I don't know about you, but I'm kind of done with the plastic cooler scene. I've had about enough of the cracked plastic hinges and closures, the bowed lid, the compromised seals. I remember fondly the rugged old-style days of coolers, the ones you could sit on without worry, with latches that actually worked and lasted, and rubber-coated steel handles. Remember? Good news! They're back, at least from Coleman. The 54-quart, steel-belted cooler, reminiscent of the 1954 models, is reassuringly stout, up to abuse, and really competent when it comes to keeping it cold. It will tote 85 cans and stashes 2-liter bottles upright. The latch, hinges and handles are sturdy and the lid makes a solid seat. Newly designed channel drain allows you to lose the water without tipping the cooler. The steel-belted model offers a comforting, old-style cooler option for no-portage outings and open canoes. In some cases, older is better.
Intel: www.coleman.com; $169.99; 54-quart capacity.
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