By Mike Fetters
Drive-by Intro: Spent a few days with the MOUNTAINSMITH Cooler Cube. Performed well under adverse conditions including high temperatures, would recommend for day trips. Affordable pricing makes it an option for everyone.
Price: $50, currently available at Backcountry.com, REI.com
Size: 1590 cubic inches
In-Depth Look with Photos:
The sun is high in the Texas sky. Y’all know what that means. Time to hit the lake for a surf session or a day chasing the schooling white bass and hybrids. Or maybe to the community pool to fight the kids for a spot in the shallow end for some day drinking. Wherever you’re headed, you need a cooler to keep some juice boxes or adult beverages on ice.
What are you going to take with you? If one of the high dollar coolers are out of your budget, are you going to just settle for the cheapest one at Wal-Mart and hope for the best?
Hopefully not. Cheap coolers are terrible. Half the time the ice melts before you even get out of the truck. I say truck because if you dare to put it inside a car, it will probably leak everywhere as soon as you leave the gas station with your ice.
Is the MOUNTAINSMITHa good option, then? Or does it underperform? Here are my results and thoughts on some of the features.
I loaded up the MOUNTAINSMITH with the intention of trying to melt the ice. No shade. 100F+ outside temps. Brutal. Added a case of beer, a bottle of Peligroso Cinnamon tequila, some juice as a vodka mixer, basically everything I would need to bring a party over my shoulder. Added half my bag of ice (saved the rest for mixed drinks).
Now the fun begins. I was interested to see what was going to happen. I have a YETI Hopper 20, which I have been somewhat disappointed in its performance, considering how much they cost.
The MOUNTAINSMITH did great for $50! No leaks, still had ice after 6 hours sitting in the hot sun. I was really surprised.
It also has a really cool drop-down cup holder tray, something I found myself using throughout the day to hold my phone, Bluetooth speaker, etc. Side pocket for miscellaneous items is convenient as well. There is a padded shoulder strap they offer, but the provided handles extend out far enough that you can achieve the same result. But it’s available separately if that is a must-have for you.
Final Impression: Worth the money, just know you would need to add more ice for a full weekend adventure. Did not leak. You get a lot of value for your dollar, and it performed better than expected.