When it comes to premium cooler brands, Orca is one of the good ones because you are able to find great quality at an affordable price.
All of Orca coolers are made with excellent quality and materials, and they even have a huge variety of colors and patterns to choose from. It’s nice to be able to choose something that feels more ‘you’, rather than the same kind and color as everyone else. This helps Orca stand out from the crowd.
They also have something unique that I love, which I’ll tell you about later on.
There’s a wide range of sizes, so you’ll definitely be able to find the right cooler that fits your needs. Here is this orca cooler review we will cover everything in depth to give you the best insight we have from our own experience with these coolers.
- 40-quart storage capacity
- Durable, roto-molded construction
- Lid gasket to ensure a perfect seal
- Extendable flex-grip handles for comfortable solo or tandem portage
- Cargo net attachment for added storage
Orca Cooler Review
Orca Cooler (Sizes :20-140 quarts)
Here you can find green and white Orca coolers that can hold 20, 26, 58, or 140 quart.
The 20 quart has measurements of 15 inches in height and 19 inches long, whereas the 26 quart measures at 14.75 inches in height, 23.75 inches long, with a width of 17.5 inches and weighing at 19 pounds.
The 58 quart is 18.75 inches high, 27.2 inches in length, 19.57 inches in width, and weighs 32 pounds.
Lastly, the 140 quart has dimensions of 20.9 inches in height, 40 inches long, 23.5 inches wide, and it weighs 45 pounds.
Guaranteed to fit all your needs – whether you’re going car camping or just grilling in your backyard.
It has a heavy-duty gasket, which provides a great airtight seal and is very important to increase and maintain ice life.
Many brands often skimp on the gasket and go for something thinner, which ends up letting hot air leak in.
Orca coolers have latches with their trademarked symbol, a cute orca tail, and they really give these coolers a unique touch.
T-latches are great; however, I have seen some other latches that are easier to open with one hand. T-latches take a little bit more effort to open or close, but that is because they are more secure.
Also, I held up the cooler by its sides, one by one, and I held it for a while to check for any leakage. I can confirm that Orca’s coolers are completely leak proof.
The 20-quart coolers have a single flex-grip stainless steel handle, so it’s super easy to carry around. The bigger coolers have a handle on each side with rope and molded rubber for a better grip. There are also hand-holds on the sides of the cooler so that you can just pick it right up if you want to.
There’s even a cargo net attachment on the outside and at the back of the cooler to store small items. This makes it perfect for boat/fishing trips.
These Orca ice chests have four non-skid pads on the bottom of them so that the cooler doesn’t slide around on a smooth surface such as on a boat.
Here you can find Orca’s pink cooler in two sizes; 40 or 58 quart.
The 40 quart one has measurements of (H x L x W) 17.5 x 26.0 x 17.5 inches and weighs 24 pounds. It also has a tested ice life of 65-80 hours.
The 58-quart cooler is 27.2 inches in length, 18.75 inches in height, weighs 32 pounds, and has a tested ice life of 75-95 hours.
Like all Orca coolers, there’s a cargo net attachment at the back for additional storage and extendable curved flex-grip handles so that you can comfortably carry it. If it’s not too heavy to carry it by yourself, the hand-holds on the sides make it really easy to do so.
Whether you’re carrying it alone or with help, it’ll be a breeze and your hands won’t hurt or anything.
Not only are they very tough and durable, but these coolers also feature a gasket on the inside that seals down very tightly – which helps the cooler to be bear-proof.
Thanks to the gasket smells don’t escape, and since you can even lock the lid if you so choose, this means that you can safely leave your cooler outside of your camper even if you’re in bear country.
In fact, the gasket can seal the lid down so tightly that you might find it difficult to get the lid open at times. If this does happen, just unscrew the drain plug to let some air in and that should help.
Every component of a cooler matters, even the hinges, bolts, and latches. It’s just as important for coolers to be tough in case they get dropped, scratched, kicked, and so on.
It’s a good thing that every single part of Orca ice chests are made with high quality. Also, thanks to the way Orca coolers are made, they have no weak points and can handle plenty of wear and tear.
The latches are made with thick rubber that lasts long and grips tightly, and the hinge beam is made of steel so that it doesn’t rust.
The drain plug on the side is great. The plug itself is quite a hefty piece of plastic, and you can completely remove it to help with keeping everything clean. There are holes on either side of the plug so that you can just unscrew it a little bit and water will flow out.
Inside the cooler, the bottom is mostly flat except for the side near the drain because there is a gentle slope to help with drainage.
Orca do have a limited lifetime warranty that covers manufacturing defects and workmanship under normal use.
The easy-flow drainage spouts, which are on every unit, make emptying melted ice so much easier. Although, it’s always located on the side of the cooler, but having it on the front or back would have made it even easier when emptying such a large unit.
Another thing that I would like to mention about Orca’s coolers is the zero-flex lid. The lids are ultra-strong, and you can stand on the lid and there’s zero flex whatsoever. It also makes a really great surface for cutting.
Orca vs Yeti
Orca and Yeti coolers have similar features and both offer a wide variety of colors and patterns. Yeti coolers are usually ever so slightly more expensive than Orca coolers, but it really depends on which color and pattern you choose with Orca.
You could say that coolers from both brands have very similar pros and cons. It really just comes to which you can get for a better price.
Obviously, Orca coolers are not cheap and this is because you are getting a cooler that is going to last you for years and years.
Even though Yeti is the more popular brand, I would go as far as to argue that Orca’s coolers can do even better than Yeti at a much more affordable price. Overall the orca cooler prices really dictate that orca is the better option than yeti because overall they really are quite similar in regards to quality.
Every Orca cooler has the size of it stamped on the bottom left of the front side. This size indicates how much you can actually put inside the cooler, but the outside dimensions of it are much larger because the insulation is so thick. Although this means that they can be quite bulky, it’s worth it because of how well they retain ice.
If you need to know the exact dimensions of the cooler you’d like to buy, so that you can be sure it’ll fit in your car, then you can always find the exact dimensions listen with the product.
How They’re Made
Orca make very durable coolers, and the reason they’re so tough is because they have been constructed using the rotational molding method.
Rotational molding is a process used by manufacturers to give plastic a particular shape. The mold is first coated with raw plastic (usually polyresin pellets), and then the mold is rotated in an oven along both the horizontal and vertical axes. By doing it this way, the material gets evenly distributed inside the mold.
This is what makes it even more versatile than regular plastic.
These coolers have the most consistent thickness. All corners, joints, and other stress points are much stronger and can handle more pressure than other coolers that have been manufactured with a different process.
Not only does rotational molding make coolers stronger, but it also maximizes ice life. This is because since the shell was in a single piece, the chance for hot air to leak in is much smaller.
Do keep in mind that the color of your cooler will impact how long it can retain ice. Your best bet is to just get a white cooler if you know it’ll be out in the sun a lot and opened many times. Tan is also a good option, but colors like dark gray or blue, any dark shades, will cause shorter ice life.
In order to test a cooler’s ice life, it usually gets half filled with ice and is placed outside in 90 degrees Fahrenheit weather to see how the ice fares.
Results of this kind can never be completely accurate because of all the different factors that come into play here; how often you open the cooler, the temperature outside varies, the size of the ice can also make a difference sometimes, etc.
The larger a cooler is, the higher the ice life because there’s space for more ice.
Compared with some other brands, Orca have pretty good numbers when it comes to ice life. There is no doubt that this is mainly because of the roto-molding manufacturing process.
In my case, I had filled up one of the coolers up until about 60% with just ice and left it out in the heat. I did open it every now and then, like I would when camping, and it lasted three full days. The temperature on the lid was around 170 degrees Fahrenheit, so you wouldn’t want to sit on it. However, this was a dark blue cooler.
When I tested out a white one in the same way, it performed as well as any of Yeti’s coolers. The white cooler managed to retain ice for 6 full days, in the same constant heat. Even on the seventh day, the temperature of the water was around 50 degrees, and so still usable for beverages, which is amazing.
Orca have a very simple design and don’t really have any special features to them. Nowadays premium coolers come with more and more features, like built-in bottle openers and/or cup holders, reversible feet or wheels, and so on.
I do wish that they had put in an integrated bottle opener because it’s such a small thing but really comes in handy. It also would have been really nice if there was a ruler marked on the lid for those who go fishing.
Orca doesn’t really have much, other than the cargo net attachment and flex-grip handles.
At least they have that space for storage because not a lot of coolers have that.
I wouldn’t consider the cute orca tail latches to be a feature, that’s just a nice touch because it doesn’t really do anything other than provide more of a tighter grip and seal.
Honestly though, to me, this just shows me how well Orca coolers are made because they don’t need loads of features to prove that they’re good.
Although, Orca do offer one particular feature with certain coolers that I think is amazing; Liddup.
The Liddup coolers have an LED light strip build inside, which is incredibly useful for camping. Once it gets dark, it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for inside the cooler.
Orca have extra heavy duty coolers, and so their main feature is that they are extremely durable, tough, and without weak points. It is important that a cooler won’t let you down, especially when you’re out in the field.
Orca Cooler Review – Conclusion
Orca aren’t as popular as some other premium cooler brands, and I honestly can’t see why.
The most important question is; are they worth the price?
I have to say that they definitely are. I do have to remind you that Orca coolers are not just for a day at the beach once now and then. Orca coolers are long-lasting, very durable, and can stay cold for multiple days at a time. They’re great for camping, road trips, beach days, whatever you want – but you shouldn’t buy one of these if you are not somebody who uses coolers often.
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