There are occasions when the larger, hard-sided coolers are just too big for day trips to the beach or sports field. For this, you really need to be looking at a cooler that is easier to carry as well as being able to keep your food and drinks cool.
More info: If you are looking for a lunch box cooler then check out our buying guide here.
Several options are available including basic insulated bags and more advanced coolers. One such type of cooler is the Titan Deep Freeze range from Arctic Zone. Arctic Zone is well known for its range of coolers, most of which are soft side bags and lunch boxes. The Deep Freeze range currently has 4 variations, all based on 12oz can carrying capacity. These are 9, 16, 30 and 48 can models. Most of these coolers also available in 3 different colors, although we prefer the darker colors just because they hide any dirt and stains easier.
It this review we focus on the Deep Freeze 30 can model (although most of the features can be found across the Deep Freeze range) that retails for around $40. So how does this portable cooler compare?Table could not be displayed.
Even though its classed as a soft-sided cooler, the Deep Freeze actually contains a removable inner hard liner. A neat design feature is the inclusion of a removable storage tray for use with the hard liner. This allows you to separate your softer food items (like sandwiches) from heavier drinks bottles. There have been lots of times on the beach when our kids have thrown the water bottles back in a cooler on top of the (now squshed) sandwiches! The tray is also useful if the ice is starting to melt and you want to keep any food from getting soggy.
Once the hard liner is removed though, it’s not possible to fully collapse the softer outer body due to the thick insulation. This would have been handy when you need to store the cooler when not in use (although you would still have to find somewhere for the hard liner). The soft liner is waterproof though and this will prevent any leaks.
Another feature on the Deep Freeze is the zipperless opening. Rather than having to use a zip, you can simply pull open the soft lid to get access to the hard liner. This allows you to also access the cooler one-handed while carrying.
Capacity and dimensions
The 30 can Deep Freeze model is a popular size. The 48 can model starts getting larger (and therefore less easy to carry) and the smaller ones only really have enough capacity to serve as lunch coolers. Ice retention on this model is quoted as 3 days, which is very good for a small portable cooler.
In terms of external dimensions, the Deep Freeze 30 measures 16.5″ in length, 11″ in depth and approximately 13″ in height. This makes it compact enough to be able to throw in the trunk of your car and still be easy to carry when you get your chosen destination.
Weight is 3.4lbs when empty which is reasonably lightweight and is not hindered too much by the inclusion of the hard liner. Even when full, the Deep Freeze 30 is never going to be a struggle to handle.
To make carrying easier the Deep Freeze 30 features an adjustable shoulder strap with rubber shoulder pad, to prevent the strap digging in when you realise you have packed too much into the cooler (that never happens, does it?).
For a small cooler, the Deep Freeze 30 actually has a number of useful features. In terms of extra storage space, there are mesh pockets on the ends of the cooler for smaller items, although these are likely to get full of sand and dirt.
The cooler also has 2 front zipper pockets. The larger one is not that deep but is still useful for something like a bottle of suncream. The smaller zip pocket is handy for items such as wallets or keys.
The top elastic strap is also useful for carrying other smaller beach or picnic related items, such as flip flops. A neat feature is a bottle opener that’s attached to the side of the cooler, just in case you leave yours back at home.
We really like this “hybrid” cooler from Arctic Zone and think the 30 can model is a good all-round size to have. The removable hard liner works well, especially with the removable shelf. There are also some useful extra storage pockets and its comfortable to carry. Yes, there are cheaper versions available, but this is a good quality, feature-packed cooler, so well worth a look.
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