What is one thing camping, fishing, sports tournaments, parties, and beach days have in common? The need for a cooler, of course. There are so many coolers you can purchase. In fact, a Gearadical staffer reviewed the Orca cooler last year and really liked it. Since my husband and I have recently found ourselves doing a lot more boating and fishing, we’ve realized that having a good cooler is important. We tried using our Coleman, but the ice melted faster than we’d like. You know how that is…you want to keep your food and drinks cold but don’t necessarily want your food or containers to get soggy. Taking the plunge to purchase a pricey cooler (aka “portable fridge”) was something that took us a while, but boy am I glad I did! The GoSun Chillest cooler (on sale for $500) is transformational!
The UPS man drove up to my house, lugged out a huge box, asked for my signature, and said, “A portable refrigerator? I’ve never heard of something like that. Have fun with it!” I have to admit that I wasn’t really sure what in the world he was talking about. I hadn’t ordered a portable refrigerator! So, I immediately opened the box. Inside was my GoSun Chillest cooler. It was packaged so well that nothing shifted or got damaged. I was impressed with the sturdy metal pull bar and the overall ruggedness of the cooler. I needed to read the instructions to get it ready for use, so I dove right in.
Design and Features
On the outside, the Chillest looks like most coolers; however, as I just mentioned, it has a built-in telescoping metal handle so you can easily pull it wherever you want. The two wheels are well designed for even your more challenging, uneven terrain. Inside, the 45-liter cooler has two separate zones that can each be controlled, with temperatures ranging from -4°F to 68°F (-20°C to 20°C). Even better was that it was ready to go at my chosen temperatures in only 30 minutes. I’m sure you’re wondering how it stays cool, right? Well, it has a built-in 87Wh battery that powers it. You could also invest in an external Power Bank like GoSun’s Power 266 (on sale for $350) or GoSun’s Solar Panels like the 30 W Solar Panel ($120 on sale), and 60 W Solar Table ($180 on sale). You can also run the cooler or extend its cooling time by running it off of any 12V source like a boat, car (e.g., Hyundai Elantra), or truck (like the Chevy Silverado or Ford F-250). Just plug it in and go! Remember that the length of the battery life will depend on how you’re using the cooler and the temperature outside. If it’s 100° and you’re using the cooler as both a freezer and fridge, the battery life will not last as long as if you were using it as only a fridge on a 75° day.
I can’t stress enough that this cooler is a workhorse. It truly keeps your items cold (or frozen) with no pesky water to deal with. It is roomy enough for quite a few things, buuuuutttttt…we’ll save that comment for the “slight cons” part of this. Although I haven’t been using the Chillest for a long time, I can attest to the fact that it holds up well (so far). The charge lasts longer than my former coolers that were kept cold with ice or ice packs as it can last up to 40 hours (however, remember my last sentence in the previous section!).
Let’s talk about the size of the cooler for a moment. Because it has two separate areas, there is a little less room, I suppose. However, without the ice or ice packs taking up room, I’d say you’re really not losing much room. Is this a con? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a pro…let’s call it a wash.
I do need to give you some cons on this cooler. Firstly, if you want to use it for a camping weekend away (and not plug it into anything), you’ll need to purchase an extra battery pack and/or the solar panels/table. It’ll be good for a day trip on a pontoon boat or a sports tournament. If you’ve read any of my reviews, I’m a “frugal” shopper (some may call me a cheapskate). So, I must mention one last con. It is that the cooler itself is pricey at $500 on sale. Add in the extra battery pack, solar power, etc., and you could easily rack up nearly $1000 in payout for this. I don’t know about you, but this frugal friend isn’t one to dish out 1K for keeping my goodies cool, no matter how neat the cooler is (okay, I did spring for the $500 for the cooler alone and I’m not too upset about that!)
I’ll close out this review with a few summary ponderings. Overall, I like this cooler a lot. It has many things going for it and, let’s be honest, it’s pretty “cool” that it can make ice and keep your ice cream frozen. Even Elsa would be happy with that! If you’re looking to be the chillest on your block, this cooler may help get you there. How many people can say their cooler is actually a portable fridge and freezer? Not many, at least not my UPS guy! Okay, I’ll stop with the “boomer puns” as my sons would say. For real, though, this cooler is great. Take it with you on your pontoon, to your family reunion, sports tournaments, or overnight camping trip, and you’ll be pleased. I certainly was.