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And we’re back again with another review! In this case, we’re doing a SuperHandy cooler review. This isn’t a very well-known brand in the cooler industry, and that is for good reason.
In This Article
For the most part, they’re known for everything in general and nothing in particular. Okay, perhaps that’s not entirely true.
We can say they mostly sell super handy products, as you might have guessed from their name. So, think material handling, outdoor fun, kitchen essentials, automotive equipment, and lots of other handy equipment.
SuperHandy coolers fall into the outdoor fun category of SuperHandy products. We got curious about them and decided to check them out. Suffice it to say we kind of liked what we found.
These are some heavy-duty, feature-rich, high performing, and, most important of all, extremely affordable coolers!
But you don’t have to take our word for it. Read our SuperHandy cooler review below to get a proper overview of what to expect from these ice chests, as well as how they compare to other brands in the industry, including the most famous one of them all: Yeti.
SuperHandy Cooler Review
First, let's take a quick look at the SuperHandy's cooler line up:
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20 QT Cooler
45 QT Cooler
45 QT Wheeled Cooler
20 QT / 8.9 L / 23 cans
45 QT / 42.5 L / 48 cans
45 QT / 42.5 L / 48 cans
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14.4 x 8.1 x 10.4
21.5 x 11 x 12.1
17.8" x 13.5" x 17.50"
beach, picnic, barbecue, hunt, fishing excursion, hike, camping, road trip, tailgating
*our data; advertised by manufacturer as ‘up to 10 days'.
Design and Build
The first piece of information we liked about these coolers is that they are rotomolded, made of LLDPE which stands for Linear Low-Density Polyethylene.
Rotomolding ensures that an ice chest has consistent thickness and strength all-round. There are no seams and so no points of failure on the ice chest, making it much stronger and more durable than ice chests built using other kinds of molding.
But for SuperHandy coolers, the design goes well beyond this, adopting 2.5 – 3-inch thick walls, which is actually similar to what industry giants like Yeti are doing.
This is a good touch, in our opinion, and certainly serves to make SuperHandy coolers even more super handy.
Insulation wise, between the thick plastic walls you'll find about 2 to 2.5 inches of foam insulation. It's closed-cell polyurethane foam – another common thing with other better-known coolers.
Another thing that lends itself well to the build of these coolers is that they have a UV protective shell. The thing about the exteriors of coolers is that they are made of plastic. While plastic may be generally unreactive, it may have a special sensitivity to the UV rays in sunlight.
This can lead to discoloration in the long run. What you have after a while is a cooler with a rather faded exterior color. The UV rays break down the plastic over time and weaken it as well, compromising the powerful build. At the very least, you don’t want your cooler looking beat over time.
Of course, another aspect of UV radiation is that it reduces ice retention time since it warms up the cooler and causes the ice inside to melt faster. The plastic is prone to absorbing UV rays easily, and since it’s an insulator, it will hold that heat in long after the sun has stopped shining on it, warming the contents of the cooler faster than they should warm.
The UV protective shell protects the SuperHandy cooler from all of these troubles, which is a good thing since it means you get a cooler that lasts longer without fading, stays strong, and maintains its ice retention capabilities fairly well, even in extremely hot weather and direct sunlight.
The overall look of the cooler is very rugged. It also has a very sleek low profile, which I found simple but stylish. It definitely looks like the kind of ice chest you would take out on an adventure and like it is capable of taking a beating.
Of course, this design might be all aesthetics, so it’s good to be cautious about such pronouncements, but we have tried it out in the wild for a couple of weekends, and it seems to hold up well. The mere fact that it is rotomolded should be enough to vouch for its ruggedness.
One thing about this cooler is that it is not IGBC certified bear-resistant. This doesn't mean it isn't bear-proof.
Also, as most coolers at this price point, it is made in China, which might not be good news for the more patriotic consumers who preferred USA-made coolers only.
The Chinese obviously aren’t going to do any tests about its ability to resist bear infiltration, but we think it can probably hold its own very well, considering the fact that it's rotomolded and has lid lockable on both sides.
While we wouldn’t advise you to take this as the gospel truth, we firmly believe this cooler can thwart the attempts of a bear to infiltrate it. We guess SuperHandy didn't want their coolers to get certified likely for cost-saving reasons – a pretty common move for non-high-end brands or cooler startups.
Apart from all this, there are many other interesting things you will find on these coolers.
On the front, we have an interesting pair of latches. While they look vaguely similar to T-latches in the mechanism, they aren’t quite the same, and they certainly look different visually.
These are tight and lock flush TPE T-clasp latches. They are recessed into their holds so that, when they are locked, they are flush with the face of the cooler, lending to the overall sleek but rugged look.
On either side of the front of the lid is a bottle opener, making things super convenient for when you’re out tailgating or on a picnic.
And then we come to the lid itself. It has a 360-degree D-seal style 15 mm gasket. That’s just nerd speak for “when you close this lid, you best believe all no hot air is leaking in and no cold air is leaking out”. For as long as the lid is locked firmly, the cold stays inside.
The lid also has a fish ruler on the surface so you can quickly measure your catch as soon as you reel it in.
On the 20 qt model, we have a lock-in-place place steel handle with an ergonomic rubber grip. This makes carrying the cooler and hauling it around very easy.
Obviously, the same kind of handle just won’t do for the larger models. Both the 45 qt coolers (wheeled and unwheeled) have 2 impact absorbing rubber grips on either side of the cooler. On top of that, they have removable nylon rope handles with ergonomic rubber grips. 2 people should be able to carry the coolers this way with each taking a nylon rope handle and hauling the cooler around between them.
Additionally, the wheeled version of the 45 qt cooler has 2 all-terrain rugged wheels as well as a strong retractable aluminum handle. One person can move it around by pulling it on its wheels. Makes the work much easier!
On the side of all the coolers lies a recessed drain plug for when you want to drain out all the water from the melted ice quickly.
Unfortunately, the drain plug doesn’t have a tether, so you’ll have to be careful not to lose it, or your cooler will be virtually useless until you buy a replacement drain cap.
There are also molded tie-down slats on the front to help secure the cooler to the bed of your pickup truck or boat for those especially bumpy rides. On the bottom are non-skid rubber feet for extra stability.
Now, SuperHandy announces that their coolers are capable of up to 10 days in ice retention, which we agree is possible. However, for the benefit of our readers, we’re going to have to qualify that claim.
The 10-day ice retention will most certainly not be possible on any of the two size versions unless we're talking about using it in cold weather. In real life, on a typical 90-degree day, the 20 qt model will likely keep ice for 2-3 days while the 45 qt models will keep ice for 4-5 days. We managed to get nearly 5 days out of the 45 qt one while using two 20-pound bags of ice and pre-chilled cans of beer.
We don't say it can't reach 7 days, a bunch of conditions should be met in order for the week to be achieved. You would have to pre-chill the cooler, as well as its contents. You would also have to mix block ice with cube ice to keep the contents cold for longer, or alternatively use ice packs like Cooler Shock or ice extenders like KoolerGel.
You would have to keep it in the shade and open it very infrequently, preferably no more than twice a day. You would also need colder weather, as we said before.
Available Sizes and Colors
There are only 2 available sizes: the 20 qt and the 45 qt models, though the 45 qt has a wheeled option. As far as available colors are concerned, you only get one: tan.
This is a little disappointing since it’s always a good thing to have a variety of options when buying coolers. Hopefully, SuperHandy will widen their selection in the future.
It’s interesting to note that the SuperHandy coolers are quite well priced, with a pricing of about $3.56 per quart.
In fact, generally speaking, this is quite a decent cooler with an attractive price point, but there is really nothing that special about it.
SuperHandy vs Yeti Coolers
SuperHandy vs YETI? Well, both have the same build technology since they’re both rotomolded.
However, Yeti has much more variety in terms of available sizes and colors. Yeti has 13 available sizes, inclusive of the Roadie 24 cooler. Yeti also has at least 6 colors available at any given time, with frequent color releases. The SuperHandy has only 2 available sizes and 1 available color.
Yeti has superior ice retention as well. We have had 4-5 days of ice retention on the Roadie 24 and over a week on the Tundra 45. That said, the ice retention on the SuperHandy cooler is still pretty solid.
When it comes to branding, Yeti again is superior. Yeti is the most popular brand in the cooler world while SuperHandy is a relatively unknown brand. A lot of our readers might even be hearing about it for the first time thanks to this review.
There are also a lot of spare parts for all kinds of Yeti coolers and almost none for SuperHandy's. Many people don't think about spare parts when deciding which cooler brand to opt for, but in case something goes wrong, it may not be easy to find a replacement part.
The greatest advantage for SuperHandy over Yeti is its pricing. As of writing this post, the 20 qt SuperHandy cooler costs $95.99 while the similarly-sized Yeti Roadie 24 costs $199.99. That’s more than twice the cost.
The same disparities exist when you compare the SuperHandy 45 qt ($159.99) to the Yeti Tundra 45 ($299.99).
Either way, a SuperHandy cooler will cost you roughly half of the price of a comparable Yeti.
SuperHandy vs Yeti – Verdict
If price is a major factor for you, and you’re looking at things from a practical standpoint, then SuperHandy should be the obvious choice here. However, if you are concerned about quality, or are a die-hard Yeti fan, then a Yeti Roadie or Tundra should do.
Other Coolers Like SuperHandy Worth Looking At
If you’re not convinced, why not do a little bit more research to see what are other options worth considering at a similar price level?
The 55 qt version of this cooler costs about $3.64 per quart compared to the $3.56 per quart of the 45 qt SuperHandy. That said, Blue is known for their super-thick insulation and should perform better on ice retention than SuperHandy. We did a comprehensive review of Blue Coolers here.
A big selling point for Cordova coolers is that they are 100% US-made and IGBC certified bear-resistant, not to mention the quality is very high at an affordable price.
In fact, as things currently stand, Cordova coolers are the cheapest US-made coolers on the market. They are only slightly more expensive than SuperHandy coolers. We did a comprehensive review of the Cordova Coolers here.
Basically, these coolers are awesome – they boast some great features and their ice retention capabilities are fantastic. They're also backed by a lifetime warranty.
RTIC is Yeti’s best-known rival. Their coolers are field-tested and proven to be of high quality at about half of the price of Yeti.
While they are slightly more expensive than SuperHandy coolers, they are definitely a good alternative to consider.
We did a comprehensive review of the RTIC Coolers here.
SuperHandy Cooler Review – Bottom Line and Rating
And with that, we come to the end of our SuperHandy cooler review. As you can see, SuperHandy coolers are great for a weekend trip and, owing to their rotomolded construction, can definitely take a beating.
That said, they’re pretty much run-of-the-mill since there are many similar coolers on the market at around the same price or slightly cheaper. Whether you pick them or not is more a matter of taste than anything else.
Until next time, stay cool!
SuperHandy cooler Rating and Review
- Ice Retention
SuperHandy coolers are a nice option for a weekend trip. They're tough, well-built, and well-insulated – just enough to keep the ice icy for a couple of days. While they don't bring anything new to what we've already seen in other similar coolers, they're still a decent, attractively-priced alternative to more expensive coolers.
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