OtterBox Venture 65 Review
Cons: Hinge not most durable, awkward shape, expensive
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
In our rigorous insulation testing, the OtterBox proved itself to be a solid competitor. It maintained FDA recommended safe food temperatures of less than 40º F for a full five days. Furthermore, it kept temperatures below 50º F, the average ideal temperature for most types of beer, for 5.8 days - also an above-average performance. This is even more impressive considering it's the only non-rotomolded cooler we tested to achieve above-average scores and even beating some of the rotomolded chests.
Boasting a shiny silver IGBC grizzly-resistant rating, like several other coolers we tested, the OtterBox is a pretty durable cooler. It has some of the thickest walls of any model in our review and large immobile handles that double as tie-downs. A rubber gasket makes this icebox airtight and leakproof. Our 225 lb tester had no worries or issues bouncing up and down on top of this chest - not that we'd recommend doing the same, for safety's sake. Though we had absolutely no issues with the hinge, despite all our yanking and shoving, it is a much thinner design than seen in many of the coolers we tested with integrated hinges. While we aren't blown out of the water by the durability of the OtterBox, we find it to be more than adequate.
Ease of Use
Another area in which the OtterBox performs well. Our favorite feature is the unique latches. Among coolers we tested, it's the only one with the latches attached to the body of the cooler rather than the lid, which means there are no dangling pieces while you root around for the last Diet Squirt. These latches are also surprisingly simple to use and require much less muscle power than we had to use on the numerous rubber T-grips sported by other models. Our biggest usability complaint is that the inside of the drain is rimmed with a comparatively wide ledge, preventing those last trickles of water from draining as easily.
Weighing in at 34.1 lb with a measured 66-quart capacity, the Otterbox falls into the middle ground among models we tested. Surprisingly though, it's .much larger than its competitors - and not just because of its outstretched handles. While we think these thick, ergonomic handles are a conducive size and shape for carrying, their rigidity and smoothness don't make for the most comfortable experience with sweaty summer hands. Their immobile stance, sticking straight out from the sides of this already giant cooler, makes the overall package a rather cumbersome, awkward shape for anyone trying to pack this cooler along with a weekend-worth of other gear into a standard-sized vehicle. It's also so long that, unless it's completely empty, we need a second person to move this cooler around.
The OtterBox includes a simple plastic leash that prevents you from losing the drain plug - a useful feature for just about anyone. This cooler is also dry ice compatible - the only non-rotomolded cooler we tested rated as such - helping to extend the cold time of this big beefy box. It also features handy, non-slip feet and can be cleaned with a pressure washer after those particularly messy adventures.
About the same cost as some of the top-scoring contenders in our review, the OtterBox doesn't blow us away with its overwhelming value. However, it does bring some attributes to the table that we don't find in its competitors, with a unique shape and some very user-friendly latches. If these features are right up your alley, then you may find this cooler to be worth it for your life.
The most impressive non-rotomolded cooler we tested, the OtterBox Venture stands out from the crowd with its long, rounded shape, immobile handles, and convenient latches. Though it doesn't top any of our scored metrics, it's a pretty decent all-around cooler - as long as you don't have to carry it too far.
— Maggie Brandenburg