Editor’s Note: Amy’s (ACK’s Office Manager) 5th grade Daughter was recently assigned a science fair experiment and came up with the bright idea of measuring the effectiveness of a variety of ice chests or “coolers”. Below is her written report detailing the final results with pictures and a spreadsheet with data that backs her findings. We thought it would be a great idea to feature her experiment here on the ACK blog.

My Experiment “Feel the Chill” – by Isabel

3 coolers (Yeti 35qt., Engel 35qt. and an Igloo Max Cold 70qt)
140 quarts (qts) of ice
3 thermometers

Purpose: To find which cooler will keep the ice at the lowest temperature over a 5 day period.

Hypothesis: I believe that the Yeti will keep the ice the coldest because of the higher level of insulation.


  1. fill the coolers to the rim with ice
  2. calibrate and place a thermometer (you must calibrate the thermometers upon taking them out of the package) in each cooler
  3. check each cooler every day twice a day and record the results
  4. gather all the data into a chart (click to view data sheet)

My initial research found that the Yeti cooler has the most insulation with 3” on the lid and 1.6″ in the walls. The Engel cooler has 2″ of insulation throughout but does not have extra insulation on the lid like Yeti’s coolers. I didn’t find published specifications for the Igloo cooler but it appears to have some extra insulation in the corners. Igloo claims that ice will last, in any weather, at least 5 days.

Daily testing.

Final Results: I conclude that the Yeti kept the ice coldest for the entire 5 days. The Engel had the most consistent temperature readings with the best sealing action — so much that it caused suction when draining. The Igloo scored the lowest in all categories even though it had started with the most ice.