GRIZZLY DRIFTER 20 COOLER

WHAT IT IS:
Grizzly is most known for its line of roto-molded coolers—from the 15-quart ($124.99) to the behemoth 400-quart ($724.99) one for game. Since 2002, Grizzly has been building and torture-testing its coolers for hunting, fishing, camping and off-roading, and they’re IGBC bear-resistant-certified. Grizzly also makes Drifter 12- and 20-quart coolers, which are lighter and more suitable for use in UTVs. We’ve been using a Grizzly Drifter 20 for several months, and here’s what we’ve found.

FEATURES:
The Drifter 20 holds 20 quarts and has several cool features for carrying more than ice and drinks. It has both carry handles and an adjustable, detachable shoulder strap with a floating cushion and plastic/steel spring-loaded clips. There is a soft top that attaches with four quick-release clasps, and it’s handy for carrying extra layers of clothes or gloves. A large front pocket has expanding capabilities with two more clasps and short straps, and there is a zippered pocket in back. There is also a zippered side pouch for carrying an opened drink without spilling, and a handy bottle opener is attached to one corner. Two zippers with bear-claw grips hold the flip-top lid in place, and another zipper holds the rubber liner in place. The Drifter measures 13.75 inches tall by 12 inches by 15.5 inches and comes in black/charcoal grey, black/gunmetal and black/green/orange. It also has two sewn-in corner straps with plastic eyelets for strapping it into a UTV.

CONSTRUCTION:
A waterproof ballistic polyester shell with molded EVA lid and base house a 100-percent waterproof and removable TPU rubber liner, which has a roll top and quick-release buckle for locking in the cold. An EVA foam layer provides insulation. Heavy-duty nylon straps, top cover and zippers complete a solidly constructed soft cooler. The top also has indentations along the edges to simulate bear-claw scratches.

WHO’S IT FOR?
Any outdoor person who wants a lightweight yet durable cooler with handy features built into the package.

PERFORMANCE:
Naturally, a lightweight soft cooler isn’t going to retain ice as long as a roto-molded hard cooler, but the Drifter 20 does keep drinks cold for a weekend outing. Ice lasts 24–36 hours in 70–80-degree weather, and the Drifter holds up to 24 half-liter water bottles or drink cans. The bottle opener can also be used as a tie-down point for strapping into a UTV bed, and the zippered side pouch is a handy drink holder. The rear pouch is great for cell phones, and the front and top storage capacities are very handy. Being able to remove the TPU liner for cleaning is also a big plus.

THE VERDICT:
For $125, the Grizzly Drifter 20 is a great, durable soft cooler with many features that make it more handy and versatile. The hard top and bottom provide a strong chassis, so the Drifter can’t be stuffed into small places like the Assault Soft Cooler that we tested last month. The removable strap can be stowed in either the front or back pocket, which creates two more tie-down points for UTVs. We also stow it in a spare seat and simply use the UTV’s shoulder/seat belt to secure it (see photo).

CONTACT: www.grizzlycoolers.com

PRICE: $124.99 with free shipping

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