentioned above, Siberian has recently expanded their line. They now offer two different series: the Alpha Series and the Outback Series. We will go over the size options below.
Siberian Cooler Alpha Pro Series
The Siberian Alpha Pro Series is the most coveted lineup offered by Siberian. It promises the best performance, the most features, and also has the highest asking price. Currently, you can pick between 22-Quart, 45-Quart, 65-Quart, and 85-Quart models. The 22-quart model is also referred to as the Sidekick (the same designation that Siberian has given their soft-sided coolers).
You will find a very similar design approach in every size with the primary difference being that the 22-quart model comes with an overhead carrying handle as opposed to side handles. The overhead carrying handles are pretty typical for the smaller-sized hard coolers.
Siberian Coolers Outback Series
The Siberian Outback Series is a newer player in the premium cooler game. It still offers impressive performance and durability but sacrifices a few features but gains a more competitive asking price. They also come in slightly larger sizes. You can pick between 30, 50, 82, and 125-quart models.
With the inclusion of the Outback Series, Siberian has done a really good job of capturing a very wide target audience. No matter if you are after a smaller cooler for a couple of people or an enormous cooler that has enough storage volume for a dozen people, Siberian has you covered.
Siberian Cooler Features
If a cooler brand hopes to stand out in the competitive premium cooler market, they need to deliver something unique. Siberian has succeeded in that, particularly in its Alpha Pro Series.
Starting, you will find reversible feet. These are cool features that we haven’t seen many other brands emulate. One side has a sticky rubber that provides a good grip and resists sliding. And the other side is a smoother hard plastic surface that allows for sliding but minimizes the chance of scratching.
Next up is the wire basket. This basket sits at the top of the cooler and provides some storage for items that you want to either separate from the chilled items below or that you simply don’t want to be exposed to the ice. The basket is designed to be easy to insert and remove.
In addition to this is a cutting board/divider. This accessory serves two purposes: it can be used as a makeshift cutting board or it can be slid into built-in slots on the cooler, providing a great way to divide various chilled items.
You will find an oversized drain port that makes short work of any melted ice. And to add to this, there are hidden lockplates, tie-down strap slots, and even a beverage holder.
But the Siberian Alpha Series is more than just about convenience. It is also an extremely tough competitor and has all of the features that we look for when thinking of long ice life.
These coolers come with thick walls. They are up to 2.75” thick. This is a very competitive thickness and is among the higher numbers we have seen in the premium cooler industry. This doubles as both a great insulator and also add to the toughness. And as you come to expect with any high-end ice chest, the walls are made of roto-molded LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene).
We also absolutely love the intuitive latch system. Rather than utilize traditional rubber T-latches that most cooler brands use, Siberian has heavy-duty anodized aluminum latches. These provide excellent closing force and are very resilient to wear and tear.
The hinges, a common weak point on lower-end coolers, are made of stainless steel and should hold up to typical abuse just fine. They are also resistant to corrosion.
For a boost in ice life, the T-latches above can squeeze Siberian’s larger, freezer-grade gasket. Having a large gasket is very important to maximize ice life as it helps to keep the cold air in and the warm air out!
All of this combines for an extremely tough and proven cooler. And that is why Siberian stands behind them with their lifetime warranty. And for good measure, they have also had their ice chests IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) certified.
The Siberian Outback Coolers take a more Spartan approach in their design. You will still find thick walls, rotomolded construction, and metal components, but many of the features (wire basket, cutting board, rubber latches, etc.) have been removed to bring the cost down some.
Also, all Siberian Outback Coolers utilize the same handle design. This is a simple rope side handle that has been proven out for many years and functions just fine. This makes sense to us as the Outback Series ice chests are on the larger side.
The rubber latches that we enjoy on the Alpha Pro model have been replaced with stainless steel latches. They are still of high quality, but we feel that the rubber latches provide better squeeze and are easier to operate (and look cooler!).
Overall, the Outback Series is designed for most purists. They are for someone who doesn’t care about all of the fancy (and potentially unnecessary) extras and would rather focus on a simple and effective cooler that is available at a slightly lower price range.
Siberian Cooler Ice Life
So we discussed many of the great features available on these coolers, but how does that translate to ice retention? Siberian seems to be pretty hush-hush when it comes to their stated ice life. So to get to the bottom of this, we decided to do our testing. We previously tested the 45-quart Alpha Pro model and were quite pleased with the results. But we wanted to expand on this testing and include other sizes and models.
Specifically, we filled each cooler up with around 1/3 of ice. We then left them outside in the Texas heat and occasionally opened the lid. This gives a more “real life” result compared to, say, leaving them indoors and never opening them.
Our results can be seen in the chart below:
Please note that “AP” refers to Alpha Pro Series and “O” refers to Outback Series.
Overall, we are quite pleased with the results. The combination of the thick walls, great latches, and oversized gaskets results in long ice life in nearly every model.
As we suspected, the superior latch design on the Alpha Pro models did translate to a slight boost in ice life. However, the fact that the Outback Series are simply larger coolers also made up for the lack of these latches. In fact, despite not having the optimal latch design, the Outback Series had the cooler with the longest ice life in its 125 Quart model.
We did notice that the ice life range was pretty large. In other words, depending on what sort of environment you put your cooler in, you will find that the actual ice retention rate may fluctuate quite a bit.
As for numbers, you can expect around 2 days of ice life in the small 22 Quart and 30 Quart models. And this ramps up to several days more in the larger models with the 125 Quart Outback topping things off with up to 225 hours of potential ice life. Not bad!
Siberian Cooler Aesthetics
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 formidable and 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.
However, there are currently only two colors available: white and granite. Also, we don’t seem to see any sort of custom shop that allows for specialized color or decals.
As for the Siberian Outback Cooler Series, it takes a more standard design approach. The eye-catching latches that are on the Alpha Pro Series have been replaced with smaller metal latches. While they still look to be of high quality, these metal latches simply don’t have quite the “pop” of the Alpha Pro latches. The front face of the Outback Series is also shaped differently.
Siberian Cooler Price
Asking prices for Siberian Coolers, as expected, are well within the premium price range. This is 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 Yeti Coolers but more expensive than RTIC Coolers and Grizzly Coolers. You will typically find prices to be around what you would pay for K2 Coolers, Pelican Coolers, etc.
It is worth noting that, while still expensive, the Siberian Outback Coolers are a bit cheaper. This is because they have a reduced number of features. But in terms of toughness and ice retention, the overall performance of the two models are quite similar.
Considering how well these coolers fared in our ice retention test, their proven durability, and the lifetime warranty, we feel that the current asking prices are fair. For those who are on a tighter budget and trying to save a bit, going with the Siberian Outback Cooler will save you a few bucks as well.
Siberian Cooler vs. Yeti
Siberian has all of the features to make it a competitor against any other premium cooler brand. But how does it compare to Yeti?
Yeti has been the go-to premium cooler option for many people over the years. But Siberian Coolers feels that their special approach at ice chests has what it takes to win those people over.
So which is better between Siberian and Yeti?
Both brands have a large selection of sizes. And with Siberian’s recent release of their Outback Series, the options are even larger. In terms of build quality, both are essentially equal. They both utilize premium materials, offer great warranties, and are Grizzly Bear Certified.
As for features, we have to side a little towards Siberian when looking at their Alpha Pro Series. And for their Outback Series, we consider them to be about equal to Yeti Tundras when it comes to features.
Ice retention is very similar for both brands in a given size. You can anticipate multiple days of ice life with any size that you go with.
Color options are limited with Siberian so Yeti has the edge here. There also isn’t much in the way of customization options for Siberian while Yeti’s options are vast.
So with the two brands being neck to neck in many aspects, it boils down to price. Typically, Siberian Coolers will be a bit more affordable than a Yeti. This is even more so true with the Siberian Outback Series (although you do sacrifice some features).
So if we had to pick one, we are giving a slight edge to Siberian. Both brands are great, but Siberian’s more affordable prices help to push it ahead by a nose.
Siberian Cooler Review
Pros: Loads of interesting features, Excellent Build Quality, Tons of different sizes
Cons: Pretty expensive, limited color choices
Features: Reversible feet, Wire basket, Cutting board/divider, Specialized latches, High-flow drain port, Cupholders
Insulation Ability –
Siberian Coolers fully take advantage of their 2 to 3” of insulation. This, combined with their huge gasket and effective latch system, really extends the life of the ice. The Alpha Pro Series leads the way in this regard but the slightly cheaper Outback Series isn’t far behind. And since Siberian does offer up some rather large sizes, you can produce some impressive ice retention numbers. Specifically, you can anticipate ice to last anywhere from around 50 hours on the mobile 22 and 30-Quart models and up to a very impressive 225 hours on the huge 125 Quart models.
Mobility and Durability –
From a usability standpoint, Siberian Coolers have a lot to offer. They have incorporated quite a few helpful features into their top-of-the-line Alpha Pro Series. This includes things like reversible feet, cutting/board divider, wire basket, and more. And one of our favorite features is the unique latches used. These latches provide excellent closing force and are incredibly easy to open and close.
The Outback Series is a simpler offering and does away with a lot of these features for a lower asking price. But a lot of people don’t care about features that they may never use so the Outback is a good option for them.
As for build quality, it is excellent. The thick roto-molded walls are held together thanks to metal hardware. And these ice chests are backed with a lifetime Siberian warranty as well as being IGBC Certified.
Visual Appeal –
We find the Alpha Pro Series to look nice. The unique front fascia combined with the eye-catching latches set it off. The Outback Cooler is a bit tamer and won’t turn as many heads. Our primary complaint is the lack of color options. Currently, you only have two colors to choose from. Also, there aren’t any customization options. But overall, these coolers still look pretty attractive.
A cooler with this level of performance and features isn’t going to be cheap. The Siberian Alpha Pro Coolers fall easily into the premium price range and the Siberian Outback Coolers aren’t too far behind. While they may be a bit pricey, you do get a lot for your money and, more importantly, you get a product that should last for many years.
Overall Rating –
The Siberian hard-sided cooler lineup has impressed us in nearly every regard. There are plenty of sizes to choose from thanks to the recent addition of the Outback Series. And every model is built extremely tough and offers great ice life. You will get a lot of features with the Alpha Pro Coolers. But the Outback Coolers? Not so much (but at a lower price point). No matter which series you decide to go with, we highly encourage you to add Siberian to your shortlist if and when you are in the market for your next premium cooler.