There are only a few things in this world where the “form follows function” rule applies more than it does for coolers. My spouse would say I am a cooler hoarder. But the right cooler for the occasion is so important. How much do you need to carry? How long/far do have to carry it? How long do you need the ice to last? So when we received the long-awaited and much anticipated RIDGID Cold Box Cooler my thoughts immediately went to when and what would I use this RIDGID cooler for? Find out below if we think it is worth adding to your collection.
RIDGID Cooler Overview
RIDGID says “Since the day we invented the modern pipe wrench, we’ve made it our mission to build for the world’s expert tradespeople…” I think this cooler is intended for those “tradespeople”. This RIDGID cooler does not have a telescoping handle and/or integrated wheels. It is designed to be part of RIDGID’s Pro Tool Storage System and can be connected to one of the system’s many rolling boxes. It is around twice the size of the usual construction lunch box: RIDGID Cold Box Cooler @ 27 qt. vs. DeWALT Insulated Lunch Box @ 10 qt. and Milwaukee’s PACKOUT Compact Cooler @ 16 qt., to name a few. I personally think the DeWALT and Milwaukee lunch boxes are too small to fit enough food, drink, and ice for a long hot day on the job, so I do like this size. But this cooler by itself, full of ice and drinks & food would be very heavy to carry from the top handle for very far. So I don’t know that it would be considered a good “replacement” for your family’s big, rolling, camping/tailgating/boating cooler, but it makes for a great lunch box.
RIDGID Cooler Features
The RIDGID Cooler (model 249843) has a molded construction of high-impact resin. RIDGID specs the cooler’s outer dimensions at 25.04″ x 14.57″ x 12.44″.
Built to keep your stuff cold, clean, and safe. The RIDGID Cooler has thick, insulated walls. The 1.75″ rim marries to the lid’s rubber gasket to create a water-tight, dust-proof seal, and the cooler is lockable.
RIGID claims 48 hours of ice retention. So I put 14 lbs. of ice in ours, only opened the lid once a day, and it took about four days for the ice to completely melt.
I measured the 27 qt. inside cavity to be roughly 19″ x 10″ x 8.5″. RIGID says it will hold 42 cans. I was able to fit in 27 of these 16.9 oz. water bottles standing up.
The RIDGID cooler construction has a heavy-duty feel and it weighs in at just over 10 lbs. The front latches and latch hinges are solid molded resin. The metal and resin rear lid hinges are pictured above.
The RIDGID Cooler has a large top handle that folds away. It could also be carried by the RIDGID’s Pro Tool Storage System handles on the sides (pictured below). Another feature that I would use fairly often is the two hooked grooves at the bottom of each side to bungee or strap it down.
Pictured here are the rubber-over-metal RIDGID Pro Tool Storage System handles and the two shallow cup holders molded into the top of the lid.
The bottom is designed with four molded resin feet.
RIDGID Cooler Value
I did a quick search on Amazon for “Roto-Molded Ice Cooler” and it was hard to find one under $150. So for $79.97 at The Home Depot, it is one of the most affordable coolers of its kind. And costs less than most of the similarly constructed, but much smaller “lunch box” coolers on the market. So even if you are not invested in the RIDGID Pro Tool Storage System this RIDGID Cooler is still a good value.
RIDGID Cooler Wrap Up
I like the size, feel, and features of this RIDGID cooler, but 10+ lbs. is a bit on the heavy side. It has more than enough room for plenty of ice and food & drinks. And at the 24-hour mark, my 14 lbs. of ice was only about 15% melted, so my lunches would easily stay cold for a day on the job. However, there are two things missing: one, at this size it should have a drain at the bottom, and two … where’s the bottle opener? But at around $80 it is well worth considering as your new lunch box and an addition to your cooler collection.