What It Is:
Whether you’re doing some winter camping or having an outdoor, socially distanced hangout with friends (pond hockey, anyone?), the Taiga Terra is a solid personal cooler for keeping your drinks cold. It has 2-inch-thick foam insulation, and a 3-inch-thick lid, two heavy-duty UV-protected lid latches and an easy-drain plug on the side. This cooler can hold up to 24 cans and one bag of ice. You’d expect nothing less from a premium hard-sided cooler. But that’s where most comparisons to other coolers in the Taiga Terra class end.
Why We Like It:
First off, if you’re looking to support a domestic business and to make a sustainable purchase you can feel good about, Taiga’s offering fits the bill. The Terra is American-made and the brand is veteran-owned.
But here’s the catch: The whole line of coolers is also eco-friendly, using an FDA-approved hemp polypropylene for its insulating walls instead of the conventional petroleum-based polymers you’ll find lining other popular cooler brands. The manufacturing methods matter: Finding innovative plant-based solutions to reduce the use of plastics in the products that we take outside helps protect the places we live and play. On top of that, Taiga’s whole supply chain cuts carbon by procuring all materials used in production from within 1,000 miles of the Texas-based Taiga headquarters, with only 200 miles traveled in manufacturing and assembly all in Texas (the injection-moldable hemp polymers come from a Colorado vendor).
So how does the hemp base hold up? When tested, the cooler performed as promised by keeping our drinks ice-cold for hours. We used snow instead of ice to keep the drinks chilled and came across no issues. Clearing out any melted snow was simple with the over-sized plug on the side of the cooler. There’s no need to baby this rugged cooler either.
When it comes to aesthetics, we enjoyed the overall look and feel of the cooler. Available in various colorways, the granite-white color tested provided an earthy, organic look. Want your cooler to stand out from the lot? Taiga also offers customization so that you can add any logo or image to the lid of your cooler.
Lastly, the price is great for the quality of the cooler and overall cost-per-quart value. Why pay more for a more well-known name brand when you can support local and save some cash—or spend it on other outdoor gear?
This may not be an issue with other colors, but the version tested came with a bit of rust-like discoloration. It also would’ve been great if this version included the additional rope handles like the larger coolers in the line.[From: $199; taigacoolers.com]
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