The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

OtterBox Venture 65 Review

A solid cooler in an oddly shaped package.
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Price:  $350 List | $279.99 at Amazon
Pros:  User-friendly latches, large capacity, decent insulation, durable walls
Cons:  Hinge not most durable, awkward shape, expensive
Manufacturer:   OtterBox
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 9, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 12
  • Insulation - 50% 6
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Portability - 10% 3
  • Features - 5% 5

Our Verdict

The OtterBox Venture is a decent performing cooler with easy to use latches and sturdy design. It's the only non-rotomolded cooler we tested that's also rated grizzly-resistant by the IGBC. We found its handles to be comfortable but awkward in shape, and its hinge to be more gracile than we expected, but we appreciated its solid dry storage tray. We think there are higher performing coolers out there, but if you're a fan of the OtterBox shape, it may just be your cup of tea.

Not impressed by the mediocre scores of the OtterBox? You might consider the RTIC instead for more impressive performance with the same high capacity as the OtterBox. Are you looking for something more portable? Consider a wheeled cooler! The RovR RollR is a pretty solid cooler with amazingly useful wheels, earning it our Top Pick for a Wheeled Cooler.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $279.99 at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$330.93 at Amazon$308 List$399.00 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros User-friendly latches, large capacity, decent insulation, durable wallsExcellent insulation, super durable, easy to use, great sizeExcellent insulation, great drainage, durable, compact designVery durable, less expensive than competitors, good insulation, comfortable handle gripsThe best wheels, very durable, comfortable to pull, useful accessories
Cons Hinge not most durable, awkward shape, expensiveExpensive, no leash for plug, smaller than claimedTall narrow shape is hard to dig through, expensive, not our favorite handlesA bit large for one person, no leash for plug, latches are scarily stretchyNot amazing insulation, awkward latches, expensive, on the heavy side
Bottom Line A solid cooler in an oddly shaped package.If you want the best insulation and the longest lasting cooler, look no further than this simple yet effective model.Excellent insulation in a compact, durable cooler.A high-performing and durable cooler that’s a bit softer on the wallet.A wheeled cooler that is even more handy than you’d imagine.
Rating Categories OtterBox Venture 65 Yeti Tundra 65 ORCA 58 Quart RTIC 65 RovR RollR 60
Insulation (50%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
Durability (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
8
Portability (10%)
10
0
3
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
9
Features (5%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
9
Specs OtterBox Venture 65 Yeti Tundra 65 ORCA 58 Quart RTIC 65 RovR RollR 60
Shelf Life of Food (Measured Days Below 40ºF) 5 days 6.5 days 6.5 days 6 days 4.7 days
Weight (lbs) 34.1 lb 31.9 lb 30.6 lb 34.9 lb 40.5 lb
Measured Capacity (quarts) 66 qt 56 qt 56 qt 67 qt 60 qt
Advertised Capacity (quarts) 65 qt 65 qt 58 qt 65 qt 60 qt
Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50º F) 5.8 days 7.4 days 7.3 days 6.8 days 5.3 days
Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H) 40.5" x 18.75" x 18.75" 30.75" x 17.5" x 16" 26.75" x 20" x 19.4" 32" x 18.5" x 17" 25.9"/40.25" x 20.75" x 20"
Construction Polypropylene shell, polyurethane insulation Rotomolded polyethylene Rotomolded Rotomolded Rotomolded

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Though it may be a bit large for a jam-packed road trip  the OtterBox fits just fine in the spacious outdoors.
Though it may be a bit large for a jam-packed road trip, the OtterBox fits just fine in the spacious outdoors.

Insulation


In our rigorous insulation testing, the OtterBox proved itself to be an above average 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 beat the rotomolded Rovr RollR.

A pretty good insulatory value for a non-rotomolded cooler.
A pretty good insulatory value for a non-rotomolded cooler.

Durability


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 coolers with integrated hinges like the Yeti Tundra, RTIC or Orca. While we weren't blown out of the water by the durability of the OtterBox, we found it to be more than adequate.

We have no worries about the durability of these thick beefy handles  but when packing up a car  we which the Otterbox had handles that don't protrude out like this.
We have no worries about the durability of these thick beefy handles, but when packing up a car, we which the Otterbox had handles that don't protrude out like this.

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.

The uniqe camming latches of the OtterBox were among our testers' favorites.
The uniqe camming latches of the OtterBox were among our testers' favorites.

Portability


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 found these thick, ergonomic handles to be a conducive size and shape for carrying their rigidity and smoothness don't make for the most comfortable carry with sweaty summer hands. Their immobile stature sticking straight out from the sides of this already giant cooler make 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. We also found it to be so long that, unless it was completely empty, we needed a second person to move this cooler around.

Such a wide cooler basically requires two people to carry it - especially if it's fully loaded.
Such a wide cooler basically requires two people to carry it - especially if it's fully loaded.

Features


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.

The OtterBox is one of a handful of models we tested that come with a dry bin.
The OtterBox is one of a handful of models we tested that come with a dry bin.

Best Applications


If you're not planning to spend a lot of time carrying around your new cooler, we think the OtterBox is one of the most user-friendly designs we tested. It brings a pretty decent performance to the table against some tough competition. If that sounds like your kind of cooler, the OtterBox Venture may be for you. If you're after more impressive performance, consider the Yeti Tundra, our Editors' Choice Award winner. A more portable cooler? Perhaps the wheeled, Rovr RollR, is your cup of tea.

For a stationary cooler  the OtterBox isn't a bad choice.
For a stationary cooler, the OtterBox isn't a bad choice.

Value


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 didn'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.

Conclusion


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 didn'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.

Relax with your sturdy OtterBox Venture.
Relax with your sturdy OtterBox Venture.


Maggie Brandenburg