Which cooler is the coolest?

How to be the best consumer you can be.
July 4 2006 7:20 AM

Nice Ice, Baby

Which cooler is the coolest?

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Chill Factor: 8
Ease of Use: 10
Total: 18

Coleman Ulitmate Xtreme.

Coleman Ultimate Xtreme, $49.99 How extreme, you ask, is the Ultimate Xtreme? So extreme they disregarded the normal rules of spelling! The Ultimate Xtreme says it will stay cool for six days. In my test, it was more like four. But if you kept it in the shade, I bet it would make the full six. Even so, four is pretty damn good. The model I tested had sturdy wheels and a big handle. Unlike a certain other cooler I could name (Igloo), you can sit on the lid without fear of breaking it. Unlike another cooler I could name (Rubbermaid), the lid is easy to open. It's less sexy than the steel-sided and harder to store than the Polar Bear, but it stays cool for a long, long time. And in these increasingly warm times, isn't that what matters?

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Chill Factor: 10
Ease of Use: 10
Total: 20

Tom Bartlett is a writer in Mount Rainier, Md.

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