Some of you may have heard of Eric Jackson, the engineer and paddler behind Jackson Kayaks, some of the toughest rotomolded whitewater kayaks in the world, as well as paddleboards, and kayaks for other recreational uses including fishing. When the opportunity arose to design and build coolers to the same ‘build it like it’s your own’ standards, he and his company developed Orion coolers.
We were so impressed with them at the iCast fishing show in Orlando, we walked away with the handy 25-litre size (they are available up to 85 litres). This rugged, bear-resistant cooler was designed for outdoor travel use with six tie-down points, low profile camming latches, comfortable (and removable) carry handles, and bottle openers at all four corners. The lid is secured with beefy hinges and incorporates a rubber seal for a perfect tight fit when closed. The latches are so secure, and the cooler so tough, we brought it home as checked luggage – no box, no wrapping. It is built the way you or I would build a cooler for ourselves.
YakAttack tracks are built into one side, so you can attach a variety of RAM accessories like rod, cup or paddle holders to make it very versatile while strapped onto your kayak or quad. The lid has a layer of EVA foam, so it’s comfortable to sit on, and secure and safe enough to jump on – naturally I had to check. And finally, the ‘cool’ part. Two inches of insulation provide incredible resistance against heat. We had food in the cooler, in the car, on a 35°C hot, humid Florida afternoon for four hours – and the cooler stayed cold. All this engineering comes at a price. The Orion 25 weighs in at 9.75 kilograms (heavier than most of its size), the thick insulation means it’s small inside given its outer dimensions, and it has an MSRP of $419 CDN ($369 USD). However, for the true outdoors person looking for the most efficient, full-featured and rugged cooler on the planet – this is it. www.orioncoolers.com