Originally introduced in the 1950's by Coleman, the stainless steel cooler has since had many upgrades but retains its sleek metallic design. Stainless steel coolers can be considered a step up from your typical plastic or foam coolers because of their enhanced quality. A layer of high quality stainless steel borders the exterior of these coolers and aids in keeping the contents cool. Stainless steel hinges, handles and screws come together to form a rust resistant, highly durable cooler system. Beverages and foods are kept nice and chilled inside. Many of these coolers can maintain frozen ice for many hours or even days! Several companies manufacture these coolers, but internal storage space is always measured in quarts. 54 quarts is a standard for these types of coolers.
Coleman Stainless Steel Cooler
Coleman produces an excellent stainless steel cooler that has great reviews as a high quality, durable cooler. Coleman is a leader in the stainless steel beverage cooler field, having over 50 years experience making them. Their 54 quart cooler has a bold stainless steel lid and case, keeping goods cooled for up to three days in temperatures up to 100 degrees. Not many coolers can claim such exceptional results. The solid steel latch on the front seals the lid firmly, forming a water-tight seal. Also, the hinges and screws used in construction are resistant to rusting and breakage. The large handles with rubber grips ensure that users can take along their cooler with ease. At the bottom sits a rust resistant drain port. It is somewhat heavy at 22 pounds, but has a huge capacity. Specially designed cooler stands are available to place the cooler upon, raising its height and keeping away from ants and other pests.
General Cooler Features
Insulation: Sandwiched between the stainless steel exterior and plastic internal liner is a layer of foam. This thick layer of foam has an extremely low thermal conductivity, keeping heat from entering the cooled chamber. The foam is the most important part of the cooling process. It stays sealed out of sight between the sealed layers. The Coleman stainless steel cooler, for example, can keep ice frozen for up to three days in temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Liner: The internal liner is a very important part of a stainless steel cooler. The liner is a piece of molded waterproof plastic which keeps melted ice inside the unit. The liner borders the underside of the lid and in the main compartment to keep fluids from leaking out. Most liners are designed to resist molding and staining, an important factor when dealing with food products. When cleaned between uses, the liner provides a sanitary place to store goods.
Handles: A pair of sturdy steel side handles are a necessity when carrying around a larger cooler. Most stainless steel coolers come in larger sizes, making the handles important. The handles are coated with a rubber grip surface to avoid spills.
Hinges: Lid hinges are perhaps the parts most susceptible to damage. Hinges need to be strong (preferably made of metal) to withstand the weight of the lid and frequent opening/closing. The hinges work in conjunction with the lid latch to form a water-tight seal. A failed hinge can result in water leaking from the seam. Coolers have a tendency to get kicked around in transport, which is why stainless steel cooler manufacturers use only steel hinges on their products.
Drain Port: After each trip, you can drain melted ice from the cooler without having to tip it over. A drain port at the bottom of the unit allows users to empty water quickly and efficiently. The port features a threaded cap which is removed only during the draining process.
Beverages: With the addition of drink holders/organizers, these units can also function as a stainless steel beverage cooler.
In your search for a cooler you may have heard of a company called Igloo. They offer a full line of Igloo cooler parts for their products.
Do you love the look of stainless steel? Broaden your collection with a stainless steel bbq.