Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless Review
Cons: Not rugged, not spillproof, noticeably inexpensive
Manufacturer: Arctic Zone
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arctic Titan Zipperless is a large, messenger cooler with an over-the-shoulder carry strap. It features a removable internal shelf, 2 exterior insulated, zippered pockets, two exterior mesh pockets, and an attached bottle opener (that's difficult to use). It comes in many colors and several other sizes, both smaller and larger than the 30 can model we tested.
Constructed of fairly thin walls, the Titan actually does a decent job insulating its contents. In our rigorous testing, it held temperatures below 40ºF for 51 hours and lasted 53 hours below 50ºF, which is about average among models we tested. Though that's probably not amazing enough for your four-day weekend camping trip, it certainly works well enough for a long day at the beach or park.
To achieve this level of insulation without the 2 inch thick walls of some of its competitors, the Titan is made of SuperFoam insulation inside a polyester exterior and lined with a reflective barrier to help turn away radiant heat. The floor of the cooler is also thicker than the walls, to help insulate against the hot summer ground you're likely to set it on. Considering just how thin it is, we're actually rather impressed by its insulation performance. Though it comes in many colors, we tested the white one, which also helps partially dispel the heat from the sun. Beware though - this cooler lacks an airtight seal and will spill if tipped or sloshed.
Ease of Use
In general, the Titan functions about how you'd expect a flip-top cooler to work. It's straightforward and covered in features to help you carry everything you need for your day out and about. The total lack of zipper makes opening and closing it a breeze - unlike the tough, watertight zippers of so many others, that require two hands to operate. We tested the 30 can size.
Additionally, it has two zippered front pockets and two mesh pockets on the ends can hold dry items. Bringing a blanket to sit on? Attach it right to the top of the cooler with the bungee cord. The removable shelf inside can hold smaller snacks or things you'd rather not get soggy from floating around in melted ice.
However, all these features ride very nearly on the edge of being too flimsy or ill-thought-out to be useful. The side mesh pockets can easily snag, the zippers are uninspiring in their construction, and the velcro tab holding the lid closed isn't in quite the right location for the two sides to match well. The bungee on the lid is almost too loose to be all that helpful. The bottle opener clipped to one side has smooth edges that make it very difficult to actually open a bottle with. The removable shelf sits on a minuscule lip inside the cooler body and can easily be knocked off until its resting half in the ice. And the interior of the cooler itself is lined with curving ridges that are the shape of cans - but are too large for standard 12 oz cans and actually detract from the overall capacity and ease of packing this cooler.
Completely empty, the Titan weighs 3.4 lb, which is on the lighter side of the models we tested. We measured its capacity at 21 quarts (20 liters) and a maximum of 30 cans with no ice, just like it claims. Filled to the brim with those 30 cans, this cooler is less than pleasant to carry, as expected. But, it still works to transport your cooler and its contents wherever you're heading, just with less finesse than more expensive models.
Even without being totally full of heavy liquids, it's not our top choice for carrying around. Its overly boxy shape with a hard exterior and angular edges aren't particularly pleasant to have bumped against your side. The shoulder strap is too short to work well as a crossbody option for most people. The "cushion" threaded onto it also isn't squishy at all, but rather a textured, rubbery patch. It doesn't have any duffel handles either, though it does have small handles on the ends that are cushioned and pleasant (and easily tuck away into the end mesh pockets when not in use).
We didn't have anything break on the Titan during our several months of testing - just a few stains on the white exterior. However, we have reservations about its ability to withstand heavy use for years.
The internal removable plastic box is thin. And as that's the only part of the cooler keeping it from leaking ice water, we really would rather it not break. And in fact, we read online user reviews saying that's exactly what happened to their coolers - along with many other reports of ripped seams, broken handles, and busted zippers. In fact, the entirety of the Titan's construction doesn't leave us with much confidence that it will last through years of intense adventuring. Again, nothing actually broke during the testing of our model, but we're not convinced it will survive the test of time as well as other models we tester. We're actually pretty sure it won't, but then again, it's good enough and priced within more budgets than other models.
The Titan Zipperless is one of the least expensive coolers we tested. We're not blown away by its longevity and think its features could be a little better designed. However, it brings solid insulation and easy usability to the table for a price that most can swallow. Just don't expect it to be a daily driver that will last the years.
The Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Zipperless is about an average contender for insulation prowess and can certainly get the job done for a day in the sun. It's reasonably easy to use, though many features are more gimmicky than useful. It's not the most durable option, but it also is one of the least expensive, with a reasonable performance that makes it our Best Buy for a Tight Budget Award winner. It's a solid choice for single-day use - as long as you're not expecting it to be the last cooler you ever buy.
— Maggie Brandenburg