Top 5 Best Coolers for Elk Hunting in 2019
Why do you need a the best cooler for elk hunting? Won’t a regular cooler work just fine?
There are a few good reasons to take a special cooler for this big game hunting trip. You’ll be in the woods, sometimes for days at a time. You’ll probably do some off-roading and trekking once you’ve shot and tracked your game. You’ll be surrounded by other wild animals, bear or sometimes wolves.
Elk hunting coolers are specially insulated to keep items cold for anywhere from two days up to a week They can be tied down in the bed of a pickup truck or on the roof of your car Ideally, they will also be designed and certified to be bear-resistant, which is often required when you are hunting in bear habitats. Finally, they’re larger than a regular cooler, which makes transporting your game meat that much simpler.
Best Coolers for Elk Hunting: Our Top Picks
Orion coolers come in several sizes with bright, energetic colors. They are some of the most highly-rated cooler brands on the market, featuring 2″ thick molded plastic walls, an oversized rubber seal for optimum cold retention, rubber camming latches to keep the seal without snagging during loading and unloading, and a host of custom features. It’s also certified Bear Resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.
According to the manufacturer website, the Orion 85-quart cooler offers, “over a week of food storage.” Reviews have found this to be true; ice lasts in the cooler for more than a week.. Orion also has built-in tie down points on each corner that double as bottle openers, with additional ones on either side. t also sports a 10-year warranty- one of the longest available in the marketplace.
The Orion 85 has all great reviews on Amazon, but does have one downside: the price tag. Orion isn’t giving away these features and functions. The cost of their cooler rivals all the other top-quality coolers on the market.
Overall, if you can manage the cost, the quality of the Orion 85 cooler is top-of-the-line. Customers are satisfied and use it without fear of their game spoiling during transport. It’s worth the price, and our Top Pick for reliability and value.
- 1 week+ of ice retention
- 10-year warranty
- Lots of great features
- Certified Bear Resistant
- Made in the USA
The Seavilis 75-quart cooler offers great functionality, awesome standard features, and an affordable price-tag. With roto-molded plastic, rubber camming latches that don’t snag when you load and unload, a pair of bottle openers and a freezer-style rubber seal, this cooler will give you more bang for less buck.
This coolerclaims a week or more of ice retention, and can keep cold for up to ten days. With five options for color and tons of accessories, the Seavilis garners similar reviews to more expensive brands.
Although it’s affordable , some customers have questioned whether the Seavilis offers enough quality. It sometimes arrives minor defects such as a broken drain plug, and customers complained of trouble contacting the manufacturer to return or replace the product. Also, this cooler is not certified Bear Resistant, and a few customers have complained that it does not keep ice for more than a couple of days.
Overall, the Seavilis is a great budget option. It has a 4.5-star rating and offers many of the same features as more expensive cooler. But properly, it can keep food cold for a week or more.
- 1 week+ of ice retention
- Vacuum seal
- 18-month warranty
- Not certified Bear Resistant
- Difficult to contact company
- Made in China
Like other Orion coolers, the Orion 65 offers great custom features.With built-in bottle openers, a padded top, a freezer-style rubber seal, and gear track mounts on either end for additional customization, this cooler is simply a smaller version of our favorite Orion 85.
Certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for food storage in National Park bear habitats, Orion coolers offer heavy-duty protection from the most common food storage issues, whether that’s bears, heat, or a ride on top of your car. Customer reviews are universally good, citing durability, ideal food temperatures, and functionality as selling points.
Again, with this Orion cooler, the downside is the price. If you are looking for a cheap-but-functional option, this cooler is not for you. Although it is somewhat less expensive than the Orion 85, it is also 20 quarts smaller and may not be large enough to store the field-dressed, quartered elk.
Overall, the Orion 65 is a good option for extended trips, including but not limited to elk hunts. You won’t have to worry about keeping food cold even without refreshing the ice – if you can afford it.
- 1-week Ice Retention
- Bear Resistant Certified
- Great custom features
- Smaller size
The Coleman Xtreme 70-quart cooler claims a price-point by a well-known brand. With built-in cupholders and a simple exterior, it gets up to 5 days of ice retention all the way up to 90-degree temperatures. The large size enables you to store more all together in one place.
This cooler comes with a high star ranking on Amazon. Customer reviews love that it keeps ice for up to three days in the shade. Even when the ice melts, it can keep drinks cool for almost four days in full sun. The roomy handles make it easy to carry – even when it weighs 50 lbs or more fully-loaded.
With all that said, it just doesn’t boast the quality of other, higher-end coolers. The plastic hinges break easily, and several customers have reported broken handles and warped lids.
Overall, if you’re just looking for a cooler to transport your elk from a few hours away, the Coleman will do well.. If you’re willing to make regular stops to fill up on ice, it’t will work great – just , maybe not for wilderness treks.
- Affordable price point
- Keeps cold for 2-4 days
- Easy-carry handles
- Built-in cupholders
- Flimsy hinges
- Difficult to open
- Lid warps easily
The Driftsun 75-quart ice chest is another semi-affordable roto-molded cooler. Sporting five color options and a one-year warranty, this cooler keeps food and ice cold for up to a week. The non-slip feet and rubber gasket seal with a pressure release valve work together to provide a non-slip, airtight environment..
Although it isn’t from a well-known brand, the Driftsun ice chest gets great reviews from campers, picnickers, road-trippers, and hunters alike. Most customers found ice stayed frozen for 3 days or longer with some reporting a full week. The latches are easy to use and shut tightly.
A few people found issues with the seal or leaking. And contacting the manufacturer can be prove time-consuming. It also doesn’t come with as many features as other similar products.
Overall, the Driftsun is a good, reliable cooler for your hunting trip, able to keep your food cold for an extended period of time.
- Up to 1-week ice retention
- Super Durable
- 3” insulated walls
- Difficult to contact manufacturer
- Complaints of faulty seal
How To Use Coolers for Elk Hunting and Meat Transportation
To experience optimum ice retention, most manufacturers recommend pre-cooling your cooler the night before you load it, then filling it with fresh ice the next day when packing for your trip, making sure that all extra space is packed with foam blocks or other fillers. Once you shoot and field-dress your elk, you should cool it down as much as possible. This can be done by hanging it overnight or by packing it onto extra ice for a few hours before storing it in the cooler. This brings the core temperature of the meat down and prevents it from spoiling by contact with its own heat inside the cooler.
If you are looking for a high-quality cooler, the Orion 85 is definitely one of the best coolers for elk hunting. They stay cold for a long period of time, are extremely durable, and versatile.
We highly recommend it!