Last Updated on October 18, 2020
Coolers are definitely a nice appliance to have, especially if you plan to hold an outdoor party or go to outdoor adventures for a day or even a week. With a cooler, you can keep all your food and drinks fresher and cooler for a longer time. Moreover, it can ensure that all of your precious stuff is protected from external elements.
If you think about it, coolers aren’t just limited for use during the summer season. In fact, regardless of the climate, they can prove to be indispensable in keeping your food and drinks fresh and uncontaminated.
Of the many coolers on the market, K2 coolers could be considered one of the best there is. Not only are they durable, but they’re also designed to provide excellent ice performance compared to most cooler brands. In this review and buying guide, we’ll exactly talk about K2 coolers and how they fare against other coolers on the market.
- 1 About the K2 Coolers Brand
- 2 A Rundown of Coolers from K2
- 3 K2 Coolers Buying Guide
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4.1 Do K2 Coolers Perform As Good As A Yeti?
- 4.2 What Makes K2 Coolers Special?
- 4.3 How Long Can K2 Coolers Keep Ice?
- 4.4 How Can You Improve The Performance Of Your K2 Coolers?
- 4.5 Which K2 Coolers Are The Most Appropriate For Weekend-Long Camps?
- 4.6 Do Rotomolded Coolers Generally Perform Better? Why Or Why Not?
- 4.7 How Is It That K2 Coolers Are Cheaper Than Other Rotomolded Coolers Like Yeti?
- 5 Conclusion
About the K2 Coolers Brand
K2 is a cooler brand that offers somewhat limited options for coolers. In fact, it only offers the “Summit” series of coolers as its main line of products alongside the one and only backpack cooler known as the Sherpa.
- Summit Series. This consists of rotationally molded coolers designed for durability and size.
- Sherpa Series. This product line currently offers just one backpack cooler which is geared toward portability and convenience.
Despite the limited choices, you can find a wide range of sizes to choose from. Moreover, these K2 coolers are designed mainly for the higher-end market, particularly for individuals who need a longer-lasting and more durable cooler capable of withstanding a lot of abuse.
If we are to compare K2 vs Yeti, then we could mostly say that K2 coolers can give Yeti coolers a run for their money. The quality and price of these K2 coolers are on par with the quality that Yeti has to offer, albeit at a slightly lower price tag.
Additionally, K2 coolers are made of high-end components alongside and have a body that’s rotationally molded. Asa result, you can expect them to provide excellent ice retention and superior durability.
A Rundown of Coolers from K2
To begin with, the purpose of this K2 coolers reviews is to provide you with key information regarding the products that the brand has to offer. Firstly, this review will provide an overview of key features of each product covered so you can have a bird’s eye view of how these products differ from one another. Next, a more in-depth review of individual product features will be presented. Then, a run-down of top considerations to make when shopping for K2 Coolers will be presented.
In the end, our goal is to provide you with a practical guide that you can use to reach a purchase decision about this brand of coolers. First up, here’s a table providing a quick glance of the K2 Coolers products covered in this review:
1. K2 Summit 20
- Rotomolded construction
- 20-can capacity
- Extra thick insulation
- Professional-grade material
- Full-length integrated hinge
The smallest product in this review is the K2 Summit 20. This cooler comes in a simple yet highly functional cube design. As a result of this, you can easily load this cooler on any form of transport, even a kayak if need be. Besides, it is extremely portable, and absolutely made for long walks and hikes.
Additionally, it comes with roto-molded hinges to ensure that all of your food and drinks are kept fresh and cold inside. Portability and functionality in a compact design is what makes it a popular choice. Coupled with a budget-friendly price, this cooler will be hard to resist if you’re after keeping your personal favorites cold or warm longer with the added benefit of packing some more for sharing.
K2 Summit 20 is capable of holding up to 20 cans which is just perfect for a one-day trip. And since it’s made using a roto-molding design process, you can rest easy knowing that it can retain ideal temperature inside for several days.
Furthermore, its UV-resistant construction is also what makes this cooler even more worth it. This feature diverts the heat that comes from the sun. Overall, it’s one of the best K2 coolers out there, especially for small groups.
- It has a very durable construction.
- This product is covered by a 7-year warranty.
- It’s perfect for short-day trips and small groups.
- Extra-thick insulation keeps internal temperature constant longer.
- It can be a bit bulky despite its compact size.
- It’s not ideal for extended trips
- Sometimes, its 20-can capacity can be fairly limited.
2. K2 Summit 30
- ICE vault lid gasket
- Rotomolded polyethylene construction
- 30-can capacity
- SUREgrip non-marking rubber feet
Next on the list is the K2 Summit 30 which is a slightly larger version of the K2 Summit 20. With a capacity that can hold up to 30 cans, the Summit 30 can be your perfect cooling companion when you go fishing, camping, or just about any other outdoor activities. You can even use it to keep your drinks fresh and cold while enjoying a summer vacation at the beach.
Like the Summit 20, the Summit 30 is made of a roto-molded construction. This means that you can expect nothing but durability and toughness from this product. It’s also made using food-grade materials that are safe and non-toxic.
Another amazing feature of the K2 Summit 30 is its gasket which is designed to prevent cold from going out while preventing heat from getting in. It also comes with the Lock Away lid system to make sure that your food and drink will remain as fresh as possible.
There’s also a drain plug which is a very convenient feature to have. This makes draining any excess water inside the K2 Summit 30 a lot easier.
- Excess water can be drained easily, thanks to its drain plug.
- It can be mounted easily using its dual anchoring points.
- Its non-marking rubber feet ensure that it can stay locked in place.
- Carrying is made easier with rope handles.
- The K2 Summit 30 is a bit more expensive than comparable coolers in the market.
- Its ice retention performance isn’t that impressive.
3. K2 Summit 50
- ICE vault gasket
- Nylon strap for easy carrying
- Food-grade material for construction
- POSITRAC lid latches
- 50-can capacity
The Summit 50 cooler is twice as large as the previous cooler, the K2 Summit 20. This means it’s capable of holding more than twice the Summit 20 can hold, roughly around 50 cans. Therefore, it provides you with more space required for longer trips to keep your food and drinks cold and preserve your ice. Similarly, if you like entertaining friends and family outdoors, then this is surely one of the best K2 coolers you can use.
Of course, just like the K2 Summit 20 and other K2 coolers, the K2 Summit 50 has all the trademark features of the brand. This includes the roto-molded construction, extra thick SNOWblown insulation, ICE vault gasket, and the ENDURA hinge system.
Aside from those features, it also comes with the SUREgrip non-marking rubber feet which are quite handy. With these feet, you don’t have to worry about placing the cooler on a wet surface since it can keep itself locked in place.
Lastly, there’s the drain plug which allows for quick and easy drainage of any excess water inside. So, you can say goodbye to draining muscle work after partying with this cooler.
- It features a very appealing and sturdy construction.
- Cleaning is easy as a breeze, thanks to its drain plug.
- You can rely on its reliable insulation system.
- It has all the amazing features of the other K2 coolers.
- This product is bulky and may limit portability and transport.
- Shoulder straps are not included unlike the previous two other models listed here.
- There are only three color options available.
4. K2 Summit 60
- 60-can capacity
- Roto-molded construction
- POSITRAC lid latches
- Non-marking and non-slip rubber feet
Obviously a slightly larger version of the previous K2 product, the Summit 50, the K2 Summit 60 cooler is capable of holding up to 60 cans. There’s not that much of a difference between the features except that it comes with slightly increased capacity.
Right off the bat, you can clearly see that the cooler is made with durability and reliability in mind. Its roto-molded construction ensures that it can withstand even the harshest of damage. Moreover, its thick insulation system means that you can expect it to preserve your ice, food, and drinks for several days. Though it might not be on par with the other brands on the market, the performance is still solid at around 5-10 days of ice retention.
This unit comes with rope handles at both sides that are covered with rubber to make carrying convenient. Although, when fully packed, this cooler may require some muscle work with at least one other companion.
Overall, the Summit 60 cooler is ideal for trips and outdoor adventures that can last for days. However, take note that effective ice retention remains to be influenced by other factors, including cooler placement and frequency of opening and closing the lid.
- This cooler’s 60-can capacity ensures that you can carry a decent amount of food and drinks.
- The rope handles provide convenient handling despite bulkiness and weight.
- Product is capable of preserving ice for up to 10 days depending on the weather.
- Rotomolded construction guarantees durability.
- Due to its larger size and capacity, you might need another person to carry it.
- The design choices are quite limited.
- It can take up a considerable amount of space in your truck or car.
5. K2 Summit 70
- ENDURA full-length hinge system
- SUREgrip rubber feet
- Extra thick insulation
- 70-can capacity
The K2 Summit 70 is designed to offer you plenty of storage space for your outdoor trips. It’s one of the best K2 coolers you can choose if you plan to go on an outdoor adventure that can last for several days, be it fishing, hiking, mountaineering, or camping.
This cooler can conveniently pack up to 70 cans. You may take advantage of that capacity to lengthen your remote outdoors stay or, invite more of your loved ones to join your next adventure.
Like the models presented above, it has excellent ice retention capability that can reach up to 10 days depending on the weather. So, if it’s too hot outside, the longest possible ice retention would be up to 5 days. On calmer weather, however, you can expect your food and drinks to remain fresher and colder for a longer period of time.
Also, we really like how it has SUREgrip rubber feet. These are quite handy outdoors, especially if there are no smooth surfaces you can place it. You just have to place it on any surface and expect to stay locked in place.
- Bigger capacity means several-day outdoor trips are very possible.
- It’s a perfect cooler if you plan to bring a lot of food and drinks with you.
- Due to its roto-molded construction, you don’t have to worry about its durability at all.
- It ensures that cold won’t seep out and heat won’t be able to get inside.
- Due to size, transporting it inside your car or truck can be a bit of a hassle.
- You may require some help moving it or carrying it.
- It can be quite expensive, so buy it only if you really need a large cooler.
6. K2 Summit 90
- Roto-molded construction
- Large storage space
- 90-can capacity
- Excellent ice retention feature
We’re getting closer to the largest cooler K2 has to offer, but before that, let’s talk about the K2 Summit 90 cooler first. As the name implies, the K2 Summit 90 is capable of holding up to 90 cans.
This is the second largest cooler from K2’s line of coolers, so this means that if you need a large storage space from a cooler without a massive weight, then this is definitely a great choice.
Similarly, with other K2 Coolers, you can expect this product to bear the same trademark features of the brand. There’s the proprietary SNOWblown insulation which is designed to be extra thick to ensure that your food, drinks, and other stuff will remain cold and fresh for days. Besides, it has the LOCKaway lid design to keep it properly and tightly sealed, thereby preventing heat from getting inside and cold from going outside.
There isn’t much to say about the K2 Summit 90 except that it’s perfect for several-day trips where you’re bringing several friends or family members along. Buy this cooler only if you have a real, regular need for large storage space. After all, its weight can be off-putting.
- It’s an ideal cooler for several-day trips.
- You can expect excellent ice retention.
- The design is quite sturdy and durable.
- Its lid design ensures that the freshness and coldness of your food and drinks are maintained.
- It’s quite heavy given its huge size.
- It’s not ideal for short day trips unless you frequently entertain outdoors.
- You will need someone else to help you carry the cooler when full.
7. K2 Summit 120
- 120-cans capacity
- Extremely large and spacious storage
- Excellent ice retention capability
- Roto-molded construction
The largest cooler that K2 has to offer, the K2 Summit 120 is perfect if you want to bring tons of food and drinks for an outdoor trip that will last for days or even a week. Since it features an excellent ice retention capability, you can rest easy knowing that all of your stuff inside the cooler will stay fresh and cold for as long as possible.
As K2’s largest cooler to date, you can expect it to be quite expensive. However, the durability and other amazing features it offers can easily offset that cost. Still, you only want to consider investing in this cooler if you really need a large cooler for several-day trips. Otherwise, you’re better off with buying just the smaller ones.
As with the other coolers, you can expect the same trademark features from the K2 brand: ICEvault insulation system, SUREgrip rubber feet, ENDURA hinge system, and POSITRAC lid latches to name a few.
- It’s the best K2 cooler as far as storage space is concerned.
- You can really rely on it when going for several-day adventures.
- Its excellent ice retention allows it to preserve ice for up to 10 days.
- Heavy build and large capacity require an extra hand to move it around.
- Only 3 color options are available.
- It’s quite expensive, so buy it only if you need one.
8. K2 Summit Wheeled 30
- 1-piece rotomolded polyethylene construction
- Excellent K2’s Snowblown insulation capability
- K2 ICEvault™ gasket together with LOCKaway™ lid design
- Comes with wheels on the corners in the back of the cooler
- SUREgrip™ rubber feet
- Extendable handle
- Available in white, green, and gray colors
This K2 Summit Wheeled 30 Cooler is the solution that you need for heavy-packed camping, fishing, hunting, rafting, boating, or just enjoying your day at the beach. This is K2’s first attempt at the more convenient wheeled cooler market. It is expected that your rotomolded coolers get super heavy when they are already loaded with your food, drinks, and ice, thus having wheels on it makes it a whole lot easier to move around.
Although 30 quarts is not that big enough, you can still enjoy more than five days of cold drinks or fresh meals because of its excellent ice retention capacity. This wheeled cooler can be useful for a day at the beach or at the park or even for groceries since its wheels will just easily rip through the grass and sand. Thus, you don’t have to feel too burdened roaming around with your cold drinks or fresh foods with this cooler.
- The rotomolded construction of this cooler makes this sturdy, rough, and durable.
- It has a remarkable ice retention capability.
- Enhanced portability that comes with wheels releases you from the burden of having to carry the load during transport.
- When filled to capacity, it can be very heavy even with wheels provided.
- It is expensive compared to the other K2 coolers and other comparable products.
- There are only three different colors to choose from.
9. K2 Sherpa Backpack Cooler
- Holds up to 15 cans and 8 pounds of ice
- Comfortable shoulder straps with accessory loops
- Comes with a hanging loop for drying and storage
- Also comes with fold outliner for stress-free cleaning and quick drying
- Padded rear slip pocket that can attach to other k2 coolers with retractable handles
- With waterproof zippers
The K2 Sherpa Backpack Cooler is K2’s take on a backpack cooler market. This is a perfect cooler especially if you are fond of hiking, mountain climbing, etc. because it can be easily carried around without too much of a hassle. This K2 backpack cooler is packed with unique features unlike the other backpack cooler brands in the market. It has multiple pockets that allow you not only to store your food and drinks but also other travel essentials as well.
Furthermore, cleaning this backpack cooler will not be a problem at all because of its fold outliner. And drying it will be easy and fast because of the hanging loop attached to it. Plus, you can also put this on top of your other K2 cooler because of its slip pocket that can easily be fastened on your K2 cooler’s retractable handle. So, this backpack cooler allows you to enjoy cold drinks and fresh foods wherever you might be.
- It is water-resistant and comes with waterproof zippers.
- The bag comes with a lot of pockets for storing other travel essentials such as gadgets, eyewear, etc.
- It’s very easy to clean and dries up fast.
- You can carry it around wherever you want to be.
- It comes with padded shoulder straps to ensure comfort even after prolonged use.
- It can only store a minimal amount of drinks or food.
- Can be a bit difficult to unzip
K2 Coolers Buying Guide
Before you decide what is the best K2 cooler that will satisfy your needs and wants, you have to consider several factors first. Ideally, you should consider these factors before finalizing the deal to prevent regretting your decision in the end. However, with K2 coolers, you are assured of their quality and functionality. Since we’re done with our K2 coolers reviews, let’s now determine the factors that will help you get the product that will perfectly suit you well.
Durability and Longevity
Wherever you are planning to use your cooler may it be for camping, hiking, fishing, rafting, hunting, or a day at the beach or park, you would certainly want a cooler that will serve you excellently and can last long. If you want a cooler that can withstand constant use without failing, then you must look for a rotomolded design. This ensures longevity and durability of the coolers.
With K2 coolers, you are assured with the robust rotomolded design of the cooler and its functionality and durability. K2 coolers are incredibly made using high-quality construction materials. They look and feel sturdy, and it is quite clear that it can withstand long years of use and abuse.
Aside from the durability it provides, the rotomolded design also helps with the ice retaining capacity of the cooler. At the center of the cooler is thick insulation protected with a layer of exceptionally durable plastic, incorporated through the process of rotomolding, to ensure that you get the insulation that you need for maximum ice retention.
Another major consideration you have to take into account is the portability of your preferred cooler. This is especially helpful if your cooler is already loaded with drinks, food, ice, and other stuff. It’s during this time that its handles and wheels will come in handy to save you the hassle and pain of carrying tons of stuff.
Ideally, you want to go for a cooler with wheels. This extra feature will definitely help you a lot when transferring or moving your cooler from one place to another. Besides, the wheels will allow you to move your cooler wherever you want without stressing your hands, back, and shoulders.
Furthermore, it can also mount on rugged and rough terrains with uneven paths and bumps. Lastly, they also come with an extendable handle for added convenience. The K2 Summit Wheeled 30 is the perfect example for this.
This is probably the most important consideration you have to make, as this is the main reason for buying a cooler, that is, its ice retaining capacity. There is nothing more disappointing than having a cooler than cannot retain the coldness of your food and beverage. Whether you are going on a short trip or a long vacation, you would definitely want an ice chest to keep your food fresh and your drinks cold. A lot of ice chests claim that they could retain ice for quite some time, but ended up disappointing us of their performance.
Thus, you need to look for a cooler that has a thickly insulated wall that can retain the coldness of your food and drinks for a long time. A cooler with 3 inches’ insulation on all sides will typically make your ice last much longer, like that with K2 coolers.
Also, usually, the ice retaining capacity of coolers depends on its size. Usually, large coolers have a longer ice retaining capacity; smaller coolers, on the other hand, tend to have a lesser ice retaining capacity.
Coolers come in different storage capacities and sizes. When choosing a cooler, size still remains one of the most important considerations you have to take into account next to the ice retaining capacity of the cooler. This factor totally depends on you and your requirements.
If your needs are only quite basic and minimal, then you can choose for the low-range K2 coolers. However, if you have bigger needs, then go for a cooler with a larger capacity. K2 Coolers may offer a limited range of products but there’s definitely one to match your very specific storage requirements. Therefore, there must be one that matches the size of your appetite for both adventure and food, or the size of crowd you like to entertain.
Not everyone is ready or enthusiastic to go big with spending on coolers. Some prefer premium while others can find more satisfaction with budget coolers. Therefore, the price of the cooler also plays an important role in the selection process. You’d want to go for an ice cooler that can meet your wants and needs and at the same time is within your budget range.
Most coolers with premium features and specifications also come at a hefty tag price. The good thing with K2 coolers is that you can get to enjoy first-class features at a more affordable price than other premium brands. So, if you are quite keen on budget, then a K2 cooler won’t be a problem at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do K2 Coolers Perform As Good As A Yeti?
The rivalry between K2 vs Yeti is tight. Both brands have done well in the market and have received impressive reviews from buyers shopping for coolers. Also, both coolers are designed to do well under extreme and robust conditions away from controlled environmental conditions. Generally, when comparing K2 vs Yeti coolers, the construction, durability, and functionality are all comparable.
Both Yeti and K2 coolers are made of roto-molded construction that can retain ice for more than 5 days. Although the feel of Yeti is much nicer compared with K2 coolers, the latter also offers a wider range of color choices. When it comes to ice retaining capacity, K2 has a slight edge compared to Yeti. However, the difference is very minimal and can be disregarded.
Thus, the two really are on par with each other. However, if you are keen about the price, then the winner for this K2 vs Yeti cooler would be K2.
What Makes K2 Coolers Special?
When it comes to K2 vs Yeti, people can easily attest to K2 coolers being one of the most durable and excellent coolers in the market. More importantly, K2 Coolers are sold at a more competitive pricing schedule. This brand of coolers gives premium cooler brands run for their money.
K2 coolers can hold up in the toughest and most extreme conditions for a long time. This means that it doesn’t only store your items in one piece but also protect as well as insulate the items inside to keep it fresh and cool.
What makes these coolers special is that they have a unique design feature, a combination of UV stabilized polyethylene and thick polyurethane that can keep the products inside safe and cool for a long time.
Furthermore, K2 coolers have an extra load of features and accessories that make them user-friendly as well. Some K2 coolers have features that assist in handling the coolers, perfect for a fully-loaded cooler that is quite bulky and heavy.
How Long Can K2 Coolers Keep Ice?
K2 coolers take pride in its ice retention abilities like no other. Many users have commended and attested to the ability of K2 coolers to keep ice. Under an optimal environment, and as a result of its rotomolded construction, the ice retention capabilities of K2 coolers could reach up to 6 to 8 days, probably one of the longest ones in the market.
How Can You Improve The Performance Of Your K2 Coolers?
A: There are definitely ways you can do to improve the overall performance of your K2 Coolers. Here are some tips and guide for you to use:
- Chill Your Cooler First. Before you load your food and drinks into your K2 Cooler, chill your cooler first by putting some ice in it. This will help cool down the interior of your cooler and considerably reduce the ice used for cooling it down.
- Use Colder Ice. It is important to use good quality ice which is 40 degrees colder than the barely frozen ice just below the freezing point.
- Don’t Drain the Water. The coldness of ice will last much longer in chilled water as compared to air.
- Open and Close It Quickly. Every time you open the lid of your cooler, the cool air is substituted with warm air. The ice will then be utilized to cool the warm air that was introduced inside. Thus, when you open the lid, make sure to get the stuff you want as quickly as possible and close it immediately the moment you’re done.
Which K2 Coolers Are The Most Appropriate For Weekend-Long Camps?
For weekend-long camps, it is ideal for users to use K2 coolers with large storage capacities such as the K2 Summit 60, K2 Summit 70, K2 Summit 90, and K2 Summit 120. This will allow users to have all the things that you need for the trip with the assurance that the coldness of your food and beverage will last long.
Smaller ones like the K2 Summit 30 and 20 are only good for a day or two of outdoor trips.
Do Rotomolded Coolers Generally Perform Better? Why Or Why Not?
Rotomolded coolers generally perform much better as compared to traditional coolers. A high-quality liquid plastic is poured over thick insulation in a process called rotomolding to form a durable and robust cooler. This offers uniform density in the interior of the cooler which improves the insulation and overall performance of coolers.
How Is It That K2 Coolers Are Cheaper Than Other Rotomolded Coolers Like Yeti?
Although these have more or less the same feature, K2 coolers are a much cheaper option than Yeti coolers. This is because Yeti coolers are made by one of the most trusted brands in the market when it comes to coolers. K2 coolers, on the other hand, are made by a smaller company as compared to Yeti. They still don’t have a wide range of options to choose from, and they still don’t have an established reputation. However, the brand is already becoming a more popular option for rotomolded coolers that comes at a more affordable price than the rotomolded coolers from Yeti.
Generally, K2 coolers is a more affordable cooler brand option. Its popularity is growing steadily as a result. Despite its affordability, it looks and works similarly as a Yeti. Some people would even take that further and say that it exceeds premium brands in some respects.
In summary, its exceedingly astonishing ice retention capability, resilient look, strong and durable construction, you definitely get a good bang for your buck. So, enjoy your day at the beach, take a camping trip, or go grocery shopping with a durable yet affordable K2 cooler in tow.