Growing up, I kept an ancient Coleman cooler in the car for the tail end of long trips. I knew I’d get back, greeted by melted ice, hot cans, and sweating cheese inside. Today’s coolers are incomparably better than those of yesteryear, and many cost incomparably more. In this landscape of fancy food storage, the Moosejaw Ice Fort 25 Hard Cooler enters the scene with exceptionally high value per dollar and a marvelously considered design. If you ask me, it’s the one worth buying. Let me tell you why.
Moosejaw Ice Fort 25 Quart Hard Cooler Features:
- Made from Recycled Materials: 30% of the exterior shell is made from post-consumer recycled plastic
- Holds up to 25 Quarts, big enough to hold up to 36 12-oz. cans or 25 lbs. of ice
- High performance insulation up to 2.5″ thick – retains ice for up to three days at a 50/50 ice-to-can ratio
- Roto-molded, rugged one-piece construction
- Microban® antimicrobial protection against bacterial odors and stains
- Easy-open cam latches and freezer grade gasket seals cold in and keeps heat out
- SinchStrap™ carrying system converts from shoulder strap to sinch handle
- Holds most wine bottles upright thanks to 13.4″ interior height
- Corrosion resistant metal parts stand up to the toughest elements, even sea air
- Drainage port with interior tether for easy cleaning when emptying your cooler
- Stainless steel bottle opener included for all your capped beverages
- Padlock compatible with multiple tie-down positions
- Dual molded side handles make carrying more comfortable
- Anti-skid raised feet help keep the cooler in place in slippery conditions
- Dry ice compatible down to -109.3°F for deep freezing
- Limited 5 Year Warranty
- MSRP: $149
Hot price; cold contents
Great goodness, that’s a lot of features. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. Thankfully a cooler really has one job, and it’s pretty easy to talk about. This cooler keeps things cold for a long time. Moosejaw conducted a test to prove as much by filling the cooler halfway with refrigerated cans and halfway with ice, leaving the cooler in a room that went from the 60s to the 90s each day, checking the temp every 15 minutes, and calling the test done when the internal temp hit 43 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler made it for 3 full days. For the temps, that’s plenty.
I didn’t want to take their possibly-biased test as the final word, so I conducted my own test. After leaving the cooler open in my ~45 degree garage for a day, I filled the cooler with 7 pounds of ice (a standard bag), a small lunch, and 4 refrigerated cans. About 20% of the cooler’s capacity remained unfilled. I left the cooler in my house (consistently 70 degrees because my wife is a walking pile of sweaters otherwise) and checked on the contents every 12 hours. Only after 3.5 days had the ice completely melted. So yes, this cooler keeps things cold for a long time. It’s verified.
Already, we’ve achieved something my ancient Coleman failed to do – keep things cold – but it gets much better than that. The Ice Fort 25 has some snazzy features to it. There’s a little stainless bottle opener that tucks away in its own little integrated slot. A cleverly designed removable shoulder or carry strap slides into place with ease and wears very comfortably, even when the cooler is weighty and full. There’s also a sealed drain plug which has channels to deliver water to it. I love all of these perks, and they’re designed with an attention to detail that’s easy to notice.
My favorite little feature though: the buckle closures. Many of my friends have had Yeti coolers over the years, and I never got beyond half-appreciating them. Yes, they’re a wild expense, but it wasn’t that. It was their tendonitis-inducing rubber clasps. I don’t want to work hard to open or close my cooler. And thank goodness, the Ice Fort 25’s buckles are an absolute breeze. I recently ruptured a pulley in my left hand, and I was still able to open the cooler with ease using my injured hand. Another successful test.
And those easy-operating buckles create a seal you can trust. To test this, I filled the cooler half full of water, closed the lid, then held it up above my head upside down for 30 seconds. Much to my relief, there were no leaks. To celebrate, I conducted my final test, putting it down and sitting on it for a while. Nobody officially says so, but coolers are stools, and we all know it. The Ice Fort 25 is stable, sits at the right height, and achieves the highest level of comfort possible for a flat plastic seat. That is, it’s much better than the ground. Another passing grade.
So why should you buy the Ice Fort 25 over the other options on the market? Well, price is always a consideration, and the Ice Fort 25 is about half as much as the most comparable Yeti cooler. It’s more than price though. Moosejaw’s Ice Fort 25 is really good. It was designed thoughtfully, made with great materials, and it’s super functional as a result. I can only think of one thing that I don’t love about it. The plastic molded side handles could be more comfortable. With the shoulder/carry strap though, you don’t even need them.
- Keeps contents cold for days
- Carry strap is comfortable and easy to adjust and install
- Closure buckles are a breeze to operate
- Seal is leakproof and reliable
- Generally well designed and executed
- Exceptional price
- Molded plastic handles could be more comfortable
The Bottom Line: Moosejaw Ice Fort 25 Quart Hard Cooler
Moosejaw took their time before launching their line of coolers, and their entry is an exceptional one. The Ice Fort is designed with an attention to detail that you can see in each one of its high quality features. It does the job of keeping things cold notably well, and it doesn’t break the bank. What’s not to love?
Buy Now: Available at Moosejaw