RTIC Hard Cooler

This Cooler Saved Me From Tossing Hundreds of Dollars Worth of Food, and It's on Sale Right Now

Ice barely melted after days in my RTIC 45.
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In the outdoor cooler world, durability is the name of the game. Makers design ice chests that can survive deep sea fishing trips, rowdy tailgating parties, rugged backpacking excursions, and even bear attacks. But recently, RTIC's 45 Cooler helped me with a less glamorous, equally challenging adventure: moving.

I've changed addresses several times in my life and learned quite a few things along the way. An important—and expensive—lesson was not to leave packing the contents of my fridge and freezer until the last minute. (Just imagine being stuck in traffic with plastic bags of melting ice cream and delicate eggs in your trunk. I've been there.) That's where this RTIC cooler comes in.

Designed with 3-inch insulated walls and air-tight seal, the hard-sided cooler kept hundreds of dollars' worth of frozen meat, seafood, and dairy ice cold during a multi-day move. In fact, after all the boxes were unpacked on day three of our moving marathon, the ice had barely even melted. So, I feel the need to let the world know that it's 30% off on Amazon for Labor Day.

To buy: RTIC 45 Cooler, $200 (originally $284) at amazon.com

RTIC's 45 Cooler is made from a single piece of hollow plastic in a process called rotomolding. The seamless body is not only incredibly sturdy, but, combined with thick commercial-grade insulation and freezer-quality gasket, also traps cold air inside the container. The brand claims its cooler can hold ice for up to 10 days.

To ensure my cooler stayed as cold as possible, I made sure to follow several packing tips I've learned from pros. First, I pre-chilled it with ice 24 hours before the move to bring down the interior temperature. I also primarily packed frozen foods, which insulated the ice, and refrained from opening the chest throughout the entire move so the cold couldn't escape. And while a fully packed U-Haul in July isn't the coolest spot, I didn't have to worry about direct sunlight warming up my RTIC.

In addition to its remarkable ice retention, the RTIC 45 has several other features I appreciated during the move. I love its heavyweight T-shaped rubber latches that are simple to open and close, as well as its multitude of handles for convenient carrying. I'm also impressed with its no-sweat exterior and non-slip feet that kept the chest from scooting around the moving truck.

I should note: the cooler is large and heavy when full. It holds 40 pounds of ice (that's equivalent to 36 soda cans or the contents of my freezer) and has a 13.75-inch by 25.25-inch footprint, so you aren't likely to tote it around to picnics or hiking trips. However, it's excellent for loading a week's worth of supplies in your car or as backup storage if your power goes out.

Like most rotomolded coolers, the RTIC 45 is an investment at $285. But with Labor Day just around the corner, Amazon slashed the price to just $200. No matter if you're moving, RVing, or looking for more storage space, snag the smart savings now so you'll be ready for whatever adventure comes your way.