Which one? Iceboxes & Eskies, Downunder, Coleman, Fibreglass or Plastic???

Submitted: Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 19:25
ThreadID: 30886 Views:21555 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
This Thread has been Archived
We're looking at buying an icebox for 3 - 10 day camping with 2 small kids. Thinking about the Coleman XTreme 6 day esky (cheaper end) or the Downunder icebox series (blue plastic or white fibreglass). Not sure about performance of poly vs fibreglass. From what I've read Evakool is the way to go but we're looking for cheaper options. In terms of value for money what are your thoughts?
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: toohey. - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 19:51

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 19:51
g'day paul &suz
i've got a evercool,is a bit dearer but it's a great esky.in the long term might be worth think'n about?
cheers toohey
AnswerID: 155622

Follow Up By: spliney - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 08:33

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 08:33
Value for money...??

EvaKool every time!

FollowupID: 409674

Reply By: russ36 - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:01

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:01
the design of the tropical icebox has a built in recessed edge for carrying therefore no worries about weak handles breaking, and its lid cant fold back too far so as to damage the hinges, and it seals well due to the lid and body both being very flat....cant comment on its ice lasting ability, only had it a couple of days
AnswerID: 155626

Reply By: datto311 - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:31

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:31
Any of these are good. Look for one with an insulated lid and good seals. They should be airtight. On our old fibreglass one, when we drained the water we couldn't open the lid.
Get a big one and a small one. Keep your meat and other perishables in the big one. Put in block ice you have had in the bottom of your freezer at home for a couple of weeks. Only open this big one once or twice a day. Try to keep it out of direct sunlight and keep it cool. Take out of it what you will need for each day and put this into the smaller one, eg milk, butter, meat for tonight, drinks for the kids etc. Have some smaller block ice in this one as well. Top it up with party ice as you need to.
Do this and you will bring home some of your block ice in the big esky and nothing will have gone off.
We used do this before we had a fridge and it was great. We used to go away for 2 weeks at a time. No kids though. We even kept the fish we caught in the big esky.
AnswerID: 155630

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff H (QLD) - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 22:54

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 22:54
Datto you prick , where have you been hiding? We did just that in 1975 -Darwin to Broome n back, and still a coldie to hand.
Didn't mean to be rude, but (a) haven't seen your name much, and
. (b) you MUST be a member.
Look forward to more comments from you .
. Jeff H.
FollowupID: 409651

Follow Up By: datto311 - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 10:49

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 10:49

I am a signed up visitor. I just lurk at the moment.

We have a GU patrol. We had had 4wd's of various types since the mid-80's I also have a Datsun Fairlady Sports and that is the basis of my id.

What are the benefits of being a member

FollowupID: 409685

Reply By: Paul & Suz - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:42

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:42
great advice thanks!
AnswerID: 155634

Follow Up By: 95DX CRUISER - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 21:19

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 21:19
try www.techniice.com.au great ice boxes and half the price of evacool. Most of the plastic type iceboxes all come from the same company anyway,know a bloke who just bought a shipping container of ice boxes direct from the manufacturer and you would be surprised at the number of different branded ice boxes he received to make up his order !
FollowupID: 409630

Reply By: Dazz78 - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 22:46

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 22:46
G'day Paul & Suz

I own a 73L Downunder icebox and a 82L Tropical icebox. To see which was better I placed two ice bricks into each box. The bricks were one litre each and the boxes were left closed for about 20 hours without opening. When opened the Downunder box had about a third of its ice remaining while the ice in the Tropical had completely thawed and was much warmer. To be fair the Tropical is a bigger box and would have taken more to cool it however I consider the performance of the Downunder to be better. In my opinion the construction of the Tropical is better than alot of the plastic boxes I have seen and will take more of a beating than a fragile fibreglass box and are good value for money. There are certainly positives and negatives for both types of construction and which one you choose depends on the intended use. Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 155653

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 15:52

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 15:52
Hmmm ........ Fragile fibreglass, interesting & unsubstantiated comment!
FollowupID: 409724

Follow Up By: Dazz78 - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 19:28

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 19:28

How substantiated do you want. Some people may need a box that can bounce around in the back of a ute with no damage while others take a little care. If you need convincing buy a fibreglass box and give it a hit with a hammer. A plastic box will take whatever you throw at it.
FollowupID: 409749

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 11:43

Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 11:43
All I can say is, keep the plastic one out of the sun bouncing around in the back of your ute, (don't know why you wouldn't tie it down) because like the rotomoulded dinghys, it will become brittle with UV degradation.

As far as fibreglass being 'fragile' there are plenty of GRP boats that sail around the world that seem to be strong enough, also gamefishing boats, race car bodies etc. etc. etc.
FollowupID: 409808

Follow Up By: Dazz78 - Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 23:39

Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 23:39
Very good points Shaker. However, it is impact resistance that we are talking about, not strength. The poly boats you mention are very tough and some I have seen have literally been bounced off of rocks with no more damage than a scratch. Do that with a glass boat and it's a one way ticket to the bottom. As far as UV is concerned most plastics are UV stabilized and last a very long time. No one would normally use an icebox in direct sun anyway.

Perhaps fragile was the wrong term to use. "More easily damaged through sudden impact" would be a better choice of words but most people would know what I meant. Personally, despite the advantages of plastic I also prefer the glass products.
FollowupID: 409883

Reply By: Member - Tim - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 01:21

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 01:21
Hi Paul and Suz,

We just recently bought one of the blue downunder ones (73lt) as we wanted something to use when going away for a weekend without needing to take the coleman fridge and the gas bottle etc. We thought about the glass ones but decided that the plastic would take the knocks better and the downunder seemed a better shape than the tropical since it does not have the prominent lip which I think would get in the way in the back of the truck. We have used it only one weekend and with a couple of frozen milk bottles of water and a couple of those silver ice pack things it went very well. Milk etc still cold at the end of two days. Not a real test I know but exactly what we bought it for so we were pretty happy. There is no way that the old cheap eskis we have would have done the same.


AnswerID: 155678

Reply By: robak (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 12:49

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 12:49
Paul & Suz

We have the white fibreglass Downiunder (55L i think). It's been great and keeps ice much longer then other poples iceboxes that I camp with.

Being fibreglass it is more prone to cracking. I've got some cracks around the top of the main section where the lid comes down on. The cracks happen ussually when it's being thrown around in the back of the car. It doesn't affect the performance though.

It also seals really well. As mentioned before, when we let the water out it takes a strong man to open the lid. The same happens if you slam the lid shut. My wife can't open it.

The best way to see which performs the best is to find out their R-values. Naturally manufacturers don't give out that information but you can still ask beacuse as far as I'm concerned that is the MOST imporatant factor of an esky.
If you can find a shop with all these iceboxes, try and get them to drop an equal amount of ice into each one. Return the next day and see how well each has performed. I know, it's a long shot, but you can ask anyway.

Perhaps try emailing the manufacturers about the R values.

One more thing. Don't really bother with warranties. A longer warranty will not keep your food colder. I can sell you a cheap clear plastic box with a 20 year warranty but it won't keep your beers cold for very long. The warranties have nothing to do with the iceboxes ability tyo stay cool.


AnswerID: 155721

Follow Up By: Paul & Suz - Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 19:01

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 19:01
thanks for the fantastic feedback - so much better to get the 'real story' as opposed to the one they tell you in the store. Today we bought the 73 litre white fibreglass Downunder ice box ($399 Camping World). Appealed to the parents with the 'in the long run' story and what do you know, they bought it for us!!! So we're ecstatic... just hoping we can lift it!
FollowupID: 409748

Sponsored Links