Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55qt Review
Cons: So-so insulation, details less well-executed than others, harder to carry
Manufacturer: Arctic Zone
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Titan 55qt is a rotomolded cooler with dual handle sets and an indented lid that allows you to squeeze in a bottle of wine. It features a wire basket, anti-skid feet, tie-downs, and an integrated fish ruler.
Joining the ranks of rotomolded coolers filled with polyurethane insulation, the Titan offers solid insulation value without standing out from the crowd. It held temperatures of below 40ºF for 3.9 days during our torture testing and managed 4.1 days below 50ºF. While this may be enough to get you through a weekend of camping, compared to the other coolers of similar size, this is one of the least impressive competitors. Its freezer-grade gasket does offer an airtight seal, but its blue or grey colors are a bit darker - and therefore more heat-collecting - than other models we tested.
While the Arctic Zone website lists this cooler as having IGBC certification, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee list of certified products doesn't include any mention of this cooler (or any other Arctic Zone product) on its list of currently certified products. That being said, the construction of the Titan is roughly on par with the other definitely-IGBC-certified coolers we tested, and we think is reasonably durable. An integrated hinge and superb seal give us confidence and we have no qualms sitting or even jumping on this box (though we don't recommend you partake in such unsafe conduct).
We do have some minor concerns about the longevity of the rubber, anti-skid feet, as they seem a bit softer than many others and we read several reports of them wearing down more quickly than expected. And while the rubber latches seem similarly solid to many of the Titan's competitors, they do have fairly large holes cut out of them and are harder to wrangle than we'd prefer, making us wonder if they'll last years of yanking.
Ease of Use
The Titan is easy to use, though it isn't without its drawbacks. It has an indented lid inside that allows extra clearance for taller objects, and we really appreciate being able to bring along a cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on a hot summer trip. Its oversized drain makes emptying meltwater a breeze, though the oddly rectangular channel inside isn't the best shape for getting out every last drop. Both sets of handles are easy to use and grab, though the longer webbing handles hang nearly on top of the drain plug. And while we appreciate the depth of the indented solo-carry handles, this added deepness makes it significantly more difficult to replace the removable handles. The rubber T-grip latches are secure, with their peg-style closure system, but they're not the easiest to open and almost always require both hands to get the right amount of force.
Coming in at 29.6 pounds, the Titan is on the lower end of average weight among similarly sized coolers we tested. Solo carrying a box of this size is never going to be the best part of your day, but the Titan strikes a pretty good balance of weight and capacity. The single-carry indented handles are nice and deep, while the dual-carry, webbing handles are slightly rubberized with patterned bumps to create texture that helps you "get a grip". This chest is a bit longer than we'd like to carry by ourselves. We prefer the slightly taller, more narrow dimensions for solo carry and the Titan is just a bit past that comfortable length to height ratio for our taste.
The Titan does have a few added features that we appreciate, such as a wire basket, anti-skid feet, and tie-downs. It also has an integrated ruler on the lid. It seems to feature some sort of warranty, though the tag on the product and its website disagree if its length is 5 years or for the lifetime of the product. It isn't the most feature-filled model we tested, but the ones it does have are quality additions.
Though the Titan is less expensive than many other comparable, high-end coolers, it's just not particularly impressive. It's not a bad cooler at all and has a lower price than many other competitors. Though we think there are coolers with higher value, you might just find the right deal to make the Titan a part of your gear family.
While the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 55qt is far from our favorite high-end model, it's not without merit. In this case, we find that the drop in price from the high-performing coolers to the Titan corresponds to that same drop in performance. However, it still manages to provide decent durability and solidly usable features, though not the most impressive insulation. If a weekend's worth of cooling capacity is what you're after and you find a great deal on this cooler, it just might be the right addition to your adventures.
— Maggie Brandenburg