ORCA Coolers provided me with the products for my ORCA cooler review and for the giveaway. All opinions are entirely my own.
I have been on the hunt for some new coolers to add to our increasing collection of camping and outdoor cooking gear for several months. My husband and I even sat around the fire at our last Memorial Day camping trip and chatted brands, price ranges, and features we would be looking for in our next cooler purchase. So it felt like the universe spoke to us directly through an email from ORCA when they asked if I could review a few of their coolers for the blog. ORCA is actually one of the brands we had been looking at because of their commitment to creating an American made product and their lifetime warranty. The deal got even sweeter when I started reading up on the coolers and realized they actually beat out some of the bigger names in the industry (YETI anybody?) for ice retention. ORCA reports ice retention of up to 10 days and with an extra inch of thickness in the sidewall over some of their competitors I totally believe it.
ORCA COOLER REVIEW: The Podster
As a full time mom and self declared lover of the outdoors I was eager to get my hands on an ORCA Podster. I spend an excessive amount of time packing insulated bags and smaller soft sided coolers for park play dates and lake day picnics. We’re typically out of the house just after breakfast and gone until dinner, and the thinner fabric coolers I had just weren’t cutting it when it came to keeping our string cheeses chilled and our salads crisp. I knew I’d be putting the Podster through the ringer right away, so the same week it arrived we loaded up our dinner and took off to the lake. The cooler is just the right size for our drinks, picnic dinner, and snacks to tide the kids through 3 hours of kayaking. I think we managed to load it up with 6 water bottles, 5 sandwiches, 3 bananas, a pint of raspberries, 2 apples, a gallon zip top bag of carrots, peas, and broccoli, 5 string cheeses, a handful of granola bars, and several ice packs to keep everything cool. After several hours at the lake in 90 degrees F heat, nothing got warm or soggy and we had ice cold water bottles for the drive home.
In addition to the capacity and chill factor, the ORCA Podster has some other benefits that I don’t think I can live without in a cooler from now on. It’s a backpack! And not just a backpack for the sake of being a backpack. The straps are really comfortable, super adjustable, and it fits so great on my back. I don’t know if you realize the importance of your cooler being hands free until you’re also trying to haul towels, beach bags, camping chairs, and life jackets. Let me just say, it was a game changer for me. There is also a cool accessories system on the outside with hooks and loops so you can attach anything you need with a carabiner clip. Everything on this cooler is designed with functionality in mind and built to last. I am legitimately and honestly impressed with the craftsmanship, quality, and features. Oh, and it’s cute, comes in a bunch of trendy colors, and looks so slick. I got my Podster in Seafoam and I was getting second glances from all the other ladies at the lake that day.
ORCA COOLER REVIEW: 140 Quart Cooler
Let me preface this review by stating that my initial excitement and satisfaction with this cooler may have been based entirely on the fact that is was hot pink. Does it have anything to do with functionality, capacity, or ice retention? Nope. But it made me happy, so I thought I should let you know. The colors are actually one of the distinguishing features of the ORCA cooler line as a whole. They have a sweet range of solid colors (white, tan, black, navy, green, seafoam, light blue and pink) as well as a camo line with 8 different patterns (to protect your food from snatchers, obviously) and a Lifestyle line that features white sided coolers with cool patterned lids. It is actually so awesome to see something like a cooler that for years has been sold as basic white or blue develop a little personality and flavor. You better believe my husband is stoked to be helping my carry my massive hot pink cooler through our camp site, and you know why? Everybody’s going to know exactly who it belongs to. No more need to permanent marker our last name on my cooler so it doesn’t “accidentally” walk off at the neighborhood 4th of July pot luck when it is loaded full of my signature Cider Brined Pulled Pork.
Another cool (get it?? cool. so many cooler puns at my disposal here) aspect of the ORCA line is their sizing guide. I don’t know if you’ve shopped around for coolers, but they tend to be mega vague on the actual capacity of their product. They label them as the “350 elite” but don’t actually tell you how many quarts your cooler will hold. That’s where I loved browsing through the ORCA line-up. Their sizing is clear and concise. If you order a 140 quart cooler, that’s how many quarts will fit in your cooler. I love when things are intentionally straight forward.
Finally, and most importantly, features. This cooler is big. It is going to take 2 of us to haul this thing around, especially full of food. But it’s not excessively heavy. The cooler walls are foam insulated so they retain the chill without adding excessive weight. The lid is thick and durable and there is a water (and temperature) tight seal to keep the cold in and everything else out. The latches to secure the lid are so easy to use (I seriously still remember pinching my finger in my parent’s old cooler trying to get it to hook and latch closed) and seem durable and able to withstand heavy use. The rope handles on the side are the perfect length for lifting and hauling your cooler around.
All in all- for the features, price, durability, and the fact that this beauty is proudly American Made- I can happily and easily recommend the ORCA cooler line to you guys. I am truly quite picky in the brands I represent on my site because I know you guys value your money and the products you invest in (just like I do) so I hope you give ORCA a good look next time you’re in the market for a new cooler.
ORCA COOLER GIVEAWAY: 20 Quart LIMITED EDITION Patriotic Pride Cooler!!
That’s right friends- I want you to fall in love with ORCA coolers, just like I have and so I’m giving one away! And not just any cooler, but maybe the coolest cooler known to America. The 20 quart Limited Edition Patriotic Pride ORCA Cooler wants to party at your 4th of July shin dig this year. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below (you can gain up to 4 entries just by giving our social media pages some love) and I’ll randomly pick the winner by Friday, June 23rd so we have plenty of time to get you your cooler in time for this summer’s festivities!