Bison Coolers – 2020 Review

Bison Coolers will definitely be of liking to all of you who truly appreciate the “Made in the USA” label. Unlike other premium cooler makers in the US who have partially or fully outsourced their manufacturing processes to other countries, Bison Coolers are made in America 100%, with their headquarters stationed in Fort Worth, Texas.

The quality of the Bison coolers matches that of the leading premium cooler brands in the US such as Yeti and Orca.a

You may not have heard of Bison coolers, and may not be able to find any online reviews about them, but there is a very good reason for this.

The name is not as popular as them because Bison ice box coolers used to be named Brute Outdoor coolers, and since they used to be made in quite limited quantities, they couldn’t be found in regular stores. Still, the Brute coolers gained quite a bit of popularity among hunters and fishermen in the South Texas area ever since these coolers were first introduced in 2011.

In 2015, the Brute Company changed its name to Bison Coolers Company and proceeded to change the name of its top quality coolers to Bison Coolers as well.

The manufacturer has assured all of the former Brute cooler fans that nothing will change in the design and production of the company’s Generation 2 coolers except their name. And the truth is that the Bison coolers have retained the premium quality, the strong build and the durability of their predecessors. And most importantly they are still 100% made in America!

The main aim of the company is to make premium quality coolers which are at a much manageable price tag as compared to the high-end coolers offered by the competition.

Today, second-generation Bison coolers can be found in many stores and can be purchased online, and their reputation is building and growing, so you can expect these American coolers to soon become one of the leaders in the market!

The Gen 2 Bison ice chest coolers are designed and built for maximum ice retention and for ultimate durability. Like all other premium coolers in the US, the Bison coolers are made via rotational molding which eliminates any seams and weak points in the construction.

The company uses very dense polyethylene to make the molded shell of the coolers which is made to last a lifetime and to endure serious wear and tear.

Thanks to the high tech thick insulation in the walls, bottom and lid of the Bison coolers, they can keep the ice for 5 days or more.

At their price point, and with the durability and quality of their construction, and ice retention properties, Bison coolers are very difficult to beat at the moment.

So, if you want a reliable heavy duty camping or marine cooler at the lowest possible price for the quality provided, you should opt for one of Bison’s professional grade ice chest coolers.

All Bison coolers come with a 5-year warranty and they come in a variety of sizes starting from 25 quarts, moving on to the medium-sized 50-quart cooler, the slightly larger 75 quart, and the largest 125 quarts sized ice chest coolers. So, there is a Bison cooler for just about anybody out there – from people who want a portable cooler for a picnic or a day out to others who are going on a long hunting, fishing or camping trip  and want a reliable cooler to keep their food safe to eat and their drinks cool to drink.

The main features of Bison ice chest coolers

The Bison ice chest coolers (Gen 2) come in sizes: 25, 50, 75 and 125 quarts.

They are available in white, olive, tan, red or gray colors but you can customize your American made Bison cooler with one of the many available lid decoys or logos if you prefer a personalized cooler to reflect your personality and your personal taste and preferences.

All of the ice box coolers from the Bison Company are UV resistant, scratch resistant, have a 5-year warranty and are made in the USA.

Here are some of the main features to look for in the second generation Bison ice box coolers.

Roto-molded shell

These coolers are all made of top grade polyethylene, which is molded as one single piece, without any seams, gluing or other attachments which can become weakened over time and use.

All of the leading premium cooler makers in the US use this technology for their ice box coolers, but their products are sold at a higher price than Bison’s.

The insulation technology

The people from the Bison Company have made their own 2-inch thick polyurethane foam insulation system and material which is used for insulating all of the Bison ice box coolers. Comparisons with some of the other leading brands in the industry show that Bison’s coolers have spots where the insulation is a whole inch thicker than that of the competition. And of course, the thicker the insulation, the longer the ice retentive properties of the cooler will be.

Duration of ice retention

The coolers have been designed and made to retain the ice for up to 5 days if the cooler is left under the scorching sun and for up to a week when the temperatures are not as high. Of course, the ice life varies depending on the size of the ice chest. The smallest 25-quart cooler will retain the ice for about 40 hours, and the largest 125-quart model will retain the ice for a whopping 160 hours.

The latches

The specially designed cantilever latches are one of the most distinctive features of the Bison coolers. These latches are easy to open and close, and yet will provide the pressure and force required to keep the ice box perfectly sealed and thus prevent the transfer of temperature from outside in and from inside out.

In fact, these lid latches have been tested and have resisted more than 170 lbs. of force, and thus you can be sure that they will resist a lot of opening and closing over time, and won’t break down like the latches of some other coolers.

Your Bison cooler will instantly be recognized thanks to these unique and easy to open and close latches, which are so different than the traditional T-latches used by the competition.

Rope handles

The side rope handles are more comfortable for one or two people carrying the cooler. There are molded handles on the chest too if you prefer to use them instead of the rope handles.

The gasket

The new generation of Bison’s ice chest coolers have silicon, shark fin gaskets which will allow the lid to be perfectly sealed to the shell and to keep all of the cold inside, and the heat out of the ice chest.

Oversized drain plug

The large drain plug makes flushing out the water from the cooler a quick and easy task. The dual drains of the largest ice chest cooler by  Bison as well as the useful built-in measurement ruler on each cooler makes it easier to keep an eye on the water level and help keep the cooler cold or empty it when you are ready to go home.

Slip-resistant rubber feet

The cooler will stay steadily and safely in place thanks to its rubber non-slip feet.

A lockable lid

The lids of the Bison ice chest coolers can be locked so that you can prevent theft or unauthorized opening of the cooler.

The flush mount hinge

Thanks to the aluminum rod which spans the entire body of the ice chest cooler, you won’t have to worry about the lid getting detached from the chest, and about the hinge ever failing on you.

The capacity

Bison coolers are pretty clear when it comes to the capacity of their coolers. Unlike the Yeti coolers which have named their ice box coolers in cans rather than quarts. The Bison cooler sizes are exact and you can expect a Bison 25 cooler to hold 25 quarts, while the Yeti Tundra 50, for example, has the capacity of only 47.2 quarts. The difference in the quart capacity is a difference which you can measure in the beer and ice you can hold, so with Bison, you will get a pretty straightforward and clear idea of just how many beverages, how much ice and how many foodstuffs you can take with you.

Mobility as well as durability

Bison’s coolers are generally smaller and lighter than those offered by the competition. Yes, the ice chest coolers are still quite bulky but are smaller outside than coolers from other leading brands. Yet they do have more storage space than some of the others.

Thanks to the top quality roto-molded construction, you don’t need to worry about your cooler breaking down, cracking or leaking. The coolers come with an impressive 5-year warranty which shows just how much the Bison Cooler Company believes in its products.

The aesthetics

The Bison ice chest coolers may look plain and simple, but thanks to the original Bison latches, the X design on the face, as well as the built-in Bison logo on the lid, these coolers look pretty cool, and can easily be recognized. Just the fact that Bison coolers don’t have the traditional T-latches which most other roto-molded ice chest coolers have makes them quite unique and distinguishes them from the other leading US cooler brands.

As for the SoftPaks, they do resemble those offered by Polar Bear and AO, and they do stand out thanks to the MOLLE webbing, the bottle opener, and by the shoulder strap which can be removed with the press of a button.

Made in the USA and backed with a long and full warranty

All Bison ice chest coolers are proudly made in America and are backed with a long 5-year warranty by the Bison Company. The company will pay you your money back if you are not 100% satisfied with its products!

The SoftPak coolers come with a 2-year warranty.

The warranty offered by the company includes every single part of the coolers, including the latches, the rubber feet, the hinge, and the handles and just about anything that can go wrong for these 5 years.

So, let’s take a closer look at each of the second generation Bison ice chest coolers

BISON COOLERS Gen 2 25 Quart Ice Chest

The smallest of the Gen 2 Bison ice chest coolers, the 25-quart version is the ideal beer cooler for short trips or for running errands or relaxing in your backyard.

Outside the dimensions of the 25 quart Bison cooler are 20.50 (L) x 17.625 (D) x 15 (H) inches. When measured inside, it is 12.25 (L) x 1.375 (D) x 10 (H) inches. Its capacity is sufficient for holding 21 12 oz. cans with a 2:1 ice to drink ratio or 32 lbs. of ice.

The smallest Bison ice chest cooler weighs 20 lbs. so you can easily carry it by yourself,

As all other Bison ice chest coolers this one is roto-molded, has a silicon special shark-fin designed gasket, durable latches, a lockable lid and rope handles for easy carrying.

You can easily strap it down to the back of your truck or ATV to keep it in place, and its rubber slip-proof feet will hold it in place no matter how slippery the surface is.

The 25 qt. Gen 2 Bison cooler is the perfect personal cooler which is great for family outings and for overnight camping. It fits perfectly on off-road vehicles and can be used as a bench or small platform for easy access.

It is about $70 cheaper than models of this size offered by the leading competitors.

Available in white, tan, red, olive and grey, this small sized cooler can be customized to meet your preferences and make your ice chest as personalized as possible.

BISON COOLERS 50 Quart. Gen 2 Ice Chest

The 50 Qt. Bison ice box cooler is the perfect size for a weekend outdoors with your family or friends. You can take it fishing or hunting with you, or on a boat as well.

The external dimensions of the 50 quart cooler are 30.5 (L) x 17.5 (D) x 16.5 (H), and its internal measurements are 22.25 (L) x 11.375 (D) x 11 (H).

The capacity of the 50 qt. gen 2 Bison ice chest cooler is 42 cans in a 2:1 ice to drink ratio or 65 lbs. of ice.

Thanks to its sturdy roto-molded construction, this ice chest cooler can endure a lot of traveling, bumps, not so delicate loading and unloading, and endless parties and outdoor gatherings.

It will keep your food fresh and your drinks cool for up to a week or for about 5 days in the warmest of days and although it is large, it can still easily be carried by one person.

You can use it as a bench or a small casting platform when you are out fishing too and of course as a mobile fridge which will keep your beer cold without the need of having to throw in ice every few hours or so.

It is relatively cheaper than the premium coolers of this capacity and size being offered on the market, with a price difference which can reach about $70 and more dollars.

Available in red, gray, olive, white or tan, or you can customize it to suit your preferences.

BISON COOLERS 75 Qt. Gen 2 Ice Chest

The large sized 75 Qt. Gen 2 Bison ice chest cooler does exactly what it was made for – it keeps the ice and the beverages and food inside cool as long as possible.

Given the fact that Bison coolers have been built by fishers and hunters to serve them in the best possible way during the long hours and days in the wilderness, it makes sense that the 75-quart cooler is very sturdy and will withstand serious wear and tear on the road and on the terrain.

The cooler is roto-molded and built in a way to withstand all kinds of weather conditions – be it scorching hot or freezing cold and raining or snowing.

The 75 Qt. Bison ice chest cooler is 37.75 x 17.5 x 18 inches on the outside, and 29.25 x 12.50 x 11.375 inches on the inside. It has the capacity to carry and retain 95 lbs. of ice, or 63 cans with double the amount of ice.

The weight of the cooler when empty is 39 lbs. Thanks to the rope handles you can comfortably carry it alone or with the help of a friend.

The 75 quart Bison cooler is the perfect family camping cooler, one for big game hunting, a tailgate or barbeque party cooler, and you can use it as a seat, table or casting platform when fishing too.

Pricewise, it is about $100 cheaper than alternatives of the same size from other premium cooler makers.

BISON COOLERS 125 Gen 2 Quart Ice Chest

The largest of all of the Bison Gen 2 ice chest coolers has a massive capacity of 125 quarts and is the perfect solution for all hunters, campers, fishers, and outdoor people and weekend warriors.

It is made in the USA and sold with a 5-year warranty.

The durable 125 qt. Bison cooler is superb for hunting big game, offshore fishing, long camping trips, BBQ parties, and competitions as well as for professional catering services.

It has a capacity of 104 cans with double the ice, or 160 lbs. of ice only, and will keep these cool for 5 and more days depending on the temperature outside.

You can use this cooler as a comfy bench, a casting platform, a table or for anything else.

It will withstand all kinds of weather conditions and harsh treatment, so you won’t need to wear velvet gloves when you are transporting it, loading it or unloading it, and using it.

Thanks to the incredibly durable construction and the brilliant design of the 100 qt. cooler you don’t have to worry about it breaking down and disappointing you when you are out enjoying time in the wild.

When the time comes to go home, you will be able to drain it out quickly and easily via the fast drainage system and oversized plug.

Your ice, beer, and food will stay cold for long thanks to the silicone gasket, the 2-inch insulation and the close and secure sealing of the latches.

When you leave the campsite, you can lock the lid to keep your ice and stuff away from prying eyes and from perpetrators too.

The largest Bison ice chest has impressive dimensions of 43.24 x 21.5 x 18.75 inches and a weight of 60 lbs. The internal dimensions are 34.75 x 13.25 x 15.25 inches.

Bison soft-sided coolers

If you need a lighter cooler to take to your trips, you can for the excellent soft sided Bison coolers. They are lighter and easier to carry, which is a much better option when you are out hiking or walking and don’t have the means or the desire to carry a large ice chest with you.

Bison’s soft-sided coolers can still keep your beverages cold, and your food fresh without the heftiness and the hassle of having to carry a heavy and bulky ice chest cooler.

The Bison soft-sided coolers have a very contemporary design, and they are UV resistant, which means that their colors will last forever, no matter how often you take them outside in the sun.

But what is even more important than their good looks is the fact that the SoftPak cooler bags by Bison are made in a way which will help keep your ice for up to 24 hours even in the hottest of days. These bags are found to be efficient in ice retention even in temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. All of this is possible thanks to the 1000 denier vinyl shell, which can resist up to 375 lbs. and is stronger than most other soft-sided coolers on the market. These coolers have 0.75 inches of insulation, which is twice as much than the insulation of the other coolers in this range, and have a nifty side pocket as well as MOLLE webbing to keep your favorite accessories. The added bottle opener is the perfect accessory to have handy when you are out on a trip and feel like a cold beer.

The SoftPaks have comfortable removable shoulder straps and are perfect for day trips, for picnics, sports events, off-roading, fishing or any other outdoor experience.

Bison’s SoftPaks come in two sizes – the 12 and 24 can versions.

The zippers of the SoftPak coolers are very sturdy and thick and the stitching is even and very well done.

The colors of the soft-sided coolers are blue, pink, sand and black, but you can order your cooler to be customized with embroidered logos, graphics or names of your choice.

These coolers are sold with a 2-year warranty which is one of the longest given for soft-sided coolers.

So, let’s take a closer look at the Bison SoftPaks.

BISON COOLERS 12 Can SoftPak Portable Cooler

As the company boasts – this is the only American made vinyl soft-sided cooler. This compact and yet efficient cooler will hold up to 12 cans as well as 5 lbs. of ice. Its size is 13 x 8 x 11 inches, and you can use the large side pocket to keep your dry items or the MOLLE webbing for adding your favorite accessories too.

The soft-sided cooler has a removable shoulder strap and is made of very durable vinyl which will withstand a lot of trips and adventures, and which will help keep your drinks cold and your food fresh during the entire day. You can use the handy Bison bottle opener which comes attached to the cooler whenever you feel like opening a bottle of beer or your other favorite beverage.

You can choose among one of the four attractive colors, and get one of these compact and lightweight coolers at a very reasonable price!

The 12 can SoftPak will keep your ice frozen for approximately 12 to 16 hours.

BISON COOLERS 24 Can SoftPak Portable Cooler

The larger Bison SoftPak cooler bag can hold 24 cans plus about 10 lbs. of ice for about 16 to 24 hours. It is 18 x 10 x 11 inches and comes with a removable shoulder strap and comfortable handles for easy carrying. The tough 1000 denier vinyl will not only keep the cooler safe from any rips and tears but will also ensure that the ice and your snacks and beverages remain cool during the entire day trip, even if it is scorching hot outside.

Like the other SoftPaks offered by Bison, this is one of the sturdiest ones on the market and the one with the thickest and the most reliable insulation.

The cooler is waterproof, leak-proof, comes with a bottle opener and is very light and pretty.

You can add accessories to the MOLLE webbing on the back, and carry some of your gear in the large zippered side pocket of the cooler as well.

Whichever one of the colors you choose, you can be sure that it will remain as vivid and attractive even after years, thanks to the UV protection of the cooler.

Some Accessories to Your Bison Cooler

Since the owners and workers of the Bison Cooler brand are so proud of their USA made coolers, they are adding more and more accessories and products to their lineup for their growing army of fans.

You can get one of the many different vinyl lid decals to customize your cooler ice chest lid. There are options for adding a unique TexasBowHunter or Ford Raptor Forum decals as well as many others offered by organizations that support the proud USA Bison Cooler company.

You can also buy one of the insulated tumblers in sizes of 20 oz., 30 oz. insulated tumblers travel bottle carriers, growlers, bottles, and a number of different t-shirts, caps and other cool accessories such as the Gun Metal Buckle Bottle belt, and various others.

The company also offers a hauler for their large ice chests, straps for tying your cooler down to the ATV or truck, baskets, dividers, cushions, anti-slip mats, and everything you will ever need to make your Bison cooler even better!

The prices of the Bison coolers

Although of course, the prices vary depending on the sizes of the coolers, as compared to other leading cooler makers in the US, the prices are considerably lower than the high-end brands such as Orca and Yeti but are higher than the lower premium cooler brands such as Engel and RTIC.

The soft-sided coolers from Bison are priced similarly to those offered by Polar Bear and Ao, and lower than the soft-sided offerings from RTIC and YETI.

Even though the soft-sided SoftPaks offered by Bison as a tad too expensive, they are still cheaper than those offered by Yeti and RTIC, but then again they will keep the ice frozen for fewer hours as compared to the soft-sided offerings by these premium brands.

The ice chest coolers are very fairly priced, given their top quality, the fact that they are 100% made in America, they come with a 5-year full warranty, and the long ice retention time they have.

The lineup

The Bison Coolers product lineup may not be as huge as that of some of the other premium cooler companies, but the ice chest coolers, the SoftPaks, the accessories, hard boxes and drinkware offered by the company are all pretty impressive.

Customization of Bison Coolers

Even though the color choice of the Bison ice chest coolers and SoftPaks is not as wide and assorted as that of other premium quality coolers on the market, Bison has implemented an excellent customization program which allows each customer to choose a custom lid pattern or graphics for their ice chest cooler or order custom embroidery for their soft-sided cooler. The Texas-based company also offers to engrave their insulated drinkware as well as screen-printing personalized messages, logos or names on their other products too.

This means that just about everybody can get a completely personalized cooler at a price which is much lower than that of other cooler makers who offer pricey customization services.

Bison vs Yeti?

Since Yeti is one of the most popular premium quality cooler makers, the question which many people ask is which one is actually better – Yeti or Bison coolers?

When a side to side comparison is made between a Yeti ice chest cooler and one from Bison, they are quite a bit of similarity between them. Both of them are roto-molded and rock-solid as far as the build is concerned.

Both companies offer both ice chest hard coolers as well as soft-sided coolers.

One of the main differences is the fact that Yeti is a very well established premium cooler brand while as Bison is still a relatively new name on the market. The Bison Cooler Company is also a smaller company and thus doesn’t offer so many different accessories or customization options as Yeti.

Yeti has a lot more years of experience and has perfect the art of making excellent high-end coolers. Many companies have tried to copy Yeti and have failed. The ice life, the build quality and the customization options offered by Yeti are unparalleled. But then, their prices are also high end.

Then again, both the Yeti and the bison coolers have similar ice retention capabilities, and also are coolers which are definitely made to last for many years. Even though Bison is still not as popular and recognizable a brand as Yeti, if you are shopping for a sturdy cooler which will offer you a week-long ice life and will endure a lot of wear and tear, and if you are not concerned about showing off with an ultra-expensive cooler, you should probably go with Bison when it comes to ice chest coolers.

Whichever brand you choose, you will be getting a very well-built, heavy duty, resilient cooler which will keep your ice frozen for up to a week, no matter what the weather outside is like.

How to maximize the ice retention of your Bison ice chest cooler

In order to increase the ice life, you should keep the cooler inside in a cooler place prior to your travel, and then add quality ice. Never put warm bottles or other content, because they will cause the ice to melt much faster. If you can, chill all the beverages and foodstuffs prior to putting them in your cooler in order to ensure that they stay cold for longer.

You can use block ice, dry ice or Chillin’ Brew Ice Packs from Bison to increase the ice life as well.

Open the cooler as rarely and quickly as possible. The longer you keep the lid closed – the longer your ice will remain frozen and your drinks and food cool and fresh.

Also, don’t drain the water from the cooler as the ice melts. Leave the cold water inside which will help chill the air and keep the rest of the ice frozen for longer.

The most important step is to maintain a 2-to-1 ratio between the ice and the drinks in the cooler if you want them to stay cool for as long as possible.

Keep adding ice to the cooler as it melts, and try to top off the whole cooler with ice.

If possible place the cooler in a shady place to keep it away from direct sunlight, which too will help prolong the life of the ice in it.

How to prolong the ice life in your Bison SoftPak cooler

Once again, use a generous amount of ice, no matter how tempted you are to overfill it with drinks and snacks instead. Use 5 lbs. of ice in the smaller 12-can SoftPak and 10 lbs. of ice in the larger 24 can version.

Keep the sides of your SoftPak buckled in order to increase the life of the ice, and to keep the cool air from escaping through the small gaps at the end of the zipper.

Discounts provided by the Bison Coolers Company

Bison Coolers offers a generous discount of 15% for all of its products to people in the military, police officers and firefighters. This is a token of appreciation for their selfless service. All you need to do is send proof of your military status or current employment to the company’s customer support e-mail, and you will receive confirmation for your discount.

Final words

Overall, we are pretty happy with the design, the robust build and the ice retention qualities of Bison’s ice coolers.

The ice chest coolers can be compared to those of the higher-end brands like Yeti or Orca, and yet come at a lower price than them.

The SoftPak coolers are also well-made, offer the industry’s thickest insulation and are sold at a reasonable price.

All of the products are made in the USA, come with a full warranty which is much longer than that offered by most of the other competitors, and they are made to endure a lot of wear and tear and serve you well for many years ahead on all kinds of outdoor trips and adventures in the wilderness.

Plus, the company offers a full warranty for all of the parts of the coolers which usually break down first, such as the latches, the feet and everything else on your cooler. This means that you can rest assured that your money is well spent and that you will get the best possible customer care service in case you happen to have a problem with your own Bison cooler.

If you want a top quality cooler with excellent ice retention capabilities, you definitely should consider getting one of the available Bison ice chest or SoftPak coolers!

Last update on 2020-07-05 at 23:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API