Igloo Mission 50 Review
Cons: Doesn't seal, not our favorite drain, flimsy hinges, just okay insulation
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Igloo Mission 50
|Price||$140 List||Check Price on REI|
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|$339.99 at Amazon||$279.99 at Amazon||$250 List|
|Pros||Easy to open, lightweight, convenient size and capacity, attached bottle openers, lower price||Excellent insulation, super durable, easy to use, great size||Excellent insulation, great drainage, durable, compact design||Pretty good insulation, convenient size, comparatively lightweight, good price||Very durable, good insulation, comfortable handle grips|
|Cons||Doesn't seal, not our favorite drain, flimsy hinges, just okay insulation||Expensive, no leash for plug, smaller than claimed||Tall narrow shape is hard to dig through, expensive, not our favorite handles||Handles uncomfortable, not our favorite latches||A bit large for one person, no leash for plug, latches are scarily stretchy|
|Bottom Line||This mid-sized option is conveniently shaped and easy to use, with useful features, but underwhelming insulation||For the toughest, best insulated, and highest all-around performing cooler; the Tundra is where it’s at||Top-notch insulation in a long-lasting, compact design||A less expensive option that still performs well in the face of some stiff competition||Great, long-lasting performance in a premium and functional cooler|
|Rating Categories||Igloo Mission 50||Yeti Tundra 65||ORCA 58 Quart||Engel 65||RTIC 65|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Igloo Mission 50||Yeti Tundra 65||ORCA 58 Quart||Engel 65||RTIC 65|
|Shelf Life of Food (Measured Days Below 40ºF)||2.3 days||6.5 days||6.5 days||5.6 days||6 days|
|Weight (lbs)||15.8 lb||31.9 lb||30.6 lb||25.5 lb||34.9 lb|
|Measured Capacity (quarts)||48 qt||56 qt||56 qt||54 qt||67 qt|
|Advertised Capacity (quarts)||50 qt||65 qt||58 qt||65 qt||65 qt|
|Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50º F)||2.8 days||7.4 days||7.3 days||6 days||6.8 days|
|Internal Maximum Body Height (inches)||12"||10.5"||13"||10.75"||12"|
|Does it Fit a Wine or 2L Bottle Standing Upright?||Yes - indented lid||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H)||28" x 14.75" x 15"||30.75" x 17.5" x 16"||26.75" x 20" x 19.4"||29.5" x 17" x 16.6"||32" x 18.5" x 17"|
|Construction||blow-molded plastic (non-rotomolded)||Rotomolded polyethylene||Rotomolded||Rotomolded||Rotomolded|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Igloo Mission 50 is a blow-molded model with a single set of plastic handles and an indented lid that accommodates items up to 12 inches tall, including standard bottles of wine and 2L soda. It features a fish ruler on the lid, two bottle openers by the handles, tie-down slots on the sides and indents on the lid, and plug leashes for both sized drain plugs.
Though advertised with the vague claim of "keep[ing] your [items] cold for up to 4 days", the Igloo Mission 50 maintained food-safe temperatures of below 40°F for just 2.3 days. It managed 2.8 days of refreshing beverage temperatures (below 50°F). This may be enough to get you through a weekend camping trip but is far below the performance of most other coolers its size — and even lower than some coolers much smaller. It has a narrow rubber seal around the lid, though it doesn't seem to seal out warm air temperatures much from what we observed during testing.
When pitted next to thick, rugged rotomolded models, this blow-molded cooler seems fairly insubstantial. It readily squishes when heavy items are placed on top of it. The hinges are made of relatively thin plastic, screwed into the body of the cooler, and they creak noisily when overextended. The rubber gasket that interacts with this cooler's lid doesn't create a waterproof seal, either. The drain is a separately manufactured plastic component that's been set into the plastic wall of the cooler. Though it didn't leak during our testing, we worry that a few hard knocks could lead to longevity issues down the road.
Ease of Use
Comparing similarly sized chests, the Igloo Mission 50 has more available volume within for its external dimensions — an attribute we truly appreciate. Its metal latches are simple to use and the plastic handles stay where you put them — up and ready or down and out of the way — though it lacks a set of indented handles under the lid that most other similarly-sized coolers now include. An indented lid bottom easily accommodates standard 12" tall bottles of wine and 2 liters of soda. Two separate, but connected, drain caps allow for slow or quick drainage of your meltwater. For some reason though, the drain opening is raised above the V-shaped drainage channel, leaving a good bit of water still in your cooler when draining on flat ground.
Weighing just under 16 pounds, this nearly 48-quart cooler is far lighter for its size than most others we tested. The firm, plastic handles are less comfortable to use than many others, but not uncomfortable, particularly over shorter distances. Their biggest detriment is that you have to use them (as opposed to conveniently indented handles hiding under the lid — the Mission 50 doesn't have them), which lowers the body of the cooler and leads to annoying contact with your legs while carrying this model.
The Mission 50 has a fair few features it comes with, including a fish ruler, leashes on the drain plugs, tie-down slots, and two functional bottle openers by the handles. However, it lacks more useful features we appreciate about its numerous competitors, including rubber feet and a dry goods basket.
Though we've tested other Igloo coolers that we think are well worth the cash, the Mission 50 is the wrong combination of sub-par insulation, so-so features, and price. There are other coolers we've tested that cost less and perform just as well — often better — that are far more worth the investment. If priced significantly lower, this model would have more appeal to our team of testers and editors.
Though promising at first glance, the Igloo Mission 50 just isn't able to keep up with the competition when it comes to insulation. We like how lightweight and easy to use it is, but even with the added bottle openers, fish ruler, and tie-down slots, we just don't know that this mid-sized cooler is worth its mid-sized price.
— Maggie Brandenburg