Editor’s Remark: Ozark Trail coolers are true models of what it is to be made in America. They are rugged, sleek, and provide many options at an affordable price.
If you have been to the cooler section in Walmart, then you might have caught the sight of the Ozark Trail Cooler. It’s a Walmart’s outdoor and adventure products line.
Now, these coolers are made especially for people that are looking for a less expensive premium cooler with high-end features. While they aren’t the ideal cheap product as you’d expect, they are a good alternative to the like of the Yeti and pelican.
The incredible thing about this cooler is how fast it’s getting noticed by outdoor enthusiasts. You’d see the name Ozark recommended in forums, that’s a positive indication that the Ozark trail is climbing to the summit of the best coolers.
Customers will appreciate the brand for making ample options for different events. In essence, whether it’s camping, picnic, hunting, tailgating, traveling, there’s a cooler for it.
In this review, we’d focus on the Best Ozark Coolers Review – both the Hard-sided and Soft-sided coolers.
- 1 Ozark Trail Coolers Review
- 1.1 Ozark Trail Hard Coolers
- 1.2 Ozark Trail Soft-sided Coolers (Soft & Hard Shelled)
- 1.3 Hard Cooler Features
- 1.3.1 Construction
- 1.3.2 Latches
- 1.3.3 Gasket
- 1.3.4 Drain
- 1.3.5 Stainless Steel Locking Plate
- 1.3.6 Fish Ruler
- 1.3.7 Non-skid Feet
- 1.3.8 Grizzly Bear Resistant
- 1.3.9 Handles
- 1.3.10 Drink Holders
- 1.3.11 Ozark Trail Hard Cooler Ice Life
- 1.4 Ozark Trail Soft Side Features
- 2 Ozark Trail Cooler Vs Yeti
Ozark Trail Coolers Review
Ozark trail boasts of a vast array of products, categorized mainly into the soft-sided coolers and the hard-sided coolers. Let’s review the products in each lineup.
Now let’s take a look at available sizes of the soft and hard ice chest:
Ozark Trail Hard Coolers
Ozark Trail 26QT
The 26QT Ozark is a small cooler that is perfect for short trips that would not exceed more than a day or two. It is ideal for situations when you want to travel light and pack just enough supplies. You’ll appreciate that the product comes at 14lbs meaning lifting it would not be hard even when filled.
Coming at 15.5 x 14 x 23 inches, you’ll be able to fit the Ozark trail 26 between your car seat without hassle. More so, as portable as this model is it features 2 cup holders, built-in opener, an integrated fish ruler on the lid.
Additionally, it has been certified grizzly bear-resistant by the USDA’s interagency.
Ozark Trail 52QT
The Trail 52 is for users that want a large cooler that can cater enough drinks for two-three day trip. The 52 Quart cooler is built with sturdy materials, and it’s robust.
Aesthetically, the sharp cutting edges and rugged design makes it suitable for outdoor and indoor use.
Ice retention is a big deal when buying coolers, and Ozark trail 52QT does not disappoint with a four days ice retention. Thanks to the T handle latches and insulated built, the ice stays longer.
Packing more than 30 cans of drink, you get enough space to toss ice inside. Overall, people that want to pack many supplies will find this suitable. It is large and weighs 36.8lbs, also measuring 35 x 18 x 18 inches, you can store in the back of an SUV, truck or car.
Ozark Trail 60QT – Rolling Cooler
This wheeled cooler comes after many requests from consumers. And this goes to show that Ozark has its ear out to satisfy users. Featuring heavy-duty wheels, transporting heavy items is a breeze.
Weighing 42.1lbs when empty, it can get heavy, especially when stuffed to its capacity. In addition, telescoping handles help to wheels cooler with relative ease and comfort.
Yes, this cooler is big and high walled so that you can store you wine drinks standing up. It packs over 40 cans plus has space for ice. Adventurers will enjoy the durable and rugged build of the 60QT cooler.
Ozark Trail 73QT
At the time of writing this review, the 73QT is the most prominent Ozark trail cooler available on the market. It is perfect for large functions. In fact, some users have mentioned using the cooler for up to a week, and at the end, the drinks were cold.
While this is based on a few people experiences, you’d be lucky to have the same experience. This is as a result of the temperature, packing technique, and other factors. The average ice retention of this cooler is three days and goes up to as high as five days.
As seen above, this cooler is equipped to store many supplies for many people. You can use the Ozark 73QT for your road trips, adventure, BBQ party, beach, hunting, fishing and much more. It measures 33 x 20 x 19 inches and weighs 40lbs, making it hard to lift. You’ll need a helping hand to transport it around.
Ozark Trail Soft-sided Coolers (Soft & Hard Shelled)
While the Ozark hard-sided sizes are somewhat limited, the soft coolers boats of a wide array of options- ranging from small to large coolers you are sure going to get a match to your needs.
The soft coolers are one of the bestselling soft bags on the market. Thanks to their distinct look and aesthetics, you are going to get spellbound to buy one of these. Better stay clear of this alluring line up to avoid a compelling purchase (pun intended).
Ozark Trail 30 Can Cooler
The coler and the great design will suffice to keep your interest in this model. While you are still observing, you might as well go on to know the features;
It comes with a main compartment, front pocket, and two mesh pockets on the sides. The main compartment has a flip-open mechanism for easy access to food and drinks.
The interior is insulated, easy to clean, leak-proof, safe to store food and it’s removable, while the exterior has an easy to clean exterior that is stain and water-resistant. This ensures the cooler doesn’t sweat.
The front pockets come handy for storing accessories like your keys, bottle opener, and items you don’t want getting in contact with ice. Transport is easy as it gets, thanks to the adjustable padded shoulder strap, you can sling it on your shoulders or carry it with the side handles.
Ozark Trail 12-Can Cooler
Does the Ozark trail 12 can cooler remind you of a cooler? Remember the Yeti hopper cooler line up?
Yes, the Ozark trail has a similar design, but it’s unique in its own way. Made up of a hard shell, this protects food and drinks from getting crushed. Packing is a breeze. High-quality materials are used in the interior lining, which allows for easy cleaning. In addition, the interior was purposely constructed to block out heat, increasing the ice performance in the process.
It is important to know that the Ozark explicitly mentions that the zippers are not leak-proof. When you tip the cooler, the zippers can’t stop liquid from sipping out.
It measures 17 x 10.9 x 8.5 inches and weighs 1.81lbs, not only is lightweight but portable too. This will fit into the tightest space in your car. The 12 can capacity is ideal for a day trip or short trips.
The neoprene-padded shoulder is adjustable to a convenient length. It has a front accessory pocket that zips down vertically and also a bottle opener is embedded in the front.
Ozark Trail Premium Backpack Cooler
This backpack cooler is one of the most popular Ozark Trail product As you can see it is built as a backpack to store drinks and food while hiking or when your journey demands frequent walks, then this is for you.
It employs a hard-shell made of 600D coated materials that is easy to clean. The backpack shapes rest on the back perfectly, and the adjustable cushioned straps evenly distribute the weight across your back. It lessens the chances of cramps even after transporting over a considerable distance.
On the downside, there have been many negative comments above the quality of the zippers.
However, If you can look beyond that, then you are sure of getting an affordable backpack cooler that can match the most premium backpack coolers online.
Ozark Trail 30 Can Leak-tight Cooler
Now, Ozark trail leak-tight cooler is constructed from a thick EPE foam insulation, and utilize a heat-welded design to ensure it holds ice for extended periods. Many users have reported 2 to 3 days of ice with the product.
Users that want a soft bag that’s not too small or big rather will find a middle ground from the 30 cans capacity. Even when empty it weighs a staggering 37.5lbs, which means it pulls a lot of weight when filled. It comes with nifty features like the; embedded bottle opener and a front accessory pocket, and two way handles.
There’s nothing more frustrating than faulty zippers, opening the bag becomes a stress rather than an imminent joy of grabbing your drink of food from inside. Ozark took a preemptive approach by including a lubricant to allow for seamless operation.
Hard Cooler Features
We are impressed by the nifty features Ozark integrates to their coolers. When you consider the price ice performance, quality and aesthetics of the Ozark cooler line up, we are tempted to announce it as the budget king of coolers. Cheaper than Yeti and most premium ice chests, it has managed to offer some of the great features discussed below.
Aren’t all Rotomolded coolers above the $300 range? Well, Ozark is changing that with its hard-sided lineup. The job the company has put in to make a great cooler and keep the price low should be studied in Harvard University. Okay, I should get a hold of myself here, but you catch the drift right?
Thanks to the Rotomolded construction, the Ozark hard coolers are tough and rugged to thrive in hard conditions, surely you’d be rewarded with years of use.
The thick-walled design takes up to two-inch of thickness with provides insulation, and the result is increased ice performance.
They make great outdoor coolers, especially for marine and hunting duties, thanks to the UV-resistant coating. The coating reflects off harmful UV rays so that the walls are damaged from it.
The T-latches are durable and hold the lid from flipping open at every bump. It seals tight to the base and blocks heat to keep the interior cold.
The latches are durable and robust, to lock your cooler simply pull down the latch to a pin. Lift the latch from the pin to open the cooler.
Gaskets are often overlooked features when picking a cooler. But what if I told you a cooler is as good as its gasket? Yes, that’s why coolers like the pelican and Yeti are better ice clingers than most premium coolers. And why is that? You guessed right- they have high-quality freezer grade gasket.
We will not award the gasket as freezer-grade, but if there’s anything close, the Ozark gasket is. It is made of rubber and seals the space that is in between the lid and base. The gasket will last many years of use.
When the ice starts melting, it forms a pool. This can get into your food, especially snacks and turns them unpalatable or at least untenable to the mouth. Most coolers come with a drain to purge out water to keep your ice from melting quickly and drowning your food.
Even better, Ozark utilizes an oversized threaded drain to ensure quick removal of water, and it allows to screw the cap to the spout after draining.
Stainless Steel Locking Plate
The stainless steel locking plate is embedded into the sides of the lid, use a padlock to lock the cooler against grizzly bears and intruders. Without the locking plate, this cooler will not be grizzly bear-resistant. When the cooler tumblers tumbles and the latches become unhooked, you can depend on the padlock to prevent the cooler from spilling the content inside.
The fish ruler is one of the reasons why fishermen love the Ozark hard chest, It embeds a ruler in the lid and measuring your catch is as simple as slapping it on the lid to know the size. The fish ruler is a feature even premium coolers like RTIC, and Yeti does not possess.
Even in rugged terrains, the non-skid feet enables the cooler to stay in a single position without sliding off from the surface.
The non-skid feet reduce the impact of scratches on surfaces.
Grizzly Bear Resistant
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) has certified the Ozark hard coolers as bear-resistant. The verdict is supported by many tests, which involved locking the stainless steel hole with a padlock and unleashing a grizzly to charge at the cooler.
After many hits, the cooler did you spill the content remaining closed during the period.
Ozark provides rope handles to carry the cooler. The cooler does not embed a molded-in handle considered to be more comfortable when lifting the cooler alone. Rope handles are better options when you have a helping hand.
Despite the lack of two carry options, the rope handles are padded and provide a comfortable grip.
Drink cup holders are embedded into the lid of Ozark’s chests. Keeping your drinks on the cooler is a productive way of keeping the drinks inside cold for more extended periods. Since it lessens the number of times, you open the ice chest.
Ozark Trail Hard Cooler Ice Life
A relative long Ice life is perhaps the most crucial feature a cooler must have before most users make a purchase. Ice life depends on many factors from the construction to components, design, and weather.
Soft Ozark coolers don’t hold ice longer; this is as a result of the simple design and lack of dedicated components to hold ice. On the other hand, hard coolers are built to retain ice for as long as possible.
How does the Ozark trail compare to long ice retaining coolers?
The soft sides do a pretty good job at providing a day of ice. It goes higher to two days with the hard-shelled options like the Ozark Trail series which inherently made with quality parts that insulate efficiently against heat.
Hard coolers are the ice clingers. Rotomolded construction, thick sized two-inch walls, latches, freezer grade gasket are some of the components that boost ice performance. On average, users have reported up to 7 days of ice. In order of size, the ice retention increases with the size.
Ozark Trail Soft Side Features
Ozark Trail soft coolers are the most popular options. They come in various sizes and design. For most different occasions, the sizing blends to different needs; they are popular among buyers. And the price, the price is affordable.
The Ozark trail soft sides range from small, medium to large sizes. They ice life tends to be considerably higher in the hard shelled options and steep in price. Here are some important features that make the soft sides stand out.
There are many uses of a cooler, from picnicking to hunting, fishing, tailgating, beach, and many more. Interestingly, there is a soft Ozark cooler for your every need.
If you want to go on a short trip, the smaller models can pack just enough for the journey. Longer strips will require space to stuff a lot of drinks and food then you should pick the larger models, preferably a hard-sided chest.
Portability & Comfort
The relatively lightweight size and portability of soft-sides are significant determinants for comfort. For this reason, soft sides are easy to transport, portable, and fit into tight spaces where hard coolers can’t.
If you want to travel light or spend a day out, holding a hard chest is not recommended. In such situations, a soft cooler will suffice. Yes, we understand that not all soft sides are portable; however, the soft larger options compared to hard sides prove to be lighter.
Hard sides have limited carry options usually the on the sides, or you have to wheel them at the bare minimum.
On the other hand, you can carry a soft cooler on the sides, sling it on your shoulders and even have rest on your back thanks to backpack coolers. In general, soft Ozarks offer more comfy options for transport. Most of these carry options are padded and are adjustable to a convenient length that is suitable to lift or walk with.
This makes soft sides appeal to a wide customer base with different preference in carrying options. The most appealing thing is that you are not just stuck with conventional side handles, but can switch to other positions when it gets uncomfortable.
Mesh & Accessory Pockets
Mesh and accessory pockets come handy in storing accessories, preventing mixing cold drinks, food, keys, bottle opener, phones, etc.
The mesh pockets can also hold bottles proving access for immediate consumption, reducing the ice time as the heat gets inside each time you open the bag.
Accessory pockets are mostly insulated to prevent water from sipping out of the main compartment into the pockets. Interestingly, the Ozark trail incorporates all these helpful features in their soft bags.
Ozark trail cooler customer service
For inquiries about the Ozark ice chest and any complaints, you can reach out to Walmart via there official page. For more information, click here.
Ozark Trail Cooler Vs Yeti
A friend once said; if you want to know how good your cooler is, compare it to the Yeti.
While that was arbitrary metric, you can see most premium coolers getting compared to the Yeti. There’s no denying that Yeti coolers are luxuriously expensive, but its bare essentials is almost unmatched.
So how does Ozark cooler compare to Yeti?
It will be unfair to compare the Ozark Trail and Yeti.
The Yeti costs twice as much as the Ozark. It becomes imperative that the Yeti is built with more quality parts than the Ozark.
Despite that unfair advantage, Ozark coolers have managed to offer premium functions for a dirt-cheap price which blows out the Yeti for its worth.
While we acknowledge that the Ozark is not better than Yeti, the Ozark trail manages to offer a great cooler that performs at 70% of Yeti for a jaw-droppingly low price.
When it comes to cost efficiency to operation, the Ozark is a favorable option than the Yeti.
Ozark Trail is not a better cooler than Yeti, but it’s a great substitute. And for the price, it can rival the premium coolers in the market without breaking a sweat.
Where to Buy Ozark Trail Coolers?
Walmart owns part of the Ozark brand, and you’d likely get some great deals.
Another option is Amazon, where you can find the perfect Ozark for your needs and read through the comments to know the pros and cons of customers that have used the product.
There’s no doubt that the Ozark Trail coolers on sale can give premium coolers a run for their money. Again, they are good alternatives for people looking for cheap coolers like Yeti.
Yes, the Ozark can relatively be called a premium cooler. It depends on how you view premium, is it an Affordable product with great features? Or Steep price with great features?
Whatever your criteria is, the Ozark can fit into that description.