I Bought a High-End Cooler

Favorite Weekend Splurges

By: Laura Gang

Laura Gang

When it comes to pastimes, we’re a passionate bunch. We regularly write about the brands and products that help Planeteers level-up our pursuits.

I love camping. My personal philosophy is that every summer must have a few tent & campfire & hiking excursions or it’ll have been a bust.This fascination began with trips to state parks with friends during high school & college. To make the trips more economical (and save more money for snacks) the gear we brought was crowd-sourced. We’d pack up a couple of cars with tents, sleeping bags, cards, pie irons, lawn chairs, way more food than necessary, and a couple of dingy coolers someone inevitably dug out from a shadowy corner in the basement or garage, and off we’d go.

These coolers, though, were always a major pain. In the heat of summer, every few hours they’d need to be topped off with ice, or risk melty chocolate bobbing in a lukewarm bath with hot dogs, Spotted Cow, & shredded cheese. Every trip inevitably ended with the dump & drain ritual.

After college the camping continued. The groups would change, but the desire to cook in the woods remained the same. I’ve been slowly amassing my own gear, (and racking up decent REI member rewards, unfortunately for my bank account). But my rec splurges always seemed to lack any sort of cooling equipment.

Until I got a high-end cooler.

At first it seemed excessive: 3 inches of PermaFrost insulation & a $300 price tag to transport glorified breakfast burrito ingredients?

But now I’m in love.

No more frequent ice refills. No more soggy. I’ve taken it everywhere. Day-drinking and transporting chilled wine & charcuterie? Check. Weekend camping at a local park? Check. Week-long trip at a site along the Mississippi? That too. Whether camping near or far, the satisfaction of cracking the lid post a day of hiking, and discovering the contents still in their frosty state, never gets old. It’s a relief to finally put those annoying dump & drain disasters behind me.

I now have a vast canvas for my burgeoning sticker collection

Plus, fully-embracing the cliche for all it is, I now have a vast canvas for my burgeoning sticker collection. Perhaps the true reason for the splurge. Although I still fully intend to take it on the Great Smokies hiking trip I’m working up to.


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