Every good road trip needs a good cooler. This is how we keep things cheap on the road. Packing a cooler insures that we do not eat out more than we should. It also allows us to buy cheap groceries at a discount store near home instead of having to pay a ton for one of those small town markets.
But which cooler works the best? Everyone agrees that Yeti coolers are top of the line and keep ice nice and ice-y forever. The price, though, drives a lot of people away. We have been using the RTIC cooler for almost three years now and it has never disappointed. At just a fraction of the cost of its competitor, it still does the same job.
The RTIC cooler is a double-walled cooler that can last up to seven days. In cooler weather, this is totally true. In the heat, plan only about three days, two if you are opening the cooler a lot.
The RTIC cooler is also bear-proof when locked. The holes for the lock are long and thin so measure carefully before buying a lock. The cooler is incredibly durable and can take a bit of a beating. This durability also comes in handy when it is being moved around desert sand, mountain rock, wet campgrounds, and everywhere else.
The downside to this cooler is that it is heavy and takes up a lot of space. Any good cooler is going to present this same problem. It comes in multiple sizes, though, allowing you to pick the best fit for your needs.
Visit Amazon to get your RTIC Cooler
Keeping Ice Frozen
I have tried a lot of different ways to keep ice frozen longer. The only thing I have not tried is dry ice. If you use dry and ice and really like it, leave me a comment!
The best thing I have come up with is to put gallon freezer bags to good use. I fill up a freezer bag almost full with water, leaving myself a little room to play with. I zip up the bag and then place it in another freezer bag, also zipping that up. I put the zipper side at the BOTTOM of the second bag, so the zippers do not touch, creating a more reliable seal. I do this with 2 – 3 separate bags, depending on how much room we have for ice, and then put them in the freezer to harden. These bags stay frozen for at least three days, even in warm conditions.
The best thing about this method is that the good gallon freezer bags are designed to stay sealed. This means that I do not get that nasty puddle on the bottom of my cooler when the water melts. To insure this, though, I have to be diligent to make sure all bags are properly sealed AND I have to buy the Ziploc brand bags.
Another wonderful thing about this method is that once my water is melted again, I do not have to dispose of the bags or hang onto a useless container. At the next gas station, I dump out the water. Then I fill each bag with fresh ice from the gas station, double bagging it just as before. Over time, the bags do begin to weaken and sometimes start making a puddle at the bottom of the cooler. Even so, this is the most reliable method I have found.