- Paul Kahan
K2 Cooler Review is a self-contained, air-cooled insulated picnic cooler with a modern two-tone design and enough room for drinks and food. The top-quality build of the Yeti is made with premium coolers materials and includes an integrated drain, so water doesn’t puddle up inside the cooler.
The K2 is easy to transport with the optional carry handle, whether you are at work or on vacation. Whether working on a construction site or a job, the K2 is a great companion for your toolbox. It fits into most drawers or cabinets, and it does not take up much space.
What To Look For In A Cooler
Before we dive into the K2 review, it is essential to discuss what to look for in a premium cooler.
Your specific needs will vary depending on your situation, but there are some things you should be aware of. These are the criteria I use to evaluate brands (see my Yeti vs. K2 article) and determine how well a cooler is.
Price – This is the first thing that I look at when choosing a cooler. People want the best coolers for their money, so the price is essential. Are K2 coolers cheaper than other models or more expensive?
Ice retention – High-end coolers can keep ice chests for up to 5-7 days, compared to the average cooler’s 1-2 days. It is essential to select a cooler with maximum ice retention abilities.
Durability and Warranty – You want your cooler to last a lifetime. We will examine common problems and determine how durable the cooler is.
Customer Satisfaction – Many minor problems or issues can be brought to the surface through reading customer reviews.
Features – These include everything from latches and handles to the color options and whether the cooler is bearproof.
Accessories – Accessories add functionality to your cooler. We will compare the prices of different models and the available accessories.
K2 Pricing Review
Let’s begin by comparing the pricing of K2 with similar coolers.
There are more than ten brands of rotomoulded coolers, with new products being introduced every year. Yeti, Engel, Siberian, and K2 Coleman Xtreme are the leading brands. There are also new options for Orca, Grizzly Yukon, Canyon, Sportsman, and Siberian every year. While there are some lesser-known brands, this list includes all of the major brands in rotomolded coolers.
Below is a chart that lists the prices for these coolers. The most common size is the 30–50 Quart. Check out my Ultimate Comparator Guide for complete pricing information on each model.
- K2 30 – $249
- Siberian Outback 30 – $219
- Pelican 30 – $299.95
- Canyon 35 – $239.99
- Engel 35 – $269.99
- Yeti 45 – $349.00
- Igloo Sportsman40 – $219.99
- Orca 40 – $349
- Grizzly 40 – $339.99
The K2 falls in the middle of the pricing range, as you can see. Although it isn’t the most affordable roto-molded cooler, it is also not the most expensive.
A K2 will save you around $100 over the Yeti brand, but it will cost you $30 more than the Siberian Outback.
The coolers are similar in price, but the K2 is cheaper. It doesn’t feel too expensive to me. While I wouldn’t say I like to spend too much on coolers, I prefer not to overpay for them.
The K2 feels relatively the most affordable coolers compared with several other models and offers substantial savings compared with coolers from big brands like Yeti and Grizzly.
The K2 coolers are all made of a minimum of 1/8 inch of stabilized polyethylene for the inner and outer walls of the cooler, which end up as a ¼ inch extremely durable plastic. The material is the same one used to make kayaks and walls for hockey rinks and is incredibly strong puncture and impact resistant.
You want to ensure that the cooler, such as the K2, can keep ice for a long time before you buy it.
An ice test is the best way to determine this. You can compare the cooler to other or regular coolers and see which one wins.
Several ice tests are available for the K2, and I am pleased to report that they get excellent results.
It is not the most efficient at keeping ice, but it is comparable to some of the top coolers available.
ACCORDING TO TESTS, the K2 50 outperforms the Yeti 45 and Pelican 45, Grizzly 40, and Igloo Sportsman40, according to tests.
It was outlasted by the Engel 50 by 1/4 of an hour and the Orca58 by less than 24hrs.
All this is to say that the K2 has outperformed many other brands on ice and holds its own against them in all ice tests.
You will get incredible ice retention if you choose the K2.
Durability and warranty
It is beautiful in construction. This cooler is roto-molded from the same plastic used to make kayaks. It can withstand high-impact hits and will not crack.
It can be thrown around, jumped on it, dropped, and even pulled behind your quad-bike for up to half an hour if you want.
The K2 is made to last. You can rest assured that this cooler will last.
K2 Summit Series comes with a seven-year warranty. Although this is better than the Yeti’s 5-Year warranty, it’s not as good as other brands like Canyon, Orca, and Pelican, which offer lifetime warranties for coolers.
It is absurd to offer a lifetime warranty for a cooler. And 40 years later, it might not be easy to redeem your warranty.
The K2 Summit 20 comes with padded shoulder straps whereas Roadie comes with a handle. Personally, we like the padded shoulder strap over the handle. Carrying the cooler via the handle when the cooler is loaded can become cumbersome. You’ll also notice the latching system of each cooler is slightly different.
Overall, I believe a 7-year warranty is fair and more than necessary considering the price.
K2 Summit Series comes packed with tons of great features that you will love.
Pull-up latches: The K2 uses rubber latches just like other models but has pulled-up rather than pull-down latches. It is an unusual way to seal the lid, and I am still unsure how I feel about this.
It’s not that important. They are simple to use and do the job well.
Commercial Grade Gasket – The K2 retains ice-cold air and keeps warm air out by using a commercial-grade rubber gasket as the lid.
This is what allows the K2 to excel in ice tests compared to regular coolers. Regular coolers don’t have an ICE vault lid gasket, so more airflow inside the cooler melts the ice faster.
2+ Inches Insulation – The K2 comes with pressure foam insulation that keeps the more relaxed cool and acts as insulation.
The K2 has walls 1.5-2 inches thick with a thicker lid. This ensures great ice retention.
Although it’s not the thickest insulation available, it is perfect and performs well.
K2 coolers don’t skimp in this regard, and the lid closes firmly and snugly keeping everything real cold and giving you maximum ice retention.
Non-Slip Rubber Foot – All K2 coolers come with non-slip rubber feet. This will prevent your cooler from sliding around in your truck or taking a corner too fast. It also makes the more relaxed ideal for casting off on your boat.
Your cooler won’t slide around. These non-slip feet work.
Slippery feet can be purchased separately. They are straightforward to put in.
Single Pin Hinged – The hinges on cheaper coolers are the most likely to fail. The hinges can rust and become old due to overuse, sunlight, or simply because the plastic has broken down.
The K2 has a single stainless-steel pin connecting the cooler’s base to its lid. Your hinge will last as long as the cooler because of its strength.
An integrated hinge system is molded into the cooler and connected with a metal rod to keep the lid permanently attached to the rest. Pretty solid, no doubt about it.
Drain Plug – The drain plug on K2 coolers can drain the cooler with a partial turn. This allows you to drain your cooler quickly and without worrying about where your drain plug is.
If you need to drain your cooler quicker, you can pull out the entire drain plug.
Rope Handles-The K2 comes with nylon rope handles that are similar to the Yeti. The K2 has a molded grip made of plastic with finger molds.
I prefer a rubber grip because I can hold it wherever I want and not place my fingers in any particular spot. However, the K2 grips are fine, and they’re not worth complaining about.
Integrated Handles- The K2’s integrated handles are molded into the main cooler. This is a great feature that I love and makes it much easier to transport the cooler when I’m alone.
Rope handles can sway slightly when you walk, and integrated handles make it easier to carry my cooler.
Anchor Points – The K2 comes with two anchor points that can be used to secure the cooler in place inside your vehicle or truck. This will prevent it from moving around. These anchor points can also be used to attach accessories, which we’ll talk about in a moment.
When reviewing coolers, the last thing I want to see is what accessories they offer that allows me to personalize my cooler.
The K2 isn’t the most expensive, but they have decent accessories at a fair price (maybe a little too high),
A stainless steel bottle opener costs $25, while a seat costs $100. You can also find tie-down kits and padlocks.
It’s an excellent accessory range that lets you customize your cooler to your liking.
Their SUREgrip rubber feet are another trademarked design. They serve two purposes. They are excellent at making non-slip contact on surfaces. They won’t slide around if they are in the truck/boat with your K2 coolers. They grip well, which can be annoying.
The rubber feet also lift the cooler from the ground. This ensures that the heat from the surface or ground doesn’t heat the cooler, which allows for better exceptional ice retention. These feet are made of a more solid material than the gaskets and latches.
This speaks volumes about the quality of these units. Although it is easy to make simple components such as these with materials, they have on hand. This material is far superior. It is excellent and prevents the cooler’s sliding on hard or slick surfaces.
“Torrent” Drain Plug
The drain is another essential element. The drain is another essential addition. Ice that has been sitting in standing water melts faster than ice that has been dried. The drain plug is large and fed by multiple channels built into the cooler’s base.
The drain plug is very large and is fed by several channels embedded into the base of the cooler. This allows the water to drain out very effectively, which is one of the stand-out features when compared with cheaper options.
The best part is that you can start draining with just a partial turn of the spout, so you don’t have to remove it completely. A partial turn is all you need.
It’s essential to review the experiences of existing customers when reviewing coolers. These reviews can reveal flaws you didn’t know about or help you choose the proper buying method.
Here are the key takeaways from reading over 100 reviews about multiple models.
Only two reviews were critical. One person’s cooler had a broken handle, and another one had marks and scratches.
Ice retention was the main complaint about this cooler. The 20-Quart size was the most problematic in terms of ice retention. It appears that you can only keep ice for three days in the smaller cooler. However, the larger sizes seem to have fewer complaints.
There are many ways to keep your cooler for longer. It’s not clear if these reviewers are using the cooler in a way that will maximize ice retention.
Some people claimed that a $30 standard cooler would keep ice longer, but every ice test I have seen or done tells me the opposite.
Overall, the K2 range received a solid 4-4.5 rating (ratings vary depending on size), with most customers enjoying their coolers and very few flaws that I could find.
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Where are K2 coolers manufactured?
Their Summit Series coolers are made in Thailand, despite being designed in the USA.
Are K2 coolers bear-proof?
The K2 and the Yeti are both bear-resistant when secured with padlocks. You don’t want a bear wandering through your campsite, getting into your cooler, and then handing it around.
What is the giant Coleman?
The Coleman 200-Quart Xtreme 7 Day Offshore Pro Series Marine will keep you fueled up and refreshed on the water. This large cooler, 200-quart, is ideal for long fishing or boating trips. It has a capacity of 325 cans and plenty of space for food and beverages.
What’s the best-rotomolded cooler?
Our Top Picks
- Best overall. YETI Tundra 65.
- The Best Value for Money AmazonCommercial Rotomolded
- Largest capacity. Pelican Elite 70 Quart.
- Best Insulated RTIC Hard Cooler.
- Best small-capacity. YETI Roadie 24.
K2 coolers were not hard to purchase in 2019. On the contrary, they are gaining in popularity in North America with brands like Igloo and Coleman. It is up to you to determine the best K2 for your needs by carefully reading reviews like this one!
The K2 can be found at Walmart, Target, Costco, Cabela’s, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, and The Home Depot. Retail prices currently sit around $59.99 for the K2 and $69.99 for the K2 EVO. For more information on the new line of products, visit publicananker.com.
Last update on 2022-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API