While there are many new brands thriving in the cooler market, there are still some old players that rely on the simple formula of good quality goods with little gimmicks to keep their place in the market. So let us see what Engel, with its 50-year history in refrigeration products, brings to the table.
The Engel 65 Quart cooler has a rotomoulded polyethylene shell with 2 inches of injected polyurethane foam insulation all around, even the bottom and the lid. In addition, the cooler is well designed, but even without that, so much of insulation material is bound to produce some great insulation results, and it does. The manufacturer claims that it can retain ice for up to 8 to 10 days, but in our simulated regular use testing, it could retain it for 6 days, which is still pretty good. It has a freezer grade gasket in its lid that fits pretty snug, thanks to the double locking draw latches. It creates a pretty good seal, and in combination with the very thick form insulation, the cooler fares pretty good in terms of insulation with a score of 8.
When you look at this cooler from the outside, you see a pretty simple design and nothing fancy. But it is in no way representative of the engineering that goes into it to make it durable. Its body is made of rotomoulded tough polyethylene. The body and the lid are formed as single pieces without any joints, making them quite strong. The lid has I-beams inside it to resist caving in, so you can easily sit on it without worrying. The cooler is certified as bear resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC). It also has a strong hinge that runs almost across the entire length of the edge, with metal pins. The latches also use metallic parts, and should last pretty long. In addition, it comes with a generous 10-year warranty. Hence, the cooler earns a durability score of 8.
With so much material used in the cooler for insulation and durability, the high-density plastics and the metallic parts, the one thing you cannot avoid is weight. The empty cooler itself weighs just a bit over 26 lbs. Even so, it has a reasonably compact size when considering the available space, and you should easily be able to fit it inside a small trunk. There are a couple of built in handles in the plastic lip, and a couple of rope handles with plastic grips. The handles are not too bad, but still nothing special. Overall, we give it a portability score of 6.
Ease of Use
The cooler is pretty easy to use. The compact size makes it easy to carry around and place even in tight corners. The latching mechanism is pretty simple yet quite secure. It has a nice drain pipe to drain out water and make cleaning easy. The draining process does get some, but not too much water around. The rope handles are the perfect length to stay clear of draining water. Using padlocks also does not require any special accessories, the holes on both corners are quite obvious and any appropriately sized padlock would do the job. Overall there is nothing complicated about using this cooler and hence we give it an ease of use score of 8.
The cooler does not have too many fancy features, and instead, relies on getting the basics right. The metal hooks for securing the latches can be, and are intended to be used as an emergency bottle opener. It has a place to slot in an optional divider to keep your storage organised. The drain pipe is pretty handy for draining water and cleaning. It has holes on both corners of to accept an appropriately sized padlock. Seeing that this cooler has little special features, we give it a mediocre features score of 6.
If you are not looking for fancy looks or features, and just care about a well-insulated cooler which can take some serious rough use, then the Engel 65 quart cooler hits the spot. While its pricing is on the higher side, in terms of durability and insulation, it can go toe to toe with much more expensive coolers.
- Superb insulation
- Great durability
- Built in bottle opener
- Pricing is slightly higher
- Light on features