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Igloo BMX 25 Review

A well-performing, personal-sized cooler for a fraction of the price of its competition
Igloo BMX 25
Photo: Igloo
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Price:  $80 List | $74.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, excellent insulation, relatively inexpensive, thick and durable walls and lid, comfortable handle
Cons:  Doesn’t seal against water/air, hinges not sturdy, rubber latches catch against your leg
Manufacturer:   Igloo Coolers
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 2, 2020
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 20
  • Insulation - 50% 4
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6
  • Portability - 10% 9
  • Features - 5% 6

Our Verdict

This tough little cooler surprised us with its long-lasting, thick-walled insulation, shockingly low weight, and cost that's a fraction of the competition. The Igloo BMX 25 isn't the most rugged option out there, but it's a reliable personal cooler that's bigger than we expected on the inside and is easy to carry, even when loaded with beverages or the day's catch. It lacks an air/watertight seal, which loses it some points on insulation, and the rubber latches can catch against your leg if you carry it the wrong way around, but it's miles ahead of your old ice bucket or gas station styrofoam. If you want to upgrade your individual-sized cooler without spending hundreds on the competition, we recommend this one.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Igloo BMX 25
This Product
Igloo BMX 25
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $74.99 at AmazonCheck Price at REI
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$249.99 at Amazon$60.93 at Amazon$46.60 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, excellent insulation, relatively inexpensive, thick and durable walls and lid, comfortable handleExcellent insulation, super durable, easy to use, great sizeVery durable, good insulation, comfortable handle gripsSuper lightweight, decent insulation for the price, surprisingly large capacity, inexpensiveVery lightweight, useful medium size, simple to use, inexpensive
Cons Doesn’t seal against water/air, hinges not sturdy, rubber latches catch against your legExpensive, no leash for plug, smaller than claimedA bit large for one person, no leash for plug, latches are scarily stretchyNot airtight, not particularly durable, uncomfortable handlesNot overly durable, unimpressive insulation, poor drainage
Bottom Line A well-performing, personal-sized cooler for a fraction of the price of its competitionIf you want the best insulation and the longest lasting cooler, look no further than this simple yet effective modelA high-performing and durable cooler with solid usability features at a lower price than expectedA functional cooler for a mere fraction of the price of the competitionA medium-sized cooler that works as a short term cooling solution on a budget
Rating Categories Igloo BMX 25 Yeti Tundra 65 RTIC 65 Coleman Xtreme 5-Da... Coleman Performance...
Insulation (50%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
Durability (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
3.0
3.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Portability (10%)
9.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
9.0
Features (5%)
6.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
4.0
Specs Igloo BMX 25 Yeti Tundra 65 RTIC 65 Coleman Xtreme 5-Da... Coleman Performance...
Shelf Life of Food (Measured Days Below 40ºF) 2.6 days 6.5 days 6 days 4.1 days 2.3 days
Weight (lbs) 11.3 lb 31.9 lb 34.9 lb 11.9 lb 7.3 lb
Measured Capacity (quarts) 25 qt 56 qt 67 qt 68 qt 49 qt
Advertised Capacity (quarts) 25 qt 65 qt 65 qt 70 qt 48 qt
Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50º F) 2.8 days 7.4 days 6.8 days 4.8 days 2.6 days
Internal Maximum Body Height (inches) 11.75" 10.5" 12" 12.25" 13"
Does it Fit a Wine or 2L Bottle Standing Upright? Yes - indented lid No Yes Yes - indented lid Yes - indented lid
Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H) 20.25" x 12" x 15.25"/20" 30.75" x 17.5" x 16" 32" x 18.5" x 17" 28.5" x 15.5" x 17.5" 25.5" x 13.5" x 14"
Construction Blow-molded plastic (non-rotomolded) Rotomolded polyethylene Rotomolded not specified (not rotomolded) Plastic exterior with CO2 insulation

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Igloo BMX is a non-rotomolded personal cooler with a single handle on top and an internal height that fits most wine bottles or 2L soda bottles. It features corner tie-downs and a fish ruler across the top of the lid.

Performance Comparison


Take it easy with the BMX 25.
Take it easy with the BMX 25.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Insulation


Right off the bat, Igloo promises more from the BMX 25. They boast it has "20% thicker foam" and can maintain four days of ice retention, though admit that such results are achieved under their controlled tests. We found that under torturous conditions, the BMX 25 can keep food below the FDA-approved temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 2.6 days. Impressively, this is one of the longest-lasting personal models we tested. The cooler base's shape holds most of the bottom slightly elevated from a flat surface, which also aids in its insulation value.

However, we feel that the dark grey coloring likely works against this cooler if you do happen to leave it in the sun. Additionally, though the lid feels like a tight fit, it isn't watertight. Therefore, it lets cold air escape and warm air enter, unlike some beefier models with freezer-quality gaskets keeping their contents separate from the outside air. Overall, we found the Igloo insulation to be pretty good for its size and are quite impressed with its performance in our insulation tests.

Not the best insulator, the Igloo BMX lacks a proper seal to lock...
Not the best insulator, the Igloo BMX lacks a proper seal to lock out warm air and keep cold air (or water) inside. It did perform on par with the personal-sized Yeti we tested.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


Another metric where Igloo makes big claims. They tout that the BMX 25 (which stands for Blow-Molded eXtreme; the construction plastic they use on the plastic) is built for sturdiness and performance, with diamond plate metal "kick plates" and "tough, oversized hinges." We spent a significant amount of time standing and jumping on these coolers and have no complaints about the BMX 25. It feels pretty solid with a thick handle that never gave us any reasons to doubt its integrity. However, the rubber latches are a bit on the soft side and could be damaged eventually by temperature, sunlight, or pulling too hard, though they did fine during our testing. Despite the BMX hinges being proclaimed as delivering "extended performance," it is possible to pull the mounting screws right out of the lid by overextending the open lid. Additionally, water easily spills out without a seal to hold it in — a negative for something that could tip over in the back seat around a tight bend. So while we love the thick, sturdy walls and robust feel of the BMX 25, there are some minor flaws in this cooler's durability.

We found the hinges of the Igloo BMX to be the least durable part of...
We found the hinges of the Igloo BMX to be the least durable part of this little cooler.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


The BMX 25's rubber latches can be easily unhooked with one hand, and the lid stays open for easy loading access. The handle stays pretty much where you leave it, making a quick set-it-down-to-close-the-back-hatch maneuver a cinch. The inside of this cooler is also decently spacious for its size and can fit 34 cans if you only add a little bit of ice around the sides, and easily accommodates an upright standard-sized wine bottle. The Igloo also has tie-down holes in all four corners that will keep this little box securely fastened and closed until you untie it again.

We feel that Igloo may have missed an opportunity by not making these tie-down holes also lockable, which can add a measure of animal protection or peace of mind. We also found that the lid's topography prevents it from being an excellent surface for your cold can or even a comfortable seat. Additionally, the handle runs so close to the cooler's side that it runs into the rubber latches if they're not properly sealed. And unlike many other coolers, the BMX has no rubber feet to stop it from sliding across the bed of your pickup if you neglected to tie it down. Those minor concerns aside, we think the BMX is decently easy to use.

The latches on the BMX 25 are a bit softer than many of the...
The latches on the BMX 25 are a bit softer than many of the competition's T-grips, making them easier to open with one hand.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


Compared to the rest of the gigantic coolers in this review, the BMX 25 is featherweight. Even up against similarly-sized coolers, the BMX 25 is still pretty lightweight and portable. Fully loaded with twenty 12 oz. cans and as much ice as we could fit, the Igloo's large handle helps make this cooler reasonably easy to transport. Its angled shape also facilitates different styles of grabbing from the single hand in the middle to double hands on either side or even hooking one end over the elbow.

We think the handle could be improved a bit by a more forgiving, squishy section, but honestly, the overall larger size and ergonomic shape of the handle and cooler edges make this ice chest a breeze to carry, compared to the other coolers in this review. Our only real complaint is that the rubber latches catch against your leg if you forget and carry it the wrong way around, which is easily solved by flipping the cooler 180 degrees.

The BMX 25 is a portable personal-sized cooler that's impressively...
The BMX 25 is a portable personal-sized cooler that's impressively lightweight in comparison to other similarly sized options.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Features


The most obvious feature of the BMX 25 is the inches and centimeter approximate measurements right across the top of the lid to help measure the (surely impressive) size of the fish you may be catching while using this little chest. Beyond that, it doesn't boast much. No bottle opener or can holder, though it does come with a three-year manufacturer's warranty, which is a nice safety net just in case.

Measure your catch with the handy lid!
Measure your catch with the handy lid!
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The world of coolers is a vast and variable market, and the BMX 25 threads the needle in the middle. It offers above-average performance with a below-average price tag. If you're looking for a darn good cooler but don't need it to withstand being filled with fireworks, tossed off a cliff, or chewed on by a bear, we think the Igloo BMX is a quality performer and a great value.

Conclusion


The Igloo BMX 25 is a solid choice that combines performance and price. It performed impressively well in our insulation tests and is fairly durable and quite easy to use while being one of the most portable coolers we tested. Though its lack of an airtight seal and less-than-bomb-proof hinges aren't as impressive as the competition, its low cost and high versatility make this icebox a great value. For an everyday cooler whose price won't bring tears to your eyes or cause your jaw to hit the floor, check out this worthwhile model from Igloo.

The BMX 25 is a great size for an impromptu hangout on a warm day.
The BMX 25 is a great size for an impromptu hangout on a warm day.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg