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Ozark Trail 73-Quart & 26-Quart High Performance Roto-Molded Coolers - "Real World" Test

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by dan0mite, May 23, 2016.

  1. May 23, 2016 at 1:53 PM
    #1
    dan0mite

    dan0mite [OP] #NOTNORM

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    The Beginning

    So here's the deal...I bought a couple of the Ozark Trail HP Coolers based on some reviews I've read. My wallet is just over $300 lighter after buying BOTH coolers so I'm still doing better, cost-wise, than a Yeti, Brute Box, RTIC, etc. Now I want to test these myself but figured you lazy-asses would want to follow along.

    The Coolers:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I filled both coolers with ice around 4pm on Monday, May 23, 2016 and then put some soda and water in them about 30 minutes later. To the top with ice only, the 73qt cooler took 80lbs of ice and the 26qt took about 25lbs of ice.

    [​IMG]

    Test Parameters
    • I didn't "pre-cool" the coolers because who the fuck actually does that?
    • I don't care about ambient temperature because it is what it is and it's a variable that I don't care to try and control. The coolers are outside on a 4th floor balcony and thats as good as it's going to get.
    • I max filled the coolers with ice to simulate preparing to take the coolers with ice on the road where ice isn't too available.
    • I will put as much drinks as I can in each cooler with the goal of not removing any ice. As ice begins to melt down and more room is made, more drinks will be added.
    • Everything that the coolers get stocked with will be at room/ambient temperature. Nothing is precooled.
    • I will not start to pull drinks out until the next morning to simulate preparing the coolers the night before a trip.
    • Beginning the next day, I will remove and replace drinks as I am thirsty to simulate actually using the coolers as you would on a trip. None of that opening once or twice a day bullshit here...
    • At the end of each day I'll take pictures of the ice retention and post them here.
    • If you have any questions, suggestions, criticisms, etc...keep them to yourself because nobody cares! Just kidding, I'm open to whatever as long as it's general bullshit and you're not trying to move this test away from its "real world" goals.
    Day 1

    Just opened the coolers for the first time since filling them at 4pm yesterday. I'll begin to open them regularly now but here are picture updates.




    I pulled out a bottle of water from the 73 but will begin to pull out something to drink from both coolers at the same time. The reason I'll open both coolers is to simulate using only one and to not artificially prolong the ice retention by alternating.

    End of Day 1

    I've been in the coolers about 5-6 times today and they haven't been restocked yet. Not much ice loss in the 73 but you can already see the difference in the 26 since this morning.

    73qt Day 1 Morning:


    73qt Day 1 Evening:


    26qt Day 1 Morning:


    26qt Day 1 Evening:


    Day 2

    Coolers were restocked last night. Was able to break up the ice in the 26 to get some drinks under the ice but also put some on top too. Without getting a BFH, I could only break a few inches of ice on top in the 73 so not a lot went into restocking it.




    The water in the 23 is just under that top layer of ice.

    End of Day 2

    The 26 had a ball of ice surrounded by all water this evening so I broke it up and restocked the cooler. The 73 was still solid ice but I was able to take a bottle of water and chip away at the edges. Couldn't break into the center of it though. I restocked the 73 as much as I could down the sides of the cooler where I was able to see a little water and on top of the ice block just enough so I could cover the drinks with ice. Obviously I could pile more cans and/or bottles in there but I didn't see the point since they would only be sitting on top and not really being chilled.

    73qt Day 2 Morning:


    73qt Day 2 Evening:


    26qt Day 2 Morning:


    26qt Day 2 Evening:


    Day 3

    The 73 is beginning to show signs of mortality now as the ice melts. I'd be willing to bet it'll go at least another 3 days.



    The 26 is mostly water now with a couple inches of ice floating on top. I think it'll keep things cold for the rest of the day but probably won't last the night.



    End of Day 3

    73qt Day 3 Morning:


    73qt Day 3 Evening:


    26qt Day 3 Morning:


    26qt Day 3 Evening:


    Day 4

    The 26 is done. No signs of ice other than the very cold water. I've moved all the drinks from the 26 to the 73.



    The 73 is still going strong with a solid block of ice that formed itself in the beginning. I've been restocking around the edges and am debating on breaking up the ice block. I'm leaning towards breaking it up tonight when I restock it again.



    End of Day 4

    The 73 is hanging tough.

    Day 4 Morning:


    Day 4 Evening:


    Day 5

    I feel the 72 is going to last at least a few more days. When I went to open it this morning, I noticed the hardware on the lid holding the latch was loose so I ended up tightening all the hardware as it all needed it. Now I'm not sure it was right to begin with as I didn't check. Everything is snug now so I'll report back at the end of this test as to whether everything stayed tight or not.



    End of Day 5

    This cooler is still kicking ass with ice retention.

    Day 5 Morning:


    Day 5 Evening:


    Day 6

    I stocked the cooler this morning with 12 cans at room temp.

    Unstocked:


    Stocked:


    End of Day 6

    There's still a little bit of ice left but I don't think enough to last until morning. Pretty sure the restock I did this morning did it in.

    Day 6 Morning:


    Day 6 Evening:


    Day 7

    I was surprised to still find ice this morning...so the test continues.



    End of Day 7

    The 73 was done around 5pm today. There were a couple stray ice cubes but not enough to make a difference.

    Day 7 Morning:


    Day 7 Evening:


    Results Based on My Test Parameters

    The 26qt lasted approximately 3.5 days with everyday use.

    The 73qt lasted approximately 7 days with everyday use.

    Manual For 73qt









    Issues

    While the 73 cooler was in direct sunlight, the top deformed a bit then went back after being back in the shade. This is something I'll have to keep an eye on because I wonder if it'll end up cracking. The 26 doesn't have this problem...

    Here are pics of what I was referring to regrading the top of the cooler. Took these with the weather showing 81 degrees.




    Again, it goes back down to normal after being in the shade.

    I hope this isn't something that affects all the large coolers and if it does, the 5 year warranty will get exercised quite a bit I feel.

    Post from @ramonortiz55 about the issues he had with the 26qt he bought:

    Filled with Ice on Friday noon..

    Was good until Saturday afternoon:





    Replacement Parts

    Thanks to @tomwil for finding this post which verifies replacement parts for the Ozark Trail cooler!!

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...ce-quot-cooler-any-good?p=2085050#post2085050

    Final Thoughts

    I feel these Ozark Trail coolers are a great alternative to the higher priced high performance coolers out there such as Yeti. Once these become more readily available at all Walmart's, I feel these will be the go-to cooler until RTIC catches up with fulfilling orders, even more so since you'll be able to grab these Ozark Trail coolers at any Walmart.

    I am on the fence on keeping the Ozark Trail coolers because of the problems mentioned in the above "Issues" section. Busted latches and lid skins deforming in sunlight on an 81 degree day on brand new coolers, even at this price point, is unacceptable. I will exchange the 73qt for another with hopes that it was an isolated issue with the cooler I currently have. If the 26qt I have busts latches like Ramon's did, I will just return it and order an RTIC like he did.

    The 5 year warranty sounds like a great one; however, you have to return the cooler to Ozark Trail in Canada. I don't even want to think about the cost of shipping a 73qt cooler to Canada for warranty work. Something to think about as well...

    EDIT: @tomwil pointed out that there are verified replacement parts available for the Ozark Trail coolers from Gander Mountain. I've added this fact above in its own section. Now the only concern for me is the issue with the lid on the 73qt. Hopefully it's an isolated issue to this cooler.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  2. May 23, 2016 at 1:56 PM
    #2
    DrFunker

    DrFunker Well-Known Member

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    What was the cost of each cooler?
     
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  3. May 23, 2016 at 1:56 PM
    #3
    dan0mite

    dan0mite [OP] #NOTNORM

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  4. May 23, 2016 at 1:56 PM
    #4
    DrFunker

    DrFunker Well-Known Member

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  5. May 23, 2016 at 1:58 PM
    #5
    dan0mite

    dan0mite [OP] #NOTNORM

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    26qt is $96
    52qt is $147 (I don't have this one since it's about the same size as my IndelB fridge)
    73qt is $194

    Tax not included...
     
  6. May 23, 2016 at 1:59 PM
    #6
    DrFunker

    DrFunker Well-Known Member

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    grazie. :hattip:
     
  7. May 23, 2016 at 2:01 PM
    #7
    Oregon TRD

    Oregon TRD "GO DUCKS" Edition

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    Subbed (so I can see how long ice lasts for body parts.:devil:..and by body parts I mean BEER!...maybe)
     
  8. May 23, 2016 at 2:02 PM
    #8
    stphnman20

    stphnman20 Well-Known Member

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    Read the test on that one hunting forum. Results were good for the OT. Looking forward to this.
     
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  9. May 23, 2016 at 2:03 PM
    #9
    dan0mite

    dan0mite [OP] #NOTNORM

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    nessun problema
     
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  10. May 23, 2016 at 2:05 PM
    #10
    DrFunker

    DrFunker Well-Known Member

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    Let the cooling begin!
    :cheers:
     
  11. May 23, 2016 at 2:05 PM
    #11
    Acerwin

    Acerwin The unNORM NORM

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  12. May 23, 2016 at 2:06 PM
    #12
    DrFunker

    DrFunker Well-Known Member

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  13. May 23, 2016 at 2:22 PM
    #13
    BYJOSHCOOK

    BYJOSHCOOK Mr. Mojo Risin

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  14. May 23, 2016 at 2:28 PM
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    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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  15. May 23, 2016 at 2:28 PM
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    Gaunt596

    Gaunt596 Resident Otaku

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    :burp:

    Curious to see how these go, might pick up the larger one if the test shows it works
     
  16. May 23, 2016 at 2:45 PM
    #16
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Ex-Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom

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    Thinking about finding the small one for my father in law.
     
  17. May 23, 2016 at 2:52 PM
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    Chipskip

    Chipskip N7MCS

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    @dan0mite WHAT IS IN THE COOLERS!!! What makes you thirsty? Enquiring minds want to know!!!!!
     
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  18. May 23, 2016 at 3:11 PM
    #18
    dan0mite

    dan0mite [OP] #NOTNORM

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    I'll never tell!! Diet Coke and water.
     
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  19. May 23, 2016 at 3:18 PM
    #19
    Blackouts

    Blackouts Well-Known Member

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    Saw these in the local walmart, interested to see how they do.
     
  20. May 23, 2016 at 3:21 PM
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    GHOST SHIP

    GHOST SHIP hates you.

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    Oh, and sub'd...:thumbsup:
     
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