Boating Gear Coolers Hunting Gear

Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler Review: ‘Awesome’

The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler is among the greatest rugged coolers for protecting your meals and drinks cold for days. Cabela’s gives the Polar Cap Equalizer in quite a lot of sizes and shade mixtures — and presents an elective cooler cart in addition to attachable wheels for added portability.

The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler competes instantly with all the opposite premium coolers obtainable at this time, together with YETI, Engel, Orca, Pelican, Orion and others. YETI, in fact, has probably the most model consciousness within the cooler area — and for good purpose: YETI makes nice gear.

In truth, Cabela’s sells YETI coolers, too, however that didn’t stop the company from creating its personal high-end rotomolded cooler, which it presents at extremely aggressive worth factors. To get us a better take a look at its Polar Cap Equalizer line, Cabela’s despatched us two evaluate models to test out — a 40 quart and a whopping 100 quart. We promptly took the coolers to elk camp in early September, together with a YETI, and here’s what we discovered.

Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler Assessment: General Design

The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler is among the greatest premium coolers obtainable at present — and the price-to-value ratio is implausible.

The very first thing it’s essential find out about premium coolers is they have a tendency to have very thick partitions along with a critical rubber or silicone seal on the lid. Premium coolers are cumbersome and heavier than low cost coolers. The thick partitions provide insulation that retains the chilly in and the recent out. The seals forestall tiny air leaks, which make a huge distinction over several days. Odds are, once you first take a look at an enormous premium cooler, it is going to seem giant . . . however if you open the lid and look inside, you’ll be astonished by how small the interior area appears.

The seemingly small capability in comparison with the surface dimensions is commonplace for any cooler that promises to carry ice longer than a couple of days. In fact, the thermal effectivity means you will get away with using much less ice on a typical camping trip than you’d use with an affordable cooler. This means extra of your obtainable area could be allotted to food or drink. Plus, you’ll end up with much less ice soften, which suggests less water, which suggests your meals gained’t begin swimming in your cooler almost as soon as you in all probability have experienced earlier than.

This image shows the inside of the 40-quart Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler.The 40-quart Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler is a superb starter mannequin — giant sufficient for essential food and drinks but small enough to haul round with relative ease.

The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler makes use of a freezer-grade gasket seal. Stout rubberized T-handle latches seal the lid tight they usually embrace built-in bottle openers. Cabela’s takes the design a bit farther, although, and adds a pressure-release valve, which you’ll be able to push to equalize the air strain in and out of the cooler. When you’ve ever felt a premium cooler lid feel sticky and arduous to open, you’ll recognize this valve as a result of it eliminates the suction impact you will get from disparate air pressures inside and out of doors of the cooler.

To scale back heat transfer alongside the bottom — say from the recent mattress of a pickup or a heat river financial institution — Cabela’s gave the Polar Cap Equalizer raised, nonskid ft.

Probably the most visually notable function compared to the competition is the twin deal with system. Cabela’s makes use of both molded handles as well as rope handles. This looks like overkill until you start hauling the cooler around. The molded handles are great for fast grabs and pulls, plus they provide you a simple level for lashing the cooler down in your pickup, boat or ATV.

The rope handles excel for these long hauls down a seashore or over rugged terrain the place you and a buddy are trying to find secure places to put your ft. Seems we recognize both handles at totally different occasions.

General, the Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler is burly and manufactured within the U.S. The hinge is stout and each factor of the design exudes power and function. Should you’re in hard-core bear nation, you possibly can utterly lock the lid with a padlock.

Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler Evaluation: Usage

This image shows the handles on the Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler.When it’s time to carry your cooler, you’ll recognize the molded handle in addition to the rope handles, which tuck out of the best way when not in use.

Our plan for the Polar Cap Equalizer Coolers was to take the coolers, along with a 37-quart midsize YETI Tundra 45, to an early-season elk camp in September. The weather can be scorching, and if we obtained into the elk, we may be at our distant camp for up to seven days. We loaded the 100-quart cooler with blocks of ice and loaded the smaller coolers with both ice and food. We additionally took an affordable cooler for beverages and had an additional giant low-end cooler available just in case we have been profitable in our elk hunt and wanted further area to maintain the meat cool on the best way back house.

We hunted for 3 days with temps in the mid-80s, overlaying loads of floor — and leaving the coolers at base camp. We discovered the elk were not anyplace near our location. That they had been there last yr during September they usually clearly had been there mid-summer. It was if something had blown them out of the drainages and ridges the place we have been searching. Perhaps wolves chased them out or perhaps it was nothing but the whims of elk. We decided to save lots of our searching days for later in the season and bailed on the week. As for the ice, the beverage cooler’s ice was lengthy gone however the 40-quart Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler’s ice was barely melted in any respect. Our frozen steaks stayed frozen. Our 100-quart ice chest was still absolutely frigid. There was only a tiny little bit of melted ice inside our frozen jugs, and the additional blocks of ice we picked up on the fuel station on the best way to camp had melted just enough to fill a glass of water. In case you’re paying attention, the YETI meals cooler was also holding up nicely, too — the meals and ice was in about the same form because the Cabela’s 40.

Had we related with an elk, we’re assured that we might have been capable of hold the meat cool enough to make it again to civilization.

Later, we used the Polar Cab Equalizer Coolers for a number of day journeys throughout scorching September days, leaving them within the mattress of the pickup within the full solar for hours on finish while we hunted. Even the recent mattress of the pickup barely affected our jugs of ice contained in the coolers. The upshot is, the Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Coolers inspired full confidence.

As for additional testing, we considered tossing them out of the back of a shifting pickup to see how they held up, and we considered replicating intricate ice retention exams that yow will discover everywhere in the Internet nowadays. We opted to stick with real-world use and impressions — frankly, we’d slightly be planning our next trip than measuring water and weighing ice. Update: After another scorching summer time and a number of other tenting and searching journeys, the Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Coolers are still going robust. Tremendous durable, tremendous effective, and simply superior.

This photo shows the Olive/Tan Cabela's Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler on a white background.The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler comes in a number of nice colours.

So is the Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler remarkably higher than the competition? From every part I’ve seen thus far, all the prime cooler manufacturers that have thick walls and good lid seals will maintain ice for several days, particularly for those who maintain the cooler out of the sun and/or season (pre-cool) the cooler in a single day with a bag of ice before you load it up for an extended journey.

By the way, the smartest Third-party check that I’ve seen got here from Subject & Stream journal in 2016 where they crammed each cooler of relatively the same measurement with an equal ratio of ice compared to the inside dimensions. The 40-quart Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler held ice the longest in that specific research — but that’s not the primary cause we consider it’s a unbelievable cooler. The Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler is a incredible cooler because it has such a terrific price-to-value ratio. For instance, the 40-quart Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer has primarily the same interior capacity because the YETI Tundra 45 however the Cabela’s costs $250 whereas the YETI prices $350 $300 (observe: YETI just lately decreased costs, doubtless in response to elevated competition within the high-end cooler area).

Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler Assessment: Wonderful Worth-to-Worth

Once I begin to consider gear that does primarily the same thing primarily in addition to its competition, worth turns into a huge determination factor. Most of us are on a finances, in any case. The kinds of questions I begin asking go one thing like this: Is it smarter to get a YETI Tundra 45 for $300 or an Orion 45 for $449 . . . or get a Polar Cap 40 for $250 . . . plus get a brand new and up to date first-aid package? What if my buddy will get really harm in the backcountry and I don’t have a clotting sponge because I selected the YETI as an alternative?

This image shows the 40-quart Cabela's Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler on a white background.The 40-quart Polar Cap Cooler in a white/black swirl pattern.

Positive, you possibly can head down a rabbit gap with these types of what-if questions, but the level stays: Whenever you begin excited about your gear spend over time, using a price-to-value concept as a choice software may also help put your investment in perspective.

All-in-all, the Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler is a very wonderful premium cooler. The smaller variations can hold ice for as much as 5-7 days whereas the larger variations can take you out to 12 days. You in all probability gained’t want that type of retention fairly often, however once you do, you’ll recognize it. I keep in mind one camping street trip by which our ice melted inside our low cost cooler . . . nevertheless it wasn’t going to be an enormous deal as a result of we have been driving by a convenience retailer that bought ice. Besides they have been bought out of ice and had none left. No worries. We might catch the subsequent store down the street. That retailer’s ice maker was damaged. Our solely selection was to move all of our remaining ice to a cooler for our perishables and settle for lukewarm beer on the subsequent leg of our camping trip. Would a Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler been value it on that trip?


Get the Gear:

Wonderful general development high quality

Outstanding ice retention and insulation

Great price-to-value ratio