Igloo IMX 70qt Review
Cons: Bulky for its internal capacity, doesn't seal, poor drain design
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Igloo IMX 70qt is a non-rotomolded model with dual handles and an indented lid that allows for a standing 12-inch wine bottle. It features anti-skid feet, a lockable lid, wire basket, stainless steel bottle opener, integrated fish ruler, tie-down loops, drain plug leash, and four cup holders in the lid. Despite its advertised volume, we measured the internal volume to be only 54 quarts.
Though Igloo claims this cooler can hold ice for 7 days under controlled conditions, during our insulation test, it managed to maintain sub-40°F temperatures for 4.8 days. Though not nearly as impressive as some of the stiff competition, it's still a respectable length of time that we think makes it competitive. This cooling capacity is likely lowered by the box's lack of an airtight seal, as the gasket is sloppy and doesn't totally seal the contents.
Initially, this beefy cooler seems impressive in its durability. However, upon further inspection, it leaves something to be desired. The hinge isn't integrated into the construction of the cooler in the way that so many competitors' are. It creaks and strains ominously with little pressure on overextension and you can watch the color of the plastic lighten as you push. The rubber T-grip latches are another area of concern. Appearing standard at first glance, they are exceptionally loose and flexible, which detracts from the security of the lid and makes us uneasy about its ability to withstand years of abuse. We also found several other user reports of those latches stretching out over time.
Ease of Use
While we don't have a lot of faith in the rubber grips, their excessive stretch and looseness do make them easy to maneuver with one hand. The lid, in addition to its four cup holders and integrated fishing ruler, is both slippery smooth and divided by significant "topography", all of which make it not an ideal seat or table. The internal shape is long and low, making it easy to find what you're looking for even when the chest is totally full. A large internal basket with fairly tightly woven wires adds to the organizational prowess of this box.
However, the drain is one of the worst ones of any model we tested. Not only is the hole much smaller than the competition, but the drain itself is also a separate piece that extends an extra inch inside the body of the cooler. When left on a level surface to drain, this poor design (rendering the drainage channel essentially useless), leaves about 1/4 inch of meltwater at the bottom of the cooler. Maybe not a huge deal, but other coolers execute drainage better.
Weighing 27.4 pounds, the Igloo IMX is on the lighter side of average weight for coolers we tested of similar size. However, what makes this beast far less pleasant to carry than heavier models is its bulk and dimensions. Exceptionally thick walls turn this ice chest into a 32-inch long trunk that's impressively uncomfortable for one person to carry. Additionally, the cable handles for two-person carry are exactly the wrong length, letting your knuckles smash up against the lid while you carry it. And its odd shape (in addition to that bulk) makes it more difficult to fit into your car when heading out of town for the weekend.
The IMX has a LOT of features, though not all of them are necessarily the most useful. Anti-skid feet and tie-down loops are fairly standard among similar cooler models, and this model is no outlier here. The IMX also comes with a handy wire basket for dry storage and a wire drain leash.
The bottle opener does work, though isn't the most impressive one we tested, and the four cup holder in the lid are of mixed value since you can't open the cooler when they are filled. The fish ruler is great if you're a fishing lover - though the cooler is again, so bulky that it isn't our first choice for fitting on a boat with limited space. And the lid does lock, though the plastic pieces that give it this ability are quite thin and unimpressive. It does also come with a 5-year manufacturer warranty against normal use, which we appreciate. So while it is chalked full of features, depending on your lifestyle, they may be of great or little value to you.
Though it looks as husky as its price tag, which is significantly lower than most other high-end models, we're not sure this cooler is worth the cash. Its awkward girth and questionably useful features, matched with a performance that just isn't inspiring and a price tag that isn't low enough to be a high value. If you're in love with its features - and maybe find this model on sale - it might be a reasonable value for your life, but it's not jumping off the shelves at us.
The Igloo IMX 70qt is an oversized cooler with an underwhelming performance. Though it offers decent insulation and a plethora of features some may find useful, it's rather lacking when it comes to durability and a design that maximizes capacity-to-size ratio. Unless you're head-over-heels for this ice chest's specific array of features, we aren't sure it's worth it.
— Maggie Brandenburg