nICE cooler review that is popular these days, but what is the best one to buy? We all want something durable and reliable at a price that won’t break the bank.
The first thing to consider when buying a nice cooler is the size. Nice coolers generally come in two sizes: one for four bottles of beer and one for six bottles.
Both sizes fit in an SUV, and both can be used in the back of a pickup truck bed, for example. The size of your vehicle will influence how many ice packs you need and how many freezer bags you will need to use in your nice cooler review.
NICE cooler sells a variety of hard-sided coolers, as well as can holders and several sizes of tumblers. One thing to note is that nICE cooler does not currently sell soft-sided coolers. We were a little surprised by this as soft-sided coolers are becoming more popular and more companies are making them.
However, nICE has some products that stand out above the rest in their Cannon coolers and thermal foam container coolers. These coolers don’t fit the standard coolers we tested, but we were able to ice test a thermal foam cooler and will share our thoughts below.
nICE Hard-Sided Coolers
There are three sizes of nICE hard-sided coolers: nICE 20, seafoam green 45, and 75. We also received an “nICE 22,” a larger version of nICE 20, with a few differences in design, including a different handle and built-in ruler bottle openers on all the latches.
It has a slightly larger storage capacity. We don’t believe this new cooler is available for purchase on nICE’s website. The performance aspects of the nICE cooler are very similar to the nICE 20, so we combined them into this article.
These sizes (20, 45, and 75) fit comfortably into our small, medium, and large categories. These sites are top-rated and should be sufficient to meet most people’s requirements. It is, therefore, no surprise that nICE based their entire collection on them.
There aren’t many options for large sizes (100+ quarts) or personal sizes (16-quarts or more miniature), but we have found that most people who want those sizes are scarce.
The smallest size, nICE 20, has an overhead padded carry handle. Larger sizes, nICE 45 and nICE 75, have more traditional side handles that are padded to help them move around. The nICE 75 has rubber wheels that are pretty strong and can be moved by you.
Each cooler’s number designates the storage volume in quarts. Each nICE cooler was filled with water, and the sizes posted were accurate. A sticker is located on each cooler’s front that shows the conversion to liters for those who are more familiar with this unit of measurement.
nICE offers a variety of drinkware options, as mentioned above. We have not tested them, but we thought it would be worth noting mentioning them as an nICE cooler review site. Their website states that they have a 12 oz can holder and 20 oz and 30 oz tumblers.
These stainless steel products come in several color choices and have double-sided insulation ability. This design approach is similar to that used by premium cooler brands in their drinkware products.
Thermoform Cooler and nICE Cannon
We haven’t yet tried the nICE Cannon or their thermoform coolers, but they are both unique products. Double-walled insulation stainless steel construction is what the Cannon draws inspiration from. The Cannon is available in two sizes, the SINGLE3 or the SINGLE6. They can hold either 3 or 6 cans, depending on the size.
The spring-loaded end allows for easier can dispensing. nICE claims that their puck insert can keep cans chilled for up to 24 hours. This is quite remarkable! Mobility purposes are made possible by the built-in handle at the SINGLE3 side and the large strap attached at the ends of SINGLE6.
To test out, we were sent a thermoform 6-can cooler. It is not made from stainless steel like tumblers but is made from foam, similar to the noodle pool toy. This 6-can cooler has a primary difference from a regular noodle pool toy in that the cooler’s middle is hollowed with a broader diameter so that traditional 12-ounce cans can fit inside.
You can also use the threaded drain plug to hold your cans in place, as well as a removable strap. Lastly, nICE states that the material is thermoformed, which keeps your can cool longer.
Formerly Meadowcraft Coolers
nICE Coolers were designed, manufactured, and marketed in the same mold as YETI but substantially cheaper.
Let’s be clear, some of these YETI imitations have seen great success over the many years and have even surpassed YETI in terms of performance (see Cabela’s Polar Cap, RTIC, Engel coolers, etc.). While lower-quality imitations will do well to stay on the shelves at your local dollar store,
Based on our experience with them, nICE Coolers certainly belongs to the former group. Meadowcraft cooler has fantastic durability, excellent build quality, and ice retention. And yes, they are half the price of YETI Meadowcraft coolers.
Like all premium roto-molded coolers, nICE iceboxes are made with a rigid, durable polyethylene body. This is sandwiched with about 2 inches of high-density insulation foam throughout. This ensures long-lasting ice retention even in extreme conditions.
Although it is evident that the nICE’s build quality was excellent, what grabbed our attention and impressed us was its well-designed array of integrated features. Not one felt out of place or under-built.
We hear from more people that the nICE cooler range is just as efficient performance-wise than any premium roto-molded cooler. But, as we mentioned, what makes them valuable is the number of extra features you get for your money.
It seems that the gasket is the part that nICE has paid the most attention to, and it is the best way to cool functionality.
Each nICE ice chest comes with a 360-degree, fully recessed freezer-grade gasket. This seal is different from other cooler.
Once the T-bands have been secured, you will feel the negative pressure release valve seal between the cooler’s air and the nICE cooler. This traps cold air and keeps the heat inside.
The pressure-relief valve button
Continuing the nICE vs. Yeti coolers argument, the pressure release valve is another indicator of a good seal. It is something that YETI coolers lack entirely.
Although it might seem odd to be sitting on the cooler’s outside, you can feel the cool air enter the cooler by a pressure relief valve. This makes the lockable lid much more accessible than yeti brand attachments.
A hard-to-open lid can indicate a tight seal. However, it can be frustrating and can cause you to rip off your fingernails trying to open roto-molded coolers.
The lids of nICE Coolers are packed with as many functions as possible. Its non-skid, non-slip feet and dermatoglyphics finish allow you to use it as either a cutting board or casting platform. We also love the dual cup holders. (Each cooler should have cup holders.
The built-in cup holders are cleverly designed to prevent condensation from building up. There’s also a ruler and designated mount for a fishing rod holder on the lid (rod not included).
The hinge and latch system is identical to YETI coolers. It has the same heavy-duty T-bands as well as dual stainless steel pins.
Tie-down points and rod/beverage holders add-ons.
Attachment slots on the lid of nICE Ice chests can be used to attach the nICE cooler to your boat or truck. You can also use these to attach removable handles to make 2-person transport easier.
You can use the slots to attach accessories such as rods and beverage holders.
Every nICE cooler includes a bottle opener that doubles as a padlock hook to secure your ice chest.
Another well-designed and thought-out feature is the nICE Integral Handle. It has built-in notches that secure the cooler lid when it is lifted.
Although the Integral Handle can only thing be used for one person, you have the option to add the removable band handles at the sides to make it easier for 2-person transport.
The nICE coolers were tested in the same way we tested all other cooler products. They were tested in two scenarios. One was to store them indoors but not open them. The other features were to keep them outside in the Texas sun and occasionally open them. This is more representative of real-life situations.
Ice life is subjective. You can set the timer to run until there are no ice cubes left. Do you stop the timer when there isn’t any ice left? Do you stop it once the ice has melted?
These are all viable options, but we choose to time the melting until all ice has melted.
The amount of ice in a cooler will also affect how long it lasts. You will get different results if you put a few ice cubes into an empty cooler than if you fill it up to the brim.
We filled each cooler with half of the ice to keep it consistent. It accurately represents what it would look like in real ice life since beer/food/etc. are all included. You would also need space.
Before we go into the performance of the nICE Coolers, let’s talk about what features they have to keep things cool.
nICE coolers have thick, roto-molded walls. This is a standard feature for premium coolers. It also provides an excellent barrier to the ambient air. The walls were measured in different places. We saw thicknesses ranging from 1.75″ to 2″. This cooler is thick enough to compete with premium coolers that offer long-lasting ice.
This is the average thickness of premium coolers. It is the happy medium between maximizing ice retention and keeping the overall size/weight under control. Keep in mind that thicker walls mean a heavier and bulkier cooler. If the cooler is set to a maximum size, thicker walls will reduce storage volume.
The thick rubber gasket is another helpful feature. Large gaskets are a good idea for nICE coolers. The larger the gasket, you will get more squeeze. The stuff cold air escapes, the more you squeeze. nICE uses freezer-grade gaskets, and it works well.
It is essential that the gasket can be squeezed tight. This requires robust latches with a sound bite. We’ll go into detail about the latches in the next section, but they provide a sound bite that helps make the most out of the large gasket.
How does it compare to premium coolers?
Overall, nICE was able to maintain adequate ice performance. Like other coolers, the largest sizes tend to show the most variance. Because of the larger storage volume, this is because they are more reliable. The ice must work harder to cool the large coolers.
While we didn’t see the same crazy high-end coolers numbers in the larger Pelican or Grizzly sizes as before, nICE coolers performed well when directly compared with a cooler of a similar size.
It is not difficult to imagine that a 150-quart cooler would have a very long ice life. This level of ice longevity is sufficient for most applications. How about a weekend at the lake? A tailgate A barbecue? Any of these environments can be handled easily by larger coolers from nICE.
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has certified coolers bear-resistant. nICE is proud to say that hard-sided coolers have been bear-certified.
Although we doubt many people will have to try this theory, it is nice to know that it works. A rugged and bear-resistant cooler comprises thick walls, premium hardware/components, and meticulous construction.
As mentioned, the walls of nICE are thick enough to withstand most normal wear and tear. This includes being dropped, scraped, and exposed to extreme weather conditions.
nICE coolers use a simple but effective approach to hardware and component design. The hinge hardware that holds the lid and main body together is wholly enclosed. This reduces the chance of opening the lid too much, which could cause damage or even break the reinforced hinges on lower-quality products.
It is also quite simple. Other brands may have more complex latch mechanisms that use many moving parts. This can look similar to what you might find on a tool chest or fishing tackle box. It may look like great features, but more parts can lead to more failures.
Instead, nICE opted for a simple rubber T-latch you can physically stretch to close (similarly to RTIC and Yeti). These rubber latches are simple and effective, and they can last a long time without needing to be replaced.
The handles (either the overhand or the side handle on the NICE 20) are solid and sturdy and can be held securely.
These products were able to be lugged up and tie-downs points on numerous flights of stairs.
We noticed that the products were constructed in China. Many emails have been sent asking for nICE coolers ( tie-downs points) “Made In the USA.” While this may seem like a problem for some, it is a great way to learn a little secret. Nearly every premium cooler brand imports a lot of its products from Asia.
We have tried enough coolers to know that they can perform as well as nICE coolers made here in the USA. And often for a fraction of their extra cost!
We also liked that the cooler came with a checklist that verified that the quality control was done after manufacturing. This is something we haven’t seen in cooler brands and gives us a lot of bonus tie-down points.
These nICE coolers are rugged and can withstand almost anything.
YETI vs. nICE
We are confident that nICE Ice chests will be durable enough to meet YETI standards.
Our Florida buddy uses it as a casting platform. He also says that it is strong enough to support his partner and him, who are both over 180 lbs.
The super-grippy, anti-skid rubber feet ensure that the sucker won’t non-slip feet around on the boat deck. We will mention that YETI’s rubber feet are not glued into the cooler, but they are screwed in to be used for more extended periods.
We love the pressure release valve in nICE coolers over YETI. It may look silly and tacky, but it’s functional and easy to use. Even after hours of negative pressure, it’s still a great option.
Another important improvement nICE made to YETI’s YETI is incorporating a dermatoglyphics layer into the non-skid lid. This allows it to be used as a cutting board without worrying about destroying the entire thing.
nICE Coolers, like YETI, also have a threaded drain plug connected to a standard garden hose. But the new guys outdid themselves yet again by adding a stainless-steel chain to the drain plug ( quick drain system) – so you don’t have to worry about it getting lost or misplaced.
Last but not least, remember all the integrated features built quality into the cooler lid (like cup holders and rod holders – none of these will be found on a YETI).
Related post: What Cooler Is Comparable To Yeti Top Full Guide 2021
Prices and Where to Buy nICE Coolers Online
Are you looking for nICE coolers? We had trouble finding the light blue Seafoam Green 45-quart we wanted.
We recommend that you always go to Amazon first. Since we started keeping an eye on them, Amazon has had a great selection of different sizes of nICE’s in stock and available for shipment at meager prices.
Based on the experience we have with them so far, nICE Coolers definitely belongs in the former group; fantastic durability, good build quality, and ice retention, and yes, they really are about half the price as YETI.
Is an nICE cooler worth it?
The best thing about the nICE brand is that they won’t break the bank. nICE is not only the most affordable coolers but also one of the most reliable coolers. These nICE coolers are double-walled to insulate your drinks and snacks.
How long do nICE coolers hold ice?
Despite being roto-molded coolers, nICE coolers have more insulation than a standard cooler such as the Coleman Xtreme. They should be able to outperform a standard cool by a significant amount. With regular use in warmer temperatures, I expect a minimum of 3-4 days of ice retention and a maximum of 5-6 days in cooler conditions.
Indeed, while this brand promises a 5 to 10 days ice retention life, depending on temperature & access rate, a Yeti can easily pull up to 6 days on average which is one day longer.
How long will Ice Cream stay frozen in a cooler?
Ice cream can last for 2-4 hours in a refrigerator filled with regular ice longer. Ice cream lasts longer if it is more significant in quantity and stored in a cooler with regular ice. Ice cream can’t be kept frozen for long enough with regular ice.
As you can see, the nICE cooler is constantly reviewed, suitable for a long trip. It is cheap, comes with a variety of accessories, and has many great reviews to back up its quality.
If you do a little digging, however, there are a few brands reviews for this product. These may not be a big deal if the ones from unhappy poor customer service have been addressed, but to protect yourself from disappointment, consider what others have to say before you buy.