Blue Coolers is a family owned business which has become of the top ice cooler brands available today. The company offers a wide range of coolers in different colors and sizes, but the unifying factor is their roto-molded design and high quality functionality.
In this review we will look at Blue Cooler’s 55 Quart Ice Vault cooler and evaluate both its pros and cons. We will look at ice keeping performance, portability, storage capacity, ease of use, design, durability and features.
We will compare the Ice Vault to other coolers by Blue, as well as to similar coolers from other brands like Yeti, Rtic and Coleman.
Read on if you want to find out whether the Blue Cooler’s 55 Quart Ice Vault is the cooler you have been looking for!
- Empty Weight: 28.2 pounds
- Interior Volume: 55 Quarts (3176 inches cubed)
- Capacity: 50 Liters
- Dimensions: 27 x 18.1 x 18.9 inches (L x W x H)
- Material: rotomolded plastic construction
- Features: Lockable lid, non-skid feet, rapid drain system, lockdown straps, sure grip handle, no fail hinges, air seal, bear resistant construction
The first thing to say about the 55 quart iIce Vault is that it is a large cooler. The true interior volume of this beast is 3176 inches cubed, which according to Amazon is the equivalent of 46-48 cans when packed at a 2:1 ice ratio.
This is pretty impressive and means that the Ice Vault really is an excellent choice for those who are going away for a few days and need plenty of provisions to be kept cold.
The large capacity also makes this cooler an excellent choice for sports teams and group outings when lots of people need catering for. You can easily fit enough soda cans in one of these coolers to keep a whole soccer team happy and hydrated.
Of course, the more you wish to store in the Ice Vault, the more ice you need to pack in as well in order to keep the temperature down. The most effective way to keep your goods cool is to line the base of the cooler with ice packs and then spread a 2:1 ratio of ice cubes amongst your produce.
Always pack meat at the bottom, dairy next, and any fresh fruits and veg on the top. The size of the chest makes it fairly hefty to carry, so we don’t recommend this cooler if you are intending to carry it far on foot.
Ice Keeping Performance
The most important element of any cooler is surely its cooling ability. You will be pleased to hear that, not only does the Ice Vault keep cold things cold, it also keeps warm things warm.
The rotomolded construction of the walls make it a highly insulating chest which is very successful at maintaining temperatures. The lockable lid also contributes greatly to this impressive ice keeping time as it ensures that the cooler stays sealed and does not let warmth in unnecessarily.
The Ice Vault can in fact keep ice frozen for anywhere between 4 and 10 days.
If you are going away for longer than 10 days you will need to find an alternative way of keeping your produce fresh and cool as the ice will melt after a time in this cooler and the temperature will rise as a result.
However, we think that 10 days is a very impressive ice retention time for any cooler and there are hardly any other brands out there that can offer better.
The exact length of time that the Ice Vault retains ice depends on a number of variables.
The ratio of ice to produce, the starting temperature of the cooler, the temperature of the produce, the ambient temperature, the number of times the cooler is opened and closed, where it is stored and how efficiently it is sealed, all play a part in the overall ice keeping time.
This model is fast becoming a best seller thanks to its excellent portability. The wheels are well designed and very sturdy, and they really do make a big difference when it comes to taking this cooler anywhere on foot.
On rough terrain the chest still needs to be lifted, but when dragging it to the side of a soccer pitch for time out refreshments, it is ideal.
Thanks to its rotomoulded construction, the Blue Cooler’s Ice Vault is not only highly insulating but is also very strong and durable.
The process of rotomolding involves two layers of hard set plastic being filled with a dense plastic resin whilst the whole structure is continuously rotated.
The plastic is heated and cooled numerous times in order to create a solid and unbreakable material. The technique results in an even thickness being achieved throughout the cooler, and this helps to maintain constant temperatures inside.
The walls are 2 inches thick on the Ice Vault, and the tough exterior is so hardy it is even bear resistant!
The Ice Vault by Blue Coolers scores incredibly highly when it comes to durability.
The non-slip feet mean that the chest does not slip and slide about when placed on the ground, and the freezer style hinges are heavy duty and strong so that the lid does not come loose with wear.
The best way to clean the Ice Vault is with a wet cloth and some mild soap or detergent. It is not advisable to use abrasive brushes or scourers on the inside of the cooler as the inner wall can become scratched and damaged unnecessarily.
The simple interior chamber is easy to wipe down, and the lid should be left slightly ajar (you can use a towel or newspaper to stop it closing completely) in order to prevent bad smells and mold from developing on the inside.
The cooler has a rapid drain system that is easy to use and very effective when you want to get rid of water and fluids from inside the chamber.
A small drainage plug can be pulled out to allow liquids to escape, making your mopping much easier.
The only downside to the design is that the plug is not attached to the cooler and so can easily be lost or misplaced. As the cooler cannot function properly without the plug in place, it is important to keep track of it at all times.
Blue Coolers offer a range of color choices for their coolers, from arctic white, to blue and grey. The arctic white is the best color choice if you are most concerned with ice keeping times, as white will keep the cooler cold for longer than blue or grey.
This is because white reflects light rather than absorbing it, therefore sunlight bounces off the box rather than warming it. However, arctic white can be a fairly impractical color choice if you know that your cooler is going to be put through the ringer.
Scuffs, knocks and dirt will all show up far more clearly on a white surface than a blue or grey surface, so if aesthetics are really important to you then you will be better off choosing a less light option.
Bearing in mind the 55 quart capacity, 28 lbs weight, 10 day ice retention time and thick, durable design, we think that the Ice Vault is an ideal cooler for short trips and vacations.
It fits in the trunk of a car or truck and can be carried short distances using the sure grip handles. Camping trips, sports games and parties are therefore all times when this cooler works perfectly.
It can store lots of food and drink for multiple people, and can keep ice for up to 10 days.
Comparison to Other Blue Coolers
The Ice Vault is too heavy and bulky for a single person to carry far on their own, we don’t think that the Ice Vault is the best choice for hiking and biking trips.
A smaller, more portable model would be more suitable for such occasions, such as Blue Cooler’s Companion cooler. It has a 30 quart capacity and it is perfect for taking on a kayak, bike or even as a beach buddy.
For very large numbers of people who need a great deal of food and drink and ice, Blue Cooler’s Ark Series Cooler is a great option. The Ark Series cooler is absolutely enormous and has a true interior volume of 100 quarts!
Although this cooler is too big and heavy to carry very far at all, it is ideal for setting up on the side of a pitch, the deck of a boat, the trunk of a truck or the bottom of the garden.
This cooler is great if you are throwing a big party and want a storage container that can hold plenty of beverages for everyone and keep them cold at the same time!
Comparison To Other Brands
Blue Coolers’ 55 Quart Ice Vault may seem expensive on the surface, but when compared to other high end coolers of a similar size it becomes clear that it is reasonably priced.
In fact, more expensive models by Yeti and RTIC cost more but do not offer any longer ice retention times or storage capacity. The cooler’s durability means that it will last for a long time, making it a good investment in the long run.
Its versatility means that you will get plenty of use out of it whether you are storing drinks for a sports game, or keeping meat cool at a bbq. Overall, we think that Blue Coolers Ice Vault is excellent value for money.