Taiga coolers /pronounced ty-gah/ is one of the newest top-shelf performance ice chest brands to hit the market in 2017, and they’ve got a few things going on that’ll no doubt be a big appeal to a lot of outdoor enthusiasts in the months (and years) to come.
For starters, they’re undoubtedly the most avid supporters of military/veterans we’ve come across – the company is owned and operated by two native-born Texans, one of them being a retired US Army Captain. They offer a 10% discount for all military veterans, and they also support a host of military service men and women that are currently active fishing and hunting guides across the US.
Both owners grew up fishing and hunting the lakes, coasts, swamps and forests of the Southeast, and it’s clear that a passion for the outdoors is ingrained deep in their DNA.
Another big draw is they’re one of the most customizable-friendly brands we’ve ever come across: they have a few different standard colorways, but there’s no end to the array of color combos and camo swirls that you can dream up, not to mention personalized logos that you can have added in place of the Taiga logo.
Oh, and last but not least, they’re 100% made and assembled in the USA – something that’s definitely getting harder and harder to come across these days.
Taiga Coolers Line Up
55 Quart Taiga Cooler
88 Quart Taiga Cooler
Just keep reading to get more details on them…
Taiga Coolers Review: The Complete Guide
Like we mentioned, one of the biggest draws of this brand is that they’re a small time, American owned and operated company that can relate to hardcore hunters and fishermen all over the country.
These guys know their stuff, and they’ve definitely put in enough time in the woods and on the water to know what you need in a good cooler. For better or worse, they’re really just a couple of good old boys who love the outdoors as much as anyone.
Not surprisingly, Taiga is actually gaining a pretty hefty following in the South – especially down in their native Texas – and it’s true that more and more people are looking to support small, grassroots brands like them (or Palm Coolers e.g.) instead of the big-name, outsourced profiteers like YETI, Engel, and RTIC.
Performance-wise, you’ll find out quickly that Taiga ice chests are right up there with the best of the best, and you need not have any reservations that they’ll perform as well and/or hold ice as long as anything on the market.
Also, when you support a small-time brand like Taiga, you can rest assured that customer service will be top-notch. Every Taiga ice chest comes with a Full Lifetime Warranty, and the brand operates out of a small warehouse in Dallas, Texas – there’s probably not more than a handful of people that run the whole operation.
Design, Construction, and Performance
Like we said, Taiga coolers will hold their own tit-for-tat against the biggest rotomold names in the industry, all day every day. In fact, we’d actually venture to say that they’re more durable than the likes of YETI, Pelican, and K2. Want proof? Well, have you ever seen a YETI survive a fall from an airplane? Or be dragged behind an ATV by a bunch of rowdy teenagers and come out unscathed? Just take a look:
It makes sense that Taiga ice chests are superior to other brands in terms of durability, given that they’re frames are gusset-reinforced and they have thicker insulation than YETI’s.
Now as far as ice retention, we haven’t had a chance to do any kind of head-to-head challenges, but we know for a fact the 3-inches of R5 insulation foam they use is rated to hold ice for a minimum of 7 days, but this will typically be much longer under halfway normal weather conditions (i.e., not sitting in a hot car in a sun-baked asphalt parking lot for days on end).
Price, Materials, and Features
All Taiga coolers are manufactured with a food-grade, FDA-compliant polypropylene, and the injection-mold body of each ice chest is ASTM tested for strength and durability requirements.
As far as price, from what we’ve seen so far Taiga is a fantastic value given their durability and overall performance. They’re substantially cheaper than YETI’s on a ‘cost-per-quart’ basis, and they come with a ‘no questions asked’ 60-day money back guarantee in addition to their lifetime warranty. Pretty amazing stuff, in our opinion.
Also, like we mentioned earlier they’ve got probably the best customization program we’ve ever seen; multi-color camo swirls are their most popular
custom choice, but you can get as crazy as you want and get whatever kind of personalized design that floats your boat, including swapping the Taiga logo out with a custom logo of your own.
And what’s really cool is that no two Taiga coolers are alike – if you get a camo swirl or custom colorway, you’re guaranteed to have a 100% unique, one-of-a-kind ice chest.
Taiga currently offers 27, 55, and 88-quart ice chests. Every size is in-stock and readily available in standard tan, white, or woodland camo colorways, but if you order custom it’ll take about 12-days to get your cooler.
Also, keep an eye out for some wild colorways (like this pink 27-quart), as they’ll pop up from time to time at Amazon for super low prices.
Taiga also has a good selection of accessories, with everything from removable bait trays to padded swivel seats available for those long hours spent sitting out in the bush or on the boat.
They’ve also got all the standard stuff like dividers (available in every size), tie-down kits, and external cargo nets that attach to the outside of the cooler for additional storage.
Check out the Taiga accessories webpage for a full list of in-stock add-ons.
Taiga Soft-Sided Coolers
In addition to their lineup of performance rotomolded coolers, Taiga also has an assortment of really nice quality, heavy-duty soft coolers. They hold up to 18 12-oz. cans or bottles, are constructed with a state-of-the-art PVC-backed TuffDuck material, and can hold about 5 lbs of ice (with drinks).
Taiga Soft-Sided Coolers
- 18 cans or bottles with 5 lb of ice
- Made in the USA
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Size 15” L X 8” W X 10” H
- Weight 2 lb
- Tuff-Duck Material with PVC backing
- Secondary PVC L iner
- High Density Foam
- Sweat Prevention Liner
- Heavy Rubber Lining
Check Price at Amazon
Just like their ice chests, Taiga soft coolers are a pretty incredible value at their price, given that they’re integrated with a heavy-duty rubber liner and their sweat-prevention fusion-welded inside can withstand temps of -52-degrees Fahrenheit (yes, there’s a negative sign in front of that 52!).
We’re not really sure how (or why) a soft ice chest would ever reach 52 below, but hey – it’s nice to know that it’ll survive if it does. (Whether or not you will is another question entirely).
The soft coolers measure about 15” L x 8” W x 10” H, and one of our favorite things about them is they weigh only around 2 lbs – making them a super convenient option for light treks and romantic picnics.
Also, they’re small enough to be used as an airplane carry-on, and just like the Taiga hard coolers, all are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty.
Taiga vs. YETI Coolers: Showdown, Anyone?
Are we the only ones that would love to see a Taiga vs. YETI fight-to-the-death showdown? Maybe it’s high-time we grab the video camera, head out back, and try and do some damage…
In all seriousness, though, you needn’t have any reservations about Taiga coolers not performing up to par with YETI’s. In terms of toughness, durability, and ice-retention, they’ll go tit-for-tat all day long, like we talked about earlier.
The only real advantage we see YETI having is that fact that they have way more size options to choose from.
Now, there’s certainly no need to have eight different rotomold coolers sitting in your garage, but it is nice for a company to offer a range of different sizes to suit literally every possible need and situation. Taiga has all the standard bases covered (small, medium, large…) but nit-pickers might be a little disappointed that they don’t have a few more models/sizes to choose from.
As far as why we would choose Taiga over YETI, here’s a few different reasons:
- Price. Like we already talked about, Taiga ice chests are substantially less expensive than YETI’s, quart for quart.
- Customization potential. We’ve never been ones to get super crazy with customization/personalization, but we’ve known plenty of people who are, and it can be pretty sweet to slap your boat name or company logo on a cooler that you can call 100% your own.
- USA made. Can YETI say that? Didn’t think so.
- Lifetime warranty. Can YETI say that? Didn’t think so.
The bottom line is, if you’re on any kind of a budget and looking to not spend a king’s ransom on a performance cooler, Taiga is undoubtedly the way to go – and they surely won’t disappoint you from a performance standpoint.
If you prefer proven, well-established names on the other hand that are tried-and-true, then by all means whip out your checkbook and go with a YETI.
Oh, and lastly we’d like to say a quick word about the Taiga soft cooler vs. the YETI Hopper. Even though the Hopper is way more expensive, we think it’s a cooler, better-designed soft pack than the Taiga, all things considered.
Unfortunately, however, price point is pretty much the deciding factor for most every decision people make on outdoor gear, and the Taiga pack is light years more affordable than the YETI in that regard. If price wasn’t a consideration, we’d go with the Hopper all day. However, seeing as price is a consideration, the Taiga soft-side cooler is a darn good product that’ll set you back less than a Ben Franklin.
Taiga Coolers for Sale: Prices and Where To Buy Online
Like with most of our recommendations, Amazon seems to have the good selection of in-stock Taiga coolers, with each size available online, and often free shipping included.
You can buy direct through the Taiga website, but you’ll find out quickly like we did that prices are higher, and you’ll pay a pretty good penny in shipping costs.
Taiga Cooler: Bottom Line / Summary
Well, that’s it for our Taiga coolers review – another day, another performance cooler article in the record books.
In all seriousness, though, Taiga is really an awesome brand; we love the fact that they’re an American-owned company with USA-made products, that they go out of their way to support military veterans, and are able (and willing) to offer a heck of a product at a super affordable price.
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