Submitted: Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:02
ThreadID: 8030 Views:19246 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Hello to all you guys out there, been reading for a while and seems that alot of guys ask about what ice boxes are best and so forth, some have said alot are manufactured overseas, which is true, i would imagine between 80-90% are, but only a few are owned and ran with australian managment.
Now here a few things you should always check when it comes to ice boxes/eskys,

* INSULATION, the thicker the better, thats why most fiberglass boxes hold ice better then plastic as majority of them are @ 35mm+ in insulation.
* Hinges, stronger the better, always
* Drain plugs, make sure that they are water tight sealing, if water can get out, heat can get in.
* Ice will always last longer if the melted water is removed,and like many have said, cant go past using empty plastic bottles, or milk containers that will keep majority of the melted water confined.

Now alot of new plastic ice boxes are on the market. and again, all these princables about fiberglass is the same with plastic, no rocket science needed here,

But my pick of the plastic would have to be at the momment, until a better one comes along would be the tropical by far, it strong, its robust, and has great insulation, and i will add i dont own or sell tropical just stating my opinion like many others have. Hope this helps everyone alittle,and feel free to ask any question,and yes i do manufacture more then one kind of box. Regards Malbie
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Reply By: Tony - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:14

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:14
Thats interesting information Malbie, but I think 99% of the people on here with 4WD's now use 12volt fridges and the old Ice Box is collecting dust in the shed at home.
AnswerID: 34852

Reply By: flappan - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:15

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:15
Nup, disagree.

It would be far less then 99% that use fridges . . . they are still bloody expensive, ice boxes and eskies are still required. Some use both, I know I will be.

I have a Waeco 65l Icebox. Tis an absolute ripper . . . . puts ANY traditional esky to shame. Its a fibreglass one (like the evacool fridges), not the Plastic type.

3 days, half a bag of ice. Still had most of the ice left . . .

Looked at the Tropical, and the only reason I got a Waeco one, because I got hold of a 2nd's for nearly half normal price.

Would have bought a Tropical otherwise.
AnswerID: 34857

Reply By: Member - Ross - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:47

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:47
Tropical gets my vote by a country mile. The fibre glass jobs are also very good but not as robust.

We use the fridge for tucker and "esky" for the more important stuff. I've found you're rarely more than 2 days from an ice supply and there's nothing quite like hauling a XXXX out of the ice. Or grabbing a small handful for the old Bundy & Coke.Rosco
AnswerID: 34861

Follow Up By: Zapper - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 23:07

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 23:07

Do you have a tropical box? I was looking at them the other day at Repco, $177 for a 52 litre, they looked quite good. How do they insulate compared to the fibreglass? I have heard they are good? How do they go keeping ice for several days at a time?
FollowupID: 25231

Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 23:19

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 23:19
Hey Zapper

I believe the fibre glass ones are slightly more efficient but can't speak from experience as we've only had the Tropical for a short while.

I don't think there's a lot of difference but believe the glass ones are a tad better. One mate of mine has a glass which we've used for a number of years up Texas (Qld) way for shooting trips ... but in June (-1-2*C) not really warm enough to test.

We're off to Straddie tomorrow for the weekend so I'll put the plastic to the test and report back.

Main point in our decision was the robustness .. true we paid around $150 for a 52l but I expect it to last until the dinosaurs revisit. The glass may go an extra ice day but won't cop being abused .... not that I'd bruise the XXXX.Rosco
FollowupID: 25234

Follow Up By: Zapper - Friday, Oct 31, 2003 at 01:03

Friday, Oct 31, 2003 at 01:03
Hey Ross

How did the tropical icebox go
FollowupID: 25825

Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Friday, Oct 31, 2003 at 07:42

Friday, Oct 31, 2003 at 07:42

Sorry for being a tad slack .. been a busy week.

OK .......

Took the Tropical up to Fraser back in Sept. It was used as a storage supply so wasn't opened for the first couple of days.

3/4 Chocker with pre-chilled cans of libation + ice and easily lasted 4 days with ice left.

Last weekend it was used as the only source. Started 1/2 filled with cold cans/stubs etc + 2*3.5 kg crushed ice.

Was opened regularly :-D ... left Friday AM and by Sunday AM very little ice left but water was painfully cold so comfortably lasted 3 days and 2 nights.Rosco
FollowupID: 25830

Reply By: Wheelerdog - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:47

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:47
I have a 65 litre evakool ice box and a trailblazer 12 volter. Both have there place. Evakool is great for in the boat for keeping fish and tinnies as well as extended camping. I don't have solar or the like to keep fridge going Keeps ice for a unbeleivable amount of time. I was a sceptic before i purchased as to the performance, but i'm now a true believer. I had a fault with the icebox ie gelcoat cracking and evakool replaced no worries.

I use 2L milk bottles to hold ice, being rectangular they stack better and waste less space.
AnswerID: 34869

Reply By: basecamp15 - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 17:39

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 17:39
If you want to get fancy you can freeeze some blocks of salt water and place them on the bottom of the esky. When the top layers eventually melt the water will trickle down and refreeze on the colder saltwater ice. The temperature of the salt ice can get very low so can be a useful tool to extend the life of your ice.
I WOULD NOT recommend this practice for an esky in a vehicle as the salt water may leak out. Better safe than sorry.
AnswerID: 34876

Reply By: george - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 11:28

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 11:28
Hi guys,

The preverbial debate on iceboxes continue's!

We know Evakool fibreglass iceboxes (made in Caloundra QLD) are the best there is and they have recently released a budget range of plastic boxes (imported) to compete with other products being brought in from Asia and the Phillipines.

The Evakool products are being marketed under the Icekool brand name with 10 sizes ranging from 10litre capacity (lunch boxes) to 200 litre (long) mackerell boxes for the fishermen. The larger boxes from 70 litres up have 35mm insulation with boxes from 100 litres on having 50mm insulation.

Price points are in the main $30.00 dollars cheaper than similar imported plastic orange or dark blue iceboxes with similar performance. In addition to this Evakool are the only ones offering a written 5 year warranty.

Saw them at last weekends camping show in Brisbane after checking them out on

Marketed by Evakool with Evakools backing so they must be good.
AnswerID: 36031

Follow Up By: malbie - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:11

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 17:11
George, Sorry for the late reply, but it seems you have a few facts wrong, the evacool ice boxes, fiberglass have been know to be manufactured overseas in Fiji from time to time so how does that make them ones 100% australian manufactured, and for the plastic icecool ones , they are made in India, and apparently from second grade material, as well as recycled plastic, not saying that thats a bad thing as recycling is good for the world, but it maybe not as good a qaulity as 1st grade plastic, hope this helps Regards Malbie
FollowupID: 26667

Reply By: Member - Eskimo - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 17:41

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 17:41
A small drip from the drain plug is not going to let a lot of heat in to seriously affect the ice!!!

Its a matter of how much!?? A pin hole will let water escape but how much heat will get in?

Good insulation and a tight lid seal is the go.

Ice at -20 lasts longer than ice from the pub or ice works which is probably only around -12 to -15.

I can keep ice for in excess of 7 days for 4 guys drinks in approx 30 degrees plus and then still have to toss half away. Its a 90 litre colman filled with about 70 litres of ice.Wow! am I cute
If yer ain't fishing, Yer ain't livin
AnswerID: 36090

Reply By: chad vic - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 19:51

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 19:51
I have just returned from trip to Arkaroola/Innaminka and took both Tropical and Everkool ice boxes. As I was not dilligent in giving the eskies the best conditions possible I cannot evaluate the eskies independantly. However as both were treated the same I can make a comparison and the Everkool easily out lasted the Tropical. That said our next journey we will be equipped with an electric fridge/freezer.Cheers Chad
AnswerID: 36105

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