Otterbox Venture 45 Cooler: Ice for Two Weeks?
There’s a lot going on with the Otterbox Venture 45 cooler. Are you most interested in its modular mounting system and accessories? Its born-in-the-USA pedigree? Or Otterbox’s claim that it keeps solid ice for two weeks?
No matter what you expect or require out of a cooler, the Otterbox Venture 45 goes above and beyond to deliver it — even campy (pun intended) marketing materials. In the words of one company rep, as delivered in a promo video, “better turn up your heater; we’re about to get sub-zero!”
When I got the opportunity to test the rig, I briefly confused myself for Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, prostrating myself at the icebox’s sturdy base and repeatedly crying out, “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!” The ensuing test delivered some surprising results.
Cold Front: Technical Specs
Otterbox’s Venture cooler series comes in three sizes: a 25-, 45-, or the substantial 65-quart. The 45 will suit most crews with around 20” x 12” x 12” of internal capacity. It weighs 26 lbs, which is on the upper end of average for the category and capacity.
Anyone who values supporting domestic manufacturing will be pleased to note that Otterbox builds its coolers in a Detroit, MI factory. Durable materials geared toward weight reduction characterize the build: polypropylene shells, polycarbonate latches, and stainless steel hardware.
Two-inch-thick refrigerator-grade insulation lines the cooler. Otterbox claims it can keep solid ice for 14 days. YETI makes no such claim; RTIC claims 10 days. As of this writing, I still hadn’t put the claim to the test; however, the cooler did make 42 hot beers cold with only one bag of ice on a blindingly sunny Las Vegas afternoon.
If you followed universal cooler tips like pre-chilling your cooler with burner ice before you load it, only loading it with refrigerated items, keeping it in the shade, etc., I have no doubt the Venture 45 would meet your “ice-gevity” (as OtterBox says) expectations.
Ice, Pack: Cooler Review and Utility
The dominant search query for 45-quart coolers appears to be “how many beers can it hold?” — which I respect. The answer, for the Venture 45: 72 or better (hell yeah, brother). The cooler’s base alone fits 28 beers upright. I put a 30-rack of Natty Light (does any other beer come in a 30-pack?), a 12-pack of Corona Premier, which is my dad’s favorite beer and also comes in the same size can as Truly, White Claw, etc., plus a normal size bag of ice in it with mucho room to spare.
Once I packed and loaded the Venture 45, its anti-slide rubber feet and wide stance gave it a stable base. At one point, I noticed a tester sitting on the cooler, so I offered her a chair. She declined the offer, commenting, “there’s no way I’m gonna fall off this thing, no matter how many of these beers I drink!”
An ingenious mounting system helps you add and swap out accessories depending on your adventure demands. Otterbox includes a bottle opener and storage tray with each Venture 45. We added the interior divider and the side table. The side table tested impressively. It has three cup holders, a cutting board that seats into the top, and fits the cooler solidly enough to inspire confidence. Otterbox’s modular mounting system is a category exclusive, at least among chief competitors.
My testing team found the latches super easy to operate with one hand. It was easy for us to get in, but it would be a different story for bears. With the (not included) locking system equipped, the Venture 45 is certified bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), which is really cool from a wildlife ethics standpoint! Check out IGBC’s website to learn more.
Unfortunately, the drain plug was a problem — it just kept dripping. I tightened it as much as I could by hand and eventually resorted to using pliers. With the tool, I was able to lag it down, seemingly without doing any damage to the threads on the plug. There is a gasket in the cap, and I will try to add standard garden hose gaskets on top of it to see if I can solve the issue. If it works, I’ll update this article.
I want it to work because the cooler and even the drain plug work great otherwise. Except for the one hiccup, the use was great, and Otterbox even curates the draining process: the cooler’s bottom slants toward the drain plug, so I didn’t have to tip it to get it fully drained.
Cold Hard Cash: Buying the Otterbox Venture 45
As of this writing, you can get the $350 MSRP Otterbox Venture 45 for $245 on the company’s website. A limited lifetime warranty applies.
Happy hunting — or fishing, climbing, water-skiing, rec-league-softball-playing, camping, stargazing, etc.