Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt Review
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Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt
$79.99 at Amazon
|$350 List||$200 List|
$197.89 at Amazon
|$250 List||$100 List|
|Pros||Super lightweight, decent insulation for the price, surprisingly large capacity, inexpensive||Excellent insulation performance, very durable, useful features||Lightweight, easy to use, great features||Very durable, good insulation, comfortable handle grips||Lightweight, excellent insulation, relatively inexpensive, thick and durable walls and lid, comfortable handle|
|Cons||Not airtight, not particularly durable, uncomfortable handles||Heavy, difficult to transport solo||Flimsy latches and hinges, leaky lid||A bit large for one person, no leash for plug, latches are scarily stretchy||Doesn’t seal against water/air, hinges not sturdy, rubber latches catch against your leg|
|Bottom Line||A functional cooler for a mere fraction of the price of the competition||The Cabela Polar Cap 80 is a rugged, high-capacity cooler that will keep your perishables fresh for days||A lightweight and colorful update to the RTIC line that includes nice accessories at a more accessible price||A high-performing and durable cooler with solid usability features at a lower price than expected||A well-performing, personal-sized cooler for a fraction of the price of its competition|
|Rating Categories||Coleman Xtreme 5-Da...||Cabela Polar Cap 80||RTIC Ultralight 52||RTIC 65||Igloo BMX 25|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Coleman Xtreme 5-Da...||Cabela Polar Cap 80||RTIC Ultralight 52||RTIC 65||Igloo BMX 25|
|Shelf Life of Food (Measured Days Below 40ºF)||3.7 days||8.0 days||6.0 days||5.7 days||2.6 days|
|Measured Weight||11.4 Ib||34.9 Ib||21.4 Ib||34.8 lb||11.3 lb|
|Measured Capacity||68 qt||68 qt||50 qt||67 qt||25 qt|
|Advertised Capacity||70 qt||80 qt||52 qt||65 qt||25 qt|
|Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50º F)||4.9 days||8.8 days||6.8 days||6.5 days||2.8 days|
|Internal Maximum Body Height||12.25"||12"||12"||12"||11.75"|
|Does it Fit a Wine or 2L Bottle Standing Upright?||Yes - indented lid||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes - indented lid|
|Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H)||28.5" x 15.5" x 17.5"||40" x 20.5" x 20.5"||27" x 13" x 14"||32" x 18.5" x 17"||20.25" x 12" x 15.25"/20"|
|Construction||not specified (not rotomolded)||Rotomolded||Rotomolded||Rotomolded||Blow-molded plastic (non-rotomolded)|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Coleman Xtreme is a non-rotomolded cooler with a single pair of end handles and an internal height that fits most wine bottles or 2L sodas. It features an integrated fishing ruler and four cupholders in the lid.
As the cooler with some of the thinnest walls we tested, the Coleman doesn't blow us away with an amazing insulation value. During our insulation tests, the Coleman was able to keep below 40º, for 3.7 days — which wasn't the best. However, considering we tested all of these coolers in the harshest and warmest conditions without chilling them first, we found that this cooler is still a decent option for a weekend trip or a picnic.
Similarly, the Coleman managed to maintain an ideal beverage temperature of 50º or less for almost five days. Once again, this span is not the best out there. This performance can likely increase by using some helpful insulation tips and tricks, like prechilling the cooler and its contents, using ice packs, and a 2:1 ice to food ratio, none of which we included during testing.
Unfortunately, this is where the Coleman falls short. The first flaw easily noticeable is the thin, flimsy hinges. As the lid overextends, you can hear the screws ripping right out of the plastic. The lid lacks the rubber seal of so many competitors, meaning the Coleman is neither airtight nor leakproof. The drain plug also lacks a rubber seal, and while we had no issues with our unit during testing, many user complaints suggest that this plastic-on-plastic seal has an eventual expiration date. Additionally, the handles attach via short plastic pegs in small plastic holes, which translates into a sketchy connection under a heavy load on handles that already bow alarmingly with this amount of effort.
Though it doesn't have the IGBC certification that so many others we tested do, the Coleman can serve as a seat. It's the only cooler we tested that has an actual weight limit listed for it - 250 lb. To put that to the test, we had our 225 lb tester jump on every cooler, and the Coleman was no exception. Though it doesn't have the same rock-solid feel that many of the rotomolded coolers have, the Coleman seemed to have no problem being an impromptu trampoline. If you treat the Coleman Xtreme nicely, you may be able to get a bit more life out of it, but if you're rough on your gear, this cooler probably isn't the right choice for you.
Ease of Use
The Coleman is a super simple design. No latches, no dry bins, no frills at all. With a simple push and pull lid, it's easy to open and close. The interior is rather roomy - Coleman claims 70 quarts, and we measured it at 68, which is pretty darn close.
The drain features a small channel to help pull all the water out, though there is a sizeable lip in front of the actual drain that prevents a small amount of the water from exiting without some tipping assistance. The plastic handles on the sides are easy to blindly grab as you head out the door to your party or picnic and swing back down into place when you let go.
While this metric is where the Coleman Xtreme performed best, it's not without its downfalls. The lack of latch and rubber gasket means that leaks can happen quickly from tipping or sloshing — think about how wet you want your sneakers as you carry this cooler down the beach or across the campground if not first drained adequately. Additionally, the handles aren't wide enough for two hands (if you grab a friend to help you lug it) nor reliable enough for heavy loads. The Coleman is simple; it's pretty straightforward and basic.
Tipping the scales at a mere 11.9 lb, the Coleman is shockingly lightweight. Only one of the personal models we tested is lighter. This fact certainly adds to the Coleman's portability, as many of its competitors weigh three or four times as much without even anything in them! The overall width of this cooler is also fairly conducive to a single person carrying it.
Beware, the narrow plastic handles tend to dig uncomfortably into the bent fingers of whoever takes this cooler for a stroll. When loaded with light things, this is less noticeable. However, if you decide to fill the Coleman to the top with ice and soda, you may soon be wishing you hadn't! If you can manage to carry this fully loaded 68-quart icebox by your lonesome, you may also agree with our testers who think that the height of this cooler lets it bash unceremoniously into the bearers knees or legs as they walk. So depending on how you pack your Coleman, you may have no problems wandering through the city park with it, or you may have a tough time merely loading it into the back of a Subaru.
Unlike the feature-filled frivolity of a few of the other elaborate coolers we tested, the Coleman Xtreme doesn't offer too much beyond the necessary. It does have several beverage holders molded into the lid, as well as measurements running across the top so you can easily check to see if your catch is a keeper. Importantly, this cooler also comes with a leash attachment for the drain plug - it's one of the few in this review that does.
We may have wished for such niceties as a dry bin or the ability to handle dry ice, like many of the other coolers in this review, but such is not in the cards for the Coleman. This cooler is all about keeping it simple and functional.
Should you buy the Coleman Xtreme 5-Day?
If you're on the hunt for an inexpensive option to get you through the weekend, you will be just fine using the Coleman Xtreme. Though it's no tank and may not be something you pass on to your children someday, the money you save can be used to fill it with the best picnic and most delicious beverages. However, we would recommend another option if you're searching for the best insulation.
What other coolers should you consider?
The RTIC 65 is a top-performing rotomolded cooler. Though its price isn't on par with the Coleman, it's built to last. Likewise, it performed exceptionally well in our insulation test. If you're looking for all the bells and whistles, dive into our review of the Yeti Tundra 65. This cooler has some of the best insulation and can withstand wear and tear.
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