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Best soft sided cooler?

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Old 12-05-2018, 05:35 PM
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Default Best soft sided cooler?

I’m looking for opinions on soft sided coolers. Purpose is twofold. 1 - keeping food cold on day trips or overnights on the boat. I only have one built-in cooler/fishbox on the boat so I need something separate for food. 2 - bringing fish filets/meat home from international trips on an airplane with dry ice.
Thus, important features for me are - no leaks, easily compressible/packable in a suitcase or in random hatches in the boat, and good insulation, especially for the limited amount of dry ice allowed on planes. Brand is not important. Really don’t wanna pay for a yeti, unless it is truly worth the money.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:40 PM
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Bought a polar bear. Lot cheaper and taken it on the maiden voyage to Cabo to bring back fish😎. They also have there 2 for 1 sale o

dont think any airplane plane will let ya bring dry ice on

Last edited by meritmat; 12-05-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:50 PM
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I like my Rtic.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:44 PM
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I have a couple AO coolers that are about 10 years old. The larger one we use all the time has been on the boat so much the fabric has faded compared to the other one......it still doesn't leak. (except for the top zipper if you set it down upside down). They now make them in carbon fiber if your interested.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:55 PM
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I have 2 RTIC coolers, a 30 & a 45. I use them all the time from ice storage, Costco Trips and beer coolers on my skiff.

I have zero complaints keep an eye out on social media for sales that they have. I have picked up both for significantly less than advertised during those times.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:32 PM
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Love my Rtic 30 soft side and has served me well for nearly two years. The only thing Yeti has going over it is the zipper, the pull on the yeti zipper is easier to grab but I can live with it for less than 1/2 the price of a comparable hopper.

We literally used mine for your exact intended purposes last week. The softside is perfect for holding sandwiches for the day on the boat for the crew...and loaded it with fish for a return flight home. Zipped up tight and got no complaints from airport staff. Use an ice pack instead of cube ice for this purpose.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:58 PM
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Icemule
https://icemulecoolers.com/collections/classic-coolers
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:08 AM
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Thanks guys, these are good suggestions.

And yes, you are allowed up to 5 lbs. of dry ice packed alongside perishables in a cooler. I’ve done it before, you just have to label the container “contains dry ice.”
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:53 AM
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I second the Polar Bear the model. The waterproof zipper and exteriorr is what I have. It's pricey tho.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Capt. Ahab View Post
Thanks guys, these are good suggestions.

And yes, you are allowed up to 5 lbs. of dry ice packed alongside perishables in a cooler. I’ve done it before, you just have to label the container “contains dry ice.”
yup, some airlines may charge a small fee due to the "extra" oxygen it requires from the dry ice.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:20 AM
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I use an RTIC 30 for everything you described.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:59 AM
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I have an Yeti 30 (the original style) and a RTIC 30.
I use the Yeti more, both have pros and cons.
The RTIC flip top is easier to get items in and out and put ice in.
The Yeti holds ice better, probably because less air enters when you open the zipper vs the flip lid of the RTIC.
Yeti is great for drinks but larger items like a gallon jug or food containers fit/stack better in the RTIC.

The main thing you mentioned in the original post was something packable that could go in a suitcase. I could probably get the yeti bag in a suitcase the RTIC is a suitcase.

Obviously, price goes to RTIC also available in many colors.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:25 AM
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Pelican is my pick. Has the larger zipper like the Yeti. The smaller ones don’t hold up too well over time IMO
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:35 PM
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I only have experience with the Yeti and we like it. If traveling with it I’d be sure it’s up to the task. Last think you want is your fish spoiling or leaking anything on a flight.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:06 PM
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Fortunately, there's no shortage of choices. The 24 can Norchill Boatbag has been working good for me. Probably a little more packable than some of the others, and far cheaper at less than $60.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:18 PM
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Rtic and yeti don’t fold. Polar bear does and it holds ice better than an AO I have.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:58 PM
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Best one = full of beer and ice.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:11 PM
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I’ve had 3 Polar Bears for years - 6, 12, and 48. Bought an RTIC 30 earlier this year. I prefer the Polar Bears.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:57 PM
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If you go the Polar Bear route, be sure not to let the dry ice touch the cooler interior directly. I made that mistake and the lining cracked and now water soaks into the insulation. I believe Polar Bear had some language on their site warning against doing it that I didn't read in time.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:37 AM
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For what its worth, RTIC has the 30 soft side on sale for $84 and the 40 for $102.
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