I recently got my hands on a cooler I was pretty excited about giving a thorough testing: the KONG 50. KONG has a small lineup of high end, rotomolded coolers, and they are high on features. I got the 50 quart cooler, as well as all of their various accessories, to test out.
The first and most important thing to talk about of course is just how cold this thing stays. After all, that is the primary reason anyone buys a cooler. As a big time hunter and outdoorsman, I rely on my coolers to keep me supplied during multiday outings without going anywhere near a place to resupply. Being able to keep ice frozen is absolutely critical to me.
Kong makes some big claims, as you can see here. The size that I got should be able to hold ice for as long as 8 days! Though I haven’t had the opportunity yet to give this a thorough test (since I’ve been using the cooler too often to leave it just full of ice for 8 days. However, I will test this claim soon and update the article.
My usual use cases are a bit more extreme than a sterile testing environment anyway, and I have a feeling yours are as well. I typically use a cooler for 2-3 days at a time, and use the least amount of ice I possibly can. So far the KONG has surpassed my expectations and had no problem staying frigid cold, despite sitting in a hot car with only a couple small frozen water bottles.
The reality is that most rotomolded coolers are capable of keeping your provisions cold far longer than most people these days ever spend away from civilization. So what unique things can KONG bring to the table? Quite a lot actually, primarily in the form of accessories.
For starters, the cooler comes with a handy divider. This is very useful for organizing and separating things. It’s also super useful if you don’t need the full cooler on a given trip (which is often for me) and only use one side of it, helping to keep items close together to stay cold. I also got the full suite of KONG accessories, and it turns the cooler into a legitimate meal prep station. With the Cut N’ trays, you can set up small tables/cutting boards on both sides of the cooler, which gives you an impressive amount of space to get meal prep work done. A bottle opener attachment and finger crush guards are critical accessories for parties, and KONG has some great ones.
If I have to nitpick, the only negative I’ve found with this cooler so far is that the handles tend to be kind of loud in a car as they swing and hit the sides of the cooler. This is a very easy fix for KONG, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they made a change in materials to make it quieter. I will also say that it might be because the handles are built from such a sturdy material, which is exactly what you want.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the KONG 50 cooler. It’s a great rotomolded cooler, and the available accessories turn it into a legitimate mobile meal prep station that sets it apart in a crowded field. I’m excited to test out their other products and see what other cool products they come up with!