Driftsun Coolers Review 2020: Find out Best Driftsun Ice Chests

driftsun cooler reviews

Driftsun Cooler Reviews: After travelling and working with a Driftsun cooler for the last few months I am surprised with the performance it has shown and I love it! Their price and construction are designed to compete in the mid to premium-range market. They might still seem to be somewhat expensive to some people but will be significantly cheaper than the most expensive brands such as Yeti and Engel. That being said, you might have to sacrifice some performance and toughness to enjoy these more at an affordable price. Here’s my take on the Driftsun cooler which we think is perfect for Van life.

Inspire Adventure”, the Driftsun was created in 2014 in the lakes of Northern California. The Driftsun was founded by the people who had a passion for sports and adventure. Driftsun promises to deliver the quality products to the customers at the best value. Driftsun deals in the ice chest, water games, and outdoor activities products.

Also, See- How To Pack a Cooler |Coolers Guide

Currently, Driftsun offers five hard-sided coolers that come with different storage sizes. You can choose from Driftsun 20 quarts coolers, Driftsun 45 quarts coolers, Driftsun 70 quarts coolers, Driftsun 75 quarts coolers, Driftsun 110 quarts hard cooler.

Driftsun 45-Quart Ice Chest Check Price
Driftsun 70-Quart Wheeled Ice Chest Check Price

Driftsun 75 Quart Ice Chest

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Driftsun 110-Quart Ice Chest

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The company is pretty well established in the realm of boating and summertime beach toys – they manufacture a complete line of kneeboards, hammocks, lounge chairs, standup paddleboards, and even clear-bottom kayaks. The 70qt comes with wheels, so if you are looking for a Cooler with wheels this is made for you. It comes in 70 quarts with rolling wheels that make it easy to handle in trips like hiking and camping. If you already have a cooler and wants to set up wheels, we have a Wheeled Cooler Setup Guide for our readers.

We guess it’s only natural then that they decided to jump into the rotomolded ice chest market, given the importance of coolers for summertime activities, and given the fact that pretty much every other brand has their own line of performance ice chests these days.

driftsun ice chest

Driftsun Cooler Reviews 2020:

The first thing we’ll say about Driftsun ice chests is that their quality surprised us. Considering the fact we’d never heard of them before and they have little to no marketing/advertising, we assumed it wouldn’t be too much of a review. And the best part is that they’re inexpensive.

The Driftsun cooler claims that it keeps ice for more than four and a half days. We’ve found that in cooler temperatures, it keeps things cool for about four days but there isn’t any ice left after four days.

It’s made of heavy-duty polyethylene that is virtually unbreakable. The construction rivals that of the yeti cooler and yet it’s a fraction of the price. We’ve put ours through the ringer that lasts several months and it’s stood up to daily use from van life.

As far as prices, on average Driftsun Coolers are about 40% cheaper than YETI. They’re very comparable in price to RTIC, but the good thing about them is that you don’t have to worry about them being back ordered. Ever since RTIC rocked the market by introducing YETI-quality coolers at half the price, people are ever on the lookout for new, quality brands like Driftsun that seemingly pop up out of nowhere and offer heavily discounted rotomold coolers.

When you first see the list of sizes to choose from you might be a bit underwhelmed with what Driftsun Coolers have to offer. However, upon closer inspection, you will notice that the sizes that they do offer are diverse and cover a large range of what most people would be looking for.

Also, See- Engel VS Rtic Cooler Comparison

driftsun ice chest features

They have large variants of coolers starting from 20 quart models which are good for those needing something a bit more mobile. They then step up to 45 qt options for those who need more storage space but also have to be able to fit their ice chest in the back of SUV or other somewhat tight space. Finally, Driftsun bumps things up to their 70-75 quart line which is large enough for just about every application.

When most people think of ice chest with a long life, the standard juggernauts instantly come to mind. However, Driftsun feels confident that they can compete with the best. They hope to accomplish this through several vital construction steps that they have emulated from other premium cooler lines.


Let’s check out the major features of Driftsun hard cooler here:

driftsun cooler features, driftsun cooler 2019

Driftsun Rotomolded Construction

By now everybody knows that if you want a tough cooler that has great ice life you have to go Roto-molding. This one-piece design helps to ensure consistent walls and takes away potential escape routes for the cold air to take in between wall sections. They have heavy-duty rubberized GorillaGrip feet. 360-degree ThermalLock freezer gasket. YETI-quality rubber T- band latches. Military grade texture grip handles. Tie down/padlock slots for secure storage. 4 built cupholders. Driftsun’s lineup of rotomolded ice chests is called the Driftsun Arctik Series and they’ve currently got four different sizes available: a 25-quart, 40-quart, 6-quart, and 85-quart.

Thick walls on all sides

Driftsun advertises as having 2 inch thick walls of commercial grade insulation. We love thick insulation as it means that you lose as little cold air as possible. It is head enough to keep ice frozen when dealing with the lid and the gasket. Not having to worry about the walls themselves takes a huge load off.

Freezer Gasket

Another thing that we like to see and that Driftsun coolers thankfully include is a ThermaLock freezer-style gasket. This large gasket forms a great seal and helps to minimize the impact that the gap between the lid and the base has on the ice inside. Including this really is a must if one hopes to compete with the big digs in ice life.

Ice Retention

High ice life tops the list of priorities when looking for the coolers. Now, that we are all aware of the specifications of the Driftsun Coolers where we hardly talked about the ice life of Driftsun Coolers. Let’s see how it performs in terms of retaining ice.


Driftsun Colors & Size 2020

Driftsun ice coolers colors, driftsun hard cooler, reviews

Model Dimensions
(L X W X H)
Ice Life
Driftsun 20 quarts cooler • Outside
21″x 13″ x 14.5″
• Inside
14″ x 8″ x 10″
4-6 days
Driftsun 45 quarts cooler • Outside
26.5″ x 16.5″ x 16.5″
• Inside
20″ x 10.5″ x 11.5″
6-9 days
Driftsun 70 quarts cooler • Outside
33″ x 16.5″ x 18″
• Inside
27″ x 12″ x 14″
9-10 days
Driftsun 75 quarts cooler • Outside
33.5″ x 18.5″ x 18″
• Inside
27″ x 12″ x 13″
9-10 days
Driftsun 110 quarts cooler • Outside
37.5″ x 19.25″ x 19.5″
• Inside
31.5″ x 14.25″ x 15″
9-10 days

As mentioned, Driftsun coolers are capable enough to keep the ice for up to 10 days. Depending on the model you opt for. For a great ice life, you must go for the larger model. There might be variations in the ice life depending upon the factors where you would put the cooler.

Features of the Driftsun Cooler

  • Two drink holders on the lid
  • Fish ruler on the lid
  • Built-in bottle opener
  • UV resistant exterior
  • Stainless steel handles with a soft grip for carrying
  • USDA’s interagency grizzly bear Committee says this cooler is certified bear-resistant.
  • Superb build quality
  • Great insulation life
  • Non-slip Feet
Pros
  • It’s leak proof. We’ve tipped our cooler over to test out the seals and we’re happy to say that it doesn’t leak.
  • It actually keeps things cold for a lot longer than our other cooler. Out in the Pacific Northwest where we’ve been lately where the temps have been in between 40 and 60 degrees, it’s keeping our food cold for about four days with a bag of ice.
  • It’s scratch resistant.
  • Variants of bright colors or color of your choice.
  • You can put a lock on it so that someone else can’t open it.
  • It’s large enough for us to store at one time:
Cons
  • The rubber clasps are a little challenging to secure.
  • It is too tall to stay where it is in the photo below at night when the bed is made and has to be moved to the front seat.

Also, See- Best Coolers for Camping in 2020

Driftsun didn’t just stop here. They also took inspiration from other brands by including various features that can help to maximize the life of the cooler.

Roto-molding: Not just for Ice

Another reason we love roto-moulded construction is that it makes for a very tough structure. Traditional assembly methods require that multiple pieces of a cooler have to be attached through glue, heat, or some other type method. While a more cost-effective method, it results in weak points between the plates that also stress risers. These connection points are where you will see many coolers fail first.

By Roto-molding, you are left with a single piece that is tough all around and doesn’t have to deal with the stress risers that lower caliber coolers struggle with.

Tough Components of Driftsun Ice Chest

Driftsun coolers also come with military-grade nylon rope handles that should last for many years and provide a great grip while holding up to standard wear and tear. In addition, the tie-down slots are molded directly into the structure of the ice chest. This is a benefit of Roto-molding and allows for you to be able to securely fasten the cooler without worrying about the die-down slots ripping off of the base of the cooler. Driftsun coolers are that they attempt to copy the big boys of the cooler world in regards to build quality, ice life, and toughness while being much more affordable. That isn’t to say that their coolers are cheap but they are still noticeably less expensive than the highest tiers of coolers that they are trying to emulate.

driftsun vs yeti, comparison with yeti

Driftsun vs. Yeti Hard Coolers: Comparison

Which is better? Driftsun Coolers or Yeti Coolers?

Well, like most things, there isn’t a simple answer. Both have their own pros and cons. To help you decide which is right for you, we will briefly go over each.

Driftsun, as this review has shown, is trying to tap into the impressive performance of a premium cooler while staying somewhat affordable. You will enjoy some of the features of a typical top-tier cooler but at a price point that is much user-friendly. However, being a smaller and a new company, there are still some “kinks” to work out. From a quality standpoint, there are some issues that can creep up over time. These problems aren’t necessarily tied to the materials or design approach being used but rather just fine-tuning the manufacturing process. Also, you are very limited in colour and design options.

Also, See: How to Make a Wheeled Cooler

Yeti, on the other hand, has fine-tuned their cooler. You will enjoy the consistent performance with rock-steady ice life and impressive build quality. You will also enjoy a wide array of sizes, color option, and customization features. And on top of these, the various accessories that are offered seem to be endless. But all of this comes at an extremely high asking price that will easily trump Driftsun’s costs.

Driftsun coolers come as a big surprise to other competing brands. The premium features offered by the Driftsun is sure to create a great rivalry among the brands. But there is something we are satisfied with. They need to bring more options in terms of coolers and accessories. Moreover, these coolers have a superior build quality and a great ice life. With the years, the Driftsun is trying to improvise themselves in terms of quality and quantity.

Also See: Yeti vs. Rtic Cooler Comparison

So, if you are on a tight budget and want to “roll the dice” a bit on a cooler that has all of the features that other premium coolers do but for a fraction of the price, then give Driftsun Coolers are try. But if you want “play it safe” with a more proven brand and have the deep pockets to support it, then stick with Yeti. We think this is one of the best coolers for van life. Though it’s a bit too tall to be able to leave the place when we want to make the bed, it fits just fine on the front seat. It can be a bit of a struggle to lift it up and over the wooden box when it’s full but we’ve been looking on the bright side and thinking of this one.

About the Author: Yash

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