K2 Cooler Review: Is it Worth Your Money?
Before, I didn’t know coolers would have such a demand. Even before working as a business owner of a food stall, I already realized how important coolers were. Depending on your lifestyle, having a cooler might not seem necessary.
However, my point is, there are a lot of instances where you’ll need a high-quality cooler. Just ask yourself this question, how many times did I feel the need to bring my refrigerator outside? How many times did I wish for a colder beer on the beach? Due to its heavy build, your refrigerator isn’t much of an option to bring outside.
This is where coolers come in. Be it for fishing, camping, food business, or even a basketball game, there are a lot of areas where coolers can help you. With that said, before owning a cooler you should look into its features first. This K2 cooler review will not just discuss the product. Rather, it will help give you a better understanding of coolers in general. This is to make sure you get the best out of your decision.
But first, consider these...
Foremost, there are two things that you need to consider before buying a cooler. Supposedly, when choosing a cooler, you should first look at how durable it is. Secondly, you should weigh its cooling performance. Coolers serve as a more convenient replacement for a refrigerator. Arguably, your cooler has the upper hand regarding its convenience. However, it significantly loses to the fridge when it comes to durability and quality.
Although it’s easy to bring, you’ll need to take extra care if ever you bought a cheap cooler. Some are made only out of cheap plastic. There are also styrofoam coolers.
Usually, when looking at the durability of a cooler, you’ll need to decide between a high end or a traditional cooler. These two types of coolers have different materials. Also, their designs also differ. High-end models are stronger than regular ones. It has features such as pin-style hinges and UV-resistant plastic. The hinge style allows the attached parts to remain intact longer. It also has walls and lids that are extremely rigid. As a result, this makes a beefier exterior.
ImageThe traditional style is less durable compared to the latter. It’s made of plastic screw-on plastic hinges together with weaker walls and lids. You’ll also notice the smaller handles that might give you a hard time gripping.
With the main features done, let me discuss it further by applying a real-life experience.
I first encountered a cooler during a basketball game in high school. The waterboys brought a massive cooler and carried it to the court. What I witnessed was dreadful.
First, the handles were already difficult to grip. Hence, the large cooler gave them a difficult time. Unfortunately, they dropped it several times before reaching the court. By the time we were there, it had a small crack at the bottom. Consequently, the water inside spilled.
This leads us to the next feature: the cooling performance. Well, it’s obvious that a cooler’s primary purpose is to cool. But what happened with that cooler back then? Apparently, the ice was placed only 5 hours before the game. Afterward, it became a little box pool. This is why you should focus on the technology that a brand presents. Is it just a simple box where you put ice and hope that it doesn’t melt? Then probably that’s a bad quality cooler.
Excellent coolers should have UV-insulated materials. Also, its inner and outer walls should be a lot thicker.The capability to put dry ice is another feature you should consider.
With that said…
If you’ve reached this part of the article, then it probably means you’re already sold on buying one. To give you a jumpstart in your hunt for a great quality cooler, we present you the K2 coolers.
K2 Coolers was founded in 2011.The company focuses on making their coolers heavy-duty and lightweight. These two characteristics make K2 coolers versatile. Because it’s designed to be a heavy-duty cooler, it can withstand harsh pressures. To further note, its lightweight feature is a product of plastic innovation that we will discuss further below.
Here are 4 products under the K2 Cooler Summit Series that you should check.
A nice package shot of K2 Cooler:
The K2 Summit 20 Cooler is a great cooler to have if you’re going out fishing alone. It’s a compact cooler that is very easy to bring. This is because of its lightweight design. Furthermore, it has a shoulder strap that makes carrying a lot easier.
Although relatively smaller compared to others, this cooler can still accommodate extra items if you have company. Because it’s easy to carry, it’s also perfect for beers!
- Very lightweight
- Shoulder strap enhances comfort
- Great design
- Doesn’t cool longer compared to larger products
- Quite bulky
The K2 Summit 70 cooler does a fantastic job on keeping things cold. This is all thanks to its superior ice-retention feature. It has large rectangular build. Thus, it can store many items and beverages of your family members. It’s a convenient cooler to bring if you’re planning on going out with your family.
- Ideal for family use
- Keeps your food and beverages cold for longer periods
- It has some durability issues with the drain plug
- The lid is prone to scratching
The K2 Summit 60 cooler gives you more options on how to carry it. Unlike other products, this cooler comes with wheels. This enhances its portability because you don’t need to carry it anymore. The handles that come along with it are very durable. It has a removable axle for flexibility.
- Comes with handle and wheels for convenience
- Features a removable axle for added flexibility
- Maintains superior ice-retention
- Wheels may be prone to detachment, material is quite light
- Could have featured rope handles instead
The K2 Coolers Summit 50 looks like a treasure trove that has jewelry inside. Don’t be fooled though, it has a reasonable capacity to fit well over 30 cans of beer. It comes with a sleek brown design. This gives it a very appealing aesthetic. It’s not only a cooler built for looks because its cooling performance lasts a long time.
- Limited edition color, very appealing design
- Material used in the exterior is strong and durable
- Quite difficult if you’re carrying it, handles are a challenge and it doesn’t come with a shoulder strap.
- Drain plug leaks a little bit
Features to know
Rotational molding vs. Blow molding
“Real value. Real cold” is the motto of K2 cooler. This motto explains their commitment to ice retention and durability. That’s a good start if you want to purchase a high-quality cooler.
To further elaborate what a K2 cooler is, let’s discuss how it’s built. A standard technique in making coolers is blow molding. Blow molding is a manufacturing process where hollow plastic parts are formed. First of all, it begins by melting the plastic. Next, it turns it into a parison. A parison is something you clamp into a mold to follow a certain design. Afterward, compressed air is blown through a parison which creates the plastic mold.
This is a standard process that is not only used for coolers but many plastic products as well. Although it’s a cheap and conventional technique, it questions its durability.
Meanwhile, K2 coolers are created using rotational molding. It’s a more elaborate manufacturing process compared to blow molding. The main difference in rotational molding is the use of liquid resin for added coating. The resin, which is either liquid or powder, is placed inside the mold. Afterward, it is rotated biaxially until the resin dissolves and coats the mold.
This process is slower, but it results in improved durability compared to blow molding. Rotational molding also allows the K2 cooler to be a one-piece product. Hence, breakage may occur rarely.
Durability is a strong point of K2 coolers. However, its real forte is insulation performance. The K2 cooler makes use of UV-insulated polyethylene. Polyethylene is a chemical substance that’s commonly found in plastics. It has high tensile strength and has great insulation. This material is also light too. Thus, it mixes heavy-duty features with lightweight portability.
Furthermore, this is the same substance used for strengthening kayaks and ice hockey walls. Greenhouses also use this to insulate heat.
Polyethylene is placed in the inner and outer walls of the cooler. It follows a thickness of ¼ of an inch. Thanks to this feature, it gives a superior insulating performance. Together with this, it’s also designed for superior puncture resistance. So far so good for the K2 cooler. It turns out to be a quality product based from the two must-haves of a cooler that we previously discussed.
Apparently, polyethylene is just the beginning to reach superior insulation. Also, the product introduces polyurethane. Another plastic material that enhances insulation. All K2 cooler walls have a premium grade polyurethane foam. It’s a high-density foam that reaches up to 3 inches in thickness. The foam creates millions of “pockets” that reduce heat transfer.
The material works both ways. Consequently, the use of this substance also enhances strength and rigidity more.
What else is there?
You need to be familiar with some components in when deciding for the best K2 cooler to buy. These components were designed to eliminate the problem of replacing parts. Although your cooler may be thick as a stone wall, it still has weaknesses. Your cooler still has joints that are susceptible to breakage and wearing. It’s like a well-armored knight that lacks protection in his joint areas.
As a result of this, K2 coolers introduces a set of components aimed at eliminating this problem. Here is the list below.
- Icevault Gasket - functions similarly to a fridge gasket, it’s made with thick rubber that covers the perimeter of the lid. This prevents heat from entering when closed.
- Endura Hinge System - unlike most coolers; K2 coolers don’t have detachable lids. Thanks to rotational molding, the Endura is molded to the main body of the cooler. A Detached lid is one of the most common problems of a cooler. This hinge system prevents that.
- Positrac - rubber latches pioneered for maximum sealing; it keeps the lid firmly locked to the body
- Suregrip - If you ever watched a crazy basketball game, you’d sometimes see a flying cooler tossed somewhere. The Suregrip feature gives your cooler rubber feets that keep it steady.
- Torrent - Here’s an overlooked part of a cooler. The Torrent feature is a silicone drainage plug. You only need a partial turn to drain the water out. There’s no need to remove it entirely. Therefore, it prevents you from losing it.
- HOLDtight - helps for easy mounting; it features two integrating padlocks for better security.
- Snow Blown - Insulation is injected when extreme pressure is exerted on your cooler. This gives it maximum ice retention.
- Shoulder strap and Easy Haul - One for the shoulder and the other for your hands, these two components make carrying a lot easier.
What other people say
In this product site, several reviews gave K2 Cooler a 5-star rating. These positive reviews share similar sentiments. Among these, K2 cooler being cheaper among other known brands stands out. In addition, reviewers applaud K2 cooler for its convenient components. The shoulder strap seems to be the most liked due to its comfortable material.
Alternatives to consider
If ever you’re not sold on the K2 cooler yet, we present three alternative products here. These could aid you in finding a cooler that suits your tastes. There are coolers that have different components and features. Hence, it gives you more options.
1. Yeti Coolers
Arguably the most famous brand, Yeti coolers are similar to K2 coolers regarding durability. However, the prices differ significantly. Yeti coolers are very expensive when you compare it to the K2 cooler. This is a common sentiment shared by reviewers in product sites.
Yeti coolers also have a different cooling performance. The ice retention of these coolers lasts up to 5-7 days. It is designed to follow that timetable. On the other hand, the K2 cooler’s insulation performance is user dependent. Also, the Yeti cooler is arguably one of the favorites when it comes to outdoor use. It is certified bear proof. Hence, it’s ideal for camping, hunting, and other extraneous activities.
2. Pelican Coolers
Another well-known brand, the Pelican cooler boasts stainless steel hardware. Unlike the K2’ cooler’s rubber latches, the Pelican cooler uses pull latches instead. It is cheaper than a Yeti yet more expensive than a K2 cooler.
One of the best features of this is a lifetime warranty. It’s the best warranty deal among the top cooler brands. Its cooling performance also beats that of a Yeti’s. This is because it can reach up to ten days. The Pelican cooler is also certified bear proof. It’s great for your family to use or if ever you’re going out for a trip with your friends.
3. Grizzly Coolers
Similar to the K2 coolers, the Grizzly cooler is made through rotational molding. However, the K2 cooler features a one-piece construction. Meanwhile, a Grizzly cooler doesn’t. The Grizzly cooler has a cooling performance that reaches until six days. Similar to the components of the K2 cooler, it comes with rubber feet and a rubber gasket. It does come with rope handles, something the K2 cooler lacks. Like the Pelican, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
There are many options to choose from when buying a cooler. A K2 cooler gives enticing features that are often overlooked. For example, the reviews give positive remarks for the non-removal of the drainage plug. To add, the padded shoulder that comes with the K2 is something that keeps buyers happy. These little characteristics could give you an easier time in handling a K2 cooler. Lastly, among the alternatives, a K2 cooler is the cheapest.
Therefore, if you’re saving up while focusing on insulation performance and durability, then the K2 cooler might be for you.