5 Reasons why I Love my Brand-New Orca Cooler
I mentioned in an earlier post about the absolute necessity of owning a quality camping cooler, for anyone who is serious about spending time in the outdoors.
I’ve thought to myself before, “wow, these cooler companies who are able to charge hundreds and hundreds of dollars for their coolers, are really marketing geniuses.”
I was a part of the clan who figured that surely there was no need to spend that sort of money on… a cooler!
But, lo and behold, once I broke down and decided to purchase one, I became a convert - like the thousands of others – and an advocate that every outdoorsman should own a high-quality ice chest.
But why? Are they really that much different than your run-of-the-mill Coleman cooler, or even a foam cooler?
Yes. They are. And I’ll get to the exact reasons why here very shortly.
First, however, I’ll make it known that I’m under no obligation to say anything – good or bad – about any of the following companies. All of my recommendations and advice are strictly based on personal decisions and opinions.
OK, so what initially sparked the thought of actually going out and buying one of these things? Well, it got to the point that I had heard from far too many friends about how great they were, and how well-worth the price they were, that I eventually figured even the best marketing scam couldn’t dupe that many people. They had to be good products.
So I started to do my research. Now, I admit that I get excited about buying new outdoor gear and looking into new products, but I will never spend money on something before thoroughly doing my homework.
Of course, the YETI name was the one that I had heard the most and was what I was most familiar with. I’d talked with plenty of hardcore hunter and fishermen friends that would just rant and rave about how great they were.
I also knew of a few buddies that had used Grizzly coolers, so I decided I would consider those as well.
Lastly, I had talked with a co-worker who had recently been in the same exact scenario as I was in now, and had settled on the Orca brand. So I decided it would be between those three: YETI, Grizzly, or Orca.
YETI is the most expensive of the three, but not by a huge margin. And if I’m considering investing in a quality product, I won’t disregard an option based on price alone. That being said, YETI would have to prove to be hands-down the best of the best, if I was going to go with them.
Size-wise, I had decided that a 40qt. cooler was going to be my best all-around option. (YETI offers a 35 and 45qt. option in its Tundra models).
Doing some general online searching and reading reviews, I seemed to come across noticeably more negative reviews for Grizzly than YETI or Orca. Not a ton of negative reviews, just a consistent amount about quality of materials, and about how they didn’t compete with the other top brands.
So based off of the online reviews like this one, I had narrowed it down to YETI or Orca.
Price-wise, they are actually very similar. The 35qt. YETI Tundra has a retail price of $299.99 (+ shipping on the YETI site), the 45qt. Tundra at $349.99, and the Orca 40qt. at $339.99 with free shipping.
From there, it essentially came down to personal preference. In all of my online review research and word-of-mouth stories I’d heard, I had yet to really hear a bad thing about either YETI or Orca.
I decided on the Orca 40qt, based on the fractionally lower price and the fact that I had read several reviews saying their design made them slightly easier to transport and carry than the YETI Tundra models.
So without further ado, here is a list of 5 reasons why I love my new Orca cooler, and why I have become an advocate for the high-quality cooler craze.
1. They keep ice insanely long!
Hopefully, this is the #1 reason why anyone would consider spending hundreds of dollars on a cooler – that’s what coolers are for after all, isn’t it? In all seriousness, I have kept ice in my new Orca for over a week. And with the drain plugs, keeping water out is simple and you avoid getting what’s inside soggy.
This is actually a pretty serious aspect to consider. Any real camper or outdoors person will be able to tell you a story about how a bear or raccoon put a damper on their trip by getting into their food. With the Orca, whatever you have inside is safe – from a baby raccoon to an adult Grizzly bear. (This being said, I still do not leave the cooler out in the campsite when we’re not around).
These suckers are bomb-proof. Not that I would ever do so intentionally, but the Orca could survive a fall of the boat, pickup truck or camper onto solid rock and hardly suffer a scratch. If you’re going to be strapping it on an ATV as I am, and hauling it deep into the backcountry, durability is an absolute must.
Of course the #1 reason to have a cooler is to keep ice in it. But it’s nice for an expensive product to have a bit of range-of-use. I’ve used the Orca for a seat, a fishing platform, a ladder, a garage storage shelf, and surely many other things that I can’t recall.
5. Lifespan I plan on having my Orca for a long, long time. With its superbly durable build and replaceable parts (main seals, gaskets, and handles), there is no reason why it shouldn’t last for 10, 15, 20, 30+ years.
~ Mr. General