Now many options in the arena can be found at most mega-marts. What I have found over the years, however, is that if I want the best, I need to search for it. I look for people that share the same goal and make a living out of doing it. Special Operations uses this same mentality many times when looking for gear. What better place to look for cold weather gear, for example, than with those that live and work in that environment? This is why you see so much commercial gear in the hands of our elite operators. I used the same tactic when looking for a cooler.
Professional fishermen are one of the industries that hold coolers as a critical piece of gear. Failing to keep their catch cold leads to disaster and monetary failure. A cooler company that seems to own this space is Icey-Tek. Icey-Tek is a veteran-owned and operated business. The Icey-Tek cooler brand was originally conceived in Australia in the late 1980s by three avid outdoorsmen who saw a market for a rugged rotomolded polyethylene icebox with the same ice retention capabilities as a fiberglass icebox.
Innovation By Design
They worked with a Thai roto mold company to design the first prototype coolers. The first models were pretty basic, with butt hinges, a locking device, and a lid-lifting handle on the icebox. Over the next couple of years, they made improvements, including silicone rubber latches, heavy-duty self-locking hinges, and a waterproof neoprene seal around the lid, making the Icey-Tek brand the preferred icebox among the other brands on the market.
It was only a short time before Icey-Tek developed a line of long iceboxes that nobody else was doing at the time. These long iceboxes were designed for fishermen who could finally put their catch into an icebox without curling the tail or heading up the cooler’s side. Campers and outfitters grew to love this style of ice chest as well, and to this day-long, box coolers remain top sellers.
Once the Icey-Tek brand started to cover Australia, the owners received inquiries from several outdoorsmen from overseas countries who had seen the Icey-Tek iceboxes in Australia and wanted to become distributors in their own countries. Quickly, Icey-Tek distributorships became established in New Zealand, North America, the UAE, Hawaii, England, and Europe, while manufacturing has remained in Thailand. That is when Icey-Tek became the original premium rotomolded polyethylene ice cooler available in the US market when it was introduced in 1998.
Coolers Are For Every Time Of The Year
For over 25 years, many copycats have imitated Icey-Tek’s rotomolded manufacturing design and ice retention technology, but no one can ever claim to be first. In fact, Icey-Tek has privately labeled coolers for many companies, including Yeti, during their start-up years when they licensed Icey-Tek ice chests to be labeled as their “Roughneck” cooler line. One can say that Icey-Tek is the ice chest that started the entire premium cooler industry. The quality and performance of Icey-Tek coolers are evidenced by the customers who use them. NASA chose Icey-Tek to transport temperature-sensitive space shuttle components.
Arctic exploration companies have used them to test freezing conditions on critical equipment. Commercial fishermen use them for their large capacity and durable construction, and caterers use them to keep items cold and warm. It turns out the best cooler for summer is perfect for any time of the year or for any type of work.
With this extensive resume, Icey-Tek is a premier cooler for arenas outside the general sportsman realm. I speak from experience because I was provided an Icey Tek cooler and quickly put it to work. A little background on my “cooler applications.” I live, work, and train in Phoenix, Arizona. While we enjoy our winters, the summers are brutal reminders that the environment is in charge, and if you disrespect it, it will kill you.
Torture Tested In The Field
As a gun writer, I spend hours and hours on the range testing gear and guns. My latest adventure turned into an 8-hour session with temps pushing 118 degrees. In anticipation of this day, I loaded my Icey-Tek with water and electrolyte drinks and buried them in ice. Once on the range, I dropped the cooler right on the corner of the range, away from any shade. If we were going to test it, then let’s test it. Every time I opened the cooler, I found an almost complete pack of ice that I had started with.
Understand now that the air temperature reached 118 and the ground where to cooler sat was in excess of 135 degrees. After hours of this torture, I lost about 25 percent of the ice, which was nothing. All my drinks were ice-cold, making the day much less miserable.
While taking Icey-Tek coolers into the firearms and training world may seem like an “off-label” event, it really isn’t. Icey Tek is veteran-owned, so they get it. They are so committed to the veteran community that they allocate a portion of every sale to support military veterans through vetted organizations, programs, and activities. I firmly believe in supporting companies with this kind of commitment. Add to that the exceptional performance of the product, and you have a win-win situation. If you are looking for a professional quality cooler, you must look at Icey-Tek.