Ryobi is an incredible power tool manufacturer. They know their market (Homeowners) and create awesome products to support their customers. No longer are they just a power tool company but they have created a cordless brand for the homeowner who wants to do DIY projects but also wants a little more. As an example take the Ryobi Garage Door Opener or the Score. The opener is an out of the box idea that is selling well. Recently Ryobi announced another cool product, the cooler, so let’s jump into the Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review.
Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review – Overview
Before we jump into the Ryobi Cooling cooler review we need to understand a couple of items about this cooler.
This cooler isn’t made to compete against a Yeti or a like cooler. Coolers like Yeti or Igloo are designed to keep ice and your drinks cold for three or more days.
The Ryobi cooler doesn’t have the design like these other coolers so your stuff isn’t going to stay cold for that long. This is more of a day cooler such as if you’re going camping for a night, tailgating for a day or going to the beach. This is where this cooler fits into the market.
The Ryobi Cooling Cooler is extremely unique because you fill the cooler with ice to keep your drinks cold. There is an optional power button to start a fan. The fan sucks air from inside the cooler and pushes it out a vent.
Since the cooler has to move air from inside the cooler, it has to bring new air into the cooler and that air travels over the ice up through an aluminum rod and cools the air. So since it’s bringing air into the cooler, it can’t keep the ice cold for three days because of the way it seals.
So as we go on, don’t look at this as a competition against the other coolers because it’s not. This is a product that has its own niche place in the market.
Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review – Features
Starting on the top of the cooler, you can see the Ryobi cooler has two permanent bottles or can holders.
Staying on top of the cooler, there are two covered compartments. One compartment is designed for dry stuff like napkins, phones or anything else you want dry. On the other side of the compartment is where you insert the 18V battery to power the fan. Both of these compartments are locked closed with a plastic locking mechanism.
On each side of the cooler, there are built in handles when you need to lift the cooler. There is also a built in handle on one side that will allow you to roll the cooler from place to place. The wheels are plastic but big enough to have an easy time rolling it around.
As with most other coolers, this also features a drain plug when you need to empty the water and it’s too heavy. The drain plug is a snap on and is located underneath the wheels.
The lid is held to the body of the cooler using a metal pin so you won’t have to worry about the top ever separating from the cooler, which I am glad they beefed this part of the cooler up to make it more solid.
There is also a flexible safety strap to stop the lid from opening further than 90°.
Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review – Cooling Features
The cooler produces cool air by grabbing air from the outside and bringing it in the cooler. Once in the cooler, it travels over the ice and up through an aluminum honey comb tube where the fan pushes it out through vents. The system is all powered by the Ryobi 18V included battery. If you are already in the Ryobi family, you might want to use a different battery as this battery will run for 4 hours but it takes 8 hours to charge.
I ended up using a bigger battery and it fits in the compartment even with the lid closed. This way I can get more run time.
To start the system push the button located on the front of the cooler. When you start the unit up, the fan will engage and start the cooling process.
As you can see by the lid, there is a small place for outside air to travel into the cooler.
When the air enters the cooler, it will come in contact with this cylinder to start the cooling process.
Once the air travels through the cylinder, it will enter the fan which is located under the lid.
Now the air will be pushed out through the vents which a user can direct in different directions.
Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review – Performance
Performance is going to depend upon your objective. Again, if you are looking for a cooler that you can add one bag of ice to last three days, this isn’t your cooler. But as we discussed that this cooler fits in a niche and does a great job.
While it will hold 2-liter bottles, it will not hold large mixed bottles that some might take on a camping trip, at least not up right. As you can see the top wouldn’t close.
This cooler is huge inside and can hold enough beverages for a great tailgating party.
There is still enough room to pack with ice and keep all the drinks cold.
As you can see there isn’t a seal. The lid closes together on another piece of plastic. While it still does a great job holding the cold air in, you can see how some air will get into the cooler.
We left the cooler outside for over two hours with the fan off. The ice didn’t melt and the outside of the cooler was about 85°.
We turned the fan on and started getting cold air right away. We got the air temperature down to about 49° which feels much colder when you’re standing in the sun and heat.
Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review – Value
I have to admit determining if this is a good value is tough for me. If you are looking for a straight up cooler that will work for three days straight, this isn’t for you and the price tag of $179 is high. However, if you are looking for a day cooler that can also produce some cold air, it’s not badly priced for $179.
The cooler is a quality cooler and you know the battery platform is proven so for $179 you know what you’re getting and it performs as advertised.
Ryobi Cooling Cooler Review – Final Thoughts
Bottom line make sure you know what this cooler is and what it isn’t. If you are looking for a cooler that will keep your drinks cold for a full three-day camping trip on one bag of ice, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a large capacity cooler that will keep your drinks cold all day and provide some cold air movement, this is a great cooler to have.
I love the idea that you can transport a ton of drinks and create cold air with one product. While the cooler is on the heavy side, the wheels do a nice job of moving it from place to place. The dry storage is a nice added feature.
If you are tailgating, camping or going to the beach and want a little something extra, this is a nice unit. I ended up bringing it to my kids baseball games, filled it with ice and water. All the kids had a blast with it. In fact, they liked it so much they weren’t paying much attention to who was up to bat.