How to pick the best small cooler.
We offer 3 options in the day cooler size, the Outfitter 22, the Scout 22, and the Nomad 20. With options, come questions. Mostly about how to decide which of the 3 you should choose. So here's a quick overview of the differences between each of the day-use coolers that will help you decide which fits your needs best.
The Outfitter 22
First, let’s start with the staple of the trio, the Outfitter 22. This is the cooler we built upon when we created the Scout. It’s a simple, no-frills, easy-to-use cooler when you just need to keep some drinks and food cold for a day or two. Its intentional square shape makes it easy to fit in hard to squeeze places like on the floorboard between rows of seats. There’s no muffin top that gets in the way like most coolers on the market. The EZ-Cam latches are simple to use, and lever out of the way to open the cooler, without requiring an extra few inches to clear the cooler body, again saving valuable space. And if you already have an Outfitter 75, the Outfitter 22 was designed to stow away inside of the it when not in use.
The Outfitter 22’s simplicity, however, might also be what you like least about it. It’s essentially an Australian beer box. As such, it’s a strong box to keep your beer cold. But there’s few other features. It doesn’t even have a drain plug. For this reason, we recommend using it with our Cooler Shock products. This will keep it from filling with water that you can only drain by tilting the cooler. It’s also got the least amount of insulation of the three. And won’t keep ice intact as long as the other two. But it’s lack of insulation, means it’s a full 3 pounds lighter than the Scout.
The Scout 22
It was the simplicity of the Outfitter 22 that we sought to address with the creation of the Scout. The first thing we did was add insulation by increasing the thickness of the walls. And then we started adding features that made the Scout more capable of fast action. It has loads of tie down points through the patented extruded bars. These bars also enabled us to incorporate a jungle net system that will hold just about anything to the lid of the cooler. The scout is lockable and has a drain plug, making it easy to keep your contents dry as your ice melts. All of these features make the Scout far more capable, but at the cost of added weight, and it’s the heaviest of the three options, at 14 lbs.
Because of the extruded bars we needed to change up the latch. The dual action push pull latches are easy to use, but take a little getting used to if you’re unfamiliar with them. But once engaged, they’re more likely to hold the lid closed in the event of the cooler taking a spill from your off road rig or UTV.
The Nomad 20
The Nomad is not technically 22 quarts, and is the latest addition to the lineup of day-use coolers. It’s in a category of its own, as a 20 quart soft-side cooler.
It’s lack of a hard rotomolded plastic shell makes it incredible light-weight, at only 5 lbs. Ironically perhaps, it also boasts the best ice-retention of the 3 coolers, and depending on the environment and use, your ice could see up to 5 days. Its lack of hard shell makes it almost pliable and bendable to fit in tight spaces, but the insulation is thick and it is somewhat rigid, so don’t expect miracles in this regard. But it will fit between seat rows better than the other two in smaller vehicles.
The zippered top opening and dense foam insulation make digging cold items out of this cooler a little more tricky than the other two with a big box top that opens up. It also makes draining melt water harder. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to consider using a Cooler Shock product instead of ice if the situation is right.
It’s well built, but less bombproof than the hard side options. Zippers can fail. Stitching can fail. But it is guaranteed for one year by the same no-hassle, Sh!t Happens warranty.
These are the main differences between the 3 day cool options. One is super light weight and boasts great ice retention, but is less durable than the other two. The Outfitter is a simple to use beer box that will keep your items cold for a day. And the Scout has everything that’s great about the Outfitter, but comes with added features that make it anxious to move with you. Which you choose, really depends on what you most need it for.